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Letter: Hennen, Armstrong breed disinformation

Public figures should encourage fact-finding and sworn testimony instead of spreading disinformation with off-record, politically-biased, unsubstantiated opinions disguised as facts.

Letter to the editor FSA
We are part of The Trust Project.

Reported by Forum Communications (FC), Congressman Kelly Armstrong stated he’s “learned nothing new” after sworn testimony to the Jan. 6 Committee revealed several members of Congress asked Trump for pardons. This information is difficult to ignore because getting a pardon requires admitting guilt for respective crimes. Asking for a pardon is an admission of guilt.

Armstrong’s “nothing new” statement is puzzling because most regarded the bombshell testimony of pardon requests as “new” information. Does his statement imply he’s privy to evidence contradicting last week’s testimony? If so, the Committee and Congressional colleagues would likely welcome his under-oath, on-the-record, sworn testimony – his off-record, unsubstantiated opinion helps no one.

In another Forum Communications opinion piece, Scott Hennen called the Jan. 6 hearings “a sham” – proposing he’d never heard of an insurrection where no shots were fired. Video and sworn testimony of Jan. 6 show a mob, many armed with guns, flagpole-spears, bear-spray … intent to “Stop the Steal,” even if it cost the lives of then-Vice President Mike Pence and others. Their mission failed. Why? Police officers – hundreds injured, several dead, bear-sprayed and beaten with Thin-Blue-Line flagpoles – protected the Capitol. It was an insurrection all right, even if your so-called “dopes” didn’t fire a shot.

Hennen’s opinion reflects cherry-picked evidence, replete with convenient omissions. Worse, he presents his opinion as if it’s an unbiased, evidence-based fact. This is a form of disinformation meant to distract from the truth. Further, though he portrays it otherwise, his off-record opinion isn’t equally-credible to information provided under oath. The latter requires factual evidence and sworn truth-telling. The former requires neither. If Hennen has evidence supporting his opinions, then step up yourself, Scott Hennen, or encourage those involved to testify under oath.

Armstrong and Hennen have a right to their opinions, but let’s be clear: 1) opinions can be fact-based but by their nature, most are colored by politics, personal agendas or even ideas not grounded in reality; 2) off-record statements aren’t credible in official investigations unless provided under oath, on-record. Anybody can say anything off-record – true or otherwise.

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What and how these gentlemen communicated breed disinformation, muddying the water around events of Jan. 6. Public figures should encourage fact-finding and sworn testimony instead of spreading disinformation with off-record, politically-biased, unsubstantiated opinions disguised as facts.

Truth and facts still matter.

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