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Corsi Strikes Again: Hitler and Argentina

Jerome CorsiI almost glided past this story, but noticed that Jerome Corsi is at it again, so gave a quick look.

Via The Daily BeastConspiracy Theorist Argues That Hitler Escaped to Argentina

[jerome R.] Corsi’s latest hypothesis, detailed in his new book Hunting Hitler, is that the German dictator didn’t actually kill himself alongside wife Eva Braun in his Berlin bunker as history books would have us believe. According to Corsi, Hitler actually escaped Germany as the Third Reich fell, and he did it with the help of none other than the U.S. government.

Corsi’s evidence?  It would seem that there really isn’t much, but that hasn’t stopped him in the past.

The only reason I think this is worth noting is that Corsi has been involved in a number of key rightwing memes/legends/theories/strategies in the past, some of which have been more mainstream than others.

He was central to the very mainstream Swift Boat attack on John Kerry as the co-author of Unfit for Command, making him a significant footnote to the 2004 presidential elections.  He then took a bit part in a paranoid fantasy that some folks like to wring their hands over:  the dreaded “North American Union” (of course, Corsi demonstrated his ignorance at the time by not realizing that Canada was already in NAFTA).  See James Joyner’s post at the time:  North American Union to Replace the USA? (I wrote about it at the time as well, but the loss of my PoliBlog database means only the portion that James quoted remains).  From there, he became a major proponent of birtherism (see here and here).

Beyond those items, the Daily Beast piece notes:

He believes the U.S. government covered up information about 9/11. He claims fossil fuels are a myth thought up by oil companies. He thinks the U.S. is supporting Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. He’s called Martin Luther King Jr. a “shakedown artist.” And in honor of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, he published a book claiming that Lyndon B. Johnson knew about the plan to kill the president and supported it.

All of the above (and this post in general) is meant to achieve the following goal:  if one found oneself at all pulled in by any of the above, take note of the company you were intellectually keeping (whether you realized it or not).  Beyond the specific stories and theories, it should give one pause about trusting outlets that would publish his work (like World Net Daily and Human Events).

I know a good number of our regulars understand that Corsi and his allies are not to be taken seriously, but I also know that many of our readers were enthusiastic about the Swfit Boat bit, and have dabbled in birtherism (if not more than dabbled).  I am sincerely hopeful that some might take this information in its totality and reassess the kinds of theories and assertions that they are willing to entertain.   The body of nonsense in evidence here ought to make a thoughtful person who may have been drawn into any of above theories (or similar ones) to rethink whom they trust and the types of theories they are willing to entertain.  There were, to reiterate, an awful lot of people who took the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth awfully seriously to the degree that it was a major topic of conversation in the 2004 campaign (and no, I did not vote for Kerry).

I do not know if Corsi is a con man, unhinged a bit, or both (perhaps he is crazy like a fox, laughing all the way to the bank).  He was smart enough to earn a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard, but that does not mean he is applying academic rigor in his career.

See, also, James’ 2008 post, Jerome Corsi and the Coarsening of American Politics.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    According to Corsi, Hitler actually escaped Germany as the Third Reich fell, and he did it with the help of none other than the U.S. government.

    Okay, I have to ask the question:
    Exactly how did Obama make this happen?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 0

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Based on the Swift Boat and Birther memes…this guy is clearly a primary opinion maker in the GOP.
    I’m just sayin’

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  3. humanoid.panda says:

    @al-Ameda: Same time machine he used to plan birth announcments in Honolulu newspapers, obviously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  4. rudderpedals says:

    Fnord. Everyone knows Hitler’s in Antarctica.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  5. Tillman says:

    God. I’m tempted to click on the Daily Beast link just to read what could have possibly motivated the U.S. government to conceal Hitler in South America.

    The Nazi scientists? They made sense; we like science and the Nazis had a good deal of it. The Nazi leaders? Doesn’t make sense. Doesn’t even make good nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    See also “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”. And H. L. Mencken’s wisecrack ” No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. “

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Steven:

    It’s kind of sweet that you think any amount of evidence, direct or indirect, would cause a birther to reconsider. I say this with respect and affection: are you high?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  8. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    You can’t get that high…even in the Colorado Mtns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. @Dave Schuler: Nothing new, to be sure.

    @michael reynolds: Were I high, it would likely make the admin work that I am currently engaged in more enjoyable, or so I would guess.

    It is an occupational hazard to assume that people (at least some people) can learn.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  10. Gavrilo says:

    He believes the U.S. government covered up information about 9/11.

    So did the majority of Democrats until at least 2006.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 24

  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Citations and evidence please, or STFU.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    So did the majority of Democrats until at least 2006.

