Rejecting Gita Sahgal’s McCarthyism

Gita Sahgal appeared on NPR Radio’s All Things Considered last Saturday (27/02/10) where Guy Raz gave her a good run for her money.  Widney Brown, Senior Director for International Law and Policy AI, was interviewed after Sahgal and explained how essential it is that Amnesty continues to work with Moazzam Begg.  Brown also explained that an independent person is reviewing Sahgal’s suspension.  Audio and transcript available at the link above.

Sahgal was asked for specific evidence of anything Begg has ‘said or advocated for specifically that would suggest he supports violent jihadism’.  The answer given was the usual actions and words of other Cageprisoner members, specifically Asim Qureshi whose words on BBC Newshour are misinterpreted by Sahgal.

Raz went on to say:

But Begg has never said any of these things, I’m wondering if this is just guilt by association.  This is someone who has publically said he created a girls school in Afghanistan, he worked to bring to light the abuses of the Taliban in Afghanistan when he was living there as a volunteer.

Sahgal then answers by talking about Begg’s autobiography and her condemnation of Begg because of the titles of the books he sold in his bookshop.   This ’evidence’ obviously makes him a violent jihadi.  I just checked on Amazon and they don’t currently stock Defense of the Muslim Lands but they do stock Mein Kampf in several different versions including the ‘official Nazi translation’.  Guess that’s them fucked then - the evil fascists should obviously be sent straight to the ghost prisons of Afghanistan! 

I was impressed though with the way Sahgal managed to falsely link Begg directly to Abdullah Azzam (who died in 1989) and the horrible Mumbai attacks of 2008.  Such skillful conflation hasn’t been seen since the HUAC hearings.

As Sahgal says, the Mumbai attacks are believed to have been carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a splinter group (formed in 1990 and active since 1993) from Markaz ad-Dawat wal Irshad to fight against India in the Kashmir conflict.  LeT are widely believed to be supported by Pakistan’s ISI, whilst being officially banned by the country.  Sahgal made a politically astute choice to highlight this ‘evidence’ of Begg’s terrible terrorist activity as LeT are current news following recent testimony from American ‘Intelligence’ about how they ‘could pose a serious threat to U.S. interests.‘   

Other recent impressive media appearances by Sahgal include her interview with DNA in which she repeats the hack Kerbaj’s rubbish in the Times in which it was reported that ‘Sam Zarifi … thought the relationship with Moazzem Begg was a mistake, which Amnesty International should admit.’   Sahgal’s fansite, Human Rights For All, hasn’t bothered to publish Sam Zarifi’s subsequent letter to the Sunday Times.  They also reject comments on their post which republished Kerbaj’s Second Amnesty chief attacks Islamist links, but the rest of us have read the letter and haven’t failed to note that Zarifi clearly said:

Your recent article (‘Second Amnesty chief attacks Islamist links’, 14 February) mischaracterizes my views.

I have been a part of the internal AI debate surrounding the issue of AI’s collaboration with various groups as part of its campaign to close down Guantánamo. My opinions have been heard, considered, and where appropriate, implemented.
I do not oppose our current initiative working with Moazzam Begg in the recent European tour seeking to convince European states to receive more of the Guantánamo detainees who cannot be repatriated because of the risk of further human rights abuses.

And then of course there is Sahgal’s interview in The Wall Street Journal with the line that made me laugh out loud: ‘Then, when the Sunday Times story broke, everything I uncovered was deemed ‘innuendo’.  Almost as funny as Sahgal’s story about all the human rights lawyers refusing to represent her in an employment case - I wonder if they pointed out to her that a call to an employment lawyer would be a more appropriate choice?  Perhaps it’s time for Sahgal to concede that she IS peddling innuendo, and that using and abusing the high-profile name of Moazzam Begg to promote whatever agenda she really has is a step too far.

Oh and I almost forgot the best bit from yesterday’s interview.  Gita Sahgal said:

I don’t feel safe at Amnesty International

Bit like she doesn’t feel safe talking at the BBC then.  I wonder if Sahgal has received the death threats that Moazzam Begg and members of Cageprisoners have.

What next?  Fox News?

Original version posted at Earwicga

90 Responses to “Rejecting Gita Sahgal’s McCarthyism”

  1. Milena Buyum Says:

    RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Rejecting Gita Sahgal's McCarthyism http://bit.ly/dq2gO0

  2. pickles Says:

    Blog post:: Rejecting Gita Sahgal's McCarthyism http://bit.ly/dq2gO0

  3. Morrigan Says:

    And this is Rumbold showing that his editorial style will be SOOOOOOOOO different from Sunny’s?

    Should be a dull month.

  4. Random Guy Says:

    Excellent post, it really takes apart some of the inconsistencies in Saghal’s behaviour. I wonder if this one will roll on or just be left alone to fizzle out?

    (Crappy first reply in the talkback though).

  5. MiriamBinder Says:

    No response regarding the article itself then Morrigan?

  6. soru Says:

    You reference Senator McCarthy, which is quite confusing as you then to go on and list Sahgal’s supposedly un-Amnesty opinions which you consider to justify her dismissal.

    Are you confused about what the House Un-American Activities Committee actually did, or are you simply under the impression he was a heroic figure who did the right thing?

  7. douglas clark Says:

    soru @ 4,

    Well, maybe rumour mistaken for fact and acted on to try to destroy someone?

  8. Morrigan Says:

    MiriamBinder,

    I have said (and done) everything I want to already on this topic, as I’m sure many people have.

  9. soru Says:

    @5:I am just saying remember who _actually_ got sacked for supposedly stating certain opinions.

    Who, unless they win their case, is as unlikely to work again in their chosen career as any member of the Holywood 10.

    Justify the sacking if you want, but it’s perverse to use McCarthy for that justification.

  10. steve Says:

    excellent piece.

  11. Shamit Says:

    “Widney Brown, Senior Director for International Law and Policy AI, was interviewed after Sahgal and explained how essential it is that Amnesty continues to work with Moazzam Begg. ”

    No Widney Brown did not explain it at all especially the part about why take Begg (whose writings and statements) for a tour of European Governments are quite clear. I read his book and his recent articles.

    No wonder no Government except for Zapatero (remember how he came to power -because of Madrid Bombings and immediately withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan) accepted Begg’s argument.

    What Widney Brown failed to explain why would AI take someone whose views on Jihad are quite problematic for a pluralistic society. I could understand the initial focus on getting Begg to talk about Guantanamo Bay but now taking him to Europe and making him the poster boy of innocence was stupid.

    And, I guess the author here has not read his writings or his book. The author also fails to recognise that there have been other inmates in Guantanamo who were actually innocent of any support for terrorism. We don’t hear about them from AI.

