Minnesota candidate for attorney general Keith Ellison once compared the 9/11 attacks to the Reichstag Fire in Nazi Germany, which helped propel Adolf Hitler to power.
“9/11 is this juggernaut event in American history. And it’s almost like, you know, the Reichstag Fire. It kind of reminds me of that,” Ellison said, agreeing with an audience member that “Bush” benefited from the attacks.
Ellison made the comparison during a 2007 event organized by Atheists for Human Rights. According to Ellison’s suggestions, President George W. Bush, mimicking Hitler, used the tragic event to establish a political enemy (in Hitler’s case, the communists) and gain executive privileges he otherwise would not have.
“But the thing is that, you know, after the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the communists for it, and it put the leader of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted,” Ellison elaborated.
He went on to compare the Bush administration’s response to the attacks on the World Trade Center as resembling “totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and dictatorship.”
“I mean, 9/11 explains why we’re in this war. We can never be in this war but for 9/11. We can never be tolerating torture but for 9/11,” he continued, saying “you would never have all this discrimination against religious minorities but for 9/11.”
The comments were made just a few short months after he won his bid for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, a seat he recently stepped down from to seek the position of Minnesota attorney general. So far, his campaign has been weighed down by domestic abuse allegations, but he still managed to gain the endorsement of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and win his August primary.
On Tuesday, which marked the seventeenth anniversary of 9/11, Ellison did send his condolences to “those who were lost.”
“As we mark the anniversary of 9/11, we honor and remember those who were lost, and the brave first responders who risked their lives to help others,” he tweeted. “Never forget.”
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