Friday, May 23, 2008

Kevin Barrett, Promise Keeper

I have to chuckle at the opening paragraph of this screed from the Hangman:

I have decided to go ahead and post my recent email correspondence with Noam Chomsky, without his permission, and against his wishes, despite his claim that by doing so I am violating his privacy, and despite my earlier statement to him that I would respect his privacy.

Well, so much for that pledge. The best thing about this exchange is that it takes place on his campaign website. I can't think of another time that a political candidate has broken a promise and then highlighted his reneging on his own website.

You can skim through the emails. It starts out very friendly, with Barrett rhapsodizing on the twittering of the birds and the smell of the melted earth, but it isn't long before Chomsky realizes he's dealing with a lunatic. It's hard to pick a favorite bit, but I had to chortle at this claim from Barrett:

I have respected your wishes for confidentiality thus far, and am taking a lot of flak for it.

Chomsky reaches the obvious conclusion:

If you have indeed kept confidentiality of correspondence, then no one but you or me knows anything whatsover about what you allege (wrongly) to be a false claim. So there is no one who can even know that there is anything to judge. We therefore are left with the following: either you violated confidence and circulated private correspondence, contrary to what you now claim; or this letter is simply a pretext for breaking confidentiality.

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