White House Declines to Say Van Jones Enjoys “the Confidence of the President” *

By Gorman Gorman

Sep 4, 2009 12:06pm

Asked if controversial White House official Van Jones continues to enjoy the confidence of President Obama given recent revelations about his involvement with those who suggest the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attacks and allowed them to happen in order to justify a war for oil, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs Friday morning would only say "he continues to work in this administration."

Jones, the Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, last night issued a statement apologizing for past controversial remarks and said a petition which he signed suggesting that President Bush "may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen" perhaps to justify war in Afghanistan or Iraq, "does not reflect my views now or ever."

An administration source said Jones says he did not carefully review the language in the petition before agreeing to add his name.

It's worth pointing out that Ben Smith at Politico has spoken to two signatories of that petition, Rabbi Michael Lerner and historian Howard Zinn, who say they were misled about what they were signing.

And the conservative website Little Green Footballs points out that Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of “Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It" has posted on her website, the American Center for Democracy: "PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is not a signatory of the 911Truth.org. She has asked several times to have her named removed from the list, but the organization failed to comply."

This morning information surfaced that Jones was on the organizing committee of a newspaper called WAR TIMES — "A New, Biweekly, Tabloid Newspaper Opposing the "War on Terrorism."

The WAR TIMES document asserts that the "world's most powerful nation has mercilessly bombed Afghanistan and is installing a neo-colonial government of its own choosing, although that country has never attacked the U.S. Millions of Afghans have been displaced and face starvation this winter. The administration has also green-lighted massive Israeli assaults on Palestine, and it threatens to attack Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, and other countries. The agenda seems clear: to remake the world in the rightwing image with little regard for human consequences."

The announcement was on the same page as an announcement of a march demanding information about whether the Bush administration knew about 9/11. A source close to Jones said that “Jones didn’t participate in and wasn’t part of this march at all. He spent a very brief time on the board of the magazine War Times.”

The source says no other connections to the Truther movement other than the petition exist

Gibbs said that that the "9/11 Truther" sentiments are "not something that the president agrees with."

-jpt

*This post has been updated.

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