A disgraced former FBI agent and anti-Islam activist claims that John Brennan, President Obama’s pick to head the CIA, is “unfit for duty” because he just might be a secret Muslim.
As Salon reported, John Guandolo claimed last weekend that “Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on behalf of the United States when he served in Saudi Arabia” and it “was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him” by foreign operatives.
The theory, which was picked up by conspiracy-theorist central World Net Daily, has an eager audience on the right. Here’s a rundown:
Glenn Beck: ”I don’t know if this is true or not, I will tell you that there is so much in John Brennan background that should be questioned, that this is plausible. He added: ”If somebody makes a charge like that, shouldn’t we at least explore it?” Watch:
Former Rep. Fred Grandy, R-Iowa, also of Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy: “The influence of Islam as a religion among top intelligence authorities in this country is not limited to John Brennan. Whether or not that influenced his political determinations probably has more to do not so much with Islam but to what degree has been co-opted by Saudi authorities.”
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association: “Well I think the proof is in the pudding. When he redefines jihad to mean something that it doesn’t mean, to water it down; when he rewrites the training manuals for our law enforcement, for those that would protect the United States; it’s all very, very frightening and suspicious to me.”
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association: “[Obama] wants a guy to be the director of the CIA who may be a Muslim covert. There’s a highly-placed source, I can’t verify this because it’s only come from one source but John Brennan who President Obama wants to be his CIA director, there’s a well-placed source that says everybody understands in the intelligence community that he converted to Islam when he was on an overseas assignment. He’s allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate his administration.”
Guandolo left the FBI after the corruption case for former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, amid revelations that Guandolo had sexual relationships with agents and a government informant on the case. He has since been traveling the anti-Islam speech-making circuit, occasionally arguing that Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.”
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at email@example.com.