A Persistent Lie

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Matt Taibbi’s take on the Cindy Sheehan phenomenon just went online at Rolling Stone. As you’d expect, it alternates between ludicrous (like when he pretends to be an advanceman for Sean Hannity) and touching.

Taibbi takes a bit of time to point out that some of the activists who rushed to sleep on the ground in Texas, in August, are — surprise — a bit kooky:

At one point at Camp Casey, an informal poll taken around a campfire revealed that six out of a group of ten protesters, selected at random, believed that the United States government was directly involved in planning the 9/11 bombings. Flabbergasted, I tried to press the issue.

“Do you know how many people would have to be involved in that conspiracy?” I said. “I mean, start with the pilots . . .”

“The planes were flown by remote control,” a girl sitting across from me snapped.

So what did Taibbi find at a nearby anti-Sheehan demonstration?

Aaron Martin, 31, had never heard the administration say that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but Martin did remember one thing about Iraq that he said he’d heard “prior to 9/11.”

“They had a fuselage,” he said. “It was like a 747 fuselage that they use for training purposes for terrorism.”

Was there any other reason he believed Iraq was connected to 9/11?

“It’s just a general feeling,” he said. … It was like a scene from Spinal Tap.

The latter right-wing delusion is only marginally more supported by anything resembling the truth. It just that rather than being advanced by some flat-earthers and French authors, this convenient lie was implied regularly by the President and the war’s other hawks. And as Taibbi points out, this intentionally engendered confusion reinforced the prejudices that drove us to war, and still drive Sheehan’s detractors.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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