Patterico's Pontifications

10/21/2014

David Corn Falsely Smears Rand Paul as a Truther

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:05 am



David Corn, lefty hack from Mother Jones, has a hit piece designed to take out Rand Paul. It’s full of spin and exaggerations, but let me highlight one particularly nasty piece of dishonesty:

Jones’ show has also been a hub of the so-called truther movement, which claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government. During Paul’s 2010 Senate campaign, it was revealed that his campaign spokesman was a truther (as well as a death-metal musician with racist and satanic tendencies). When a Kentucky newspaper asked if Paul agreed with this view, his campaign replied that it was a “complicated situation” with “truth on both sides.”

Well. That’s a strong charge. First Corn claims that Paul’s campaign spokesman was a 9/11 truther, defined as someone who “claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.” Then Corn claims that Paul’s campaign sanctioned this view.

I looked into this. It wasn’t hard. What Corn says simply isn’t true.

Paul’s campaign spokesman was dismissed after several aspects of his online life were distorted in the press. Relevant here is a letter he wrote to a Kentucky newspaper in which he defended Ron Paul’s position that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated in large part by the United States’s military actions in the Middle East. Ron Paul, an adamant noninterventionist, has long argued that the United States’s penchant for becoming embroiled in military expeditions overseas has unintended consequences. One of those consequences is that it motivates people to plot terrorist attacks on the United States.

The point of my post is not to defend this claim on its merits — although it is certainly beyond dispute that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated in part by the U.S. presence in the Middle East, as is evident to anyone who has read bin Laden’s diatribes. I don’t think this mitigates the terrorists’ responsibility for their awful and indefensible actions on 9/11, but I don’t know if Ron Paul (or Rand Paul) thinks that either.

What I do know is that this argument is very different from saying that “the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.”

And when Paul’s campaign said the issue was complicated, with truth on both sides, they weren’t saying: “Maybe the government was behind 9/11. Who can say?” They were saying: “We don’t want to be distracted by this controversy, which is why we have fired this guy, but there are aspects of what he said about U.S. foreign policy and interventionism that we can’t honestly disavow.”

That’s very different from what Corn claims.

In short, David Corn is simply lying. Shocking, I know.

(Corn’s claim about the spokesman’s supposed racist tendencies appears to be more exaggeration, for what it’s worth. You can follow the links and see for yourself.)

This post, by the way, is not link bait. Although Rand Paul recently linked this blog when it defended his comments about what the CDC says about Ebola, I doubt very much that he will be linking this post — although he is certainly welcome to, if he likes. The post speaks the truth, but it’s my impression that Paul is currently downplaying the aspects of his previous foreign policy statements that might make GOP donors nervous. My guess is that, even though this post shows that Corn is lying about him sanctioning Trutherism, Paul will take a pass on anything that draws further attention to his noninterventionist statements from the past.

The details, for those who are interested, are in the extended entry.

The controversy began with a letter to a Bowling Green newspaper by one June Lutz:

I do not know Mr. Ron Paul, but was stunned May 17 to read on Page 1A, that in his opinion, the terrorists are upset because we invaded their land.

My goodness, how soon some people forget. They invaded us, Mr. Paul, do you not remember the first World Trade Center attack or Sept. 11?

Or, perhaps, you have forgotten the attack on the USS Stark, and the attack on the USS Cole. I would like to believe you are a sincere person, please show respect to all who have given both you and I the right to speak our minds.

It seems to me that you have diminished the sacrifice that so many have made, so that we all may live and prosper.

June Lutz

Bowling Green

Hightower’s response paralleled Lutz’s in construction. I’m not saying I agree with this, but read it for what it is, as opposed to what Corn says it is:

I do not know June Lutz, but was stunned to read on the Daily News Web site, “Paul’s words diminish the sacrifices of many.”

She stated that the terrorists are not upset because we invaded their land.

My goodness, how soon some people forget we invaded them, Mrs. Lutz, do you not remember when we installed a foreign leader in Iran in the 1950s, do you not remember putting military bases in Saudi Arabia? Or, perhaps, you have forgotten the attack on Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, and the continued arming of Israel.

I would like to believe you are a sincere person, please educate yourself – turn off your television – by researching our foreign involvement in the Middle East. It seems to me that you have diminished wisdom for our founding fathers, the Constitution and our economic viability.

Ron Paul is speaking the truth and the sooner “the sheeple” realize it, the better.

Christopher Hightower

You might not agree with that, but it is not a claim “that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.” The Courier-Journal contacted the Rand Paul campaign and got a response, as detailed below:

The myspace page also included a copy of a letter to the editor that appeared in the Bowling Green Daily News in 2008 defending Rand Paul’s father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and arguing that it was the United States that invaded countries responsible for terrorist attacks – and not the other way around.

