3 July 2011
[Updated] Noam Chomsky honesty appeal...
From: "Noam Chomsky" chomsky@MIT.EDU
Date: 3 July 2011 21:47:40 GMT+01:00
Someone sent me your blog, where you quote letters of mine that were, of course, personal correspondence. No honest person posts such things without consent. If I don’t respond to you again, you’ll understand why.
From: Alek Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 3 July 2011 23:08:44 GMT+01:00
Subject: Re: honesty
Dear Professor Chomsky,
This last communication of yours leaves me utterly baffled. Honestly.
Honesty: –noun. 1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness. 2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness. 3. freedom from deceit or fraud.
Forgive me Professor, but I needed to revise the dictionary, given that English is not my mother tongue. Your appeal to honesty is totally unjustified and, coming from you, completely unacceptable. And I shall explain why if you bear with me.
Your apologising for Hugo Chavez, the president of my country, has become notorious. As other fellow radical leftist, or useful idiots as your ilk is commonly known, I am inclined to think that before Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999, perhaps you couldn't find Venezuela on a map, but perhaps I am wrong. In any case, I remember clearly the exchange we had previously on human rights issues, when Human Rights Watch published a very thorough report about the systematic abuses the Chavez regime has perpetrated in the last few years. HRW report was nothing new, it wasn't some breaking news about a situation previously unknown. Amnesty International had previously published similarly scathing reports about human rights violations in Venezuela. And so had the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, Reporters Without Borders, the International Federation of Human Rights, the European Union, and about every human rights NGO, or personality around the world.
And yet, when I first communicated with you, regarding that preposterous and propagandistic letter against HRW's report that your chavista handlers (probably Greg Wilpert) asked you to co-sign, which you happily did, without checking facts, according to your own admission, you demonstrated that, as far as Venezuela and Hugo Chavez are concerned, you have accepted unsubstantiated propaganda as fact. I recall having written to you: "I take that you are as prone to abandon minimum accuracy standards -to side with ideological partners- as the guy next door..."
Having signed that letter, you demonstrated total ignorance as to the real situation in Venezuela. You demonstrated total ignorance regarding Venezuela's legislation. You demonstrated total ignorance regarding international human, civil and political rights treaties signed and ratified by Venezuela, which are binding by the way. But worse of all, you demonstrated a wanton disregard for demonstrable and easily verifiable facts, facts that were there, at your fingertips, had you had the slightest desire to double check whether what you were demanding from HRW in that letter had any basis in reality. Alas you didn't. You behaved in the most dishonest possible way, as you have done for many years, regarding many other issues of countries that are completely alien to you.
So allow me, Professor Chomsky, to be baffled. Allow me to question your mental sanity, your ethical stance, and your morals. How dare you call for honesty, when nearly all your utterances about political issues are devoid of it? You may well be a great linguist, as some say. You may well be the Left's most admired and influential intellectual. Though honest you are not. For an honest person knows that expertise in one very specific field is not transferable to other, unrelated fields. As a linguist, you would not accept criticism of your work coming from a geologist. Equally, I can not accept your nauseating apologising for Hugo Chavez and others of his ilk, for you know nothing about my country's history, politics, economics, etc., beyond the propaganda you have decided to take as gospel. Your opinions about Venezuela, evidently, are informed first and foremost, on your very warped ideological understanding of the world, in absolute disregard of facts. That is, of course, your prerogative, but if you were actually honest, you wouldn't be calling for honesty.
And speaking of honesty, you must be informed, that Eva Golinger, a propagandist on Hugo Chavez's payroll, has published the communication you sent me, as if you had sent it to her, without attribution of course. I think in your academic world that is called plagiarism.
As per publishing our exchanges, which you consider personal correspondence, let me remind you of Bradley Manning, about whom you show, rightly, so much concern. Manning thought that publishing confidential information was in the interest of our societies. Similarly, I think that publishing my exchanges with you, never pretending to put the two cases in the same context, is greatly beneficial. The world needs to understand just how unhinged you, those you admire, and those who admire you, are, and these exchanges are just the perfect way to do it.
In conclusion, I perfectly understand if you don't want ever to reply to my messages again. Fear not though, I am through with you.
With best wishes,
UPDATE: Noam Chomsky came back for more. I will not dignify him with further replies:
From: "Noam Chomsky" chomsky@MIT.EDU
Date: 4 July 2011 01:58:56 GMT+01:00
To: "'Alek Boyd'" email@example.com
Subject: RE: honesty
Drop the word “honestly.” You know why I can’t respond to this extraordinary performance.
Publicado por AB en 10:13 pm