Via Captain Ed and Let Freedom Ring. He’s not saying it was an inside job, he’s merely saying that maybe the people responsible for it were scapegoated by a regime eager to arrogate Nazi powers to itself.

So don’t go accusing him of any “nut-ball” talk, you hear?

Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison was among friends Sunday — in this case, a gathering of atheists — so his support for a fistful of hot-button opinions, including the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, brought enthusiastic nods of approval and standing ovations.

As he was introduced to the eclectic gathering, which included one man wearing a black T-shirt that read “Investigate 9/11,” Ellison was told that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslims had joined atheists at the bottom of popular opinion polls…

On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: “It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I’m not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.”

I’d love to be able to sit here and tell you, on behalf of Hitchens and myself, that this sort of thing is an extreme outlier among atheists.

But let’s face it. We’re not good on this issue:

Ellison’s noontime speech before Atheists for Human Rights, a Minneapolis-based group, drew the largest gathering in recent memory for the organization, said Marie Castle, the group’s spokeswoman. “We’re trying to upgrade the image of atheists,” Castle said of the 350-member group. “They don’t think we have a moral compass.”

Tags: Islam religion