Today, Jim Hake at Spirit of America launched a defence of SoA's finances, with this new page on their website. The text includes the following response to my criticisms (see below):
Our relationship with Cyber Century ForumWe "would" accept? Does that mean donations have been received, or not? Hake goes on to say that he personally has received no government money, has no partisan political affiliations, etc.
Cyber Century Forum, a nonprofit organization, provided the nonprofit, 501c3 status we needed to get Spirit of America off the ground. This allowed us to immediately begin operations without the expense and delay of forming a new, independent nonprofit. From August 2003 through November 2004 we operated as an independent project under the auspices of Cyber Century Forum. Spirit of America kept separate accounting and separate bank accounts. Our finances were never mingled except that for Federal tax reporting purposes in 2003, Cyber Century Forum reported our combined finances. Since Spirit of America was not, at the time, an independent entity, we did not file separate tax returns. We never received direct financial support (i.e., money) from CCF although CCF did provide some administrative services and did the accounting work in filing the combined 2003 tax return. You can find Cyber Century Forum’s tax returns from 1998 to 2003 at the bottom of this page.
Cyber Century Forum’s 2003 tax return notes a $109k investment in Schlumberger. CCF has held 2,000 shares of Schlumberger as an investment since 1998. Some have interpreted an investment made in 1998 by Cyber Century Forum as evidence that we are under the control of “Big Oil” in 2004. That is as silly as it sounds. Spirit of America was not involved with CCF in 1998, which pre-dates our existence by five years, and we don’t know why CCF invested in Schlumberger at that time. Nonetheless, Spirit of America would accept donations by oil and oil service companies, if they were offered. We would use such donations to fund Spirit of America projects.
So is Jim Hake just an innocent do-gooder whose operation JUST HAPPENS TO HAVE BEEN FINANCED BY THE US OIL INDUSTRY? Did he know about the Schlumberger and Transocean funding when his SoA project got started? Did start-up meetings include oil execs? These questions are just for starters...
It seems possible that Hake's SoA COULD have been set up by the far shadier folk at Cyber Century Forum. It was pretty naive to post that Tax Return PDF on the SofA website, for starters. There are a lot of questions that Hake, if he is sincere, should now be asking his financial backers at CCF.
Meanwhile, Ali at Iraq The Model has just quit the blog with no explanation except the following cryptic message:
This is the last time I write in this blog and I just want to say, goodbye. It's not an easy thing to do for me, but I know I should do it. I haven't told my brothers with my decision, as they are not here yet, but it won't change anything and I just can't keep doing this anymore.My reading of the situation is that Ali - who has always been the most hot-headed (or should I say passionate?) of the three brothers - has probably rubbed up the wrong way against their US covert contacts. Hence he was not invited to visit the USA with the other brothers, and hence his decision to quit the blog. Let's see how his much-feted brothers respond.
My stand regarding America has never changed. I still love America and feel grateful to all those who helped us get our freedom and are still helping us establishing democracy in our country. But it's the act of some Americans that made me feel I'm on the wrong side here. I will expose these people in public very soon and I won't lack the mean to do this, but I won't do it here as this is not my blog.
At any rate, it's been a great experience and a pleasure to know all the regular readers of this blog, as I do feel I know you, and I owe you a lot.
Best wishes to all of you, those who supported us and those who criticized us as well.