Thursday, March 22, 2007

Vreeland exposed

The New York Times published a correction today regarding former Ambassador Frederick Vreeland's 3 March pro-Moroccan hackery on the op-ed pages of the NYT and IHT.

Editors' Note : An Op-Ed article on March 3, about Morocco’s proposal for an autonomous Western Sahara, should have more fully disclosed the background of the author, Frederick Vreeland. Mr. Vreeland, a former American ambassador to Morocco, is also the chairman of a solar-energy company that has had contracts with the Moroccan government.

Is anyone surprised that Morocco can't find an honest person to make their arguments for them?


Will said...

Is there anyone arguing for autonomy doesn't have their hands in a Moroccan honey pot? A quick Google search turned up Vreeland's firm NoorWeb and its relationship with Morocco. It'd be interesting if anyone could see if NoorWeb has actually lost any bids.

I have to compliment Vreeland, though, on his apparent dedication to the brave young King trope.

alle said...

Mr. Vreeland, a former American ambassador to Morocco, is also the chairman of a solar-energy company that has had contracts with the Moroccan government.

"has had contracts", yeah, but i'm sure he'll be getting some more after this... that editorial had lobbyist $ stamped all over it, and the NYT/IHT editors must have been complete hacks not to notice.

Anonymous said...

Moroccan American Center for Policy gangfight

As an astute anonymous commenter pointed out in earlier posts, the hapless henchmen at the Moroccan-American Center for Policy are employed by Edelman, a large public relations firm. Edelman seems happy to take Morocco's money in exchange for, but now someone is calling Edelman out for its complicity in the occupation of Western Sahara.

Edelman's eponymous head, Richard Edelman, has a blog. In late February, he wrote about Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and his fondness for dictatorship. Edelman worked with Mugabe in the 1980's. Here's what Edelman writes about the risks of working with tyrants.

The risk to business leaders doing business with politicians who promise that electoral freedoms will follow deregulation of markets and economic liberalization. Business needs to be careful not to become a pawn in a game that it cannot win. There are certain risks that are not worth taking and values not worth compromising.
Has Richard Edelman not heard of Morocco or the Moroccan American Center for Policy? Even if he hasn't, someone has. A commenter named Charles Liebling connected the dots:
I read with interest your blog about Robert Mugabe -- especially in view of Edelman's client relationship with the Moroccan-American Center for Policy (MACP), which is a registered agent of the Moroccan government. I find Edelman's collusion with the Moroccan government through MACP highly disturbing.
Liebling goes on to point out how hypocritical Edelman is being, lamenting business relationships with Robert Mugabe while at the same time misleading the world about human rights abuses in the Western Sahara. Peter Segall, Edelman's Washington general manager, responded and defended the MACP. Liebling shut him down, and pointed out something especially dishy: Western Sahara and Zimbabwe have the same dismal Freedom House ranking.

I haven't been able to find Liebling on the internet. If you know who he is, can you get us in touch? He's a sharp guy.


from Will blog. very interested