conspiracy theories

Two Million Bikers Fall 99.9% Short

The group Two Million Bikers to DC organized its second annual rally on the National Mall yesterday, which, like its predecessor, fell far short of the goal expressed in the group’s name. Organizers said the event was meant to honor people killed in the 9/11 attacks as well as first responders and veterans – presumably that’s how they sold it to corporate sponsor Budweiser – but rally speakers also used the event to rail against President Barack Obama, Congress, and an array of right-wing targets, including gun control, Common Core educational standards, the EPA, regulation of small businesses, the destruction of free enterprise, the Bundy Ranch standoff between the BLM and armed protestors, and Obama’s purportedly fraudulent re-election.

Although organizers got pre-event press promising “thousands” of bikers – not 2 million – descending on the nation’s capital, I didn’t see more than a couple hundred at the event’s peak. Fewer than 50 were left to hear the final speakers. More than one speaker took note of the dispiritingly small crowd.

Those who made it to the Mall did get to hear some personal remembrances of 9-11 from a New York firefighter, a paramedic, and a clergyman who worked at Ground Zero, and a mother whose son joined the military in the wake of 9/11 and was killed overseas.

But uniting them and other speakers was hostility toward the Obama administration and anger at the perception that the president will not clearly identify Islamist extremism as the nation’s enemy. Among the conspiracy theories heard from the podium were the claim from Second Amendment activist and self-described “gun chick” Jan Morgan that the U.N. small arms treaty was about disarming Americans, and the assertion by “Pope” Dan Johnson that “NATO came together in a meeting and this administration signed that NATO pact to tell Christians or to tell any religion what they can and cannot do.” Morgan said she didn’t believe Obama had actually won re-election because she knows about votes counted in Barcelona, Spain, and dead people who voted six times.

Johnson, a Kentucky coordinator for the biker group, contrasted his remarks with Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. “I have a nightmare,” he yelled. America, he said, is living a nightmare at Ground Zero and a nightmare in the White House. The mother of a fallen serviceman said of President Obama, “We must get rid of him…we must get him out of our White House before he takes this nation down.”

Right-wing pundit Wayne Dupree railed against the media, which he said has given Obama a pass for six years. He complained that conservative activists have been demonized as racists. “This administration is racist,” he said. “Everybody in there is racist.”

“Entertainment” was provided by Madison Rising, a metal band that played songs they describe as patriotic. One in their first set contained the chorus, “We don't want to have to bring out guns but we're ready if it goes there.” That sort of rhetoric mirrors the theme of Larry Klayman’s failed revolutionary rally in D.C. last year, at which Two Million Bikers organizer Belinda Bee spoke. Manny Vega, a Marine vet and self-described “Three Percenter” also spoke at both rallies.

Vega, who as one of the final speakers faced a very sparse crowd, seemed bummed out by the small turnout. “There should be millions of people,” he said, recalling photos of Vietnam War protests filling the entire mall. “What are we doing? A couple patriots out here.” Vega said more truck drivers, waitresses, bikers, and mechanics need to get involved and get elected.

“I’ll be damned if I am 30 years old and I’m cursing the politicians in that Capitol Hill. My son’s going to be 30 years old gearing up, buying weapons, buying their armored vests. Who’d have thought that we’d live in a country where the American citizens are arming up to fight a tyrannical government, ‘cuz that is what it is. Who’d have thought? How many people here have aligned themselves with militias or are already prepping to go to war with the federal government? [Someone shouted ‘don’t raise your hands,’ but some folks did] To go to war? Who should go to war?  No American citizen should go to war. I’ll tell you something, it’s changed. The relationship between the people and those bastards over there that are supposedly supposed to represent us. And they are not doing it.”

The event was also sponsored by Dinesh D’Souza’s “America: Imagine the World Without Her.” The day before the rally, D’Souza tweeted, “On 9/11 anniversary tomorrow I am speaking at huge biker rally on the national mall in Washington DC.” He sold some books -- nothing close to the huge number that his optimistic publisher had brought– and took pictures with fans. Unfortunately, I missed D’Souza’s comments when I took a break, but based on the speaker who followed him, part of D’Souza’s speech was spent slamming President Obama’s recent remarks about ISIS/ISIL.

