“Friends of Hamas”: World’s Dumbest Front Group?

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Apparently I missed the news that the latest right-wing conspiracy theory about Chuck Hagel is that he once received funding from an organization called “Friends of Hamas.” If you have a room temperature IQ, your first thought is that this is a distinctly unlikely name for a terrorist front group, sort of like the Third International trying to launder rubles into the hands of closeted communist sympathizers via a group called “Friends of Joe Stalin.” Probably not going to work.

But Dave Weigel, bless his hardworking heart, actually dug into this just to make sure. This is why he’s one of my favorite bloggers, though I worry sometimes about how long he can keep this up before his brain turns to tapioca. In any case, the answer seems to be just what you think it is: there’s no such group; the rumors appear to be just flatly made up; and they were first reported by (of course) Ben Shapiro. After that, all the usual suspects just decided to pile on because—well, because, why not? If it doesn’t work, they’ll just decide Hagel took money from “Friends of Pedophiles” or something.

Really, you can just say anything these days, can’t you? If you’re a conservative, anyway.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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