Talk:Clifford D. May

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Warmonger from wayback

In a November 14, 1990 weekly column May recommended that Turkey shut off the fresh water supply into Iraq via their control of the Tigris and Euphrates headwaters.

This would unquestionably be a warcrime, as it would greatly affect the civilian population.


Participating in the co-opting of blogs

A group of bloggers including mainstream journalists from outlets such as CNBC, The Nation and The New York Times are banding together to strike a blow at established media and pick up some ad dollars in the process.

Operating initially as Pajamas Media--a play on criticism that bloggers are "just a bunch of guys in their pajamas"--the site will offer original content and links to affiliate sites written by more than 70 bloggers, as well as basic news feeds from sources like The Associated Press, said novelist and screenwriter Roger L. Simon, one of the founders.

Contributors include: CNBC's Larry Kudlow; U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone; Nation columnist David Corn; Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com fame; New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor John Podhoretz; Adam Bellow, Random House editor and son of Nobel Prize-winner Saul Bellow; Clifford D. May, ex-New York Times editor and current president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies think tank; Jane Hall, panelist of Fox News Watch; and co-founder Charles Johnson, author of the Little Green Footballs blog.

Though the roster, which included Reynolds and Fox News, may at first glance seem weighted toward the conservative side, Simon insisted it would encompass viewpoints from across the political spectrum.

"We believe that the power of the blogosphere can transcend the old-fashioned traditional left-right dichotomy in its search for truth," he said.

Regardless, the site could be seen as competing with the Liberal Blog Advertising Network. That site allows advertisers to place ads on more than 70 "liberal and progressive blogs."

Attracting advertising is just one of the goals, Simon said.

Elinor Mills, "Bloggers unite for aggregation site", CNET News.com, October 17, 2005


Pitching a neoimperialist vision that blurs party lines

Clifford D. May, "Post-humanitarian left meets neorealist right", Arizona Star, June 25, 2004
The media - television, in particular - tend to view every issue through a partisan lens: Republicans vs. Democrats, liberals vs. conservatives.
Convenient as this shorthand may be, it loses sight of the fact that the most consequential conflicts often take place within the major parties and movements.
For example, a sharp national security debate has broken out on the right. On one side are the so-called neoconservatives, who are convinced that killing terrorists is not enough.
It's also necessary, they believe, to try hard to extend freedom to those now living under the dictatorships that breed intolerance, hatred and terrorism.
That agenda is opposed by what are sometimes called "neorealists," who argue that government officials and bureaucrats haven't the skills to transform foreign political cultures and that only the arrogant and the naive believe otherwise.
Bad enough, they say, that liberals entertain notions of "nation building." For conservatives to indulge in these pipe dreams is beyond the pale.
A similar debate is taking place on the other side of the political spectrum. Such tribunes of the left as The Nation magazine furiously denounce the Bush administration's intervention in Iraq.
But that perspective is disputed by Christopher Hitchens, a longtime icon of the left. He argues that in the wake of 9/11, there was no choice but "to make the worst assumption about any report on Saddam's capacity for lethality" and to operate "at all times on the presumption of guilt. As a civilian, I would have wanted to criticize any Western government that did not err deliberately on this side."
British author William Shawcross, years ago an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, agrees. He wrote recently that "the prevailing images of Iraq today - that it is a hopeless war zone and that Iraqis do not want us there - are wrong."
"The challenge now is to help Iraq rebuild after the monstrous assault of the Saddam Hussein years. If the country collapsed into chaos or, worse, civil war, the consequences would be disastrous. Conversely, success - the building of a civil society in a region of oppression - would benefit all."
The current issue of the liberal New Republic showcases this family quarrel with a cover story headlined: "Were We Wrong?" The magazine asked a dozen writers, academics and politicians for second thoughts. More than a few now repent their former hawkishness.
"If I had known there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," writes Leon Wieseltier, the magazine's literary editor, "I would not have supported this war."
By contrast, scholar Fouad Ajami sticks to his guns. He writes those who supported Iraq's liberation "dared to think tyranny was not fated and inevitable for the Arabs. And even as this war falls short of what we had wanted, it was an honorable and noble expedition that came after a decade of relentless anti-American subversion and terrorism."
Within the Democratic Party, Sen. Joseph Lieberman is emerging as the strongest and clearest proponent of a robust war on terrorism combined with an energetic push for freedom and human rights.
By so doing, he insists, he is not breaking with his party's tradition and legacy - he's preserving it.
"Democrats with a capital 'D' have long been ready to stand up and fight for democracy with a small 'd,' " he said last week. "We must and will stand up and fight for democracy in Iraq today."
The senator recently listed some of the Democratic heroes of the past whose principles he and other moderate Democrats are championing.
"The ideals for which we fight in Iraq today are Wilsonian," he said. "And they were upheld and advanced by other Democratic leaders against freedom's foes in their time, leaders like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Henry M. Jackson, Bill Clinton."
It's too soon to say which views will come to prevail in either of the two political parties. At the moment, the post-humanitarian left appears ascendant, as does the neorealist right. Ironically, the two tendencies are not so far apart. But then, more unites than divides Wilsonian Dem-ocrats and neocons, as well.
You've heard politics makes for strange bedfellows? Sometimes, it appears, the same is true of policy.

