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Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004

 Bush's ignominious war in Iraq is destroying his country's economy, and the Americans don't see it, as they are living inside one big Bubble. He is just printing dollars. War on the never-never. War by credit-card.

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June 20, 2004 (Sunday)
Pompton (NJ) -- Baltimore (Maryland, USA)

WAKENED at hotel in New Jersey at three a.m. or so by wedding guests talking loudly for an hour next to the pool outside my door.

I set out at ten a.m. for Baltimore; Benté phones during the drive down the Turnpike -- Michael has managed to fix a phone line to work in the next flat. I say I will try to get cash to her on Monday or Tuesday to meet the huge Visa card bill that is due on the 23rd -- air ticket to New Zealand etc.

There is a horrendous traffic jam just after the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and it takes 45 minutes to move through five miles to the toll plaza. I comment on this to the post-menopausal woman in the booth, saying, "forty-five minutes to pay two bucks!"; she snarls "assh*le" at me, before I can move on, chastened. On the other side of I-95, I see another inexplicable jam of four lanes of traffic backed up for ten or fifteen miles, caused so far as I could see by a lone car broken down in the slow lane, with a man standing next to it importantly holding up everybody up! Welcome to Sunday, have a nice America.

Irving at Baltimore

Arrive in Baltimore at two p.m. Glenn, my host, a young lawyer, is there with his good looking young Serbian wife. They have two sons and a daughter. Their house is built in an English-style "sub-division" as they call it here, on a wooded hillside. How well people live here in the USA. What a paradise. She has prepared a very tasty buffet of delicacies, and I scoff some. Ten or fifteen guests turn up and I speak to them in his drawing room; it makes a very nice ambience, and I must do it again. My after dinner talk is now at its peak, I think, and I hold them for around 80 minutes. Book sales phenomenal. I persuade 14 year old daughter to take pictures, and they seem good.

I drive down to Washington DC, after phoning my host for the week, Ned, to alert him to my coming. The Beltway is clogged with roadworks at night (it is already 9:30 p.m., and it takes an hour to circumnavigate it).

Ned is a film buff, -- at once point he unreels from his memory the half-dozen lines from My Fair Lady about women being "... infuriating bags". I ask him about the precise Humphrey Bogart quote from Casablanca, about "of all the places. . .", as I use it in my talk, about how Nick Berg -- allegedly -- ran into that friend of Zacharia Moussaoui in a bus across the Oklahoma desert and let him use his laptop. He gives it to me off the top of his head -- he has it on video and DVD, he explains.


June 21, 2004 (Monday)
Washington DC

Up at 8 a.m. after a good, good sleep. I dream I have reached the opening of our Cincinnati conference and just realized I have invited no speakers. How to fudge round that! (Usual kind of performance-anxiety dream.) In fact we have some good names lined up already, including one expert who will deliver an appraisal of the controversial Willis Carto in the revisionist-history cause. Today will be a fixed-location day, catching up on rest and paperwork until the dinner function this evening. . . Under the door Ned has pushed a slip of paper. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine." Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) after Ilsa László (Ingrid Bergman) comes into Rick's in Casablanca.

I am now about 3,000 miles out from Chicago, according to the car's meter, and I am still only one third of the way round the circuit.

Long call from Benté to 9:28 a.m. The Visa account has come, it is nearly £4,000, as anticipated. Touch and go, but we should just make it. Then we are in the clear for months.

Whole afternoon in downtown Washington is taken up with finding a means of transferring money to London fast. I have $5,000 to send after the Canadian currency is converted. Western Union want a $215 fee but will transfer the cash only if it is collected as pounds in the UK at a criminal rate of exchange, roughly 2:1; I cancel the deal. Travelex much the same. Finally I stuff the cash into a FedEx envelope and hope it gets there safe on Wednesday. Use up all my cash, down to less than a hundred bucks. Off then to Pennsylvania Avenue, tonight's location. Nice set up, helpful staff, but a very surly Greek manager who becomes downright hostile as the evening wears on and tries to weasel P., the host, out of hundreds of dollars.

Irving in Washington DC

Restaurant hostess is a goodlooking Heather Liebermann, 21, very intelligent but sensitive; she is an "intern" (i.e., an unpaid gopher in the Capitol building across the street) during the day, and she becomes very antsy after somebody tells her I am anti-semitic, etc. I am resigned but indignant. Deborah Lipstadt and her gang have a lot to answer for.


