Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is Rand Paul A 9/11 Denier? Probably Not

Rand Paul issued a summons to coincide with FBI Director Robert Mueller's re-confirmation that 911blogger seems to be using to imply that he's a Truther. Part of it is posted almost entirely without comment, though the implication of their choice of which part of the summons to post is clear:

Why did FBI supervisors and lawyers block the search warrant sought by field agents in Minnesota who believed that Zacarias Moussaoui was a terrorist who might use a commercial airplane as a weapon in the weeks before September 11th? Why did the so--called "Phoenix memo," written by FBI agent Kenneth Williams in July of 2001, which warned of an unusual number of young Arab men seeking flight training in the U.S., never reach the highest levels of the FBI? Was anyone ever disciplined, fired, or their career ended for these errors in judgment?"

The rest of the memo is quite telling of Rand Paul's own ideological blinders. He is apparently baffled as to why the FBI has an interest in protecting people who work at abortion centers, and can't understand why one of the criteria used in detecting likely political extremists is outspoken support for 3rd-party, right-wing candidates.

Paul's intent is obvious - the last decade has given many Americans reason to believe the FBI is both run by incompetents and a danger to the freedoms guaranteed by American law, and his goal is to politicize that fact for his supporters. He has chosen an idea that appalls right-wingers and Christians (the idea that the FBI has a vested interest in safeguarding the lives of people who provide and assist in performing abortions) and an idea that appalls those who vote on national security issues (that the FBI was incompetent in detecting foreign radicals who emmigrated to Rand Paul's home state).

These are contradictory in implication. The first implies that the FBI is an overreaching, politicized depriver of legitimate political rights that needs to be scaled back, while the second implies that its ability to track radicalized immigrants desperately needs to be improved and possibly expanded. These are all parts of the contradictions of Paul's personal political philosophy - pro-personal freedom except at the border and the pulpit, anti-government except in its capacity to deprive rights to people unlike him - but overall they make only a weak case that Paul is a Truther. His beliefs happen to quite closely align with the median Truther, but he has bigger fish to fry than that. A group to whom he is sympathetic is clearly just taking one of his statements out of context for political purposes - the bread and butter of the 9/11 denier movement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you a denier that in 1913, several private banks collaborated to persuade congress (during a holiday break) to grant permission to their new Federal Reserve (an oligarchy of private corporate banks) to print and regulate the currency of the United States of America? And then modify the conditions upon which they may modify their behavior hundreds of times since then? Are you a denier that some of the most powerful internationally wealthy families in the western world control the economy of the United States? Are you aware that they have publicly bragged about that? That they have historically backed the military opponents of the US, resulting in mass death and US military involvement when it was not necessary for the well-being of US citizens, to the best of most peoples' knowledge?