Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Will Jim Massey be MIA at Winter Soldier?

Reprinted from IVAW's Winter Soldier II March 13 - Foundation of Frauds
at The Democracy Project, with special thanks to Bruce Kesler.

Will Jimmy Massey be MIA at Winter Soldier?

On March 13-16 the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will be holding an event they are calling “Winter Soldier Investigation – Iraq and Afghanistan (WSI)”, patterned after its namesake conducted by the radical Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in 1971. The earlier WSI formed the basis of young John Kerry’s testimony before Senator Fulbright’s Foreign Relations Committee about alleged widespread war crimes and atrocities committed by American forces in Vietnam. That event was instrumental in the longstanding defamation of the Vietnam veterans.

Senator Kerry’s candidacy for President in 2004 triggered renewed interest in the 1971 event. The passage of time, however, has not been favorable to its veracity. Most recently, the long unavailable summaries of the Army’s CID (Criminal Investigation Detachment) attempts to investigate the 1971 charges were located and they have devastated any pretense of the credibility of the first WSI’s allegations.

For months the IVAW and its supporters have been advertising the upcoming WSI as an investigation of war crimes and atrocities committed as policy by Americans forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The IVAW home page currently displays the front page of a March 2nd London Sunday Times Magazine that speaks of the coming WSI. The headline reads:

“We Came, We Saw, We Murdered”

However, neither event was or will be an investigation. They are political theatre and propaganda. Critical elements of serious investigation will not be present: sworn testimony, depositions, affidavits, cross examination of witnesses, rebuttal, legal liability for making false statements and so forth. There will be the more theatrical trimmings though, like streaming video, tapes and DVDs, audio recording for radio and so forth.

The IVAW understands that unlike 1971, this WSI will come under greater scrutiny, very much so by the blogosphere. They also know that the IVAW organization has had serious credibility problems before with members leveling false atrocity charges.

Jesse MacBeth:

The most notorious such IVAW credibility disaster was the Jesse MacBeth video from May 2006. The video presented IVAW member MacBeth as an Army Ranger who had engaged in and witnessed horrific American atrocities in Fallujah in 2004. MacBeth was a fraud who had been kicked out of the Army before completing boot camp. Almost as quickly as it spread on the internet the fraud was convincingly declared to be such by veteran and active duty milbloggers. The IVAW issued a statement within days distancing itself from the video and MacBeth. However, IVAW never saw fit to offer any kind of apology or even recognition that it was IVAW that had been providing MacBeth with the visibility, credibility and platform that brought him to the attention of the independent producers of the video. IVAW was well aware that MacBeth had been telling atrocity stories and acknowledging IVAW membership well before the video was released. The organization never saw fit to verify MacBeth’s claim of service with anything like due diligence until after the controversy erupted.

Jonathan DeWald, until recently president of the Milwaukee chapter of IVAW and ten year Army veteran (although of neither OEF or OIF) acknowledged the credibility issue as it related to MacBeth at his blog. However, DeWald wrote this enigmatic statement in doing so:

“Have we had problems with credibility before? Oh, hell yes! But that [MacBeth] incident (and the possibility that there exists another former IVAW member who can be proven to be a fraud)…”

Jimmy Massey:

There are grounds to believe that DeWald was obliquely referring to Jimmy Massey as that other former member. Massey was a Marine for 12 years who participated in the invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003. By December he had been discharged with a diagnosis of PTSD. Massey became one of the co-founders of IVAW in July 2004. By 2005 Massey had been telling lurid atrocity stories to several media organs, including the Associated Press (AP). However, Ron Harris of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch exposed Massey's allegations as false, based upon statements from other Marines and five journalists embedded with Massey’s unit. Harris also pointed out conflicts in Massey’s own accounts. The Modesto Bee and Sacramento Bee retracted the Massey claims they had published. Eventually the AP also did so, after having used Massey as a source for several stories. AP admitted they had not even sought to verify Massey's claims with their own reporter who had been embedded with Massey’s unit, writing:

"‘Clearly our stories should have included the firsthand observations of our own embedded reporter…”

While Massey’s value fell in the U.S. media market, his career in atrocity stories has become an export business because, as Ron Harris noted it has “been profitable for Jimmy Massey to keep telling this lie.”

