I’ve written before about how the Nazis and their progeny — sometimes by design and sometimes by cosmic coincidence or genetic programming — are today finishing the work that their Nazi forebears started. We know this about the Arabic disciples of Hitler, who are trying to finish off the Jewish state that was supposed to be the solution to the Final Solution. And we know about how a reunified Germany got the world on board to dismantle Yugoslavia, the country that fought against the Third Reich like no other European nation. The cosmically weird part is the sheer quantity of even American foreign service and military personnel with German last names who are operating in the Balkans. Even accounting for the high number of German-descended patriotic Americans who join the military, the German presence and German-American presence in the former Yugoslavia at high levels is mind-blowing.

More directly, of course, we have today’s Greater Albania honoring Nazi-Albanian heroes of WWII while it finishes what Hitler started for them land-wise and ethnically-cleansing-wise. (All while a Dumb Jew named Gershwin continues waxing lyrical about the Albanian Righteous, of all things.) Finally, of course, we have the most blatant example of all, Croatia, whose only national identity remains Nazi.

But this month Honest Reporting, which fights bias against the truly Lone Star State of Israel, has stumbled onto something truly poetically astonishing. A prominent spokesman and military analyst with Human Rights Watch, who is constantly trying to cook up libels against Israel, is the grandson of a WWII-era German soldier. His name is Marc Galasco and he has a fascination with Nazi paraphernalia. Here is the Honest Reporting item on it, which I received in my inbox and haven’t been able to find an online page for:

REVEALED: HRW RESEARCHER’S BIZARRE BACKGROUND

Human Rights Watch’s Marc Garlasco has appeared regularly in the media, touted as a military “expert”. Garlasco played a prominent role in promoting the 2006 Gaza Beach Libel, which wrongly blamed Israel for a “massacre” of Palestinians…But what does Garlasco get up to when he isn’t producing one-sided reports attacking Israel? The Mere Rhetoric blog reveals:

“There are two Marc Garlascos on the Internet. One is a top human rights investigator who, having joined Human Rights Watch after several years with the Pentagon, has become known for his shrill attacks on Israel. The other is a Marc Garlasco who’s obsessed with the color and pageantry of Nazism, has published a detailed 430 page book on Nazi war paraphernalia, and participates in forums for Nazi souvenir collectors.

“Both Marc Garlascos were born on September 4, 1970. Both have Ernst as their middle name. Both live in New York, NY. Both have a maternal grandfather who fought for the Nazis. I’ve put links and screenshots on all this after the jump, and you can click through for full-sized versions. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that both Marc Garlascos are the same person.

Read the full story here.

We and many other blogs that have picked up this story are certainly not suggesting that Marc Garlasco is a neo-Nazi or engaging in anything illegal. However, some, including Elder of Zion, have received a response from HRW accusing them of doing just that.

Irrespective of this, as the Elder says: “It is extraordinarily bad taste and truly offensive that the same person who habitually castigates the Jewish state to a worldwide audience has a creepy obsession with the symbols of those who tried to destroy all Jews.”


HRW “military analyst” Marc Garlasco

But Garlasco has a history with Serbia too. From Tundra Tabloids in January:

HRW’s Military Analyst Marc Garlasco is Outraged Over Israel’s Shelling of Hamas But Selected Thousands of Targets in Serbia and Iraq For Bombing.

Talk about hypocricy, Marc Garlasco is a poster child for deeply conflicted former Pentagon intelligence analysts trying to amend for (believed) past mistakes. The J’lem Post sets the pace with the following article concerning HRW’s claims about Israeli shelling tactics.

Rights group: Israeli fire ‘indiscriminate’

J’lem Post: “A New York-based human rights group says the IDF’s artillery shelling into crowded Gaza areas should be considered indiscriminate attacks. Human Rights Watch said Friday Israel sometimes fires 155-milimeter artillery shells at gunmen, who often operate in crowded areas. A military analyst with the group, Marc Garlasco, said that the shells can kill people up to 150 meters away. Garlasco said that means they kill indiscriminately.”

