This morning, Real Clear Politics posts a video from a town hall meeting that took place last night, in which one of John McCain's constituents accused him of treason. Nothing surprising about that, I guess -- but please notice the sentence I've put in bold below:
"We the people want you to be representative of the people and for this great nation, but for far too long now on the rest of Congress, including the executive branch of government, along with the judicial and legislative have turned your back on the American people and their core values and principles. I can say with great confidence and speak on behalf of all Americans that your actions against this country are treasonous. All of you -- against the will of the American people -- have aided and abetted the enemy," said the town hall attendee.We know that a lot of people on the right think it was the Syrian opposition that used chemical weapons (and, of course, doubt about the official story is not limited to the right) -- but what's this about "our government" being "most likely responsible"? In the next sentence, the man blames Al Qaeda. Was blaming the U.S. a slip of the tongue?
"You and the rest of Congress, including the president of the United States have went against the will your people in Syria regardless of your position and vote, whether it is a yes or no is still a political smokescreen," the town hall attendee said to an irritated McCain. "I believe wholeheartedly you do not care about the will and well-being of America or its people. You lied the American people about the chemical attacks in Syria. The American people know that it was our government that is most likely responsible. There is strong evidence, including video, that these attacks were carried out by al Qaeda and you advocate starting a war, even maybe World War, by taking the same attack and blaming it on Assad."
No. The right has a new narrative of the chemical weapons attack, and it's perfect, because it's Obama's fault. Let Kevin Drum explain:
... There have long been mutterings that the chemical attack in Ghouta was a false-flag operation. That is, the Syrian opposition actually carried out the attack, hoping that Bashar al-Assad would get blamed and President Obama would retaliate with a huge bombing campaign. But it's just been mutterings. Today [Tuesday], though, Rush Limbaugh upped the ante, jabbering on air about an article by Yossef Bodansky titled "Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack?"This sinister plan was supposed to give the U.S. a pretext for starting a bombing campaign on August 29. (Funny how Obama was sociopathic enough to help plan a huge chemical attack yet too timid to follow up.)
... Bodansky, an Assad sympathizer who has previously suggested that the 1995 Oklahoma bombing was orchestrated by Iran and that Saddam's WMDs all ended up in Syria, tells a simple story. Starting on August 13, at a meeting between Syrian opposition leaders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and US intelligence, senior opposition commanders told everyone to expect "a war-changing development" which would soon lead to a U.S. bombing campaign in Syria. Shortly afterward, a huge cache of weapons was released to the rebels under the supervision of US intelligence, and they were told to get ready to use them. Sure enough, a few days later a major chemical attack took place and Assad got the blame....
Limbaugh's monologue is transcribed here. I also see Pam Geller banging this drum. And Pajamas Media. And, naturally, Alex Jones.
Bodansky has some mainstream credentials -- as Wikipedia notes, he
served as Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004.... He is also Director of Research of the International Strategic Studies Association and has been a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In the 1980s, he served as a senior consultant for the Department of Defense and the Department of State.But Kevin Drum is right -- in the course of that seemingly impressive career, Bodansky did argue that the Iranians were behind the OKC bombing and that Saddam dispersed his chemical weapons capabilities to Syria (and Libya and Iran) in the 1990s. In fact, he's sufficiently nutso that Glenn Beck's Blaze, of all sites, portrays him as a reclusive, eccentric "mystery man."
But he says Obama is pure evil. And that could be good enough to turn this into conventional wisdom, at least among the lumpen right.