Massey’s book "Kill! Kill! Kill!" was published in France in late 2005, written with French journalist Natasha Saulnier. Al-Jazeera carried the story. In March 2006 Massey was quoted saying:

"I do a lot of work for IVAW so I'm heavily engaged in that and lining up different speaking engagements with various organizations throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. I recently went to Kuala Lumpur. The prime minister of Malaysia was hosting a peace conference, and wanted a representative from IVAW…"

A year later in March 2007, Massey represented IVAW in Athens, Greece. At about the same time Massey had a new atrocity book launched at the 2007 Caracas Book Fair and was interviewed for the Cuban News Agency:

Massey attended the most recent Caracas Book Fair, where he presented his book "Cowboys of Hell," a crude testimony about the genocide being committed every day by the United States against the Iraqi people. The ex-marine gave an interview to Cuban journalist Rosa Mirian Elizalde.

"I'm 32 and I am a trained psychopathic murderer…"

Massey is unquestionably the preeminent veteran peddler of the widespread and routine American atrocity theme in the world and he is also widely known as a founder and member of IVAW. Yet, there is some indication, none of it coming up to the standard of reliable sourcing, that IVAW and Massey may have parted ways and that Massey has resigned or been removed from IVAW. There has been a dearth of press association between IVAW and Massey for the last several months. If that is the case, and it has been done quietly, that is to the discredit of IVAW.

Credibility Lost:

Credibility lost, if it is to be or even can be regained, must be earned. IVAW’s distancing itself from MacBeth was insufficient at the time to allow the organization to maintain credibility. What was called for was an admission that in their eagerness to build their activist base they had given a fraud a platform to launch false and inflammatory charges. IVAW granted credibility to MacBeth because of the presumption by others that the organization had verified, at the very least, his status as a veteran of Iraq.

Even so, MacBeth was a fringe character who was a member of IVAW for only a few months. His rocket launched and was shot down almost immediately. Massey is altogether different. He was a co-founder of the organization. His allegations had been carried in several U.S. papers and distributed by the AP. He was representing IVAW in foreign countries long after he was exposed as a liar. On the IVAW’s web page speaking of its founders it had said of Massey:

“After a hard fight he was discharged and has since been telling people the truth about the war in Iraq.”

I have publicly asked two IVAW members if Jimmy Massey will be attending Winter Soldier. One, asked a month ago seemed to want very much to change the subject. Within a day of asking again a few days ago and receiving no answer, the IVAW founders page was quietly changed. The line about Massey “telling people the truth about the war in Iraq” has been deleted. The Internet archive for the page confirms this as do the copies on my hard drive (and an earlier post).

How could it be that IVAW has been planning for months to bring together its member veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to “testify” to war crimes and atrocities and Jimmy Massey not be there? That is a reasonable question.

If Jimmy Massey, a very public figure, is no longer a member of IVAW, in the interest of full disclosure and for the sake of its credibility, IVAW must say so. If that is so because of Massey’s demonstrated credibility problems, IVAW must explain why its site still claimed that Massey “has...been telling people the truth about the war in Iraq” for years after Massey was exposed. If they have parted company for any reason having nothing to do with Massey’s credibility problems, IVAW must still explain why they had been making that claim that Massey has been telling the truth about Iraq and whether they supported or still support the allegations he has made that have been challenged. If Massey is still a member of IVAW, the organization should explain why their most internationally well known and most published activist and dissembler of atrocity stories will not be at the single biggest and potentially most important event in the organization’s history.