    The AI failed to make its case, and this author in her own blog made it quite clear that she believes that Gita Saghal is against human rights. Well, again assumptions without any factual basis.

    Also, when you send a legal director to deal with these issues, all you get is spin - and so could we please stop slagging someone who actually has a much stronger track record than anyone commenting on any one of the UK blogs about human rights.

    And for the record, NO one including myself who thinks Begg is really dodgy about his claims of innocence, believes that his rights should not be upheld. Gita Sahgal did not say anything different either.

    What we object to is using Begg as the poster boy? So stop getting on the human rights for all bandwagon - we all believe that.

  12. Brownie Says:

    But Begg has never said any of these things, I’m wondering if this is just guilt by association.

    Huh? I just love the implication here: that the only “association” is that members of CP and Begg were once in a lift together.

    Just for the hard of thinking…

    BEGG IS THE DIRECTOR OF CAGE PRISONERS.

    You got that? Ask someone who has ever heard of CP to name a member of that organization and 95 of them are going to say Begg. “Association”??? That’s beyond hysterical.

    This is someone who has publically said he created a girls school in Afghanistan, he worked to bring to light the abuses of the Taliban in Afghanistan when he was living there as a volunteer.

    And the evidence for this is…non-existent. If you want to believe that in July 2001 Begg took his wife and 3 children to live In Afghanistan so he could build a freakin’ girl’s school, you go right ahead.

    I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you, by the way.

  13. Brownie Says:

    In 2007, Begg is also on record as saying he supports fighting British and American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. As both missions are sponsored by the UN, Begg advocates fighting troops engaged in UN-endorsed military operations.

    So Begg is cool fighting the UN. An ideal poster boy for AI if ever there were one, eh?

  14. Kulvinder Says:

    So Begg is cool fighting the UN. An ideal poster boy for AI if ever there were one, eh?

    He apparently has the same disdain for international law and the UN as the UK and US then. As the Iraq war was deemed illegal by the SG of the UN.

    And the UN isn’t ‘sponsoring’ Iraq and Afghanistan.

  15. Shamit Says:

    Iraq war was deemed illegal by the SG of the UN

    where did you get that one?

    The SG of the UN alon with the Pope have actually gone on record on behalf of humanitarian intervention which is now called the right to protect.

    International law has very little precedence and veto powers of some of the biggest human rights abusers do not make security council the right arbitrater - Russia threatened a Veto on Kosovo thats why it wasn’t taken to SC. I guess we should have let Milosevic slaughter all whose religion he did not like.

    And the topic is using Begg and this author is attempting to malign Gita Shahgal with facts that don’t add up.

  16. Kulvinder Says:

    where did you get that one?

    BBC interview


    Q: It was illegal?

    A: Yes, I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view and from the Charter point of view it was illegal.

    And the topic is using Begg and this author is attempting to malign Gita Shahgal with facts that don’t add up.

    I didn’t bring the UN up, and im unsure what ‘facts don’t add up’; if you merely mean you disagree, thats fine.

  17. spartanmarvin Says:

    This article really is the pits. It’s creepy. Orwellian double-speak.

    Thank f*ck for Shamit and Brownie!

  18. notmarvin Says:

    This article really is the pits. It’s creepy. Orwellian double-speak.

    Thank f*ck for Shamit and Brownie!

  19. Brownie Says:

    Kulvinder,

    Sorry, but the Sec Gen doesn’t get to decide what is legal and what is not. That’s not the way it works.

    Regardless, there are plenty of threads where Iraq can be discussed. We’re talking about the AI-Begg-CP-Sahgal situation.

    And the UN isn’t ’sponsoring’ Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Oh, is this like Sunny and his previously-unheard definitions of “partnership” and “working with”?

    There are UN resolutions in place that underwrite the presence of US and UK and other coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (in the case of the latter, this has been the case since Dec 2001 and UNSCr 1386 that established ISAF). And of course those troops remain at the discretion of the elected governments of both countries (imperfectly elected in the case of Afghanistan, but all polling data shows support for the troop presence amongst ordinary Afghans). And AI’s new poster boy thinks it’s okay to kill those troops.

    Nice. Real nice.

  20. Rumbold Says:

    I agree with Shamit’s points in #10.

    On the broader point, PP doesn’t have a ‘line’ on anything. Earwiga is now a regular writer as well, so she can write what she wants.

  21. Kulvinder Says:

    Sorry, but the Sec Gen doesn’t get to decide what is legal and what is not. That’s not the way it works.

    Oh please, this is just wishy washy obfuscation of what the SG role is, article 99 explicitly gives the SG the right to bring to light issues he or she feels ‘threaten the maintenance of international peace and security’; its hardly like Kofi Annan was the first SG to voice his legal opinion - Trygve Lie first pointed out, to the ire of the US, that Iran and the Soviet Union had come to an agreement about the withdrawl of Soviet troops in 1946 and as such the UN was acting outside its mandate if it chose to interfere.

    And he wasn’t being ‘anti-american’ before that equally idiotic phrase is brought up.

    He also gave his legal opinion supporting the UN resolution allowing involvement in Korea.

    It was the US and UK that chose to ignore the SG and the security council with respect to Iraq; but suggesting that Kofi Annan’s opinion was irrelevant shows no understanding of what his role was.

    Regardless, there are plenty of threads where Iraq can be discussed. We’re talking about the AI-Begg-CP-Sahgal situation.

    Yes because quite clearly i’m the lunatic who raised the UN in the first place.

    And AI’s new poster boy thinks it’s okay to kill those troops.

    I disagree with him, as i disagree with those that want to avoid the fact Hamas won the 2006 elections, that doesn’t mean i dismiss every point they subsequently make.

  22. Kulvinder Says:

    nb just to be clear (as unfortunately these days one has to be) neither does that mean i endorse hamas, i simply point out that they were a democratically legitimate ‘government’ from 2006 to whenever they either hold the next election or ignore them.

  23. KB Player Says:

    Sahgal then answers by talking about Begg’s autobiography and her condemnation of Begg because of the titles of the books he sold in his bookshop. This ’evidence’ obviously makes him a violent jihadi. I just checked on Amazon and they don’t currently stock Defense of the Muslim Lands but they do stock Mein Kampf in several different versions including the ‘official Nazi translation’. Guess that’s them fucked then – the evil fascists should obviously be sent straight to the ghost prisons of Afghanistan!

    Who’s the “they” in the third sentence. Amazon? If so, it’s a silly comparison. Amazon stocks most things. However, I’d be extremely surprised if my local Peace & Justice Centre stocks Mein Kampf. I used to work for an anti-nuclear/Green bookshop. It sold “party line” books. It didn’t sell books in praise of nuclear power stations or in favour of nuclear proliferation. I would guess Begg’s bookshop is a specialist outfit that sells “party line” books. If it is so, the titles it holds is relevant.

