-- by Dave
First it was the return of Floyd Brown and Co. on the scene. Then came the fraudulent e-mail forwards that quoted a white nationalist and claimed the words were Barack Obama's. Slowly but surely, the old extremist right of the 1990s -- the ones who saw Bill Clinton as the New World Order Antichrist and formed militias to stop him -- has been crawling back out of the woodwork in response to Obama's looming presidency.
Now they're replaying one of their old favorites: the fake "body count" e-mail. Gavin M at Sadly, No! has the details:
This isn’t one of those snarky jokes we’re so often accused of making. It’s real, and it’s likely coming soon to an inbox near you (replete with nine-hundred AOL and Hotmail addresses in the ‘cc’ column).
You’ve heard of the Clinton Body Count, and now it’s time for…
The Obama Death List
The following is a partial list of deaths of persons connected to Barack HUSSEIN Obama during his time inside the United States. Read the list and judge for yourself…
The source of these mails is indeterminate. But you may recall that the similarly spurious "Clinton body count" e-mails that flooded our inboxes in the '90s was the product of the black-helicopter militia crowd:
The Clinton Body Count also happens to be one of the Patriot movement's hoariest traditions. It appears to have originated with (now-discredited) militia leader Linda Thompson's 1993 essay, which detailed 29 deaths linked to the then-new president. The concept flourished among the movement, showing up at a lot of homemade Web sites, like the 1994 version at a Web site called The Patriot, with 28 bodies and three "ongoing" cases, some different from Thompson's. Soon the list was growing exponentially, especially as the non-militia types who shared a hatred of Clinton joined in the fun, and more Clinton-haters linked more conspiracies to the president over the years.
By 1998, there were at least 30 sites keeping track of the Clinton Body Count; though their numbers have declined since Clinton left office, many remain active today. One current site, operated by a believer in a wide range of Clinton conspiracies, lists 52 bodies. Another racks up a total of 79. And by 1999, you could read about it at mainstream conservative Web sites like radio commentator Ken Hamblin's -- not to mention "conservative" Web sites like Free Republic, which for a time featured entire sections of its forum devoted to "Suspicious Deaths" and the "Clinton Death Squad." And, lest we forget, Clinton's supposed onetime paramour, Gennifer Flowers, keeps a version of the Clinton Body Count on her Web site, linked alongside copies of her taped conversations with Clinton, a CD of her singing debut, and glamour pix.
I think we warned that the 1990s would look like a picnic if the far right goes off the ranch (as it almost certainly will) when/if Obama wins. Considering that they're not even waiting for November to start firing up the paranoid-nutcase troops with recycled zombie smears, that warning stands. And it doesn't even need to originate with the far far right anymore.