White House Declines to Say Van Jones Enjoys "the Confidence of the President" *

Asked if controversial White House official Van Jones continues to enjoy the confidence of President Obama given recent revelations about his involvement with those who suggest the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attacks and allowed them to happen in order to justify a war for oil, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs Friday morning would only say "he continues to work in this administration." Jones, the Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, last night issued a statement apologizing for past controversial remarks and said a petition which he signed suggesting that President Bush "may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen" perhaps to justify war in Afghanistan or Iraq, "does not reflect my views now or ever." An administration source said Jones says he did not carefully review the language in the petition before agreeing to add his name.

This morning information surfaced that seemed to suggest that Jones was on the organizing committee of a 2002 march making similar insinuations and allegations, though a Jones ally suggests that it may be that Jones was not on the organizing committee of the march but rather of a newspaper called WAR TIMES -- "A New, Biweekly, Tabloid Newspaper Opposing the "War on Terrorism" with no connection to the march.

The WAR TIMES document asserts that the "world's most powerful nation has mercilessly bombed Afghanistan and is installing a neo-colonial government of its own choosing, although that country has never attacked the U.S. Millions of Afghans have been displaced and face starvation this winter. The administration has also green-lighted massive Israeli assaults on Palestine, and it threatens to attack Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, and other countries. The agenda seems clear: to remake the world in the rightwing image with little regard for human consequences."

Whether the announcements are separate or in conjunction is unclear. The White House did not respond to many requests for comment.

Either way, Gibbs said that that the "9/11 Truther" sentiments are "not something that the president agrees with." -jpt

*This post has been updated to reflect the ambiguities about the 2002 document.

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