November 29, 2002

FIGHTING DIRTY
A new low for the War Party: Washington Post 'outs' UN weapons inspector as S&M enthusiast

Out of Babylon-on-the-Potomac comes the news that one of the weapons inspectors appointed by the UN to go into Iraq has "a leadership role in sadomasochistic sex clubs." According to the Washington Post, Harvey John "Jack" McGeorge, who, we are informed, was picked by the UN "over some of the most experienced disarmament sleuths in the world," and, no doubt, over some of the most experienced spies, too. Not only that, but he has an interesting sex life. It's pathetic, really, to read this vicious, leering hit piece, that titillates us in the first paragraph with a lurid hint and then gets to the meat of the issue so to speak around paragraph 10

"An Internet search of open Web sites conducted by the Washington Post found that McGeorge is the co-founder and past president of Black Rose, a Washington-area pansexual S&M group, and the former chairman of the board of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. He is also a founding officer of the Leather Leadership Conference Inc., which 'produces training sessions for current and potential leaders of the sadomasochism/leather/fetish community,' according to its Web site. Several Web sites describe McGeorge's training seminars involving various acts conducted with knives and ropes."

"Pansexual," eh? Isn't that just a fancy synonym for horny?

I have long believed that the War Party is capable of anything, and would stop at nothing, to derail the disarmament process in Iraq: but this shocks even jaded old me.

Here's a suggestion: Why don't we start examining the sex lives of newspaper reporters at least for such prestigious papers as the Washington Post as closely as we check out those of UN weapons inspectors? I bet we'll come up with stories a whole lot spicier and even less appetizing than Mr. McGeorge's.

The UN, for its part, quite properly defended their employee, declaring that his private life has nothing to do with his job. McGeorge, according to the Post, "said yesterday that a State Department official invited him to apply for the U.N. team, and officials at State and the U.N. did not ask about his S&M background. But he said he would tender his resignation to Blix if The Post printed a story about it."

But this is only the "hook" that grabs the reader and drags him down to the level of the author one James V. Grimaldi who seems intent on making McGeorge's unconventional sexuality a signifier of his allegedly dubious credentials. After all, McGeorge works for the private sector, rather than some government agency, and heads up his own company, Public Safety Group Inc., which markets bioterror products. He offers seminars at $595 a pop, and, sneers Grimaldi, "One online ad promotes his role as a 'certified United Nations Weapons inspector.'"

Much of the article is devoted to echoing the complaints of anonymous US government officials, who bemoan the lack of "background checks" on the inspectors. Only government employees, you see, really have the expertise, they aver, bristling at the UN rule that requires inspectors to resign their government jobs.

Of course, if some really rigorous checks had been done on the inspectors last time around, more than a few spies might have been unmasked, according to former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter: apparently the idea was to stake out Saddam rather than merely his weapons of mass destruction.

"I believe that Mr. McGeorge is technically very competent," said UNMOVIC spokesman Ewan Buchanan. "He knows his subject, which is weapons. As a general principle, I think what people do in their private life, as long as it doesn't interfere with [their] professional life and I'm not aware that it has interfered or doesn't break any rules or laws, shouldn't be a significant issue."

Could the effort to fatally undermine the inspection process be any clearer? Next we'll be hearing all about the secret love life of Hans Blix. Before this is over, apparently we are to be spared nothing.

I won't bother fulminating against the rather odd mixture of prurience and prudishness that characterizes this smear campaign against poor Mr. McGeorge I'll leave that one to Andrew Sullivan. Suffice to say that this kind of viciousness is a new low, even for the War Party: and a measure of just how desperate they've become. To stoop to this they must really be at their wit's end, frustrated beyond endurance by the prospect of a war aborted before it ever began.

Whatever one might think of McGeorge, and private life, at least he has the decency to carry out his S&M fantasies in private, with consenting adults unlike the Washington warmongers and their chickenhawk amen corner in the media, who would inflict their sadistic impulses on entire nations.

ANTIWAR.COM CAMPUS TOUR CONTINUES

I'll be speaking at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, on December 5, at 7 PM, sponsored by the campus libertarian group; go here and see the cool poster they designed for the occasion. My topic: "Iraq: First Stop on the Road to Empire."

RAIMONDO ALERT

The latest issue of The American Conservative [December 2] has a short piece by me in the front section: "Nancy Pelosi, Party Girl." So, you haven't subscribed to TAC yet? This piece isn't online, and so do yourself a favor, and go here.

Okay, so this is a short column, for me, but it's the night before Thanksgiving, and I've got to taste Yoshi's made-from-scratch cranberry sauce. Yeah, I'm another one of those with an, er, unconventional private life, albeit not as exotic as McGeorge's. So much for my dream of being a UN weapons inspector. *Sigh*

Have a happy Thanksgiving and pray, in your own way, for peace.

– Justin Raimondo

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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard.