Conspiracy

Un-Smearing Ron Paul (and Keith Ellison)

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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.

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  1. It really is disgusting. You don’t even have to misspeak to find someone criticising your speech. They just make up what you said and criticize you for that. Wait till this gets filtered to the MSM and then Paul has to start defending stuff he never said.

  2. Actually, it seems pretty clear to me that he WAS hinting that Bush was responsible for the attacks.

  3. Kabala,

    Which he. Your pronoun is very unclear.

  4. I mean Ellison, not the great Paul.

  5. Call Ron Paul nutty if you like – and certainly this media appearance gives reasons for doing so

    Well, it’s a nice gesture on the part of NRO to come to Ron Paul’s defense against libelous mischaracterization. But they’re still no friends of freedom over there.

  6. Lessee, I won’t say 9/11 was an inside job because then people will say I’m a nutcase [BIG Fargin’ WINK!].

    And it is pretty clear that Ellison is using guilt by association in his little parable of the Reichstag fire. Why else would he pick that particular story?

    And, of course, once his remarks were reported he immediately points his finger at Osama and says, well, shucks, I knew all along it was AQ.

  7. that headline for the ellison story is sensationalized but accurate

  8. The Politico is a perfect embodiment of DC cocktail circuit bias. They define what’s “centrist” and “serious,” they tolerate about three inches worth of wiggle room, they never admit they’re wrong, and anyone who steps outside, no matter how reasonable his ideas or how definitively subsequent events prove him right, will ever be allowed back into the clique.

    Look at Howard Dean – he was booted from the club for saying that the Iraq War would turn out badly, that the case for WMDs hadn’t been made, and that capturing Saddam Hussein wouldn’t do anything to make Americans safter from terrorism. Three years later, Cokie Roberts still does her ice-queen act every time his heretic name comes up.

  9. TWC,

    Why else would he pick that particular story?

    Because it is the best recognized example of a government using a terrorist attack to justify crackdowns on civil liberties and political dissent.

  10. Ellison didn’t say that he wouldn’t accuse bush of planning 9/11 because the idea is idiotic, he said he wouldn’t accuse bush because he didn’t want to be called idiotic.

    The guy is incredibly sketchy; he’s got plenty of ties to CAIR, a terrorist sympathy group with several founders in jail for funneling money to terror groups.

  11. Because it is the best recognized example of a government using a terrorist attack to justify crackdowns on civil liberties and political dissent.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  12. He only compared 9/11 to the Reichstag fire, which was deliberately set by the Facists then blamed on another group and used to consolidate power. Nope, I don’t see how he could possibly be construed as insinuating that Bush was behind the attacks.

  13. Nice selective quoting there. Reading the whole paragraph it’s crystal clear what he’s saying:

    It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I’m not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.

  14. As for Ron Paul, I wish he’d stop going on the Alex Jones show. Alex Jones is trying to put Ron Paul in a position where he will endorse or be misquoted as endorsing 9/11 truth theories. This doesn’t do Ron Paul any favors.

  15. I would also love to know what the next sentence was. There’s a huge pregnant “but” just waiting to spring out of that sentence. I can’t believe he ended that stream of thought with what he’s not saying (because he didn’t want to be dismissed) without being compelled to explain what he was saying

  16. I guess you’re going to believe what you want, regardless, TWC.

  17. And Fox News had the Ron Paul misquote on its ticker all night long.

  18. Maybe Ellison wasn’t comparing 9/11 to the Reichstag Fire, but rather comparing the Reichstag fire to 9/11. ie, he’s saying the Nazis didn’t start the Reichstag fire.

  19. …apparently comparing President George W Bush to Adolf Hitler and hinting that he might have been responsible for the September 11 attacks.

    That’s a pretty fair characterization of what Ellison said.

    For the defense: [yada yada]
    Oh course you have to (feebly try to) defend him – he’s a Muslim.

