The Libertarian Party's rally to protest U.S. funding for Ukraine and urge heavy cuts to the Pentagon budget lost a pedophile speaker last week but has since added an anti-Semite.
Former Democratic congresswoman Cynthia McKinney will appear at the "Rage Against the War Machine" rally in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19. McKinney, who served in the House until 2007, has an extensive history of peddling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. In June 2021, she claimed that "Zionists" were behind the 9/11 attacks, and in 2020, she disputed that six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. McKinney joined the event days after former U.N. weapons inspector and convicted pedophile Scott Ritter withdrew from the event following a Washington Free Beacon report on his criminal history.
McKinney joins a rogues’ gallery of speakers whose controversial pasts raise questions about the integrity of the push to oppose American aid to Ukraine. The rally has brought together the likes of Ritter and McKinney with high-profile libertarians and left-wing activists including former Reps. Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard, best known for their respective anti-Semitic leanings and defense of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Gabbard will headline the event, which is being billed as the first major anti-war rally since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Organizers who are calling to "slash" the Pentagon budget, shut down all overseas military bases, abolish the CIA, and disband NATO.
McKinney has emerged as an anti-war activist since ending her political career, which included a run for president in 2008. After American military forces assassinated Qassem Soleimani, McKinney called then-president Donald Trump a "Zionist puppet" and alleged that his public statements about the air strike were "written in Israel." She has also met with leaders from the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.
Ritter was sentenced to prison in 2011 for masturbating online in front of an undercover police officer he believed to be a 15-year-old girl, the Free Beacon reported. Libertarian Party officials pressured Ritter to drop out of the event after the Free Beacon report, but he was reinstated after other speakers rallied to his defense.
The Libertarian Party is cosponsoring the event with the People's Party, founded by a former Bernie Sanders aide. Rally organizers did not respond to a request for comment.