Un-Smearing Ron Paul (and Keith Ellison)
David Freddoso does great work at NRO debunking a Politico smear against Rep. Ron Paul. The smear in quesion was a post about Paul's latest Alex Jones appearance that blogger Dan Reilly titled "Ron Paul warns of staged terror attack." Freddoso:
I listened to the interview, trying to find what Reilly describes. And I listened to it again. And again. And I heard nothing of the sort.
What I did hear was an unhinged radio host ask Paul a wide-ranging, minute-long, wacky question about terrorism, Bush the "dictator," and neo-cons that ended with "How much danger are we in of some new Gulf of Tonkin provocation?" Paul begins his answer with, "Well, I think we're in great danger of it — we're in danger in many ways." But as he continues, Paul says nothing about a staged terror attack or the Gulf of Tonkin. Rather, he goes into his usual schtick, complaining about the "great danger" involved in the loss of "civil liberties" and the evils of U.S. Iraq policy. Then he speaks to the likelihood of a real terrorist attack — not a staged attack:
"I would say that we're in much greater danger than we've been, even four or five years ago, whether it's overseas or even by terrorists here at home, because I just think the policies are seriously flawed."
So he's talking about Iraq as possibly making us more vulnerable to terrorism. Call him wrong or even crazy, but this is just standard Ron Paul.
Meanwhile, this story is at the top of Drudge:
America's first Muslim congressman has provoked outrage by apparently comparing President George W Bush to Adolf Hitler and hinting that he might have been responsible for the September 11 attacks.
Wow, that sounds insane… until you read what he actually said.
To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because "you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box—dismiss you".
Or they dismiss you by making up things you didn't say. It's remarkably easy!
UPDATE: Commenters argue that you could rephrase Ellison's statement as "I think Bush planned 9/11 but I won't say so, wink wink!" For the prosecution: He compared 9/11 to the Reichstag fire, which most people now believe was planned by the Nazis to solidify their power. For the defense: It also sounds like he realized the full meaning of his allegory and clarified that Bush didn't plan 9/11, he just took advantage of it. The Telegraph reporter has no input from Ellison in his story, which relies on previously-published info about the event.
UPDATE II: Video for you.