    Really? There is polling data to support that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Got a link?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda: asks wrt/ Hitler’s escape

    Exactly how did Obama make this happen?

    Donjaknow? He used the same time machine he used to plant those fake birth announcements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I have often been impressed with the patience and dedication to pedagogy you’ve demonstrated in these threads. Not snark, entirely sincere.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  16. @gVOR08: I very much appreciate you saying so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I am sincerely hopeful that some might take this information in its totality and reassess the kinds of theories and assertions that they are willing to entertain.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is an occupational hazard to assume that people (at least some people) can learn.

    How’s that headache Steven?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. @OzarkHillbilly:

    How’s that headache Steven?

    Some days it is immense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Hmmmm, Dr Hillbilly says should go down to the gravel bar, strip and chew the bark from 2 red willows and call him in the morning. If the Gravel Bar is closed, head for the corner tavern and order up some single malt. If they don’t have any? You need to move to a better neighborhood with classier drunks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Frankly, I think Corsi is a symptom of how quickly the conservative movement is becoming an elaborate con for financial gain.

    Just say whatever your audience wants to hear especially if it’s against Obama and boom, the train to profit town. There’s a lot of people that make a lot of money off of Obama hatred.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  21. jukeboxgrad says:

    He was smart enough to earn a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard

    I strongly suspect that he simply made this up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  22. mantis says:

    Hitler is alive?!

    Thanks, Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  23. Moosebreath says:

    @mantis:

    “Hitler is alive?!”

    I am surprised no one has claimed Bin Laden is alive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. Anonne says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:
    This is the thing about Conservative politics: it is all animated by hate, being anti-liberal before anything else. It paints liberals as caricatures based on nothing at all, and it is surprising how many seemingly intelligent people buy that crap. See, e.g., Fox News.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  25. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    Funny you should mention abiotic oil. The last Steve Berry novel I read was about abiotic oil. He seems to believe that it is a credible theory and proves that the energy shortage and peak oil theory were made up to increase oil company profits.

    The other Steve Berry novel that I read was about Charlemagne and a lost tribe of extraterrestrials who lived in Antarctica at the time. He does a lot to propel and promote carckpot theories.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. Franklin says:

    “I wrote about it at the time as well, but the loss of my PoliBlog database means only the portion that James quoted remains”

    Steven, have you ever tried the Wayback Machine? Google it. Now here’s your post:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20060811132723/http://www.poliblogger.com/?p=10002

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. Kari Q says:

    @al-Ameda:

    In fairness, there is this.

    I think that Ben Smith significantly overstates the poll results when he says that “More than half of Democrats, according to a neutral survey, said they believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks” but at least there is a link of someone lining to a poll making the claim Gavrilo made.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. @Franklin: I had utterly forgotten about the Wayback Machine’s existence. Thanks for the reminder, as there are some posts I would really like to go back and grab the content.

    Cool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Kylopod says:

    @Kari Q: I remember this poll (or a similar one). There’s one thing that always needs to be taken into account whenever polling on a conspiracy theory about a president: there is a tendency for many partisans to say “yes” on any question reflecting negatively on a president from the opposite party. I’ve long felt the “birther” polls probably overstate the number of Republicans who seriously believe Obama was not born here. I’d wager if there were a poll asking something like “Is Obama a Martian?” you’d get at least a nonzero response rate of “yes.”

    In my own personal experience, I’ve met only one hardcore 9/11 truther, and he’s a libertarian. I’ve occasionally encountered a liberal who suggested it wasn’t implausible that Bush or members of his administration might have known about the impending 9/11 attacks, but when pressed these people usually admit the scenario is unlikely. Like anti-vaxism, trutherism isn’t solely a property of the far left: not only Corsi but Philip Berg, the first person to file a lawsuit over Obama’s eligibility, is a truther.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  30. Kylopod says:

    Also, I should note that “truther” articles have long been banned on DailyKos and Huffington Post. I am unaware of any similar bans on birtherism at right-wing sites like RedState or Free Republic. WND is swimming in these theories. In my view, it’s not just a question of how many liberals or conservatives support theories like this, but how much liberal or conservative groups encourage them and allow them to fester.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  31. Rob in CT says:

    the conservative movement is becoming an elaborate con for financial gain.

    Has become, not is becoming. The “movement” is now dominated by grifters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  32. Rob in CT says:

    Re: Dems believing Bush knew about 9/11, I always thought that was about the briefing he blew off prior to the attacks. Basically, he was rather specifically warned that AQ was looking to hit us, and I think there was a mention particularly about aircraft or somesuch. That doesn’t actually amount to him “knowing” and doing nothing. It amounts to him being, as we all know now, a shitty President. Depending on how the poll question was phrased… I dunno.

