Talk:Foreign Agents Registration Act

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I added more information to give it context, so I took the tags off Quantumstream 16:03, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Unit's databse[edit]

"ecently the Unit's database for tracking foreign lobbyists has come into disrepair, to the point that much of its data could be lost if the database was backed up."

What? GangofOne 04:17, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Selective Enforcement section[edit]

'In the 1960s, although Israel was found engaged in massive violations of FARA, the DOJ reversed enforcement efforts against the American Zionist Council under pressure from both the Israel lobby and Johnson administration during its reelection bid.' This statement needs a citation (at the very least!) or to be removed entirely - it's quite a controversial claim, brings the article's neutrality into question. Robofish (talk) 03:29, 15 March 2009 (UTC) (talk) 16:53, 26 July 2009 (UTC)this is just blatant anti-Semitic propaganda. please remove.
References have been provided. Users should note that calling other users or their entries anti-Semitic has been known to lead to sanctions such as blocks from editing, per Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration. CarolMooreDC (talk) 21:12, 26 July 2009 (UTC
The "references" are a link to an anti-Israel Lobby website and a book by a self proclaimed anti-Israeli activist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
The IP address is quite correct. The "Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy" is not a legitimate think tank, and I have removed that text. Neutralitytalk 07:33, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Israel's violations of FARA were well-documented in the inks provided. Also, the book referenced "America's defense line" was not by philip weiss, but rather an expert the Washington Post called "a Washington, D.C. author who has made a career out of writing critical books on Israeli spying and lobbying." Hauling out the antisemitism brush here and cutting links to historical documents gutted the entry, so I'm restoring it. Please don't vandalize without presenting a case. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Snorkelrad (talkcontribs) 15:41, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
You need to review Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. Grant F. Smith is not a reliable source. All this work is self-published by his own "Institute for Research" (check Amazon - they list all the publishers for each book). There is no independent editorial control there. He's not recognized as an expert (a person with credentials who writes scholarly articles, gives scholarly talks, is affiliated with a think tank, journalism outlet, or university, etc.) If Smith writes something published in a newspaper or newsmagazine, or by a mainstream press or academic press, or by an outside think tank, or in anything scholarly or journalistic, then we can give it the weight it deserves. But I will not allow obviously phony, partisan sources into the article. Neutralitytalk 19:12, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
The IRmep is a tax exempt, IRS recognized think tank and publisher. It is not an Israeli parastatal, but that's not reason enough to delist it as a source. Smith has written numerous scholarly articles which have appeared in such publications as the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and Minneapolis Tribune. This year, he gave a lecture on Israeli economic and military espionage to Rochester University. Again, not apparently shilling for the Zionists, but legitimate, credible and academic. I will not allow vandalism of Smith's or IRmep's work or reputation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Instaexpert (talkcontribs) 09:38, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Other WP:RS verify assertions removed from the article and Grant Smith/IRMEP seem to have sufficient credibility to be additional sources on top of those sources. WP:RS show "Selective enforcement" is a relevant section title, but I think the section should go after the prominent cases section, which would include the Israel-related cases. Selective enforcement would include more info as in the several articles mentioned below.

Here's what I found in just a half hour of internet search. Writing it up is a slightly bigger job, of course.

CarolMooreDC 22:45, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Foreign-based religious groups[edit]

I was wondering whether certain foreign-based groups like the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops could be targeted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Similar laws were adopted in the United Kingdom in the 18th century to muzzle local bishops in that country. A recurrent criticism of Catholic bishops is that they are somewhow agents of the papacy and that they are being disloyal to theur host countries. However, this type of criticism often extends to other religions as well, such as the Eastern Orthodox who are linked to Greece and Russia, the Jews who are linked to Israel, Hindus that have ties to India, Buddhists that have links to Tibet, Sunnis who are linked to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Shi'ites that are linked to Iran and Iraq, etc. ADM (talk) 12:14, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I doubt it unless they have very strong govt ties and are lobbying. Read the law. Look for sources. CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:22, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Integrate Samir Vincent case?[edit]

Maybe person who added other cases could put Vincent in proper category since obviously it's rather obviously sloppy not doing so? Thanks. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:13, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

What's the title of his court case? When you answer that question, enter it into Google and go from there. I like to saw logs! (talk) 19:57, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

