Monday, June 25, 2007

Constructive Criticism vs. Destructive Criticism


I was recently apprised of a rather intense, superficially extensive, and apparently long-standing critique of Robert Spencer’s mission and work (indeed, as will become apparent, of Spencer himself as well).

The person behind this critique goes by the name of “Rev. Jim Sutter” (a name that evokes a rather down-home twang, perhaps somewhat southeast of a Midwestern grain, endowing his campaign with perhaps a hint of true grit, as if to show that the salt of the earth roundabout the American Bible Belt can also stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim brothers and sisters against “hate”mongers like Robert Spencer).

It seems apparent that this “Rev. Jim Sutter” stumbled across my blog as a part of his general quest to find dirt about Robert Spencer and Jihad Watch to further amplify his own quantitatively prodigious 60+-page pdf document he has appended to his luridly titled and decorated “Hatewatch Hall of Shame” blog, and—perhaps more importantly—in order to find fellow haters of “hate” to alert about the evils and dangers of Robert Spencer and his mission and work. It seems apparent that this “Rev. Jim Sutter” found my blog which, to his hasty perception, seemed to harbor a kindred animosity toward Spencer and Jihad Watch. And, therefore, he plopped down into a couple of my comments fields a couple of advertisements to his “hate-watching” crusade.

If he thought my blog was consanguinous with his, he was sorely, and laughingstockingly, mistaken. All a visitor to my blog has to do is read my two introductory pieces to know that I am not against Jihad Watch, nor against its two main architects, Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald. This site is predominantly offered up as constructive criticism of some features of the methodology of Jihad Watch which I feel need various degrees of modification.

Furthermore—and this makes the good “Reverend” particularly eggfaced—I not only am, along with Robert Spencer, et al., a “hater” (at least as that is apparently Orwellianly defined by “Rev. Jim Sutter”), I am probably even more of a “hater” (at least as that is apparently Orwellianly defined by “Rev. Jim Sutter”) than Robert Spencer is! Had “Rev. Jim Sutter” taken 15 minutes out of his busy schedule hunting down Internet “haters” to actually read any one or two of my essays about Islam here or on my sister site, The Hesperado (easily located through this blog), he would have seen that, and perhaps would have thought twice about thinking he could find any recruits for his apparent hatred of “haters” who in fact hate the real haters. (Just recently, June 27, a few days after “Rev. Jim Sutter” initially found my site, he left a comment on my blog thanking me for a comment I had left on his blog about Walid Shoebat and implying that I was offering that comment up as constructive criticism as something of an ally in his (“Rev. Jim Sutter”s) cause!)

At any rate, because this “Rev. Jim Sutter” posted a couple of comments on my blog, I, as a curious, free-thinking Westerner, thought I’d take a look at his blog, in the interest of pursuing anyone who has a different opinion about things I am interested in.

Well, so far, I have found two major problems with the style and interpretations which this “Rev. Jim Sutter” purveys:

1) This “Rev. Jim Sutter” has been selective about answering my questions which I have posed to him. I have noticed that, belatedly, he has answered one of my questions which I posed on his blog about Walid Shoebat. His answer to date is unsatisfactory; as mentioned above, just today he thanked me for my comments and indicated that he would incorporate my criticisms of his formulation about Walid Shoebat: i.e., “Rev. Jim Sutter” makes claims of fact about Shoebat where there is no evidence to do anything more than to couch things in the subjunctive mood.

His comment on my blog most recently says as much: now “Rev. Jim Sutter” uses the word “would” when referring to Shoebat’s ostensibly odd apparent immunity from flight restrictions: “I have... explained the combined watchlist he [Shoebat] would be on...” [emphasis added]. At the end of the day, “Rev. Jim Sutter” does not know the inner workings of Homeland Security or the F.B.I. and does not know whether or not Walid Shoebat has been vetted by American intelligence, thus clearing him for airline flights. And “Rev. Jim Sutter” does not know whether or not Shoebat has to submit to delays and questioning each time he flies—or if “Rev. Jim Sutter” does know, he should say so and provide evidence of that. It is eminently apparent that all “Rev. Jim Sutter” can do—in his apparent dearth of actual facts about Shoebat—is say, “Gee, isn’t strange that this guy claims to be an ex-terrorist yet he flies all over the place giving speeches...” Such a remark should be a modest paragraph—framed entirely in the subjunctive mood—within an article about other things: it should not be touted as damning fact and plastered front and center up on a blog devoted to Shoebat’s alleged phoniness in the context of a lurid page of alarming reds and yellows entitled Hatewatch Hall of Shame (one expects to see exclamation marks decorating that title, like those World War II posters about the Yellow Peril of invading Japs).

