Fox Nation uses Ahmadinejad speech to revive debunked Van Jones "truther" smear
Blog ››› ››› DAVID SHERE
At the U.N. General Assembly today, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that 9/11 was an inside job. Ben Smith of The Politico reported on Ahmadinejad's statement -- which the U.S. delegation walked out on - along with a denunciation from American UN spokesman Mark Kornblau.
Leave it to Fox Nation to turn Ahmadinejad's speech into a cheap partisan attack on the Obama administration.
Fox Nation picked up Smith's blog post, and ran it under the headline: "Ahmadinejad Says 9/11 Was an Inside Job. Will Obama Name Him Green Jobs Czar?"
This is of course a reference to Van Jones, the former Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Before joining the Obama administration Jones was a prominent civil rights and environmental activist.
From early in his tenure in the administration, Jones was derided as a "Green Jobs Czar" by Fox News and other right-wing outlets. Glenn Beck, in particular, derided Jones as "communist-anarchist radical," and relentlessly attacked Jones, often with racial undertones.
Among the most heinous of the smears leveled at Jones by right-wing media was that he was a "truther" -- someone who believes that the United States government had a hand in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These allegations are false.
The basis for the accusation was a 2004 petition organized by 911truth.org. Jones' name appeared as a signatory to the petition, which called for an "immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur."
Jones has explicitly stated that he does not believe the United States was at fault for the 9/11 attacks, and has said that 9/11 was "carried out by Al Qaeda and Osama bin laden and nobody else."
Immediately after these allegations emerged in September 2009, Jones issued a statement saying of the petition "I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever." His name was subsequently removed from the petition and the 911 Truth website on which it appeared. At the time, reporters identified several individuals whose names appeared on the petition who said that they had been misled about what they were signing.
Furthermore, Jones has since described the circumstances that led to his name appearing on the petition, saying that his name had been signed to "abhorrent, crazy language" that the organizers had never shown him:
"I believe that 9/11 was a conspiracy -- by Al Qaida and Osama bin Laden and nobody else, trying to hurt America," he said. "What happened to me on that, tough lesson learned from me, six years ago I was at a conference, some people came up to me. They said, 'Hey! We represent 9/11 families.' I'm like, 'Oh, Ok, good to meet you.' They said, 'We need your help, will you help us?' I said, 'Sure, whatever you want.'"
"And then these people, I didn't know what their agenda was, they went and put my name on some abhorrent, crazy language they never showed me, I never saw, and it just saw there on this website for years," continued Jones. "Somebody discovered it and then boom. People actually believed that I actually signed on to something that I never saw and never signed on to. That became a part of this whole firestorm."
This hasn't stopped right-wing media figures from rehashing this and other tired old smears against Jones. Today's Fox Nation headline is another predictable entry in a long line of pointless and untrue attacks.