  24. Boyo Says:

    Woman gets sack for speaking out and she’s a McCarthyite?!

    But I guess in a culture where Jews are casually labelled Nazis and misogynistic homophobic fascists are transformed in to progressive freedom fighters I suppose it makes a kind of sense.

    You almost deserve the kind of world you dream of.

  25. Brownie Says:

    Oh please, this is just wishy washy obfuscation of what the SG role is, article 99 explicitly gives the SG the right to bring to light issues he or she feels ‘threaten the maintenance of international peace and security’; its hardly like Kofi Annan was the first SG to voice his legal opinion – Trygve Lie first pointed out, to the ire of the US, that Iran and the Soviet Union had come to an agreement about the withdrawl of Soviet troops in 1946 and as such the UN was acting outside its mandate if it chose to interfere.

    The SG can give his opnion on anything he likes. I’m not fussed. The issue is not whether he’s able to, but whether his word is the final word. It’s absolutely not. On matters of what is and isn’t a contravention of international law, what the SG says has no more weight than what my newsagent says. You may attach more importance to it if you wish, but saying, “The SG said xxxx” as if that puts the matter to rest, is not a game any sane person should play.

    It was the US and UK that chose to ignore the SG and the security council with respect to Iraq;

    No they didn’t, which is why it took more than 12 years of Iraqi obfuscation and non-compliance before the war. How do you think UNSCr 1441 came into existence?

    but suggesting that Kofi Annan’s opinion was irrelevant shows no understanding of what his role was.

    Way to rewrite history, pal. You wrote:

    As the Iraq war was deemed illegal by the SG of the UN.

    I’m not saying his opinion is “irrelevant”, but that it is just an opinion. You wrote “deemed” as if what the SG subjectively regards as “illegal” settles the matter. It most certainly does not.

  26. Stanislaw Says:

    “This is someone who has publically said he created a girls school in Afghanistan, he worked to bring to light the abuses of the Taliban in Afghanistan when he was living there as a volunteer.”

    And you believe him????

  27. douglas clark Says:

    Boyo @ 23,

    Where did you get this breaking news that she’s been sacked? She hasn’t AFAIK she is suspended on full pay pending an independent invesigation.

  28. douglas clark Says:

    Brownie @ 24,

    You are a bit fast and loose and devious with words, aren’t you?

    Has the UN ever ‘sponsored’ a war? And you are claiming UN legitimacy for the Iraq war which is based on a highly contested interpretation of a UN resolution.

    Here is Goldsmith agreeing with you, sort of, maybe:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jan/27/lord-goldsmith-iraq-inquiry

    Pretty dodgy really, isn’t it?

  29. Kulvinder Says:

    On matters of what is and isn’t a contravention of international law, what the SG says has no more weight than what my newsagent says.

    Link me to where in the UN charter your newsagent is mentioned and you’d have a point, as it is you’re flapping around like a demented walrus; the SG has both formally and informally expressed his legal opinion since the days of Lie, burying you head in the sand won’t make that fact go away

    I’ve linked to google books as im guessing you’re the type of loon who’d dismiss any reference that wasn’t published in actual law books.

    No they didn’t

    Yes they did you moron, once again you’re living on a planet of your own, France and Russia either alluded to ignoring any proposed second resolution or actively voting against it ‘regardless of the circumstance’ thats why the americans went on their demented francophobic rants

    The UK and US needed a second resolution that explicitly authorised action, noone apart from the US, UK on the security council interpreted 1441 as authorising war the closest they got on the Bulgarians saying (in effect) they’d support invasion regardless. The remaining permanent members of the security council did not agree that 1441 gave the US and UK carte blanche to act as they wished; it would have been idiotic of them to say the least to adopt one resolution at the end of 2002 which authorised war, but for no apparent reason demand another.

    The fact was 1441 was about consequences short of war not war.

    I’m not saying his opinion is “irrelevant”, but that it is just an opinion.

    Look just find me the fucking point in the UN charter that backs up your point; will you stop saying its just an opinion

  30. Refresh Says:

    Excellent piece.

    Its a shame, but I have a feeling Gita Sahgal’s heading for a high profile post in some ‘think tank’ across the pond. An illegitimate off-spring of the Hudson Institute perhaps.

    Shamit, no one should take away any good she has done in the past but it is in the past. It is quite possible this is her ‘clause 4′ moment vis-a-vis human rights and wants to build momentum for her next career move.

    It would be interesting to find out what offers she’s had.

  31. douglas clark Says:

    Stanislaw @ 25,

    Well, absent evidence to the contrary, yes, I do. It is up to you to prove that he didn’t, and you know what they say about proving a negative…..

  32. Stanislaw Says:

    “Well, absent evidence to the contrary, yes, I do. It is up to you to prove that he didn’t, and you know what they say about proving a negative…..”

    On the contrary, it is up to Begg and his supporters to prove that he DID. You seem not to understand that the burden of proof for a claim lies on those making the claim, not those who are sceptical of it. A court would laugh at your topsy turvey and plainly dishonest ‘reasoning’.

    Evidently neither Begg nor his supporters can prove his absurd claims about his supposed school-building exploits. He’s had four years to provide evidence for his claim and has never produced it. Why do you think that is? Honestly? My own view is that he hasn’t proven it because it doesn’t exist and he is in fact a liar. Show me I’m wrong.

    Your belief is based on nothing but blind faith and bias. He’s given you not a scrap of evidence to support his outlandish claim, so why do you believe it?

  33. douglas clark Says:

    Stanislaw,

    It is you that is making the claim that someone is lying. I think the burden of proof in libel law is on the person making the statement, not the other way around.

    What we have here is is your incredulity. Why should anyone pander to that?

    If I tell you I was in Switzerland once would I have to prove it to you? I doubt I could, though it is true.

    I am not the one attacking his reputation, you are. In those circumstances you need to bring something to the table, not me.

    Me? I tend to believe people until there is evidence to the contrary.

  34. Shamit Says:

    Some Points:

    1. Begg is definitely not a pluralistic person who believes in equal rights of all individuals. He has made it clear in his own writings. I highlighted some recent articles and comments made by Mr. Begg

    2. While he is a British Citizen, harping about democratic rights, he also makes it clear in those writings that he feels British troops should be attacked in Afghanistan. Even today a vast majority of the Afghan population want the coalition forces to stay in the country. And Mr. Begg thinks British troops should be attacked.

