years, American policymakers, in concert with the business
community, have been lecturing the Chinese about the need
for "the rule of law"; this, they bray, year after
year, is the prerequisite for good relations and American
investment in their country. Whenever a Chinese leader comes
to the United States, he is harried by the "human rights"
harpies, followed around by chanting drum-beating Tibetans
and their American camp followers, and derided as a despot
in our smugly self-righteous media. (This is the same group
of people who passively accepted the Clintonian story that
the bombing was due to "outdated maps.") Now, however,
when the tables are turned, and the US is clearly owing somebody
something for the "accidental" deaths of
Chinese embassy personnel, suddenly the story is quite different.
DISHONORABLE GENTLEMAN FROM NEW YORK
we find out, from the dishonorable gentleman from upstate
New York, who is also the chairman of the House International
Relations Committee, that the rule of law does not apply to
the United States government. Of course, the people of Yugoslavia
already know that.
OF FOREIGN AID PORK
the recent Balkan war, Gilman stood out from the Republican
majority to embrace Clinton's "humanitarian" destruction
of Yugoslavia. As the king of foreign policy pork, which he
ladles out lavishly, Gilman is eagerly shepherding Clinton's
multi-billion dollar "foreign aid" bill through
Congress, in spite of ostensible Republican opposition. With
all those billions going to prop up the Egyptian dictatorship,
plant the flag of the New World Order in the Balkans, and
subsidize the socialist state of Israel, there is not one
penny left over to pay damages for an act of destruction the
US government has owned up to committing. This is no doubt
due to the alleged "cuts" being made in this traditionally
bloated budget item a fiction maintained by the Washington
custom of counting the failure of a government agency's budget
to grow at a foreordained pace as a "cut."
Gilman resolution declares that "neither the United States,
nor NATO, should reimburse the Chinese government for the
accidental damage of their embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia,
unless the United States is reimbursed for the damage to its
government facilities in China." Gilman claims that the
riots that broke out in several Chinese cities in response
to the embassy bombing were "orchestrated" by the
Chinese government. But how is it that thousands of Chinese
students and these were the most numerous and militant
element of the anti-American demonstrations held throughout
China could be suddenly motivated to do the bidding
of the Chinese gerontocrats? Aren't these the same students
who filled Tiananmen Square and continue to push the limits
of dissent and free speech in "Red" China? Are these
the same students who are openly contemptuous of the Communist
Party and haven't the slightest interest in Marxist ideology?
PRAISE OF "XENOPHOBIA"
wonder the Chinese people are prone to periodic fits of "xenophobia,"
what with the arrogance and ignorance of their foreign tormentors,
who do not even bother to understand or differentiate between
various currents of Chinese thought. The attitude of Gilman
and his fellow congressional dolts is that those damn gooks
are all alike, anyway, and what does it matter if a
few of them die due to our "error." Their main concern
is the inconvenience suffered by Ambassador Sasser, and the
perceived insult to a Great Power. This goes a long way toward
explaining why the United States government is coming to be
hated worldwide. You could almost say it was planned that
way. Surely such arrogance has got to be calculated,
and who can blame the Chinese for seeing it that way?
have gotten several letters from outraged conservatives who
denounce me for accusing the Hate China lobby of racism. They
were with me when it came to Kosovo, they explain, but why-oh-why
must I raise the tired old charge of "racism" in
this case? I'll tell you why: because it's true, and Gilman's
disgusting resolution is incontestable proof of it. In explicitly
calling for the withholding of any payments to the families
of the slain Chinese embassy employees "unless the United
States is reimbursed for the damage to its government facilities
in China," Gilman is equating the damage to the American
embassy in Beijing with the lives of Chinese citizens
"accidentally" snuffed out by US/NATO bombs. In
other words, in Gilman's view Chinese lives are worth less
than stone, masonry, and the precarious dignity of US government
officials. If that isn't racism, then I ask you: what is?
