GOP lawmakers Ted Cruz and Dan Crenshaw were among those fooled by a fake story that claimed the Taliban executed someone by hanging — from a Black Hawk helicopter which then flew the corpse over the city of Kandahar.

It all started with a viral video that did, in fact, feature a man hanging below a Taliban-operated Black Hawk helicopter, which was sent by a now-suspended account. The caption for that video made no mention of an execution, but simply said “Our Air Force! At this time, the Islamic Emirate’s air force helicopters are flying over Kandahar city and patrolling the city.”

That video was then tweeted out by others, who filled in their own version of what was happening in the clip.


Cruz retweeted the falsely-captioned video, and wrote “This horrifying image encapsulates Joe Biden’s Afghanistan catastrophe: The Taliban hanging a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter.”

Then, after some line breaks for poignancy, he added “Tragic. Unimaginable.”

Ted Cruz tweet 1432542966426607619

Crenshaw retweeted the same video and wrote “In what f***ing world was it a good idea to just hand over a country to these people,” because it would be offensive to write “fucking” in the caption of a snuff video.

Dan Crenshaw tweet

The New York Post was only slightly less credulous than Crenshaw and Cruz, posting the story with the suggestive headline “Shocking video shows man hanging below Black Hawk flown by Taliban,” and only noting in the body of the story that “it is not immediately clear exactly how he is attached or if he is alive.”

Aside from the fact that even in this video, it’s obvious the man isn’t being hung from the neck, the story fell apart even more completely when another video of the same scene clearly showed the man waving to people on the ground below, and freelance journalist Bilal Sarwary provided excruciatingly damaging detail.

“Afghan pilot flying this is someone I have known over the years. He was trained in the US and UAE, he confirmed to me that he flew the Blackhawk helicopter. Taliban fighter seen here was trying to install Taliban flag from air but it didn’t work in the end,” Sarwary wrote.

Cruz eventually deleted his tweet and replaced it with a quasi-corrected one, but as of this writing, Crenshaw has not.

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