That, it turned out, was not the extent of his wackiness. He led a vigil mourning "the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world." He was an admitted communist and black nationalist. Now, it turns out, he considered Americans who shipped off to Iraq to be human shields for Saddam Hussein "heroes."
He said just that on MSNBC's "The Abrams Report" in 2003, according to a transcript of the show (relevant portion below the fold). I would post video here, but MSNBC refuses to release it:
DAN ABRAMS: If Saddam Hussein uses human shields and he’s captured alive, he’s going to be tried as a war criminal, as will anyone who works with him in that effort. The question we’re asking here is, what about these Americans, these Europeans who are sending over these American and European human shields?The video would have an impact the transcript cannot possible have. Think about it: would the now-renowned ACORN sting videos have packed the punch they did if only the transcripts--not the videos--were released? Probably not.
VAN JONES: They’re heroes.
DAN ABRAMS: Could that — well, all right.
VAN JONES: They’re not criminals, they’re heroes.
DAN ABRAMS: All right, Van, before I even get to the intro, Van Jones is jumping in, describing them as heroes. But Ruth Wedgewood, look, apart from the fact that almost everyone doesn’t view them as heroes at all, and everyone in this country particular views the idea of them getting into soldiers’ ways — soldiers’ way in Iraq is extremely disturbing to say the least.
As written by a blogger at a site appropriately titled "Why Is MSNBC Protecting Van Jones?",
It’s important that MSNBC release the actual video of this show because many Americans will simply not believe that Jones praises traitors until they hear with their own ears him saying it. Even though the transcript is reliable, and even though anyone could confirm that the screenshot above is real by viewing it on Lexis-Nexis themselves, the issue will not impact a mainstream audience until the video itself surfaces as the final proof. Which is almost certainly the reason why MSNBC refuses to release it, since the network is well-known to have a pro-Obama bias and does not want to do anything which could damage the administration in the slightest—even something as minor as this.
Now, it is not clear that the cable network is simply refusing to release the tape for political purposes. Unlike CNN, which has blatantly shilled for Jones in covering his attempt at a comeback, MSNBC is not advocating his return to the public sphere.
But, if the folks at MSNBC really value investigative journalism, they should be ready and willing to release the tape, as it would provide the American people with significant insight into the minds of people in the upper echelons of the federal government.