    3. Mr. Begg, claims he is a British citizen, and apparently proud to be so, yet he forgets in his writings the key role British soldiers have played both in Afghanistan as well as Kosovo. In Kosovo, according to Mr. begg, it was his jihadi brothers (his phrase not mine) ensured the fall of Milosevic.

    4. Mr. Begg has in the past clearly made it a point to say that he supported the Taliban, and the jihadis in kashmir, Chechnya etc etc and this man is no plurarist and has very dogmatic views of religious interpretation as well as equal rights. He has openly acknowledged his support for terrorist activities.

    5. Mr. Begg also fails to acknowledge the role played by the British Government to get him out of Guantanamo. He believes in the International Caliphate and is a pretty loathsome character and the company he keeps is even worse.

  35. Shamit Says:

    Ms. Gita Sahgal did not for one second, which this not very well informed author believes she did, suggest that the rights of those incarcerated in Guantanamo should not be upheld.

    She questioned putting Mr. Begg and his loathsome companions as poster boys for the campaign to uphold human rights. She felt the work done by her unit was being undermined by the perception of close association between AI and the Cage prisoners.

    Also, as I have stated at 10, Widney Brown did not explain why Begg was taken around Europe at the expense of AI to try to influence European Governments.

    It beggars belief that AI needed Begg to discuss Guantanamo. The people of Europe and their elected representatives know what has happened in Guantanmo. AI did not need Begg for this trip as Widney Brown claimed in her interview. Either the author of this piece chose to ignore that bit of information or she is blinded by her own position on this.

    And I did personally speak to quite a few EC officials, MEPs and some other well informed individuals last week in Brussels on this issue and Begg`s presence did not help AI`s case was pretty much the consensus.

  36. douglas clark Says:

    Shamit,

    Thanks for summing up the ‘decent’ case. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to find the energy to summarise another, more accurate less biased, version of events.

    Meanwhile, Rumbold should just rename this joint ‘Harry’s Place Overflow’, or perhaps there has been some takeover when I wasn’t looking….

  37. Shamit Says:

    Finally

    I am patriotic and I have said this many times here, that when a British citizen calls for our troops to be attacked anywhere in the world - I think that person should leave this country. Maybe its jingoism but I don`t fucking care.

    Yeah I dislike the bastard, no qualms about it, but I believe that his rights should have been upheld. No matter how heinous his intentions were he deserves the protection of the law. It was the British Government`s efforts (apparently the then PM Blair had to get to Bush directly On this) that got this asshole out of Guantanamo.

    On the other hand, when it comes to Ms. Sahgal - her record speaks for herself just like Mr. Begg`s ;

    i did read the NPR transcript and it was quite clear that Widney Brown was clutching at straws. A long serving staff member with impeccable credentials felt that she needed to get this out to the media. And rather than dealing with it, AI made this a story and kept it in the news cycle for days on end. AI fucked up on this one big time folks - lets not pretend otherwise and lets not look for conspiracies - it was a fuck up. And lets not malign someone who has dedicated her life to upholding rights of those who have been oppressed - so can we lay off that please.

    Refresh - clause 4 going was a good thing. However, I disagree with your assessment of Ms. Sahgal - what proof do you have that she is doing this out of malice or some pre conceived notion of hatred towards any particular group. Dislike of certain unsavory characters was clear in her statement but I did not find anything to suggest she believed their rights should not be upheld.

    On the contrary, she argued that these unsavory characters should not have the opportunity to undermine the rights of others. Also, she protested that the perception of cage prisoners and AI being closely linked is harming human rights for many whose plight does not make it into the Guardian CiF or the blogs of self -declared human rights activists and feminists. marching in London is not same as working with plight of women in Saudi Arabia is it now.

    So I would appreciate if people showed a bit more respect. Not to me but the person who actually deserves it.

  38. Shamit Says:

    Douglas -

    I am not in the decent category and I think you know that.

    I also believe this debate has been hijacked by people like melanie Philips and her ilk, who I detest.

    And I do support AI`s work - and I would continue to do so yet I would object to them trying to portray Begg as the torch bearer of human rights. He is not.

    And I would also continue to support AI`s work in helping those incarcerated in Guantanamo without trial. Because I firmly believe if we let terrorists change the way we live and function as a society ruled by law then we have given in. Therefore, I want all of them to have their day in court and be judged by their peers.

    But Begg should be shunned - his views are parochial, divisive and does not fit with the ideals of a democratic & pluralistic society

  39. Blanco Says:

    Why does Gita Saghal hate Muslims?

  40. Cjcjc Says:

    Douglas
    I am the Queen’s secret love child.
    Go on - prove I’m not.
    But I bet you don’t believe me.

  41. Sarah AB Says:

    @Blanco - do you have any evidence for that? (I can quite see why people who don’t like Muslims might choose to align themselves with her for their own reasons but that’s a separate issue.)

  42. Arif Says:

    While we might be unsettled by Gita Sahgal’s “McCarthyist” tactics, that doesn’t mean we should apply the same tactics on her.

    It is unfair to link her to supporters of the War On Terror just because she is not denouncing them.

    It is unfair to see her agenda as one of self-promotion or Islamophobia, just because you think it makes sense of her behaviour.

    She is under no obligation to draw attention to statements or issues that undermine her self-presentation.

    I take her at face value that she is afraid of Moazzam Begg and believes he is opposed to human rights.

    I don’t have to assassinate her character or question her commitments to human rights in order to take a different view.

    By making her a “villain” I think we close off the option of constructive discussions, for example on how to promote human rights WITHOUT operating in a McCarthyist manner.

  43. Brownie Says:

    Well, absent evidence to the contrary, yes, I do.

    How do you provide evidence someone *didn’t* build a school? Do you show there *isn’t* brick dust on their shoes? That there *isn’t* plaster on their shirt? Begg is asserting something in defence of his decision to move to Taliban-controlled Afhanistan. He doesn’t have to provide evidence for this if he doesn’t want to, but then who is going to believe that…

    …in July 2001, when the Taliban’s omnipotence in Afghanistan was unchallengd, when girls and their families were being slaughtered for attending school, that a Brtisih citizen living in the UK upped his wife and three young children to go live in Kabul in order to build a girls’ school and protest the Taliban’s human rights violations?

    I mean, you’d have to be pretty stupid to believe that, right?

    Step forward, douglas clark…

  44. The Common Humanist Says:

    Shamit,

    Agree. All very good points.

    Douglas,

    HP Overflow??? Just because PP isn’t slavishly agreeing with AI and its jihadi wannabee softspot?

    Oh the sky is falling!

    So why the Begg love? Or do you share his politics?