Similarly, “Rev. Jim Sutter” adduces, and links, an
article by a Will Youmans about Walid Shoebat in the online journal Counterpunch, in which Youmans engages in similar deceptive tactics, beginning his article by couching in terms of a factual claim his accusation of Shoebat being a non-terrorist because he ostensibly flies around willy-nilly—then only much later in his article, buried in a parenthetical comment does he slip in the subjunctive mood that betrays the fact that he has no facts to back up his main claim: what began, for Youmans, as a factual apodictic “immunity” which Shoebat purportedly enjoys when he flies around, becomes, later on in his article buried in the text, and I quote: “an apparent immunity.” Not only does he use the weaselling word “apparent”, he does not even have the balls to put it front and center, where any responsible journalist would put it. Shoddy stuff. Birds of a feather with “Rev. Jim Sutter”.

My other question which I posted some two days ago on his blog (and then repeated on my blog which he apparently has been reading, at least in part) was whether he has any smoking gun proof to back up his claim which he made on his pdf file about Robert Spencer which he links on his “Hatewatch” site, to wit:

“...it is important to note that Spencer... cannot speak or read Arabic...”

My question to this “Rev. Jim Sutter” was: “Do you have any smoking gun proof to back up this claim? And if so, could you show me this proof?”

This “Rev. Jim Sutter” never answered me on his blog, and he never allowed my question to be posted as a comment on his blog, even 3 days after I first posted it—even though I have allowed two of his comments to be posted on my blog and have allowed them to remain all this time. I repeated this question on my blog, after he posted a comment on my blog wondering where there were questions for him. Yet, he has failed to answer my question. And today, as mentioned above, he posted new comments on my blog in the very same comments field where I had repeated the above question to him at least 48 hours ago. Still nothing but silence from this “Rev. Jim Sutter” about my question. This isn’t merely about Spencer’s knowledge or lack of it concerning Arabic: the work by “Rev. Jim Sutter” represents a numbing mountain of similar claims, and one wonders whether any one of them, or most or all of them, could stand unremarkable scrutiny. “Rev. Jim Sutter” often complains about the propagandistic and demagogic methodology of bigots and racists (luridly implying a comparison between Goebbels and Spencer by having a photo of the former sensationally plastered on his blog about the latter), yet he himself, in building up a mountain of ostensible claims most of which seem to be based not on fact but on subjectively likely inference, is apparently doing what he decries—and then he has the gall to accuse others of hypocrisy. It is both amusing and chilling to see someone decrying demonization, then turn around and demonize, as “Rev. Jim Sutter” seems to do with Spencer: indeed, his treatment of Spencer amounts more to a diabolicization than a mere demonization. One comes away from a reading of “Rev. Jim Sutter”s Robert Spencer with the manifestly absurd idea that the latter is a diabolical, evil traitor trying to foment an apocalyptic war between the West and Islam by willfully falsifying Islam as an evil danger in order to have Islam win so that his own brand of Christianity, Melkite orthodoxy, can live under Islamic rule as the best rule for Christians! This leads one to wonder, which one is Spencer doing? “Rev. Jim Sutter”s Spencer seems to be self-contradictory: on the one hand, he is supposed to hate Islam and all Muslims and wants to kill all Muslims (or as many as possible of them); on the other hand, “Rev. Jim Sutter”s Spencer is supposed to be trying to foment a global confrontation between the West and Islam with the precise purpose in mind of having Islam win in the end! Is “Rev. Jim Sutter” saying that Spencer is not only diabolical, but also essentially schizophrenic, and is so nuts he wants to simultaneously kill Muslims and help Muslims? At any rate, this ludicrously lurid diabolicization is distinctly unseemly (besides being apparently concocted out of a tissue of inferences masquerading as factual claims) and, when juxtaposed with the typos and misspellings and hastily cobbled-together sources (where he piles up links to Muslims condemning terrorism which he takes naively at face value and seems to damn as “haters” anyone who would submit them to skeptical scrutiny) that characterize “Rev. Jim Sutter”s pdf document about Robert Spencer, seems to expose his mission as, at bottom, shoddy, propagandistic and demagogic.

