Monday, April 23, 2012

Resign, Art -- For the Good of the Organization

Well, NOW I'm convinced....

In his address to the home office staff after dislodging Vance Smith as CEO of the JBS in October 2005, Art Thompson promised that he would leave that position voluntarily if he became a liability to the organization.

Man up, Art. Make good on your promise. You're an embarrassment to the organization and a burden on the hard-working people who have to clean up after you.

For the past three weeks, Art has done his formidable best to validate the common stereotype of the JBS as an insular group of aging reactionaries perversely nostalgic for the Cold War. In two previous installments, Art has spoken with and entirely unwarranted pretense of expertise regarding the supposedly malign influence of the RT (formerly Russia Today) media group.

Last week, the curators of the JBS Facebook page offered this binding guarantee:

That promise conjured images of the JBS's research department embarking on a determined quest to exhume the truth about this mysterious entity: Trained eyes would carefully scrutinize terabytes of detailed information archived in voluminous databases; hard-copy files would be plundered, and dust would be blown from the covers of venerable reference books, in tireless pursuit of long-forgotten but now-relevant biographical details and organizational connections. Phone calls would be made, e-mails dispatched; sources would be contacted; favors would be called it. In short, no reasonable effort would be spared to stalk the elusive truth to its lair.

After all, according to Art Thompson -- He Who Sits In Robert Welch's Seat -- RT is nothing less than a potentially lethal threat to our beloved republic!

A week later, after promising "hard facts" and "specific examples" regarding RT's campaign to subvert all that's good, true, and decent, Art provided ... a one-page summary of nebulous charges made by a former KGB functionary named Konstantin Preobrazhensky.

"So I hope that kind of clears things up on Russia Today," Art declared, as if this were dispositive.

"All right," one might say. "We're dealing with the world of covert operations, after all. Perhaps this subject is buried so deeply in mystery that the JBS was able to identify Mr. Preobrazhensky through an exception expenditure of effort."

Well, no.

The statement by Preobrazhensky that Art read was originally published by a silly little store-front alarmist group called America's Survival, Inc. That "group" consist of Cliff Kincaid, a gravel-headed dope who actually Red-baited Ron Paul, suggesting that the Ron Paul campaign is a Soviet-controlled operation designed to split the Republican vote and return Obama to the White House. Kincaid went so far as to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that an endorsement of Dr. Paul by Adam Kokesh in his RT program "Adam vs. The Man" constituted a "violation of the ban on political contributions and expenditures by foreign nationals."

Kokesh, of course, is a U.S. citizen. He is also a Marine combat veteran who has become an outspoken peace advocate and proponent of the libertarian principle of self-ownership. Kincaid is a Chickenhawk and -- as demonstrated above -- a statist tattle-tale. In this instance, Kincaid was acting as a Stukach -- a derogatory Russian term used to describe secret police informants.

"We must guard against foreign regimes and their puppets interfering in our elections," gloated Kincaid after RT dumped Kokesh's program. "That's why I filed the complaint."

Perhaps as a reward for his service to the Rodina, Comrade Cliffy could be presented with a Young Pioneer bandana and have his name enrolled in the ranks of the Pavlik Morozov Brigade.

This doesn't mean that Preobrazhensky's claims about RT are without merit, of course. The problem here is that Preobrazhensky, who worked for Soviet intelligence under cover as a journalist, is now employed by another State-run media organ -- Voice of America, which is more properly described as "Voice of the Government Afflicting America." In that capacity, this erstwhile KGB official shares such glistening specimens of lapidary insight as these: "Anti-Americanism has become the basis of Russian foreign policy nowadays. Hatred of America is hatred of democracy."

It's difficult to see how statements of that kind are anything other than clumsy statist propaganda.

Let's assume that RT is exactly what Art Thompson, Cliff Kincaid, and others of their persuasion believe -- a State-controlled media organ run by KGB veterans loyal to Vladimir Putin. This would mean that RT's Grand Nefarious Plot (tm) would include, inter alia:

*Warning Americans about the implacable advance of the domestic police state -- including personalized manifestations of secret police hostility to dissidents -- rather than urging them to support it;

*Urging Americans to diversify their news intake, rather than being content with state-aligned corporate media organs;

*Assailing key planks of the Communist Manifesto, including a central bank and a progressive income tax, rather than subtly advancing acceptance of them;

*Exposing torture-murder committed by federal law enforcement agents, rather than rationalizing such acts as somehow necessary to deal with "socially dangerous persons."

In brief, the KGB's disinformation agenda here -- assuming that Thompson, Kincaid, and Company are correct -- is focused on defending individual liberty and property rights against the lawless state, and cultivating skepticism toward the Official Line, rather than dutiful acceptance thereof (RT's corporate motto is: "Question More.") This putative Communist disinformation campaign contrasts sharply with the approach preferred by the "free" press in America -- namely, retailing the Official Line with slavish docility

Remember: At a time with the American media goes to ridiculous lengths to deny the existence of the Ron Paul campaign, RT was practically the only English-language news service to provide Dr. Paul with a mass media platform.  Perhaps that's why Cliff Kincaid, confused little child that he is, assumed that Ron Paul must somehow be a tool of the "Soviets."

Does Art Thompson believe that the people in his organization are so weak-willed and weak-minded that they will be caught in a propaganda undertow and become Communists through mere exposure to RT News? Apparently so. I can't imagine what Birchers could have done to deserve such an insult.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a moron. It is due to leadership and management like this - that I left the "geriatric, bogey men under every bed" group known as the JBS.