Credibility requires transparency and honesty, not just the quiet disassociation from or keeping a low profile about what has been exposed as fraud in one’s own organization. In the case of Massey, IVAW has to decide where they stand on their co-founder’s allegations and make that public. If IVAW does not think that allegations by a prominent member long proven false are worthy of addressing, they have no more credibility now than when they gave Jesse MacBeth a platform.

Denis Keohane
Obiter Dictum

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

2 items folks should be aware of:

Is Ron Harris Telling the Truth?
http://www.counterpunch.org/massey11102005.html
By JIMMY MASSEY

&

Jimmy Massey, Ron Harris and Ambush Journalism
http://www.counterpunch.org/goff11082005.html
By STAN GOFF

.

talon said...

Here's something people should be aware of, anonymous - this is a message from one of the Marines who served with Massey in Iraq. I doubt any of this will come as a suprise to anyone:

I would like to thank you for placing the article about Massey on your website. I was in the same unit, 3RD Battalion 7TH Marines, as Massey. The man was always full of shit and a lousy Marine. He seems not only capable, but excited to stab his fellow Marines in the back.

I will say some inocent people died on our way to Baghdad, this is war and unarmed people will always die in war, but there were no acts of murder in the unit. I will say this as a fact as there is no proof otherwise. Massey is a liar and he is trashing the Marine Corps to line his pockets.

Thank you,
Phill

Read the whole article while you're at it:

"The Lies of Jimmy Massey"
http://www.floppingaces.net/2005/11/06/the-lies-of-jimmy-massey/


Well, what do we have here?? Someone confirming Phill's suspicions that Massey is the second coming of John "Christmas in Cambodia" Kerry?

"Some journalists who bothered to investigate Massey discovered he even lied about his life after returning from Iraq. For instance, he told reporters that he lost his civilian job because his superiors didn't much care for his antiwar grandstanding. It was later discovered that Massey quit his job in order to devote more time to antiwar activities and his pursuit of celebrity. Some observers suspected that, like Senator John Kerry, Massey wished to use his stories of Iraq in order to begin a political career."

"Outing a Liar: Hero Marine Gets Caught Pulling a John Kerry"

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/3591

If you care to read Ron Harris' article, you can find it here:

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/marine-told-tales-for-fame

Still think Massey's credible?

Of all of Jimmy Massey's lies, this one is by far my personal favorite:

"We are committing genocide in Iraq, and that is the intention."

World Socialist Web Site
November 11, 2004

Would this "genocide" be anything like the one in Armenia? Nazi-Occupied Europe? Rwanda? Bosnia? Darfur?

What say you, anonymous? Still got that hook stuck in your lip?

talon said...

With all of this prevarication concerning "genocide" going on, I wonder if IVAW will invite Noam Chomsky to the WSI2 to repeat his allegation about the "silent genocide" in Afghanistan? Funny how he started noticing these things only AFTER his buddies in the Khmer Rouge depopulated Cambodia.

Anonymous said...

From:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/112707R.shtml

Iraq Has Only Militants, No Civilians: "Tactical Perception Management"

26 November 2007

At the time of this writing, the group Just Foreign Policy has offered an estimate of Iraqis killed since the U.S.-led invasion and occupation. Their number: 1,118,846. Consider that possibility in the context of the latest round of news from Iraq about lessening violence.

The estimate is based on figures from a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. and al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, and published in October 2006 in the British Medical Journal, The Lancet, which found 655,000 Iraqis had died as a direct result of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation. The report methodology has been called "robust" and "close to best practice" by Sir Roy Anderson, the chief scientific advisor to Britain's Ministry of Defense. Since that time, in addition to Just Foreign Policy, the British research polling agency Opinion Research Business has extrapolated a figure of 1.2 million deaths in Iraq. Based on this, veteran Australian born journalist John Pilger wrote recently, "The scale of death caused by the British and U.S. governments may well have surpassed that of the Rwanda genocide, making it the biggest single act of mass murder of the late 20th century and the 21st century."

