Talk:Laurie Mylroie

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Crackpot quote[edit]

"Mylroie believes that Saddam was not only behind the '93 Trade Center attack, but also every anti-American terrorist incident of the past decade, from the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the leveling of the federal building in Oklahoma City to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a crackpot, which would not be significant if she were merely advising say, Lyndon LaRouche. But her neocon friends who went on to run the war in Iraq believed her theories, bringing her on as a consultant at the Pentagon, and they seem to continue to entertain her eccentric belief that Saddam is the fount of the entire shadow war against America."

I don't want to just get into a revert war but really, the quote from some reporter calling this person names isn't pertinent. His recap of her views is fine—although even that could just be stated in the article with a source note, the direct quotation isn't necessary—but in any event his characterization is not encyclopedic. Just by way of comparison, neither the article on Lyndon LaRouche nor the one on L. Ron Hubbard, to take just the first two examples that come to mind of genuine crackpots, use that word in them anywhere. No matter what Peter Bergen may think, Laurie Mylroie is not even in the same league as LaRouche. Comm. Sloat, can we discuss this in greater depth than edit summaries permit? -EDM 19:07, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I think the opinion of a well-known expert on this particular topic is quite relevant -- Peter Bergen is not just "some reporter" -- he is CNN's terrorism analyst because he is widely recognized as an authority on terrorism in general and al-Qaeda in particular. His evaluation is also shared by other scholars and journalists (see for example Rohan Gunaratna, Juan Cole, Jason Burke). Just quoting the first part does not make the crucial point, which is that her views are not just "in the minority"; experts consider them to be utterly without merit. As for LaRouche and Hubbard, I agree with your assessment of them, but I am no expert in either. I am certain appropriate quotations on those pages would be relevant, especially if either was the main source of a particular historical theory that was significantly influential in spite of its being based on utter hogwash. --csloat 21:13, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
I can't agree, because the term "crackpot" is one of those terms that just adds heat and no light, and doesn't belong in an encyclopedia entry. Really, that whole quote ought to go - Mylroie's views and theories should be summarized in this entry, but from a primary source (i.e. her own writings), not by quoting from an opinion piece by someone else. I don't have the energy to spend the next few days or weeks reverting this kind of thing, so I'll just leave it to your version with the sad observation that this will be another one of the many Wikipedia articles on controversial subjects, both left and right, that succumbs to the POV-pushing of editors more invested in tearing down than building up, all to the long-term detriment of the credibility of the project. -EDM 23:23, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
I would agree with you if it was just a quote from a random journalist expressing an idiosyncratic opinion. The problem is, this is representative of what real scholars and journalists think of Mylroie's so-called "work." I don't disagree with the idea of quoting Mylroie, but there is no need to censor this information -- Mylroie is a crackpot, by definition. Yes, the term is emotionally loaded, but it is also quite accurate in the sense that she argues for bizarre conspiracy theories that have a tenuous link at best to reality. Her work has been thoroughly discredited by those with real expertise who have studied the issue. I invite people of all political perspectives to improve this article by adding further information on Mylroie, and if you find information about some credible sources refuting Bergen's estimation of her work, please feel free to add it here too. But this information is here because it is quite relevant and significant that Mylroie's work, which has been very influential in many ways, is widely recognized by people with expertise on these matters as complete hogwash.-csloat 06:38, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

TDC's mendacious "trimming"[edit]

TDC "trimmed" the Bergen quote to just the word "crackpot." This is ludicrous and mendacious - it makes Bergen sound like the one who doesn't provide evidence to support his points. The fact that Mylroie thinks Saddam was behind every terrorist incident of the past decade is not a fact that should be censored from readers. Nor is the fact that her theories have been influential among neocons. The fact is, Bergen is not alone - when I have time I will add other quotations here. The bottom line is, everyone with any real expertise in the world of state-sponsored terrorism has rejected Mylroie's theories as utterly baseless. To reduce this to simple name-calling is sheer POV-pushing by TDC. The fact that Mylroie has been totally discredited by Bergen, Burke, Benjamin and Simon, Gunaratna, Cole, Napoleoni, and numerous other counterterrorism scholars is quite significant, as is the fact that her work has influenced Feith, Wolfowitz, and others. These are facts that TDC would like to censor for no apparent reason other than that he wants to legitimize her work. His reason for "trimming" -- to "reflect dominance" in the article -- is totally ludicrous. If it is too dominant in the article, add more information. Do not just selectively delete quotes because you don't like them and then pretend your reason has some sort of mathematical justification.--csloat 21:29, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

