I don't want to paint a picture of LP2008 as some sort of abnormal event: This is a hotly contested political brawl, complete with war rooms, platform fights, and other riveting stuff that's covered in a dispatch I'm finishing right now. But I just caught a truly bizarre and misbegotten event that had to be seen to be believed.
It's like this: Libertarians for Justice, a group that's urging all LP candidates to pledge to open a new 9/11 investigation, rented a spacious room for hours of 9/11 Truth events, including a screening of Improbable Collapse, a "scientific investigation" of the attacks. At 8:00 p.m. they invited presidential candidates who'd signed the pledge to take questions from an audience of around 60 people.
How big is a 60-person crowd at the LP convention? Small, when you consider that Barr, Gravel, Root, Ruwart and (yes!) Imperato met dozens of people one-on-one with just a little time in the exhibit hall. Smaller when you realize that several people in the event weren't LP delegates, just 9/11 Truth advocates. Nonetheless, Ruwart and Gravel spent at least 90 minutes engaging in the Q&A alongside Michael Jingozian, Steve Kubby, and Alden Link. The event took a Lynchian turn when uber-fringe candidate John Finan took the mike, made fun of the audience, and refused to sign the pledge when it was dangled in his face. "Whaddya think?" he asked the crowd. "Should I sign something I've just seen for the first time?" Almost everyone roarded "yes," including Kubby, who was a few feet away from me. Finan refused and walked away with the sharpie the moderator had given to him to sign with; he was pursued out of the room and trotted back to the elevator. Finan did the impossible: Looking like the craziest man in the room at a Truther event.
I'm no purge junkie, but LP candidates have no business indulging the Truth crowd like this.