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Present Dangers

New article for me has nothing to do with the Democratic Convention. Instead, after a brief tour through already reported material by Rozen and Raimondo we take a closer look at the Committee for the Present Danger and unearth its mysterious origins and then a look ahead to Iran. . . .

July 27, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

Wow Matt, you couldn't have done a piece on that group without referrencing Justin "Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement/Terror Enigma: 9/11 And the Israeli Connection" Raimondo?

How embarrassing.

Can we expect substantive quotes from David Duke in future TAP pieces?

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 10:08:55 AM

Shouldn't it be Committee AGAINST the Present Danger?

Posted by: cw | Jul 27, 2004 10:50:22 AM

Just because Justin Raimondo is kind of whacky doesn't mean that the CPD isn't ridden with people whose dubious pasts can't be exposed and ridiculed.

Posted by: praktike | Jul 27, 2004 11:04:36 AM

praktike:

I'm not saying that at all.

I'm saying the CPD should be relatively easy fodder for the likes of MY, without having to resort to a far-right wing extremist hate/fear monger to prove it.

I should have added in my first post that I have no problem with exposing and/or ridiculing the dubious pasts of anyone, including the CPD.

However, when Raimondo does it, one should consider his dubious past - and present - which needs to be exposed and ridiculed as well, especially as he attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of some left-of-center members of the political spectrum, which he's apparently pulled off to some extent.


Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 11:13:28 AM

Btw, Matt, I know y'all just got a snazzy redesign and everything, but don't you think TAP could use a better system wherein, with Slate-like alacrity, on could easily peruse other articles you've written? It seems that presently articles are stored by an ID ... if there's an author ID associated with an article as well, it would be a fairly simple matter.

Posted by: praktike | Jul 27, 2004 11:15:55 AM

SoCal -

There is a kind of bizarre mend-meld going on at the left and right corners of the spectrum ... remember Karen Kwiatkowski?

Posted by: praktike | Jul 27, 2004 11:21:18 AM

oh, Matt, since you seem to be interested in the Scoop-o-philes and their chicken-little ways -- I recommend you find yourself a copy of Isaacson's Kissinger bio and read the section about the Jackson/Vanik amendment and how our good friend Richard Perle screwed everything up.

Posted by: praktike | Jul 27, 2004 11:30:57 AM

praktike:

Watching some "progressives" (or people who call themselves progressives, anyway) cozy up to some of the most anti-women, anti-gay people on the planet is nothing short of bizarre.

I also find it very depressing.

Re: Karen Kwiatkowski. I have to wonder if her middle initial is also a "K."

But, hey, she hates Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld too, which is enough to make her a star in certain "progressive" circles these days.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 11:31:25 AM

Yeah. I think part of it is looking for any club to bash Bush with, no matter whence it comes. But there is a creeping sense that the far left and right have gone off the rails hand in hand ...

Posted by: praktike | Jul 27, 2004 11:38:35 AM

Committee of the Presently Dangerous: a nice aggregation of all the utter loons from the AEI and similar groups.

Posted by: ahem | Jul 27, 2004 11:41:32 AM

Spotted something somewhat ironic, in the NY Sun piece linked to by Ms. Rosen:

"Speaking from his summer home in France, Mr. Perle told the Sun he plans on joining the committee when he returns to America."

http://daily.nysun.com/Repository/getmailfiles.asp?Style=OliveXLib:ArticleToMail&Type=text/html&Path=NYS/2004/07/20&ID=Ar00101

France? I wonder if his "freedom fries" friends know about this.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 12:28:31 PM


You will always baffle me, Matt. I thought the article was great.

Matt credited Raimundo with uncovering one CPD member's connection with the Uzbek dictator. (Incidentally, boiling people in iron pots was already a traditional motif at the time of Genghis Khan.) This does not involve an endorsement of Raimundo's whole program. And in journalism, you really are obligated to credit scoops.

I seldom go to Raimundo's site for the same reasons everybody has, but I'm not clear as to how bad he really is. He's certainly anti-Israel but that really has to be a permissible, if wrong, position; Israel is, when all is said and done, a foreign nation whose interests sometimes conflict with ours and whose actions are sometimes harmful to us. Same as France, for example. Or Canada.

"Politics makes strange bedfellows" isn't exactly a new or original discovery, and the case we're talking about here isn't an especially shocking or surprising one either. The anti-interventionalists have different reasons for their anti-interventionalism, that's all.

