Human Rights Watch and their Nazi memorabilia collecting analyst (updated: he is 'suspended')

Rick Moran
Schadenfreude is a dish best served piping hot with all the trimmings...

The group Human Rights Watch has evidently not been watching what's been going on in their own organization. One of their military analysts has been discovered to be an enthusiastic collector of Nazi memorabilia.

And by "enthusiastic," I mean this, as reported by John Schwarz of the New York Times :

Injected suddenly into that heated conflict, word of Mr. Garlasco's interest seemed startling to many. The disclosure ricocheted across the Internet: Mr. Garlasco, an American, was not only a collector, he has written a book, more than 400 pages long, about Nazi-era medals. His hobby, inspired he said by a German grandfather conscripted into Hitler's army, was revealed on a pro-Israel blog, Mere Rhetoric Mere Rhetoric, which quoted his enthusiastic postings on collector sites under the pseudonym "Flak88" - including, "That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!"

It was a Rorschach moment in the conflict between Israel and its critics. The revelations were, depending on who is talking, either incontrovertible proof of bias or an irrelevant smear.

The Mere Rhetoric posting said Mr. Garlasco's interests explained "anti-Israel biases."

And to make this situation even more titanically ironic, Garlasco gives the same excuse given by many who have been targeted by Human Rights Watch and other similar groups:

Mr. Garlasco declined to be interviewed. But on Friday he posted an essay with the Huffington Post

"I've never hidden my hobby, because there's nothing shameful in it, however weird it might seem to those who aren't fascinated by military history," he wrote. "Precisely because it's so obvious that the Nazis were evil, I never realized that other people, including friends and colleagues, might wonder why I care about these things."

in which he called the Nazis "the worst war criminals of all time," explaining that he was simply a "military geek" whose interest grew out of his own family's history.
In other words, "Pay no attention to my hobby of collecting really kewl stuff from the mass murderers of the SS. You're misunderstanding my intent."

That isn't the first time that excuse has been made after a group has been targeted by the "human rights" brigade. Only now, it seems that it will be acceptable.

Pro-Israeli groups will not let this die. In truth, collecting Nazi stuff is not by itself indicative of an anti-Israel bias.

But it sure looks bad, doesn't it?

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Update:  AP reports he has been "suspended"


Schadenfreude is a dish best served piping hot with all the trimmings...

The group Human Rights Watch has evidently not been watching what's been going on in their own organization. One of their military analysts has been discovered to be an enthusiastic collector of Nazi memorabilia.

And by "enthusiastic," I mean this, as reported by John Schwarz of the New York Times :

Injected suddenly into that heated conflict, word of Mr. Garlasco's interest seemed startling to many. The disclosure ricocheted across the Internet: Mr. Garlasco, an American, was not only a collector, he has written a book, more than 400 pages long, about Nazi-era medals. His hobby, inspired he said by a German grandfather conscripted into Hitler's army, was revealed on a pro-Israel blog, Mere Rhetoric Mere Rhetoric, which quoted his enthusiastic postings on collector sites under the pseudonym "Flak88" - including, "That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!"

It was a Rorschach moment in the conflict between Israel and its critics. The revelations were, depending on who is talking, either incontrovertible proof of bias or an irrelevant smear.

The Mere Rhetoric posting said Mr. Garlasco's interests explained "anti-Israel biases."

And to make this situation even more titanically ironic, Garlasco gives the same excuse given by many who have been targeted by Human Rights Watch and other similar groups:

Mr. Garlasco declined to be interviewed. But on Friday he posted an essay with the Huffington Post

"I've never hidden my hobby, because there's nothing shameful in it, however weird it might seem to those who aren't fascinated by military history," he wrote. "Precisely because it's so obvious that the Nazis were evil, I never realized that other people, including friends and colleagues, might wonder why I care about these things."

in which he called the Nazis "the worst war criminals of all time," explaining that he was simply a "military geek" whose interest grew out of his own family's history.
In other words, "Pay no attention to my hobby of collecting really kewl stuff from the mass murderers of the SS. You're misunderstanding my intent."

That isn't the first time that excuse has been made after a group has been targeted by the "human rights" brigade. Only now, it seems that it will be acceptable.

Pro-Israeli groups will not let this die. In truth, collecting Nazi stuff is not by itself indicative of an anti-Israel bias.

But it sure looks bad, doesn't it?

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Update:  AP reports he has been "suspended"