Monday, November 29, 2010

Setting the Record Straight — Again

Earlier today, in a post at Jihad Watch about the current assault on free speech, Robert Spencer had this to say about Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s case (and kindly included a link to Elisabeth’s Save Free Speech website):

Meanwhile, in Austria the kangaroo trial of freedom fighter Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for telling the truth about Islam has begun. Latest updates here. I offered to testify on Elisabeth’s behalf in that case, and the offer still stands; I’ll be keeping you updated on that case as well.

This was not in fact a full account of what happened.

I left a comment on the post (it was comment #7 at the time) to clarify the train of events. Shortly after I posted my comment at Jihad Watch, a reader pointed out that it had been inexplicably deleted.

Below is a screen cap of the full text of my comment as it appeared at the time of posting:

Jihad Watch re: ESW

I’ll reproduce the entire text below the jump.

Elisabeth obviously did respond to Mr. Spencer’s offer, although as of post time he has not yet acknowledged that fact publicly.

In the four-day gap between Mr. Spencer’s withdrawal of his original offer and his apparent change of mind, Elisabeth became quite concerned about whether or not she had enough experts on Islam to call as potential witnesses during the next phase of her trial. She quickly contacted other knowledgeable people, and was fortunate to find additional experts — people who were closer by, in Europe — to assist her at the trial. For that reason, she declined any further help from Robert Spencer.

So that’s what happened. Elisabeth is not ungrateful for Mr. Spencer’s offers of help. Under stress in the face of what lay ahead, she simply needed a firm commitment, and was able to secure that promptly from others.

In case the above image is hard to read, here’s the full text of my comment before it was deleted from Jihad Watch:
To all concerned --

Just to set the record straight:

Mr. Spencer wrote to Elisabeth on the day of her trial (November 23), canceling his earlier offer of support.

There were no further emails until late Friday night (November 26), when he wrote to say that he was reversing his position, and renewed his earlier offer of help.

In the four days between those two emails, Elisabeth was fortunate enough to enlist the help of additional expert witnesses in Europe.

At that point Mr. Spencer’s help became superfluous, and Elisabeth wrote him earlier today to explain the change of circumstances.

This is where the matter stands as of now (1:30pm EST on Nov 29). I hope this clarifies the situation.

Elisabeth is indeed fortunate to have so many thoughtful and knowledgeable people available to help her with her case.

Next phase: January 18, 2011.

9 comments:

filthykafir said...

Someone over at JW must be very uncomfortable with the truth about this matter. Only infrequently does the "staff" there (not more than two or three people, I think) delete comments. In the past, I've noted many quite objectionable comments stand for days without removal.

Thank you, Barron, for your honesty -- and for your extraordinary network of informed and truthful contacts.

Egghead said...

As an ardent admirer of ALL involved parties, I have been very concerned and sad to see how this situation evolved.

The Western free speech and self-rule issues must ALWAYS be more important than the individual personalities.

In my opinion, a grave error in judgment was made and too late attempted to be rectified, but the original error was so serious and disconcerting that the error is hard to overlook.

This situation is proof that even well-intentioned people are capable of lapses of judgment.

Hopefully, all involved parties and their websites will offer thorough and timely coverage of the coming show trial....

Muninn said...

this deletion is very disheartening

however major or minor, this incident represents a kind of censorship that I find particularly disturbing, especially among the counter-jihad

i hope this is an isolated incident

latté island said...

I don't know anything about the current scene at JW, but during that business with LGF, I was very put off by Spencer's PC censorship, and I stopped reading JW except when other sites linked to it. At that time, the issue was racism, and Spencer seemed to be more concerned with his reputation than with being fair to allies and commenters. So, regardless of what's going on now, I'm not surprised, and this odd, hard to read behavior has happened before.

Richard said...

I have never believed that Robert Spencer was an angel; his childish tirades with that idiot Reza Aslan are a case in point. This slip-up merely reflects that the man is fallible; but let us not forget the sacrifices he has made and still makes by standing in the breach for us and risking all for a cause we all espouse and admire. Every day his life is at stake, and I shudder to imagine the vacuum that would be left behind if Islam (or the West) succeeded in silencing him...

FishEagle said...

I had a comment deleted from JW and it was completely harmless, yet relevant to the post (discussing the definition of good and evil in a religious and non-religious context.) After that episode it became apparent to me that Robert Spencer had quite a fickle ego. I agree with Richard's sentiments.

Homophobic Horse said...

Didn't Spencer come very close to having his academic career squashed because of Chucky Johnson?

Baron Bodissey said...

HH --

Yes, and so did some other people. I presume that was why so many people were silent in the face of what CJ was doing. Fear for their funding sources must have played a major role.

Those of us whose careers were in no danger were the ones who could afford to speak out.

I make no judgments on anyone who chose to sit on the sidelines -- or even stay on Charles' team -- in the interests of prudence. Self-preservation is a perfectly reasonable motive.

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Charles Johnson and Pam Geller, Spencer's "bosom" buddy, had their falling out in October, 2007. For almost a year after that Spencer remained in the Lizard Tyrant's good graces. Part of this was undoubtedly just dumb chance in dealing with the fickle blogstalinism of the Great Green One, but Spencer also did do some kowtowing during that period to remain in good favor. Only in October 2008 did Spencer, for reasons unknown, decide that he was going to quietly jettison LGF support. Johnson then made a big stink about it when he discovered the treason, as is his wont to do.

This tells me that, in addition to being fundamentally wrong on the issue of Islam in the world today (a sentiment that is not majority opinion on this blog, to put it mildly), Spencer is a man of many personal deficiencies as well.