Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Civility Watchdog: June 21, 2016, AFAUSSS v Gary Byrne

The author of a new tell-all book about Hillary Clinton could never have seen any of what he claims — he was too low-ranking — say several high-level members of Secret Service presidential details, including the president of the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service.

On Tuesday, AFAUSSS, which is strictly nonpartisan, is set to release a statement blasting Gary Byrne author of “Crisis in Character,” saying members “strongly denounce” the book, which they add has made security harder by eroding the trust between agents and the people they protect.

“There is no place for any self-moralizing narratives, particularly those with an underlying motive,” reads the statement from the group’s board of directors, which says Byrne has politics and profit on his mind.

Vanessa Oblinger, Byrne’s publicist for the book, said the claim he didn’t witness the events he describes in the book was “a nonsense charge.”

“He was posted directly outside the Oval Office for three years,” she said.

She cited Byrne’s performance awards and positive evaluations, as well as a letter of appreciation he received from the Secret Service in 1996 for his “commitment, dedication and professional performance.”

“The Clintons always trash the messenger,” Oblinger said, adding later, “This is the first of many Clinton-directed media attempts at character assassination.”
-- From a June 21, 2016, story in Politico by Edward-Isaac Dovere.

Comment: First, what is the importance of AFAUSSS being "nonpartisan"? Is this supposed to make them more credible? Isn't that an appeal to false authority? Second, both the AFAUSSS and Byrne's publicist seem to be making ad hominem arguments: even if it's true that Byrne has some sinister "underlying motive", that doesn't prove anything he's said is false; and even if it's true that the Clintons always "trash the messenger", it doesn't prove that none of their criticisms of Byrne's statements are valid.

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