Pick an argument with Kamm about the perhaps cavalier way in which he summarises arguments, but credit him for the essential, which is that he refuses to condone obfuscation of the truth, which is what LM, Deichmann and Johnstone are all about. If Chomsky is unable to take an unambiguous stance on the issue of their mendacity his reputation deserves to live with the consequences.While much of Owen's comment is too vague to be answered, his attempt to suggest that, in spite of what I wrote, Kamm still has some sort of case against Chomsky regarding Trnopolje warrants a response.
Although Owen has not disputed any part of my argument that Kamm falsely accused Chomsky of misrepresenting Knightley's views, he attempts to brush off Kamm’s own misrepresentation as “perhaps cavalier” summarizing.
I accuse Kamm of more than this, because his case derives entirely from what he left out of Knightley’s testimony: he didn’t provide a summary at all. If he had any knowledge of what Knightley said – and he certainly made a pretence of this – he would have known that the Guardian report he cites does not begin to encompass what Knightley “really said about the case”. Why did Kamm think LM would call a defence witness to lecture the court on the Spanish Civil War?
Charitably assuming Kamm to be merely ignorant, his self-righteous pronouncement about he who “obfuscates and denies the crimes at Trnopolje” is nonetheless baseless. Given this, I find Owen's comment hard to fathom.
Firstly, Kamm’s own performance here entails “obfuscation of the truth”, regardless of his alleged refusal to condone it elsewhere. Until this is disputed, Kamm is not in a position to be an exemplar of historical accuracy. As I have pointed out, he is an obsessive pursuer of Chomsky, and this is only one of a stream of questionable allegations he’s levelled.
Secondly, I have yet to see evidence that Deichmann did substantively misrepresent the truth at Trnopolje. LM lost the case because they were unable to show that ITN had deliberately misrepresented conditions at Trnopolje as being like a concentration camp. There was little dispute that the coverage had been misleading, and that the barbed wire did not serve the purpose that reports implied. The judge said this:
“Clearly Ian Williams and Penny Marshall and their TV team were mistaken in thinking they [the TV crew] were not enclosed by the old barbed wire fence. But does it matter?”
That is, he essentially accepted what Knightley said, and what Chomsky mentioned in the interview. If Kamm had had a passing familiarity with the case he would have known this.
The unqualified accusations of “obfuscation of the truth” are impossible to address because they have no specific content. Who denied what? And what does that have to do with Chomsky? Johnstone, of course, has nothing at all to do with this case.