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Pants on (three-alarm) Fire

From The Scrapbook

Feb 6, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 20 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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The Scrapbook could have opted out of this humiliation had it chosen to enter a scanner and allow the government to view what is essentially a nude rendering of itself. However, contra Ronald Reagan, The Scrapbook believes that the scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to irradiate you.” 

So The Scrapbook was really not in the mood for President Obama’s statement marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It reads:

As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.

In other words, the government should not intrude on private family matters, unless of course it wants to intrude on your family’s privates. Which thanks to the Obama administration’s changes to the Transportation Security Administration, it does with astonishing frequency. Making matters worse, the barely competent and often corrupt TSA has been unionized by the Obama administration. Should a TSA officer fondle your private family matters inappropriately, you can bring charges against him knowing full well that the agent’s right to molestation will be defended tooth and nail by a union lawyer paid for with your tax dollars. 

Further compounding the tragic irony, the same day The Scrapbook found itself subject to its fourth “freedom grope” in two months, there was a small brouhaha when Kentucky senator Rand Paul ran afoul of the TSA at the Nashville airport. Paul was en route to speak at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. After he set a scanner off, the TSA wanted to pat him down. Paul then exercised his right to privacy by leaving the airport, and didn’t get the chance to address the hundreds of thousands who attend the annual protest of the Roe decision. 

The TSA issued a blustering response about Paul being uncooperative. But the Tennessean newspaper later reported, “A security video of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul at a Nashville International Airport checkpoint doesn’t show him being ‘irate,’ as police asserted.”

Paul responded calmly to what he viewed as an illegitimate government intrusion on his privacy. Given that the Obama administration’s working definition of a “right to privacy” protects the termination of human life even while allowing the government to regularly inspect the genitals of millions of Americans, perhaps the senator should have been irate.

The Mullahs’ Apologist

In the heat of a negative review, most authors, even running up against the considered advice of their friends or spouse to ignore the criticism, will dash off a letter to the editor of the offending book section. That would be the conventional approach. But let’s say you’re a political activist masquerading as an objective analyst with an interest in defending the Islamic Republic of Iran. The closer you get to your subject, the more sympathetically you make its case. You become ever more likely to adopt its ideological convictions as your own, and even its methods of proxy warfare. Just as Tehran enlists Hezbollah to fight against Israel, you, too, task out retaliation to a hireling.

Meet Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council, whose recently published book about U.S.-Iran relations, A Single Roll of the Dice, earned a negative review in the Wall Street Journal. Instead of rolling with the punches, Parsi appears to have gotten NIAC’s research director, Reza Marashi, to do his fighting for him—on Twitter, the social media network that these days seems to be the first recourse of scoundrels.

Marashi attacked the review’s author, Sohrab Ahmari, an Iranian-American author (and occasional contributor to this magazine), who moved to the United States from Tehran as a child in 1998. Marashi referred to Ahmari on Twitter as a “Neocon #MEK terror cult supporter.”

In fact, Ahmari has gone on the record at least twice denouncing the shadowy MEK, or Mujahedin e-Khalq, an underground Iranian group designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization. However, it’s hardly surprising that NIAC employees are undeterred by this fact. Indeed, the thesis of Parsi’s new book is a fantasy that willfully ignores empirical evidence for the sake of an argument that whitewashes the Iranian regime.

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