October 16, 2020

I can't believe I have to pay attention to a falconer named Parrot.

 Life with Trump is getting a bit surreal...

The bizarre theory, which is outre even by the standards of the right’s usual Benghazi claims, also alleges that Osama Bin Laden’s body-double, rather than the terrorist mastermind himself, was killed in 2011. All those claims come from a falconer who says he uncovered secrets about Al-Qaeda, Iran, and U.S. intelligence in his work as a falconer for Middle Eastern power players. Alan Howell Parrot, the subject of a 2010 documentary about his falconry called Feathered Cocaine, has shot to new fame on the right after a video interview with him played over the weekend at the American Priority Conference, a pro-Trump event held at Trump’s Miami resort. In the video, Parrot, interviewed by conservative personality Nick Noe and the father of a former Navy SEAL who died in Benghazi, makes a series of bizarre claims alleging collusion between Iran, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton ahead of the attack. 
That's from "Trump Touts Falconer’s Benghazi Blood-Sacrifice Conspiracy Theory/Trump’s endorsement of the insane story shot it to national prominence, fueling the bizarre allegations about blood sacrifice and Bin Laden body doubles" at The Daily Beast which I'm reading because I had to go searching for the background to this question — by Savannah Guthrie — from last night's town hall with President Trump: 
"Just this week, you retweeted to your 87 million followers, a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated to have SEAL Team Six, the Navy SEAL Team Six, killed to cover up the fake death of Bin Laden. Now, why would you send a lie like that to your followers?"

Trump's answer, from the transcript, was: "That was a retweet." That's a retweet! What's the matter, don't you understand retweets?!!

Savannah splutters, and Trump is all: "I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I don’t take a position." 

She gets out a line to remember: "I don’t get that, you’re the President. You’re not like, someone’s crazy uncle..."

And that's what mainstream media would like us to think of social media. Normally, I'd defend social media... but that retweet really was a "crazy uncle" kind of thing. Much worse really. This isn't just a rumor repeater having some fun and oh, isn't it weird? It's the President of the United States repeating an accusation that his opponent in the election arranged murder... 6 murders... of Navy SEALS! It's like Trump is laughing at his own supporters. You know the people he laughed at 4 years ago for loving him so much they'd stick with him if he shot a man on 5th Avenue.

Trump proceeds to attack mainstream media: "That was a retweet. And I do a lot of retweets. And frankly, because the media is so fake, and so corrupt, if I didn’t have social media... I wouldn’t be able to get the word out. And the word is...." 

"The word is false" —  Savannah Guthrie aptly quips before Trump can pivot into listing his accomplishments. Look, if you want to brag about your accomplishments, don't junk up the tweetwaves with crap like that falconer named Parrot.

66 comments:

SensibleCitizen said...

"You're not someone's crazy uncle" is not an appropriate comment for a journalist to make to a sitting president. It's disgraceful.

Either Trump uses inappropriate language or he doesn't. If Guthrie's comment is acceptable, then Trump's language is acceptable. You can't have it both ways.

Same for Biden. It's not acceptable for an opponent to call a sitting president a clown. Yet he did it showing disdain for the office unless his party occupies it. Biden is no better than Trump in terms of inappropriate language.

Freder Frederson said...

And as he repeats a crazy conspiracy theory about murdering Navy Seals, he boasts that he had Federal Marshals murder a criminal suspect.

Chuck said...

I’m just looking forward to the comments on this post.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

Again- a re-tweet is a REAL CRIME! right? It's illegal to be a crazy uncle?

Compare/ contrast to decades of Biden corruption... which cannot be named or mentioned - not even a question about it from Guthrie.

rehajm said...

You don't HAVE to do anything. You have free will...for a few more weeks, anyways...

Birkel said...

Is the theme today "shit that does not matter"?

rehajm said...

I'd argue he does this for the people who can't stand him.

tim in vermont said...

He’s a flawed man, but four years of searching hasn’t shown him in the pay of foreign powers like the other guy appears to be. He has to be the most investigated man in presidential history.

rhhardin said...

