The smearing of Fred Fleitz

Fred Fleitz has been appointed chief-of-staff of the National Security Council. Power Line has frequently linked to Fleitz’s work, particularly on Iran and the nuclear deal. We welcome his appointment.

Naturally, those who view foreign policy from a vastly different perspective don’t welcome it. And that’s fine. They have every right to attack Fleitz’s positions and the way he has expressed them.

But as is its wont, the left has resorted to name-calling and outright lying. For example, The Washington Monthly, in the headline of its story (written by its web editor) about the appointment, calls Fleitz a “neo-Nazi.” The story provides no evidence to support this slander.

Fleitz is a harsh critic of radical Islam. However, as Rich Lowry shows, Fleitz has been careful to distinguish between his critiques of radical Islam and all Islam.

Fleitz has warned about enclaves of Muslim communities in the West, including in America, where Muslims have not assimilated well and where radicalism is being incubated. These claims are either true or false. They cannot be blown off as “neo-Nazi,” or “Islamophobic.

Here are statements by Fleitz about Muslim communities in the U.S. cited in an over-the-top Washington Post hit-piece against him:

“I’m not concerned about Amish or Jewish communities, but I will tell you that there are enclaves of Muslim communities in Michigan and Minnesota that concern me. We know that in Minnesota there’s a rising rate of measles because the community has not assimilated into the rest of the community and is not vaccinating their children,” he said, referring to an outbreak in Minneapolis after anti-vaccine activists convinced members of the Somali immigrant community that vaccines cause autism. “This is wrong. This is a big problem.”

“The problem with these Muslim communities is that it is making them susceptible to this radical worldview that wants to destroy modern society, create a global caliphate and impose sharia law on everyone on Earth,” Fleitz said, according to Breitbart. “These other communities aren’t trying to do that. They’re peaceful religious communities.”

He also warned of “radical clerics and radical mosques” that he said promote hate. And he said he believes that “political correctness” and use of the label “Islamophobic” has hindered the United States’ ability “to go after radical Islam.”

Are any of these views false? The Post makes no attempt to show they are. (It does question some statements Fleitz has made about the situation in Europe, but provides no links that refute them).

Frankly, I would not want a chief-of-staff of the NSC who is oblivious to the danger posed by radical clerics and radical mosques that seek to inflame Muslims who fail to assimilate (or have no interest in assimilating) in Western societies.

President Trump takes this danger seriously. So does John Bolton, who heads the NSC. Why shouldn’t Bolton’s chief-of-staff?

The previous administration did not take the danger seriously. Or maybe it just couldn’t discern an Islamic radical group when it saw one.

Adam Kredo of the Washington Examiner argues that members of the Obama administration are instrumental in the slander of Fleitz. He notes that “organizations closely tied to the Obama administration” have led the charge. Kredo cites the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Southern Poverty Law Center. He also includes or Anti Defamation League which is currently headed by Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama administration official.

Desperate to defend Obama’s major legacy item — the Iran nuclear deal — Team Obama has a strong interest in bringing down John Bolton and Fred Fleitz, as it brought down Michael Flynn. But CAIR, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and even the Washington Post aren’t the FBI. These outfits are just shouting into the wind. But that doesn’t make some of the shouting any less despicable.

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