Better late than never (see directly above), I'm motivated to clean this up a bit. Necessitated by new web site in part. This DOJ article has some good background too. Overall article is confusing. Need to specify the way issues treated pre vs. post 1966; an a few other things to make it less clunky, confusing, etc. Well, I'll be bold and we'll see what happens. CarolMooreDC 23:25, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

How is adding Wikipedia mirrors as sources for controversial content cleanup? Our policies state clearly at WP:Rs#Primary.2C_secondary.2C_and_tertiary_sources: "Thus Wikipedia articles (or Wikipedia mirrors) are not reliable sources for any purpose." Again, any purpose. I'm referring specifically to this revert of my removal of IRmep, which not only restored IRmep (will get to that in a sec) but added this Jewish Lobby in United States Handbook, published by International Business Publications. And then there's the matter of adding IRmep to the article in that same diff. User:Carolmooredc, you're aware of the various discussions that've taken place concerning information sourced to this organization. I find it disturbing that you're still considering it a reliable source for anything.—Biosketch (talk) 08:56, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
First, a "mirror" site is one which has actually drawn its information from Wikipedia, which IRMEP doesn't do. Using info from another Wikipedia article is OK, though one should cite it. I did the actual research, so don't know if that exact wording/ref was used in another article.
I actually meant to get back to the IRMEP debate after some research which filed somewhere and will have to find and bring to this debate. Looking at WP:RS there certainly are mixed opinions on using declassified information which SHOULD be in public domain yet seems to be available primarily from IRMEP. See detailed discussion here Nov 2011. There also is User:Biosketch's question from March 2012 which no one replied and another editor's March 2012 question which no one replied to. Obviously this is an area where those with a pro-Israel POV will scream bloody murder while those who want to see US declassified info allowed on Wikipedia will have another opinion. Certainly using IRMEP to back up other WP:RS with IRMEP's more detailed info/govt documents should be allowed. So this matter is hardly closed.
You didn't state what your problem is with International Business Publications aka IBP USA, both of which are used repeatedly as sources on Wikipedia. I wouldn't have used their material if it wasn't. Do we have to go to WP:RSN for that?
In any case I think that it should be acceptable to use IBP USA and this link to the actual document from the IRMEP site, and only to source the date and general topic. (Per WP:Primary A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source. I should have done so last night.) CarolMooreDC 14:00, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
It is absolutely FALSE that there are "mixed opinions" on the reliability of IRmep in the detailed discussion here. Read it again. Itsmejudith says , unequivocally, that it is "Not reliable". Hyprionsteel says it 'does not meet Wikipedia's requirements for notability or reliability', PeterJV calls it an advocacy site and says 'If there is something of genuine use it will have been reported in reliable sources' . And GabrielF adds that it couldn't do serious research even if it wanted to, given its budget. IRmep is absolutely, categorically, not reliable. (there's an additional comment, added to the archive by an IP several months after the discussion had been closed, defending IRMep. That IP is more than likely affiliated with IRmep, given the similarity between it and the recently blocked socks promoting the IRmep crap. see this. Jeff Song (talk) 23:33, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Looking back I see that all three queries were pretty much: "Is this crappy source any good?" So not surprising the one that got a response got negative responses. However, I did not read as being negative a couple of the comments but looking back I can see they actually are rather ambiguous. I was not aware of the sock issue.
Given that two different editors right now are deleting all material sourced to IRMEP, perhaps we need a WP:RSN thread that actually lists the various evidences that at the very least photo copies of original declassified documents should be allowed to be used on Wikipedia as sources per WP:Primary. Please allow those of us who think that may be possible time to put together a decent list. A fourth post with the same basic question as last three certainly would not be very helpful. CarolMooreDC 00:02, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
The queries were very much like any other query presented to RSN: here's a source an editor found questionable, here's why they think it is questionable (no contact info, no idea who's behind it, no coverage in reliable mainstream sources, content seems like advocacy). You seem to have a pretty low opinion of your fellow editors if you think they just accept the assertions made at RSN at face value and not conduct any sort of research into the source by themselves. Perhaps you should ask User:Itsmejudith or User:Hyperionsteel if that is indeed what they did. Jeff Song (talk) 15:55, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
It took me more than an hour to dig around and find some good WP:RS. I wouldn't expect them to take that much time. I think they'd be happy to see a fuller picture from someone who had taken the time. CarolMooreDC 16:07, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
You didn't find any good quality RS using IRMep, you found other non-RS's like The Palestine Telegrapgh, and other advocacy sites like antiwar which allowed IRmeps Grant to guest post an OpEd there. Jeff Song (talk) 16:21, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I didn't find either of those [added later to clarify: in my recent search of sources mentioning IRMEP], but thanks for the tip. Looks like they are plenty used on Wikipedia now, unless there's some WP:RSN that says they are never to be used ever for some valid reason. CarolMooreDC 16:45, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
