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August 7, 2004
Beheading Video A Hoax From Wannabe Frisco Pol

The AP reports on a piece of human effluvia that produced a video of himself being beheaded in order to deliberately hoax the world into thinking that Islamofascists has brutally murdered another hostage. Why? To protest Islamofascism? No. To protest the war? No.

Surely it couldn't be just to get himself some world attention? BINGO! And guess where he lives:

The American, Benjamin Vanderford, reached by The Associated Press in San Francisco, said he videotaped the staged beheading at his friend's house using fake blood.

Vanderford, 22, said he began distributing the video on the Internet months ago in hopes of drawing attention to his one-time campaign for city supervisor. When his political aspirations waned, he thought the video would serve as social commentary.

"It was part of a stunt, but no one noticed it up until now," Vanderford said. "I did this for a couple of reasons. One is to attract attention. But two is to just make a statement on these type of videos and how easily they can be faked."

Vanderford strikes me as something of a sociopath -- someone who thinks that no one else except himself really exists and that the highest calling in life is to manipulate as many people as possible. How much time was wasted by intelligence services trying to run this down that could have been spent elsewhere? Did we put off checking on good information just to run this hoax to ground? I can only imagine what the families of real Islamofascist beheadings must be feeling when they hear this story, something Vanderford doesn't even address in his casual, shirtless explanation to the AP.

I'm surprised that the people of San Francisco didn't elect this guy, who must have lost only because stranger candidates were on the ballot or a rare bout of lucidity struck Bay Area residents on Election Day. Even at that, Vanderford will likely be hailed as a performance artist by a subset of lunatics that exist in the Frisco area, or a hero of the First Amendment. Perhaps he'll be invited to International ANSWER rallies to appear with Michael Berg. God help us, in that region, Benjamin Vanderford may actually get elected to something now, an example of a new breed of bleeding-heart leftist: the heartless variety.

Hope he enjoys his notoriety. It's all he's got.

UPDATE: Reuters continues with some background on Candidate Vanderford, aka MeMeMeMeMeMe:

Vanderford's Web site identifies him as a 22-year-old independent candidate for district supervisor in San Francisco. He is also a musician and video-game programer.

His political manifesto on the Web site addresses local issues such as tenants' rights, the homeless and government transparency, with no mention of Iraq.

A musician and a video-game programmer who ran for public office and produces fake snuff films to get attention. Doesn't that just complete the picture of young American self-indulgence?

UPDATE II: Reuters updates its story with a quote from Mama Vanderford:

"It's a hoax," Theresa Vanderford, mother of Ben Vanderford 22, said from her San Francisco area home. "He's very computer savvy and stuff."

Yeah. He's also a soulless jerk ... and stuff.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 7, 2004 7:51 AM

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» Anvilhat Watch: Maybe He Thought It Would Be Big in Cannes... from Ubique Patriam Reminisci
Some jerk posted a fake video of his own beheading by Abu Zarqawi on the web three months ago, just for kicks. It's just been discovered, and determined a hoax. What gets me is this part of the article: He said the video parody of actual beheadi... [Read More]

Tracked on August 7, 2004 1:09 PM

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