Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Zandar and Steve Benen point us to this Dave Weigel post, in which Weigel notes that the birthers now have a fairly important insider on their side:

... The (sigh) American Patriot Foundation's announcement that Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (ret.) has signed an affidavit supporting court martialed birther Lt. Col. Terry Lakin is actually a pretty big coup.

... is McInerney a serious person? Yes. He's a West Point graduate who ran the Alaskan air command during the Exxon Valdez disaster. As recently as August 5, he was featured on Fox News and referred to as a network contributor -- he's typically referred to as a network military analyst. He writes and comments fairly frequently about how America could bomb Iran. Point is, he's not some kook, and now he's staking his reputation on... this.

Steve Benen adds that McInerney said earlier this year that all young Muslim men should be strip-searched before boarding planes; prior to that he predicted that the Iraq War would be a cakewalk, said Saddam had WMDs that were moved to Syria, and declared that left-wingers in America "aided and abetted the enemy" (links in Steve's post).

Now, let me add a couple more things. He was one of the generals featured in a 2008 New York Times article about TV military analysts who carefully coordinated their message with the Bush White House:

..."Good work," Thomas G. McInerney, a retired Air Force general, consultant and Fox News analyst, wrote to the Pentagon after receiving fresh talking points in late 2006. "We will use it."

... The full dimensions of this mutual embrace were perhaps never clearer than in April 2006, after several of Mr. Rumsfeld's former generals ... went public with devastating critiques of his wartime performance. Some called for his resignation.

On Friday, April 14, with what came to be called the "Generals' Revolt" dominating headlines, Mr. Rumsfeld instructed aides to summon military analysts to a meeting with him early the next week, records show.... Mr. Rumsfeld's office insisted that "the boss" wanted the meeting fast "for impact on the current story."

That same day, Pentagon officials helped two Fox analysts, General McInerney and General [Paul E.] Vallely, write an opinion article for The Wall Street Journal defending Mr. Rumsfeld.

"Starting to write it now," General Vallely wrote to the Pentagon that afternoon. "Any input for the article," he added a little later, "will be much appreciated." ...

McInerney and Vallely also smeared Joe Wilson in 2005 by spreading the story that Wilson had revealed Valerie Plame's CIA identity in a Fox News green room in 2002.

If you ask whether McInerney believes Obama was born outside the U.S., I have to ask, did McInerney believe Joe Wilson leaked his wife's identity in that green room? As far as I can tell, McInerney just "knows" who the good guys are and the bad guys are, and he wants to help the former and harm the latter.

Dave Weigel says, "now he's staking his reputation on... this." But what's going to happen to his reputation, really? When has any right-leaning pundit ever been so besmirched by anything in recent years that he or she became too toxic to function in the Beltway? Hell, Frank Gaffney's been saying for years and years that Saddam Hussein was behind the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and his ability to function as an "expert" is unaffected.


In reaction to the news that McInerney has signed on to the birther cause, Zandar says, "It's not a game anymore." But I think, for some of the participants, a game is precisely what it is. It's a process of harassment, one more of the thousand cuts that Obama-haters hope will lead to the death of his administration.

And speaking of games, I do find it curious that the man behind the group with which McInerney is now affiliated is Paul Rolf Jensen, an attorney who's worked with consummate GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone. I can't find Stone's fingerprints anywhere in Birtherville, but the campaign is Stone-like in its harassment techniques.

No comments: