Blogger Kevin K. reports from that Clinton dead-ender "PUMA" conference that was derided at length yesterday.
There was scant chatter in the PUMAsphere about the convention following the closing of registration, which was pretty odd considering what a big deal they all made about the announcement of the convention in the first place. It wasn't until I heard the August 6th broadcast of the "No We Won't" BlogTalkRadio show that it became clear to me that there was a good reason for the self-imposed silence regarding the convention. Like so many other PUMA initiatives (the poorly-attended RBC "Count Every Vote" rally, retiring Hillary's debt, etc.), the conference was an epic failure. Listen to this short MP3 clip as alleged "Friends of Hillary" staffer "Paul Johnson" asks the show's hosts, Sheri Tag and PUMA co-founder Will Bower, how many people will be in DC for the conference. Stammer … stammer … time for the next caller! [You can listen to the full show here—Paul's call starts at the 55 minute mark]
More importantly, Kevin has photos, and they're… disturbing. Among the guests at this confab were Andy Martin and Webster Tarpley. First, a little about Martin, who wrote some of the first chain e-mails about Barack Obama's "Muslim past."
During a 1983 bankruptcy case he referred to a federal judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race." Martin, who in the past was known as Anthony Martin-Trigona, is one of the most notorious litigants in the history of the United States. He's filed hundreds, possibly thousands, of lawsuits, often directed at judges who have ruled against him, or media outlets that cover him unfavorably. A 1993 opinion by the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Atlanta, described these lawsuits as "a cruel and effective weapon against his enemies," and called Martin a "notoriously vexatious and vindictive litigator who has long abused the American legal system." He once even attempted to intervene in the divorce proceedings of a judge who'd ruled against him, petitioning the state court to be appointed as the guardian of the judge's children.
And Webster Tarpley:
In 1986 Tarpley attempted to run on the platform of Lyndon LaRouche in the New York State Democratic Party primary for the U.S. Senate, but was ruled off the ballot because of a defect in his nominating petitions.. He was a frequent host of "The LaRouche Connection", which its producer, LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review News Service, describes as "a news and information cable television program".
Tarpley first gained attention for co-authoring, with Anton Chaitkin, ("history editor of Executive Intelligence Review") a 1992 book on George H.W. Bush, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, which was published by Executive Intelligence Review, run by Lyndon LaRouche. He has expounded the "Versailles Thesis" laying the blame for the great wars of the 20th century on intrigues by Britain to retain her dominance. He gained experience as a political operative during his years with the LaRouche movement but broke away in the mid-1990s.
Yep. That's the intellectual artillery of the PUMA movement. I notice this as I see Markos Moulitsas has been contacted by World Net Daily's Jerusalem bureau chief (must… resist… temptation to use scare quotes) who demands to know whether the sneaky blogger forged Obama's birth certificate.
One thing that's often forgotten about the 1992 presidential race is that the character case against Bill Clinton—which had some real factual pegs, like the Gennifer Flowers affair—was distorted and waylayed by deeply silly conspiracy theories. I don't think John McCain's hurting from the wackiness of this subterranean campaign against Obama, but it's protecting the Democrat from the kind of reality-based attacks that could actually wound him.
Update: Andy Martin writes in.
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 3:02 PM
Subject: Demand for retraction and libel notice
I must respectfully request that you run an apology and retraction of your claim that I am an anti-Semite. Quoting court papers 25 years out of context is not responsible journalism or protected activity. I will have to file a lawsuit if the apology and retraction are not forthcoming. I was indeed at the meeting you mentioned, and your report is a gross distortion of what took place. Trying to smear me with out of context associations in my professional capacity as a blogger is libel per se.