This response is what I am talking about when I say that when you are doing here is tendentious. You say 'I didn't find either of those'- but that is false - see above, in the section labeled "Selective Enforcement section" - last bullet in your list of sources you found. Then, after I tell you these are unreliable sources, you reverse the burden of proof and ask us to show you an impossible standard ("some WP:RSN that says they are never to be used ever "). Instead, what you should do is head over to RSN, search for. e.g, The Palestine Telegraph, and find it has been discussed, and found to be unreliable : [9]. That is, if you are truly incapable of figuring out for yourself that an on-line magazine based on user-contributed content with no editorial oversight is not reliable Jeff Song (talk) 17:08, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I clarified recent search because frankly I had NOT looked at the old October 2011 discussion and didn't remember that previous discussion or search. So thanks for reminding me so I can add that stuff to my list. Don't get to be a Sexagenarian, sometimes the memory fades. :-) CarolMooreDC 17:32, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
User:Carolmooredc's addition of this "International Business Publications" book is an unequivocal violation of our WP:RS policies. There's no point even discussing its restoration to the article, regardless of the circumstances. The link User:Carolmooredc him/herself used demonstrates in the clearest way possible that the source copies Wikipedia content and publishes it as its own scholarship. The fact that other Wikipedia articles are using IBP as a WP:RS is unfortunate and undermines Wikipedia's reputation as a trustworthy source of information. Someone who has the time and is familiar with the procedures should move to have any links that direct to IBP blacklisted. The same should be done vis-a-vis IRmep, as it's essentially a blog, apparently of one Grant F. Smith – a committed anti-Zionist, judging by the prevalence of anti-Israel propaganda IRmep is bursting with, and therefore a fringe and inadmissable source of content for this project.—Biosketch (talk) 08:42, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
IBP is an outfit that republishes wikipedia content, and provides other self-publishing, books-on-demand services. It is not a reliable source. This has been discussed at RSN previously: [10]. Jeff Song (talk) 16:09, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks to the response to my question below. Since we're not all mind readers or familiar with every debate, it helps to provide evidence. There must be a couple dozen articles using that source, as I researched before using it, so Biosketch has his work cut out for him :-0 So that just leaves discussing IRMEP or finding another source for that exact date. Have searched the date and general topic and not found so far. Just having the date makes things seem so much more concrete and encyclopedic, don't you think? CarolMooreDC 16:16, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
We're done discussing IRmep: It is not a reliable source, as discussed on WP:RSN. If you find other reliable sources , for the date or any other fact you want included - fine. But the discussion regarding IRmep is over. Jeff Song (talk) 16:33, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Again, it would be nice if people kept these discussions in chrono order; anyway, there's no doubt that continuing discussion in this forum at this time would not be productive. CarolMooreDC 16:45, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
  • [Note: Response to Biosketch @ 08:42, 3 April 2012] First, thanks for the link to the Israeli version of I see it noticed I'd reached my limit for looking at that page also, but luckily I jpg'd the relevant part. However, I still had to go to the English version to find out the date of publication since I don't read or speak Israeli/Hebrew/whatever.
  • Biosketch wrote: the source copies Wikipedia content and publishes it as its own scholarship. You assert that, but what article is the content from? What other evidence do you have of this? I don't see such evidence just looking at that page.
  • IRMEP blog issue. Even if the web site has a blog it also has sections that are repositories of legitimate declassified documents. So the question that will be answered separately is: do enough WP:RS recognize IRMEP as a legitimate repository of these documents? (And I'm sure if it was faking them, etc. we'd find dozens of allegations in any internet search on IRMEP.)
  • Biosketch wrote: prevalence of anti-Israel propaganda IRmep is bursting with. This is English Wikipedia, not Israel Wikipedia, so maybe English speakers do not have to adhere to Zionist believes and allegiances in order to edit here with a neutral point of view. Which brings up the old issue, when does POV become COI?? CarolMooreDC 16:07, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Carol, the IBP chapter titled "Israel lobby in the United States" is taken, word for word, and identical punctuation, from the Wikipedia article titled Israel lobby in the United States. I will AGF here that you didn't bother to do even a moment's research before stating that you 'don't see such evidence just looking at that page', but I must say that maintaining this AGF attitude is becoming increasingly more difficult. Please reflect for a moment on the way you are editing here, as what you are doing can be described as tendentious. Jeff Song (talk) 16:16, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Seriously, WP:AFG. I did my due diligence on USA_International_Business_Publications by searching and finding lots of uses of it on Wikipedia already. Editors can't be expected in addition to look through every pre-publication-of-book version (in this case 2008-2009 era) of every possible related Wikipedia article (and there are lots) to verify it does NOT come from Wikipedia. (Let's face it, even high quality WP:RS sometimes grab stuff from Wikipedia.) But if you think that should be the policy for all editors, please suggest it at WP:Verifiability. CarolMooreDC 16:24, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't expect you to know every possible article. It was brought to your attention that IBP reuses wiki content, and at that point your next step should have been to either drop it or take it to RSN. If we are in agreement that it is not a reliable source, we can move on. Jeff Song (talk) 16:33, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
We should not have to bring every issue to WP:RSN when it's just courtesy for an editor to explain the evidence they have that an article is not WP:RSN, for example by just mentioning that this has been discussed at WP:RSN. Since that was not mentioned by Biosketch, it just sounded like his personal opinion. Collaboration means helping each other out on the talk page, not expecting people to ask on WP:RSN again on an already settled question there. Thanks. CarolMooreDC 16:38, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