.

talon said...

The Lancet survey has already been proven to have used faulty methodology to arrive at its numbers - welcome to last week.

Counterpunch, TruthOut - totally unobjective, hyper-politicized Moonbat propaganda resources. Not long ago TruthOut repeated Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky's decades-old denials of the Communist genocide/democide in Cambodia - not exactly what any discerning researcher would consider a reliable source of information.

NAMedic said...

anonymous,

I love the spin always put on this topic. So the much touted "civil war", al Queda in Iraq, foreign fighters sponsored by Syria and Iran and Saudi Arabians, and just plain criminal elements out for profit from kidnapping and extortion - none of these killed anyone? And of those actually killed in coalition military ops, all were civilians - no bad guys at all? All the US casualties were what - friendly fire?

And the Lancet study was discredited anyway as to actual numbers.

Come back with something like an attribution chart of who the actual KIAs are by affiliation, and who did the killing, and maybe you'll have something factual to talk about.

And don't tell me it never would have happend at all but for us. That "direct result" argument is as intellectually dishonest as that gets. How many casualties, civilian and military, killed by the Nazis and the allies combined, were the "direct result" of D-Day, 1944? If we had minded our own business and stayed in England, or better yet the USA, none of them would have died.

You make the argument you do because - and only because - you do not agree with the national policy of three administrations towards Iraq. You oppose the war. Or maybe all war. You are entitled to that opinion.

But you are not entitled to your own version of facts.

Jonn Lilyea said...

Malkin has another IVAW liar

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/03/05/draft-card-burning-deja-vu/

Zero Ponsdorf said...

Anon:

Yep, the troofers are on top of the facts.

Silly shit...

Denis Keohane said...

About that one million plus number...

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2007/09/harry_reid_gen_petraeus_and_co.html

Do the math!

Denis Keohane said...

And come on guys, can you answer why IVAW removed the words "has since been telling people the truth" from their write up on Massey on the IVAW founder's page?

http://keohane.blogspot.com/2008/03/ivaw-its-not-lies-its-cover-up.html

I'm not making this up. There's proof, screen captures, entire files saved to hard drive, the Internet Archive....so why are you guys defending what IVAW no longer feels comfortable claiming and removed from their site?

Do you know what "credibility" actually means? It is not just saying this is so because he and I say it is so!

Anonymous said...

Re: casualties (of all types)

Those folks questioning published numbers need to step up and cite some of your own sources and methodologies as to what numbers you deem credible and then state why these are acceptable in the current conflict. How many deaths (again, of all types) are justifiable and is there ever a point at which you stop? Ever? Do the numbers even matter to you folks? The comments here sure aren't furthering anyone's understanding of what is actually happening in theater, and it seems there's a reluctance to actually pursue and collect that information. Prove me wrong, please.

talon said...

Anonymous -

With all due respect, we're discussing Jimmy Massey, IVAW and the WSI2 here. If you would like to get on-topic, we would be glad to hear what you have to say on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Part of this thread was whether or not Massey's (and others) claims of GENOCIDE were credible. You all claim the Lancet study was discredited. It certainly was NOT.

From: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4649 [October 2007]

---In fact, there is virtual unanimity among biostaticians and mortality experts that the methodology used in the Johns Hopkins study is accurate. Following up on an earlier version of the study, Liala Guterman, a senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, says she contacted 10 experts in the field about the Lancet article, and "not one of them took issue with the study's methods or conclusions." Indeed, she said, the experts found the conclusions "cautious."

According to John Zogby of Zogby International, one of the world's most respected polling services, "The sampling [in the Lancet survey] is solid, the methodology is as good as it gets." Ronald Waldman, a Columbia University epidemiologist, said the method was "tried and true," and British Defense Ministry science advisor, Sir Roy Anderson, said the survey was "close to the best practice."

