Yet Dave from Queens and many others are interested in M.A.M.Z.'s statements about this time, and what they say about a central falsehood that MAMZ perpetually tells the media: that he comes from a humble and uninfluential family and he had "no money" when he started DailyKos. The story of El Salvador's 1980's civil war has been told elsewhere with great detail, however M.A.M.Z.'s family's participation has only been broached with original research and citations to Salvadoran Government government documents and corporate websites at The Truth About Kos.
The non-government organizations within the human rights community have thoroughly documented Salvadoran government and death squad atrocities, while conservatives in the United States and El Salvador have denied them or attempted to justify them in the context of alleged anti-communism. MAMZ is a child of this historical period of civil war, and yet his recollections are heavily distorted by his family's participation in the Salvadoran oligarchy, whom anti-government revolutionary groups were trying to overthrow.
Rather than take issue with Markos Moulitsas political leanings, this blog has sought to show demonstrable and intentional distortions of facts made by M.A.M.Z. about his family, himself, and their role in politics, then and now. It is one thing for M.A.M.Z to be part of a wealthy right-wing family, with opinions consistent with that socio-economic strata, while it is quite another thing to consistently misrepresent matters of fact about himself and his oligarchy family.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media has written about Markos C. Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ) ("Kos" of DailyKos) based entirely upon his own claims about himself and his life, without a stitch of independent research or corroboration. Or they have published his autobiographic articles uncritically, even when they are internally contradictory and the articles include various assertions that are mutually exclusive.
For example, none of the hundreds of articles written about MAMZ bothers to mention anything he wrote in stories for the Northern Star, when he was a student writer and editor of the newspaper at Northern Illinois University. Instead, they have been content to accept MAMZ's representations about what these stories hold, rather than confirm the peculiar content of these articles for themselves.
As a result, these media outlets have helped MAMZ to disseminate a web of half-truths and outright lies without ever being challenged about them in the mainstream media. This attitude of endless credulity toward MAMZ, even in the light of directly contradictory statements in MAMZ own writings, leaves the inquiring public wondering whether these publications are dispassionately describing a media phenomenon or intentionally participating in creating one.
In the January/February issue of Washington Monthly MAMZ tells journalist Benjamin Wallace Wells that he supported President Reagan because president Reagan supported the Government of El Salvador. In just a two-paragraph excerpt from this article, we have highlighted in red the contradictions, inaccuracies and inconsistencies which are legion, comparing them to verifiable facts, with citations to original documents and M.A.M.Z.'s own written and published previous statements contradicting what is reported in two paragarphs of the Washington Monthly article, as follows:
After high school, Moulitsas, then a Reagan Republican thanks largely to the White House's support of the Salvadorean government, spent four years as an army artillery scout, mainly in Germany. He had begun to gravitate leftwards while in the military--its diversity had incubated in him a kind of nascent identity politics liberalism--and when he was discharged and enrolled at Northern Illinois University, he became active in campus politics, writing a column for the school paper and helping to lead the college's Hispanic student group. After he graduated, he took another degree, from Boston University's law school, and then, in 1998, moved out to San Francisco to try his luck in Silicon Valley.
A couple of years later, now married, he moved again, to Berkeley, exasperated at the realization that he wasn't going to make a fortune in the high-tech boom. "Maybe at some time, Silicon Valley really was this democratic ideal where the guy with the best idea made a billion dollars, but by the time I got there at least, it was just like anything else--a bunch of rich kids who knew each other running around and it all depended on who you knew," Moulitsas told me. Unemployed, Moulitsas, started posting comments on a site called MyDD.com, the most insidery of the emerging liberal blogs. During late 2001 and early 2002, he developed a following, for the strength and clarity of his denunciations of the Bush administration. Moulitsas started his own blog, and, in the summer of 2002, Daily Kos opened for business.
It is certainly odd that MAMZ says he was motivated by Ronald Reagan's foreign policy toward Latin American when MAMZ himself wrote in his college student newspaper in 1993 that his attitude toward Blacks and Latinos was "detached selfishness". So it is difficult now to believe anything he says about his motives with respect to El Salvador in the early 1990's.
