David Frum asks, “Who’s behind the fraud?” — the fraud having first been Ron Suskind’s claim that the White House ordered the CIA to forge documents, and, in its latest version, the claim that Dick Cheney tapped a willing Doug Feith at the Pentagon to carry out the forgery.
The person who has dragged Feith’s name into the controversy is a contributor to the American Conservative magazine named Philip Giraldi, who posted the allegation on the magazine’s blog and sourced it to an “extremely reliable” contact in the “intelligence community.”
Should Philip Giraldi be trusted? No: He is a conspiracy theorist obsessed with Jews and Israel. In Giraldi’s world, scratching the surface of almost any event exposes the sinister machinations of international Jewry.
1. He recently speculated that Israel would attempt to trigger war between the United States and Iran:
There are a number of possible “false flag” scenarios in which the Israelis could insert a commando team in the Persian Gulf or use some of their people inside Iraq to stage an incident that they will make to look Iranian, either by employing Iranian weapons or by leaving a communications footprint that points to Tehran’s involvement.
2. He thinks that someone is trying to frame Iran for American military casualties:
Iran has been on the receiving end of what appears to be an officially orchestrated but poorly executed disinformation campaign regarding its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
3. Giraldi finds Israeli agents everywhere. In a critique of a Benny Morris New York Times op-ed, he says that “Even the generally Israel-first readership of the Times appears to be unconvinced.” In Giraldi’s imagination, the number of Americans who are loyal to Israel, not America, apparently runs to the scores of millions.
4. It almost goes without saying that Giraldi thinks Doug Feith might be an Israeli agent:
Most others would consider his action illegal and even treasonous in that it may have involved collusion with a foreign government, Israel.
5. Senator Phil Gramm, too:
Is your constituency the American people and the high ideals we stand for or is it only the Israel lobby with its political and financial muscle? I hope AIPAC gives you a lot of money in your next re-election bid. It’s not worth selling out for only 30 pieces of silver.
6. One of Giraldi’s most frequent subjects is Jewish control of the media. In an American Conservative piece that ran a month after Israel’s September 2007 airstrike on Syria, he speculated that media coverage of the incident was part of an international Israeli disinformation campaign:
In the intelligence community, a disinformation operation is a calculated attempt to convince an audience that falsehoods about an adversary are true, either to discredit him or, in an extreme case, to justify military action. When such a campaign is properly conducted, information is leaked to numerous outlets over a period of time, creating the impression of a media consensus that the story is true, as each new report validates earlier ones. …
Now a new operation—brought to us by the old players—may be unfolding.
7. A similar claim of behind-the-scenes Jewish manipulation of the media can be found in a 2005 letter he wrote to the Washington Post:
Your lengthy coverage of the Sept. 24 peace march curiously failed to mention the open and widespread criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. … Clearly, most participants in the march noted that U.S. policies largely driven by Israeli interests are the fons etorigo for what ails the Middle East, even if The Washington Post did not.
8. Then there is the plainly bizarre. In 1996, Giraldi wrote a letter to the New York Times assailing the paper for describing a group of seven New Yorkers as “diverse.” Why was this group not diverse? Let him explain:
It appears that five of the “diverse” seven are Jews.
9. And finally we arrive at the subject of the Holocaust, which caused Giraldi to co-author in 1999 a letter to his alumni magazine. I reprint it in full: “Holocaust as political industry.”
Peter Novick asserts that the Holocaust has desensitized us to other genocides, but stops short of asking who invented the Holocaust in the first place. Who decided to capitalize the noun “holocaust” and transform genocide into a political weapon and fund-raising tool?
In America, which had little to do with the event itself, there is an ever-growing Holocaust industry in academia. There is a Holocaust publishing industry and a Holocaust Hollywood. There are Holocaust museums and memorials trying to make concrete what might otherwise become dated and ephemeral. And there is the Holocaust-promoting chorus of wealthy and influential American Jews who make sure we never forget.
“Never forgetting” is the best way to intensify the collective guilt on the part of America’s Christian majority and boost the Holocaust industry’s favorite political cause—the state of Israel. Guilt, laced with liberally dispensed charges of anti-Semitism for opponents and sweetened with a heavy sprinkling of PAC money, has made the Israel-firsters masters of the executive and legislative branches. Easy and often exclusive access to the media shapes public opinion. And at the end there is a pot of gold: unlimited political and military support plus $6 billion in U.S. taxpayer–provided annual aid to a country that is one of the richest on earth.
Nazis killing Jews has become the paradigm for modern-day genocide, but the Holocaust is hardly unique in the 20th century, which affords numerous examples of mass killing. The politics of mass murder nowadays, as practiced by dictators and democrats alike, is all about killing people with words before you actually shoot them. Perversely, the Holocaust is used to justify killing yet more people; i.e., to “prevent another Holocaust.”
As Novick notes, George Bush didn’t really cite the Holocaust to “disabuse us of Enlightenment illusions about man.” He wanted to suggest that men can be evil to justify the bloodshed in the war against Iraq. Nor was George Will debunking the Renaissance illusion that “…man becomes better as he becomes more clever.”
George is a realist who appreciates the use of force majeure, as long as it is not used against him or his friends. And then there’s Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate high priest of the Holocaust. Never once has Wiesel spoken out against Israel’s deplorable treatment of the Palestinians. It’s okay to kick an Arab, but never a Jew, and if we keep on reminding the world that the Nazis killed a lot of Jews, we can continue to kick Arabs and no one will say anything.
Rwandans, Biafrans, and Somalis are even lower on the scale than Arabs, and there are fewer journalists standing around watching how you treat them. Why intervene to save them? The Third World is descending into chaos, and they’ll only be fighting again before the week is out.
In short, can anyone deny that most invocations of the Holocaust are cynical and bogus? The Holocaust promoters understand that if you keep saying the same thing over and over again everyone will eventually believe it; i.e., that the Holocaust is the greatest evil in history and justifies special breaks not only for its survivors, but also for their descendants and co-religionists.
Perhaps what is truly unique about the Holocaust is the ability of its exploiters to preemptively silence their critics. Surely within the University of Chicago community there must be many who recognize that the Holocaust industry has gone too far, that the Holocaust is far from being the central event of the century, and that its message of an exclusivity in suffering—serving to promote a Zionist agenda—is dubious at best. But the open expression of such views might be unwise. It is safer to remain silent.
Philip M. Giraldi, AB’68
John K. Taylor, AB’69
Fort Worth, Texas
It’s not surprising that people such as Giraldi exist. What is surprising is that such a man is published regularly in the American Conservative, a magazine that wishes to be taken seriously, and that his blog posts are linked by Andrew Sullivan, a blogger who also wishes to be taken seriously.