  20. Mark P Neyer –> I’d love to know more.

    The folks around here really need to dig more into Ellison. No so much because of the terrorist thing but because he’s Minnesota’s new fruitcake. Wellstone may have died but his craziness lives on. Ellison made a comment the other day implying that only insanely rich people can afford to invest in hedge funds and at that he seemed to be implying that there are HUGE returns to be brought in from them. Sheesh, are teachers, police and fire fighters insanely rich? Cuz they have money invested in these magical hedge funds.

  21. William Shirer, the author of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” reports that the Reichstag Fire was, in fact, set by that Dutch Communist. There was a ton of evidence, including statements he made to other people about doing it before the fire, and materials found his room.

    I’d thought it had been pretty well established that the Reichstage really was burned down by a Dutch Communist.

  22. Why in the world did Ellison even find it necessary to mention the Reichstag fire in the first place? I’m sorry, but there is absolutely no reason to be making statements of this nature, regardless of whether it appears more “nuanced” than what his critics originally claimed. Also the fact that he made these comments in front of an anti-Bush crowd, make his, and his defenders’, protestations ring hollow. Furthermore, the Reichstag comparison is ridiculous because it was an inside job whereas Bush’s reactions, no matter how misguided, were a result of an external attack. Ellison’s comparison is so inapt, one can be easily forgiven for not believing his further “clarification” on the matter. And to top it all off he seemingly claims that people who believe 9-11 was an inside job are being unfairly maligned as “nutballs”. If this description is not a fair one for individuals who claim the government deliberately murdered 3000 of its own citizens, what is?

  23. Joe, please provide some examples of the crackdowns on political dissent that have occured post-911. And claiming that harsh criticism of one’s political opponents is an exmaple of a crackdown is absurd to say the least.

  24. Ellison clearly implied that he blamed Bush for 9/11 by what he left unsaid.

    Whether hes doing that because he really believes the conspiracy, or because hes trying to appeal to the nuts in his overwhelmingly liberal district, its hard to say.

  25. Ellison’s verbal tap-dance around directly accusing Bush of being behind 9-11 is about as graceful as Ann Coulter’s saying she won’t talk about John Edwards because people who use the term “faggot” get sent to rehab.

    This is to say that neither is very graceful, and both are morons.

  26. The Politico is a perfect embodiment of DC cocktail circuit bias. They define what’s “centrist” and “serious,” they tolerate about three inches worth of wiggle room, they never admit they’re wrong, and anyone who steps outside, no matter how reasonable his ideas or how definitively subsequent events prove him right, will ever be allowed back into the clique. Look at Howard Dean–

    Yeah, they bashed Howard Dean and then proceeded to deem John Kerry the most “electable”. Tools.

  27. Edward,

    How about we stay on topic instead? Do you remember what the topic was?

    Mark,

    Why in the world did Ellison even find it necessary to mention the Reichstag fire in the first place? Seriously, you’re asking this? The answer is found in Ellison’s own words: “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.” It’s also be provided in about half a dozen comments on this thread already. What are you, Rudy Guiliani, pretending you’ve never even heard an argument because you disagree with it?

    Also the fact that he made these comments in front of an anti-Bush crowd, make his, and his defenders’, protestations ring hollow.

    Uh, yeah, since they don’t like George W. Bush, they must be 9/11 Truthers. And Communinnist and child molestors, too, right?

    Furthermore, the Reichstag comparison is ridiculous because it was an inside job…

    No, it wasn’t – at least, most of the people who’ve looked into the question to any serious degree concluded that it wasn’t.

  28. Why doesn’t Reason cover Ron Paul’s recent statements on ABC News in which he essentially said that over 2 million in Cambodia and the over 1 million South Vietnamese slaughtered by the Communists after the US pull-out in 1975 from Vietnam was “no big deal.”

    This is crazy development. So-called “libertarians” now apologizing for Pol Pot.

    But hey, if you align yourself with Islamo-Fascists, why not defend murderous Communists, as well.

    Oops, I plum forgot. Saddam Hussein was a Batthist Communist.

