Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Pino Story: It Is Oh So Quiet

I’m about done with Julio Pino, the Kent State history professor accused of running a jihadi website. I’ve dug around and could put together a fairly compelling defense to the feeble case leveled against him, but I’m not going to work to defend someone who can’t be bothered to defend himself. Especially someone I don’t like very much.

To catch everyone up to date, you can read my previous posts on the matter here and here. The website in question was unhacked, but now I can’t get in at all. Any attempt to access the url gets me to the blogHi homepage. (By the way, if you are having one of your “I hate Blogger” days, surf on over to blogHi and take a look at what truly sucky bloghosting looks like. )

Back to Pino, The Daily Kent Stater ran an article Friday which contains a little more information as did the Ravenna Record Publisher today. Mike Adams, the author of the original TownHall piece linking Pino to Global War posted again with alleged “smoking gun” material. What he proves is that Lover of Angels at times passed himself off as Pino. Well, we already knew that, but now we really know it.

On the Right, the post most worth reading is that of MarkedManner. He has a full rundown on what can be fairly attributed to Pino, and it's not pretty. MM has been all over the place posting links to his post in blog comments and newspaper forums. Well, everyone needs a hobby.

Ultimately, the question of is about the degree of awfulness of his rhetoric. I do think that running a website exhorting Muslims to kill Americans rises to the level where you can at least ask questions about whether someone should continue to be tenured. What Prof. Pino has said outside the blog is bad enough. For example, he wrote the following in a letter eulogizing Ayat al-Akras, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who blew herself up outside an Israeli market:

    You, Ayat, are a shining star of the greatest generation raised for humanity since the days of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I write "you are" because the Koran teaches that those who die in the cause of Allah (all praise is for him) "are not dead but alive, though ye see them not."
This from a self-described “Man of peace."

Also, in 2005, he wrote another letter to the Kent Stater, purporting to explain why Muslims burn American flags:"You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage of drugs, gambling, the sex trade, spreads diseases that were unknown to man in the past, such as AIDS, and turns women into commodities for sale. "The ill done to the Muslim nations must be requited. The Muslim child does not cry alone; the Muslim woman does not cry alone; and the Muslim man is already at your gates.''

So what we are talking about is just how far into the heart of darkness his journey through reactionary Islam has taken him. Regardless, I don’t like his ideas. Not only does he express sympathy for murderers, his ideas about civil liberties are decidedly illiberal. Yes, drug, gambling and the sex trade occur here. They are a price we pay for the civil liberties we all enjoy. America could greatly reduce the incidences of such crimes if we followed authoritarian paths trod by regimes like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria, but we don’t. In the tradeoff between order and freedom, we live with a little less order to enjoy a little more freedom. A smart guy like Pino should be able to figure that out.

As bad as his ideas are, his actions in the course of this controversy are if anything worse. He now refuses to answer questions about his connection to Global War, citing his freedom of speech. In other words, he now hides behind the same freedoms whose effects he decried as symptoms of a hopelessly corrupt society. He muddles the difference between the right to remain silent and the wisdom of exercising it.

And he shows no loyalty to the institution that is showing loyalty to him. If he really cared about either KSU or truly defending free speech, he would stand up, tell the truth about what’s going on and defend his actions in the court of public opinion. Instead, he makes scared little noises about freedom of speech and scurries under the bed. Feh.

And needless to say, neither Pino, nor his department chair, nor the KSU PR flacks I emailed responded to me.

Of course, Prof. Pino didn’t cuss me out like Prof. Mike Adams did. OK, he didn’t exactly cuss me out by my standards. But he did by his standards. . Adams didn’t respond to my email asking what information led him to conclude that Lover of Angels is Pino. In his “smoking gun” article he argues that Pino’s silence is damning: “So by his logic, his silence to me says [expletive deleted], I’ve got tenure. "

Well, professor, "

" you too.

So in the end, d’affaire Pino is a stalemate between academics trying to score points. If we get more information, I’ll try to draw some real conclusions. Until then, I’m declaring the whole thing Somebody Else’s Problem.


julio pino NOT! said...

This story is far from dead. Kent State officals were notified of pino's exact same behavior in April, 2006 and sat on their thumbs.

Look for an in depth expose' in this coming Sunday's Cleveland Plain Dealer