Attacked Clinton, when a GOP Lie about him was Exposed

Howard Kurtz, "Arlington Cemetery Story Laid To Rest", Washington Post, November 25, 1997

To Insight magazine's Paul Rodriguez, what he wrote was merely "allegations and suggestions."

To White House adviser Paul Begala, it was "the classic big lie strategy" by "the Republican sleaze machine."

To GOP Chairman Jim Nicholson, it was "one of the most despicable political schemes in recent history."

And for the press, the charge that the Clinton administration was "selling" burial plots at Arlington National Cemetery was too tantalizing to resist, even though there were few facts to support it.

Within 48 hours, a story that did not include a single named source ricocheted from a conservative magazine to the talk radio circuit to Capitol Hill, and from there to such mainstream news outlets as The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and CNN. The administration convincingly knocked down the charges Friday but failed to bury the controversy.

"This is just an affirmation of this horrible perception, rightly or wrongly, that this guy [Clinton] will sell anything," said Rodriguez, managing editor of Insight, a sister publication of the Washington Times. He refused to perform last rites for the story, saying "a lot of questions remain."

The episode underscores how quickly an unsupported charge can flash across the sky in today's lightning-quick media culture. But it also highlights, in the wake of the administration's shifting explanations on the campaign fund-raising scandal, how many people simply dismiss denials by the Clinton White House.

"The controversy was compounded by the obfuscating this administration always does," said Clifford May, a spokesman for GOP chief Nicholson. "Their first impulse is always to stonewall and talk about hate radio. . . . If this clearly didn't happen, then there's clearly no grounds for criticism. But this is an administration that broke the law repeatedly in '96 in ways similar to this."


May's Credibility Challenged

CNN News: The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, October 26, 2005

Blitzer is interviewing Larry Johnson, counter terrorism expert and former CIA employee,

Larry C. Johnson is the Managing Partner and founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. BERG that specializes in counter terrorism and money laundering investigations. Prior to forming BERG, Mr. Johnson worked with the Central Intelligence Agency (1985-1989) and the Department of State's Office of the Coordinator for Counter Terrorsim (1989-1993).
From Joshua Micah Marshall's website, TPM Cafe, where Johnson is a regular contributor. (Johnson Bio)

Blitzer: Let me read to you from a Bob Novak column in the "Chicago Sun-Times" and other newspapers October 1, 2003, a couple of months or so after he revealed her name.

He writes this. He wrote this, at last -- at least, two years ago: "It was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Republican activist Clifford May wrote Monday, in 'National Review Online,' that he had been told of her identity by a non-government source before my column appeared and that it was common knowledge. Her name, Valerie Plame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson's -- Joe Wilson -- "Who's Who in America" entry".

Johnson: Yes. Well, that's...

Blitzer: That doesn't make it sound like she was very covert.

Johnson: Not only does -- you know, Bob Novak once again demonstrates he doesn't know what he's talking about. And that is a lie. I defy anybody -- I have got $5,000 that says that you can't find a reference to Valerie Plame and the CIA prior to Robert Novak's column. Can't do it. The fact that she's married...

(Crosstalk)

Blitzer: Well, why would Clifford May say that he knew about it?

Johnson: Clifford May has been wrong on a whole variety of things.

(Crosstalk)

Blitzer: But he's a respected guy, Clifford May.

Johnson: Well, he's respected by some people. I don't respect him, because I...

Blitzer: I have known him for many years...

Johnson: I...

Blitzer: ... going back to when he was a reporter for the "New York Times."

Johnson: His information -- his information -- his information on this issue has been repeatedly wrong. And, again, I'll bet Clifford May $5,000. Find the reference prior to Robert Novak's column in which that information was out there. It wasn't out there.

Not only that, when Valerie wrote that check to Al Gore's campaign as a member of Brewster-Jennings, she was living her cover. Not a single neighbor knew that she worked for the CIA. She protected that cover. She was in the process of moving from non-official cover to official cover, but, under the law, official cover still protected.