Gun Owners Of America Chief Embraces Fringe 'Obama's Real Father' Birther Theory

Just this morning, we shared a new Rolling Stone profile of Gun Owners of America leader Larry Pratt, who despite his long record of anti-government extremism and association with any number of racist and anti-Semitic radicals continues to be an influential gun lobbyist who gets airtime from the mainstream media and attention from members of Congress.

As if to underscore the point, this weekend Pratt gave an interview to a pair of Patriot movement activists who recently launched a radio show after meeting at the Bundy ranch, where he shared the bizarre fringe birther theory that President Obama is secretly the son of labor activist Frank Marshall Davis, who groomed the president from birth to destroy America from within.

The Frank Marshall Davis birther theory was invented and popularized by right-wing filmmaker Joel Gilbert, who thinks that Obama got plastic surgery in an attempt to hide his resemblance to Davis and who also believes that the president wears a secret Muslim wedding ring and could have been behind the Aurora movie theater shooting .

The “evidence” for Gilbert’s claim — laid out in detail in his 2012 film “Dreams From My Real Father” — is a series of racy photos of a woman who bears a passing resemblance to Obama’s mother (but is not) and his totally scientific opinion that Obama looks more like Davis than like Barack Obama, Sr.

Gilbert’s theory has been panned by traditional birthers, because it undermines their claim that Obama isn’t a natural-born U.S. citizen, but has taken off among those who are seeking other ways to question the president’s origins. It was most notably endorsed by Bill Armistead, the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, who said in 2012 that he had seen Gilbert’s movie and “verified that it is factual, all of it.”

In his interview with “The Liberty Brothers Radio Show,” Pratt presented the Frank Marshall Davis theory as a plausible explanation for why Obama “hates” America.

“His father was either a Kenyan socialist or the Communist Party member who lived across the street, Frank Marshall Davis, and there’s a lot more physical resemblance between the latter and Obama than Obama Sr. and Obama,” he said.

Bringing up the conspiracy theory that Obama enrolled in school as a foreign student, Pratt said that while he doesn’t think the president is foreign-born — “I really think that more likely was that the communist that lived across the street in Hawaii could have been the father” — he does think Obama lied about being a foreign student to get financial aid.

Larry Pratt And Alex Jones Warn Obama Is Training Military To Turn On The Tea Party

Last week, after a couple motivated by far-right ideology killed three people in Las Vegas, we wrote about the Right’s efforts in 2009 to quash a Department of Homeland Security report on violent right-wing extremism .

Right-wing groups pounced on the report because it dared to note that violent right-wing extremists — people like Timothy McVeigh and the Hutaree militia and abortion clinic bombers — are motivated by right-wing issues. The Right eventually made such a fuss that the DHS pulled the report utterly infuriating the conservative Republican analyst who had written it, who noted that his small team studying “non-Islamic domestic extremism” was later cut down to just one person.

But the myth that the Obama administration declared all Christian conservatives and Tea Partiers to be potential terrorists has lived on in the right-wing myth machine.

The story came up again earlier this month when Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt joined conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Infowars.

Jones asked Pratt about a Washington Times report about a 2010 Pentagon directive — an update to a series of similar directives crafted under previous administrations — outlining how and when the military can use force to quell domestic unrest “in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible.”

Jones, of course, read this to mean that it is “official and has been confirmed” that the military is “training with tanks, armored vehicles, drones” to “take on the American people, mainly the Tea Party.”

“Well, he’s certainly not thinking that Muslims are a threat,” responded Pratt, “so he’s turning to his political opponents, declaring that they’re the enemy and ignoring the fact that Muslims from time to time have a tendency to go ‘boom.’”

Pratt then cited the 2009 DHS report to claim that the Obama administration has “fingered veterans as potential terrorists, people who believe in the Second Amendment, who are pro-life, who want to work for limited government.”

“I guess the idea of limited government really would terrorize a socialist,” he said, adding, “The enemy is freedom and they really are doing what they can to extinguish it.”

Kris Kobach Flirts With Obama 'Secret Muslim' Conspiracy Theory

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — who doubles as an influential anti-immigrant and anti-voting-rights activist — flirted with the far-right conspiracy theory that President Obama is secretly a Muslim on his radio program last month.

