This post has been corrected.

Via HuffPo, Tom Ridge, the McCain-Palin campaign's national co-chair, is narrating robocalls that warn, in part, that "If the Democrats win complete control of government they will want to give traditional civil rights to terrorists and talk unconditionally to dictators and state sponsors of terror." That's the same Tom Ridge who presided over the Department of Homeland Security turning into a boondoggle for his lobbyist friends and their clients. Because he cares about keeping you safe from terrorists.

Ridge's claim is straight out the playbook of the National Republican Trust PAC, which has been fundraising through e-mail blasts to Newsmax, Townhall and other conservative outlets still hyping fact-free tales of Obama's Muslim ties and terrorist sympathies. Just yesterday, the National Republican Trust PAC was touting its new ad about "Obama's dirty little secret." Following on the heels of the PAC's first ad, which charged that Obama wanted to give drivers' licenses to terrorists, the new "dirty little secret" is "his radical plan to give illegal aliens Social Security benefits and Medicaid, full healthcare coverage."

How many ways can we count the scariness? A black Muslim socialist turning terrorists into welfare queens!

This isn't Ridge's only public foray into scaring Americans about secret terrorist plots. Along with McCain surrogates Rudy Giuliani and Joe Lieberman, Ridge appears in the new "documentary" The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America, which was produced by the same outfit that produced the controversial DVD Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West. Obsession, which has been roundly condemned by Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and media watchdog groups, has been distributed to voters in battleground states through newspaper inserts, to evangelicals through Christian Zionist organizations, and to Jews through mailings from the Republican Jewish Coalition and other groups. Since its release in 2005, the "Obsession" DVD has been promoted in conservative blogs and media outlets, and the promoters claim to have distributed 28 million copies through an aggressive campaign launched last month.

The Third Jihad maintains that a fifth column of Muslims aim to institute sharia law in the United States. The DVD hasn't been released yet, but excerpts are available at the film's web site. One of the first times I heard about it was at the Values Voters Summit, when Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy recommended it to a roomful of evangelical activists.

Last week, Gaffney took to the pages of, which is owned by Reuven Koret and frequently reprints articles from the American Thinker site, which has been singlehandedly responsible for some of the worst smears against Obama, including reporter Ed Lasky's that Obama is Muslim and Koret's own that Obama does not have a U.S. birth certificate. Gaffney wrote in a piece entitled "The Jihadist Candidate" that the Obama campaign had a "dalliance with Islamists - those who embrace Islam's repressive theo-political-legal code known as Shariah and who are working for its triumph in the West in general and the United States in particular. The episode is but the latest indication that the Democratic candidate hopes to win the White House by relying, in part, on the Jihadist vote."

It doesn't take a lot of dot-connection to see a campaign to terrify people that a religious group representing less than one percent of the U.S. population is about to take over the country with its own religious laws, all the while claiming that the man who may be our next president is secretly in league with this supposed conspiracy.

The Third Jihad DVD is hitting the streets on Oct 29 -- and if its producers promote it like they promoted Obsession, they will keep this fifth column conspiracy theory in circulation for years.

--Sarah Posner

Correction: The American Thinkner is not owned by Reuven Koret, as this post originally stated.

Update: The American Thinker protests this post on two fronts: first, that I claimed that The American Thinker was engaged in a fifth column conspiracy. I did not assert that The American Thinker is part of any fifth column conspiracy; rather, I was discussing a film that suggests there is a fifth column of Muslims which aims to institute sharia law in the United States. In addition to discussing the film, I highlighted other allegations and innuendo that Obama is a terrorist sympathizer, a "pal" of terrorists, or otherwise "anti-American."

Second, The American Thinker further protests that Lasky has never written that Obama is a Muslim. I stand corrected on that; he's never written that Obama is Muslim, but has his advisors of being anti-Israel, has written that his Muslim outreach staff meets with terrorist supporters, and that he has "a range of foreign policy advisers who have been criticized for views that all too often seem accommodating to terrorists and regimes that support terror."