Even if we accept arguendo that MAMZ supported Republican Ronald Reagan because of Reagan's support for the government of El Salvador, Human Rights Watch says this support encouraged a lawless government in the unbridled slaughter of civilians:
Despite a decade of promises by government officials to bring to justice those responsible for gross violations of human rights in
, the impunity of military officers and death squads members remains intact. Although thousands of cases of political killings, torture, and disappearances of civilians at the hands of government forces have been documented, to date, no officer has been convicted of a politically motivated human rights abuse in
This is consistent with the discovery that the "manager" (see hotel advertisement) of MAMZ's family hotel in El Salvador, who shares MAMZ's last name, Zúñiga, is also a prominent member of what the US CIA has called a Salvadoran right-wing "pressure group", the National Association Private Enterprise.
13). Carlos Alberto Delgado Zúñiga, the man listed in public documents as the “manager” of the Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA’s Jaltepeque Suites Hotel, is also president of the “Junta Directiva” of the CÁMARA SALVADOREÑA DE TURISMO (CASATUR), the national tourism board of El Salvador. In addition, he is a member of the member of the “Junta Directiva” of the “Sistema de Integración de Centroamerica” (System for Integration of Central America).
( . . . )
20). The internationally powerful Carlos Alberto Delgado ZÚÑIGA , the “family” member listed in government records as “manager” of the Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA’s hotel (see screenshot) was on the organizational member board of El Salvador’s ANEP, the Asociación Nacional de Empresas Privadas (National Association of Private Enterprises).
During the 1980's and 90's, MAMZ, in fact, supported US President Ronald Reagan while Reagan was providing billions of dollars of financial assistance to a corrupt Salvadoran Government that participated in the slaughter of civilians as well as contributing to the environment in which Catholic Archbishop Arnulfo Romero was assassinated during mass.
22). ANEP is "a lobby of El Salvador’s most influential businessmen" that advocates free markets and “wants to privatize El Salvador’s water delivery” and its hospitals, which has led to large popular demonstrations in El Salvador against ANEP’s pro-corporate policies. CountryData.ComIf the US Army's "diversity had incubated in [MAMZ] a kind of nascent identity politics liberalism", then why did MAMZ write a letter to his student newspaper in February 1993 ridiculing Clinton's efforts to open the military to gays, and opposing ALL gay service in the US military? And why did MAMZ write in a separate article that his attitude in the face of discrimination against Blacks and Latinos was characterized by "detached selfishness"?
23). The large national and international corporate members of ANEP were the principal political opponents of Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero at the time when he was assassinated. CIA: Political Pressure Groups Mongabay.com
Meanwhile, I have read every single article in the archives of the Northern Illinois University campus newspaper, "Northern Star," and I cannot find a single article in which MAMZ is shown leading or participating in Hispanic activities on campus. Again, he specifically disavowed any such concern when he said that his response to "racism" on campus was to retreat into "detached selfishness" because, while minorities "could not escape who they were," MAMZ, as a white man, was able to "easily" and completely disassociate himself from any Salvadoran roots:
I was terribly happy to escape the ugliness of a racist world for the safety of my every day-to-day life. Sure, I could always talk against racism, fight ignorance and prejudice wherever I ran into it, yet I would always be looking in from another room and I could always close the door. My life, in my world, in my own detached selfishness. Northern Star, Sept. 2, 1993.Those hardly seem like the words of an Hispanic activist. They seem more like Justice Clarence Thomas approach to his own brown skin: forget about it.
Athough the Washington Monthly says of MAMZ that "he became active in campus politics", there is not a single article in the archives of the student newspaper to corroborate this assertion.
The Washington Monthly article says that MAMZ married "a couple of years after 1998. MAMZ has said that he was "unemployed, underemployed" during this period, and that he started DailyKos in 2002 with one hundred dollars. Somehow, in spite of being "unemployed, underemployed," during this period, to the extent of seeking employment with the Central Intelligence Agency, and having "no money," he nonetheless was able to travel to El Salvador with his new wife and hold his honeymoon celebrations at the Jaltepeque Suites Hotel on the beaches of El Salvador, where the nightly room rate is $140.00.