    AI can help whoever they wish and often the measure of an organisation is how they help people they dislike but the hawking of Begg and CP around Europe has badly damaged AI as mosot people can see him for what he is - a sad religious fascist wannabee and a truly pathetic example of humanity - in contrast to the Afghan civilians who struggle everyday against the people that Begg so admires and helped.

  45. The Common Humanist Says:

    Brownie

    “…in July 2001, when the Taliban’s omnipotence in Afghanistan was unchallengd, when girls and their families were being slaughtered for attending school, that a British citizen living in the UK upped his wife and three young children to go live in Kabul in order to build a girls’ school and protest the Taliban’s human rights violations?”

    Well, that is over the boundary for a six!

    He has played well meaning people like a fiddle…..girls school…..fecking priceless.

    TCH

  46. Kulvinder Says:

    Id be grateful if anyone with admin access can approve my comments

  47. Sarah AB Says:

    Here is a quote in which Begg says a little more about this. It might be true - I can’t say - the detail makes it rather more believable I think - BUT why can’t he tell us a bit more - where the school was, what its name was. It would so clearly be a good publicity move for Begg to establish this fact more certainly that the fact he (or his supporters) haven’t come up with more supporting information is noteworthy.

    “It is by now public knowledge that I was involved in the establishing and running of a school for girls in Kabul, Afghanistan, during the rule of the Taliban. The Taliban did not give us a licence to operate but neither did they impede us from having the school — openly — or from having the girls collected to and from the school in buses clearly marked with the name of the girls’ school. There is a deliberate attempt by my detractors to neglect this point each time I mention it — and I can only assume why: it doesn’t fit the stereotype, or the agenda.”

  48. MiriamBinder Says:

    @ Brownie # 41 - I neither know nor do I care either way Brownie whether Begg indeed moved to Afghanistan to build a girls’ school or not.

    What I do know is that people have done things for all sorts of reasons … not all of which would seem right or even all that sensible to me; some even downright unreasonable ;) However there it is. There’s nowt so queer as folk as the Yorkshireman was heard to say …

    Just because something isn’t what you would have done, doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Come to think of it, I reckon that is the main issue really. Those who seem able to judge people only by the standards they set themselves and those who are capable of seeing out of the box ;)

  49. earwicga Says:

    @ Kulvinder - it’s done and is at 25.

  50. douglas clark Says:

    cjcjc @ 39,

    You are the Queens’ secret love child! As she was born in 1926 that probably makes you even older than me!

    OK, I believe it. Do you mind if I start calling you Victor Meldrew?

    ;-)

  51. cjcjc Says:

    Not at all, Admiral Nelson!

  52. douglas clark Says:

    cjcjc @ 50,

    Heh!

  53. Brownie Says:

    So the school bus had the name of the girls’ school on the side. So the school had a name. And that name is…

    …oh, that’s right. No-one knows.

    Can Miriam or Douglas provide an explanation for why Begg refuses to name the school or say where it was built? I mean, if I’d built a school and there was a whole host of detractors calling me a liar, I think my next move would be to provide the incontrovertible evidence that proved my claim. Whacky, eh?

    This is all a charade, of course. Neither Douglas nor Miriam believe for ONE SECOND that Begg is being remotely truthful about his motivation for moving to Kabul in July 2001, or his evidence-free claims of what he did when he arrived. This is about being seen to be on the opposite side of the argument to HP, nothing more. If that means pretending to believe the most fantastical of tales then so be it. I can’t remember confronting such a level of intellectual dishonesty since, ooh, since the last thread on PP.

    I’ve got to do some real work before I pick up my children from the named, physically existing school, so by for now.

  54. Arif Says:

    Agree with MiriamBinder #47.

    We can all be very attached to values we hold now, and we can assume the worst about people who don’t share these values in the same way we do.

    They’ll presumably do the same about us.

    We will get very upset by how they paint us unfairly, and they will also get upset about how we paint them.

    What do we do then?

  55. cjcjc Says:

    What do we do then?

    Erm, we continue to make our own value judgments(unless we’re Miriam), don’t we?

    And we don’t get upset, do we?
    We don’t get upset about attacks by Lee John Barnes.
    We just laugh at him.

  56. douglas clark Says:

    Brownie @ 42,

    You say:

    How do you provide evidence someone *didn’t* build a school? Do you show there *isn’t* brick dust on their shoes? That there *isn’t* plaster on their shirt? Begg is asserting something in defence of his decision to move to Taliban-controlled Afhanistan. He doesn’t have to provide evidence for this if he doesn’t want to, but then who is going to believe that…

    Your arguement is one from incredulity. I also think I am right in saying that in a libel action, the burden of proof rests with the defendant. Your entire modus operandi is based on throwing mud, hoping it will stick and then claiming that your analysis constitutes a conclusive case.

    I am not the one accusing someone of lying. So, whilst truth is a defence in a libel action, you do not know he didn’t build a school, you are surmising that he didn’t. It ain’t good enough Brownie.

    Moving onto why he may have difficulties in providing information.

    I’d have thought it may now be very difficult for him to prove it. What with the bombing of Kabul, the probability that none of his personal possessions survive or were confiscated, and the fact that he was incarcerated in Bagram and then shuffled to Guantanamo Bay for a few years. It’s a bit worse than a wee hiatus, don’t you think?

  57. MiriamBinder Says:

    @ cjcjc # 54 - Ooooh touche cjcjc “unless we are Miriam” …such a scathing cut indeed. Grow up sweetness and try playing the ball rather then the player ;)

  58. Bill Corr Says:

    Awre, as one is, of the eclecticism of interests of this avante-garde crowd, and having come acoss this …

    http://go.to/islamhistory

    I felt it too interestingly odd to overlook so PLEASE keep it and pass it on

  59. Arif Says:

    Actually, cjcjc, I think there are lots of other things we can do, which express other kinds of values and also how we read the context.

    For example, yes, you may just continue asserting your own value judgments and assuming the worst of others. For me this doesn’t seem to get us anywhere useful.

    Like you say, you can laugh at others, and I think that is most likely when if we feel that we have the upper hand anyway. And, sure that is likely to be the end of the dialogue, and maybe that is what you want.

    Or you may engage with your critics in a more respectful way, either to understand why your arguments aren’t credible to them, or to understand why they aren’t buying your arguments. This would mean letting go of some assumptions about their underlying motivations - perhaps initially just as a thought experiment.

    Or you may walk away from the argument, to join discussions which are more constructive instead.

    Or you may question more generally how people come to hold their values, including yourself, and perhaps find new ways to discuss the values you hold.

    I’m sure you can think of other ways to interact.

    If we assume we are so obviously right, and we can only have a dialogue with others if they accept all our terms for dialogue, we might not learn anything.

