Now comes news via Inside Higher Ed, that one of Fein's organizations, the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund, has launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for having the audacity to criticize a book by genocide-denier, Guenter Lewy.
The SPLC is known "for its studies of hate groups -- a focus that has led the center to criticize Holocaust deniers" - and as far as I know, is highly regarded (although there may be some evidence to the contrary).
The Inside Higher Ed article states that:
"Two quotes in the Southern Poverty Law Center article are cited as defamatory. One states: "Lewy is one of the most active members of a network of American scholars, influence peddlers and website operators, financed by hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the government of Turkey, who promote the denial of the Armenian genocide. ...”Funny. Yes, there is an acute stigma about failure to disclose the receipt of money. And there's a good reason for it. Inside Higher Ed asked Fein whether Lewy ever received money from the Turkish government or its subsidiaries, and Fein said he didn't know the answer... Inside Higher Ed should have asked the same question of Fein himself. How much is Fein getting from the Turkish government and its subsidiaries?
The other states: “Lewy makes similar revisionist claims in his 2005 book The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide and in frequent lectures at university campuses across the country. ... Revisionist historians who conjure doubt about the Armenian genocide and are paid by the Turkish government provided politicians with the intellectual cover they needed to claim they were refusing to dictate history rather than caving in to a foreign government’s present-day interests.
Further the suit says that the statements "individually and taken as a whole in context of the article ... are defamatory because they falsely impute to Plaintiff academic corruption, fraud and deceit. ..." As a result of the accusations, the suit says that Lewy has had his "scholarly credibility" hurt and has lost book sales and speaking engagements.
"The acute stigma attached to failures to disclose the receipt of money or its equivalent that could distort academic or professional judgments finds expression in a welter of government conflict-of-interest regulations and financial disclosure standards...”
You might remember from my previous article that Fein is co-founder and Chairman of a group called the American Freedom Agenda. One of their ten founding articles is "Stopping threats to prosecuting journalists under the Espionage Act of 1917." This is obviously a defense of AIPAC's Rosen and Weissman - but there is a certain irony in the fact that while Fein is keen on defending journalists, he is also filing multi-million dollar harassment suits against journalists.
One further point: the Inside Higher Ed article notes that:
"In an interview two years ago, Lewy said that (his) book -- which was criticized by some scholars of genocide -- had been rejected by 11 publishers, including 4 university presses, before the University of Utah Press published it."Lo and behold, the University of Utah recently announced a "new Turkish studies project titled "The Origins of Modern Ethnic Cleansing: The Collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Emergence of Nation States in the Balkans and Caucasus."" The four year project will be "funded in part by the Turkish Coalition of America."
As I discussed in my previous article, Bruce Fein is 'resident scholar' at the Turkish Coalition of America, which incidentally shares an address with Bruce Fein & Associates. The president of TCA is Lincoln McCurdy who headed the American Turkish Council (ATC) for fifteen years. The ATC is at the heart of Sibel Edmonds' claims about Turkish corruption in the US.
In a related issue, Inside Higher Ed reminds us that when a scholar at the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University dared to mention 'genocide,' he was forced to quit, at risk of the Institute of Turkish Studies being shut down. As a reminder, the Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University is Sabri Sayari, named in Sibel Edmonds' Rogues Gallery.
Don't expect the University of Utah to publish anything critical of Turkey in the near future.
Bruce Fein is on the Turkish payroll. He wants to defend journalists (and, implicitly, lobbyists) when it comes to Israel, but he files spurious multi-million dollar lawsuits against those who criticize Israel's second-best friend, Turkey. This frivolous lawsuit against an anti-hate group, the SPLC, argues that it is wrong to allege that people like Lewy receive money from the Turkish government who deny the Armenian genocide, while the Turkish government, through Fein's TCA, gives money to the only university willing to publish Lewy's denialist book. And Lewy & Fein have the audacity to claim that criticizing his denial hurts his book sales!