    There were Troofers. They existed, and from as early as I can remember, were roundly criticized and then mocked by their fellow lefties. Myself very much included (though I wasn’t as lefty then as I am now). They were thoroughly marginalized in fairly short order. They remained loud and annoying, sure, but they were shown the door.

    Compare and Contrast with, say, World Nut Daily.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @Kari Q:

    @al-Ameda:
    In fairness, there is this.
    I think that Ben Smith significantly overstates the poll results when he says that “More than half of Democrats, according to a neutral survey, said they believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks” but at least there is a link of someone lining to a poll making the claim Gavrilo made.

    Thanks.

    My take is that many of those polled thought that Bush might have been briefed on a possible major attack, so they answered affirmatively. However that is certainly different than “he knew.” It’s probably more nuanced than that, but I do not subscribe to any conspiracy theories regarding the 9/11 attacks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  34. Rob Prather says:

    [jerome R.] Corsi’s latest hypothesis, detailed in his new book Hunting Hitler, is that the German dictator didn’t actually kill himself alongside wife Eva Braun

    This is me being anal retentive, but I don’t think Eva Braun and Hitler were married. I would check it myself but I don’t want to Google Hitler from work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  35. Rob in CT says:

    @Rob Prather:

    IIRC, you are correct. I’ve always heard her referenced as his mistress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. rudderpedals says:

    @Rob Prather: They’re already aware of your interest in Hitler, Eva Braun, and your participation on some some subversive “outsider” web site so you might as well get your google on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. PJ says:

    @Rob Prather:

    This is me being anal retentive, but I don’t think Eva Braun and Hitler were married. I would check it myself but I don’t want to Google Hitler from work.

    According to Wikipedia (which is the same as what I was taught/read about it.):

    In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time partner, Eva Braun. On 30 April 1945, less than two days later, the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army, and their corpses were burned

    That’s Adolf Hitler link bait for everyone worried to google Hitler at work ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  38. Boyd says:

    This isn’t intended as an endorsement of anything Mr Corsi has written, nor to detract from Steven’s admonition against using any of Corsi’s work to substantiate claims, theories and the like. But…

    Just because Mr Corsi is provably wrong on Topics A, B, C, D, ad infinitum, doesn’t mean that he is wrong on Topic X. For instance, I wouldn’t be surprised that he believes humans depend on oxygen to live (although given his belief on abiotic oil, that’s not a sure thing), so I’m not going to disbelieve it simply because of his support. Although, if he writes a book about a subject, it’s pretty damning evidence against its factuality.

    In other words, it’s best to just ignore him and his positions on any particular topic, IMHO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  39. Franklin says:

    @PJ:

    In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time partner, Eva Braun. On 30 April 1945, less than two days later, the two committed suicide …

    Well isn’t that romantic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. @Boyd: This is, of course, correct. I almost said something along these lines in the post (broken clocks being twice a day and all that).

    Still, I do think that there is a cautionary tale here beyond just the obvious lesson that he should ignore Corsi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. Boyd says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Fortunately, I no longer have the job of correcting everyone who’s wrong on the Internet, so I can just stick with ignoring him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  42. Rob in CT says:

    @PJ:

    Doh! History major hangs head in shame…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. mattbernius says:

    @Boyd:

    Although, if he writes a book about a subject, it’s pretty damning evidence against its factuality.

    In other words, it’s best to just ignore him and his positions on any particular topic, IMHO.

    Boyd, there’s another key aspect of this.

    Given this evidence, it also suggests that anyone who chooses to give Mr Corsi a platform to expand on book topics, or uses Mr Corsi’s “scholarship” as evidence to defend a position, are probably best to ignore as well.

    Especially if one considers how giving a platform to Mr Corsi might tie into the “Limbaugh Methodology.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. Boyd says:

    @mattbernius: What the mathematically inclined might call a “transitive relationship.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @Boyd:

    Fortunately, I no longer have the job of correcting everyone who’s wrong on the Internet, so I can just stick with ignoring him.

    Well that explains it. I was wondering if you’d been slackin’ or what. Have you seen the Internet lately? It’s a mess. They need to fire the guy who took over after you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  46. Kari Q says:

    @Kylopod: and @al-Ameda:

    I agree with both of you. As I said, I think Smith’s interpretation of the poll results was off. The closest I heard to an endorsement of the “Bush knew” trutherism is “I wouldn’t put anything past those people.” But that didn’t mean that they really believed Bush or anyone in his administration would have just let the attacks happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. Barry says:

    @al-Ameda: Considering that Al Qaida was/is a Saudi-backed group, and that they were hooked up with the Pakistani-backed Taliban at the time, I assume that the US government is hiding a lot. However, it’s probably about just which ‘friends’ were funding Al Qaida, not about 9/11.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0