Monday, May 22, 2006

Steven Emerson: International Man of Mystery

by Michael Hussey

It's amazing when a neocon pseudo-journalist like Steven Emerson thinks that people are not going to fact-check him. One of his most humorous tales was that his life was in so much danger that the FBI offered to place him in the witness protection program. I know since Emerson wrote that in his book American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us.
The next day, a whole team came to my Connecticut Avenue condominium – FBI officials, federal counterterrorism experts, detectives from both the District of Columbia and Metropolitan Police Departments – the latter being the guards of the Capitol area. Here were the possibilities: "You can stop what you're doing, don't write about it anymore, don't say anything, don't appear on television, and maybe after a while people will just forget about it." "We can see if the federal witness protection program can handle you. This will mean moving to a different city and assuming a new identity." "Maybe we can put you up in New York in a safe house for about a year. After that, you're on your own."
Investigative reporter John Sugg asked the FBI about Emerson's claim.
"'You pushed the right button asking about your friend Steve Emerson,' Russell said. 'We've never given any thought to putting him in the witness protection program.' Is there any truth to the allegation of an assassination team? 'No, none at all,' Russell responded."
Emerson sued Sugg for libel. Judge James D. Arnold ordered Emerson to provide proof to Sugg and the Weekly Planet lawyers of his witness protection offer and that he was not fired from AP for making up sources. Emerson could not comply and dropped the suit. That doesn't stop Emerson from trying to maintain his international man of mystery mystique. I imagine lefty journalists like David Corn must be jealous that Emerson lives an exciting live of danger and Michael Ledeen goes on espionage missions to Italy.


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