Web Stories Friday, March 1

Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Tuesday said he regretted authoring blog posts years ago that pushed unfounded conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The New York Democrat, who was censured by the House last year after triggering a fire alarm despite there being no emergency, wrote in a statement Tuesday that he regrets the posts he made, “having since learned how misinformation spreads.” The blog posts had been deleted but were recently unearthed by the Daily Beast.

“Well over a decade ago, as I was debating diving into a doctoral degree, I explored a wide range of books, films, and articles across a wide swath of the political spectrum and processed my thoughts in a personal blog that few people ever read,” Bowman wrote.

Web archives show that Bowman shared political and personal poems and short essays on an online journal, Relentless-Strongback.Blogspot.com, through 2014. One poem titled “Recapitulate,” contemplates decades of history before spiraling into 9/11 conspiracy theories, including the disproven belief that Building 7 fell in a planned demolition.

“2001/Planes used as missiles/Target: The Twin Towers,” one stanza read. “Later in the day/Building 7/Also Collaspsed [sic]/Hmm…/Multiple explosions/Heard before/And during the collapse/Hmm…”

In another section, he falsely asserts “minimal damage” was done and “minimal debris” was found from the strike on the Pentagon, which killed 125 people within the building and all 95 people on board, and from flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania and killed all 44 on board, again ending the stanza with an inquisitive “Hmm…”

“We blamed Osama/Went to war in Iraq/Captured Saddam/Killed him,” Bowman’s poem continued. “Bin Laden is Afghan/So we went to war there too.”

He pointed to “Loose Change,” a viral documentary that asserts the US government carried out the attacks, and “Zeitgeist,” a 2007 film that proposed outlandish conspiracies, as sources of his disproven assessments.

In his response provided to CNN, Bowman slammed “MAGA extremists,” writing, “It’s obvious to everyone, especially the far-right MAGA Republicans I take on every day in Congress, that I will always stand up and fight against misinformation and harmful conspiracy theories.”

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