It's another that's not funny moment. Men like it.

madAsHell said...

"No one else is going to brag about your accomplishments!"
--my dear sweet mother.

rhhardin said...

It's Trump assuring men that he's not cowed by pearl-clutching women, without actively putting pearl-clutching women in their place. Why lose votes when you don't have to.

Much like Scott Adams refraining from making much of the difference of women-thought and men-thought.

rhhardin said...

A falconer is skilled at animal training. He's not a complete nut. Try training a falcon sometime.

mezzrow said...

The Hawaiian shirt sighting at the link seals the deal.

Wheels within wheels... Rightwing boogaloo madness. Dog whistles.

I suspect all this polls really poorly with suburban female voters. Especially those with a Master's degree or higher. However, this topic may find it hard to get traction today with all this Hunter Biden stuff flying around. For Trump's base, it's no stretch at all to believe everything you stated about his former opponent. They are already there and have been since 2012.

Time will tell which story becomes narrative.

Kovacs said...

Yet you’re still inclined to abstain when it comes to deciding between a decent and practiced, if flawed, public servant and the corrupt, self-obsessed Shitposter in Chief. That’s when cruel neutrality shades over into nihilism.

Clyde said...

I'm watching Fox News and President Trump is speaking in Fort Myers, FL, near where I live. He talked about the Bidens and referred to them as a "crime family." Seems like pretty accurate Trump rhetoric to me!

Crimso said...

"Now, why would you send a lie like that to your followers?"

Asks a member of the "profession" that has peddled lies nonstop for years. She seems to be saying "Hey, you can't do that! That's our shtick!"

n.n said...

Well, we know that the administration lied about Benghazi. They lied about Iraq War 2.0. They lied about the coup in Kiev. They lied about the Arab Spring. They lied about the deal with Iran, and coexisting and progressive sponsorship and direction of international terrorism. They lied about the refugee crises, the losses and collateral damage, and the forcings of catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform. They lied about the motives of immigration reform from south of the border. They either lied or were not forthcoming about children in cages. Democracy dies in darkness, indeed.

Because the official explanation of the circumstances and progress of the team is improbable, and implausible given their high-value. Also, the experimental helicopter left behind, as in Benghazi where people were left behind, sets an observable pattern and precedent for a framework of deals under the Obama administration.

So, Obama spied, Clinton colluded, Biden obstructed, the Deep State violated civil et al violated civil rights, JournoLists run interference, then leftists held witch hunts, warlock trials, and protests. Water Closet progresses under an unprecedented shroud of privacy, misinformation, disinformation, and em-pathetic appeals.

tim maguire said...

That's very disappointing. Someone here or on Instapundit posted a screenshot of the tweet and wondered whether it was real. I said probably fake because it's too ridiculous to be real (it is News of the World quality work). I cited the fact that it was a screen shot as support for my conclusion that it was probably a photoshop. I'm very disappointed to be wrong.

YoungHegelian said...

If the details as presented by The Daily Beast are true, then it was a bonehead move by Trump to re-tweet it. Buuuuuuuuut.... Is The Daily Beast's portrayal of the "conspiracy" correct? Do we often get a "nuanced appreciation" of right-wing topics from the Left-wing press of topics exoteric or esoteric?

The answer is "No". Now, does that mean I'd invest the time to go through the topic in detail from the original sources. Nope. But, I'm not going to dive into the presentation of the topic as nut-job conspiracy because TDB & Savannah Guthrie say it's so, either.

Chennaul said...

Okay let’s say I am forced to defend this.

During the first debate a tweet was made from Trump’s account while he was on stage in the midst of the debate.

So I am not really sure he does his whole account. Trump doesn’t make that defense,

Then maybe he thinks this is fair ground because in his mind a line was crossed when television ads were made by the Biden camp scanning over military graves as the quotes from anonymous sources were floated over the scene of Trump supposedly calling the military losers and suckers.

In Trump’s mind he feels that the “gloves are now off” hence this attack which is equally as weak in sourcing —as in anonymous.

Finally the Q Anon thing.

