Thursday, April 27, 2006

US - Lunacy of Juan Cole: The BBC's "expert"

John Fund exposes the lunacy of Juan Cole; the BBC's go to man on the Middle East.


Not content with that outburst, Cole put this dose of paranoia on the public record two days later, about the invaluable translation service,

"MEMRI was founded by a retired Israeli colonel from military intelligence, and co-run by Meyrav Wurmser, wife of David Wurmser. David Wurmser is close to the Likud Party in Israel and served in Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon, where he helped manufacture the case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was linked to al-Qaeda. David Wurmser, who wants to get up American wars against both Iran and Syria, then moved over to Vice President Dick Cheney's rump national security team.

"MEMRI is funded to the tune of $60 million a year by someone, and it is a sophisticated anti-Arab propaganda machine."

Memri threatened to sue Cole for libel. I wrote about the matter, disapproving of the libel suit, but pointing out:

"[T]he best-endowed think tank in Washington, Brookings, which employs 142 scholars in a handsome building on Massachusetts Avenue, has a budget of some $40 million. Is it really possible that Yigal Carmon and his half-dozen ill-paid translators could be spending 50% more than Brookings? Fortunately, it takes about 90 seconds to get the answer.

"As a tax-exempt organization, Memri is obliged to publish an income tax return revealing details of its income and expenditures. ... The return shows that Memri’s budget in 2002 was a touch less than $1.75 million.

"Confronted with this number, an apparently embarrassed Cole subsequently suggested that Memri has secreted vast sums in its Tel Aviv offices. Um, right. US taxfilers are obliged to disclose their global incomes or face heavy penalties. If Memri were raising vast sums worldwide, it would have every reason to boast about its accomplishment and no reason to conceal it."

Cole's work fits well with in the Angry Left blogosphere. It might even deserve to be reprinted in The Nation on a week when the fact-checkers were on strike. But Yale's motto is Lux et Veritas, light and truth. It would make a strange home for a man whose stock in trade is error verging on libel, tinged with obsessive delusions about, ahem, "neocons."

Cole is an example of the "experts" the BBC use.

More on the BBC's wingnut here.

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