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Iran and U.S. Wingnuts: a 9/11 Love Story

Monday, March 08, 2010

By John Avlon
The Daily Beast
Photo: Associated Press

Ahmadinejad this weekend called 9/11 a "big lie." In doing so, he was just echoing what a particularly sick brand of American wingnut, the "truther," has been saying for years. John Avlon, author of Wingnuts, on some virulent bedfellows.

It was perhaps inevitable that the world’s most notorious Holocaust denier would out himself as a 9/11 Truther. This weekend, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pronounced the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, a "big lie," "a complicated intelligence scenario and act" and "a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan."

He echoed claims long made by one of the most virulent conspiracy theories to infect recent American politics—the Orwellian named 9/11 Truthers, who believe the attack was an inside job.

It is appropriate that Ahmadinejad used the phrase the "big lie," first coined by Adolph Hitler in Mein Kampf to explain the psychology behind propaganda campaigns of misinformation. "In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility," Hitler wrote, because "It would never come into [most people's] heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."

The Big Lie can be seductive. It masquerades as reason, even scientific inquiry, but it leads down a path confirming your worst suspicions about your worst enemy. Its proponents cast themselves cast themselves as populist truth tellers taking on powerful interests, but many are trying to profit personally or politically by stirring up fear and paranoia.

The Pentagon gunman John Patrick Bedell was an extreme example of an unstable soul who bought into these claims. But he is far from alone. Five years after the attack, a Scripps Howard poll found that thirty-six percent of Americans believed the federal government "either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action" because they "wanted to go to war in the Middle East." Sixteen percent thought the World Trade Center might have collapsed because of secret explosives—a claim made by Bedell in his online writings. Not long ago, purple "9/11 was an Inside Job" stickers were ubiquitous on New York City street-corners and in 2008 Truthers rallied around the presidential candidacy of leftist Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney as well as Texas libertarian Ron Paul, winner of this year’s CPAC straw poll....(Remainder.)

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Calling All Rebels

By Chris Hedges
Truthdig


There are no constraints left to halt America’s slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

Those singled out as internal enemies will include people of color, immigrants, gays, intellectuals, feminists, Jews, Muslims, union leaders and those defined as “liberals.” They will be condemned as anti-American and blamed for our decline. The economic collapse, which remains mysterious and enigmatic to most Americans, will be pinned by demagogues and hatemongers on these hapless scapegoats. And the random acts of violence, which are already leaping up around the fringes of American society, will justify harsh measures of internal control that will snuff out the final vestiges of our democracy. The corporate forces that destroyed the country will use the information systems they control to mask their culpability. The old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of despotic regimes, will empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence within American society and deflect attention from the corporate vampires that have drained the blood of the country.

“We are going to be poorer,” David Cay Johnston told me. Johnston was the tax reporter of The New York Times for 13 years and has written on how the corporate state rigged the system against us. He is the author of “Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With the Bill,” a book about hidden subsidies, rigged markets and corporate socialism. “Health care is going to eat up more and more of our income. We are going to have less and less for other things. We are going to have some huge disasters sooner or later caused by our failure to invest. Dams and bridges will break. Buildings will collapse. There are water mains that are 25 to 50 feet wide. There will be huge infrastructure disasters. Our intellectual resources are in decline. We are failing to educate young people and instill in them rigor. We are going to continue to pour money into the military. I think it is possible, I do not say it is probable, that we will have a revolution, a civil war that will see the end of the United States of America.”...(Remainder.)

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History Channel Smears President Kennedy

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