Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Death Of Alexander Litvinenko, Continued - Part I: Justin Raimondo Has Turned Into Elmer Fudd

Time for a little spleen-venting. A little score-settling.
A little bile.
Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that, although people of great integrity such as Pat Buchanan and Paul Craig Roberts appear on Antiwar.com, its editorial director Justin Raimondo is an individual of low, or no, integrity.
Two things have led me to this conclusion.
It might be a function of my condition - but I can't seem to stop jumping in where I don't have to when I see either point blank lies being told or what I perceive to be concerted propaganda efforts being hoisted on the public.
That was what annoyed me so much about the BBC's propaganda efforts to prevent the deportation of Sakchai Makao.
That is what has annoyed me so much about the death of Alexander Litvinenko.
I didn't know the guy, had never spoken to him - but they were lying about him, and that could not be tolerated.
And these lies had to be addressed not once, but three times.
My thanks for this was - a link.
An e-mail from Raimondo saying 'Thanks for taking otherwise productive time out your life to defend my reputation, Martin', would have been nice - but I guess he's a busy man.
That's the first reason - the second is, well, financial.
Between February 24 2005 and March 14 2006, Antiwar published five original articles of mine (read them now, because after this post they might not be there for long), entitled 'The Gonzocons Live On', 'The High Priest of Empire', 'The Gonzocon Terror Lie', 'Gonzocons Erase History' and 'A Requiem for Gonzoconservatism'.
Shane Cory's payment policy at 'The Washington Dispatch' was quite straightforward - he didn't. That was made clear at the outset, and one was happy to give him copy on that basis.
That was a nice gig. I miss it.
VDare pays, and after it published 'Ireland: Though All The World (Specifically, The Irish PM) Betray Thee' I received a cheque for $100 very promptly afterwards. This became £44.00 after the exchange rate and bank handling charges did their worst, but that's not Peter Brimelow's fault. Peter's a man of his word, and I can say with hand on heart that I've seen the colour of his money.
I cannot say the same of Justin Raimondo.
Antiwar's article submission guidelines make no mention of it having a 'no payment' policy. If they don't pay, then they should at least say so. In the absence of such a statement, one is entitled to believe that one will be paid for work submitted.
I have never received an enquiry from them as to where payment should be sent. I have not been paid for any of these articles.
Of course, I am the sucker here. To be suckered once is bad enough, but five times - folks, I might have been a lawyer and write about economics but I am no businessman.
Nobody gets into blogging or Internet commentary for the money, for sure, but I've got better things to do with my time than write adverts for bubblewrap.
This blog's early posts are scarred with a white box at the top of the page - that was where the Google Ads public service box appeared in the interval between telling them to take it down after they rejected me and my working out how to remove its HTML code manually.
But one's experience with 'Antiwar' means that if anyone were to ask me 'Should I submit to Antiwar?' I would reply 'No, because Raimondo's not good at showing his cash'. He is the editorial director - this is a matter under his control.
It's not just that they published five original articles - they also linked to four 'Washington Dispatch' pieces, 'Faster, Neocons! Kill! Kill!', 'The Blue Bolsheviks', 'The Sons of the Desert Gather Flowers of the Forest' and 'The Fever of Revolution'. Presumably they paid nothing in order to link to those pieces - which means I was providing content not only to 'The Washington Dispatch' but also 'Antiwar' for free.
They were written for TWD readers, not to be vampirised by Antiwar.
Notwithstanding all this, I sent them a very short piece less than two weeks ago, during their fundraising drive, suggesting 'Six Good Reasons to Donate to Antiwar'.
I will admit to an element of pique at none of the links I have submitted to them in relation to the Litvinenko case having been used- but I think I know why they might have sat on the shelf.
I have committed the cardinal sin of criticising Justin Raimondo.
One of Antiwar's great hooks is 'Liars don't link' - and in a critique of the version he told of his Moroccan, ahem, associate's story I wrote,
"However, I'm not altogether sure how verifiable Justin's comment about how the Spanish 'shoot illegal immigrants as they clamber onshore from rickety barges' might be; and very unusually for him, the reference is not supported by a hyperlink."
However, that Raimondo is, in my experience, a graceless tightwad (and hysteric) should not obscure the fact that he set the standard for Internet journalism with his investigation into the alleged poisoning of Victor Yushchenko.
Which is why his effusions on the Litvinenko case show him to be turning into Elmer Fudd.
This one deals with reporting faults covered two days earlier.
But the most Fuddish of all his Litvinenko pieces is today's.
We get to Erinys -
"However, the visit to Erinys/Titon International is a bit harder to explain away as a mundane event.

The dictionary defines Erinys as "an avenging deity; one of the Furies; sometimes, conscience personified," and doesn't that send a bit of a chill down the spine? Alarm bells ought to be going off, at this point, as we learn that Erinys has its roots in the South African apartheid regime's intelligence apparatus, and, in its present incarnation, has links to Ahmed "Hero in Error" Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.

Erinys secured a contract from the Coalition Provisional Authority worth $80 million to protect Iraq's oil infrastructure, and you can see what a good job they've been doing. While this may not be a bargain for American taxpayers, it is a good deal for the INC, practically a guarantee of permanent employment for Chalabi's gang. Erinys employs their top people as legal counsel and uses Chalabi's militia for the strong-arm stuff: 14,000 strong. And you thought the U.S. subsidy to Chalabi & Co. had ended!

Titon International, headed by the same CEO, is variously identified as a "private investigator," and also an agency engaged in "confidential" "computer forensic investigation," whatever that is: their Web site describes them as

"An independent Business Intelligence Company providing a wide range of bespoke security and intelligence services to the commercial world both in the UK and Overseas. All Titon services are necessarily discreet and precisely tailored to the client's requirement – client confidentiality is of paramount importance to us and is always guaranteed."

Titon's graphic symbol, prominently displayed on their Web site, is an iceberg floating in the sea, with the great mass of it underwater and only a few icy peaks jutting through the surface.
We are told that the occasion of Litvinenko's visit to the building housing Erinys and Titon International was to see "a friend," but one wonders if it really was just a social call. Given the short time it took for Litvinenko's poisoning symptoms to manifest themselves, one also wonders just when this visit was made. On the day he was effectively killed, Litvinenko paid a visit to the world headquarters of a major mercenary operation; while this could be a coincidence, somehow I don't think so".
"Upon what 'unrelated matter' could Litvinenko, a relatively unimportant Russian dissident, British citizen and associate (and tenant) of a man who's made clear his desire to bring down a friendly foreign power's democratically elected government by force, have possibly been visiting the offices of the company that won a $100 million contract to guard Iraq's oilfields?
One is certain it couldn't be on account of anything which might contravenes the strict code of ethics to which Erinys adheres."
Indeed.

At the very least his asylum status should be reviewed.

And one must ask - given their closeness to Berezovsky, have Goldfarb, who appears to be an American citizen, Litvinenko, now a British citizen, and Zakayev, like Berezovsky a recipient of the United Kingdom's asylum, all been aware of and perhaps involved in his parapolitical plans?"
As far as Litvinenko's concerned, it looks like we'll never know.
And as far as Justin Raimondo's concerned, maybe Anthony Gancarski had a point.

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