On September 11th, 2001, Todd Beamer recited the Lord’s Prayer and said “Okay, let’s roll.” Then he and others aboard United flight 93 stormed the cockpit, an act of selfless heroism that likely prevented a direct hit and the loss of hundreds more American lives in Washington, D. C. His story is iconic and serves as a distillation of everything great about being an American.
But Alex Jones, well-known conspiracy theorist, pill salesman and Trump supporter, has a different opinion:
There was no “Let’s roll.” All of that was pure bull, ladies and gentlemen.
Alex Jones’ strange journey has seen him grow from a fast-talking radio host warning of coming Y2K disasters to a blusterous leader of a multimedia empire engaged in an all-fronts war against CNN, liberals, Muslims, Black Lives Matter and, ultimately, reality. During the Bush administration, Jones railed against the United States government, accusing it of intentionally killing American civilians in order to install a “New World Order.” His accusations gained traction among some conservatives as he began to focus on the Obama administration, during which he famously argued that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a fabricated event designed to strip Americans of their right to bear arms. But in the Trump administration, Jones sees an ally against the “globalists” and the members of the U. S. armed forces that he fears will literally murder millions of American citizens.
Jones has always shown a marked and deep disdain for the American military. He falsely claims that the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida trained all nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Perhaps most egregiously, Jones, with no evidence, accuses the military of shooting down United 93 and covering up their actions:
The military refused to stand down and shot down the flight over Pennsylvania. And we even know what squadron did it. The Happy Hooligans out of North Dakota, who were stationed in Virginia at the time for drills.
(The “Happy Hooligans” is the nickname of the 119th Wing, a division of the North Dakota National Guard.)
Jones also accuses the military — specifically the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps — of training for decades to directly attack and disarm the American populace. His accusations aren’t limited to one small “rogue” group of soldiers, but extend to every soldier, and indeed even “people in maintenance…people in repair.” In Jones’ mind, the entire military apparatus — from generals to janitors — is making preparations “to take on the American people.”
Jones has made numerous recent videos about NFL protests during the national anthem, but it is clear that he has long been a critic of widely-respected American institutions. He has irresponsibly sowed fear of the U. S. military by falsely accusing the men and women who wear the uniform of murdering thousands of American citizens while planning to murder countless more. His newly found appeals to patriotism are delivered loudly and with force, but his past actions show that he doesn’t really believe them.