The media are targeting Dr. Sebastian Gorka for political assassination.
Gorka is a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump and renowned irregular warfare and counterinsurgency expert. A proud anti-establishment figure, members of the media, academics, and his rivals are on the warpath against Gorka.
Leftist outlets have labeled Gorka an unqualified “Islamophobe” and “anti-Semite.” Serious charges to be sure. Though the multitude of hit pieces do not reveal a single statement or word suggesting a hint of anti-Muslim or anti-Jewish bias during his decades-long career, they insist that the White House staffer harbors these malicious thoughts.
Many media outlets have also attacked Gorka’s credentials for his position in the White House. Frequently citing his critics in academia, self-professed experts have pilloried Gorka as “widely disdained” and “unqualified.”
That’s nonsense, says Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., a Marine Corps officer and Iraq War veteran who worked with Gorka while he was a professor at National Defense University.
“Seb is a patriot who has devoted his entire career not to accruing obscure academic honors, but rather to supporting our warfighters and defending freedom and religious liberty,” Rep. Gallagher tells Conservative Review. “He is devoted to keeping the country safe and we need his expertise, passion, and sense of strategy now more than ever during these times of crisis.”
Gorka’s credentials in his field are second to none. Over the past few years, Dr. Gorka has held faculty positions at National Defense University, Marine Corps University, and the Institute of World Politics. He holds a Ph.D. in political science and has lectured at America’s premier intelligence agencies, including the CIA and FBI. He’s briefed military special forces units all over the country, published scholarship in several journals related to his field, testified before Congress, and has been affiliated with local and international think tanks. This review is only a very short accounting of what he’s accomplished since becoming an American citizen in 2012.
Ilan Berman, a national security expert at the American Foreign Policy Council, also disputes the charge that Gorka is somehow unqualified.
“I’ve known and collaborated with Dr. Gorka for years,” Berman tells CR. “He is a consummate professional, and a first-rate intellect. Suggestions to the contrary smack of partisan politics, and of a lack of familiarity with the real contributions that his work on radical ideologies and irregular warfare has made to the national security of the United States.“
Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., is the chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism. He released a statement in support of Gorka this week, challenging the media narrative.
“Dr. Sebastian Gorka is a friend and trusted adviser on efforts to combat radical Islamic terrorism and increase the safety and security of American families,” said Pittenger.
So when attacks on his credentials didn’t stick, the establishment media went after Gorka’s “fringe” viewpoints.
In a Friday editorial in the New York Times, two Democrats labeled Gorka as “ill-informed” and an “Islamophobic huckster.”
As evidence of his alleged “Islamophobia,” media outlets have suggested he has “fringe” views on Islam. In short, Gorka argues — in concert with the majority of the American people — that there is a religious element that drives the ideology of groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. The view that there is an Islamic connection to Islamic terror groups is shunned by the Washington, D.C. foreign policy establishment, but accepted as common sense by the majority of Americans, according to polling.
Moreover, as a professor at the National Defense University, Gorka worked with Muslim officers from allied Islamic countries. And last year, Gorka and his wife visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, helping to raise awareness for the plight of Muslim refugees — hardly “Islamophobic” actions.
In addition to being an alleged “Islamophobe,” the newest bombardment from the media is that Gorka is anti-Semitic. Their proof: A guilt-by-association attack exploring his past work with a Hungarian political party with a checkered history.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), led by former Obama White House official Jonathan Greenblatt, has added gasoline to the fire, demanding that Gorka “disavow” his past work in Hungarian politics with alleged anti-Semitic parties.
The charges are completely false, according to people who have worked with him.
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., the chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus, couldn’t disagree more with the label. “I can attest that Dr. Gorka is the staunchest friend of Israel and the Jewish people,” Franks said in a statement Saturday.
Dr. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, a former Pentagon official and Middle East expert, tells CR that Gorka “is about as anti-Semitic as [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu. That is, not at all.”
“In addition, there's also irony in some self-professed terror experts saying they don't know Seb or his work because they do not realize that it is they and not Seb who is in the bubble,” Rubin added. “Had they spent more time working with practitioners and less time engaging in the rhetorical masturbation at the heart of academic culture, they might not be so obtuse.”
Author’s note: This correspondent is a former colleague of Dr. Gorka’s.