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The Earth is Flat Award

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web posted April 15, 2002

When it comes to conspiracy theories, Oliver Stone or the folks at disinfo.com pale in comparison to the rantings of Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.).

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.)During an interview with a Berkeley, California radio station last week, McKinney called for an investigation to determine whether U.S. President George W. Bush and other government officials had advance notice of the September 11 terrorist attacks but did nothing to prevent them. Said McKinney, "persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war."

"We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11th. . . . What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? . . . What do they have to hide?"

After the inevitable uproar, McKinney issued a statement stating, "I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9-11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case."

In the radio conversation, McKinney delivered a stinging attack on the administration. In 2000, she charged, Bush forces "stole from America our most precious right of all, the right to free and fair elections." With the September attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, McKinney said, "an administration of questionable legitimacy has been given unprecedented power."

"What is undeniable is that corporations close to the administration have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of September 11th," McKinney continued. "America's credibility, both with the world and with her own people, rests upon securing credible answers to these questions."

She suggested that the administration was serving the interests of a Washington-based investment firm, the Carlyle Group, which employs a number of high-ranking former government officials from both parties. Former president George H.W. Bush -- the current president's father -- is an adviser to the firm. McKinney said the war on terrorism has enriched Carlyle Group investors by enhancing the value of a military contractor partly owned by the firm.

In response, Carlyle Group spokesman Chris Ullman asked: "Did she say these things while standing on a grassy knoll in Roswell, New Mexico?"

You have to hand it to McKinney, who has made a career out of bizarre conspiracy theories, for the sheer audacity she shows. A lesser politician like Sen. Tom Daschle simply attacks the administration for blatant partisan gain. McKinney, however, scaled new heights in attempting to smear a president.

The Vinegar in Freedom Award

There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.

None for March

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