June 22, 2004 (Tuesday)
Washington DC

UP at 8 a.m. Benté phones with details of the move. The Iraqi apartment owner is allowing us to instal our comfortable twelve-year old sofas in the new apartment she has leased and he will remove their tatty uncomfortable ones. More praise for Michael, father of one of Jessica's friends, who spoke Arabic to owner's workers. Says I should have paid the cash into a US bank yesterday and she would have written a cheque in London. True, I should have done that. Just too exhausted sometimes to think straight.

The morning starts with forty-eight messages on AOL already. Many of them are spam, including an irritating number of messages "forwarded" from Germans, evidently a new kind of spam. I write to P., who organised last night's big Washington DC dinner: "Thanks for all your help, Peter; it was a great evening. Do you have phone number or address for Anne R., whose credit card failed, we took down an invalid number."

Key West agent emails: "Thankyou for update as to your time of arrival and departure. That gives me ability to rent over 4th of July (remember, when England so graciously consented to grant us our freedom)."


THEN there is an unexpected email. It is from my London attorney, Paul Morrison, who reports that Deborah Lipstadt wants to throw in the towel. Her law firm Mishcon de Reya has written to plead that she now wishes to withdraw her cross-application -- she applied to the High Court in London in December for all my possessions to be handed over to her, under the "loser pays all" rule.

We have had several days in Court already hearing her frivolous claim, which in our view had little merit, as the Jewish press had boasted that all her costs had been paid by Stephen Spielberg, Edgar Bronfman and others, who were not parties to the libel action, i.e. they were "intermeddlers", as the English law so quaintly terms such people. Her friends are now in consequence about Six Million dollars out of pocket. ("Six Million?" they once spluttered. "A gross exaggeration.")

He asks if I have any objection to Ms Lipstadt being removed from the proceedings? No indeed, but the contentious issue is, as he says, whether Lipstadt should be liable for the gratuitous legal and other costs inflicted on me consequent upon her intervention. "How say you?"

I reply:

"Yes, we must ask for reasonable costs. By her intervention she has caused serious legal costs to be inflicted on me, and my financial circumstances should be evident to the Court. Up to that point as you know I was acting in person, but thereafter, after her application was made in December, I felt I had to engage Counsel and your goodself.

In addition, she has caused the hearing of my application against the Trustee [for the return of all my illegally seized possessions and archives] to be delayed by up to six months, with a consequent further injury to me by depriving me of the relief I sought in that application (return of archives and library and tools of trade) by even longer.

"We always regarded her intervention is frivolous. We should of course keep mum about how useful her application has been by virtue of obtaining sight of her and Trustee's consequent exhibits, including Trustee's correspondence with Mishcon de Reya. I assume that if they withdraw their statements, we can still rely on its exhibits. She has a literary income in England, and if we are granted a costs Order, we can garnishee that (Irving vs. Penguin Books Ltd: it has a familiar ring).

"I am currently in Washington, and shall not reach a fax machine until I get to Key West. Five thousand miles to drive of the circuit, via Chicago, between then and now. Needless to say this is a satisfactory outcome, and I congratulate you."

The legal battle against the government's Trustee will of course continue with added violence.

I would expect the Trustee now to settle my claim double quick; but will they agree to pay meaningful compensation without a Court battle? -- I doubt it.

I write that as an addendum to Paul, then add: "The Trustee believed that I was demanding compensation only to gain leverage; I was not."

All day doing paperwork. No packaging done, which may cause problems in the Florida tour; and not much cash in hand for mailing things out.

I doze from 5 to 6. Ned invites me to dinner. I scoff a 22-ounce steak, "My compliments to Mr Porterhouse," I tell the Bolivian waitress.


June 23, 2004 (Wednesday)
Washington DC

BENTE phones with a list of little moans. The US dollar is right down, at £516 for $1,000. That is absurd. George Bush's ignominious war in Iraq is destroying his country's economy, and the Americans don't see it, as they are living inside one Big Bubble. He is just printing dollars and devaluing as he goes along. War on the never-never. War by credit-card. That will make problems with the $5,000 which I sent her. Sofas, phone lines, DSL line, etc. The old 499 phone line -- which I have had for thirty-six years -- is now connected up in the new apartment, but nothing else.



Lipstadt's claim
Who killed Nick Berg?
 [Previous Radical's Diary]


© Focal Point 2004 F DISmall David Irving