Not long ago, the Blogosphere was all atwitter about the fact that one of the members of the inspection team going into Baghdad was apparently an S&M enthusiast who didn’t even have any kind of scientific degree pertaining to WMD. This was seen by many (including myself) at the time as good evidence of the ridiculousness of the inspections process, just as much of a joke as this guy himself seemed to be.

Well, that was before I read this, written by a former military journalist and friend of the guy, whose name happens to be Jack McGeorge. I had never heard his name before, as most of the blogs never mentioned it. He was always just the dumb sadomasochist. Well, you get to know a different side of him from reading Fred Reed’s commentary:


I met Jack over fifteen years ago when I was writing a military column for Universal Press Syndicate. I then knew perhaps a dozen –“defense intellectuals” was the phrase. Some worked for beltway bandit outfits that did studies for the Pentagon. Some were independent consultants. They were exceedingly bright. I don’t mean they were valedictorians in high school or could have qualified for Mensa. Their baseline IQ was probably 160. They didn’t socialize with reporters, whom they tended to regard as unprincipled fools. If they liked you, they were splendid sources and good company. 

One such was Don Walsh, a friend of mine now in Bangkok. Don, a former research chemist, knew more about small arms than anyone else I had ever met, and had an encyclopedic grasp of a dozen subjects . I knew the names of various weaponized gases. Don could jot the syntheses on the back of an envelope.

I needed a quotable source on gas warfare. Don suggested Jack as very good. Don doesn’t think many people are very good.

Jack turned out to be as smart as Don. He wasn’t pretentious about it (it isn’t easy to be pretentious when you look like the Pillsbury Doughboy), but it was there. His knowledge of the military, weaponry, demolitions, chemical and biological warfare was enormous. His company, Public Safety Group, specialized in counter-terrorism.


So apparently he knows what he’s doing. The article goes on to provide what is perhaps good circumstantial evidence to suggest that McGeorge worked for years in the field of chemical and biologic weapons and that the lack of items on his resume is a direct result of years of classified work. He has this to say about the kinds of reporters who made such a big deal out of the man:


Reporters seldom know much about technical subjects. My military coverage coincided with Reagan’s administration. I covered the same stories and went to the same bases and briefings as did the Post’s military reporters. With the occasional exception, they ran from incompetent to virtual idiots. Men in the Pentagon feared them, yet had to breast-feed them . They didn’t know military history, tactics, weaponry, hadn’t been in the military. Reporters enjoy power without responsibility. Think of a six-year-old with a large-caliber pistol.


That much, at the very least, I can readily believe.

Reed also addresses the S&M issue, saying that the guy is basically an unashamed practitioner of a very harmless and slightly silly fetish.


When I met Jack, I had heard of kinky sex, but had never encountered it. I said so. He invited me to a couple of parties and a bus trip to the old Vault in New York (where I once stood at a urinal next to Danny the Wonder Pony in full tack. Life is nothing if not interesting). 

I expected the macabre and ghastly, stray organs lying wetly on tables, a collection of budding Jeffy Dahmers. No. This was suburban hobbyist S&M, games for otherwise ordinary bureaucrats and programmers who wanted to be paddled by their girlfriends, or vice versa. An S&M party looks like a Batman convention and smells like a storage room for saddles. The effect on me was like that of a Monster Truck Show: Interesting once, but then more of the same. I concluded that they were as dangerous as a bridge club.


So . Not that this is necessarily the final word on the situation by any means, but one has to wonder whether the Blogosphere tripped up on this one, trusting too soon the analysis of what might very well be an ill-informed hack at the WaPo in order to seize upon a salacious tidbit that might lend more credence to the worthlessness of the inspections. The only problem is that perhaps McGeorge’s sensual predilections and professional experience don’t have anything to do with that proposition, and if so it’s something of a shame that people so readily tried to portray it that way, though the impulse is easily understandable.

Everyone knows the inspections are a complete joke at this point, and some thought they could underscore by highlighting an individual who, in the context of the WaPo story, seemed like quite a joke himself. Things don’t always turn out that way. Something to think about.

last update : 26-5-2018

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