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Mr Warren Kinsella's character and credibility ...

In defending the libel action brought against her by David Irving, Professor Deborah Lipstadt has introduced a witness statement by Marxist barrister and author Mr Warren Kinsella. The High Court on January 26, 1999 ordered Mr Irving not to post the verbatim statement (a relevant summary will shortly be posted). Already it appears from our readers' input that Mr Kinsella is not likely to be a wholly productive witness for the defence.

Kinsella was one of three participants in a debate on free speech versus hate speech, an excerpt of which appeared in the Feb. 5 1999 issue of Canada's new newspaper National Post. In the published excerpt headlined "Freedom to hate?", Kinsella expressed his opposition to free speech; the newspaper published many letters in response.

Toronto, February 9, 1999

Hate speech

WHAT I do not understand is why questioning the Jewish Holocaust constitutes hate?

By the same token, if I deny the existence of God, will it be considered hate against Christians or Muslims or any other identifiable religious group? If I say that Americans did not land on the moon, is it hate propaganda against NASA or the Americans? I do not know of any other historical event the questioning of which is considered hate-mongering.

Because the Jewish Holocaust is a fact, let people discuss it and make up their minds. Does Warren Kinsella support the fatwa against Salman Rushdie?

Yusuf Patel, Mississauga, Ontario.

ONE wonders why the National Post regards Warren Kinsella as an expert on free speech and on the right wing in Canada. He has a loose and inaccurate lip, which he showed once again in the article "Freedom to Hate?"

I have never said or written that homosexuals "deserve AIDS," that Jews "steal," or that immigrants are "atrocities." If Mr. Kinsella has proof of that, let him produce it.

Doug Collins, West Vancouver, B.C. [see panel below for full text of original letter]

WARREN Kinsella's defence of Canada's anti-hate laws is a mealy-mouthed rationalization that provides me with no comfort from the ever growing sense that, as a resident of Canada, I live in an unfree country. I note that his book is entitled, Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network. What about the hate promoted by the left?

For example, in his last National Post column, he characterized the United States as a place where, "Ku Klux Klansmen are regularly given permits to march through minority neighbourhoods and scream racial epithets at children; in that country, neo-Nazis are permitted access to publicly funded airwaves to praise Adolf Hitler," and a place where "racial tensions remain proportionately worse than anywhere else on the planet."

Mr. Kinsella tells us that hate-mongering "leaves many individuals and families isolated, withdrawn and paranoid out of fear, or overcome by anger and revenge fantasies or experience sadness and feelings of powerlessness," as his justification for prosecuting hate as expressed by the far right but leaving alone all the professors who teach Marxism while conveniently neglecting to mention its atrocities.

Tom Cohoe, The Pas, Manitoba.

typwriterFull text of Doug Collins' letter to The Editor, The National Post:

One wonders why you regard Warren Kinsella as an expert on free speech and on the right wing in Canada. He has a loose and inaccurate lip, which he showed once again in the article "Freedom to hate," Feb. 5.

I have never said or written that homosexuals "deserve Aids," that "Jews steal," or that immigrants are "atrocities". If Kinsella has proof of that, let him produce it.

Here are some facts concerning Kinsella's way of going about things.

On July 20, 1998, as a libel trial against him was set to begin in Victoria for statements in his book Web of Hate, his publisher paid an out of court settlement of $40,000 and agreed to take the offending part out of future editions, if any.

Kinsella had written that the Charlottetown Accord went down to defeat in B.C. largely because "every Jew hater, neo-Nazi, fascist, Klansman, and Hitler-freak in B.C. formed a formidable force to stop it." Which, of course, was news to everyone here and in the case of the complainant, libellous.

He claimed in the book that he had interviewed lawyer Doug Christie. In a written statement to the B.C. Press Council, Mr. Christie denied having been interviewed; he claimed he had interviewed Mrs. Eileen Pressler of Salmon Arm and Paul Fromm of Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR), both of whom issued similar denials. [see panel below]

He claimed there had been KKK cross-burnings in the Okanagan, "information" that came from David Lethbridge, who later ran as the Communist candidate in Shuswap. In truth, no such cross burnings had taken place, as the editor of the Salmon Arm Observer has stated. That Lethbridge had said so, however, was enough for Kinsella.

The book is stuffed with that sort of thing. Reviewer Bill Dunphy of the Toronto Sun counted 19 errors in one chapter.

Finally, the reason Kinsella hates Doug Collins (some forms of hate are permissible, you know!) is that during the last federal election I wrote columns denouncing his "dirty tricks" campaign in North Vancouver, in which he was soundly defeated. He took me to the Press Council for it but got scant satisfaction.

It is evident from his statements in your newspaper that Kinsella is still Kinsella.

Doug Collins, West Vancouver.

How extraordinary. In his witness statement, Kinsella claims: "When I interviewed Mr Irving, I brought up Mr MacdonaId's involvement with the Ku Klux Klan." Mr Irving has no recollection whatever of being interviewed by a Mr Kinsella. Do other Website visitors have similar experiences with him, as they go to his credibility as a witness (notwithstanding that he is a member of the Canadian Bar).

More on Kinsella [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] | Kinsella Index

Mr Irving would welcome informed opinions on Warren Kinsella, and facts about him, from his hundreds of North American friends.