Sunday, September 02, 2007

Edward M. Gabriel, Piranha

There’s nothing like a few days of stalking large- and smallmouth bass, stripers, and northern pike to take my mind off of the situation in the Western Sahara. As I settled back to my desk after a relaxing fishing vacation in Maine, I came upon an August 31st article on National Interest Online by the old piranha, former American ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel, titled Inside Track: Resolving the Western Sahara Saga. Oh well, the soothing pristine calm of the Kennebec is all of a sudden a distant memory.

I will not bore you with a detailed analysis of this piece of Moroccan propaganda; there is absolutely nothing that distinguishes it from the rubbish coming out of Rabat, or from the spinmeisters at Edelman, or the poisoned pens of others who have sold out to the Moroccans such as Frederick Vreeland and Robert Holley. Let me just say that it is very much what we have come to expect from former American diplomats to Morocco who now make a pleasant living on Rabat’s payroll.

In the latest (available online) Report of the Attorney General to the Congress of the United States on the Administration of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended, for the six months ending June 30, 2006, we learn that Mr. Gabriel is somewhat of a double-dipper, as he turns up as a registered foreign agent for Morocco under both his own company, Gabriel Company, LLC, and Robert Holley’s chop shop, Moroccan-American Center for Policy, Inc.(MACP) To dispel the notion that he might have gotten a real job since that last report, Mr. Gabriel in May of this year prefaced his remarks at a Western Sahara conference at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC, by divulging that he was still taking money from the Government of Morocco.

Mr. Gabriel over the last couple years has been a fixture on the Moroccan propaganda circuit showing up regularly at MACP, Edelman, and National Clergy Council events. Always seated next to his fellow Moroccan foreign agents, he struts his ambassadorial status in a lame attempt to give some stamp of legitimacy to the crass dishonesty of these propaganda shows. His article is, similarly, nothing more than propaganda aimed at influencing American public opinion to accept Morocco’s illegal occupation of the Western Sahara.

It is mindboggling that Mr. Gabriel should have the audacity to write his article in support of Morocco’s autonomy plan without divulging his relationship with the Moroccan government – especially in view of a similar stunt in the New York Times back in March by another former American ambassador to Morocco, “Fricky” Vreeland. In Vreeland’s case, the Times issued a correction three weeks later stating that he was “chairman of a solar-energy company that has had contracts with the Moroccan government” and the article “should have more fully disclosed the background of the author.” It is my hope that National Interest Online will exhibit a similar concern for transparency and journalistic ethics by adding a disclaimer to Mr. Gabriel’s article.

I am pleased to report that National Interest has amended their biographical note about Mr. Gabriel, and it now reads, "Edward M. Gabriel is a former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and a consultant to the Moroccan government."

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