So this represents the first curious thing about this “Rev. Jim Sutter”: he apparently has a spotty concern for PR. He does not care to try to answer all the questions new readers of his blogs might have, nor does he take the time to learn who it is he is conversing with. One would think that a person such as him, who has apparently spent hundreds of hours online in his obsession with Robert Spencer and dozens of other evil “haters” out there (one of his articles on his blog demonstrates an astounding amount of research on his part (some might call it cyber-stalking) on some apparently neurotic but otherwise harmless woman online) as well as out in the real world (including apparently visiting a UPS post-office box store in Massachussetts to question a UPS clerk in order to check up on Hugh Fitzgerald’s putative P.O. box!—prompting the reader to wonder, was Massachussetts conveniently close to “Rev. Jim Sutter”s location, or did he have to travel 3,000 miles from California to check up, like a dogged gumshoe, on old Hugh?), that this “Rev. Jim Sutter” would be concerned to try to schmooze his potential audience a little more effectively.

2) Now to get to a few morsels of the meat of our objections with this “Rev. Jim Sutter”. The following represents only a minuscule portion of the mountain of obfuscating apparent half-truths which he has heaped together on his blog and in his pdf document on Robert Spencer.

a) as an example of the good side of Islam, this “Rev. Jim Sutter” posts in his pdf file dedicated to exposing the apparent lies of Robert Spencer some sites meant to show how good Islam is, despite the bigoted misundertanding purveyed by “haters” like Spencer:

One of the links he provides is from an apparently solitary Muslim who offers her or his own interpertation of Qur’an 4:34 (the famous wife-beating verse).


This “Rev. Jim Sutter” offers this one link as though it settles once and for all the difficult problem of the wife-beating verse in the Qur’an, when there are many other sources to draw from that will show that this is a horrible problem in Islamic culture which cannot be waved away, as “Rev. Jim Sutter” seems to think it can, by simply adducing one sugarcoated website crafted by one clever Muslim apologist (who has the shameless temerity to try to argue that the crucial word for “beat” in Qur’an 4:34—waidriboohunna, derived from daraba—does not in the context of that verse mean physical beating) and, by implication, branding as a “hater” anyone who criticizes this feature of Islam. I can bring forth my own sources to counter this transparent taqiyya, if I thought at this point my little finger was obliged to expend that effort. If perhaps someone of worth and credibility—unlike this “Rev. Jim Sutter”—asks me, I will supply those sources. Surely someone as intelligent and resourceful as “Rev. Jim Sutter” could find more sources than the solitary one he adduces to show how great Islam is in terms of its ugy wife-beating phrase straight out of the Qur’an. Right? One wonders if his mind is on auto-pilot, and were he to encounter opposing evidence—such as this
collection of Muslim scholars admitting that Qur’an 4:34 concerns physical beating of wives—would he reflexively dismiss it as “hateful bigotry”? I.e., the mind of “Rev. Jim Sutter” seems made up on this axiom: Islam itself is good and the vast majority of Muslims must be good and harmless, and anyone who adduces evidence indicating the contrary must be a “hater” to be vilified and opposed, and any and all evidence so adduced by such Orwellianly labelled “haters” must be tainted, corrupt, not credible. This is called prejudice, folks.

b) Another example of the shoddy methodology of “Rev. Jim Sutter” is manifest in this claim he makes about Hugh Fitzgerald:

“Fitzgerald... is gung ho to gather up every American citizen who is a Muslim and lock them up or ship them off to some other country...” [emphasis added]

What clinches the shoddiness is the proof that “Rev. Jim Sutter” brings to bear to support his claim, when he quotes Hugh Fitzgerald himself as writing:

“... to find creative ways to deport all Muslim non-citizens.” [emphasis added]

Right there—within centimeters of his claim about Fitzgerald, “Rev. Jim Sutter” adduces evidence that flatly, baldly and lucidly contradicts his own claim about Fitzgerald!


