Here are two examples of how the fallacies of debate and errors of logic are employed regarding General John Singlaub, a man whose roles in Iran-Contragate and world fascist movements are already well documented, and need no discussion here.
General John Singlaub was involved in promoting the yellow ribbon campaign during the Gulf War. He was one of dozens of influential people who formed the Coalition for America at Risk. That Coalition was one of at least ten other major national groups promoting the yellow ribbon campaign, including veterans groups with tens of thousands of members nationwide. Families of service personnel have been tying yellow ribbons on trees in anticipation of the safe return of their active duty relatives ever since this military tradition which dates to the Civil War was revived during the Vietnam War, in part due to a popular song. To suggest, as some do, that Singlaub created the yellow ribbon campaign as a continuation of his nefarious role in Contra fundraising is to stretch credulity beyond the breaking point.
Another case involving Singlaub shows how a series of individual facts from underlying footnotes can be strung together so that the conclusions are not accurate because they fail the tests of deductive logic. The Iran Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era, combines into one book chapters written by Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter. On page 67 in a chapter written by Peter Dale Scott it is asserted that the LaRouche organization "previously posed as left-wing but in fact harassed anti-nuclear and other left-wing demonstrations with the help of the right-wing domestic intelligence group known since 1979 as Western Goals."
It is documented that the LaRouchites spied on and harassed the left, and it is documented that Western Goals spied on and harassed the left, but it does not automatically follow that they worked together to spy on and harass the left.
The evidence linking the two groups is this: General Singlaub, at the time on the board of Western Goals, once lectured to a group that included some LaRouchians at a training center run by Mitch WerBell. Singlaub met LaRouchians from time to time when he visited WerBell, who served as an intelligence adviser to LaRouche. The LaRouchians in 1977 gave the New Hampshire State Police background material on anti-nuclear activists including several pages from a private Rees newsletter. At the time, Rees was not connected to Western Goals. In fact, Western Goals had not as yet been founded.
That both the LaRouchites and Rees have spied on the left is both documented and a matter of some bragging by both parties. That the LaRouchians spied on and harassed the left with help from Western Goals is unsubstantiated, and faces conflicting evidence. In fact, Rees and the LaRouchians have despised each other for years, and denounce each other regularly in print, gleefully sending nasty information about each other to reporters, including this author.
It is common for Singlaub and other figures criticized by the left to point to the inaccurate and unsubstantiated charges leveled against them by their critics as a means to deflect the charges that are well documented. The use of fallacious arguments and the circulation of unsubstantiated conclusory charges in an area of research such as government repression or intelligence abuse undermines the credibility of the whole area of research. It makes the job all the harder for cautious progressive researchers, whose work becomes suspect in the eyes of mainstream reporters and broad audiences.
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