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AP: Despite Pleas from Father, Defense Secretary Gates, Runs Photo of 21-Year Old Marine In Last Moments of His Life UPDATED | Main | Howard Zinn: I Never, Ever Signed a Petition Claiming Bush Had Foreknowledge of 9/11; And Yet Here I Am Writing on the Website That Bush Had Foreknowledge of 9/11
September 04, 2009

White House Politely Declines to Express Support in Van "Astronaut" Jones
Bonus: Charles Johnson's Dan Rather Moment


Asked if controversial White House official Van Jones continues to enjoy the confidence of President Obama given recent revelations about his involvement with those who suggest the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attacks and allowed them to happen in order to justify a war for oil, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs Friday morning would only say "he continues to work in this administration."

Meanwhile, Charles Johnson refuses to update his blog with the new information we all have, stating in a comment:

And since I'm getting email demanding that I apologize, based on a link at rense freaking com, here's my statement on it:

No. Once again, we see people so consumed by hatred and partisan blindness that they'll take the word of conspiracy websites.

In any case, I'm never going to apologize for anything I've written on this subject. If credible information comes out that Van Jones was a real, honest to goodness Truther, then I'll be sure to report that. But I'm not apologizing. is NOT a credible source.

Johnson now backs into a new defense of Jones -- okay, maybe he did sign that petition, but he was lied to about the contents therein.

A few problems here. First, this is not a lengthy document. One hardly need rely upon the representations of others when the thing can be read in five minutes.

Second, Jones never before disputed his general endorsement of the petition, until it became a political liability. He's had five years to review and reflect upon the petition. Apparently only now has he bothered to do so.

Third, as Gateway Pundit reported, he signed a similar statement in 2002, insisting that he wanted answers to Trutherish questions.

Fourth, Van "Astronaut" Jones is a dedicated conspiracy theorist. He believes Mumia was set up by a conspiracy of cops and prosecutors and judges and ME's. He believes "poison" is being deliberately sluiced into black communities by white power companies in a massive, lethal conspiracy.

But in this case we're supposed to take it on faith that Jones finally ran into a radical leftist conspiracy theory that repelled him?

FIfth, and this is the big one: Charles Johnson knows full well the Truther movement has been notorious and for some time. The 9/11 group was formed in June 2004, but of course the conspiracy theories had been floating around before that. The Truthers have never been shy about their beliefs. Anyone moving in anti-war circles -- particularly a radical avowed communist such as Van Jones -- would have heard the basic plot of their beliefs.

One can't attend a 9/11 remembrance without Truthers obnoxiously shouting that Bush set us up the bomb. Johnson's embrace of Jones' apparent defense -- "I had no idea who these people were" -- is simply not plausible.

Now, Jones might be offering a less expansive defense -- "Yes, I knew who the Truthers were -- as everyone in politics did -- but I didn't think that petition stated their more florid beliefs, but just called for investigations." Fine. In that case, Jones isn't a Truther per se, but "merely" willing to lend his name, endorsement, and credibility (ahem) to them on a case by case basis.

Truthers lie? Hey Charles -- so do radicals and communists and politicians. I do not believe for one red hot second Van Jones was unfamiliar with the Truthers' basic belief system, and I doubt Johnson does either.

I remember Dan Rather clinging to smaller and smaller patches of ground -- but just as indefensible ground -- sometime ago, too. Worked out rather poorly for him.

As a general matter Johnson castigates anyone willing to play foosie with Truthers. Witness his hostility to Ron Paul. Ron Paul, however, did not go as far as Jones did in associating himself with the Truthers. Ron Paul employed dog-whistle politics -- noxious to be sure -- but Van Jones actually signed on the line which is dotted.

Why the sudden exception? Why the new nuance that not all Truthers are necessarily bad?

Below, the great "Astronaut Jones" sketch from SNL. I think it's a fitting tribute to our moonbeam Truther communist "green jobs czar."

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