If you dont think it provides enough "context" thats too bad, the article has a link and people can follow it. Please dont turn yet another article into a personal hit pieces. DTC 21:43, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
That's not what I said at all TDC and if you go back and read the above you will see that this is not about "context." And it is certainly not about a "personal hit." This is about representing things accurately, and it is accurate to show what published terrorism experts think of Mylroie. And I am moving the following from Tony's talk page since it belongs here -- This is not a "third rate smear" but the opinion of an acknowledged expert in the field of counterterrorism -- one not normally given to use terms like "crackpot" loosely. I am not interested in the name-calling aspect of the quote; I am interested in the fact that known terrorism experts -- and Bergen is one of many on this count -- consider her theories totally baseless. I will not revert but I will be rewording and adding information from some of the following sources indicating that they too believe Mylroie is not credible: Gunaratna, Burke, Leiken, Benjamin, perhaps others. All of these are experts in the field -- i.e. they are degreed and credentialed in the field and they have solid reputations for peer-reviewed research in the field (unlike Mylroie, whose books would never survive peer review if they ever had to do it). None of them are name-callers, I don't know anyone else they dismiss like this, but their opinion of Mylroie is unanimously contemptuous. I think that the fact that a self-styled expert is roundly repudiated by most credentialed experts in the field is noteworthy, especially if that self-styled expert has had an undue influence on powerful government actors.
I will be fixing this in due time; expect not only more of Bergen's opinion but the opinion of other acknowledged experts and a summary of expert consensus. The term "crackpot" is not the issue, and by trimming the quote down to that word you trivialize what is actually being said in order to elevate this brand of nonsense.--csloat 21:35, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

DTC now you are just edit warring. Please respond to the arguments in talk and please stop censoring relevant information that is well-sourced from acknowledged experts.--csloat 22:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Mylroie's arguments[edit]

If Bergen's views are to be represented at such length, then so should Mylroie's arguments for Iraqi sponsorship. Mporter 04:14, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough, please add them. It's not just Bergen's view that she is totally incorrect, of course. If you examine her arguments piece by piece yourself you would actually see yourself that she is a conspiracy theorist that borders on the incoherent. But I am all for including more information here, not less, as I have frequently been saying. There is no reason to censor the fact that every credentialed expert on this topic who has examined her arguments has come to the same conclusion as Bergen.--csloat 06:57, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll put together a synopsis. I'll have to study the page on Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda first, to see whether there's any overlap. Mporter 19:39, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, a link to her 9/11 Commission testimony will do for now. Mporter 21:49, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
"If you examine her arguments piece by piece yourself you would actually see yourself that she is a conspiracy theorist that borders on the incoherent"? Please....your desire to overlook any truth behind the Bush Administration's casus belli clearly eradicates all sense of objectivity. The reality is the Mylroie has likely been right all along and Saddam's regime was involved in the '93 WTC Boming, 9/11 and possibly the Anthrax mailings. However, this truth will never come to light because of the lop-sided anti-war sentiment that pervades society. What's most sad is that U.S. authorities could easily prove her case with a simple DNA cross comparison between the four members of the mysterious "al-Baluchi family" behind al Qaeda's terrorist attacks against America. (related article) However, this will likely never happen because the U.S. intelligence community is pervaded with the same self-destructive leftist mentality that afflicts this site and world society. The hard truth is that the world probably won't recorgnize the truth until Saddam's WMDs are found floating down the streets of New York City. Spirit Of Truth 18:45, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Ummm, I see, so the CIA and NSA and FBI are full of leftists. And the long-defunct KGB was behind 9/11. I don't have time to argue, I have to go listen to a speech by George Tenet waxing eloquent about the dictatorship of the proletariat. csloat 22:24, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Long defunct KGB? Apparently you are not aware of the recent assassination of my friend, Alexander Litvinenko. The CIA, NSA and FBI are compromised, impotent intelligence organizations. 'American Intelligence' is an oxymoron. It will be a catastrophic day when the world finds out just how badly the West has been checkmated by the East in the global contest of Real Politik. Spirit Of Truth 18:44, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, but no doubt communists like John Negroponte and General Hayden will cheer, along with Osama bin Laden, who you claim secretly supports the atheists he fought for a decade against... Happy new year! csloat 21:55, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