Posted by: Zizka | Jul 27, 2004 12:32:28 PM

Zizka writes: "Israel is, when all is said and done, a foreign nation whose interests sometimes conflict with ours and whose actions are sometimes harmful to us."

Writing a book basically blaming the Israelis for 9/11 is a far cry from the simple, yet correct, statement that Israel is "a foreign nation whose interests sometimes conflict with our and whose actions are sometimes harmful to us."

You write: "I seldom go to Raimundo's site for the same reasons everybody has, but I'm not clear as to how bad he really is."

Well, maybe you should go to his site to check for yourself.

Here's just one of many instances of Justin R. going off the deep end:

His Who Is John Israel? piece about a man named in the Taguba report, who J.R. instantly assumes must be a Mossad agent (and thus Abu Ghraib is a Mossad operation) because his last name is, well, Israel. Mind you, this was based on nothing but Raimondo's high hopes, and, IMO, those hopes flying in the face of rampant stupidity. Would the Mossad go around allowing their agents to be named Israel? Would a CIA op ever go by the name Johnny America? But you know those crafty Israelis and their reverse psychology.

Turns out Mr. Israel was an Iraqi-American Christian.

There was no follow up/retraction from Justin.

But whether Raimondo's trashing the Israelis or homosexuals or women/feminists, I suppose it doesn't matter as long as reasonable people continue cutting the guy some slack, and in Matt's case today, lending him some sorely lacking credibility.


Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 12:50:59 PM


As I said, if he got the scoop on the Uzbek guy, Matt was right to credit him.

Matt is hardly a dove (I've checked), nor is he anti-Israel. He's not allying himself with Raimundo since he doesn't even agree with him on the Iraq War-- in this case he was just being a journalist. I think you're being knee-jerk.

Posted by: Zizka | Jul 27, 2004 1:58:03 PM

SoCalJustice wrote:

But whether Raimondo's trashing the Israelis or homosexuals or women/feminists, I suppose it doesn't matter as long as reasonable people continue cutting the guy some slack, and in Matt's case today, lending him some sorely lacking credibility.

Um, Raimondo is gay, so I don't know where you get the "trashing...homosexuals" stuff.

Posted by: Lee | Jul 27, 2004 2:06:48 PM

Zizka,

I'm not saying Matt is a dove or anti-Israel.

And Matt is allying himself with Raimondo on this issue, in fact, using Raimondo's "journalism" to bolster his own contentions (much of which I happen to agree with), irrespective of their positions on the Iraq war.

Matt has every right to do that if he chooses. You have every right to call me knee-jerk for pointing it out. Raimondo has every right to think Mossad agents are hiding in his closet and under his bed. And I have every right to inform Matt that, IMO and FWIW, it's rather unseemly to rely on an extremist far-right wing conspiracy theorist/slander merchant to do his research for him when there's plenty of information and/or sources to bust the CPD ladies and gentleman, if that's what he wants to do.

But that's probably just me being knee-jerk.

Look, I'm not saying everyone has to agree with me. Personally, I am getting very disillusioned by some liberals overlooking the dispicable nature of certain individuals and groups, merely because, on some (often small) level, there's an agreement on certain issues. And, as I wrote above, I find it rather depressing.

Lee, here you go:

Gay Victimology and the Liberal Kulturkampf

Homosexuals fighting for equal rights = bad.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 2:18:03 PM

If I could recharacterize the second portion of my last post.

"Homosexuals fighting for equal rights = Hitler."

Now, I know Matt has spoken out against Godwin's Law several times, so he probably doesn't have a problem with Raimondo's apparent similar antipathy to it.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 2:43:09 PM

If I were "SoCalJustice," I wouldn't go around casting aspersions on anyone for "extremism." Considering that he (she?) is a prolific poster on the hate site "Little Green Footballs," which calls Arabs "pigs" and worse, for him to call anyone a "hater" is demonstrably absurd.

My booklet, "The Terror Enigma," nowhere accuses the Israelis of being behind 9/11. Citing Fox News (Carl Cameron reporting),Salon, and Die Zeit, among other mainstream sources, my thesis in the book is that Israel knew something about 9/11 -- and, somehow, neglected to tell us.

As for my piece on John Israel: a number of publications, including Ha'aretz, also speculated along similar lines. And General Karpinski herself testified to the presence of Israelis at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq.

