|Laman Webantu (M) KM2: 5468 File Size: 10.5 Kb|
MGG: The American Defence Council Defends Itself!
By M.G.G. Pillai
18/9/2001 1:30 am Tue
The American Defence Council Defends Itself!
So, the American Defence Council is hurt enough by allegations in
Malaysia that it is not what it says it is. Its executive
director, Mr Dan Perrin, has demanded the DAP chairman, Mr Lim
Kit Siang, apologise for suggesting that the ADC is a "phantom
creature". But its office in Washington is, by its own
admission, is at 1747 Pennyslvania Avenue, Suite 1000, the
offices of a law firm, Washington, Chamberlain and Bean, and a
few blocks from the White House.
But a spokesman in that office was circumspect, to say the
least: "If the ADC used this address, it would be because they
are a client of the firm." Telephone calls to its "regional
office" in Massachussets were unanswered, as one Sangkancilian
found out. That its "regional" office is not in the Boston area
is reflected in its telephone code of 413, instead of the more
common 617. By Mr Perrin's own admission, the American Taxpayers
Alliance, the ADC's parent body, has 10,000 members. Bernama no
doubt is satisfied that these 10,000 members are so influential
that they are a force to reckon with in a nation of nearly a
hundred million taxpapers.
So, we have two scoops on Malaysia from two little known
American think tanks. Few have heard of either outfit. This is
not surprising in a country of hundreds of thousands of
non-profit think tanks dotted throughout the country. That two
obscure bodies found remarkable evidence of Islamic
fundamentalist activity in a country it vaguely heard of is
remarkable. That Bernama found them, and continue to insist they
represent the doers and shakers of Washington, and their reports
are read by the powerful and the high and mighty and have such
earth shattering impact that what they write is believed. But no
one knows about these two organisations. An organisation that
has its main office in a law firm and a "regional office" in a
suburban Massachussets and without a website of its own cannot,
by any streatch, be a significantly important body.
Mr Lim was too kind to refer to the ADC as a phantom
creature. Mr Perrin threatens to sue him if he does not
apologise for the slur on his reputation. Mr Lim, if I know him,
is not about to. Mr Perrin should, I suggest, push his luck in
the Malaysian courts and sue him for defamation. And it should
be for no less than a few hundred million US dollars, in the
manner of cronies, courtiers and siblings of the Mahathir
administration. That way, we can, once and for all, ascertain
the genuineness of Mr Perrin and his organisation, and cross
examine him about how he came about his thesis of PAS as a
dangerous organisation that ought to be rooted out of the
Malaysian political scene to safeguard democracy itself. It is
an interesting theory this, that democracy must be preserved by
undemocratic means. It is not surprising Mr Perrin once worked
for Senator Jesse Helms.
When I asked a close friend in Washington about the ADC, he
emailed me: "Thought you might like to see the clippings that
relate to the American Taxpayers Alliance on the web.
Incidentally, this "influential" enity does not have a web site
of its own. Checking out with knowledgeable people in DC have not
heard of either this or the American Defence Council! So much for
being influential. I do not know where Bolehland operatives
unearth "important" opinion makers! Does BERNAMA not check out
the basis for its stories?"
It is therefore safe to extrapolate that the ADC report,
given to Congressional aides visiting Malaysia, was (a) to
demonise PAS; (b) to cuddle up to the right-wing, Islamic
bashing American political spectrum; and (c) to establish
credentials for the Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Mahathir Mohamed
to show he is one with President George Bush in preventing
Islamic fundamentalists from taking over anywhere. One should
therefore assume that the Singapore senior minister, Mr Lee Kuan
Yew, visited here also to steel Dr Mahathir with his paranoia of
Islamic resurgence and pass on his own to Washington. In other
words, has this Islamic fundamentalist paranoia to do with the
short term gain to be invited for tea and cookies at the White
House and photographs in the Rose Garden? This is unlikely for
now. The powerful National Security Council, I am told, has
vetoed it until there are changes that the Prime Minister cannot
meet without damaging his own political credibility in Malaysia.
Among the changes, for one, relates to the prisoner in Sungei
Buloh and primary Malaysian non-person, one Dato' Anwar Ibrahim.
