Md. GOP Voters Pick Neo-Confederate 9/11 Truther for Attorney General - Rolling Stone
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Meet the Neo-Confederate 9/11 Truther Maryland GOP Voters Picked for Attorney General

Michael Peroutka spread the unfounded, debunked conspiracy theory that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled demolition

Meet the Neo-Confederate 9/11 Truther Maryland GOP Voters Picked for Attorney GeneralMeet the Neo-Confederate 9/11 Truther Maryland GOP Voters Picked for Attorney General

Michael Anthony Peroutka, Oct. 23, 2004, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, David Bundy)

AP

Maryland’s Republican voters have chosen their nominee for attorney general, and it’s a real doozy: Meet Michael Peroutka, a neo-Confederate former councilman who has espoused conspiratorial views about Sept. 11.

CNN’s KFile has uncovered episodes of radio shows co-hosted by Peroutka from 2006 in which he pushes debunked 9/11 conspiracy theories, claiming the World Trade Center towers fell due to controlled demolition.

“What happened on 9-1-1, I told you that I had been doing some research and watching some videos,” Peroutka said during one of the shows. “And I said that if the buildings in New York City, the World Trade Center buildings, came down by demolition charges — that is to say — if there was this evidence that there was that something was preset there, then the implications of that are massive.”

Peroutka added, “I’ve been doing some reading and doing some studying, and I believe that to be very, very true.”

But his 9/11 conspiracy theorizing went beyond just the Trade Center. Peroutka hypothesized that “some elite bureaucrat” might have the power to demolish any building in New York City. “That begs the question that if there are preset charges in Building Seven, what’s to stop there for being preset charges in Buildings 1, 2 8, 9, and 27?” Peroutka said. “Are there charges in every building in New York City? Is everyone ready to be brought down whenever some elite bureaucrat decides that he’s gonna pull it?”

In other radio shows, KFile found, Peroutka pushed another unfounded conspiracy 9/11 theory: that a missile, rather than a plane, hit the Pentagon. Peroutka claimed there was “no evidence” of bodies or luggage at the crash site, saying it was “very plausible that a missile that looked like a plane hit the Pentagon.” He went so far as to float the possibility that people who died in the Pentagon attack were moved elsewhere to be killed.

“Now, you could clearly understand that somebody whose loved one was lost on that plane, very possibly, could have gotten some piece of forensic evidence that indicated that their loved one was in fact deceased. But who says that came from the Pentagon?” he said.

Peroutka’s outlandish and harmful views don’t end with 9/11. From 2012 to 2014, he was a board member of League of the South, a neo-Confederate organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2012, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) labeled Peroutka as an “active white supremacist and secessionist sympathizer.”

During his 2004 run for president under the Constitution Party, Peroutka embraced League of the South, which would later go on to help plan the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally. Peroutka has not disavowed the group. He also embraced the Confederate flag, appearing beside one at a campaign event. “I am proud to be a member of the League of the South,” he wrote on his blog in 2004. “I look forward to receiving the support … from guys with Confederate flags in their trucks.”

According to Vice, during his presidential run, Peroutka gave a speech to League of the South where he claimed he was “still angry” that Maryland did not secede at the start of the Civil War. “There should have been more of us in 1861,” he said.

Peroutka has espoused other radical views, including that the separation of church and state is a “great lie.” And he claims that gay marriage “can’t be law, because it violates God’s law.” In 2014, he advocated secession and taking “a Biblical world view and apply[ing] it to civil law and government.”

If Peroutka wins in November, it will make history. Not only would the state have elected a neo-Confederate conspiracy theorist attorney general, he would be Maryland’s first elected Republican attorney general in more than a century. He is running against Democratic nominee Rep. Anthony Brown, who, if elected, would be the state’s first Black attorney general.

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