(and looking) like a little chihuahua, GOP presidential candidate
Gary Bauer came to Los Angeles on July 17, where he stood
on the steps of Hughes Space and Communications Co., yapping
that "money has driven our policy with China. That must
end. We are going into the next century facing the challenge
of China, a regime that says it intends to replace the United
States as the predominant power in the Pacific." Here
we have yet another presidential wannabe who is geographically
challenged: by "the Pacific," Bauer means not only
the South China Sea, but also the Straits of Taiwan! But why
should America have military "predominance" over
the waters off the Chinese coast? It is as if the Chinese,
or some other nation halfway around the world, suddenly decreed
the Floridian Gulf off limits to the American military. Americans
have their Monroe Doctrine: why begrudge the Chinese a Monroe
Doctrine of their own?
all the candidates for President, Bauer, the former head of
the Family Research Council, is the most hateful of the China-haters,
repeating the lie of "forced abortions," playing
the anti-abortion card and the anti-China card in the same
hand. The only problem is that this is the political equivalent
of a card trick: while abortion is legal in China, it is not
"forced" unless economic penalties can be called
coercion. In China, the state will only subsidize the first
child after that, you're on your own. It seems odd
that a Republican candidate for President is denouncing this
radical reform of the "iron bowl" principle of Communism
as the moral equivalent of mass murder but then we
are living in very strange times.
to Bauer, we can have no truck with a nation comprising more
than a quarter of the world's population. Peaceful trade is
out of the question, "I am here today to say there is
another Republican viewpoint, and one that I believe is much
more strongly supported in my party at the grassroots. I believe
a new foreign policy with China should rooted in America's
vital national security interests, not trade." Last time
anyone bothered to look, Bauer was in single digits in the
polls. So much for his appeal to the "grassroots"!
the sixties, the US government was involved in extensive operations
against domestic antiwar groups and other "leftist"
organizations deemed subversive by administration fiat: government
agents attempted to disrupt and destroy dissent, and they
often succeeded, as subsequent investigations of the FBI's
so-called Cointelpro project revealed. In the nineties, and
the new millennium, the new subversives are right-wingers;
and the government is hounding them even more mercilessly
than the Yippies and Commie radicals of J. Edgar Hoover's
day. And we aren't talking about a murderous attack on a group
of isolated religious eccentrics in a rural compound, but
an all-out legal onslaught directed against a nonprofit foundation
devoted to investigative journalism. We aren't talking about
Bernadine Dohrn and the Weathermen, but Joe Farah and the
Western Journalism Center, a venerable institution of conservative
a frontal assault on the Internet and the First Amendment,
the Clintonistas are using the Treasury Department as a weapon
to shut down WorldNetDaily.com,
a division of the Western Journalism Center, and the most
popular news website on the Internet. The strategy is to revoke
their status as a nonprofit educational foundation, under
section 501C(3) of the IRS code. After three years of stonewalling,
the government has finally complied with the Freedom of Information
Act and released a 1997 Treasury Department report with the
ominous title of "Questionable Exempt Organization Activity."
Although heavily "redacted," the document proves
beyond the shadow of a doubt that the White House directly
intervened to target WorldNetDaily.com and the Western Journalism
Center, its nonprofit sponsor.
THOUGHT POLICE IN ACTION
the Center subjected to a grueling IRS audit that drained
its resources and preoccupied its personnel, the pioneering
Internet newspaper was on the ropes until this latest
dramatic breakthrough. According to the report, "the
audit originated from a taxpayer who faxed a letter to the
White House expressing his concern over a one-page advertisement
paid for by WJC (Western Journalism Center) that asked for
contributions to investigate [White House deputy counsel Vincent]
Foster's death. The fax was forwarded to the EO (Exempt Organization)
National Office and then to the respective Key District Office
for appropriate actions." Appropriate in a police
audit originated in the complaint of one amateur sleuth, in
effect the civilian arm of the IRS thought police, one Paul
Venze of Beverly Hills (where else?). In a November 9,1994
letter to Clinton, faxed directly to the President's office,
Venze questioned whether an ad placed by the Western Journalism
Center in the Los Angeles Times wasn't too "political"
and "mean" to enjoy tax exemption. The ad solicited
funds for an investigation into the death of White House advisor
Vincent Foster. This letter was then forwarded by the White
House to the IRS in as clear a message as it is possible to
send: go after these guys.
go after WorldNetDaily they did. The IRS moved quickly to
revoke the Western Journalism Center's status as a nonprofit
educational foundation. The IRS bureaucrat assigned to the
case decided that "investigative journalism is not educational,"
and openly stated to the Center's officials that "this
is a political case that will be decided at the national level."