But wait, there is more about Marc Garlasco than meets the eye, over at the Gaurdian [sic] there is a bio of Marc Glarlasco which reads as follows:

“Marc Garlasco is the senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW). As well as being HRW’s resident expert on battle damage assessment, military operations, and interrogations, Marc also leads HRW’s work on prisoner abuse, civilian military contractors, and non-lethal weapons.

“Marc was in Lebanon during the 2006 war and did an exhaustive investigation into the use of cluster munitions there. Marc has been a regular on National Public Radio, in the United States, and has been featured on television news, including CNN, ABC, BBC, and others.

“Before coming to HRW, Marc spent seven years in the Pentagon as a senior intelligence analyst covering Iraq. His last position there was chief of high-value targeting during the Iraq war in 2003. Marc was on the Operation Desert Fox (Iraq) Battle Damage Assessment team in 1998, led a Pentagon Battle Damage Assessment team to Kosovo in 1999, and recommended thousands of aimpoints on hundreds of targets during operations in Iraq and Serbia.

“He also participated in over 50 interrogations as a subject matter expert. Marc has a BA in government from St John’s University, and an MA in international relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.”

According to a Tundra Tabloid source, [His (Garlasco’s) studies (an MA) were totally academic, and he was never in the military. He knows nothing about battlefield forensics. So the work that he did on the “Gaza Beach Massacre” was a total fraud. Anyway, his work at the Pentagon was targeting Serbs (from his desk in Washington) selecting high value targets in Serbia during the attack on them during the 90s. He targeted thousands of points (a bomb or shell for each one) in Serbia and Iraq, and is probably responsible for the death of hundreds if not thousands of civilians.]

‘I saw my town bombed’ - UK Serb

Bombing of the “Dragisa Misovic” hospital in Belgrade, May 20, 1999

War in the Balkans: ‘Collateral damage’ lies dying in a shattered Belgrade hospital

No doubt NATO forces believed then that they were operating in accordance with international law, and the historical record is clear that no one took NATO to task for any alleged war crimes. The same can be said of Israel, though unwanted mistakes do happen and innocent civilians are killed.

It’s the height of arrogance and hypocrisy for a man who was once in charge of picking out “high valued targets” in Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and in Iraq, to be waving his finger in self righteous indignation at Israel which is fighting an enemy so barbaric that it purposefully places its own people in harms way.

But that’s what Marc Garlasco is doing, and in a very high profile way. It would be pure irony if a Serb were to file an international law suit against the guy, and bring to light all the NATO and US military missions he was responsible for that resulted in the deaths of civilians. If anyone can find the time to dig through this guys records and see what he was responsible for, the TT would be very appreciative. KGS

The additional irony is that, like a handful of media outlets who supported our war for a Greater Albania, HRW has since been documenting the resulting horrors committed against non-Albanians in Kosovo.

But now that we know that this advocate of anti-Jew and anti-Serb violence is a Nazi son (though his grandfather never actually joined the Nazi Party), the following missive by NGO Monitor becomes more salient, concerning a different kind of Nazi “party” that Garlasco likes to join:

Expert or Ideologues?: HRW’s Defense of Marc Garlasco’s Nazi Fetish (September 10)

“That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!” –Flak88 (aka Marc Garlasco), wehrmacht-awards.com, 2005

“To imply that Garlasco’s collection is evidence of Nazi sympathies is not only absurd but an attempt to deflect attention” –HRW statement, September 8, 2009

On September 8, Omri Ceren (MereRhetoric) published a fully documented report clearly showing that Human Rights Watch’s “senior military expert” and coauthor of numerous reports condemning Israel, Marc Garlasco, is an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia. This revelation follows NGO Monitor’s research report on HRW’s pattern of false and unsupported claims in relation to Israel, and lack of professionalism and anti-Israel activism among some HRW officials, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa division.

