Would Sebastian Gorka-- AKA #FakeTerrorismExpert-- Be Able To See The White House Psychiatrist If Ted Lieu's Bill Passes?
I'm sure there will be endless debates about who is the worst of the worst in Trump's nasty little proto-fascist kleptocracy. There's Bannon, of course, who would be the hands down early fave, but let's not forget Stephen Miller, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt... and, yes... there's also the Hungarian neo-Nazi, Sebastian Gorka, who we took at look at last week. And we're not the only ones looking closely at the neo-Nazi from... well, no one really knows when he was born or where he was born but people who know him swear he's an earthling who once served as a British spy and, later, as a professional fascist in his ancestral home, Hungary. Eventually he married an unfortunate-looking somewhat older American heiress-- like him, a psychotic islamophobe and hate-monger-- and managed to acquire U.S. citizenship that way. They were both Breitbart bloggers who help Bannon drive Trump further and further from mainstream thought on national security issues.
Anyway, most people who know anything about him claim Gorka is certifiably insane. You'll probably come to the same conclusion by listening to the taped phone conversation (on the 2 YouTubes above) that he had with Republican South Carolina counterterrorism expert Michael Smith. Gorka doesn't like Smith's twitter feed and phoned him up to threaten him with a lawsuit. Listen as Smith, tapping the call after the first 5 minutes, draws him out; it's funny-- or chilling, depending on your perspective. At first Smith, who has been outspoken about Gorka's obvious lack of competence for his job, thought it was a prank call. Smith, who says he voted for Trump says he was "stunned that the administration would hire him to work in the White House on such critical issues as counterterrorism. This could blow up in our faces, to have basically an amateur working on such important policies and working with people like Steve Bannon."
You'll notice if you listen to the taped call that Gorka invited Smith-- over and over and over-- to meet him at the White House. The day after the call, though, he withdrew the invitation. "Given your statements for the latest attack piece and continued disparaging Tweets against not only myself but the administration and president, consider your invitation to meet withdrawn."
Newsweek picked up on the story last week.
Gorka apparently used his personal cell phone, with a northern Virginia area code, rather than making the call from his White House office or government-issued cell phone, where it would be officially logged, Smith says. The terrorism expert says he suspected Gorka “was trying to conceal the call.”
Smith says he did not begin recording the call until after Gorka allegedly threatened to sue Smith. In an email to Newsweek, Smith said that, “Gorka asserted my tweets about him merited examination by the White House legal counsel. In effect, he was threatening to entangle me in a legal battle for voicing my concerns on Twitter that he does not possess expertise sufficient to assist the president of the United States with formulating and guiding national security policies.”
...Smith has kept up a steady stream of jabs at Gorka since he learned that the Hungarian born, British-educated terrorism specialist had been hired by President Donald Trump’s top adviser Steve Bannon. Both Bannon and Gorka came from the far-right Breitbart News, where Bannon was editor-in-chief and Gorka was national security editor. On his Twitter page, Gorka describes himself as “deputy assistant to the 45th president of America” and an “Irregular Warfare Strategist.”
His views on the “global jihadist movement,” as he calls it, align with a small cadre of right-wing observers who depict Islamist militants and extremists as being driven principally by passages from the Koran, rather than by government repression, or sectarian, tribal, political or economic factors.
On Tuesday, Smith tweeted that Gorka “doesn't know the enemies' ideologies well enough to combat them.” In an earlier tweet directed at Trump, Smith wrote: “You are endangering the lives of Americans by hiring fake ‘terrorism experts.’”
...[Q]uestions about Gorka’s views and credentials to speak authoritatively on Islam and terrorism were severely criticized in lengthy feature articles in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal in recent days. He also received a wave of unfavorable publicity in January 2016 when he was arrested for trying to pass through a TSA checkpoint at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. carrying a loaded handgun. He was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to six months probation.
One of his most influential critics is Cindy Storer, a leading former CIA expert on the relationship between religious extremism and terrorism.
“He thinks the government and intelligence agencies don’t know anything about radicalization, but the government knows a lot and thinks he’s nuts,” Storer was quoted as saying in the Post.
Smith asked Gorka why he didn’t telephone Storer, "who called you nuts in the Washington Post,” to complain. Gorka responded that Storer’s remark wasn’t “in a Twitter feed that is being sent to people on Capitol Hill.”
Gorka’s scholarship has also come under scrutiny by Mia Bloom, an expert on “transcultural violence” at Georgia State University. “He doesn’t understand a fraction of what he pretends to know about Islam,” Bloom was quoted as saying by the Journal. Bloom has participated in TV appearances with Gorka and at a panel last year at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Nor has Gorka-- who does not speak Arabic and has never lived in a Muslim-majority nation, according to news accounts-- submitted any of his articles for review in scholarly journals, says Lawrence P. Rubin, associate editor of Terrorism and Political Violence, the leading journal in that field.
“Gorka has not submitted anything to the journal in the last five or so years, according to my records and we have never used him as a reviewer,” Rubin tells Newsweek. “We would not have used him as a reviewer because he is not considered a terrorism expert by the academic or policy community.”
A government expert on Middle East radical movements, who asked not to be named for fear of being fired, tells Newsweek she was disturbed to hear Gorka suggest at a talk he gave in Israel a few years ago that he knew of a “specific person in the [Obama White House] who was deliberately misleading the government” on terrorism issues. “He said he wouldn’t name the person on stage but would provide the particulars” privately to anyone there who wanted to know, she said. Noting the audience was full of potential adversaries, she called Gorka’s remark “‘beyond the pale.”
Several times during his call with Smith, Gorka invited him to the White House to hash out their differences “face to face, man to man,” as he put it in one exchange. They set a tentative date for March 8.
But Smith warned Gorka that “in absolute fairness to you, what you will hear is that I have very serious concerns about our national security,” and in particular Gorka’s role “as an adviser to the president of the United States.”
“If you make a devastating case, then so be it,” Gorka said.
“So be it?” Smith answered. “Then what, you’ll acknowledge you're out of your league?”
“Yeah, absolutely,” Gorka said. “Bring it on."
Late Wednesday, Gorka withdrew his invitation.