More than that, is Dr Mahathir unaware that if he continues
with his claim of Islamic fundamentalist activity at every street
corner, that Malaysia is about to go the way of Afghanistan or
worse, it would dry up foreign investment quickly; or more
importantly, that unknown outfits carry no weight in the upper
echelons of the US government? That they do in Malaysia so long
as they praise Dr Mahathir to the skies and excoriate his
political opponents as rabid Islamic fundamentalists is neither
here nor there.
PS: Meanwhile the "influential American group" -- the American
Taxpayers Alliance, as described by Bernama ,is none other than
the one described below :.
By Aurelio Rojas
(Sacramento) Bee Capitol Bureau
(Published July 21, 2001)
Buffeted by a month of television ads criticizing his handling of
the state energy crisis, Gov. Gray Davis sued Friday to force his
critics to reveal their identities.
The San Francisco Superior Court suit filed by the Democratic
governor's political committee alleges that the American
Taxpayers Alliance violated California's Political Reform Act by
failing to register with the secretary of state.
"They passed the deadline the minute they put that ad on the
air," Davis' attorney, Joseph Remcho, said at a Sacramento news
conference. The commercial began airing June 18 and ends with
the catch phrase, "Grayouts from Gray Davis."
Garry South, the governor's chief political adviser, took issue
with the ad's message, but conceded those views are protected by
the First Amendment.
"But you have the responsibility under California law to reveal
who is paying for commercials if they fall under the political
realm, and these clearly do," South said.
Remcho said groups that run issue-oriented political ads don't
have to disclose their contributors, but those who advocate for
or against candidates are required to do so.
"All it takes, in our view, is for the judge to take a view at
this ad and decide whether it's an anti-Gray Davis ad or
something that contributes to the general educational knowledge
of the state about energy," he said.
The Washington, D.C.-based American Taxpayers Alliance is run by
Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, and the ad was produced by a
consultant with close ties to the Bush administration.
Reed has declined to identify his group's contributors, and the
organization does not have a listed telephone number. The
governor contends the contributors include electricity generators
that Davis has accused of overcharging the state.
With the energy crisis likely to play a prominent role in next
year's governor's race, the administration is also seeking to
blunt the ads' political impact.
The suit seeks an injunction requiring the American Taxpayers
Alliance to disclose all its contributors by July 31, the next
state filing deadline. The case has been assigned to Judge David
Garcia, with a hearing set for Aug. 13.
The ad at the center of the case is one of three commercials
airing in California that criticize Davis. South said one ad was
produced by a group with a similar name -- the American Taxpayers
Association -- about which even less is known. In all, South
estimated that nearly $2 million has been spent to broadcast the
The Bee's Aurelio Rojas can be reached at (916) 326-5539 or
American Taxpayers Alliance - NEW! Weeks on chart: 1 - The
American Taxpayers Alliance started running a TV ad in California
last week attacking Governor Gray Davis for failing to protect
the public from rising energy costs. The campaign-style ad
doesn't promote a rival candidate, but features fuzzy,
unflattering close-ups of Davis while assailing his record. So
who are the American Taxpayers Alliance? Surely they're a group
of concerned citizens who are worried about spiralling energy
prices in California, right? Um, wrong. The "American Taxpayers
Alliance" is actually a front group for hundreds of corporations,
including Texas-based Reliant Energy.
Reliant Energy are proud to list James "rent-a-hatchet" Baker and
Bush fundraiser Steve Ledbetter on their board of directors. So,
Californians - energy companies are selling electricity to you at
vastly over-inflated prices, then spending the profits on TV ads
attacking your governor for failing to stop them. How do you
Suit Filed Over Political Ad
California Governor Gray Davis's committee to re-elect is
suing the American Taxpayers Alliance for airing television ads
assailing the governor's handling of the state's energy crisis.
The committee maintains that the American Taxpayers
Alliance is violating the Political Reform Act by not attaching
its name to the ad, which, they say, has a clear political bent,
and is an obvious attack on the governor just one year before the
2002 gubernatorial elections. The ad features grainy footage of
the governor and ends with the catchy motto "Gray outs from
"In violation of California law, [the American Taxpayers
Association] is spending millions of dollars in California's most
important election without revealing the source of its funds or
disclosing its expenditures," argued lawyers from Remcho,
Johansen & Purcell in their complaint for injunctive relief filed
last week in San Francisco Superior Court. "That's not how we
conduct campaigns in California."
The American Taxpayers Alliance, a DC-based, right-of-center
lobbying organization, has spent some $2 million on the ad
campaign, according to Governor Gray Davis Committee lawyers.