In the wake of the Garlasco revelations, HRW has issued several defenses which claim Garlasco is a “student of military history”; that he also collects US AirForce memorabilia; and that the objects involved are “not from the Nazi Party or the SS, as falsely alleged.”

HRW’s justifications of this deeply disturbing revelation ignores the core moral issues, particularly given Garlasco’s central role in HRW’s extensive condemnations of Israel…which exploit the values of universal human rights. Garlasco is deeply immersed in the world of Nazi memorabilia, demonstrating HRW’s total insensitivity to the implications of relying on a “military expert” who flaunts Nazi symbolism to lead the demonization of Israel.

This issue adds to the other factors that demonstrate the urgent need for a detailed and independent investigation of HRW’s publications (particularly on Israel), employment practices, decision making process, agenda setting, methodologies, and bias.

Collecting Nazi Memorabilia Is Not an Innocuous Hobby

HRW’s defense seeks to justify Garlasco’s behavior by claiming, “many military historians including former and active-duty US service members, collect memorabilia from [the Nazi era].” But the collecting of Nazi memorabilia is not simply an innocent hobby engaged in by “students of military history.” It is highly controversial and in many European countries, it is illegal. Such trade is banned on many internet sites and from auction houses. Christies’ Chairman has stated that Nazi memorabilia, is “the only thing we categorically will not sell.” …[T]he Simon Wiesenthal Center notes it “glorifies the horrors of Nazi Germany.”

Garlasco’s Hobby Borders on the Obsessive and Flaunts Nazi Symbolism

According to HRW’s response, “Garlasco’s own family’s experience on both sides of the Second World War has led him to collect military items related to both sides…” While Garlasco’s interest may have been a result of his family history, his hobby borders on the obsessive and is one-sided. He has posted thousands of comments on Nazi memorabilia sites including Germancombatawards (981 posts) and Wehrmacht-awards (7735 posts). In one post, he notes that he takes his collection of medals (many of which are swastika-adorned) out on a yearly basis to admire and photograph. He has even gone so far as to say he would “kill” to obtain a piece. HRW claims Garlasco also collects US Airforce memorabilia. Research conducted by NGO Monitor could not find any evidence that Garlasco’s interest in US military memorabilia approaches the level to which he is devoted to Nazi paraphernalia.

HRW’s defense also claims that Garlasco collects “German Air Force medals and other objects (not from the Nazi Party or the SS, as falsely alleged).” Yet, Garlasco’s screen logo is a picture of a German badge with a swastika. In a 2005 comment, responding to a posting of a photo of a leather SS jacket, Garlasco wrote, “That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!” The jacket owner replies, “Great feedback mein Freund! . . . Gott mit uns [God is with us]!].

Most disturbingly, Garlasco’s screen moniker is Flak88. While this is the name of a German anti-aircraft gun (alarming on its own), the number 88 is a code for “Heil Hitler” and is used by neo-Nazis to identify themselves. The same screen name, Flak 88, was adopted by a poster at the white power website, stormfront.org. It is reasonable to conclude that Garlasco would have been fully aware of this symbolism when he chose this name. He even uses it on his license plate (a practice which is banned in Germany) and as a screen name on websites unrelated to his Nazi collection.

It is bizarre enough for a “human rights” activist to choose the name of a gun as an internet screen name and for his car license plate. Coupled with the neo-Nazi iconography, however, the adoption of “Flak88” as Garlasco’s alter ego is evidence at the very least of highly questionable moral judgment.

