Friday, February 24, 2017

Sebastian Gorka

Sebastian Gorka is an advisor to President Trump. Read the whole article for information about his ties with a controversial Hungarian order of knights, along with the fact that his mother worked for David Irving (the Holocaust denier) translating texts from Hungarian when he was writing his book on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
by Eva S. Balogh 
Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant of President Donald Trump and member of a new White House team, the Strategic Initiatives Group, has been receiving an increasing amount of attention in the last few weeks. Julianne Smith, a former national security adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden, worries about both the existence of this new group and Sebastian Gorka’s presence in it. Counterterrorism experts are particularly concerned about Gorka’s ideas that Islam as a religion cannot be separated from the ideology of terror. Knowledgeable people in the field consider his ideas on Islam dangerous and a radical departure from U.S. policy over the last 17 years. 
Several U.S. journalists who have dug into Sebastian Gorka’s past have been puzzled by his proud embrace of his Hungarian roots. Why did he appear at the inaugural ball in a strange braided outfit with an equally strange medallion and decoration? Eli Clifton of LobeLog identified the medallion as one bestowed by the Order of Knights (Vitézi Rend), a group established by Miklós Horthy, governor of Hungary between 1920 and 1944. A day later Allegra Kirkland of Talking Points Memo quoted a Hungarian historian who was less certain about its provenance. 
By now we can state with confidence that the medallion is indeed the identifying object of the Order, as Sebastian Gorka himself admitted in a short Breitbart video appearance. He explained that on special occasions he wears the medallion and decoration, which his father received in appreciation of his suffering as a political prisoner between 1950 and 1956. But there is a more complete version of the story that needs telling. Read here for the complete story:
Spotlight on Gorka’s Controversial Medal.
The Forward has also just published another article about Gorka's ties with the Hungarian right, including Jobbik, the far right party, and also about his involvement in founding another Hungarian right-wing party: Gorka and the Hungarian right-wing.

What is really strange to me about Gorka is that he has been politically involved in three countries. He was born in Britain, the son of Hungarian refugees from the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. He served in military intelligence there. After the end of Communism, he moved to Hungary, worked for the Ministry of Defense, and became involved with the far right.
As a young man, he was a member of the United Kingdom’s Territorial Army reserves, where he served in the Intelligence Corps. Then, following the fall of Communism in Hungary, he was employed in 1992 by the country’s Ministry of Defense. He worked there for five years, apparently on issues related to Hungary’s accession to NATO....It was during his time in Hungary that Gorka developed ties to the country’s anti-Semitic and ultranationalist far right....
After the failure of his new party in 2007, Gorka moved to the United States and over the past 10 years has worked for the Department of Justice, Marine Corps University, National Defense University, and Joint Special Operations University.
In Hungary, Gorka failed to get a security clearance because of his intelligence work for the British military. Why does he have an American security clearance? (I'm assuming he does because of his current position as a high White House advisor). Other people working in Trump's administration were not able to get security clearances and lost their jobs. Wouldn't Gorka's past employment with the Hungarian Ministry of Defense and his involvement in right-wing Hungarian politics present an obstacle to getting an American security clearance? He appears to have British, Hungarian, and American citizenship. Which country is he really loyal to?

For an example from another country, Israel: When Michael Oren, who was born in the US and then made aliyah to Israel, was going to be appointed Israeli ambassador to the United States, he had to renounce his American citizenship.

For more on Gorka:

See also:

And, from Hungarian Spectrum:

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