Monday, June 15, 2015

With faux pas like these, who needs foes...

As many readers may know, Diana West has encountered a few snags since publishing her last book, American Betrayal, a little over two years ago (May of 2013; it seems like a decade ago!) -- a book that according to her began to germinate in her mind as a study probing the problem of undue Muslim Brotherhood influence in Washington.  As her research unfolded, she began noticing threads that resembled those of a whole other tapestry of subversion and sedition in our nation's history -- the era of Communist sabotage.  She followed those threads conscientiously and like a true historian and scholar, went where the data led her with an open mind.

As readers also know (or should know), her book quickly became a phenomenon unto itself, and the imbroglio about the book became, in some senses, a problem almost as disturbing, and certainly as quizzical, as the much broader and deeper subject the book itself treated (viz., the era of Communist sabotage against America).

In a nutshell (and boy has it been chock full o' nuts!), the imbroglio, hoopla & brouhaha surrounding this weirdly sideways tangent her book triggered turned out to be the exceeding oddity of various anti-Communist conservatives attacking her for diligently recounting the history of a remarkable penetration into American government of Communist saboteurs and fellow-traveling enablers.  These various conservatives wouldn't have minded if Diana had kept to the standard script of the "palace history" -- i.e., if she had described that Communist infiltration in relatively modest terms.  Her mortal sin was to bring together a wealth of primary and secondary sources indicating much more infiltration than the standard histories have been conveying all these decades -- infiltration so extensive and penetrating, including subversive influence on major American and Allied policy decisions before, during, and after WW2 -- that it sullied the record of F.D.R. and Truman, and many others in their orbit.

At any rate, I didn't mean to be trying to recount the whole sordid mess these past two years have wrought -- a mess that Diana West herself and a precious circle of stellar friends (e.g., M. Stanton Evans and Soviet dissidents Bukovsky and Stroilov) have been scrupulously and meticulously cleaning up ever since.

A helpful page assembled at Gates of Vienna lists all the articles relating to this protracted train wreck -- at least up to early April of this year.  There occurred two other episodes since that time, recounted by Diana West on her site.  Every one of them shames the aforementioned conservatives who attacked Diana West, and exonerates her.  All together, they convey a problem of such proportions it cannot be explained in any conventional manner.  The tangled skein of disinformation and ostensible lies from West's opposition cannot reasonably be explained by stupidity, brain damage, or un-ideological motives such as intellectual competitiveness. 

Nor -- and here's the bizarre part -- can it be explained as the result of Leftist propaganda; since the perpetrators have all been conservatives!  (The only way to explain this oddity would be to try to argue that these conservatives in question were opposing what they saw in West's book was a reckless tendency toward conspiracy theory (which has been the tack most often taken by David Horowitz).  But this explanation has two problems: it doesn't explain why these conservative critics time and time again ignored data, misconstrued West's words, and otherwise generated a jungle of ad hominems, goalpost-moving, straw men, and red herrings -- all meticulously documented by West's detailed and numerous responses to them.  And, it fails to go beyond unfounded assertion and slander by implication, in the face of Diana West's impeccable scholarly comportment, never coming off like a conspiracy theorist, while within that temperament of integrity having the perfect right to raise the host of legitimate, and legitimately disturbing, questions which she does raise -- questions which scream to be asked, given the mountain of dismaying dots & data she uncovered and scrupulously footnoted.)

One of the juiciest and gutsiest tongue-lashings I have yet seen in this regard was published the other day by Diana West on her site --  a letter to the Editor of National Review, upbraiding that vaunted institution with a searing dressing down, which I reproduce here for the reader's delight (and dismay):

From: Howard Glickstein 
Date: June 5, 2015 at 1:09:48 PM HST

Subject: Diana West, American Betrayal and your destruction of your credibility and integrity

I value National Review for Andrew McCarthy, Victor Davis Hanson and many other authors. That is why it is so dismaying and disheartening to have followed the consistently dishonest treatment NR has given to Diana West's book, even now, two years later. 

Disagreement is one thing. Misrepresentation is quite another. I have been a litigator for 36 years (AV peer rated). I have read the evidence: the book, all the pieces in NR, and Ms. West's replies, including the ones you wouldn't publish or buried. 

You have knowingly and repeatedly published as facts demonstrable falsehoods that any fact checking intern would catch.

This is not a close call. Dozens of lies are not an accident.

NR's conduct is unforgivable.

To see your publication become an exemplar of the Big Lie dishonors William F. Buckley's accomplishments, integrity and memory.

I expected more from Rich Lowry.

This doesn't pass the smell test. It reeks.

The inescapable question: since you're lying about this, what else are you lying to me about?

In disgust,

Howard Glickstein
Attorney at Law
Holualoa, Hawaii

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Further Reading (as if the reader needs more!):

A Google page listing most of my previous essays surrounding this conservative rabbit hole worthy of  the canniest and most cunning Alinskyites.

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