Farah is fighting back, with the aid of Larry Klayman and
Judicial Watch, and the IRS has already been forced to restore
the center's nonprofit status. But the fight has taken a heavy
financial and personal toll: the result has been that WorldNetDaily.com
has had to lay off several employees, and is now forced to
seek private investors as a for-profit company. "According
to the IRS, WorldNetDaily.com has no First Amendment rights
as a nonprofit," said Wayne Johnson, a WorldNetDaily.com
Inc. board member. "Fine, we'll pay taxes and be 100
times larger. The White House may be able to target one little
foundation, or one lone investigative journalist, but it can't
shut down the Internet. The bureaucratic state is an anachronism
that simply no longer possesses the means to silence its critics,
short of unplugging the Internet itself."
Clintonistas would love to unplug the Internet if they could,
but short of that they will be satisfied with unplugging the
most prominent and popular centers of cyber-dissent, with
WorldNetDaily.com at the top of the list. If they were trying
to shut down a newspaper, even a small and relatively obscure
one, the outcry would be instantaneous and loud. But two factors
prevent this from happening in Farah's case: 1) This is the
Internet, and therefore WorldNetDaily is not quite "legitimate,"
and 2) Farah is the kind of combative conservative that liberals
love to hate.
IS THE ACLU?
this has something to do with the reaction of the American
Civil Liberties Union to the case: they were naturally the
first group Farah turned to, and they showed some interest
until they discovered who and what the Western Journalism
Center was about. Farah spoke with the woman who heads the
Washington office: "Initially she was very interested
in a case which clearly is a civil liberties matter,"
he said in an email to me. " I don't think she realized
what the Western Journalism Center is. She told me she would
discuss the case with her staff. A week later she was as cold
ARE ALL THE CYBER-"LIBERTARIANS"?
there was a move by some misguided Republicans to purge the
Internet of pornography, the virtual community united as one
and the blue ribbon of "internet freedom" was placed
on virtually every "hip" website, including (I seem
to recall) this one: but let Joe Farah get shut down by the
Clintonistas for daring to start the biggest and most successful
Internet newspaper currently online, far out-drawing such
online Clintonista mouthpieces as Salon, and where
are all the hip "cyber-libertarians" of Silicon
Valley and San Francisco's "Cyber Gulch"? What color
ribbon does Joe Farah get or doesn't he rate
one? Not since the days of the Watergate "plumbers"
has a President been caught so redhandedly trying to destroy
his political opponents using the coercive apparatus of the
state. But where is the public outcry? Where are the outraged
demonstrations of the sort that greeted efforts to restrict
children from viewing Internet pornography? Why isn't Dan
Rather in a lather?
reason we aren't likely to hear much about this in the "mainstream"
media is because they frankly are delighted that the President
is closing down their competition. Rapidly losing credibility
and market share, the television networks and newspapers are
increasingly irrelevant in a digital world, and they know
it. Operations like WorldNetDaily.com and NewsMax,
among others, are competing with the traditional media for
the limited time and energy of the world's information junkies
and winning. If the television networks and newspapers
stand by while Joe Farah is quietly strangled in the night,
who will ever know the difference? The success of the Internet-based
competition represents a threat to their livelihoods as well
as their politics, and it won't take much persuading for them
to stand by and watch while the government goes after the
attack on Joe Farah and WorldNetDaily evokes the dark days
of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's wartime dictatorship, when
the Chicago Tribune was a thorn in the President's
side and New Dealers considered sending in the Marines to
occupy the Tribune Tower offices of publisher Robert R. McCormick.