WP:RSN on IRmep and "actual reliable source evidence"[edit]

Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#IRmep:_actual_reliable_source_evidence. CarolMooreDC 20:57, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

The archive is now at this April WP:RSN discussion. Over two dozen WP:RS discussions of, quoting from, reprinting of IRMEP materials were presented and several editors opined it was fine to link to its documents in this manner. See discussion for more details. I note that nine noninvolved editors argue according to policy that it was permissible for that use and three strongly questioned that premise. Obviously insufficient consensus for Biosketch who made the original edits in question since he again tried to remove the material recently and I had to go back to WP:RSN. CarolMooreDC 18:44, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Specific IRMEP WP:RSN on this specific article[edit]

At WP:RSN. Since obviously this has to be done on an article by article and document by document basis. CarolMooreDC 15:45, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually, after re-reading the WP:RSN above I see that I did use this article as an example, writing:
The current example under discussion at Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) is whether we can link to a November 1963 Dept. of Justice letter demanding an organization register as a foreign agent in order to establish the date of and the existence of the letter; the demand itself is mentioned in reliable sources. One editor has been busy deleting all IRmep references from other articles claiming IRmep is fringe because of its “anti-Israel propaganda”[21] and that it is "anti-Zionist garbage"[22]. I can provide links to and descriptions of other deletions upon request; most are links to documents. Another editor on the FARA article, who also has deleted IRmep links, declared the IRmep discussion "over"[23]. So I come here for more neutral opinions, hopefully from those who agree with WP:NOTCENSORED. CarolMooreDC 20:56, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
Do I have to list all the NPOV editors who agreed it was fine to leave this type of reference in, despite User: Biosketch's objections? Yet here we are just 3.5 months later with Biosketch again deleting the reference and my having yet to go to WP:RSN. I guess I should have listed with the NPOV editors had to say.
And is this removal by Biosketch edit warring if it's just a few months after that WP:RSN?? Geez. CarolMooreDC 23:06, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
This discussion is archived here. This is the second time User:Biosketch has made it necessary to go to WP:RS regarding this and related articles. The first time a number of NPOV editors said IRMEP was good for documents. When Biosketch forced me to go back again only two responded. One agreeing it was, the other asking questions and opining: I suspect that, as Carol hinted, behind this query is a slow burning war on Israel Palestine articles to "get sources on" or "get sources off" Wikipedia. Sort of 1x Ilan Pappe = 1x Alan Dershowitz. If Biosketch reverts my change to link to the document, I'll have to decide what the best recourse for his strong POV for censoring legitimate information about one particular nation state is. CarolMooreDC 02:13, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
By the way, in both above WP:RSN sections I completely forgot to mention all the times Smith/IRMEP was published/mentioned in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs per this search here. WRMEA is considered a reliable journalistic source; I have no problem with mentioning it as the source of material if people prefer that since it does have an editorial point of view (just like Fox News does). CarolMooreDC 10:13, 8 August 2012 (UTC)