  60. MiriamBinder Says:

    @ Bill Core # 57 - Would that be the Islamic History as espoused by TS Winslow? The same TS Winslow who advocates usurping Mexico and merging it with the US under US law?

  61. Brownie Says:

    I am not the one accusing someone of lying. So, whilst truth is a defence in a libel action, you do not know he didn’t build a school, you are surmising that he didn’t. It ain’t good enough Brownie.

    I was right with you until the last bit. What do you mean “It ain’t good enough Brownie”? “Good enough” for what? For whom? You? I can live with that.

    My argument is one from “incredulity” as you say precisely because his story is, quite literally, incredible, starting with his claimed rationale for moving to Kabul in the first place, to his fantastical school-building program that isn’t supported by a scintilla of evidence; it has no name, this school; he won’t say where it was; no former pupils or teachers have been named or produced and - presuming he didn’t build the entire school single-handedly given he was a law student and ran a bookshop in Birmingham prior to his selfless act of charity in Taliban-controlled Kabul - no independent third-party has come forward corroborating his story.

    I am perfectly happy to concede the point that I cannot prove Begg didn’t build a school. I’m more than satisfied in the knowledge that 99% of warm-blooded, sentient beings will read this school-building claim of his and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

    I would say that most would heap scorn on Begg’s claim, but there’ll be no more scorn left to heap after it has been exhausted on those either gullible enough to believe this utter tripe, or knavish enough* to pretend they do.

    *That’s you, that is.

  62. Brownie Says:

    Arif,

    Yeah, noble sentiments, but pull the other one, mister. There’s no-one above the age of 4 who genuinely believes Begg’s evidence-free story. Pointing this out is not an indication of a lack of open-mindedness; on the contrary, pretending that there is a rationale for believing Begg’s story not predicated on transparent, unbridled partisanship, is the very epitome of the sort of bad-faith discussion that you lament.

  63. Arif Says:

    Brownie, I really think I am thinking similarly to MiriamBinder.

    I don’t see any reason to fuss over whether he was building a school or not. I did believe his story, now I see people are making out that this is unbelievable, mainly because they want him to provide more details and he is not doing so.

    And I could go in deeper and deeper into the motives of each side, and don’t think I’ll be any the wiser - if he was building a school, it doesn’t prove to me he he would oppose human rights abuses by the Taliban. If he was not building such a school, say he was taking his family to a mujahideen training camp funded by Osama Bin Laden and the CIA etc etc, it does not mean to me that he now - having had his own human rights abused - he still does not care about human rights.

    And the discussion for me (and I think Gita Sahgal) stems from whether and how closely AI should work with him. So the key thing is to work out how we determine whether someone is sufficiently reliable, and I would add what conditions AI should put on any joint working.

  64. Shatterface Says:

    ‘Your arguement is one from incredulity. I also think I am right in saying that in a libel action, the burden of proof rests with the defendant. Your entire modus operandi is based on throwing mud, hoping it will stick and then claiming that your analysis constitutes a conclusive case.’

    Posters on this site seem quite willing to attribute all manner of motivation to Gita in vague and therefore untestable terms (‘abusing the high-profile name of Moazzam Begg to promote whatever agenda she really has’ in the OP or ‘It would be interesting to find out what offers she’s had’ @29). What firm evidence we do have is a consistant record of supporting human rights.

    On the other hand what we have on Begg is a record of oposition to human rights followed by a sudden but unsubstantiated conversion to womens’ causes.

    The ballance of proof seems in Gita’s favour.

  65. Sarah AB Says:

    @Arif and Miriam - in one sense it doesn’t matter whether or not he started a girls’ school - not having started a girls’ school doesn’t make him a bad person. BUT if he hasn’t, then surely the fact he has said he did just that, repeatedly, is worrying - if it’s not a true statement then it’s a very carefully chosen one which is calculated to soften the views of his prime critics. I’m not so sceptical as Brownie - I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he was involved with a school at some point, at some level, but my inference from the fact the story is so short on detail is that his involvement wasn’t so central, or so much of a motivating force, as he seems to claim.

  66. Bill Corr Says:

    Yo Miriam!

    Might well be the same Winslow.

    Considering what a vile mess Mexico is, it would be lovely for the Mexicans to have competent and relatively uncorrupt government imposed on them*.

    However, such an annexation would just be another heavy burden for the US taxpayer; Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and - of course - Puerto Rico all cost far more to administer than the modest sums the U.S. Treasury receives from those very expensive-to-possess outliers.

    The present situation is probably the best. The U.S. capitalist class - those who make the Whirlpool washing machines, for example - is continuing to move production from States like Indiana and Ohio - with their pesky unions and health-and-safety-at-work regulations - to Mexico, as well as to the Mariana Islands and, of course, to places like China and Vietnam.

    * Not for the know-it-all Third World intelligentsia, of course. Rizal, one of the heroes of the Philippines Independence movement said - I paraphrase from memory here - that he’d prefer to live under a totally useless and corrupt - hellish - government in the hands of Filipinos than under a benign and competent - heavenly - government in the hands of Americans.

    As the Filipino adage has it :

    “Yankee go home and take me with you!”

  67. Arif Says:

    Sarah AB, we can all make different inferences about the motives of Gita Sahgal and Moazzam Begg.

    For me these inferences reflect the narratives we use to understand the world, and who we generally like and don’t like.

    After reading your inferences, maybe someone will then place you in their narratives of good and evil. (She’s just saying that because she has some hidden agenda). And then maybe you will end up being told to justify yourself. And you will probably doubt the motives of your inquisitors, and maybe put in the effort to try to prove you are a reasonable human being, or maybe you will walk away or whatever.

    And in the meantime, the issue has moved from how to make the world a better place, to how to protect myself from infinite doubts about my right to have a view on making the world a better place.

    Or something like that. Anyway, I have a long boring continuation of our discussion on the issue of principles involved in campaigning with others on human rights under the “Irene Khan” post. I would be interested in your critique/response to that, Sarah AB.

  68. douglas clark Says:

    Brownie @ 60,

    It ain’t good enough as an arguement. And, frankly your bluster over it suggests you know as much.

    You cannot prove he didn’t build a school in Kabul. For the obvious reason that it impossible to prove a negative. But, wade right in there Brownie. In normal society if you make an allegation against someone it is down to you to prove it. Not simply repeat your incredulity nor demand that the victim of your opinion has to prove their case. Nor claim victory by acclamation, come to that. It is up to you to prove it.

    You haven’t done that.

  69. MiriamBinder Says:

    @ Bill Corr # 65 - Might well be? Now that is highly disingenuous. TR Winslow trademarked the Historyscoper is far from an unbiased source and I reckon his view on the ‘failed’ Mexican government puts his agenda fairly firmly in a camp I for one want no part of.

