McInerney has also peddled the bizarre and thinly sourced theory, popularized by Frank Gaffney
and other Islamophobic conspiracy theorists, that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. government in an effort to impose sharia
law on the United States. In a January 2014 talk radio interview, McInerney declared, "We've got Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. government today." Pressed to elaborate on the allegation, McInerney added, "I haven't got their names exactly but there's a list of them, at least 10 or 15 of them in the U.S. government." After echoing a thoroughly discredited charge against longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin—insisting that "her parents are Muslim Brotherhood and "her intuitions are in that direction"—McInerney encouraged his hosts to consult Gaffney or likeminded conspiracy theorist Clare Lopez
for further details.
In early 2008 a New York Times
investigative report identified McInerney as one of several dozen retired military officers—many of whom served as military analysts for various media outlets—who had received briefings by the Bush administration as part of a controversial and hitherto unknown Pentagon program to put positive spin on U.S. policies in the "war on terror."
According to the Times
, the Pentagon program selected the officers, who also included Barry McCaffrey
and Paul Vallely
, because as retired military personnel they "often got more airtime than network reporters, and they were not merely explaining the capabilities of Apache helicopters. They were framing how viewers ought to interpret events. What is more, while the analysts were in the news media, they were not of the news media. They were military men, many of them ideologically in sync with the administration's neoconservative brain trust, many of them important players in a military industry anticipating large budget increases to pay for an Iraq war."
The Pentagon program, which began in 2002, ran until it was suspended in late April 2008, after the Times
Fox continued to use McInerney as an on-air analyst after the story's publication.