ONTD Political

Kelly Keisling, Tennessee Legislator, Mass Emailed Obama 'Staged Assassination' Rumor

11:26 am - 08/03/2012
WASHINGTON -- A Republican member of the Tennessee state legislature emailed constituents Tuesday morning with a rumor circulating in conservative circles that President Barack Obama is planning to stage a fake assassination attempt in an effort to stop the 2012 election from happening.

Rep. Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown) sent an email from his state email account to constituents containing a rumor that Obama and the Department of Homeland Security are planning a series of events that could lead to the imposition of "martial law" and delay the election. Among the events hypothesized in the email is a staged assassination attempt on the president that would lead to civil unrest in urban areas and martial law.

Keisling appears to have forwarded a more widely circulated email from Joe Angione, a Florida-based conservative blogger. Angione prefaces the rumor by saying it has not been confirmed but likewise notes it has not been denied. Angione also writes that people need to work to prevent the rumor from becoming reality.

The conspiracy theory started with an article written by Doug Hammon and posted on CanadaFreePress.com, which he said arose from conversations he had with an informant within the Department of Homeland Security.

The Constitution Party of Florida posted the same Angione story on their website this week. Party chairman Mark Pilling wrote a note saying that he believes some sort of unrest will occur this year.

Pilling wrote:

"Personally, I believe something will happen the last quarter of this year. Financial unrest or another false flag event that causes civil unrest. Now is the time for all Americans to band together against the financial influences that are running our puppets in Washington and the mass media that keeps us distracted to that and their treasonous actions. Here is the rumor. Based on alot[sic] of factors, I think it has potential. Divide and Conquer. Below, there is a link to one of the other more recent false flag events."

Keisling's assistant, Frankie Anderson, confirmed that the email was sent "at Keisling's request" from a state account under the name of Holt Whitt, who is identified in the email as Keisling's assistant. Anderson said he is filling in for Whitt.

Anderson said that Keisling did not offer an explanation for why he wanted the email sent. It went to residents across the 38th district, which includes Clay, Jackson, Pickett and Scott Counties, along with part of Anderson County. Keisling has not returned messages left at his Byrdstown insurance office, and there was no answer at his home.

Janet Moore, one of the recipients of Keisling's email, said she called the lawmaker Tuesday morning to express her disagreement with his decision to send the email. Moore, who lives in an adjoining legislative district in rural Tennessee, told HuffPost that Keisling told her that the rumor was "pretty ridiculous, isn't it?"

When she asked Keisling why he sent the email, if he found it ridiculous, she said that Keisling told her, "I wouldn't put anything past anybody."

Anderson did say that Keisling regularly sends out emails to his constituents using the state account. A copy of the email obtained by HuffPost did not contain an explanation from either Keisling or Anderson. The subject line of the email is "FW: Unbelievable election rumor....." The email also contained a note below Whitt's contact information from a woman identified only as Ruby, who may have sent the email to Keisling. Ruby's name and contact information were not included.

"PLEASE SCROLL DOWN," Ruby wrote. "Something to think and PRAY about. Interesting times...Blessings, Ruby."

Keisling, who owns an insurance agency, was first elected in 2010. In an online profile on KnoxNews.com, Keisling noted that he favors job creation, allowing voters to pick local school directors and that he opposed abortion. Keisling, a former Pickett County executive, serves on the agriculture and transportation committees.

UPDATE: 8/1/2012 -- The Tennessean reported Wednesday that Keisling released a statement Wednesday morning through a Republican legislative spokesperson expressing regret for sending the email to his constituents.

"Earlier this week, I forwarded an email from my legislative office that should not have been sent out. The message was inappropriate for distribution. I regret the error and pledge to be more cautious regarding the information distributed from my office in the future."

Source: Huffingtonpost.

I am just...baffled. I mean...really? REALLY?
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darth_eldritch 3rd-Aug-2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
Holy batshit, Batman
sesmo 6th-Aug-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
To be fair, I had more than one discussion with liberals in 2008 about whether there would be an incident that would ensure that no election took place.
imperialshotgun 3rd-Aug-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
When the left use to be paranoid about Bush/Cheney/Rove trying to stop elections from happening it made sense because Republicans hate elections but this is just...ground control to Major Tom...total space cadet stuff.
kseda 3rd-Aug-2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
Also it wasn't elected official making those sorts of accusations, if I remember right.
moonbladem 3rd-Aug-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
... The message was inappropriate for distribution. I regret the error and pledge to be more cautious regarding the information distributed from my office in the future."

I call bullshit on that. He totally meant to do it, to spread the totally false, unsubstantiated fearmongering around.

Just when I think nothing these GOP crackpots do can surprise me anymore... they lower the bar even more and do just that. Pathetic.
tabaqui 3rd-Aug-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. Totally premeditated.
poetic_pixie_13 3rd-Aug-2012 04:46 pm (UTC)

Based on alot[sic] of factors, I think it has potential. Divide and Conquer. Below, there is a link to one of the other more recent false flag events.

Oh, lord. White people know all about how divide and conquer works, yes.

Honest to god, if there was an attempt on Obama's life there would be rioting. Ever since he was elected (hell, even before that during the election) I've always been so, so worried about that possibility. Black folks know what they might have to face if they 'rise above their station.'
tabaqui 3rd-Aug-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Frankly, i'm shocked that there hasn't been an real attempt on his life (i have honestly thought there would be since the day he was elected), and when he wins his second term, i think it will be a real possibility. The hate and fear on the far right is just ripe for that kind of action.

It's grotesque, what their xenophobia and racism is driving them to.
vulturoso 3rd-Aug-2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
Romney, as a candidate, is easily beatable. Obama's only real opposition is racism.
myrrhmade 3rd-Aug-2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
layweed 3rd-Aug-2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
executivehpfan 3rd-Aug-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
How in the fuck would this even work? Are you serious?
kitanabychoice 3rd-Aug-2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
What the fuck is this, really. o_O
celtic_thistle 3rd-Aug-2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
Jesus fuck, this is RIDICULOUS.

I fucking hate chain emails, btw
tinylegacies 3rd-Aug-2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
I don't even know what to say...
lamardeuse 3rd-Aug-2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Seriously, is there some Republican trophy out there for Biggest Fuckwit that they're all competing for? Because that seems to be the only explanation.
empirebird 3rd-Aug-2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
yeats 3rd-Aug-2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
this is something i've never understood about anti-government conservatives: how they can believe simultaneously the us government is so bloated and incompetent that it can't do anything properly or efficiently, and yet at the same time believe in any number of conspiracy theories predicated on the government's ability to keep a secret and carry out vast and complex plans.

you can't trust them to administer social services without fucking it up, but you think they could fake the moon landing/take away all our guns/fake an assassination attempt? how does that make any sense?
kseda 3rd-Aug-2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
I've always been intensely impressed by the right's all-encompasing cognitive dissonance.

And by impressed I of course mean depressed.
tigerdreams 3rd-Aug-2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
First I thought, "Wait, wouldn't it make more sense to imagine that any such bizarre conspiracies would take place in the run-up to Inauguration Day, rather than Election Day, to prevent a transfer of power?"

Then I realized that logic isn't really a factor in this kind of thinking.
moonbladem 3rd-Aug-2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
Logic, critial thinking, education... I think they pretty much disapprove of that in the general population. I mean, they can't have people thinking independently and critically, having reasoning skills or rational thoughts can they? Then how would they make us believe all the lies they're trying to sell us? No, instead they want us to tap into our reptilian brains and be ruled by fear and paranoia.
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