Discussing the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual report, Kobach claimed that the Obama administration is ignoring the persecution of Christians in many Muslim countries, an issue that he said Americans are overlooking.

“Is it because the whole issue of Islam is something that we just don’t talk about because some people have questioned what exactly the president’s religious faith is?” he asked.

“When it comes to this issue it doesn’t matter what the president’s religious beliefs are,” he added, using the classic strategy of GOP politicians who encourage the “Obama is a Muslim” myth while never quite affirming it.

Rick Wiles Wonders If 'Bilderberg Boys' Already Picked Hillary Clinton To Be The Next President

In just a few minutes of Rick Wiles’ TruNews program on Friday, we learned that Hillary Clinton “covered up Vince Foster’s murder” and was chosen by the “Bilderberg boys” to be president; that the federal government is collecting bank account information in preparation to “steal” and “redistribute” wealth; that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is planning to cut off the bank accounts of same-sex marriage opponents and global warming deniers; and that something mysterious is up with the appointment of U.S.-Israeli dual citizen Stanley Fischer to be the vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Wiles started off the program by speculating that Clinton and “Barack ‘Benghazi’ Obama” met last week “to get their story straight” about the 2012 Benghazi attack. “But that’s no big deal for Hillary,” Wiles said. “I’m sure she told Obama how she covered up Vince Foster’s murder.” He also invoked the conspiracy theory that the Netherlands-based Bilderberg Group, which is meeting this year in Copenhagen, is secretly controlling world affairs and has “chosen” Clinton to be the next president.

Hillary Clinton and Barack ‘Benghazi’ Obama held a secret meeting yesterday. Most likely, they need to get their story straight about what happened on the night of September 11, 2012, when Obama and Clinton let four Americans die at the hands of Islamic murderers. But that’s no big deal for Hillary. I’m sure she told Obama how she covered up Vince Foster’s murder. Or Hillary informed Obama that the Bilderberg boys called from Copenhagen and told her she’s been chosen to be president in 2016.

The U.S. federal government is building a massive database with personal financial information on every American citizen, all of your mortgage information, loans and credit card payments, account balances, credit history, late payments, minimum payments, account balances, racial and ethnic data, gender, marital status, religion, education, employment history, military status, the number of people in your home, your wealth, your assets, will be stored for Washington’s snoopy eyes. You see, the communists must first identify who has the wealth before they can steal it and redistribute it.

Later, during an interview with Gun Owners of America president Larry Pratt, Wiles wondered how “the governor of the Bank of Israel move over to the United States and become the deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve, and nobody said a word?” Stanley Fischer, President Obama’s nominee to the Fed position, is a dual U.S. and Israel citizen.

He also launched off allegations that the FDIC is scrutinizing gun sellers to claim that the government will soon “start cutting off the bank accounts of churches that uphold same-sex marriage” or of global warming deniers.

If this continues, with the Federal Reserve – and by the way, did you notice how last week, the Federal Reserve approved Stanley Fischer of the governor – deputy governor or deputy chairman – of the Federal Reserve? Who is Stanley Fischer? He was the governor of the Bank of Israel. Hello! How does the governor of the Bank of Israel move over to the United States and become the deputy chairman of the federal reserve, and nobody said a word?

That’s another topic, but if they are allowed to do this kind of stuff, this harassment, using the power of the federal reserve, the FDIC, to cut off the credit of legitmate businesses, Larry, they’re going to extend this to political correctness. For example, they’ll start cutting off the bank accounts of churches that uphold same-sex marriage. They’ll choose their topics: ‘Oh, you’re a global warming denier. We’re going to have to cut off your credit.’

Yesterday, Wiles’ guest was Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Video: PFAW's Drew Courtney Discusses Right Wing Conspiracy Theories on Politics Nation with Al Sharpton

Monday afternoon, Right Wing Watch reported on conspiracy theories by conservative talking heads Bernard Goldberg and Rush Limbaugh who claim that the shoe-throwing incident in Las Vegas was staged by Hillary Clinton so she could seem more presidential. Similarly, Mark Blitz told WorldNetDaily yesterday that the “blood moon” from Monday night was a divine warning to President Obama about his plans to use executive action and his bully pulpit in the face of GOP obstruction.

