What? Did Ed Randazzo (fourth from left?) and Amy Willson (second from right?) drive all the way to Aberdeen just to hear Guandolo and Gaubatz again?
Roving correspondent Spencer Dobson writes this account (with my added links) of what those people saw and heard to reinforce their own paranoid conspiracy theories… which apparently proceeds apace, even with their hero Donald Trump in the White House:
I’ve been hearing about an anti-Muslim group that goes from town to town in the Midwest giving a presentation about the “Islamic threat”. The show is called “Understanding the Threat” and it is given by John Guandolo and Chris Gaubatz. These TED Talks of Hate are generally greeted with protests from civil rights groups, citizens groups, people that don’t like hate groups. These talks are also sometimes funded by the local GOP. So I decided the best way find out what all the fuss was about was to see it with my own eyes.
The event was held in a local convention center, the kind you go to wedding receptions and trade shows at. There is a simple stage with a projector. They used the in house PA which was a huge mistake as it gets fuzzy if you talk too loud. I was hoping there would be an opening act, like a presentation by people who don’t like people who do like unicorns and why said unicorn lovers are a threat to our way of life, but no such luck.
The basic premise of “Understanding the Threat” is that since the early 90’s the Muslim Brotherhood has been infiltrating the US government at all levels and these patriotic super sleuths, John Guandolo and Chris Gaubatz have used their FBI training and the ability to go under cover have uncovered the horrible horrible truth. And of course, only they really, really, really, really, know what’s going on.
Guandolo is a former/”disgraced” FBI agent. Guandolo left the FBI after having an inappropriate sexual affair with the star witness in a Louisiana government corruption case. Guandolo was tasked with protecting the witness and protected her all the way to pound town.
Chris Gaubatz apparently infiltrated the Muslim world by going undercover at the Council for American Islamic Relations as an intern. But maybe as a temp. I can’t prove he wasn’t a temp and I only have his word for it. Either way, nifty undercover work, Fletch, and I’m sorry they did not chose to bring you on full time, as that way you could have gotten health insurance. Gaubatz claims to know what’s really going on and to prove it, he has a bunch of pictures of himself with a scraggly beard shaking hands with a bald guy who might be Mexican, but is apparently Muslim. In the photos Gaubatz looks like a bearded hipster who has some very deep thoughts on why Pabst is a great American beer and wants you to listen his blue grass inspired hip-hop/death metal band. Currently he looks like he knows the secret of maintaining testosterone after 40.
Guandolo and Gaubatz apparently train folks at all levels of government about the ‘threat’, but according to the presentation, if you ask members of the government about the Muslim threat, they won’t know what your talking about because…(duhn duhn duhn) conspiracy. They came to Aberdeen to let us in on the deepest darkest secrets of the greatest threat to the United States since the selfie stick because this “war” is going to won at a “local level”. That’s right. Local, as in you. As in just for going to this free show in a convention center conference room, where they hold wedding receptions and company Christmas parties, you, one of the 150 65+ year old retirees in attendance, are like a deputy in the War on TERROR.
Here’s how you know it’s super legit. If you can show them that even one of their “facts” is wrong, they will give you $1000. You know, like how if you can find better cure for gout, lumbago, bone anger, and spleen insanity that also makes your flatware shine like new the way our “Understanding the Threat” brand snake oil does, we’ll give you two barrels of possum fat, no questions asked.
The presentation consists of document after document after document with words like “Hamas” and “Muslim Brotherhood”. Then there is a bunch of documents with long lists of names. So many names. Gaubatz and Guandolo go through the lists and circle names. And these names aren’t normal names like “Fred” or “Axle” or “Cher”. These names are crazy like “Omar” and “Muhammad”. So clearly, there is a huge conspiracy that has infiltrated the US Government to it’s highest levels. Look at all those names they’ve circled. It’s a lot of names. So, you know, conspiracy.
You still don’t believe them? This is really gonna put a bee in your bonnet. They have a picture of a guy wearing a weird hat getting an award from Obama! And the guy getting the award….is black. But wait, he got one from President Bush too! So apparently the United States Government not only recognizes Americans who are Muslims, they sometimes give them awards. I don’t know what the award was for, it looked like a Cable Ace award, but I think Carson Daly hands those out, not a sitting president. That’s missing the point. The point is—Conspiracy!
“Understanding the Threat” claims that when you leave their presentation, you will know more about this secret threat than the average counter-terrorism agent. Wow, that’s amazing. What they’re saying is that, in spite of all their training and access to classified information and real-world experience, I, a simple citizen who, thankfully, took two hours out of my Friday night to watch a PowerPoint presentation that consisted of a bunch of names, none of which were Fred, and a picture of a black guy in a hat getting an award, and a video of an angry guy with a beard yelling in the street about overthrowing the government, (no, not Ted Nugent, a different yelling crazy) I now know more than the average counter-terrorism agent? Wow. Does this presentation prevent night blindness and cure my ankle bloating? Jinkies.
Chris and John suggest at one point that if you walk up to any senator and say, “What’s the Threat and what are you trying to do about it,” they won’t know what you’re talking about. Ya think? Ya think they won’t go, “Hey crazy, what are you talking about?”
Lastly, if there is a vast Muslim conspiracy that infiltrated our government at its highest levels, then they are really taking their sweet time to do whatever it is they are going to do. Maybe they were waiting to get a secret Muslim president? Because the right-wing wingnuts have been implying that Obama was the secret Muslim since he started running for president. And then he was president, of the United States I might add, for eight years and he didn’t, I don’t know, Muslim it all up, or whatever we’re supposed to be afraid of. Sooooo maybe he’s holding out for the opening of his presidential library? The next Star Wars? What’s the hold up?
Guandolo and Gaubatz give no “And here is what they’ve done” in their presentation. As in “There is a secret cabal of Muslims that has infiltrated the U.S. Government to its highest levels and that’s why…..there are never any mayo packs in the Senate Lunch room. You go get your sandwich and all the mayo packs are gone and you look over, and there’s Amir, he brought a bunch of tuna from home and he’s chopping onions and I’m like ‘Amir, make your tuna salad at home’ and Amir is like ‘No, I like it fresh.'”
Guandolo and Gaubatz never say what the super-secret, infiltrating-all-levels-of-government conspiracy group has done. There is just a couple of dudes trying to scare people about the immigrant community and maybe sell a couple of books in the process. And they are sometimes funded by the local GOP. As if maybe instead of running on issues, they want to get people afraid of immigrants so when the public says “What are you going to do for us” they can say “I’m going to protect you from them.” Even though “they” didn’t do anything.
Wait, is it possible the super-scary secret plan of the Muslims was to convince the American people that the smart move would be elect an orange, Twitter-addicted game show host to run the free world? Because that would be diabolical [Spencer Dobson, report for Dakota Free Press, 2017.06.19].