In light of reports that Mesa fruitcake and state Senator Karen Johnson is lobbying U.S. Senator John McCain to meet with 9/11-denier and starvation artist Blair Gadsby, I'd like to offer McCain a few reasons why he should never, ever bow to the whims of wackos like Gadsby and those who support him.
First off, like most extremists, the troofers are potentially violent. They don't like being dismissed or disagreed with -- no matter how deeply insane their views -- and when their nutty, fringe ideas are rightfully belittled, they sometimes make veiled (or not so veiled) threats. Take the following comment on my May 23 post on Mesa Community College religious studies teacher Gadsby. (Sorry, I ain't calling him a prof until he earns a PhD in something.)
Azazel says: 9/11 was an inside job.
Why dont you go down to McCain's office and say this to Blair's face stephen? I hope Im there when you do...
FYI: I also beleive [sic] in the 2nd amendment. I hope you know which one that is.
Azazel's poor spelling aside, one would assume that his reference to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has little to do with a well-regulated militia. Obviously this faceless kook is implying that he may shoot me if he runs into me. To which, I say, take a number, dumbass, and get in line. I think the right-wing nativists have got dibs, so you may have a bit of a wait.
If you don't buy the tripe the troofers are pushing, are offended by it, and argue vehemently against it, they tend to lose contact with the Mother Ship, and act at least nominally willing to throw down. Could one of these troofers go Taxi Driver, as my pal Pat Curley of the blog Screw Loose Change has speculated might be a possibility? Sure. While I was arguing with these moonbats on Sunday for this week's Bird column on the subject, there were folks present who believed that not only was 9/11 an inside job, so was the Oklahoma City bombing! One balmy biddy assured me that the streaks left by jet aircraft in the sky were actually "chemtrails," expressly intended to poison us all. Yet another dood told me he didn't buy the figure of six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, and on and on.
People who are this delusional might starve themselves to prove a point, like Gadsby. Or they might take a less passive aggressive approach. I'm waiting for the first batty self-barbecuer to douse himself in four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline and light a match. Or perhaps even go a step further, and pull his or her imitation of a suicide bomber. Sure, most troofers are not this far gone. But all it would take is one, lone nut determined to become a martyr-warrior for the cause.
Another reason for McCain to ignore the troofers: The deep strain of anti-Semitism that runs through the 9/11 troof crowd, despite those in the movement who are themselves Jewish. One of the very first 9/11 conspiracies held that Jews in New York got a tip-off from the Mossad that 9/11 was about to go down. Lies about Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the World Trade Center property at the time of the attacks, seem specifically designed to imply a Henry Ford-like view of World Jewry poised to undermine America. Similar theories abound about "neocons," which the troofers sometimes seem to be using as code for "Jews."
In testimony last year by the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Mark Weitzman before the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, Weitzman discussed how the Internet is used by 9/11 conspiracy groups to spread some of the oldest canards on the planet:
"The presence of the conspiracy site [Weitzman is speaking in general here] is significant, since so much of what passes as fact online is actually based on some form of conspiracy. These are often built around the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which allege Jewish control of the world, or around presenting the United States government as being engaged in various conspiracies or cover-ups, or ultimately having the entire Western world engaged in a vast, multi-layered conspiracy against the Islamic world."
There are even more direct ties between 9/11 conspiranuts and anti-Semitic elements in the country. Ex-Klan leader David Duke apparently believes that the 9/11 attacks were actually an Israeli plot. He said as much in a 2007 editorial on his Web site www.davidduke.com, when he wrote that,
"No matter what the intricacies and discrepancies of the 9/11 attacks and the many controversies surrounding it, increasing evidence shows that if the attacks had high level conspirators in the U.S. Government, that Israel was the ultimate source and rationale for the attacks."
Duke firms up his indictment of Israel and Israeli agents in this passage,
"When I first started my investigation into the Israeli role in the 9/11 attacks, I cautiously stated that the evidence clearly shows that Israel at the very least had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. That would be enough to show that Israel has committed one of the most treacherous acts against America in our country’s long history. If Israel chose not to warn her greatest benefactor, the United States, and prevent the 9/11 carnage, then Israel’s official status should change from supposed ally to ardent enemy.
"Now, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Israel’s treachery went far more than simply not warning us. The evidence suggests that the Mossad spy ring in America did not simply monitor the alleged hijackers, but shepherded the operation and helped shield them from discovery by patriotic law enforcement elements."
When I asked the troofers about David Duke being part of the 9/11 conspiracy movement, one guy shrugged, saying, "We can't help it if the Klan or the neo-Nazis support us." Although many in the 9/11 troof trenches are big-time lefties, there is a point at which the radical ends of the ideological spectrum meet and fuse on this issue. That's why liberals who despise George W. Bush and the G.O.P giddily welcome a decrepit right-wing crone like Karen Johnson into their midst. And worse.
Oddly, old-time, Arizona neo-Nazi Elton Hall, the same Elton Hall who has caused so much embarrassment to Rusty Childress' anti-immigrant group United for a Sovereign America, is a troofer, according to several sources. Hall was an organizer for American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell back in the day. One of the head troofers present at Gadsby's Hunger Camp when I stopped by told me that Hall was their friend, and that they were shocked that he's been a hard-core neo-Nazi since the '60s.
But did they plan to kick him to the curb, or do likewise to any white supremacists that join their ranks? Hell no. Their response was like that of Delta frat members in Animal House reviewing possible new pledges and screaming out, "We need the dues!" One troofer told me Sunday that if it would add bodies to their ranks, they had no problem with either the Klan or neo-Nazis being present.
Ultimately, McCain would have to be a colossal fool to meet with Gadsby or any of his 9/11 nutbar cohorts. Gadsby's hunger strike is motivated by the fact that McCain wrote the foreword to the Popular Mechanics book Debunking 9/11 Myths. By meeting with Gadsby, McCain would be granting Gadsby's movement the spec of legitimacy it craves. It would be far better for Gadsby to succeed in starving himself than for the troofers to ever gain that ground.
Fortunately, I think the chances that McCain will abandon all common sense and sit down with these lunatics is about the same as the Seattle Mariners winning the World Series this year. Or maybe Sharon Stone being appointed ambassador to China.
PS: In response to the troofer "mo fo" below, I have never threatened Mr. Gadsby, nor would I condone others threatening or hurting him. On the other hand, if he wishes to starve himself, that's his biz.
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When I visited Mr. Gadsby, one of the troofers present wanted me to turn my tape recorder off. When I declined, I told him why: Troofers have lied about me before, so the tape was my insurance policy in case they attempted to lie about what was said, just as "mo fo" is doing now. This sort of prevarication is yet another reason Senator McCain should stay as far away from these people as possible.
As for the contention of "Gabe" that, "The vast majority of people in the Truth movement reject resorting to violence," I suggest explaining that your fellow troofer Azazel.
You might also want to discuss nonviolence with German Talis. You know who he is, right, Gabe? For those out there who don't, check out Michelle Malkin's blog item on this guy's alleged assault in New York of a young, wheelchair-bound woman with cerebral palsy. The New York Post had a report on it April 23, which you can read, here.
Seems the troofers have their own odd interpretation of the philosophy of nonviolence, one that's as effed up as their 9/11 conspiracy theories. Nice.