    I would certainly be far from subscribing to anything he purports without examining it minutely first, second and just to make sure just another once or twice …

  70. Stanislaw Says:

    “In normal society if you make an allegation against someone it is down to you to prove it.”

    You are misrepresenting what is going on. In normal society, if you make a claim that is supposed to testify to your good character or achievements, you are expected to be able to support it.

    Begg’s supposed school building was first referred to in the article above this thread. It was cited as evidence of his good character and commitment to human rights. It is reasonable for others to ask what is the evidence for this claim.

    If you were applying for a post, claiming to be a Professor of Astronomy, it would be up to you to show your qualifications, not for others to disprove that you have them.

    Begg has made an allegation about himself that he has not or cannot substantiate in any way. Refusing to believe him is not making an allegation. I don’t know what he was doing in Afghanistan; I find it very hard to believe he was building a girls’ school there. Apparently Begg and his supporters find it impossible to prove, which is odd, as it should be possible to prove a positive.

  71. douglas clark Says:

    Stanislaw

    Desperate stuff:

    In normal society, if you make a claim that is supposed to testify to your good character or achievements, you are expected to be able to support it.

    Y’what?

    He has written a book which contained a statement about building a school in Kabul. He even restated it in his own defence. It isn’t a job application or a reference, it is part of his autobiography.

    You have said he is lying. I am saying that you have to prove that to be credible. I have no idea how you are going to go about proving a negative. That’s your problem, not mine. Nor, frankly, his.

    You are the ones out on a limb, not him….

    I have already presented a credible case for the difficulties he might be experiencing in providing evidence - proving a positive, if you will. This is what I said about that at 55:

    I’d have thought it may now be very difficult for him to prove it. What with the bombing of Kabul, the probability that none of his personal possessions survive or were confiscated, and the fact that he was incarcerated in Bagram and then shuffled to Guantanamo Bay for a few years. It’s a bit worse than a wee hiatus, don’t you think?

  72. Stanislaw Says:

    “Desperate stuff:

    In normal society, if you make a claim that is supposed to testify to your good character or achievements, you are expected to be able to support it.

    Y’what?”

    You know perfectly well what. The subject was first raised on this thread in support of Begg, thus:

    “This is someone who has publically said he created a girls school in Afghanistan,”

    I.e. it was cited as if saying it was in itself evidence of Begg’s reputability. Except it’s no evidence at all, it’s just a completely unsubstantiated claim. Do you not see that?

    “I’d have thought it may now be very difficult for him to prove it. What with the bombing of Kabul, the probability that none of his personal possessions survive or were confiscated, and the fact that he was incarcerated in Bagram and then shuffled to Guantanamo Bay for a few years. It’s a bit worse than a wee hiatus, don’t you think?”

    Surely that wouldn’t prevent him from being able to give the name of the school, the street it was in, the names of teachers or parents or the Taliban officials he supposedly dealt with? No specifics at all? Did the CIA wipe his memory of all this?

  73. douglas clark Says:

    Stanislaw,

    We have Moazzem Begg’s testimony that he did that. It is you that is calling him a liar over it, not I. I am astonished that you do so with such insouciance, however I suppose once one got into the habit of calling people liars - or as brownie would have it, knaves - and then expect them to bother replying to you, well all I can say is you are highly unlikely to get a civil reply.

    You probably saw how Mehdi Hasan reacted to another set of allegations - he walked.

    You keep expecting Moazzem Begg to get you off a hook of your own construction. He would be a fool to do so.

    Whilst cooking my tea, another possibility struck me. What if the school is still there? Would Moazzem Begg be right to tell you anything whatsoever, to satisfy your curiosity, if it endangered that school one little bit? Well, I’d say no. What would you say in that situation?

  74. Dr Aisha Gill Says:

    Negotiating Scylla and Charybdis – Human rights and terrorism

    Speech by Gita Sahgal (Head of the Gender Unit) at AIUSA public round-table, Friday 16th February 2007

    Friday 5 March 2010

    http://www.human-rights-for-all.org/spip.php?article40

  75. douglas clark Says:

    Dr Aisha Gill @ 73,

    Excellent speech. I don’t quite see how it advances this discussion though. Perhaps you could explain?

    Human rights, in my view at least, ought to be indivisible and one not favoured over another. Would that be right?

  76. thegrandmufti Says:

    AI has really lost its way. It is a shame the way they are scapegoating Aisha Gill for speaking a basic truth.

    I hope they come to their senses before they lose all credibility.

    Sometimes your enemy’s enemy is not your friend.

  77. Lucy Says:

    @74 “Excellent speech”?? Don’t think so. It’s a cheesy rant. Break it up into segments and each could each fit over the opening credits to “Dragnet” or “The FBI in Peace and War”. …’While the city sleeps, do you know if you are safe in your beds..’ or somesuch. Ideology does not exist independently of everything else. But you would never know it, listening to that.

  78. earwicga Says:

    douglas clark

    In ‘Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo’ Moazzam Begg says that the school was destroyed by coalition forces.

  79. Brownie Says:

    In ‘Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo’ Moazzam Begg says that the school was destroyed by coalition forces.

    That must have been some bomb. It seems to have destroyed not only the building, but the name of the school, the location and Begg’s memory.

    Douglas, you are not Judge Pickles and this is not no.1 court at Old Bailey, but a quick lesson: if the police ask you what you were doing on Friday night when the local Co-Op was robbed and you claim you were miles away doing X, that doesn’t mean you have an alibi. That just means you are making a, so far at least, unsupported claim. If you can provide evidence that you were doing X, then you *may* have an alibi. If you really do have an alibi and don’t disclose it, that will actually get you into trouble in some legal jurisdictions.

    There is no obligation on me to provide a scintilla of evidence to prove my negative thoughts about Begg and his fantasy building project. I am free to exercise my judgment, which is that I am no more inclined to believe Begg’s evidence-free fairy-tale than I am to believe you are a founding member of MENSA.

    BTW, Istr that this school building program did not feature in Begg’s original “testimony”, as you put it, rather it was first mooted by his father after Begg’s incarceration as an explanation for why this Brimingham lad might have taken himself and his young family to live in the land of the Taliban if he [Begg] was at all antipathetic to their rule. At which point, Begg’s memory seems to have been jogged.

  80. earwicga Says:

    If there was any evidence that proved Moazzam Begg was the person you think he is Buzz Brownie then he would be in prison. There is not and he isn’t.

    @ thegrandmufti - interesting comment. You might want to look at what this post is about again.

