On Monday, the World Socialist Web Site exposed the allegations of Louis Proyect, publisher of the “Unrepentant Marxist” blog, that a WSWS article included false information aimed at exaggerating the Obama administration’s escalation of military threats against Russia.
Refuting Proyect’s claim that a statement by Assistant Defense Secretary Robert Scher had been manufactured, the reply by WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North provided a link to an online video of Scher’s testimony before a House Armed Services subcommittee. Readers could see and hear Scher state the sentence that Proyect had claimed was made up: “Another [military option] is taking a look at how we could go about and actually attack that missile where it is in Russia.”
This should have been enough to compel Proyect to retract his allegation or keep his mouth shut. Instead, he continued to claim that the quotation was fabricated. He fell back on the position that the word “attack,” which had been deleted from the video due to a technical glitch, was never said. He wrote: “North admits that the word ‘attack’ is not audible in the recording but is convinced that this is the only conclusion that makes sense. Sad, really.”
If anyone has cause for sadness, however, it is Louis Proyect. To settle the matter once and for all, the WSWS contacted Robert Burns, the author of an Associated Press article that reported Scher’s testimony and was cited by the WSWS, and brought Proyect’s allegations to his attention.
Burns forwarded to the WSWS the exact transcript of Scher’s statement, which he had received from the US Department of Defense. The transcript reinforces what had already been established by the video: the sentence was exactly as it had been reported by Burns and the WSWS.
Replying to a question from a congressman about what the US was planning to do in response to Russia’s alleged violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Scher said (emphasis added):
We are looking at what actions we can take to ensure that any violation of the INF Treaty does not provide significant military advantage to the Russians. And as people have testified previously to this subcommittee and elsewhere, we look at that in sort of three categories of military activities. One is active defense—what we can do to defend places in Europe at locations that are—that the INF Treaty violating missile could reach. Another one is taking a look at how we could go about and actually attack that missile where it is in Russia. And then subsequently, a third part is looking at understanding that it is not simply attacking that capability, but that the—we can look at what things we can hold at risk within Russia itself.
We are still looking at all of those possibilities, narrowing down what we think would be the most effective and working very closely with our allies to determine how to best deter this aggression from Russia, deter and bring Russia back in.
This settles the matter and provides further evidence of what many have known for some time: Louis Proyect is a liar and a provocateur.