Last night, PFAW Director of Communications Drew Courtney joined Rev. Al Sharpton on Politics Nation to discuss these outrageous conspiracy theories and what they say about the GOP and the political process today:

PFAW

Klayman Oath Keeper: Homeland Security Behind Boston Bombing

Larry Klayman’s effort to launch a Second American Revolution is fueled by all kinds of conspiracy theories, in addition to some reality-based concerns like the extent of the NSA’s electronic snooping. At Klayman’s rally last week, the now-expected invocations of tyranny and gun control fascism appeared alongside more esoteric theories, such as one about American sovereignty having been destroyed by an act of Congress in 1871 that changed “The Constitution for the United States of America” to “THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES,” and in the process turned the U.S. from a country to a corporation in the service of nefarious bankers.

One speaker topped the conspiracy theory charts. Thomas Robert Lacovara-Stewart, an Oath Keeper who set his theatrical speech against a backdrop of patriotic music, said that the Department of Homeland Security “blew up Boston” and committed murder to hide it. 

“Because we now truly do fear our own government. The words fill sadness in my heart. I am a true son of liberty, born into it by my own bloodlines direct. And that is exactly what they have sought to destroy with multiculturalism forced, to disintegration of morality and of the family. It has become presidentially acceptable to not only embrace immorality but promote it with spectacles such as we have never seen, time and time again, attacked  by progressives, another word for communists…

Lacovara-Stewart encouraged people to visit his website, Libertyimprovementandcare.org. The website, which calls itself The Holy Order of the Sons of Liberty, promotes a remarkable collection of conspiracy theories, in addition to the charge that the Boston bombing was a “false flag” operation. Many are focused on conspiracy theory staples: Zionism, the Rothschilds, the Federal Reserve. Others are more creative. Lyme disease is biological warfare being carried out by former Nazis that were allowed entrance into the U.S.  And speaking of Nazis,

Does it not bother anyone that the German people submitted to Hitler?  Well here is why. The Nazis fluoridated the water of the people. And it made them passive and not able to do more than whine and complain but never have the nerve to do anything when faced with hard choices. Oh and by the way, they fluoridate ours too.

On his website, Lacovara-Stewart warns, “We must realize that these devils exist among us…continuing their one world government Nazi/Soviet Socialist bankers dream!”

At Klaymen’s rally, Lacovara-Stewart’s message for President Obama: “We are here to tell you that your eviction notice is served!”

Rep. Frank Lucas Wonders if There's an Obama 'Conspiracy to Buy Up All the Bullets So They're Not Available to Us'

Rep. Frank Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma and House sponsor of a bill that is feeding a right-wing conspiracy theory about ammunition purchases by the federal government, wondered Monday if the Obama administration is leading “a conspiracy to buy up all the bullets so they’re not available to us.”

In an interview with Steve Malzberg, Rep. Lucas claimed that bullets are being “rationed” and that his constituents “have been telling me for a year they cannot buy ammunition in the retail stores.” When Malzberg played a clip of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano refuting the conspiracy theory that the administration is buying up bullets to keep them from consumers, Rep. Lucas replied, “It’s hard to see in the mind of an Obama-appointed official. They tend to be a little different than the general public, they have a different perspective.”

“But this is the administration, remember, that’s super gun control, that really, really, really doesn’t trust people with firearms and obviously they don’t trust people with ammunition,” he continued. “Is this a conspiracy to buy up all the bullets so they’re not available to us? I don’t know.”

Rep. Lucas, along with Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, is sponsoring a bill that would cap the amount of ammunition non-Defense federal agencies are allowed to buy. The bill is a response to an Alex Jones-fueled right-wing conspiracy theory that even the NRA has debunked.
 

Rand Paul Raising Money for Right-of-NRA Gun Group

PFAW’s recent Right Wing Watch in Focus report on opposition to more effective regulation of guns noted that promoting conspiracy theories is a primary strategy used by extremists to block common sense policies.  New evidence comes in the form of a recent email from Sen. Rand Paul raising money for the National Association for Gun Rights, a group that is so far out there it thinks the National Rifle Association has gone soft.

Rand Paul’s letter uses inflammatory rhetoric to push the conspiracy theory that registration of guns and requiring background checks for gun purposes – which is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans, including gun owners – is just a prelude to “confiscation” by the “gun-grabbers.”