Conclusion:

There is much more in the work of “Rev. Jim Sutter” worthy of complaints—as I said above, a veritable mountain of stuff that would be too tedious and annoying to sort through. In the end, his mountain does not amount to a hill of beans, but demonstrating that would wring me out with fessitude, and frankly, I have better things to do with my time.

6 comments:

Rev. Jim Sutter said...

Wow, rarely have I seen to many misinterpretations and errors of fact in one article. I strongly suggest you go back and reread the article on Spencer, as your observiations about it are seriously flawed.

For just one example, you allege that I drove to Massachusets to gather the information about Fitzgerald's UPS box. This may be a major shock to you, but about a century ago, Alexander Graham Bell came up with a wonderful invention called the telephone. Some of us even know how to use this new-fangled contraption to talk to people in other states and gather information.

This is just one of many flawed conclusions you draw based on a very simplistic review of the Spencer report. When we were ready to publish the report, a question was raised about it's being written at a 12th grade reading level, but I dismissed the concern as unnecessary, since most Americans can understand literature at that level. Foolish me.

Nobody said...

'Rev' Sutter

I posted a response to your post earlier, but since it's way down, I'm repeating it here. (Erich, feel free to delete my last post in the thread where you mull over the future directions of this blog). Your quotes in {}, followed by my response, since blockquote doesn't seem to be one of the accepted tags around here.

{But I oppose it on practical and pragmatic grounds, as versus Spencer opposing it on made-up theology, twisted interpretations of Islam, and citations from 1,400 year old legal rulings. All terrorism should be condemned and dealt with in the most efficient manner, whether that be a bullet to the head or a trial and imprisonment. To use tunnel vision such as Spencer's, and not only ignore, but outright deny, that any other form of terrorism exists than Islamist, is not only foolish, but it tends to get people killed. When there are (for example) 200 active terrorist organizations, and you pay attention only to 5 of them, then one or more of the remaining 195 are going to attack you, your country, your facilities, etc. Spencer deliberately blows off all other terrorist groups in order to minimize any attention paid to them, thus leaving his readers with only Islamist terrorists to think about. This is wrong, this is dangerous}

The focus on Islamic terror is justified. The only non-Islamic terror groups that I'm aware of are the IRA in Ulster, ETA in the Basque area in Spain and the LTTE in the Northern and Eastern provinces in Sri Lanka. All these groups are evil and worth condemning. Yet, all of them have local ambitions, and while their use of violence is completely unacceptable, the fact remains that they can be appeased. The IRA has shown this, and while there are some fringe breakaways from them who still support terror, they've pretty much endorsed the Anglo-Irish agreement. Similarly, the LTTE has designs on Tamil areas of Sri Lanka, and possibly India, but not beyond that. In other words, all the non-Islamic terror groups that exist in the world - bad as they are - are limited to local aspirations.

This is not the case with Islamic terrorists. Everywhere in the world that there are Muslim and non-Muslim populations side by side, there is terror - be it Phillipines, Thailand, India, Serbia, Israel, and within Islamic countries, where terrorists have their visions of Islamic state, there is a systematic persecution or discrimination against non-Muslims. Also, since the 90's, even if, say, Abu Sayyaf in the Phillipines had nothing to do with say, Hamas in Gaza, the emergence of al Qaeda has brought Jihadi groups worldwide all under one umbrella. While you may look at it as an operational convinience, fact remains that all of them are singing out of the Quran and Sunnah.

As for painting everybody with the same brush, Spencer has often said that just because Islam is what it is does not imply that all Muslims follow it to the letter, since there is a range of opinions from the fanatical to the agnostical, just as exists in any religion. It's just that there is no saying when a Muslim may decide to take his faith seriously and suddenly go on a Jihad, as happened in several cases like Mike Hawash, Adam Gadahn, John Allen Mohammed, et al.