recent changes by Kauffner & Sloat[edit]

I've made some modifications that keep in the information provided by Kauffner, but which eliminate what appears to me to be POV-pushing. First, I think Mylroie is known for her claim that Saddam was behind the 93 WTC bombing (among other things). She is not really known for "investigating" the matter, since there were many such investigations. Second, I have left in the information that she believes the Iraqis tampered with the files, but let's be clear on her reasoning here. She sees the fingerprints are the same and concludes that the only way for that to be the case is if the file was tampered with. This clearly presumes her conclusion - that they are two different people - is already true. The FBI -- led by Woolsey, by the way, who likes Mylroie's claim -- investigated and used Occam's razor to claim that the two fingerprints being the same more likely means that they were the same person. It's ok to keep her claim in, but let's not pretend this is the conclusion of some exhaustive study. Mylroie has had no peer review for this study, and her reasoning is backwards. So it's no surprise the FBI came to a different claim, despite her accusations of a conspiracy to cover up the truth. Third, I've taken out the editorializing about the Gorelick wall and the KSM connection. This information is not sourced and is only arguably relevant to Mylroie's claims. I hope these changes are acceptable.--csloat 16:54, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I have to take exception to the removal of material about the Gorelik Wall and 9/11. The stuff I put in was paraphrased from Mylorie's book. If you don't know about the Gorelik Wall, you can't understand why only a private individual can investigate this stuff.
As for the link between 9/11 and the WTC bombing. I don't think it is particularly controversial. If fact, one of Bergen's arguments is that the WTC bombing was linked to al-Qaeda (which, in his mind, apparently means that it can't also be linked to Saddam). The way the article reads now, it sounds like Mylorie's interest in the 1993 bombing is purely antiquarian.
Finally, can we cool it with the name calling? "Conspiracy", "crackpot," etc -- sounds a lecture from someone who's gotten a bit unhinged. We're talking about a credentialed academic who's views are respected by high ranking presidential advisors.Kauffner 18:11, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
It's a conspiracy theory because it's a theory about Saddam conspiring with al Qaeda, and with Timothy McVeigh. The word "crackpot" is Peter Bergen's, a terrorism expert not normally given to such language. We're talking about a pseudo-academic whose work has never been peer-reviewed, whose views have been totally discredited by experts and have been investigated by intelligence agencies and found wanting. --csloat 00:36, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
I think it's apparent that what you know about Mylorie comes almost entirely from Bergen's article. My immediate reaction reading Bergen's article was, "I know a whole lot more about this subject than he does." I read the stuff on his web site and it's full of pointless nonsense: trivia about Bin Laden not shaking hands with women, giving the credit for his success to god, and blah blah blah nothing. What kind of "terrorism expert" is this? Not the kind that reviews police files and trial documents, I bet.Kauffner 04:53, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Have you read either of Bergen's books about bin Laden? Why would you think bin Laden's religious feelings have nothing to do with terrorism? Strange, but it doesn't matter - this page is about Mylroie, not Bergen, and Bergen is only one of many experts (including the conservative Robert Leiken) who points out that Mylroie's theories are extremely problematic at best.--csloat 07:33, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Pipes move[edit]

