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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
WND Promotes False Internment Camp Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has found a new conspiracy to latch onto: the government is creating internment camps for critics of President Obama. Too bad it's not true.

An Aug. 7 WND article by Bob Unruh asserted "An ad campaign featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an 'Internment/Resettlement' specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on 'threatening' conservatives." In addition to quoting the usual alarmists, Unruh throws in the usual anonymous attacks by quoting YouTube commenters.

Janet Porter followed up in her  Aug. 11 WND column by being even more paranoid:

Internment/confinement/correction camps for American civilians? Maybe there's something to all those rumors of FEMA concentration camps. After all, those internment/resettlement specialists are going to have to report to work somewhere. If you're going to round up American citizens, you're going to need a place to put them.

Internment and confinement are for criminals ... for terrorists. And terrorists, according to DHS, are ... us.

Both Unruh and Porter, as per WND style, ramped up the conspiracy factor without knowing what the hell they're talking about. As Media Matters detailed, "internment" is a term frequently used by the military when discussing detention facilities of all types -- a custom that goes back well before the Obama administration.

More sensible conservatives have tried to deflate the conspiracy. Ed Morrissey wrote at Hot Air:

It's not really a great mystery, nor is it a conspiracy to set up camps for political dissenters. It's a good job for people who want to serve the cause of liberty and freedom, and those who volunteer deserve our respect for choosing what's usually a pretty thankless job even without the paranoid overtones.

WND has yet to report this debunking to its readers. Apparently, a false conspiracy makes for better web traffic than the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 AM EDT

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