MAMZ refers to the Jaltepeque Suites Hotel as a "family business", and one from which he obviously was able to live a lifestyle substantially above that of Salvadorans who have "no money".
In the Washington Monthly article, MAMZ deprecates those in Silicon Valley whom he says appear to be "a bunch of rich kids." And yet the inevitable result of superficial look at MAMZ's family hotel, and the honeymoon he held there, is that MAMZ, too, was a "rich kid", in spite of his relentless efforts to present himself otherwise. Indeed to say that one is poor while holding a honeymoon such as one saw in MAMZ's honeymoon website leaves the inevitable impression that MAMZ is divorced from the truth or determined to misrepresent it.
The article says that MAMZ was unemployed in 2002, but there is significant doubt on this point, because MAMZ said in an June 2, 2006 interview at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club that he was "training" at the CIA to become a "secret agent" between 2001 and the end of 2003, which would include the 2002 period during which he says he was "unemployed."
As a matter of simple logic, it is difficult to understand how a man who had "no money" would nonetheless be able to spend two years at the expensive Washington, DC, area, training at the CIA, unless he was being compensated for his work at the CIA or was depending on other (e.g. wealthy family assets) to support himself and his new wife during this period.
How does a man with "no money" afford the expenses of living and feeding himself and a new wife in Washington, DC for two years? It stands to reason that either he was depending upon income from the CIA, or help from his wealthy family, or some other source of income which he specifically denies having had.
The Washington Monthly article says that,
During late 2001 and early 2002, he developed a following, for the strength and clarity of his denunciations of the Bush administrationDid MAMZ mislead this developing following when he failed to inform them that he was simultaneously simultaneously in "training" to become a "secret agent" with the Central Intelligence Agency, which was tasked with carrying out the orders and policy of the Bush Administration, including building the false case for war with Iraq? Could MAMZ have gained the same credibility had he acknowledged his involvement with the CIA? If not, did he intentionally mislead those who were gathering around him?
The Salvadoran Government that Republican President Ronald Reagan and MAMZ supported was carrying out a counter-insurgency effort in which many union leaders, popular leaders, religous workers and peasants were killed. Human Rights Watch says in a preface to a article about El Salvador during the period when President Ronald Reagan was supporting the Government in El Salvador,
Ironically, MAMZ has claimed that "heroes are Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero . . .", however the "manager" of his "family hotel," participated in a political "pressure group" that was campaigning against Romero when Romero was shot dead during a mass.
Twenty years ago Archbishop Oscar Romero was celebrating mass when he was killed. Just as he had finished his homily and was about to turn to the liturgy of the eucharist, a single shot pierced his chest, and he bled to death within a matter of minutes. His bloodsoaked vestments are now on display in San Salvador for pilgrims and tourists to see. His killer has remained free.
( . . . )
[Archbishop Oscar] Romero's own path to martyrdom was illuminated by the martyrdom of his close friend Fr. Rutilio Grande. Grande was gunned down, along with a boy and an elderly man, on his way to celebrate mass in El Paisnal, less than three weeks after Romero's installation as archbishop. As Jon Sobrino, one of Grande's fellow Jesuits in El Salvador, tells it, Rutilio Grande's death played the central role in converting Romero from cautious bureaucrat to prophetic voice of the voiceless. Though personally fond of Grande, Romero had regarded with suspicion the work Grande was doing with the peasants of Aguilares, teaching them to apply the lessons of the Bible to their own lives and denouncing the unjust distribution of land.
( . . . )
The eucharist, in other words, creates a body of people who by definition stand in the line of fire. In El Salvador, this process took many forms, none more terrible than the strategy of "disappearance." Many of those arrested were simply never heard from again; their bodies would "disappear," most buried around El Salvador in shallow graves. Torture was also commonly used to instill fear, most often with the use of electricity and other techniques that leave no distinguishing marks on the victim's body.6 Finally, the state-controlled media referred to people killed, not as martyrs, but as subversives, communists, terrorists, criminals, and delinquents. The intent of these strategies was to inflict suffering and death on those who would challenge the status quo while simultaneously preventing the revelatory nature of that suffering from coming to light. Dying for the Eucharist or being killed by it? Romero's challenge to first-world Christiansm