{If one carefully analyzes the articles that Spencer uses, (as many have) one would note that he cherry picks only the articles that show Islam and Muslims in a bad light. Certainly, there are many instances of Islamist extremists committing horrible acts of terrorism, of repressive Muslim regimes, of some Muslims who are stuck in the 7th Century.}

On this cherry picking of stories, it's a fact that not only are there worldwide frictions between Muslims and non-Muslims, but even between Muslims of different persuasions, and that 'live & let live' is an unknown philosophy with them. Now, those Buddhists who get beheaded in South Thailand may be unaware of the Jihadi motivations behind the campaigns in Kosovo or Gaza, but they are under no illusions about what they face locally; it's just that they don't necessarily see it as a global trend. Similarly, Jewish settlers in Judea or Samaria may have to deal with Pali terrorists daily, without knowing how their struggle isn't different from the campaign in Kashmir against Hindus, or the campaign in Mindanao against Filipino Catholics. And there is also the fact that aside from Jihad, other ugly practices of Islam - in Britain, no less - honor killings, preventing Muslim girls from marrying Infidels, forcibly converting Sikh girls and causing Hindu and Sikh female students to seek police protection to avoid intimidation by Muslims. You may think it not worth reporting, and by doing that, you are supporting Islamic supremacy, even while you are opposing Jihad. Guess what? The Jihad becomes redundant, because their goals are being achieved in these non-Jihad sort of ways.

The fact remains that in most Islamic countries, either they're already under Shariah law, and in cases where they aren't, there are attempts, not just by Jihad terrorists, but also political attempts to make those 7th century laws the laws of the lands. This has particularly lethal consequences for non-Muslim minorities, be it Copts in Egypt, Maronites in Lebanon, Assyrians in Iraq, Hindus in Bangladesh and Indonesia and Malaysia, Sikhs in Afghanistan, etc.

On the Israel issue, you're missing the point. The point is that even if Fatah didn't launch attacks on Israel, they have to claim that they did in order to prevent Pali public opinion from shifting to Hamas. That ought to say a lot about them, which is the point made in JihadWatch. The fact that bringing democracy to Islamic countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and PA have seen Jihadi elements get elected. Which says a lot about the people doing the electing.

{Spencer is well aware that there are thousands upon thousands of Muslim leaders, including political leaders, religious leaders, imams, mullahs, theologists, authors, teachers, scholars, etc., who have condemned terrorism, militant jihad, suicide bombing, and all acts of violence, clearly explaining why these violate the Qur'an and the hadiths (not just using out of context verses like Spencer does) using a clear, in context, complete explanation of why these are against Islamic beliefs, tenets, principles, etc. If you are interested in reading some of these, I can direct you to a site that has compiled a very extensive listing of the Muslim leadership condemnations.}

There are a lot of sub texts to this. First of all, most Islamic leaders aren't stupid enough to endorse terrorism openly, although a lot of them have been discovered to be saying one thing in English and another in Arabic/Urdu. Secondly, as Spencer points out, there has never been any comprehensive program in US mosques or elsewhere explaining why the terrorist interpretation is wrong, and there has even been the reluctance to acknowledge problematic portions of the Quran, such as 2:190-193: whenever he brings those up, he and others like him are accused of hate-mongering. Thirdly, as for the Quran, it has a mix of good and bad verses, and it's one thing for Islamic theologians to cite the good verses (really few in number), but quite another to explain why they trump the bad verses (as an example, do you have any imams explain why Surah 109 should trump Surah 9, instead of the other way around?) As for the hadiths, due to the several instances of the Quran directing Muslims to follow Allah by following Mohammed, there have been copious efforts by Muslims through the ages to filter out his genuine sayings and deeds from his fake ones, with the result that it isn't difficult to pick what Muslims recognize as fake hadiths and use them in conjunction with the innocuous verses in the Quran to create an impression of an innocuous Islam.

In other words, all these statements and teachings that you cite actually have to be directed at Muslims to dissuade them from engaging in activities out to subvert the various countries they are in - both Islamic and non-Islamic - to Shariah law, rather than simply be fed to Western public opinion for public consumption.

{Also, as to "trusting Muslims", remember that there are approximately 80,000 American Muslims serving in the US Armed Forces with courage and honor in the war against terrorism. Remember that the US has numerous Muslim countries as valuable allies in the war on terrorism.}

As was the case with Hasan Akbar, there is a case to be made that any number of those 80,000 troops have a potential conflict of interest between their Islamic duty to spread Shariah to the US vs their support of the US constitution. While it may seem churlish to cast aspersions on their loyalty, as the Hasan Akbar episode showed, it's impossible to determine which Muslims will stay loyal to the very end, and which ones will turn.

