The company she keeps

Yvonne Ridley joined American antisemite and conspiracy theorist Michael Collins Piper in a meeting with former Malaysian Prime Minister (and antisemite) Mahathir Mohamad as part of an effort to open an international investigation into the events of September 11, 2001.

The Malaysian National News Agency reports:

They claimed to have evidence that the towers came down in a controlled demolition, and that a much bigger agenda lurked behind the war on terror, unleashed soon after with the attack on Afghanistan and Iraq by United States-led forces.

Piper writes for The American Free Press, successor to The Spotlight, the newspaper of the now-defunct extreme-right Liberty Lobby.

According to the Wikipedia entry on The American Free Press:

Critics charge that it is a subtle recruiting tool for anti-Semitism and the political extreme right-wing. The classified section includes ads for the National Alliance, Christian Identity materials, and Creativity Movement books including White Man’s Bible, Nature’s Eternal Religion and On the Brink of a Bloody Racial War. The newspaper rejects the labels anti-Semitic and extreme right to describe the newspaper, and state that their classifides contain advertisements for a plethora of extremist groups, either left or right, and even those amongst the right-leaning racial/nationalist groups are varied, including Nation of Islam, as well as numerous links to tax protesters.

According to the Anti-Defamation League website, Piper spoke at a 2003 meeting of the antisemitic Zayed Center in the United Arab Emirates. (The UAE government later closed down the center.)

[H]e claimed that the Jewish conspiracies for world domination described in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, are “not a theory but a real fact.” He described President Bush’s policies as deriving from his “Christian fundamentalism” and the President himself as a “classic fanatic Zionist.” He also claimed that Israel is developing an “ethnic bomb” that will “eliminate the whole Arab race.” Piper elaborated on the classic canard of Jewish/Zionist control of the American media and government, and claimed that Israel and the Mossad were responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Watergate scandal, and the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Unfortunately Ridley and Piper were joined by William Rodriguez, a World Trade Center janitor who helped rescue people from the north tower on 9/11 but who later got sucked into the conspiracy vortex.

Yvonne Ridley, a member of the Respect Coalition national council, will speak at the Socialist Workers Party’s Marxism 2006 on Sunday July 9.

The Harry’s Place First Annual John Pentsil Award will go to anyone who smuggles an Israeli flag into the meeting and waves it during Ridley’s appearance.

(Hat tip: Judeosphere.)