The Left did a sneaky embrace of 9/11 conspiracy, and celebrities. There was the Loose Change movie and 9/11 Fahrenheit with Democrat politicians actually attending the premiere.

Sure the Q Anon thing is weird, but it is online and The Left embraced quackery and conspiracy on 9/11 in more venues than simply online.

(Honestly I want to blame the legalization of pot for a lot of this. Libertarians who pushed for it probably could afford the fall out but most of lower income America could not.)

Annie said...

Biden's big mouth did put a target on their back when he publicly let it slip that SEAL Team 6 was who took out Osama. When that happened the SEALS frantically called their families and told them to shut down and get off all social media - that they were afraid. After they were all put in a ramshackle chinook and blown out of the sky, their families gave a press conference. Look up Extortion 17. Billy and Susan Vaughn, parents of slain SEAL Aaron Vaughn , or Charles Strange, father of Michael, would agree with Trump. They were on any news program who would take them after it happened. Their sons warned them and knew they were being sent to their deaths. They told their parents something was wrong.

"At a gathering at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. for the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Council, a mere two days after the raid, Vice President Joe Biden remarked to the audience,“Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees: Adm. Jim Stavridis is the real deal; he could tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALS and what they did last — last Sunday.”

“And what was even more extraordinary was — and I’m sure former administration officials will appreciate this more than anyone — there was such an absolute, overwhelming desire to accomplish this mission that although for over several months, we were in the process of planning it, and there were as many as 16 members of Congress who were briefed on it, not a single, solitary thing leaked. I find that absolutely amazing,” Biden added."

Chennaul said...

Steel doesn’t melt—is yesterday’s pizza.

traditionalguy said...

That there was an arranged Helo flight of the witnesses over a sure shoot down spot where Taliban had their missiles ready to fire is not in doubt. That it was just a coincidence is the conspiracy theory in the story.

DeepRunner said...

Careful, Professor. Your leans-D is showing.

cacimbo said...

2016- The idea that Bin Laden was not killed - insane.
2017-2019 - Media reports Trump "colluded" with Russia. The false reports are fueled by CIA and FBI "leaks."
2020- We learn that the entire Trump Russia collusion narrative was created by a Russian agent and paid for by the HRC campaign.Knowledge of the illegal methods used to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign went to the highest level of the FBI,CIA and very likely President Obama.
2020 October - Is Bin Laden dead - most likely.The idea he is not and Navy personnel were killed to cover it up sounds pretty crazy, but nowhere near as insane as it did in 2016.

bagoh20 said...

"It's the President of the United States repeating an accusation that his opponent in the election arranged murder... 6 murders... of Navy SEALS!"

Biden often accuses the President of the United States of killing thousands of Americans with his Covid-19 policies. He doesn't just retweet someone else's theory about planning to do something. He says the President did the killing, and Biden says that himself. How does that balance out in your lofty hammock of neutrality?

bagoh20 said...

Althouse is demonstrating what the problem is with suburban women, and it ain't flattering.

Night Owl said...

You don't have to pay attention to it. I ignore a lot of the pointless nonsense that comes out of mainstream media.

When it comes to deciding who to vote for the issue that is above all other issues for me is that Trump will have the least corrupt administration ever. Everything he does and will do will be under intense scrutiny. When republicans are in power the media is a watchdog; when democrats are in power the media is a lap dog.

With a Biden/Harris administration, backed by corrupt and compliant media, intelligence agencies and monopolistic social media giants that openly censor conservative speech, we will have corruption like we've never experienced beore. You are willfully blind if you don't see this.

If watching the USA turn into a corrupt shit hole entertains you, keep supporting democrats.

hombre said...

Trump had Biden on his lack of support for the raid. This is just silly!

n.n said...

But, I'm not going to dive into the presentation of the topic as nut-job conspiracy because TDB & Savannah Guthrie say it's so, either.

Exactly. This is JournoLists running interference for 16 trimesters of witch hunts, warlock trials, and collateral damage from protests.

readering said...

