Posted by: Doug Henwood | June 29, 2010

Misquoted by a(n alleged) spy!

Weird story about the alleged Russian spy network—it’s a long road from working on behalf of “The Internationale” to working for the land of Gazprom. And from a personal POV, it’s odder still that one of the spies misquoted me! In this article, Vicky Pelaez attributed a rather incredible accounting of the productivity of federal prison labor to me—though I never wrote these things and am skeptical that they are actually true:

According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.

Politico’s Ben Smith writes up this instance of her journalistic malfeasance here.

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Responses

  1. If you don’t let this fade away, the conspiracy theorists will weave you into their fantasies. I’ve watched this happen to others in the recent past.

  2. That “100% of helmets” has gone round the world several times and has been used to me in discussion.
    Is it anywhere near true?
    Did she make it up? If not, then where did it come from?
    And if she did make it up, then imagine the sort of bullshine she was feeding her contacts in Russia …
    (Though there is a long & distinguished history of made-up stuff in the various intelligence/research/consultancy/journalistic ‘professions’. Anything to keep the client happy…)

  3. Oh, and Congratulations! this means you’ll be getting a “John le Carré Footnote In History” award. Well done!


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