Sunday, January 16, 2011

More Tucson shooting conspiracy theories, bigotry, and slanders against Gabrielle Giffords

Martin Hill blogs as the "L.A. County Libertarian Examiner". He describes himself as "a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate" who has written for ", WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Rense, National Motorists Association, and many others."  Hill has posted at the Examiner website a column which both promotes hateful, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories concerning the Tucson shootings and slanders Rep. Giffords as supporting mass-murder.  The author bases the latter charge on a hodge-podge of her votes to which he takes somewhat confused ideological exception. (Read here: Gabrielle Giffords should stop supporting the deaths of innocent people - Los Angeles LA County Libertarian |

Hill introduces his wacky, hateful conspiracy theories by stating that he believes that several questions need answering -- that he only wants further inquiry -- a standard conceit of conspiracy theorists. First, he absurdly claims that Judge Roll, not Rep. Giffords may have been the target of the attacks -- this in spite of the already published extensive history of Jared Loughner's obsession with Giffords and the complete lack of any evidence that Loughner was in any way aware of Judge Roll.  Hill bases this theory solely only on the fact that Judge Roll had ruled on several highly controversial matters.  Hill cites a ruling by Judge Roll knocking down a law limiting weapon ownership, and based only on this, absurdly implies that the Tucson shootings may have been motivated by liberal anti-gun extremists targeting Judge Roll.  The fact is that Judge Roll also ruled against the far-right in a number of cases and had, in fact, been a target of their very real threats.  (Read about that, and about Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck's role in that, here.)  That fact, which conflicts with Hill's far-right bias, is simply too inconvenient to mention.  That Loughner's writings contain extensive evidence of his intention to kill Rep. Giffords renders Hill's baseless call for investigation doubly foolish.  Hill's "questions" have already been answered by Loughner.

Next, Hill deploys some traditional anti-Semitic tropes to back an absurd rumor which has been disseminated by an excessively credulous reporter for Mother Jones.  (Read here.) Mother Jones has reported that one of Loughner's friends has said that Loughner told him that Loughner's mother is Jewish, thus propelling a new meme into the world of David Duke, Stormfront, and their fellow travelers.  (Read here.) That story, based on hearsay from the demonstrably delusional Loughner, was published by Mother Jones without any effort at substantiation and without any warning regarding its reliability.  It is not news.  It's worse than an unfounded rumor, it's a rumor based on the words of a madman, and it was debunked within days of its publication.  (Read here and here.)  Hill sees it differently. He claims not only that the debunked rumor is true, but that local Jews, including the rabbi at a local synagogues, are lying when they say that the Loughners never attended services there.  Here's Hill:

The Rabbi at Gabrielle Gifford's synagogue was interiewed [sic] excluseively by Ron Kall of OpEdNews. She claims that the Loughner family did not attend her Synagogue as had been reported by some. That claim was disputed as non reliable by skeptics though, who claim that the Jewish 'holy book' the Talmud allows Jews to lie and deceive. Giffords herself served on the Regional Board board of the Anti Defamation League in  Arizona while she was in the state legislature, a fact that has received surprisingly scant attention in the aftermath of the shootings.

Hill offhandedly slanders Jews as liars, slanders Jewish scripture, implies that Giffords' association with the ADL is a wrong and that it is being suppressed by the media as part of a cover-up, and cites a pro-Nazi website as evidence.  This indicates the extreme bigotry and paranoia of the man.  He seems delighted to not only slander the target of the horrific shootings, but to slander the entire Jewish people as somehow possibly responsible for the shootings, thus requiring "further attention".  Hill's evidence of the Jewish evil behind this is a post by the anti-Semitic preacher Ted Pike at the hate website, a website infamous for publishing Nazi propaganda in a form which appeals to contemporary readers looking for stories about the New World Order and UFOs.  In addition to publishing Ted Pike and Martin Hill, Rense has published the writings and even the artwork of neo-Nazi leader Ernst Zundel.

After thus slandering Judaism and endorsing Nazi views, Hill goes on to slander liberals by claiming that the they all, inevitably advocate violence, while the libertarian far-right never does.  His basis for this, as spelled out in a blog post to which he links, is a foolish belief that taxation is the ultimate form of violence, and that advocacy for a small government is the ultimate expression of non-violence. (Read here.)

With the words "I do not wish to express any ill will whatsoever towards Gabrielle Giffords. She is a precious child of God", Hill piously starts his attack on Giffords' legislative actions.  He distorts Giffords' support for several measures to encourage the use of contraception as somehow "anti-life".  On the contrary, Giffords' support for several mainstream, moderate measures promoting contraception is precisely designed to prevent unwanted pregnancy and reduce the number of abortions.  That an extremist like Hill cannot understand this is not surprising.  He similarly condemns Giffords' support for a moderate position advocating teaching public school students about contraception and abstinence as somehow extreme.

Hill also distorts or misunderstands Giffords's foreign policy record, which also is moderate.  She has voted consistently for war funding, to sanction Iranian nuclear weapons development and to express support for Israel, but also voted "yes" on the Kucinich bill to investigate President Bush for lying to Congress in the buildup to the Iraq War.  (Read here.)   For this, Hill portrays her as a neo-con true believer, and links to a video of Ron Paul as an example of the sort of isolationist views he advocates.

Hill writes

I think that the record presented here will be a sober reminder of what is really at stake when the public supports warmongering anti-life politicians such as Gabrielle Giffords.

He then concludes with a somber, self-righteous prayer for her repentance, complete with quotes from the Bible. 

That Hill is a confused, extreme and malicious commentator is very clear.  As Hill publishes his cruel slanders, Rep. Giffords still lies in a hospital bed in a medically-induced coma with half her skull removed to prevent further damage to her brain as the result of the shooting.  Hill uses her shooting as an opportunity to slander her and the Jewish people and to promote his Nazi-like theories and those of Rev. Ted Pike and Rense.  He distorts Giffords' moderate views to make them seem extreme and his own to seem mainstream.  My question is why Martin Hill's hate-filled distortions are published by the Examiner.  The Examiner shows up near the top of Google searches.  That gives the stories they publish a very wide readership.  For that reason, it's imperative that they take responsibility, remove this post, and stop promoting hate.

UPDATE:  The Daily Paul, one of the largest of websites associated with the Ron Paul campaign, has published Hill's column.  Read here.

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