I had resolutely been planning to write in a name for president ever since the California primary left me with only Democrats older than Reagan when he was shot. But Trump's conduct since he contracted covid-19 has changed my mind. It really seems like the disease and/or the treatment did something to his mind. He may be able to get around but he's not all there.

tim in vermont said...

"Blogger Chuck said...
I’m just looking forward to the comments on this post.”

Why don’t you give us your opinion on why Biden should be president, an opinion that has nothing to do with Trump’s Twitter feed. I just checked out “The Bulwark” and it’s actually pretty sad, so I have a pretty good idea that you have nothing. Is it really that important to you that the *right people* are in charge of investigating corruption so that the graft can flow freely?

Zack Davis said...

Two things:

1) I wonder if the Falconer's accusation is similar to LBJ's pig fucker accusation. Make Biden deny it. It's similar to the media asking Trump to denounce white supremacy every other day.

2) I didn't think Obama would've used the FBI to spy on Trump's campaign. By spying and getting caught, Obama made so many other crazy accusations against his administration much more believable. The Obama administration's actions have opened Biden up to these types of attacks.

Trump shouldn't be promoting these accusations himself, but that's never stopped him before.

Iman said...

It’s easy to know when Democrats like washed-up Uncle Joe lie, you see their lips moving and hear their incessant barking.

Ironclad said...

Conspiracy theories abound about Osama - but the most plausible one was the Seymour Hersh version where the killing of bin Laden was a set up by the Pakistani government after Obama found out they were hiding him for years. It was either face the music or cooperate in the raid by standing down as seal team 6 went in and killed him. The seal team wasn’t in on it - it was a raid to them, but it explains why Obama was playing cards as it went down. Of course he immediately broke the deal about keeping it quiet about Pakistan by immediately proclaiming how great he was to have taken out Osama.

Hersh also said they only brought Osama’s head back - they threw the rest out of the helicopter traveling back - so much for why there were no “pictures” of the body.

Frankly it was more plausible than the “official” story. And Biden opposed it because he didn’t want the risk of failure.

Kate said...

"...even by the standards of the Right's usual Benghazi claim..."

Excuse me, but what? An OBL body double conspiracy is equivalent to what happened in Benghazi? Stopped reading right there.

The falconer named Parrot sounds like an insane story. Why would Trump RT that? This is why. Because the media is so horribly awful. They don't cover real stories with fair reporting. You want this level of discourse, Daily Beast? You got it.

tim in vermont said...

https://www.history.com/news/the-costliest-day-in-seal-team-six-history

It doesn’t seem like that far of a stretch that a deal was made with the Taliban to offer these guys up. The idea that we should just not believe stuff because the media and the CIA and FBI and the government in general tell us not to is long dead. Biden is a proven liar, so is Obama.

BUMBLE BEE said...

I was following Michael Leeden at the time. The take was "ambush/setup" from the start. I hazard a guess that those in the fray would have a better understanding of the matter. Much like the 12 hour+ firefight at Benghazi that the administration couldn't/wouldn't counteract regardless of what aircraft they could have scrambled.

tim in vermont said...

There is another Biden lie. the “suckers” quote was in Bernstein’s book, Trump was referring to the US providing military defense of South Korea when they are a rich nation, it had nothing to do with the soldiers there serving their nation.

I am pretty sure that Chuck, an actual sucker, bought that line whole-heartedly, even though it turned out to be massive distortion of what was really said, implying that criticism of the brass was really criticism of the soldiers themselves.

Mark said...

Wouldn't be nice if there was a 'like' button to click on these comments! I'd upvote a few for sure.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Biden would tweet but he doesn’t know how. Probably beyond his capability at this point.

Kevin said...

Trump will stop retweeting conspiracy theories once the mainstream media does.

Chennaul said...

Shit, went too fast with my comment.

IOW there is a lot more ownership of an anonymously sourced smear when the Biden campaign actually invests in the military graves ad which ran for a significant amount of time in places with a significant military and military retiree vote:Arizona, Florida and the Carolinas.

If you believe action means more than words Trump has brought military strength up significantly, it also looks like he let them fight ISIS effectively.

