Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz named his national security advisers on Thursday, including Frank Gaffney, an anti-Muslim activist and founder of a think tank dedicated to exposing the so-called Islamic conspiracy to erode U.S. law and elevate sharia.
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Here are four other conspiracy theories espoused at one time or another by Gaffney:
Libya no-fly zone was set up as groundwork for future invasion of Israel
In 2011, after the U.S. and allied nations began their military intervention in Libya, then torn by a civil war, Gaffney argued that the "Responsibility to Protect" rationale used to establish a no-fly zone in the north African country could be used by the Obama administration in the same way in case Israel takes military action in Gaza or the West Bank.
The "Gaddafi Precedent," pushed by Obama's "anti-Israel troika of female advisers" (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN ambassador Susan Rice and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power), could be used "in the not-to-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel,” Gaffney wrote, the Jewish Weekly reported at the time.
Logo of U.S. Missile Defense Agency is an Islamic crescent and star
An adamant fighter against the "U.S. submission to Islam," Gaffney claimed in a 2010 Breitbart column that the Missile Defense Agency's new logo "ominously reflects a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo."
This, he suggested, was "Team Obama's" attempt to accommodate Iran.
A spokesperson from the Agency rejected the claim, believed by some on the American right, saying that the symbol wasn't a new logo, but was used only for recruiting material and on the official website. "Also, it was used prior to the 2008 election and it has no link to any political campaign," he told Fox News.
Saddam Hussein was involved in Oklahoma City bombing
In 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, seeking revenge for the FBI raid on Waco, blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklamhoma City, killing 168 people and wounding nearly 700 others.
In 2009, Gaffney told his incredulous hosts on MSNC's Hardball that there was some "pretty compelling circumstantial evidence" that Iraq under late dictator Hussein had a hand in the 1995 attack.
"He [Saddam] kept saying he was going to try to get even against us for Desert Storm, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable for people to conclude maybe that that’s what he was doing," Gaffney said, adding in the same breath that the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center may also have been Iraq's handiwork.
Obama isn't American
Gaffney also espoused the belief, known popularly as the birther conspiracy, that Barack Obama isn't a natural born citizen, and can therefore not be a president of the United States. "There is evidence Mr. Obama was born in Kenya rather than, as he claims, Hawaii," Gaffney wrote in a 2008 piece for the Washington Times, in which he also accused the then-presidential candidate of relying on the "Jihadist vote" in order to win the White House.
Incidentally, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump also shared that belief at one time, saying that he was a "little" skeptical of Obama's citizenship, and that there was "something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like."