It’s hard to think of a worse candidate for a reporter covering national security issues than a once-committed 9/11 truther, but The Huffington Post apparently could.
“The Huffington Post’s Washington bureau has hired professional football player and 9/11 truther Donte Stallworth as a fellow, covering national security,” Politico’s Dylan Byers wrote in a lede that would not seem out of place in The Onion.
The Huffington Post was apparently not deterred by either Stallworth’s controversial views on the September 11 attacks, or his concern that the swine flu vaccine was part of an elaborate plot, or his criminal record.
In 2009, Stallworth plead guilty to manslaughter after killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida. His plea netted him a light sentence – just 30 days for the DUI charge alone.
Byers noted that some of Stallworth’s comments are well outside the mainstream:
“NO WAY 9/11 was carried out by ‘dying’ Bin Laden, 19 men who couldn’t fly a damn kite. STILL have NO EVIDENCE Osama was connected, like Iraq,” Stallworth tweeted in 2009. Stallworth also doubted tweeted, “Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr @ ppl who actually believe a plane hit the pentagon on 9/11… hole woulda been ASTRONOMICALLY bigger, God bless lost lives.”
The former football player’s most recent tweet questioning the nature of the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 was sent out less than a year ago, on November 24, 2013.
Via The Weekly Standard’s Jeryl Bier, here are a few more of Stallworth’s greatest hits:
But beyond Stallworth’s problematic political views and personal baggage, it is not entirely clear that he knows that much about national security issues.
Seriously… what is going on in Iraq???
— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) June 15, 2014
This tweet, dated June 14, was sent out one day after President Barack Obama revealed to the nation that he had requested from the Pentagon a list of targets for potential strikes in Iraq. “There is a real sense of urgency over here at the White House,” CNN’s Jim Acosta reported on June 13, noting that strikes may come as soon as that weekend. Obama’s decision to investigate strikes came after weeks of warnings from the national security community over the worsening situation in Iraq and Syria.
I just got this documentary on Vladimir Putin's ascension from a kid to being the man in Russia… Wow!! This guy is a beast
— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) February 11, 2011
This wide-eyed tweet was sent out in February, 2011. While this was well before Putin mounted his campaign to grab territory in Europe, it was also more than two and a half years after Moscow invaded and carved up northern Georgia. A crash course in what is now indisputably America’s “number one geopolitical foe” is not going to be sufficient to understand the infinite complexities of Kremlin politics or Moscow’s interests in what it refers to as its “near abroad.”
But it’s probably much ado about nothing. After all, amid an uproar, Stallworth confessed to being ill-informed on an unspecified range of issues:
After a lot of reading and researching on it, my views changed… and that's ok.
— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) September 4, 2014
Mea culpa, mea culpa. All is forgiven, right? Time will tell…