  29. Ahem

    The reichsag fire was started by a Communist. The Nazi’s used the event to make the case that the German state faced an existential threat requiring power to be concentrated in a dictator.

    The comparison of the Reichstag fire and the resulting enabling acts to 9/11 and the response of the Bush administration are wholly appropriate.

    The Nazi’s did more than just send jews up the chimney. The fact that Bush isn’t carrying out similar massacres on an industrial scale does not somehow absolve him from any comparison at all.

  30. Eric sweetie,

    Pol Pot took over because of U.S. assistance. Without American support, they never would have made it out of the jungle.

    Damn, you really are an ignorant moron aren’t you? Go smoke some pot and hire a hooker, boy. The grownups are talking.

  31. Why doesn’t Reason cover Ron Paul’s recent statements on ABC News in which he essentially said that over 2 million in Cambodia and the over 1 million South Vietnamese slaughtered by the Communists after the US pull-out in 1975 from Vietnam was “no big deal.”

    Maybe because there were more people killed during the French occupation from 1945-1957 and the subsequent American involvement.

    Naw couldn’t be, Ron Paul just hates America.

  32. Ellison plays to his constituency. The bulk of which is ignorant urban folk who, while looking for truth and meaning in these strange days, are all too willing to settle for Occam’s Razor defying conspiracy theories. Giving the crazies a tip of the hat means votes.

  33. …or because hes trying to appeal to the nuts in his overwhelmingly liberal district…

    Cesar,

    Are you saying that Minneapolis and some of its inner ring suburbs are nuts, or that there are nuts in the MN 5th CD?

  34. It always amazes me to read the comments of people who think that the only thing the United States did to influence the politics and history of Southeast Asia was to stop waging war there.

    Do you think Eric knows that our government worked to undermine the Cambodian government and allow the Khmer Rouge to grow, and is just being flat-out dishonest? Or you do think he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

  35. “…ignorant urban folk…”

    Gee, what could this possibly mean?

  36. Ellison plays to his constituency. The bulk of which is ignorant urban folk who…

    You’ve proven you know absolutely nothing about Ellison’s district.

  37. Why in the world did Ellison even find it necessary to mention the Reichstag fire in the first place? I’m sorry, but there is absolutely no reason to be making statements of this nature, regardless of whether it appears more “nuanced” than what his critics originally claimed.

    Because it makes more sense than comparing 9/11 to Pearl Harbor. Personally, my favorite historical analogy is the explosion of the Maine, but the Reichstag fire works.

    Furthermore, the Reichstag comparison is ridiculous because it was an inside job whereas Bush’s reactions, no matter how misguided, were a result of an external attack.

    The fire was not necessarily an inside job, although that is a problem with any analogy – there is no perfect historical correlation. I like the comparison because it emphasizes that the fact that 9/11 has been used as an excuse to roll back civil liberties.

  38. “…ignorant urban folk…”

    Gee, what could this possibly mean?

    People who constantly bitch about Starbuck’s but go there everyday anyway?

  39. Was Pol Pot pro-life? Cause then we could attach him to the neocons.

  40. I first saw this headline, Friday evening, on the Fox News Ticker. It read something roughly like: “Conspiracy Theory…Ron Paul 08 presidential hopeful says country is in “great danger” U.S. government staging a terrorist attack…” They have lost every last bit of credibility as far as I am concerned.

  41. The Maine is a good comparison, if you want to make a point about foreign adventurism.

    Personally, my favore 9/11 historical analogy is to the Carthaginian invasion of Italy and the Battle of Cannae.

  42. As for Ron Paul, I wish he’d stop going on the Alex Jones show. Alex Jones is trying to put Ron Paul in a position where he will endorse or be misquoted as endorsing 9/11 truth theories. This doesn’t do Ron Paul any favors.

    Ditto. If you go to the Ron Paul forums, Truthers are ejaculating all over themselves with this revelation that Ron Paul is one of them. Trying to convince them that Ron Paul didn’t say that stuff is as futile as convincing them that terrorists actually flew a plane into the Pentagon. Alex Jones is their prophet and he has spoken, they won’t let facts get in the way of their Truth!

