Newt Gingrich Defends Bachmann's Islam Attacks

'Politico' op-ed derided by others

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 30, 2012 3:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a six-page, 2,500-word Politico op-ed (with an attached three-page, 1,800-word appendix), Newt Gingrich makes it crystal clear that he is on the side of Michele Bachmann and her four fellow members of Congress who want an inquiry into whether the government is being infiltrated by Islamic extremists. (He refers to the group as "the National Security Five.") According to Gingrich, the quick and plentiful denouncements of Bachmann's theory are simply examples "of the fear our elites have about discussing and understanding radical Islamists," he writes. "You have to wonder why people would aggressively assert we shouldn’t ask about national security concerns."

"It’s as though our leaders have forgotten every lesson of the 1930s about fascism, Nazism, and communism and every lesson from 1945 to 1991 about communism," Gingrich writes, noting that "political correctness" has taken precedence over security and that the "elites" worry that "if Americans fully understood how serious radical Islamists are, they would demand a more confrontational strategy." He quotes Tony Blair and JFK (and Wikipedia, notes The Blaze incredulously), and notes the Fort Hood shootings and the Times Square car bomb as evidence that we must be more vigilant. On Salon, Glenn Greenwald decries Politico ("a glorified gossip rag") in general and Gingrich's piece in particular, calling it a "bigoted, McCarthyite screed." Click for Gingrich's full piece, or Greenwald's response.

Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich talk during a break in the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, Monday, June 13, 2011.
Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich talk during a break in the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, Monday, June 13, 2011.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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