Van Jones is President Obama’s green-jobs “czar,” and a highly respected figure in his field. He recently invited the unflinching scrutiny of Glenn Beck when the group he co-founded, Color of Change, began pressuring advertisers to drop their support of Beck’s Fox News show. In retaliation, Beck’s supporters unearthed an old video a few days ago in which Jones refers to Republicans as “assholes.” Yawn, right? What else you got? Well, plenty! It turns out this Van Jones character was either not vetted at all, or vetted but seemingly without any concern for the skeletons that turned up (which really defeats the purpose of vetting in the first place). In 2005 Jones told a newspaper that after the 1992 Rodney King trial, he became “a Communist.” In 1994, he helped found an activist group called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM. Since a sizable faction of Americans already believe that Obama wants to turn the country into the new Soviet Union, you might expect these revelations to raise a red flag. But perhaps those were simply the actions of a younger man, one who would eventually mature into someone more palatable to the American mainstream?
Actually, no. The most damaging disclosure about Jones is that he might just believe 9/11 was an inside job. The Washington Times discovered that in 2004, Jones attached his name to a petition that “calls for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.” (Some other notable signatories include Ed Asner, Daniel Ellsberg, Janeane Garofalo, Richie Havens, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and Howard Zinn.) “I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever,” Jones now claims, and an administration officials says Jones “did not carefully review the language in the petition before agreeing to add his name.” Which is never a good idea, for anyone! Hopefully he learned a valuable lesson here. And maybe the Obama administration did as well. Perhaps next time they’ll go the extra mile and Google the names of their new hires.