Four House Republicans are continuing a campaign that began earlier this week against the Council on American Islamic Relations for an alleged plot to plant intern "spies" in congressional offices. Reps. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) formally asked the House sergeant at arms and the Justice Department to investigate the advocacy group. The effort began with a press conference
on Wednesday, and has since spread to cable news networks and blogs. The liberal Web site TalkingPointsMemo has followed the story
The crusade is based on revelations in a book titled "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America," published by the notoriously conspiratorial right-wing Web site WorldNetDaily
. The author's son posed as a young Muslim convert and interned at CAIR. He stole multiple documents, including a "strategy" memo that lays out a lobbying agenda that anyone familiar with advocacy groups in Washington would consider unremarkable.
"It's sort of a mainstream advocacy group strategy, it's not really a new strategy, it's not a nefarious one unless of course you happen to pursue that strategy while being Muslim," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said
Thursday night of CAIR's goal to place Muslim interns on Capitol Hill. Politico called
the memo's contents "a fairly straightforward public relations and lobbying strategy" and referred to the representatives' group announcement as "unusual."
Yesterday, the campaign went to Fox News, when Myrick appeared on the air
, arguing that CAIR's bitter response to the book was "suspicious." Myrick wrote the foreword to the book, which is authored
by former Air Force investigator David Gaubatz. Gaubatz has also claimed that he found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and has called President Obama a Muslim and a "crackhead."
In an email blast Friday afternoon, WorldNetDaily promoted Gaubatz's book as a "blockbuster" and called CAIR a "Hill terror front group." The book had reached number 16 on the Amazon best-seller list on Friday.