User:Hecht has moved the Pipes quotation from the middle of another quote to a separate place under "Criticism." My objection is that the substance of the Pipes quote is clear in context when it is included with the Plotz quote -- the "fundamentally wrong premise" that Pipes refers to is the premise that two different sets of fingerprints somehow substantiates a Saddam Hussein connection. Plotz's point, backed up in part by Pipes, is that Mylroie is fixated on proving that she is right that there are 2 sets of fingerprints (and therefore two people), but she simply assumes that if there are two people, Saddam must have been involved. This assumption -- the warrant for her overall claim -- is something she has never proven, and most experts agree that the evidence points much more to bin Laden. By pulling the pipes quote out of here and moving it to criticism, we lose sight of what the "fundamentally wrong premise" in her work is. Hecht says he will be adding something about Pipes' appointment to some position but I submit that such an appointment is not relevant to this material in any way. csloat (talk) 21:22, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I see your point about the substance of the quote. My reservation is that there's a bigger story here: Pipes published her article in Orbis and co-authored similar article with her in TNR. She gave him a friendly review on Greater Syria ("The Danger of Uncertain Identities," The New Leader, October 1990). But they broke ranks over the Islamism issue and she ended up publicly opposing his nomination to the US Institute of Peace by the Bush Aministration. See also [1].
Hecht (talk) 15:02, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a separate story than what is here (I'm not sure it's "bigger" in any way, to be honest, though both stories are pretty small). What I don't see is any evidence connecting Pipes' evaluation of Mylroie's thesis to this alleged quarrel between the two of them. I don't think we can assert such a connection without running afoul of WP:NOR. csloat (talk) 18:20, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Just read your link - it does nothing to substantiate your point, but it does show Pipes reiterating a point that is well known among all experts on this issue -- Mylroie is not a credible source. Pipes tends to get most things wrong, but this is probably not one of them. csloat (talk) 18:25, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Hecht has again moved the Pipes quote (I mistakenly thought he deleted it); I think it should move back for the same reason I moved it back in April; please see above and reply here. Thanks. csloat (talk) 07:58, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Hecht (talk) 18:26, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

EIG allegations[edit]

I removed some material that Hecht added to the article regarding the Pentagon report. He also added it to another page; I explained my removal of the material in talk (here is my comment); most of the arguments apply here as well. In general, I don't think this article should be used to promote specific details of Mylroie's theories other than to tell readers what is notable about them and what controversy they have raised. csloat (talk) 07:58, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I've replied on that page. The info. is essential because 1) Saddam was in fact backing Rahman's terrorists, though he knew nothing about the 1993 attack and 2) Mylroie denies Rahman's involvement. Hecht (talk) 18:30, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Saddam was not "in fact" backing them; the Pentagon speculates that a memo "appears" to refer to EIG. If he knew nothing about the 93 attack then we should not pretend that it might mean that he did. You are leaving out the Pentagon's actual information and conclusions about this. And yes, Mylroie denies Rahman's involvement; that does not make this footnote or Mylroie's wild speculations about Saddam's motives any more notable here. As I said, this page should not be a place to argue out the merits of Mylroie's theories but only to show where they have acquired notability. Also, your revert moves the sentence about Yasin being a prisoner in between two sentences about the audio file of Saddam's meeting that Mylroie has this bizarre interpretation of. I realize you're doing this because it makes Mylroie's comment look like a response to the Pentagon, but all it really does is make the whole thing make less sense. The reader needs to know Mylroie is referring to the secret meeting, and your edit obscures that. Honestly I think her speculation about that meeting should be removed entirely; it's really not notable. csloat (talk) 19:29, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

The documents showed he was financing and training them. Exploiting the word "appears" to claim it might be another group is a bit weak. I don't pretend he knew anything about the 93 attack and will rephrase my rv accordingly.

This page is meant to say what her theories are, so we must include her reply to the evidence discrediting them, even if you think it's "wild."

Mylroie's comment is a response to the Pentagon. She argues that the report misunderstood the purpose of the meeting. Putting that sentence at the end implies that it was a response to her oped, which reverses the facts.

