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Blasting ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal, American Family Association claims ‘gay sex = domestic terrorism’

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There’s a rumor going around that the Afghani Taliban is embedding dirty syringes and razors in improvised explosive devices, making hypothetical “HIV bombs,” or some variant of the term.

This has yet to be confirmed, but was claimed by Patrick Mercer, a British member of parliament and former soldier. UK tabloid The Sun ran with the allegation, saying the practice had been “exposed,” but presenting no actual evidence.

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The story was carried in a number of other online venues, but at time of this writing it appeared that the only “mainstream” U.S. news bureau to feature the claim was Fox News, which erroneously — and perhaps mistakenly — called the scheme “a bid to infect British troops”.

How exactly these alleged Afghan bomb-makers could design HIV-laced weapons that target soldiers based on nationality, Fox News did not explain. The network instead cited The Sun as its only source, although not even the British tabloid made such an unusual statement.

The allegations were apparently enough for the American Family Association (AFA) to weigh in. As a conservative non-profit group best known for attacking marriage equality and homosexuals in other walks of public life, the focus of their response might have been expected. Instead, the AFA declared in a Thursday blog headline: “Gay sex = domestic terrorism”.

Writer Bryan Fischer opined:

“It is because of the risk of HIV transmission that the FDA will not allow a male homosexual to donate blood if he has had sex with another male even one single solitary time since 1977. The second riskiest behavior for HIV infection is injection drug use.

“Now if gays are allowed into the military, they will be inevitably be put in battlefield situations where donated blood from soldiers may be necessary to save the lives of wounded comrades. An HIV-infected American soldier whose blood is used in those circumstances may very well condemn his fellow soldier to death rather than save his life.

“If open homosexuals are allowed into the United States military, the Taliban won’t need to plant dirty needles to infect our soldiers with HIV. Our own soldiers will take care of that for them.”

He would appear to believe HIV and AIDS is exclusive to homosexual communities, which it is not. Either that or the AFA is impugning the integrity of the Armed Services Blood Program, which — like any blood donation program operating up to medical standards — screens donated fluids for disease.

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A call to the U.S. Army Medical Command seeking comment on Mr. Fischer’s assertion was not returned at time of this writing.

The military’s blood program also accepts donations from civilians, though collection centers are on military facilities and staff adheres to the Food and Drug Administration’s rules on screening donors.

Currently, gay men are prohibited from donating blood in the U.S., but like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” that’s being reconsidered.

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The Los Angeles Times noted on Wednesday:

“Pressure for a review of the policy has been building for several years. The push has been driven by improvements in testing, which can detect HIV in the blood within two weeks of a person having been infected.

“There were nine known cases of HIV having been transmitted via blood products between 1994 and 2002, and none, in tens of millions of transfusions, between 2002 and 2007, the last year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has complete data.”

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The paper added that Sen. John Kerry had attacked the gay blood ban as an “unscientific double standard.” The American Medical Association has also recommended gays be allowed to donate blood, especially in lieu of an ever-present national shortage.

In documents provided by the U.S. Military Medical Command’s public affairs office, military policy on donated blood not approved by the FDA [PDF link], seen plainly in the second paragraph of a publicly available memo issued March 19, 2010.

The AFA’s claims are based on misleading assumptions triggered by an unverified claim from a politician who was recently selected to lead the British parliament’s Defence Committee.

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Furthermore, Federal News Radio’s Pentagon reporter J.J. Green cited an unnamed U.S. military official as calling the allegation of an HIV-laced bomb “‘absolutely’ ridiculous”.

“Questions have arisen about where the Taliban would get the needles and how they would know they’re infected with HIV,” he added. “British military explosive ordinance disposal teams have reportedly have been issued special gloves to handle IEDs.”

In any case, considering the small number of HIV transmissions by blood donor in the last two decades, it would seem fair to argue that the words “hateful and “ugly” are used objectively in describing the AFA’s latest rhetorical assault on homosexuals.


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Trump supporters linked to Steve Bannon pushing ‘fantastical rumors’ to try to ‘pizzagate’ Joe Biden: report

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NBC News on Thursday published a blockbuster report on efforts to smear former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Some of the same people who pushed a false conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton that first emerged in 2016 are now targeting Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, with similar falsehoods. Their online posts are garnering astronomical numbers of shares on social media," NBC News correspondents Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny reported Thursday.

"The fantastical rumors, which NBC News is declining to repeat verbatim, echo specific plot points central to 'pizzagate,' a viral disinformation campaign that predates QAnon but also falsely alleges a vast conspiracy of child abuse," NBC News explained. "There is an important difference, however. The pizzagate-style rumors in 2016 were largely confined to far-right message boards like 4chan and parts of Reddit. But the Hunter Biden iteration of the same conspiracy theory took off last weekend with the help of speculation from conservative TV hosts and members of Congress. Their theorizing can be traced back to a new website that has been promoted by President Donald Trump and his surrogates."

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2020 Election

Pennsylvania AG warns Trump campaign poll watchers to stop videotaping voters

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On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that the attorney general of Pennsylvania is warning Trump campaign surrogates to stop videotaping voters dropping off mail-in ballots.

"In a statement, Josh Shapiro, the Democratic state attorney general, said, 'Pennsylvania law permits poll watchers to carry out very discrete and specific duties — videotaping voters at drop boxes is not one of them,'" reported Blake Montgomery.

"The campaign has filed complaints with Philadelphia officials based on the videos, alleging fraud on the part of several voters who submitted two or three ballots, according to The New York Times," continued the report. "The Trump campaign initially said the purpose of the videotaping was to catch voters who dropped off a large number of fraudulent ballots rather than one or two, according to the Times."

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WATCH: CNN’s Blitzer corners Trump’s chief of staff for trying to downplay COVID failures

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On CNN Thursday, anchor Wolf Blitzer confronted President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows about his failure to follow public health guidelines and demonstrate leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A study from Columbia University ... found that anywhere from 130,000 to 210,000 lives potentially could have been saved over these past eight, nine, ten months with a more robust federal response," said Blitzer. "Why did the president say just this week when he was asked what he would have done differently, he said not much?"

"Well, I can tell you that if your study says that they can save 210,000 lives, I haven't read it, but it would be very difficult to imagine that scenario ... I don't know that any scientist or any doctor would agree with that particular analysis," said Meadows. "What we have here is a clock that keeps talking about the number of cases that we have. It really doesn't talk about the advances that we need to make on the therapeutics, vaccines and treatment side of things."

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