Several weeks ago, there were reports that Major Stephen Coughlin was being dismissed from the Department of Defense Joint Staff for unjust reasons.
It was said that Hesham Islam, an aide to Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, reviewed Major Coughlin's important thesis and found it too hard on Islam. He reportedly used his influence to push Coughlin out.
These reports were disturbing. In recent years, I have investigated every source available to me regarding the nature of the radical Islamist enemy that we face today and how they are seeking to infiltrate all elements of our society.
Infiltration in America is a very serious and important issue. We cannot take it lightly, and we must get our facts correct. That is why I did not accept opinions and rumors as truth.
I decided to vet this matter personally.
I met with Members of the House and Senate, Pentagon officials, and even Major Coughlin himself.
Major Coughlin told me that he has had a great working relationship with the Joint Staff and that he did not believe there was any conspiracy to remove him from his position. In fact, he was already planning to leave the Joint Staff at the end of his contract. Lest the rumors persist, Major Coughlin will be associated with another office program within the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he will continue to spread his message.
Based on these discussions and the information that I uncovered, specifically from Major Coughlin, I found no evidence that there was a conspiracy to silence the messenger.
I appreciate and was encouraged that people are concerned about this issue. We must continue to investigate situations like Major Coughlin's. It is very important that we be vigilant, but we must also be sure the information we use is correct.
We need to pursue the truth. We need to follow the facts. We must not fall asleep at the wheel while our enemies seek to infiltrate and harm us.
While I do not believe there was any foul play involved in this situation, I wish that more attention was given to Major Coughlin's thesis.
The thesis, which supposedly caused this great stir, is titled "To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say about Jihad". In it, Coughlin points out several issues. He states we have not listened to our enemies; Osama Bin Laden and his ilk claim that they are acting in accordance with Islam. Our military has not identified and analyzed our enemy's stated doctrine; that they are acting in accordance with Islamic law. And finally, if we are going to prosecute this war effectively, our military must fully analyze their claim. Only then can they implement the proper strategy to defeat the radical Islamists long-term plan.
The ideas and issues presented in his thesis are important. We must understand our enemy. We must ask, "Is America Being Infiltrated?"
As Coughlin says in his thesis, our enemies freely admit their ideas and goals. They have clearly stated their intention to infiltrate us, much like the Russians did during the Cold War. We had no problem analyzing and acting on that information then.
I know that some people will refuse to admit there is a subversive movement going on here, but let me remind you that we have underestimated the will and capability of our enemy for more than 30 years. They are patient and determined to achieve their radical agenda.
Anyone following this summer's Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas, Texas knows this as fact. Among the documents and recordings produced was "Government Exhibit 003-0085." This memorandum explains the "Civilization-Jihadist Process" strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. In it, they describe their work in America as a path to "eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within…so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions".
One clear point that emerges from this issue: Major Coughlin's thesis must be read by everyone responsible for ensuring the safety of America. If we fail to emerge victorious, our radical enemy threatens to establish fascist, Taliban-style governments in many parts of the world. These would be constructed around a system of rules so severe that women are forced to be second-class citizens- as in Taliban-era Afghanistan. In such a society, I would be put to death for writing this piece.
In order to ensure that the ideals of our founders persist into the next generation, Americans must be willing to confront the enemy head-on—and be smart about it.