Back then, as now, the "mainstream" media was rabidly
pro-Administration. Far from defending the right of McCormick
to dissent, they openly colluded with the New Dealers to crush
him. As the conservative columnist John O'Donnell recorded
in his New York Daily News column at the time, a meeting
of the Overseas Writers Association turned into a virtual
Hate McCormick rally: "Roosevelt advisors applauded lustily
such declarations as: The important thing is to put an end
to [criticism of the Roosevelt Administration] by any means
necessary be as ruthless as the enemy. Get him on his
income tax or the Mann Act. Hang him, shoot him and lock him
up in a concentration camp." [March 30, 1942]
tried and repeatedly failed to shut McCormick down. But history
never repeats itself in precisely the same way, and this time
they may get away with it. Farah hasn't anything close to
the resources that old McCormick had at his disposal. I have
my disagreements with the editorial line of WorldNetDaily,
in particular on the China question, but on the issue of the
First Amendment there can be no compromise, no waffling, and
no hesitation to take up the fight. The Clintonian assault
on the biggest Internet newspaper is a vicious and calculated
campaign to muzzle cyber-dissent and horn in on the last free
space untouched by regulators and the tax collector. If this
wall is breached, then the ensuing flood of statist controls
will submerge and destroy the bright promise of new media
everywhere. This is the gravest threat the Internet has ever
faced and the silence is frightening.
MUMIA OF OUR OWN
fight is important, and needs to be taken up by Right and
Left, "cyber-libertarians" and Neanderthal (or "paleo")
conservatives (such as myself) yes, we expect that
even Reason magazine, that bastion of cyber-libertarian
hipness, will cross the cultural gulf and take up the cry
of "Free Joe Farah." Of course, Joe is not as glamorous
as Larry Flynt, and not half as fashionable as Robert Mapplethorpe,
but just think of it at last, conservatives will have
a Mumia Abu-Jamal of their own!
is a ready-made crusade for all the Clinton-haters
instead of screaming about the President's alleged complicity
in nonexistent Chinese "espionage," here is a case
of presidential misconduct backed up by conclusive evidence.
Here also is a perfect cause for the followers of trends and
the fashions of the moment: what could be hipper than the
Internet, and a campaign to keep it free? Be the first on
your block to wear a red-white-and-blue ribbon you're
sure to be the talk of the party. And all you nerdy social
misfit right-wingers, whose idea of a good time is a policy
conference at the Heritage Foundation here is your
chance to be trendy, at last.
this be our new litmus test, the test of conservative-libertarian
political correctness: have you signed the petition to "Free
Joe Farah" yet? Have you contributed to the WorldNetDaily
Defense Fund? Have you put the red-white-and-blue ribbon on
your website, to symbolize the martyrdom of this noble patriot?
And if not, why not? Oh, we will have a fine time with this
one, rubbing it in the faces of the totalitarian "liberals"
and their media cohorts, who are standing by silently in the
face of an outrageous injustice.
THE TABLE TURNS
years after the fall of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the persecution
of the Reds, the tables are turned. Today it is the Right
that is getting some pretty rough treatment and it
is going to get worse before it gets better. For Antiwar.com,
the prospect of a government crackdown on political dissent
over the Internet is ominous indeed and fraught with danger.
We cannot afford to be silent.
THEY CAME FOR JOE FARAH
can any of you afford to say nothing. For the following
sequence of events is entirely possible: first they came for
Joe Farah, and nobody lifted a finger to protest; and then
they came for Antiwar.com, and hardly anyone even noticed.
Then they went after the borderline "extremists"
on the Left as well as the Right, targeting the nonprofit
educational group that puts out Alexander Cockburn's Counterpunch
to "balance out" the list of official enemies. And
finally, they came for you but by then it was too late,
because there was nobody left to protest nobody but
the Clintonistas and their media henchmen, who surrounded
their victim and began to chant a familiar refrain: "Get
him on his income tax or the Mann Act. Hang him, shoot him
and lock him up in a concentration camp."