And make no mistake, the gun-grabbers’ TRUE motives behind gun registration is always the same -- outright gun CONFISCATION, and to do that they must first register every gun and gun owner.

Another letter Paul signed for the group argues that President Obama is working to empower United Nations bureaucrats to confiscate Americans’ guns:

I don't know about you, but watching anti-American globalists plot against our Constitution makes me sick.

PFAW’s report on opposition to addressing gun violence notes that there are real consequences to the promotion of conspiracy theories by elected officials:

It is also true that the failure to challenge extremist and dishonest rhetoric can lead to damaging consequences for our common public life.  The promotion of false conspiracy theories, the claims by public figures that their political opponents are out to destroy freedom and America itself, and the false equation of sensible, broadly supported laws with the elimination of the rights of hunters and other gun owners, can foster a dangerous extremism, including threats of violence.

One of Rand Paul’s letters refers to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s bill restricting ownership of assault weapons as “the effective END of the Second Amendment in America.”

I can hardly even think about what a DISASTER for our country it would be should President Obama, Senator Feinstein and their anti-gun pals succeed in ramming this monstrosity down our throats.

An earlier alert from the National Association for Gun Rights was labeled: “Obama declares war.”

Why is Rand Paul raising money for these guys?

Bachmann Takes another Stroll Down Conspiracy Lane

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is in a league of her own. While she has some kooky and extreme colleagues in the House, no one can see what’s not there with quite the same clarity. After all, this is Michele Bachmann’s world, we just don’t live in it. 

This week, Bachmann is making waves with a far-fetched, McCarthyesque conspiracy theory about “deep penetration” of the US government by the Muslim Brotherhood. She’s so far over in right field that John Boehner, John McCain, and her former campaign manager Ed Rollins – among many others – have condemned the effort. She still has Glenn Beck though.
 
 
 
In fact, Bachmann may be the closest thing to Glenn Beck we have in Congress. Let’s take a look at some of her previous strolls down conspiracy lane:
  • Death Panels Are on the Way: Bachmann claimed that Obama's key heath care advisor "says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. So watch out if you're disabled." "If you're a grandmother with Parkinson's or a child with cerebral palsy, watch out," she continued.
  • Re-Education Camps Too: Bachmann lashed out against the national service program Americorps, claiming that it was leading toward Communist-style “re-education camps for young people.”
  • Census Could Lead to Concentration Camps: Speaking on Fox News, Bachmann said she refused to fully complete her census form because the government could use the data to create concentration camps, like with the Japanese internment during World War II.
  • Obama Leading Us to a One-World Currency: Bachmann has raised alarm bells about Obama’s plan to “give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency.” She even pigeonholed a very confused Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner on the conspiracy.
  • Un-American Members of Congress: Bachmann announced that she was “very concerned” that Obama “may have anti-American views” and called on the media to do a “penetrating exposé” on the members of Congress to “find out, are they pro-America or anti-America?”
  • The Soviet Union Never Fell: Bachmann is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, but it doesn’t show. Last year she said Americans are concerned about “the rise of the Soviet Union,” and last month she referred to Vladimir Putin as “the Russian, Communist president.” Say what you will about Putin and Russia, but Soviet and Communist they are not.
  • HPV Vaccine Causes Mental Retardation: Following one of the countless GOP presidential debates, then-candidate Bachmann told Fox News that there are “very dangerous consequences” to using a popular, safe and effective HPV vaccine. She recklessly passed along this anecdote: “There's a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine. There are very dangerous consequences.
  • Obama Is Intentionally Making Americans Poor: Bachmann knows why most Americans have seen their incomes go down. It’s not the tough economy that Obama inherited, and it’s not tax cuts for the wealth. No, it’s “all attributable directly to Barack Obama's principles.” It’s not “by accident we're seeing people struggling and we're seeing redistribution of wealth,” she said.
I could go on, but you get the point – Bachmann is a true-believer. Unlike some of her colleages, she’s not just saying this stuff for tactical advantage. She drinks the Kool-Aid and loves how it tastes. What remains to be seen is whether she’ll finally lose her perch on the Intelligence committee.
 
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