  81. earwicga Says:

    @ Shamit (& Rumblod re. your comment at19)
    In your comment at 10 you say:
    ‘I guess the author here has not read his writings or his book’ - you guess wrong. It would be insane to form an opinion and/or write posts about Gita Sahgal’s accusations without any knowledge of Moazzam Begg’s work or life.
    ‘The author also fails to recognise that there have been other inmates in Guantanamo who were actually innocent of any support for terrorism. We don’t hear about them from AI.’ - That is also incorrect. I suggest you have a look at the Amnesty website.
    ‘this author in her own blog made it quite clear that she believes that Gita Saghal is against human rights’ - I’ve never said any such thing and neither do I believe it. I do however think that Sahgal is selective in her support for human rights.
    ‘could we please stop slagging someone who actually has a much stronger track record than anyone commenting on any one of the UK blogs about human rights.’ - It isn’t ‘slagging’ off Sahgal to highlight how her words and actions are bizarre.

    In your comment at 33 you say:
    ‘Mr. Begg, claims he is a British citizen’ - do you have any reason to doubt that Begg is a British citizen? If not then why write this?
    There is no point in responding to your other witterings.

    In your comment at 34 you say:
    ‘Ms. Gita Sahgal did not for one second, which this not very well informed author believes she did, suggest that the rights of those incarcerated in Guantanamo should not be upheld’ - I do not believe that and neither have I written that anywhere.
    ‘Either the author of this piece chose to ignore that bit of information or she is blinded by her own position on this. - you have not provided any information so I can’t comment on that, but I can assure you that I am not blinded by my ‘position’.

    In your comment at 36 you say:
    ‘AI made this a story and kept it in the news cycle for days on end’ - Gita Sahgal made this a story and continued it through radio and newspaper interviews. To suggest otherwise is quite frankly stupid.
    ‘lets not malign someone who has dedicated her life to upholding rights of those who have been oppressed’ - this is akin to saying let’s not discuss or even look at anybody we have deemed to be good because it’s just not good form. Again, stupid. Let’s never look at the words or actions of priests because millions of people hold them in high esteem, eh?

    I can see from other threads that you are not stupid so find it a shame that you have decided to write such nonsense here.

  82. earwicga Says:

    @ Refresh (29)
    I think she is too.

    @ Arif
    I’m in general agreement with the points you make on this thread and on the Irene Khan one too and I appreciate them. On face value, and if I knew nothing of Moazzam Begg, I would accept Sahgal’s argument and sign the petition and support her all the way as women’s human rights are so easliy and very commonly made secondary. But nothing she says in support of this specific argument holds water. If AI really were partnering with ‘individuals whose politics towards the Taliban are ambiguous’, and there was one Taliban that the petition could point to then fair enough. But the real situation is much more complex than that. This thing is couched in so much ‘war on terror’ propaganda language it is unreal. I truly believe that an argument based on the specific examples used by Sahgal would not have been accepted by anybody but basic racists pre 9/11. Times have changed.

    I cannot make sense of your comment at 41:
    ‘She is under no obligation to draw attention to statements or issues that undermine her self-presentation.’
    Of course she isn’t under any obligation, and neither is her fan site by either publishing Zarifi’s letter or accepting comments that reference the letter - but this also makes it a dishonest argument. The fact is that Sam Zarifi said he does NOT oppose AI working with Moazzam Begg and after this was published Sahgal stated the opposite to DNA India by couching it in the terms ‘Sam Zarifi has also been quoted in the Sunday Times…’. Do you believe it is wrong of me to point that out?

  83. earwicga Says:

    @ 3 & 9
    Thank you.

  84. Shamit Says:

    Using soundbites to convey a totally different meaning and then calling me stupid. Wow.

    That’s a first - thanks for the compliment and I would respond in detail but I wanted to respond to this now:

    “In your comment at 33 you say:
    ‘Mr. Begg, claims he is a British citizen’ –
    do you have any reason to doubt that Begg is a British citizen? If not then why write this?
    There is no point in responding to your other witterings.”

    The reason it was brought up and it has been explained later on as well in the post - This man calls for British soldiers to be attacked and I find that disgusting coming from a British citizen. Hence, it was brought up.

    ‘AI made this a story and kept it in the news cycle for days on end’ – Gita Sahgal made this a story and continued it through radio and newspaper interviews. To suggest otherwise is quite frankly stupid.

    Okay I am stupid - but deliberately leaking emails saying exactly the right thing for AI and making a disingenuous argument about why Begg was needed for the European Tour on NPR. And, every week having a top management person challenge Gita Sahgal publicly is not keeping the story alive - they should have drawn a line and stuck to a statement - and said no further comments until the entire investigation is over.

    While they have a person reviewing this whole thing they are going on air every week - what kind of stupid comms strategy is that if they did not want the story to be alive.

    And, comms strategy is something I know a little bit about.

    So you are patronising and you resort to defining me as stupid for the simple fact that you did not comprehend my argument. Now that’s impressive!!

  85. Brownie Says:

    earwicga,

    In repsonse to:

    “Ms. Gita Sahgal did not for one second, which this not very well informed author believes she did, suggest that the rights of those incarcerated in Guantanamo should not be upheld”

    You said: “I do not believe that and neither have I written that anywhere.”

    Earlier in the same post you wrote: “I do however think that Sahgal is selective in her support for human rights.”

    Can you please explain which human rights Sahgal should support that she isn’t currently? What, precisely, is the nature of her selectivity?

  86. earwicga Says:

    Shamit
    Noted. My intention wasn’t to selectively quote. Will use your entire comments in any further response for the sake of clarity.

    Buzz Brownie
    The two quotes do not negate each other.

  87. Brownie Says:

    Er, I sort of worked that out for myself.

    Clearly, you’re saying that those other, as yet unidentified human rights that Sahgal does not support are not the same as the rights that Gitmo detainees should enjoy. So, in your words, “Sahgal is selective in her support for human rights”, but you concede she supports the rights of those incarcerated at Gitmo. Hence my question: what are these human rights that Sahgal does not support? I know what they’re not (i.e. the rights of those detained at Gitmo), but I don’t know what they are.

    Can you help?

  88. earwicga Says:

    Buzz Brownie
    I cannot help you. I doubt anybody can.

  89. Brownie Says:

    Nice. You’ve managed to accuse Sahgal of employing McCarthyite tactics (albeit you clearly don’t understand what McCarthyism is) and cast aspersions on her commitment to human rights. When asked to justify your comments, you can’t/won’t.

    You’re just a cheap smear merchant, aren’t you?

  90. Stanislaw Says:

    Oh dear, Earwicga’s ‘McCarthyite’ smear has rather backfired on her.