Bannon invented the Navy story he credits for making him afraid of Muslims
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon built a media empire and political career largely around his vicious opposition to the existence of Muslims, so one can’t help but wonder what exactly made the president’s most pimpled adviser so afraid of the religion. Bannon shared an origin story for his Islamophobia in Joshua Green’s new book about his role on Trump’s campaign, but it turns out the events never happened, so I guess the mystery continues.
Bannon told Green that he first realized how scary the Arab world was during his time serving on a Navy destroyer in 1979. From the book, via The Intercept:
We’d pull into a place like Karachi, Pakistan – this is 1979, and I’ll never forget it – the British guys came on board, because they still ran the port. The city had 10 million people at the time. We’d get out there, and 8 million of them had to be below the age of fifteen. It was an eye-opener. We’d been other places like the Philippines where there was mass poverty. But it was nothing like the Middle East. It was just a complete eye-opener. It was the other end of the earth.
“It was not hard to see, as a junior officer, sitting there, that [the threat] was just going to be huge,” Bannon said.
Decades of mainlining Proactiv and scotch seem to have blurred Bannon’s memory, though. Aside from the fact that Pakistan isn’t typically considered to be in the “Middle East,” the port of Karachi was not under British rule in 1979. There’s also the fact that the ship Bannon served on, the USS Paul F. Foster, never even visited Pakistan during his deployment.
That teensy little detail was confirmed to The Intercept by six sailors who also served on the Foster during 1979 and 1980, as well as by the ship’s public deck logs in the National Archivers. The vessel made stops in Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Christmas Island, Hong Kong, and Singapore, but not Karachi. Bannon, who shared the story with Green in 2015, did not respond to The Intercept’s requests for comment.
Who would’ve thought Bannon’s totally sane worldview wasn’t based in reality?
[The Intercept | photo: Getty]