Garlasco's Friends at Esquire Do Him No Favors
On October 13, Garlasco enlisted his good buddy at Esquire, John Richardson, to write a self-serving puff piece about how Garlasco is one of the “bravest” and “effective” investigators at Human Rights Watch, and that NGO Monitor is out to “personally destroy” a “good man.”
Garlasco is doing a pretty good job destroying himself all on his own. In contrast to Richardson’s version, NGO Monitor has systematically documented the methodological, technical, and factual inaccuracies in Garlasco’s reports for HRW (Gaza Beach, Razing Rafah, White Phosphorous, Drones). We have also examined the basis of Garlasco’s position as HRW’s “senior military analyst”. In his version of the seven years in the US military establishment (we found no independent sources on this), Garlasco was involved in “interrogat[ing] prisoners…and chart[ing] the coordinates for the bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein in the early days of the [Iraq] war.” As “chief of high value targeting,” he was responsible for the deaths of “a couple of hundred civilians at least,” without killing any of the targets – this would make him a war criminal, but not much of an expert.
Richardson’s defense makes the following preposterous claims that are all directly refuted by Garlasco’s “research” for HRW:
- Garlasco: “Israel has every right to defend itself — not only a right, but an obligation,”
Fact: Garlasco has never written anything remotely similar in his HRW reports. Instead, these publications are all about delegitimizing Israel’s right to self-defense against vicious terrorism.
- Garlasco: “Garlasco also criticized Israel for a number of human-rights violations, like . . . using drones to kill too many people from a distance.”
Fact: On this, as on other such hi-tech allegations, Garlasco’s case is speculative, at best, and mostly hand-waving. His case studies rely on claims by Palestinian witnesses that they “heard” the drones. In contrast, several military experts criticized his report when it was issued, clarifying it would be impossible to identify an attack as coming from a drone simply by sound. And the weapon, the Spike missile, that Garlasco claimed to have been launched from drones can also be fired from other weapons delivery systems.
It is also disingenuous for Garlasco to claim he was open about his Nazi festish. In fact, prior to the release of his 430-page opus on Nazi war medals, Garlasco asked his friends at germancombatawards.com the following:
“Flak88: So I am trying to figure out what to do. My book is close to done, but I am not sure if I should put my name on it. If folks at work found out I might very well lose my job. . .”
Garlasco is in trouble, and Esquire has come to his aid by trying to deflect attention from his seedy and bizarre Nazi memorabilia fetish, and the pseudo-technical propaganda published in his HRW indictments of Israel. Do we need to repeat that it is more than a bit strange for a “human rights” activist to idolize swastika-adorned medals and Nazi soldiers? And how many other moral campaigners use the name of a gun and the symbol for “Heil Hitler” as their screen names? But more important than Garlasco, HRW – a superpower in the human rights world – needs to account for its reliance on this biased and unreliable “research” – unfortunately, not an anomaly for Ken Roth’s organization.