Name: Joshua A. Geltzer
Position: Special Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Homeland Security Advisor on Countering Domestic Violent Extremism
Connections to Radicalism:
Joshua A. Geltzer is not a household name. He should be. He is Joe Biden’s point man for weaponizing the federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies and using them against Biden’s political opponents.
Before joining the Biden administration, Geltzer served as a fellow at New America, and was Executive Editor of Just Security. Ostensibly focused on National Security, both New America and Just Security are highly partisan groups that have advocated deplatforming political opponents.
New America’s Open Technology Institute signed a December 2020 letter by Clinton-tied Accountable Tech pressing the federal government to take an active role in suppressing viewpoints contrary to the leftist agenda.[i]
An editorial posted at Just Security in December 2019 encouraged “right-wing extremists” to be deplatformed from social media in the same vein as the Islamic terror group ISIS was removed from social media platforms.[ii]
Formally, Geltzer, another retread from the Obama administration, is the Special Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Homeland Security Advisor on Countering Domestic Violent Extremism. In this role, Geltzer oversaw the creation of the new national strategy on countering domestic violent extremism. This is the absurd document produced by the Biden administration, which claimed that the white supremacists (read Trump supporters) posed the number one threat to American national security. The obvious purpose of this document was to provide the underpinning for efforts by all elements of the national security apparatus to act again anyone opposing Biden and his policies.[iii][iv]
Geltzer served in a counterterrorism capacity in the Obama White House. He has however, no background in intelligence or law enforcement. He brings no actual knowledge of the threat he purports to be countering to his current position. He is an ideologue and a political hatchet man, and his singular focus since 2016 has been on destroying Donald Trump, the MAGA movement and anyone who opposes the Democratic Party’s increasingly radical agenda.
In 2019 Geltzer began the drumbeat to suggest that Trump would refuse to accept defeat and would remain in the White House no matter what the result of the 2020 election. He also suggested that the response to any such action should be a military coup to remove Trump from the White House and install his Democratic opponent.
“…Imagine the most extreme scenario, with Congress certifying Trump’s defeat but Trump refusing to leave office. In those circumstances, the military would no longer owe its loyalty to Donald Trump as of noon on January 20, 2021.
And it’s worth asking the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as they testify before Congress in coming months, to affirm that they understand that and would act consistently with it.”[v]
Those comments by Geltzer were part and parcel of a seemingly endless series of partisan attacks on Donald Trump and his supporters. All these attacks had the same underlying theme. Donald Trump, members of his administration and Trump supporters were a threat to American democracy. These attacks included support for some of the most absurd and now discredited accusations against President Trump, Russian collusion, interference in the 2016 election, etc.
In reference to Attorney General Barr, “There are four ways that Barr’s approach to running the Justice Department imperils the vote: He’s letting off the hook those who contributed to interference in the last election; he’s undermining confidence in the government’s ability to protect the coming election; he’s signaling to bad actors that helping President Trump win will garner them special treatment under the law; and he’s spreading disinformation about the potential for voter fraud.”[vi]
In April 2020 Geltzer characterized Trump as sounding like the “leader of some tinpot dictatorship” and accused him of seeking absolute power in violation of the Constitution. [vii]
In March 2020, Geltzer warned that in his view President Trump was going to use the excuse of the pandemic to make himself some sort of dictator.
“That said, he’s still Donald Trump; he’s still a serial abuser of executive authority; and he’s still just about the last guy I’d trust with additional power. So, even as many of us urge Trump to invoke authorities that can help us address a grave national emergency, I think we need more discussion—quickly—about how we constrain his reliance on those authorities.”[viii]
In October 2019 Geltzer wrote that President Trump believed himself “above the law” and compared him to the French king Louis XIV who famously said that he was “the state”.[ix]
As far back as August 2019 Geltzer was already pushing the idea that white supremacists posed a significant domestic security threat and that it was the Trump White House that was preventing action from being taken to counter these terrorists. Geltzer was also already pushing the notion that there needed to be an increased federal focus on this “threat” and some sort of new strategy.
Geltzer has also long championed the idea that Big Tech needs to part of the government’s mechanism for controlling what people can and cannot say and know. [x]
“With lives on the line, tech companies must work to thwart violent white supremacist activity. They should act with clarity, consistency and transparency, all while affording appeal rights.”[xi]
Geltzer has also suggested that anyone who believes government is overreaching is somehow encouraging and contributing to domestic extremism. He has pointedly noted that the spreading of “conspiracy theories” and “disinformation” are a “gateway” to violence and must be prevented. Who gets to define what constitutes a “conspiracy theory” is, of course, unclear.[xii]
In Geltzer’s view the key to preventing domestic violence lies in having a “healthier information environment” in which we have a “common set of facts”. Again, who gets to say what those facts are remains unsaid although I think we can guess.[xiii]
A continuing theme in Geltzer’s comments is the idea that government needs to be collecting and sharing information that is qualitatively different from what federal agencies have collected before. He explicitly pushes the idea that information should be collected on themes, events and gatherings that might bring together “extremists” and lead to violence. Given the breadth of Geltzer’s definition of an extremist, this suggests a charter for federal agencies to spy on and infiltrate effectively any group that doesn’t support the Biden administration and the current regime.[xiv]
The danger here can hardly be overstated. We have a man who has repeatedly stated his belief that President Trump and those who have supported him constitute a threat to national security and the rule of law. This individual, now armed with unprecedented power, has also made clear his belief that the United States government should act to control what people can say and know and establish the “facts” which are permitted to be discussed and debated.
We have now, in short, a federal officer whose charter it is to pursue and eliminate domestic opposition to this administration. His name is Josh Geltzer, and he is Joe Biden’s MAGA hunter.
Senator should vote to confirm her.