Please explain why you're attributing the foes characterization of Fulbright and Marchetti to the reliable source whence that information about them derives. The reason the attribution is gratuitous is because WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV applies when there are conflicting POVs, which there aren't. You didn't attribute the other information you added in relation to Franklin, so why the attribution in Fulbright and Marchetti's case?
Also note that the article was stable since April before the anonymous IP made a nonconstructive edit on 21 July. Your subsequent attempts to restore information that was removed months before is inconsistent with the spirit of consensus according to which Wikipedia is supposed to operate.
Finally, your offer to list all the NPOV editors who agreed it was fine to leave in the IRmep reference won't be helpful. You need to demonstrate that the discussion concluded with something reasonably approaching consensus. If you can do that, by all means proceed.—Biosketch (talk) 22:23, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Discussing this diff: "Enemies" which was the previous word is a loaded word. "Foes" is used in the source.
Referring back now to the previous two sections, I did believe the first WP:RSN supported me, and note that no one removed it from the article after the WP:RSN until just recently, at which point it was appropriate to bring it up again. I also started working on an IRMEP article for stronger backing, since I knew you would challenge the WP:RSN because of you excessive POV leading to your censoring the source. But I got sidetracked on finishing the article but got reminded by the change. If you read the above, you'll see that this is an ongoing discussion.
The first WP:RSN arguments by NPOV editors clearly were that it was well within policy to use IRMEP as a source for documents. CarolMooreDC 02:20, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Moving my comment, attacking my editorial motives, and continuing to edit without consensus[edit]

Carol, I'm reverting your edit. You can't move the comment I left on this page such that its context is altered, attack my motives for editing the article as issuing from a place of bias and make edits you know to be controversial without endeavoring to obtain the required consensus for them. I suggested to you that if you want to establish that you have consensus for reintroducing IRmep to the article, demonstrate that there was consensus among uninvolved contributors at RSN, but you haven't done that. If you can't do that and you're still adamant about forcing IRmep into the article, you need to take it to Dispute Resolution, open an RfC, or follow some similar procedure. This article deals with a topic of a sensitive nature involving living persons. Don't continue to edit it in disregard of established Wikipedia practices.—Biosketch (talk) 08:45, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Three questions:
  • I don't know what you mean by moving the comment. (If I accidentally did so, please tell me and I'll move it back.)
  • I don't know what living persons you are talking about. Please name.
  • I said I'd list and quote the people from the first RfC here. Did I misinterpret that you did not think that was appropriate?
Please explain before I take to appropriate forum. That edits seem POV, of course, always can be discussed as an issue. CarolMooreDC 17:53, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
You detached my comment from its original context and put it under a heading of your own creation. It's inconceivable that that could have been done by accident.
The living persons are the ones mentioned in the websites you keep trying to link to. Please read Wikipedia's guidelines regarding sources involving living persons, and remember that you must get consensus for any changes you wish to make to any article when living persons are involved.
You said you'd list the people from the RSN who supported your point of view. You never said anything about an RfC. It was I who recommended that you initiate an RfC or a discussion at Dispute resolution, or alternatively that you summarize the RSN discussion by reviewing the input of all the uninvolved contributors there. I still think that's the most constructive suggestion for moving forward.
This will be the last time I say this: do not make accusations involving POVs you perceive me to have. Confine your comments to content and content only. If you think there are issues relating to POV on my part, this isn't the place where you should be discussing them.—Biosketch (talk) 20:41, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I still don't know what comment I allegedly moved. I only see my response to you under Foes. Is it something earlier? Providing a diff sure would help.
Anyway, for now providing a ref for the date of the FARA notice is solved. However, the issue of IRMEP's reliability for documents (here and/or elsewhere) will be brought up again after I put the IRMEP article up, one of these days. No reason to do it now and keep having to list all those WP:RS about IRMEP. CarolMooreDC 00:25, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

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The article already has a section for related legislation. I suggest expanding and renaming and this entire article "Foreign Agents Registration Act and related legislation (such as 18 USC 951)".[edit]

USA v. Butina puts a spotlight on 18 USC 951. It appears to me that the mechanics of registration and enforcement are identical for FARA and 951. To be honest I am not 100% clear on the difference and why they are separate legislation. Geo8rge (talk) 20:23, 10 September 2018 (UTC)