Indeed, the Bush administration used exactly the same methodology to determine the number of deaths in Darfur, figures that were used to convince the U.S. Congress to label the current crisis in the Sudan "genocide."--

Army Sergeant said...

I will note that Michelle Malkin has not discovered another IVAW liar, Michelle Malkin has discovered another paper that made a mistake and issued a retraction when the individual himself corrected the paper.

Hardly a 'credibility problem'.

By the way, Denis, sorry on being so absent from the blogosphere-intensely busy. Expect sporadic posting from me for a while.

talon said...

anonymous -

Are you accusing the U.S. of committing genocide in Iraq? Exactly who - the Kurds, the Shi'a or the Sunnis - are we trying to wipe off the face of the earth?

Let me see, we've been protecting the Kurds since 1991 and fought with them during the invasion of 2003. Can't be the Kurds.

The Shi'a? Well, the PM of Iraq, a Shiite, doesn't claim we're committing genocide in Iraq. Can't be the Shi'a.

The Sunnis? Well, they're fighting WITH us to rid the country of al-Qaida. Can't be the Sunnis.

Did I leave anyone out? Perhaps the Chaldeans? I can't say I am aware of any reports of American forces systematically massacring Iraqi Christians.

If the United States were truly guilty of committing genocide in Iraq, why hasn't the United Nations even filed charges against the U.S.?

CLUEPON: Because we're NOT committing genocide in Iraq.

Last September, Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki stated in a Wall Street Journal written by Fouad Ajami:

"We may differ with our American friends about tactics, I might not see eye to eye with them on all matters. But my message to them is one of appreciation and gratitude," he said. " To them I say, you have liberated a people..."

Does that sound like the Prime Minister of Iraq is charging the U.S. with committing genocide in his country?

Jimmy Massey isn't the first "anti-war" activist to accuse the United States of committing genocide since 9/11 - Noam Chomsky leveled the same bogus accusations during the invasion of Afghanistan, and he later had to try and obfuscate his way back out his slander, in his typical serpentine manner.

I realize that all you read are Leftist publications that support your worldview, which is why you are oblivious to the fact that the Soros-funded Lancet study was discredited by analysts (ex., the New England Journal of Medicine, amongst others) long ago. Here's a sampling:

"Data Bomb"
http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/databomb/index.htm

"Anti-war Soros funded Iraq study"
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3177653.ece

So, are you going to repeat Massey's allegation? Don't be shy - come right out and say it!

talon said...

Oh, and one more little thing. We have the technology to turn Iraq into a plate of glass. If we were interested in committing genocide in Iraq, we could have done so without the loss of a single U.S. serviceman or woman.

Denis Keohane said...

"You all claim the Lancet study was discredited. It certainly was NOT."

Yeah, it has been and by many, including the very anti-war folks at Iraq Body Count:

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

I'd suggest you start with their "Reality checks: some responses to the latest Lancet estimates" located here, and it is devastating:

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/beyond/reality-checks/

They document between 82,000 and 90,000 civilian deaths, but admit that it is very difficult to separate the civilan daths from the combatants in a war in which one side is not uniformed. Also not that most of the deaths, as in even the Lancet study with the bogus figures, come at the hands of the insurgents and terrorists, not the coalition.

Lancet credited 40% of all deaths to car bombs alone. Those ours ya think?????

Anonymous said...

re: Iraqi Genocide

Holocaust Denial, American Style
http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/68568/

The Iraqi Genocide
http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts10162007.html

The forgotten fallen
http://www.newstatesman.com/200711150033

.

Anonymous said...

re: Iraq Body Count

Iraq Body Count, Human Rights Watch and that empire-building business
http://www.thecatsdream.com/blog/2007/10/business-as-usual-iraq-body-count-human.htm

Also:

Use of the Iraq Body Count Database
(scroll to bottom)
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/counterexplanation.html

.

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