Palast swings and misses at British MP Galloway

Tracy Van Slyke

It seems that the passionate pro-war and anti-war debate has moved to within the anti-war movement itself. Or let me clarify, the mud slinging and name calling has moved within the anti-war movement. Last week, Greg Palast wrote a column at the start of British Member of Parilament's George Galloway's national tour to promote his book Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington. (You all remember Galloway, right? He was the one who tore apart Senator Coleman in May when he said, "Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.") The jumpstart to this tour was a debate between Galloway and Christopher Hitchens (here, I avoid my own mud slinging.) Well, it seems Mr. Palast is a little angry at Mr. Galloway. And I'd like to believe him. Palast has proved himself to be a great investigative journalist in the past. But I do feel that the arrows he slings in this column are without back up. He insinuates a lot (such as Mr. Galloway stole money from an organization he set up to get medicine to Iraqi children. Mr. Galloway won a libel suit in British court defending himself from that… a court system that is known to be farm more strict around libel than American courts.) But Mr. Palast also goes one step further and makes me wonder what other personal grudges he has against Mr. Galloway. He writes: Friends and comrades, this is not about George Galloway. He's just another self-promoting fart. Six months from now, even his smell will be gone. In a later column, Palast accuses Galloway of being brought over by the Republicans… Where did this guy come from? Who invited him here? The answer: US Senate REPUBLICANS. As Cindy Sheehan was gathering public sympathy as the Gold Star mom against the killing in Iraq, the Republican party decided to import an easier target to pummel. So they brought over the "I-salute-your-courage, Saddam" religious fundamentalist crack-pot who can't tell us where the money went. WHAT?!? That kind of accusation needs evidence Greg… You, as a journalist, who also critiques other journalists, should know that. I'd also like to mention that Mr. Galloway's book and national tour are sponsored by The New Press, an amazing progressive book publisher, The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, and the National Council of Arab Americans. Because, yes as we all know, Arab and socialist organizations are fronts for the Republican party…. If you read Mr. Palast, you should also read Mr. Galloway's response response along with speechesfrom his tour.

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Tracy Van Slyke, a former publisher of In These Times, is the project director for The Media Consortium.
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