Sebastian Gorka is no longer a deputy assistant to President Trump. He said he resigned, but an unnamed White House source contradicted this: “Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House.” Either way, however, this is not a good sign for those who hoped that Trump would restore realism about the jihad threat to the nation’s counterterror approach.
In his resignation letter, Gorka said:
[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are — for now — ascendant within the White House. As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.
The specific problem was Trump’s apparent retreat from his repeated insistence on speaking about “radical Islamic terrorism” rather than a faceless, amorphous and ideology-free terrorist threat. Gorka continued:
Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will “Make America Great Again,” have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week.
The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.
Gorka himself has been known to equivocate on this issue, but he was one of the last, if not the last, member of the Trump administration who was upholding any part of Trump’s campaign promises: to speak honestly about the motivating ideology of the jihad threat; and to reverse the Obama administration’s policy of denial and willful ignorance regarding the motivating ideology behind the global jihad threat.
In 2011, the Obama administration initiated a massive purge of counterterror materials that spoke honestly about the ideological roots of the jihad threat. The Obama administration instead mandated that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies not study Islam. This was a direct result of Muslim groups — many of which had links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood — demanding the removal of such material.
Those who are committed to protecting us were directed at the highest levels to downplay and deny that Islamic terrorism had anything to do with Islam. Since this is false, that directive has deformed our counterterror response ever since.
But Donald Trump campaigned on the implied promise to change all that. He repeatedly rebuked both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for fearing to speak about “radical Islamic terrorism”; he vowed that he would. Many took this as an indication that he would once again allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to study and understand the beliefs, motives, and goals of the enemy.
Instead, the people Trump brought into his administration who favored this necessary reform were quickly identified, isolated, and subjected to relentless establishment media smear campaigns. One by one, they left the administration. After the departure of Steve Bannon, Gorka was one of the only ones left.
Now that he is gone, it appears that the proponents of Obama-esque denial and willful ignorance have won the day. Trump may recover, of course, or he may not. But the departure of Gorka, following the earlier departures of Bannon and Michael Flynn, do not bode well for this administration recovering an understanding of the elemental fact that one must know one’s enemy in order to defeat him.
The implications are wider still. Right now, in the context of the Left’s intense ongoing efforts to deny all dissenters any access to the means of communication, the Trump administration’s abandonment of honesty regarding jihad means that soon those who speak honestly about this threat could have no voice at all in the public square.
In the wake of Charlottesville, when the Left began moving aggressively to cut the ground out from under the feet of foes of jihad terror, Jihad Watch received a few thousand dollars in donations, for which I am most grateful. At the same time, the hard-Left smear machine Southern Poverty Law Center received tens of millions to continue its defamation and marginalization of legitimate organizations by lumping them in with the KKK and neo-Nazis. This only means there will be more assaults on truth-tellers coming in the near future.
Sebastian Gorka wasn’t perfect, but his departure is another light going out in the failing Trump administration, and a harbinger of rough days to come.