I may get smeared for this as Van Jones was, but let me say that I find it disgraceful that Van Jones was the target of a smear campaign and was forced out as Obama’s Green jobs person. He was one of the few genuine progressive voices in a sea of “moderate-centrists” who would have been considered quite far to the right a few decades back.
What were Jones’ “crimes”?
* He called for an investigation into possible government foreknowledge about 9/11. It’s pretty clear that elements within the U.S. government had advance knowledge that something was brewing (even George W. Bush was briefed on this the month before the attack, as Condoleezza Rice admitted in her May 19, 2004 testimony in front of the 9/11 investigation commission), and many respected scholars such as David Ray Griffin have widely circulated hypotheses of U.S. government involvement. My own view is that the U.S. saw the attack coming and decided for its own purposes to let the attack occur (our Reichstag fire, if you will)–but were not directly involved. Why is it unreasonable to ask for an investigation?
* He used an unfortunate metaphor to describe his radicalization in the aftermath of the acquittal verdict in the Rodney King beating case:
By August, I was a Communist,” he says in the article, describing his sense of radicalization at the time.
* He said that Republican strong-arm legislators who managed to force through legislation even when short of a super-majority in the Senate were “assholes.” How is this any worse than commentator Glenn Beck, who led the charge against Jones, calling Obama a racist, or
George W. Bush, when he was Governor of Texas, threatening a legislator with “I’m going to kick your butt if you don’t go along with me.”. And if you listen to it in context, the subtext was that Democrats are too gentlemanly to play this kind of hardball, and that’s why they can’t get their agenda enacted. This, unfortunately, is patently obvious to observers of the current political scene.
Glenn Beck, this is the latest in a long line of despicable things you’ve done. You may feel smug now, but you’re the one whose conscience will bother you–not Van Jones.