Hecht (talk) 19:49, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

(1) The documents show that he refused to train them and only was willing to finance them. (2) I am not exploiting anything; the word is in the footnote and you are using Wikipedia to make a claim that is not made in the footnote. (3) This page is not for saying what all of her theories are; it is only for what is notable about her and her theories, and the material you are including is not notable. (4) Her comment is not a response to the specific sentence you keep moving. You are actually obscuring what it is a response to. We can put that sentence at the beginning if you prefer but putting it in the middle like you do just doesn't make sense, do you get this? csloat (talk) 20:02, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

(1) Financing is bad enough, but training is also part of the post-1990 agreement. (2) Rahman and EIG are named in the documents; the editors' footnote is also clear, despite your insistence to the contrary. (3) Her theory of Rahman's innocence in 1993 is the subject of her row with McCarthy/Pipes, it's central, which you don't seem to understand. (4) I'm happy to move the sentence to the beginning and I'll change my edit accordingly. Hecht (talk) 23:16, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

(1) Yes but Saddam did not follow through on the training part of the post-1990 agreement. Why do you insist on censoring this important detail?
(2) The Pentagon report states that one memo "appears to" be about EIG; why are you censoring their uncertainty on that issue? If you think the footnote is "clear," then why do you insist on misinterpreting it?
(3) Where do Pipes and McCarthy specifically comment on this memo referred to in the Pentagon report? It's not Wikipedia's job to make such connections if they are not present in the literature already. csloat (talk) 23:54, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

(1) What makes you think he didn't follow through post-1990? The no-training decision was made circa 1993. (2) Far from censoring it, I'm happy if you want to quote it in the entry. Go right ahead. (3) Their row with her, as you know, is about Rahman. Hecht (talk) 00:53, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

(1) The memo on "no-training" is early 1992, actually, and there is no evidence of training between 1990-2 that I am aware of. (2) Fair enough; since you're going to edit war until this goes your way, it's what I'll have to do until we get an RfC to remove it. But of course it would be best if when you add such things to the articles you make the claims accurate yourself rather than demanding that others fix your mistakes. (3) Yes, of course, but is everything anyone says about Rahman now vital to include in the article? Of course not. Again, you are creating a WP:SYN problem here by bringing this report into a discussion where it is not already present there. Pipes and McCarthy did not comment on the memo in this context; why is it notable to include Mylroie's comment about the memo as a notable "response" to them when it was never contextualized that way? csloat (talk) 20:25, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Mylroie language facility[edit]

Another editor removed my comment that Mylroie does not speak or read Arabic and asked for proof. Her homepage bio claims she studied Arabic at American University in Cairo (AUC) which I assume is true. But the fact is if one reviews the sources she uses or, more importantly, listens to her butcher Arabic phrases and names during her television appearances, it is doubtful that she retains any degree of proficiency. Of course, there are plenty of fine scholars who are not fluent Arabic speakers. BobSaccamanno (talk) 09:20, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Iraq connection claims[edit]

Most of the section "Iraq connection claims" reads as if it's directly lifted from Mylroie's book, although these parts are, coincidentally, uncited. Shouldn't that filler be removed, or at least summarized? Rockypedia (talk) 22:45, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

NPOV tone being heavily added in by one editor[edit]

I'm concerned about the actions of one editor - Jason17760 - as it appears he is removing any info that could be perceived as negative, and adding in peacock terms which I feel have turned the page into a promotional write-up.

If anyone disagrees, I'd be happy to discuss it here, but in the meantime, I'm reverting the edits from the Jason17760 account as it appears he's only interested in editing one page, and not in a neutral way. Rockypedia (talk) 16:06, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE - After several attempts to communicate with the editor Jason17760, all of which have failed, and his continued white-washing of the subject of this page, I see no choice but to ask for help from an admin. All of his edits are concentrated on putting a more positive spin on the subject, all without explanation, or any dialogue at all. Rockypedia (talk) 12:58, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

June 2015 cleanup[edit]

After revisiting this page, I saw no one had taken any action to remove what amounted to a summary/promotion of Mylroie's book. So I removed it. If the book itself had a wiki article, the paragraphs that I removed would likely be considered too much detail even for that article, let alone be justified for inclusion in an article about the author. It's my suspicion that this article was serving as a showcase for the theories put forth in that book. Obviously that's inappropriate. Please respond here if you disagree, the page is on my watchlist. Rockypedia (talk) 19:22, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

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