RI Heritage Hall Of Shame

The horrifying news that disgraced former National Security Advisor and Russian operative, Michael Flynn, has been inducted into the RI Heritage Hall of Fame has already hit the national news, so this is going to be painful. At least all the decent people, people loyal to the U.S. Constitution, are speaking out, resigning from the Hall, and refusing to attend the induction. I can’t bear to even be writing and thinking about this right now. From Dan McGowan’s piece in the Boston Globe.

The conspiracy-mongering Christian nationalist, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and became one of the country’s most prominent 2020 election deniers around the same time former president Donald Trump pardoned him, has been offered a spot in the Hall of Fame alongside everyone from Roger Williams to John Chafee.

So who is running this organization? First, there is Hall of Fame President Lawrence C. Reid. Here’s how he responded to McGowan’s request for information:

When we spoke on Tuesday afternoon, Reid stood by the board’s decision, arguing that it wasn’t exactly a narrow vote to select Flynn for the honor. When I asked how he voted personally, he told me it was “none of your business.”

“It’s controversial, but lots of things are controversial,” Reid said flippantly, as if he was defending the right to drink Del’s with a straw.

I think we all recognize the tone of that response.

Then there is the current Hall of Fame President, the odious, self-promoting windbag — and now self-proclaimed MAGA conspiracy theorist — Patrick Conley, himself inducted in 1995. (Just look at the entry he wrote for himself. Can we please stop calling him a “historian.” He’s the only person who calls him that. He’s a hack.) Here is Conley’s response to lawyer John Tarantino upon receiving his letter of resignation: Katherine Gregg writes in the ProJo:

But Conley made public a letter he wrote Tarantino last Friday defending the induction of Flynn into the Hall of Fame “to vindicate Flynn in his home state in the manner contained in his executive grant of clemency from President Trump – another innocent victim of the ‘Russia hoax’.”

“Flynn did not commit high treason, espionage, sedition, or any high crime,” Conley wrote.

“Flynn was illegally surveilled by the outgoing Obama administration … set-up without benefit of counsel by two agents from a weaponized FBI …. [then] tried and convicted by a biased media,” wrote Conley, who still guides the Hall of Fame board from behind the scenes.

I’ll bet URI President Parlange is breathing a sigh of relief that he took our advice last year and rescinded Flynn’s honorary degree. See Dooley Retires in Disgrace; and URI Pres Parlange — Rescind Flynn Honor; and URI President Parlange: Revoke Honorary Degrees (plural . . . the other one was Giuliani).

Sad to say this will probably be the end of the RI Heritage Hall of Fame, although the writing was on the wall when they inducted Gene Valicenti.

 

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