The US does not have Muslim allies in the war on terror, or else, this would be a lot easier. If there were Azeri troops in Najaf and Karbala, do you think there would be a problem? Had there been Egyptian or Pakistani troops in al Anbar province, do you think there would be Americans dying every day? And do you buy the official US State Department policy that identifies Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as 'staunch allies'?

{Every legitimate study, poll and survey has shown that it is only a small percentage of Muslims who are extremists, just about the same percentage of extremists that one would find in any large group of people who adhere to the same ideology.}

The Pew poll, that was out recently, when looked at more closely, revealed a lot more disturbing trends than what the cover summary of the poll indicated. I detailed the problems with it on posts in JW when that poll came out - particularly what Muslims think about whether Mohammed should be strictly obeyed, whether they'd allow a relative to marry a non Muslim (38% said no, and of the 62% who said yes, since Islam allows Muslim men to marry non Muslim women but not vice versa, the question should have been more specific).

Also, what polls do you have of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, et al that would indicate that the numbers of them who are extremists equal those in the Muslim community?

Erich said...

Nobody,

You wrote to rev. jim sutter:

"The focus on Islamic terror is justified. The only non-Islamic terror groups that I'm aware of are the IRA in Ulster, ETA in the Basque area in Spain and the LTTE in the Northern and Eastern provinces in Sri Lanka."

And you rightfully pointed out one of the big differences between these terrorist movements and Islamic terrorist movements -- to wit, that the former have geographically localized ambitions, while the latter have trans-national aspirations. On my Hesperado blog, I wrote an unremarkable analysis of additional differences in an essay called Comparing IRA Terrorism with Islamic Terrorism: Another Canard. (What characterizes the IRA in the following also would seem to apply, with a little tweaking here and there, to Basques and Tamil Tigers.)

Islamic terrorism: based in hatred of all non-Muslims, making it a global threat

IRA terrorism: based in specific localized political grievances (with a dash of anti-British hatred)

Islamic terrorism: Imperialistic, with designs on restoring a pan-Islamic Emperor (the Caliph) and conquering the world and/or ridding the world of "fitna" which insofar as its purveyors enjoy global success and prosperity "insults", and hampers the proper Lebensraum of, Islam.

IRA terrorism: based on limited political objectives

Islamic terrorism: ultimately eschatological, with an eye to transforming the world and making it ready for the Last Days

IRA terrorism: based on limited political objectives

Islamic terrorism: egregiously barbaric, including the beheading of children and shooting children in the back

IRA terrorism: less barbaric by a relevant degree

Islamic terrorism: part of a wider culture of pathological savagery that includes honor killings of women and girls; brutal clitorectomies of little girls; gang-rapes of women who either do not wear the proper Islamic garb or who are an affront by simply being Infidels; violent and hateful anti-Semitism; fascistic censorship of expression; fascistic threats of death to those who leave Islam; and much more.

IRA terrorism: part of a wider culture that contains far less pathological savagery than does Islam, and in fact is relatively normal and healthy (as rebel groups go) by comparison.

I also added:

Even if the IRA might have had among its members some fanatic (or desperate) enough to be suicide bombers, there still would be differences contrasted with Islamic terrorism:

1) sheer numbers of willing suicide-bombers spread out across the globe;

2) the religious motivation, which profoundly and directly colors the Muslim's suicide, but would be only a peripheral, or probably non-existent factor for the IRA terrorist, whose sheer desperation (perhaps also affected by personal circumstances such as relative poverty) and hatred of the British for political grievances (including perhaps the fact that the British tortured a cousin, or happened to kill, through collateral damage, a daughter or sister or mother, etc.) would move him that far. These kinds of non-religious factors, of course, also exist among many of the Muslim terrorists; but they are neither the sole cause, nor even the primary cause: the primary cause is the Islamic agenda to spread its supremacist system over the entire world, and its hatred and intolerance for all who resist and frustrate this.

