Thursday, July 17, 2003
More on Kristof's unbiased sources: As was noted by James Taranto on yesterday's "Best of the Web," Willam Sjostrom has some information about Kristof's Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
VIPS does not seem to have a website, but its email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and their open letter appears to have been published at CounterPunch (run by Alexander Cockburn, the Nation columnist), an outfit whose staple is stuff comparing Bush to Hitler. VIPS also published an open letter in opposition to the war at Common Dreams back in February. The spokesman for VIPS is Raymond McGovern, a retired CIA analyst. McGovern's email is also at CounterPunch. He is giving a briefing today with Rep. Dennis Kucinich. McGovern has compared the Iraq war to Vietnam, even saying that it could lead to nuclear war. He has charged that if WMDs are found in Iraq, they may well have been planted. He believes Tenet's job is safe because if Tenet were fired, he would reveal that the White House ignored intelligence warnings pre-9/11. McGovern has urged CIA analysts to illegally release classified documents to show what he believes to be true, specifically citing Daniel Ellsberg.
Another member of the VIPS steering committee is William Christison, who among other things believes that the Bush administration is attempting to colonize the Middle East, jointly with Israel. He believes that the war on terror is being used to turn the US into a military dictatorship. He is also a backer of the left-wing UrgentCall, along with people such as Noam Chomsky, Barbara Kingsolver, Julian Bond, and Jonathan Schell.
None of this proves that VIPS is evil, or even wrong. It does say that Kristof is trying to pass off a fairly left-wing group as a group of non-partisan "professionals". Remember Katie Couric's description of MoveOn.com, a very left anti-war group as simply an outfit “started by two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs frustrated by the political process”? This is the same kind of scam.
It's the old "people who share my biases are mainstream" syndrome. No need to point out who they associate with or what their real views are.