Support for al-Qaida plots on large right-wing blog

Regular Little Green Footballs commenters express their support for Khalid Sheik Mohammed's assassination plots.

Published March 15, 2007 2:14PM (EDT)

(updated below)

Revelations that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned assassination plots against former Presidents Carter and Clinton -- especially Carter -- are causing great confusion among right-wing Civilization Warriors. After all, as John Hinderaker previously pointed out: "Jimmy Carter isn't just misguided or ill-informed. He's on the other side."

Michelle Malkin's Hot Air expressed this confusion: "[Mohammed] confessed to 29 plots in all, including the Richard Reid shoebomb plot and planned assassinations of the pope and . . . Jimmy Carter?" These extremists come to believe their twisted rhetoric that Democrats are on the side of Al Qaeda and so they literally can't understand why Mohammed would want to assassinate his own allies like President Carter.

But commenters at Little Green Footballs have not only expressed surprise, but outright support, for Mohammed's assassination plot against a former U.S. President. They are out in droves expressing sorrow that Al Qaeda did not have the opportunity to carry out its plot.

Let us first recall that LGF's Charles Johnson was one of the leaders of the Outrage Brigade driving the big "story" -- that made it into virtually every national media outlet -- of how anonymous HuffPost commenters expressed sorrow that the bombing in Afghanistan did not result in Dick Cheney's death. In her post that spawned the media coverage, Michelle Malkin touted Johnson's righteous condemnation that "this kind of sick, twisted thinking is everywhere in the 'progressive' blogosphere...And it's even sicker than it appears at first glance, because many of these freaks want to see Cheney dead so that he can't become president if someone assassinates President Bush."

Yet here are multiple comments from Johnson's standard, regular followers -- all of whom have to register as LGF users, a device Johnson uses to ban commenters of whom he disapproves -- expressing explicit support for Al Qaeda's plot against President Carter:

And more commenters than one can chronicle offered the "justification" for murdering Carter; it's the same "rationale" previously provided by John Hinderaker: namely, Carter is on the side of Islamic Terrorists:

Can we crank up the outraged media stories? How long do you think it will be before we hear from Howard Kurtz with a front-page Washington Post story, Wolf Blitzer and Sean Hannity with dramatic television coverage? Having blog commenters cheer on the assassination plots of U.S. officials is big, big, big news, we recently learned.

Here, one of the largest right-wing blog communities which pretends to be opposed to Al Qaeda is expressing support for Al Qaeda murder plots against former U.S. Presidents. The significance is overwhelming and self-evident, and many American journalists have shown how commendably eager they are to transcend partisan differences and rise up in righteous condemnation against this sort of "sick" bile.

And, several important factors distinguish this story from the HuffPost story, making it more meaningful. Unlike Huffington Post, which deleted the comments in question, Johnson has left them on his blog. Even more significantly, Johnson actively and regularly deletes comments he does not like, which lends some credibility to the notion that he approves of these comments, or at least does not find them sufficiently offensive to delete them, the way he does with scores of other comments.

Moreover, several of these commenters are regular, registered LGF users. In fact, one of the Al Qaeda-supporting LGF commenters here was an active participant in the thread where Charles Johnson was expressing such righteous outrage over the HuffPost comments. And, perhaps most significantly, the LGF comment section is routinely a venue for cheering on the deaths of political figures they dislike. That's a principal activity at that blog. So -- as distinct from the HuffPost comments that created such a media whirlwind -- this support for Al Qaeda's assassination plot is not some isolated aberration, but an expression of the prevailing sentiment at LGF.

Not a single LGF commenter in that discussion condemned this support for Al Qaeda's assassination plot, nor has a single right-wing blogger (that I'm aware of) said a single word about any of it. It's irrelevant whether one agrees with the standards used to pump up the HuffPost/Cheney comments story into a major national press "scandal" (as I said at the time, I don't agree with those standards). But those are the standards that have been embraced, and they ought to be applied consistently.

As indicated, there are multiple reasons why these LGF comments are far more significant than the HuffPost comments. Yet why is it that it seems like a very bad idea to hold one's breath waiting for all the media outrage stories over how one of the largest right-wing blog communities is expressing support for Al Qaeda assassination plots against a former American President?

UPDATE: Johnson is apparently embarrassed by this post becasue he has now re-directed all of the LGF links that come from here away from his blog, thus requiring that all the LGF links be re-directed through Google. While he found the time to do that, though, he has still not deleted the posts from his regular users expressing support for Al Qaeda plots to murder Jimmy Carter.

By Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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