  43. 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.

    *Most people* may believe it, but I understand that those who’ve actually looked at the evidence (a group which doesn’t include me, I freely admit) generally believe that Marinus van der Lubbe probably did it all by himself, just as the (not yet Nazified) court found. That means he had no help either from the Nazis (as the Communists claimed at the time) or from other Communists (as the Nazis claimed at the time).

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire#Dispute_about_van_der_Lubbe.27s_role_in_the_Reichstag_Fire

  44. Shit joe, I hadn’t considered that.

    For those who don’t know it, in the battle of Cannae the Roman army was massacred within a few days march of Rome. Among the dead, one of rome’s consuls. The battle left the city of Rome undefended and vulnerable to easy capture.

    Oddly, Hannibal did not take advantage of his opening. rather then marching in and seizing Rome. He proceeded to march along the Italian countryside, pillaging in a rather aimless manner.

    He was defeated after the Romans pulled in forces from Spain.

    It kind of reminds me of the U.S. in Afghanistan, when I think about it: having victory in your grasp and throwing it away.

  45. Do you think Eric knows that our government worked to undermine the Cambodian government and allow the Khmer Rouge to grow, and is just being flat-out dishonest? Or you do think he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

    joe,
    In Dondero’s defense, it is most likely the second choice.

  46. The folks around here really need to dig more into Ellison. No so much because of the terrorist thing but because he’s Minnesota’s new fruitcake. Wellstone may have died but his craziness lives on.

    Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann balance out our fruitcake quotient nicely. Singling out Ellison without giving Bachmann a nod makes you look like a rank partisan.

  47. *Aside to David*
    Nice UPDATEs, concise encapsulation of a lot of back and forth.

  48. I’d thought it had been pretty well established that the Reichstage really was burned down by a Dutch Communist.

    It’s been “pretty well established” that JFK was shot by a delusional nutcase who thought he was avenging Castro and striking a blow for the coming Marxist revolution. That hasn’t stopped the conspiracy theorists from accusing everyone from LBJ (hey, I hate that guy as much as anyone) to a cabal in the CIA/FBI/DOD.

  49. “”””The guy is incredibly sketchy; he’s got plenty of ties to CAIR, a terrorist sympathy group with several founders in jail for funneling money to terror groups.””””

    This is the same guilt by association tactic that fuels the Bush 9/11 conspiracy. There are plenty of ties between OBL and Bush Sr.’s administration. I don’t think Ellison ever sold CAIR weapons nor trained CAIR followers to fight, like the Bush Sr. admin did with OBL and the soon to be AQ.

  50. “Because it is the best recognized example of a government using a terrorist attack to justify crackdowns on civil liberties and political dissent.”

    can’t it be both?

    because it’s well-recognized and because comparing bush to a nazi is popular? that’s a win-win rhetorical gambit.

    but yes ron paul is very popular in certain circles, which both enlivens conversations and makes me worried about the future.

  51. A Muslim AND a fucking nigger. What is this world coming to?

  52. Dunno, don’t care if “Geez” is joking: straight into the filter.

    No time or room for comments or people like that.

  53. Yes, joe the comparison is so apt. Just like in nazi germany, Bush has been made a dictator who has to answer to no one. Now I remember the Enabling Act passed by the House and the Senate. How long was that in committee? My memory is fuzzy. It was just prior to the 2006 elections that the Democrats were let out of prison, wasn’t it? Heck, why did we even bother to vote in 2002, 2004 and 2006, given the fact that Congress no longer existed. And who could forget the hundreds of laws that were enacted without consent of the Congress. How silly it is for anyone to believe it wasn’t an apt comparison. After all, Ellison didn’t compare this administration to dictators. Oh, wait a second, yes he did. However, the quote in which he compared Cheney to a dictator does not appear in the above summary of the incident.
    Also, joe, I think you are being naive if you actually think Ellison would have dropped Hitler’s name in front of a crowd of people less hostile to Bush.