So does an errant tweet buried in Trump’s Twitter timeline warrant equality with that? The media is the boss and we will find out how much the dictation the audience takes—much of the audience may no longer be reachable. That is wholly owned by the arrogance of the media.

Paul Snively said...

Look, this cat is well and truly out of the bag. We have exactly two options:

1. Politicians have highly-credentialed-but-uneducated wordsmiths literally whose only expertise is in saying absolutely nothing as prettily as possible.

2. Politicians use the modern fireside/bully pulpit to address the public directly, with all the personality quirks, ambiguity, dishonesty, vulgarity, etc. that can imply.

Trump obviously chooses #2, much to the chagrin of a range of previous chiefs of staff, press secretaries, et al. who might have preferred not to be undercut by their own boss. But Donald Trump has been Donald Trump for a long time; I don't know how much sympathy I have for anyone who claims "I didn't know he'd go out and wing it every time he opens his mouth."

Left Bank of the Charles said...

There are Twitter accounts with more followers but Donald Trump is by far the biggest twit on twitter.

wendybar said...

Meh. Keep clutching those pearls.

iowan2 said...

How did the pee pee dosier make it into the mainstream media. An old fashioned re-tweet. They all reported about a post by an overgrown blog, buzzfeed. Chuck can explain to me how the NYT pee pee story is not a crazy uncle rant at the family picnic. Remember, ALL the media know of the dosier because it was shopped to each and everyone of them. They refused to run the story because none could verify any portion of the dosier.
So what does the media style book say about printing conspiracy theories? President Trump is living up to the standards of the rest of the media, what's the problem.
Geesh! you would think President Trump accused the Obama administration of spying on his campaign and transition team....wait a minute...

narciso said...

alan parrott, was the one who pointed out, I believe in steve coll's ghost war, of the aborted op against ubl, because the latter was with a uae prince, so he gets props for that

iowan2 said...

boasts that he had Federal Marshals murder a criminal suspect.

Wow, talk about crazy conspiracy theories. (you know the facts are easy to find, and label you a liar, right?)

narciso said...

where the story fails, is brennan was a low level official, at the time that such a deal might have been made, bin laden was moving through the northwest frontiers, but a sizable contingent was operating out of iran,

Ambrose said...

"...outre even by the standards of the right’s usual Benghazi claims, " - What does that mean? Did the "right" claim Benghazi was a spontaneous riot sparked by an obscure video no one ever saw?

Joe Smith said...

"It was a debate!"

Out of curiosity I have been following the Qanon 'scene.'

A lot of it is whacko but a lot of the 'followers' are deeply patriotic, see a deep state controlling things in the background, and are virulently anti-pedophile...

Seems to me that it's an online phenomenon that hurts nobody.

I haven't read a hint of violence.

This Person said...

Althouse amplifying misandry.

Mr. Majestyk said...

"That was a retweet! That was acretweet!" - - what kind of an explanation is that?

"It was a debate! It was a debate!" - - Yeah, that makes sense.

Yancey Ward said...

While I don't believe the story about Obama having Seal Team 6 killed, you can't call it a "lie". If you call it a lie, then the onus is on you to prove it. The same applies if you call it the truth. For me, unlikely to be true is good enough. As one of the commenters above mentioned, though, 4 years ago, I would have judged the odds of it being true more like one in a trillion. Today, after 4 years of half the country actually believing Trump was a Russian agent- another one in a trillion true stories- and the Obama Administration using that story as a pretext to spy on the Trump Campaign using the FBI, I have up the odds that Obama would murder Seal Team 6 by at least 1 magnitude, maybe 2.

Yancey Ward said...

This would be an interesting Venn Diagram- (1) People who think the Seal Team 6 story is false, (2) People who think JFK was murdered by the CIA, (3) The World Trade Center was taken down by the US government so that the War on Terror could begin, (4) Putin has a lien on Trump's soul.

