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Twitch Streamer Suspended Following Controversial 9/11 Comments

Twitch has suspended the channel of Hasan "The Provocateur Gamer" Piker for one week following comments made by Piker about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people.

Piker, who often features on the progressive YouTube channel The Young Turks, has a reputation for his politically charged streams. Piker's controversial comments occurred during a live stream in response to an interview with Republican congressman and former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw on the Joe Rogan podcast. Near the start of the interview, Crenshaw described Bin Laden's hatred of and subsequent acts against the United States as "irrational" and based only the country's "Western ideology."

Crenshaw continued this tirade, denying Rogan's claims that other countries dislike the U.S. because of its destabilizing foreign policies and the deaths of civilians during U.S. drone strikes. Instead, Crenshaw asserted that millions of civilians in countries like Iraq and Yemen wanted the United States to expand its military presence in their regions. According to the congressman, if the United States removed its influence from the over one hundred nations it's occupying, worse groups would step up to fill the power vacuum this created.

Piker strongly objected to Crenshaw's rhetoric. "This is so insane," said the streamer. "America deserved 9/11." The chat took a turn for the worse following this and related statements. Piker brought up the fact that the U.S. sells weapons to Saudi Arabia, who may have played a role in the 9/11 attack. He then devolved into a vulgar criticism of Crenshaw, painting him as a hypocrite for using his credentials as a war veteran to push for military actions.

The controversy spawned by Piker's comments has since spread across multiple mediums, including Twitter, YouTube, and later an appearance on Fox News by Crenshaw with host Laura Ingraham calling Piker a "vile creature." Ingraham and Crenshaw spent the segment slinging insults at the streamer and the "radical left." 

Piker himself went on The Young Turks to clarify the intent behind his comments, conceding that he could have chosen his words with greater care. He reiterated his conviction that U.S. foreign policy led to 9/11, that the country is selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, and that Crenshaw was using his service record to pad the pockets of the military industrial complex without regard for the lives it cost.

"Obviously, 9/11 was a horrific tragedy," Piker said. "3,000 Americans died, OK? 7,000 troops have died since then in endless wars. And if you're spending all of your energy getting upset at me because I think that is abhorrent and awful, maybe you should spend your energy elsewhere and realize that those who justify the endless bloodshed don't actually have the best interest of those young men and women at heart."

Twitch suspended Piker's channel despite the streamer's attempt to explain himself. The platform declined to share the reasoning behind their decision.