    Of course laws were passed that otherwise wouldn’t have been and action was taken in the aftermath of one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States; similar actions were taken in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor (internment camps anyone). In hindsight, some of those actions were clearly misguided. However, for anyone to compare what happened after 9-11 to what happened after the Reichstag fire demonstrates an ignorance so breathtaking as to disqualify that individual from serious debate. To be more direct, if anyone believes Bush intended to establish himself as a dictator after 9-11(only then is the ridiculous reichstag reference applicable) as Hilter clearly intended after the Reichstag fire than you are an idiot who deserves to be derided as a “nutball”. And it is indeed the intent following the tragic aftermath that Ellison is finding analogous.

  54. “This is the same guilt by association tactic that fuels the Bush 9/11 conspiracy. There are plenty of ties between OBL and Bush Sr.’s administration. I don’t think Ellison ever sold CAIR weapons nor trained CAIR followers to fight, like the Bush Sr. admin did with OBL and the soon to be AQ.”

    Glad you mentioned this, because there was indeed something so nefarious about providing the Afghani freedom fighters with assistance to fight off the invading Soviets. How dare the United States do such a horrible thing.
    As for Ellison, the guilt by association is valid, unless the individual who was a keynote speaker at one of their conventions was a man in a Keith Ellison mask. He knew damn good and well the history of CAIR’s leadership providing material support to Hamas. You know, the same former leaders who are now on trial for which CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator. I’m sure he also knew of CAIR’s long history of refusing to condemn terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Unless he was totally ignorant of these facts, in which case he is an idiot, he is indeed worthy of condemnation for not separating himself from these terrorist enablers.

  55. “A Muslim AND a fucking nigger. What is this world coming to?”

    And I thought Keith Ellison was a total jackass. Geez, you are beyond stupid.

  56. “Personally, my favore 9/11 historical analogy is to the Carthaginian invasion of Italy and the Battle of Cannae.”

    Exactly how is the Battle of Cannae analogous to what occured following 9/11?

  57. “Glad you mentioned this, because there was indeed something so nefarious about providing the Afghani freedom fighters with assistance to fight off the invading Soviets. How dare the United States do such a horrible thing.”

    +

    “Unless he was totally ignorant of these facts, in which case he is an idiot, he is indeed worthy of condemnation for not separating himself from these terrorist enablers.”

    =

    lol…slowly turning into tears of immeasurable sadness, forever.

  58. This is sickening. A negro gets elected and now all the inner city rabble go to his events and cheer for the monkey. The mentality of the self pitying, ghetto trash of this country gets legitimized.

    When we will start seeing shipping them all off to Africa as a legitimate option again?

  59. The article about Ellison is ridiculous. He was trying to smear Bush as Hitler and showed that he was with the tinfoil hats as he cleverly remarked that position is not best to say in public.

    Speaking of Hitler, you Ernst Rhoem wannabes with your Sicky Farton mascot, always blasting the Jews, are closer to being followers of Hitler than our President is.

    “There’s no need to fear; Underzog is here!”

  60. Derek,

    Wherever your forebears are from, I’d like you to go back there too.

    And, ah yes, all the “inner city rabble” that attends an Atheists For Human Rights meeting are obviously “ghetto trash” trying to self-legitimize.

    Hammers and cross-cut saws are in awe of your toolishness.


  61. Are you saying that Minneapolis and some of its inner ring suburbs are nuts, or that there are nuts in the MN 5th CD?

    The later. Of course there are nuts in ever district but its exacerbated when the party primary decides the election.

    From my understanding, in the 5thCD a Republican couldn’t win even if he was Abraham Lincoln. Therefore the primary decides the election, and the more extreme elements of a party tend to have a greater voice in the primary.

    I certainly didn’t mean to insinuate that the people of the 5th Minnesota CD are nutjobs.

  62. Why would you smear Ron Paul and suggest he is so politically inept and naive to not realize that governments routinely stage attacks and blame them on their enemy? It’s been politics as usual for thousands of years.

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