I would expect there to be significant overlap. I, for example, don't believe any of those theories. The left and right have equally ridiculous conspiracy theories and in equal quantities. Many of these people are perfectly normal human beings- I am often amazed at what people believe- take the Sandy Hook shooting from 2012- there are more than a few right wingers who believe the entire thing is a hoax. I literally knew the parents of 4 of the victims since I lived just a quarter mile from the school and they were my neighbors.

In short, I no longer try to argue with such people- no evidence will be accepted that contradicts it.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

parrots and falcons and jailbirds! Oh my!!

...Did POTUS really retweet ?

Maillard Reactionary said...

My guess is that he's just pinin' for the fjords.

Night said...

Bin Ladens dead.
McHooyah killed him.
Regular American forget there are a lot of nutjobs running around misfiring their neurons because they live in fear.

The seal crew in the helicopter shot out of the sky resulting in their biggest lose might well be related to Biden's loose lips. The insurgents are well seasoned with good intelligence. Just read Sean Parnell's book.

Retweeting things I disagree with is just running the tweet up the flagpole to see who salutes it. Even then trolls will foil me. And Trump take this one step further all the time. He puts an idea on a table and has people talk while he listens. His prerogative as an executive. Trump knows he misspeaks. He does it sometimes on purpose as a habit. The pearl gets formed on a grain of sand. Classic new age thought psychology. Trump IS wading through a swamp that dwarfs anything anyone in the world has ever experienced. He is doing it well. I'll pardon him if he swears once in awhile.

Do we just see the Dems redefine packing the court? Does that make sense. They talk one language the GoP talks a different language. They are doing the same with the words white supremacy and racism. The game is to get you to disavow the KKK as a form of white supremacy then transform the denial into meaning you disavow the white supremacy that is western civilization. The OED needs to add political columns to it agreed upon definitions.

Marcus said...

All of these asshats, from Guthrie to the Hostess, who complain that Trump's retweet of a conspiracy theory is REALLY BAD STUFF cannot be, for one second, taken seriously. They spent four years (and continue to) peddle the Russian Hoax.

n.n said...

At worst, it was the result of a conspiracy. At best, it was the result of extraordinary bad judgment, that placed all those lives, and high value assets, in a single, delectable, vulnerable target.

ken in tx said...

"boasts that he had Federal Marshals murder a criminal suspect."

I saw this on twitter. It's based on mis-assigning the word 'they' in a statement made by Trump.

The way Trump talks allows a lot of misinterpretations of what he says. "They didn't want to arrest him.."

If 'they' means the Portland police, it's an understandable supposition. If 'they'refers to the US marshals, it sounds like they planned not to arrest the crook but shoot him instead.

Readering said...

Well the comments here do explain why Trump would do such things. Their support isn't doing him any favors in reaching reachable voters.

stevew said...

Read "The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory" by Jesse Walker. Very interesting.

From a blurb on Amazon: "a comprehensive history of conspiracy theories in American culture and politics, from the colonial era to the War on Terror. The fear of intrigue and subversion doesn’t exist only on the fringes of society, but has always been part of our national identity. When such tales takes hold, Walker argues, they reflect the anxieties and experiences of the people who believe them, even if they say nothing true about the objects of the theories themselves."

Sam L. said...

The bizarre theory, which is outre even by the standards of the right’s usual Benghazi claims, also alleges that Osama Bin Laden’s body-double, rather than the terrorist mastermind himself, was killed in 2011. All those claims come from a falconer who says he uncovered secrets about Al-Qaeda, Iran, and U.S. intelligence in his work as a falconer for Middle Eastern power players."

BUMMMMMMMMMER that that's waaaaaaaaaay before Trump, so he can't be blamed; just that Obama guy...

Lurker21 said...


"The word is false" — Savannah Guthrie aptly quips

Um, she was supposed to be the moderator of a town hall, not a debate opponent, let alone a stand-up comedienne. Obviously, Trump shouldn't have retweeted an untrue rumor, but I think Guthrie went too far here. The line gives off a strong whiff of smugness and self-satisfaction. The "crazy uncle" line was also extremely disrespectful, all the more so when you consider how Stephanopoulos was treating Biden at the same time. I wouldn't want to celebrate what was a highly problematic performance on Guthrie's part.