Somewhat related, Nobody, though with important differences that you may not realize, is that rev. jim sutter in his pdf file on Spencer adduces some 61 non-Islamic terrorist movements that rev. jim sutter apparently claims are roughtly exactly as dangerous as Islamic groups and which should be therefore monitored and fought against with attention and resources and activity commensurate with the quantitative proportionality that is ostensible to the reader. Effectively, under rev. jim sutter's apparently obtuse logic, 61 non-Islamic terrorist groups, having no qualitative differences from Islamic terrorist groups, should outweigh our concerns (and practical application thereof) for the Islamic terrorist groups 61 to 1. (Among the groups he adduces are: 1st Mechanical Kansas Militia, Armenian Revolutionary Army, Covenant Sword and Arm of the Lord (CSA), Hector Riobe Brigade, Ku Klux Klan, Up the IRS, Inc.. He provides a link for each one. He claims that these groups (all combined, of course) have accounted for 546 terrorist incidents, 4,170 injuries, and 3,228 fatalities.

The link to 1st Mechanical Kansas Militia leads one to a message that "MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base (TKB) is being refreshed with updated information for terrorist incidents" and further down the page that "The MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base (TKB) data refresh will be completed by 7:30pm. Please visit us then." Well, it said that when it was 9:45 pm Pacific time.

In fact, several of the links refer to this "MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base" which is not yet open. Adducing the same site for multiple claims is not the best type of source citation. One would have to check all 61 links. If I wanted to climb rev. jim sutter's hill of beans, I might do so.

Erich said...

rev. jim sutter wrote to me above:

"you allege that I drove to Massachusets to gather the information about Fitzgerald's UPS box."

My actual wording was: "apparently visiting a UPS post-office box store in Massachussetts to question a UPS clerk in order to check up on Hugh Fitzgerald’s putative P.O. box..."

Saying that someone is "apparently" doing something I don't think counts as "alleging", since the definition of "alleging" is: to assert; to assert without or before proof. What I in effect was saying was that "it seems like rev. jim sutter is saying that he visited the UPS store to question the clerk there". That's not the same thing as saying: "The rev. jim sutter visited a UPS store to question the clerk there." But I can see why rev. jim sutter so easily elides the two together -- enabling him, for example, to confuse the "apparent immunity" of Walid Shoebat in flying without restrictions, with a factual immunity.

I'm not sure why I pictured rev. jim sutter actually visiting a UPS store rather than telephoning the store -- certainly his wording does not indicate either way: "A clerk at that particular UPS Store informed me that the mailbox [i.e., Hugh Fitzgerald's putative mailbox] was rented by Robert Spencer." It might have been rev. jim sutter's immediately following sentence that gave me the impression that he had actually visited the area to do his detective work: "I searched the telephone directories, the voter registration records, the local courts, property records, and business records to no avail -- there is no listing for any Hugh Fitzgerald living in or around Lexington, MA." Certainly, most, perhaps all, of these sources can be accessed online, though I'm not so sure about whether the sources of "local courts" can be accessed online. At any rate, whether it was my relative ignorance of the detective capacities of the Internet that led me to conjecture (not "allege") that rev. jim sutter actually visited that UPS store is perhaps a peripheral point, since just today, I called up a UPS store in my city and asked the clerk to explain the PO box rental packages they offer (since I have been interested in doing this anyway). After he did so, I then asked him directly: "I'm concerned about privacy. If someone calls you and asks who is renting my box, will you tell them?" The clerk answered clearly and unequivocably: "No, we have strict policies to ensure your privacy -- we will never give out any information about your box to anybody except yourself who calls us."

That UPS clerk who so willingly gave out that information to rev. jim sutter on Hugh Fitzgerald's PO box should be fired, and someone should complain to the UPS management about the presence of such a clerk. I wonder if rev. jim sutter will take some time out of his busy schedule to do that small, but important good deed?

Lady Predator said...

The "Rev" Sutter most likely never called UPS store. You see the man has delusions. This was confirmed by the senior pastor of a church he was once associated with. Sutter has never been ordained (unless you count ULC) has no degrees (the seminary he claims to have attended is really King's Word *Bible School* not King's Word Seminary, it's a non-accredited Bible school that only gives out certificates. Sutter has been publicly exposed as a SEAL impostor.

"Rev." Sutter is a *very* ill man and believes his lies toughly. You can't talk a person out of their delusions, you have to medicate them.

Lady Predator said...

Eich Spencer told me that Sutter is lying again: he never rented a mailbox for Hugh Fitzgerald.