Me -- "anti-gay"? I think "SoCalJustice" must be smoking some VERY powerful weed. Or else is just too stupid to realize that libertarians oppose "equal rights" legislation per se, and not just when it involves gays.

Me -- "anti-woman"? I suppose any male homosexual could be so accused. So shoot me ....

It's amazing what people masquerading under a cyber-nom-de-plume think they can get away with.

Posted by: Justin Raimondo | Jul 27, 2004 3:00:05 PM

Oh no, Justin's mad.

Oh well.

FYI, I'm a poster here as well, and have been for a while.

And I've never called anyone, regardless or race, religion, ethnicity of nationality a "pig" - either here or there.

You want to attack me because of the behavior of other people? Fine, go ahead. But that's pretty lame.

And Matt knows full well how I found this site, and knows that I've been posting here for a while too, and I don't think he, or anyone else, would be able to find me calling Arabs or anyone else "pigs" - because I've never done it.

And seriously, I've been waiting for a follow up to your "Who is John Israel?" piece, apologizing for being so amazingly far off base. Judging from your rather weak defense here (b b but other people said there were Israelis there too!!), I doubt we'll see it anytime soon. You went after a specific guy solely because of his last name, and you were wrong.

Don't you want to steer your readers in the right direction? Don't you think that's the kind of "repsonsible" journalism they've come to expect?

Right.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 3:13:59 PM

Truth has no ideology, people--you can accept Mr. Raimundo as a fact witness (after givening his evidence appropriate scrutiny) without buying into his opinions, particularly his opinions on unrelated topics.

Posted by: rea | Jul 27, 2004 3:15:47 PM

BTW Justin,

I love you attacking my lack of courage when you haven't had the guts - let alone the common decency - to admit to your readers how wrong you were about Johnny "Mossad" Israel.

Lol.

Whatever.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 3:15:52 PM

To Zizka (especially), rea, and MY:

Zizka, in retrospect, your criticism of me as knee-jerk in this instance might be totally fair, as I have not at all focused on the substance of Justin's story, but rather just him as the source.

And being that I have also said (in the 2:18 post) that I agree with much of what's in Matt's article, I am not questioning this individual piece of information re: an Uzbeki government apologist as a member of this "think tank."

I have no problem believing that Justin is correct in this instance - much as I would want certain governments to promote a Sufi, rather than Wahabbi, style of Islam, but not in the context of overlooking the principles of decency to do so.

So sorry for the knee-jerkness.


Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 3:31:22 PM

Quoting SoCal Justice:

"Zizka,
I'm not saying Matt is a dove or anti-Israel.

And Matt is allying himself with Raimondo on this issue, in fact, using Raimondo's "journalism" to bolster his own contentions (much of which I happen to agree with), irrespective of their positions on the Iraq war."

Sorry, you're wrong and you are being knee-jerk. If Raimundo uncovered a fact, what he did isn't "journalism" as you call it, it's journalism -- without the scare quotes.


By crediting Raimundo, Matt did NOT in any way ally himself to Raimundo. He just credited a source.

Matt really does not agree with Raimundo on the significant issues of American foreign policy, though they both are very dubious of the CPD. That's not an alliance. It's very hard to say the opposite of every single thing someone says.

There are cases when leftists -- one of which Matt is NOT, God damn his sorry ass -- DO cozy up to anti-Semites on the Israel question. But this is not one of those cases. And the "leftist=anti-Semite" meme is, in fact, being worked to death and smotehred in hyperbole.

Posted by: Zizka | Jul 27, 2004 3:40:36 PM

I didn't hadn't SoCal's most recent post when I posted at 3:40; either I overlooked it or it wasn't up yet.

Posted by: Zizka | Jul 27, 2004 3:44:18 PM

Zizka,

We cross-posted. I already apologized and said you were being fair, definitely more fair than I was being. I hope you'll accept it.

And I really, really, really WAS NOT saying, at anytime, that Matt was "cozying up" to Raimondo's virulently anti-Israel "at all costs" position.

I was trying to impart that I found it depressing that Matt found the need to source a far-right wing extremist to bash this AEI spin-off when there's probably plenty of information to do so from non-far-right-wing extremists sources.

And now I'm fairly sure I did it rather inartfully.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Jul 27, 2004 3:49:43 PM

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