Guilt by association is a wonderful thing for those desperate to smear others. After a wildly manipulative attempt to smear Ayaan Hirsi Ali a few weeks back, AlterNet have decided to take aim at Quilliam and Maajid Nawaz in particular, commenting on links to the US right wing, and the Ted Cruz’ campaign. In his latest piece titled “How violent extremists hijacked London based counter extremism think tanks“, Nafeez Ahmed says:
“In January 2011, the same year Nawaz appointed Chad Sweet to the Quilliam Foundation’s US board of directors, Sweet set up a nonprofit corporation in Texas, Ted Cruz for Senate, where he remains a director. In that capacity, Sweet played a lead role in the campaign that led Republican maverick Ted Cruz to win election to the Senate in 2012.”
– Also playing a role in that campaign, was the Tea Party effort to whip up hysteria around the Affordable Care Act, using manipulated data. In the same year – 2011 – that Ahmed references, Ted Cruz gave a speech and highlighted a hugely dubious report from the consultancy firm McKinsey & Company in his campaign against the Affordable Care Act. Cruz said:
“Indeed, McKinsey & Company estimated that only 11 percent of those who have signed up for insurance under Obamacare were uninsured. That’s roughly 330,000 Americans. So that contrasts to over 5 million who lost their health insurance.”
– Keeping McKinsey & Co in mind, it’s perhaps worth noting that AlterNet has in the past received donations from The Ford Foundation whose President between 2008 and 2013 was a man named Luis A. Ubinas. Previous to his role as President at The Ford Foundation, Ubinas spent 18 years, and was – between 2002 – 2008 – a company executive at… McKinsey & Company, the company whose dubious report was utilised by Ted Cruz. More significantly, during the years that Ubinas played a key role at McKinsey, according to Open Secrets McKinsey had donated to the campaign funds of several Republicans including the GOP candidate for US Senate in 2006 Mike McGavick – who advocated teaching ‘intelligent design’ in schools, and in 2004, they donated $40,550 to the campaign of AlterNet’s much despised George W Bush. Also in 2004, they donated to the campaign of that other Tea Party favourite, Bobby Jindal. So, The Ford Foundation – one of AlterNet’s key donors – could have chosen a new President from anywhere in the World, but chose a guy at the top of a consultancy firm that had donated to big names in the Republican and Tea Party movement. Further, In 2011, Bobby Jindal was awarded the 2011 Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award by the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). I bring this up, because in 2009 a man named Jeffrey Lane was a member of the Private Enterprise Board of Directors at ALEC. Coincidentally, Lane – in 2008 – happened to be a Partner at…. McKinsey & Co. And to come full circle, here is Ted Cruz giving a speech at ALEC’s 2013 States and Nation Policy Summit:
– Hypocritical guilt by association and weak links is a wonderful, wonderful thing.