I’ve been writing about this latest conspiracy meme, but I forgot to blog about it. First an anti-Islamic blogger named Christopher Logan (click here) posted a picture of the Missile Defense Agency’s new logo with the comment that Obama “is as pro-Islamic as they come and this symbol is a disgrace to America, as it is a hybrid of an Obama-Islamic crescent symbol. We are in serious trouble my friends!”
Then Frank Gaffney, a Deputy Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, a frequent contributor to a slew of conservative-minded newspapers, websites, and TV shows, and a member in good standing of the Republican Washington establishment, wrote a column headlined “Can This Possibly Be True?”, in which he uncritically endorsed and expanded on Logan’s semiotic reading of the patch as a “morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo.” Obama, Gaffney explained, is a crypto Muslim; the logo provides clear-cut evidence of “various, ominous and far more clear-cut acts of submission to Shariah by President Obama and his team.” (Click here to read the whole column).
The story probably got more exposure on left-leaning websites than right wing ones, since Gaffney made such a fool out of himself. Those of you with long memories might remember the Christian Fundamentalist fury over the supposed satanic significance of the Proctor & Gamble logo, which dates back to 1851 (click here to read the Snopes debunking of this amazingly persistent rumor). Readers of Anti-Masonic writers like Ralph Epperson have seen similar explications of the occult significance of the images printed on paper money; last fall Sarah Palin blamed Obama for removing the words “In God We Trust” from the face of dollar coins. Like Palin, Gaffney evinced an embarrassing obliviousness to the truth–just as the change in the coin occurred during the Bush administration (and was swiftly rescinded), the contract for the MDA’s logo’s redesign was bid out well before the 2008 election. Think Progress issued a devastating rejoinder; click here to read it.
This morning I see that Gaffney has issued a retraction, in a column headlined, appropriately enough, “It Can’t Be True” (click here). “I am content to have the question posed in the last post be answered in the negative,” he concedes, “and I regret any confusion caused by my suggesting otherwise.”