Right after Glenn Beck finished his radio show on Wednesday, March 11, he got a call from the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre. Following an hour-long conversation, Beck then wrote a letter to the NRA which it published on his website:
My audience knows that I have recently become concerned about alleged links of a member of the board of the National Rifle Association to Islamist groups that have ill intent towards the United States and its allies.
Loyal listeners knew exactly to whom Beck was referring: Grover Norquist (shown), the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, a current NRA board member seeking reelection. Many listeners called the NRA, demanding that this offending board member be removed immediately from that position of trust and influence. As Beck wrote:
Many of you have inundated the NRA with calls and emails mirroring my concerns….
Wayne assured me and asked me to convey to you, that he and the NRA are taking this very seriously. They are beginning an open and transparent investigation into these alleged ties and relationships and will provide the results to me, my audience and NRA members.
Beck became concerned about Norquist because of research that reached back more than 15 years, conducted by Frank Gaffney who founded the Center for Security Policy in 1988. That research started by accident. Gaffney’s newly formed group rented small offices next to Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, knowing nothing about Norquist or his group. Gaffney explained in the foreword to the fourth edition of his exposé of Norquist’s Islamist ties and network entitled Agent of Influence how he became suspicious of Norquist:
At the time, my organization, the Center for Security Policy, had just begun a seven-year sublet from ATF, which included a shared conference space and copier room.
Shortly after we moved into these suites, a colleague asked if I knew that there was an Islamist front group on the other side of that Xerox room.
I did not, at the time.
But over the next seven … years, I had ample opportunity to establish that the Islamic Institute [II] was closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. It also became clear that, with considerable help from Grover Norquist, II and its associates were conducting successful influence operations against the conservative movement, the Republican Party and the George W. Bush team — starting with the 2000 presidential campaign and, subsequently, the Bush ’43 administration.
Gaffney’s revelations have proven to be a tough sell. His claims about Norquist’s dangerous connections and the threats they pose to America have been turned aside by such groups as the American Conservative Union, and others. As Gaffney explains:
In the intervening years, I have tried to warn those on the right … about the seditious designs of the Muslim Brotherhood, its stealthy “civilization jihad” and the associated subversion aimed at our nation’s civil society institutions and governing bodies.
Regrettably, such efforts have been met by many of Washington D.C.’s prominent conservatives with what can be charitably described as willful blindness.
Beck, known as a stickler for details and proofs, was impressed by Gafney's research. Gaffney’s investigation was approved and signed off on by numerous Washington heavyweights, including former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former CIA head James Woolsey, former Congressman Alan West, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Admiral James Lyons, former under secretary of Defense Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, and former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz.
Beck, in turn, was sufficiently persuasive in his conversation with LaPierre that LaPierre committed the NRA to doing a full and complete background check on Norquist.
Gaffney was understandably delighted. Beck has a large megaphone, and the NRA membership is sensitive to disingenuous individuals claiming to be one thing while being something else altogether. In other words, it’s an audience that isn’t likely to buy Norquist’s protestations of innocence that so far have protected him.
Beck upped the ante last Friday when he announced that he would resign from the NRA — the only other organization to which he belongs outside of his church — if it doesn’t give Norquist the boot:
Many of the reasons why we’re on the wrong track in the Middle East is because of the influence of Grover Norquist….
My opinion is, he’s a very dangerous man … and if he remains on the board of the NRA, I will have to resign my membership.
Norquist just laughed Beck off, telling journalists at WorldNetDaily:
It looks like Frank Gaffney found in Glenn Beck someone in the conservative movement ... for whom these allegations are new.
I’ve defended myself successfully against these allegations every time Frank has tried to get me thrown out of a conservative group for a decade and a half. Now I guess I will have to do it again.
WND reported Norquist’s retort to Gaffney who went on record with a summary of what he has found in his years of investigating the founder of ATR:
I’m saying Grover Norquist has for 17 years been working with enemies of this country whose mission is to destroy us from within.
Norquist’s activities have extended beyond just trying to support the Muslim Brotherhood and other Muslim supremacists in their promotion of their specific objective to running an influence operation to get us to accept their demands for concessions and to be witless about the threat they represent, specifically in trying to bring Shariah law here.
Supporters of Gaffney have come to his aid, including Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer:
This is long overdue. It has been over eleven years since FrontPage Magazine first published revelations about what David Horowitz described as Norquist’s “alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities.”
Horowitz believes that Norquist’s continued support of those groups, despite those indictments, indicts Norquist himself:
Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover’s part, or any meaningful effort to disassociate himself from his unsavory friends.
Kenneth Timmerman, another long-time critic of Norquist and supporter of Gaffney’s efforts to expose his background, stated:
Grover Norquist has done as much harm to the conservative movement as Jesse Jackson has to the black community....
By working as a lobbyist for corporate interests all the while calling himself an advocate for smaller government, he has shown himself to be a craven hypocrite.
Worse, as an apologist for political Islam and its agents in the United States, he has demonstrated, at best, a total ignorance of U.S. National security interests.
If the NRA is true to its word, does what it has promised, and exposes Norquist for what Gaffney thinks he is — an apologist for radical Islam while masquerading as a conservative — then this may just be one battle Norquist will lose.
Photograph of Grover Norquist: Gage Skidmore
A graduate of an Ivy League school and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics.