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Kris Paronto, a U.S. Army Ranger and former CIA security contractor, was suspended from Twitter on Sunday over hateful speech directed toward a liberal organization.
Paronto, an active Twitter user, jumped on a thread by former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill mocking the liberal organization’s account for saying former President Barack Obama killed Osama bin Laden. O’Neill has claimed he fired the shot that killed the al-Qaeda leader in 2011.
Paronto responded in a now-deleted Tweet saying: “OMG ??!! Did you just tell the guy who Shot Bin Laden that @BarackObama did it ?? BWAHAHAHA. Thank you for verifying that BHusseinObama worship and TDS causes liberalists to skip retard and go straight to potato. #YouAreAnIdiot #NeverGoFullRetard.”
The next morning, Paronto said he had been suspended for the tweet, writing that the 12-hour suspension was “liberal hypocrisy and conservative censorship on full display” by the social media platform.
The ex-Army Ranger also posted an Instagram post about the suspension, saying in the caption, “we have the right to free speech but only if it fits the leftists’ narrative.” Twitter and the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, have in recent months been accused by high-profile conservatives of shadowbanning right-wing accounts (Twitter denies doing so).
During a speech on Friday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Obama criticized President Donald Trump’s responses to the Benghazi investigation and called it a “wild conspiracy.” Paronto was part of the team that responded to the Benghazi attacks, which left four Americans dead.
“It’s disgusting,” Paronto said. “It just raises the bile inside of me. I had a hard time just watching the speeches. I just wanted to see what he had to say. And when that came across, I just wanted to reach through the screen and just grab him—grab him and choke him.”
Paronto later tweeted a sarcastic apology to Obama supporters and thanked Donald Trump Jr. for his criticism of Obama’s remarks.
H/T Daily Mail
Sunny Kim studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She's an editorial intern with the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in the Daily Texan and Popular Mechanics.