Garlasco’s “Monograph” is a 430-Page Tome on Swastika-adorned Nazi-era Medals

HRW explains that Garlasco “is the author of a monograph on the history of German Air Force and Army anti-aircraft medals.” In fact, his “monograph” is a 430-page tome on collecting Nazi-era medals – many adorned with swastikas. The website of his publisher, B&D Publishing LLC, is named ironcross1939, a military badge reinstated by Hitler in 1939 and awarded to such infamous Nazis as Hermann Goring. It is also a symbol adopted by the neo-Nazi movement. Garlasco himself has posted photos of himself wearing a sweatshirt with an iron cross. In response to the photo, a poster notes, “Love the sweatshirt Mark. Not one I could wear here in germany though (well I could but it would be a lot of hassle).” Garlasco responds, “Everyone thinks it is a biker shirt!” to which Skip answers, “Yeh, were [sic] you come from but imagine walking around in Berlin with ‘das Eisene Kreuz’ written across your cheat [sic]. Either you get beaten to pulp by a group of rampaging Turks or the police arrest you on suspicion of being a Nazi.”

The “Military History” alibi

Nazi memorabilia sites frequently use the cover of “military history”, invoke family histories, and claim that participants also collect Allied memorabilia. In a situation analogous to the Garlasco case, one poster on a related internet site suggests ways a fellow poster could overcome criticism of collecting Axis memorabilia:

“…I decided that the best way to do it is to show that you are a ‘military historian’ and in that fact show that you not only collect German and Japanese militaria, but American, British or anything generally related to World War II. That shows that you are interested in the conflict rather than ‘just the bad guys’.

“If you are like me, then you started collecting after receiving some individual pieces of militaria from a grandfather or vet. I think making a point of starting to research these artificats and hearing the vets stories is what got you interested in the hobby is also a very innocent and honest way to give a positive outlook to our collecting.”

Regarding Garlasco’s 430-page opus, HRW defense declares that “in the foreword he writes of telling his daughters that ‘“the war was horrible and cruel, that Germany lost and for that we should be thankful.’” Was this statement a calculated move precisely for this situation? Indeed, prior to publishing, Garlasco used the site www.germancombatawards.com to post the following query:

“Flak88: So I am trying to figure out what to do. My book is clsoe 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. That is the reality, so don’t dwell on it - ok? But this is a small group of people - should I worry? And shouldn’t I stand up for myself? And if I use a psyeudonym isn’t that worse, like I am trying to hide something?”

A poster named “Skip” responds:

“Skip: Put your name on it and F**k ‘em.

“I don’t think theres much chance of anybody outside of this hobby just happening to pick such a book up. Of course, if they google you it will probably turn up but hey, like everybody said, its a reference book and not a political work.

Don’t forget in the foreword to mention how terrible war is and that your book is to remind people of this fact. Yes, WE all know this but a lot of non-historically minded people might not understand otherwise.” [emphasis added]

The Websites Frequented by Garlasco and “Hate Speech”

In HRW’s version, Garlasco is “a contributor to websites that promote serious historical research into the Second World War (and which forbid hate speech).” Yet, thethreads on these sites focus on the trade of Nazi memorabilia, not historical research. And the historical postings tend to glorify the German army, particularly the Nazi army…

Implications for HRW

HRW’s attempt to characterize Garlasco as a serious military historian and to delete the obvious moral implications regarding someone so closely involved in serial condemnations of Israel is offensive and intolerable. But HRW has a long history of totally distorting the qualifications of its senior “military expert”. HRW lists Garlasco as an author or co-author of several reports that frequently invoke claims of “war crimes” and “violations of international law” – high complex issues in which Garlasco has no expertise. And Garlasco’s reports and media interviews include numerous examples of technological assertions and opinions on forensic examination of battle scenes and corpses for which there is no evidence. There is nothing in the record showing Garlasco received any training in forensics.

On this scale, HRW’s multiple condemnations of Israel based on Garlasco’s allegations have done even greater moral damage than the attempt to defend Garlasco’s Nazi fetish, which primarily reflects an extreme insensitivity. The use of Garlasco’s biased and false accusations of war crimes, based on claimed technical expertise and the ability to conduct scientific forensic examinations, is libelous. […]