“My goodness, how soon some people forget we invaded them … do you not remember when we installed a foreign leader in Iran in the 1950s, do you not remember putting military bases in Saudi Arabia? Or, perhaps, you have forgotten the attack on Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, and the continued arming of Israel,” the letter said.

The newspaper confirmed that the letter ran on June 3, 2008, and was signed by a Christopher Hightower, of Auburn, Ky.

Adams said he hadn’t seen the letter but didn’t completely disavow Hightower’s words. “I think that’s a complicated situation, that there is truth on both sides,” he said.

That is not support of Trutherism. Now go back and read what Corn wrote:

Jones’ show has also been a hub of the so-called truther movement, which claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government. During Paul’s 2010 Senate campaign, it was revealed that his campaign spokesman was a truther (as well as a death-metal musician with racist and satanic tendencies). When a Kentucky newspaper asked if Paul agreed with this view, his campaign replied that it was a “complicated situation” with “truth on both sides.”

Liar.

33 Responses to “David Corn Falsely Smears Rand Paul as a Truther”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Well, this part is true:

    Jones’ show has also been a hub of the so-called truther movement, which claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.

    But yeah.

    You actually linked Alex Jones’ site yesterday (with an apology for doing so). Doesn’t it make you feel awkward that you have to go to a paranoid conspiracy theorists’ site to find accurate quotes from the Paul family? Perhaps they really are nuts?

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  3. Chris Hightower’s video where he defends polygamy has been deleted from youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM8kMQwfkWQ

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  4. You actually linked Alex Jones’ site yesterday (with an apology for doing so). Doesn’t it make you feel awkward that you have to go to a paranoid conspiracy theorists’ site to find accurate quotes from the Paul family? Perhaps they really are nuts?

    I don’t like Alex Jones. But if the Pauls are really “nuts” then let people prove it with evidence that is not exaggerated or distorted. Do you deny Corn’s claim here is false?

    Patterico (6879ca)

  5. I’m pretty busy with work today, but will try to do so. Seriously. I’m sickened by the racism of the Paul family, and they both definitely flirted with 9/11 trutherism. More later.

    Here’s a post from Chris Hightower’s MySpace page. Slandering these morons seems almost justified, but, as promised, I’ll get back to you.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_lPOV8FZAOCI/SypMkFB8H1I/AAAAAAAABLg/PwH0lYy1HrU/s1600-h/chrishightower31.jpg

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  6. The notion that the Mossadegh regime, which had run afoul of the two major factions, the merchants and the mullahs, would be a good thing, is a dubious enough proposition, as for the second, the gulf war in retrospect does seem not to have been such a good thing

    narciso (201c91)

  7. “Sickened”

    There’s a lot of that going around:

    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2014/10/blood-and-lead-entire-nation-will-burn.html

    I know all you moderates think the Law and local government are a Maginot line of defense.

    You really need to read more.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  8. 6. ‘Shock and awe’ by compassionate conservatives fell a little short.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  9. In terms of macroeconomics, Pere Paul is more enlightened than the Dr.

    Finding a sane man in the American Balkans is a fool’s errand.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  10. There are two ways to take Rand Paul

    One, he isn’t as batcrap crazy as his idiot dad

    Two, he is, but is smart enough to not voice it

    Side note Alex Jones literally assaulted Michelle Malkin – I was pissed at her security letting him use a megaphone for several minutes right in her ear.

    Glad I wasn’t there.

    EPWJ (db4127)

  11. ” More later.”

    We’ll wait, Demontard.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  12. One notes, how David Corn, most recently talking up the foreign policy chops of Morgan Fairchild doesn’ t offer any evidence

    narciso (bcc59c)

  13. Here’s Rand Paul on the Alex Jones show. I have asked the reporter for the “truth on both sides” quote where his source is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klY2eoxImrc#t=248

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  14. accurate quotes from the Paul family?

    So “family” to you means everybody agrees ? I would like to introduce you to my leftist children.Three out of Five.

    I would pay more attention to David Corn if Mother Jones allowed opposing comments.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  15. “I’m sickened by the racism of the Paul family, and they both definitely flirted with 9/11 trutherism. More later.”

    Racism. That should be pretty easy to substantiate for Rand Paul. Simply claiming it, or disagreeing with him, doesn’t prove it. Or is Rand racist because his Dad is bugf@cknutz?

