During our long, rainy drive home after Thanksgiving, my wife and I got bored and started channel-hopping on the radio. We stopped for a while on the “Patriot” channel, long enough to catch up with what’s going on in the paranoid, squishy fringes of Der Homeland’s right-wing. Or what we call the mainstream of the Republican Party these days.
“Patriot” introduced me to a Fox News darling I had never heard of, a so-called terrorism expert by the name of Dr. Sebastian Gorka. Apparently, he’s a regular guest these days on every hate-talk radio show, every right-wing newspaper, and every christianist (you know, those holier-than-thou evangelicals with secret decoder rings who know exactly when to hitch a ride on the Armageddon Express) website out there. Like Johnny Cash, he’s been everywhere, man.
He’s also, curiously enough, well-connected to our military industrial complex. His Wikipedia resume reads like a who’s-who of conservative think tanks and let’s-play-army war schools. For example, he’s a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. They have a fancy name for an outfit that is wholly fixated on (dare I say obsessed with) Iran. Most of the top backers are rich American and Canadian Jews with strong ties to Israel.
He also frequently lectures at West Point and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which was birthed in 2003 by a Dubya executive order. NCTC has compiled a Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database containing 1.2 million “identities of individuals suspected of terror links and domestic individuals of interest including the names of known or suspected terrorists as well as those affiliated.”
I wonder how much influence Dr. Gorka has on who is and is not a “domestic individual of interest” (or who an “affiliate” is)?
He also teaches at the Marine Corps University at their base in Quantico, Virginia. Their website indicates he is a “Distinguished Chair of Military Theory” and that his “special areas of interest are the strategic culture and ideology of Global Jihadism and the proper use of Grand Strategy.”
Grand Strategy is an interesting term, defined as the “purposeful employment of all instruments of power available to a security community” in attaining the politcal objectives of a war. What does Gorka mean by Grand Strategy? He was on Megyn Kelly’s show on Fox News recently and said this…
“Don’t wait for Uncle Sam to protect you. Every American has a duty and responsibility to be aware of the threat and be prepared to protect themselves.”
“You need to be tactically aware. If you’re in a state or municipality that allows you to carry a weapon, you should get training and do so.”
…which perhaps explains why gun sales increased after the recent terror attacks in Paris and Colorado Springs. It also makes me wonder if Gorka is bullet-proof. Is there anything he can say that is outlandish enough to get him summarily fired from his various Uncle Sam gigs? If the military’s top brass doesn’t consider such statements to be treasonous, or at least incendiary poppycock, then their silence speaks volumes about an organization (arguably the world’s deadliest) that is supposed to be under the authority of an elected, civilian commander in chief.
Is disdain for the black man in the White House now so pervasive that it extends — beyond the Republican Party and their tea party rabble — into the highest ranks of our professional warriors? If so, then the neo-con ghouls who lured us into disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have won. If so, a defense industry dependent on a perpetual-war business model has won. And we the people have lost everything.
Somebody please tell me I’m wrong…
Monsieur d’Nalgar, December 1, 2015
PS – Gorka was completely off my radar, and I snoop around on “the other side” more than most of my fellow progressives (yes, I am a bit masochistic). With the rise of populist presidential candidates like Trump and Carson and Cruz, and the enduring influence of tea parties at the state and local level, I have to wonder if progressives aren’t underestimating the mob-mentality momentum and political clout of America’s regressives. Somebody please tell me I’m wrong…