    JD (20d336)

  16. Corn is rarely even accidentally honest.

    JD (20d336)

  17. lefty hack from Mother Jones

    triple redundancy FTW!

    😎

    redc1c4 (4db2c8)

  18. Apparently people can’t separate truth from narrative regarding what Hightower wrote. But Corn is a liar. Probably a designed hit piece to provoke Rand Paul to respond…then they can really stick it to him.

    Dejectedhead (a094a6)

  19. I always find it funny how leftists assume you believe everything someone says on a site someone reads. You agree with person X on issue Y…therefore you agree with person X on issues A, C, G, H, N, and P.

    On a side not, I’m always surprised that Alex Jones didn’t jump on the Sandy Hook truther movement. More convincing than 9/11, chem trails, and fluoride mind control. Plus, it is so closely related to his 2nd Amendment activism.

    Dejectedhead (a094a6)

  20. There could be some basis other than the June 3, 2008 letter published in the Bowling Green Daily News for saying that Christopher Hightower was a 9/11 truther, as defined by David Corn (claiming that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government) but if so, David Corn isn’t telling us. What he says is that the radio talk show host Alex Jonesis a center for that – which may be true – and then he says Christopher Jones (unnamed, so you can’t do a simple Google search to try to check it out) was revealed to be a truther.

    But he wasn’t revealed to be taht kind of a truther, even though maybe someone who claims that it was blowback against things the United States had done that they say it shouldn’t have done may also perhaps be called a “truther”.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  21. David Corn is the guy who posted the blatantly edited Romney “47%” tape. They never admitted it had been edited, but I note he did not win the Pulitzer.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  22. One reporter has told me that he had no original source for the “truth on both sides” quote. I’m still waiting to hear from the second.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  23. I emailed 2 more reporters, with no response. All of the sourcing seems to go to a press release by Trey Grayson and some reporting by Mother Jones. Not very reliable.

    If anyone else can find the “truth on both sides” comment in the Courier-Journal, please comment here.

    All in though, I’d give David Corn 3 pinocchios.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  24. Why would anybody presume the truth from those that are okay with ‘if you like your doctor’? They’ve self identified as accepting of lying. Why would they not lie themselves?

    East Bay Jay (a5dac7)

  25. carlitos,

    I don’t understand what you’re on about. Did you read the link and quote in the post? Everything you need is right there. You see it, right?

    The Courier-Journal contacted the Rand Paul campaign and got a response, as detailed below:

    The myspace page also included a copy of a letter to the editor that appeared in the Bowling Green Daily News in 2008 defending Rand Paul’s father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and arguing that it was the United States that invaded countries responsible for terrorist attacks – and not the other way around.

    “My goodness, how soon some people forget we invaded them … do you not remember when we installed a foreign leader in Iran in the 1950s, do you not remember putting military bases in Saudi Arabia? Or, perhaps, you have forgotten the attack on Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, and the continued arming of Israel,” the letter said.

    The newspaper confirmed that the letter ran on June 3, 2008, and was signed by a Christopher Hightower, of Auburn, Ky.

    Adams said he hadn’t seen the letter but didn’t completely disavow Hightower’s words. “I think that’s a complicated situation, that there is truth on both sides,” he said.

    What are you emailing people for? I’m just confused.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  26. If anyone else can find the “truth on both sides” comment in the Courier-Journal, please comment here.

    I just gave it to you, again. It was in the post.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  27. They were the worst of times, tedious times as honest people we’re forced into picking teh sh*t out of the Corn.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. Sorry Pat. I had a total brain fart. Not the first time. I missed the quote attribution to Mr. Adams. No excuse.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  29. “Your heteronormative narrative de-celebrates both my inner and outer child.”
    – carlitos

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. 29. LOL, and again LOL.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  31. Thank you for this article. I had several reactions to Corn’s article when I first read it:

    1) If Rand is interviewed by Fox or CNN, that does not mean Rand is a warmonger neocon peacenik liberal or whatever Fox and CNN believe in. The same goes when someone is interviewed by Alex Jones news service.

    2) I used to read Corn in ‘The Nation’ magazine back in the early 1990s, and he was constantly reporting on the massive CIA conspiracy by Bush to bring cocaine into the United States.

    3) Polls show that 85% of more of the population does not believe the Warren Commission report or 9/11 Commission report. Rand will need many of those 85% of the US population to be elected president.

    Those are my reactions. I stand grand with Rand & stand tall with Paul.

    James Madison (54bbbe)

  32. On the bright side, a journalist emailed me and confirmed the quote from Patterico. Always trust content from Patterico.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  33. if there isn’t a hyperlink in the piece, it didn’t happen,

    narciso (ee1f88)


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