Recently, someone using the name ‘Trat Urug’ has been making comments on Craig Murray’s website.
The IP address used to make all of these comments (some 5 days apart) was 22.214.171.124
In one exchange (where I asked ‘Trat Urug’ if they wished to declare an interest) it was claimed by another commenter, who no doubt recognised the incoherent writing style, that ‘Trat Urug’ was in fact Arsenal Muse, the lone blogger who has taken it upon himself to defend Alisher Usmanov and/or attack Craig Murray. Mostly the latter. While claiming to be an oasis of balance.
It seemed to me that the fairest thing to do would be to ask Arsenal Muse about it. So I did.
Both the email I sent (to the primary contact address provided at the Arsenal Muse website) and the reply I received appear below in full:
—– Original Message —-
From: Tim Ireland
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 1:30:16 PM
Subject: comments on Craig Murray’s website
Are you the same person who has been commenting under the name ‘Trat Urug’ on Craig Murray’s website?
—– Original Message —–
From: Arsenal Muse [email@example.com]
To: Tim Ireland
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 11:20 PM
Subject: Re: comments on Craig Murray’s website
No. Is he another of his suck ups?
Note that in his reply, Arsenal Muse not only denies making the comments, but also appears to deny all knowledge of them… which in itself stretches things a bit, given how focused his attention has been on Murray recently.
Sadly for him, the IP address used to send this denial was exactly the same as the one used by ‘Trat Urug’ to leave those comments… 126.96.36.199
Received: from [188.8.131.52] by web56803.mail.re3.yahoo.com via HTTP; Mon, 15 Oct 2007 15:20:39 PDT
Conclusion: Either something quite unique and magical is happening in the world of NTL, or Arsenal Muse is a sock-puppeting loser and an outright liar.
I’m betting on the latter for reasons I’ll spell out if Arsenal Muse cares or dares to deny it.
Over to you, Arsenal Muse.
UPDATE (3:30pm) – Arsenal Muse has just been in touch via email (see comments) and has also published a response on his website. Here he expands on his claim that any attempt to ensure that a debate is conducted in a fair and open fashion is an attack on free speech:
It seems to me, you can have freedom of speech on the internet but as long as you side with the majority of internet users and bloggers and if you don’t, then you enter a form of cyber guerrila warfare… So if we fire all our ammunition at one man, be it Usmanov, be it Arsenal Muse, you’re being just as hypocritical as those individuals lashing out human rights abuses around the world… We’re talking about the type of behaviour where you take advantage of the power you have, the connections you have to bring down another. A bit like being a blogger and bringing down another blogger and posting sensitive information about that as well. – Arsenal Muse
Sensitive information? My arse.
Free speech denied? Spare me.
A lone voice of balance tragically silenced in a manner that’s worth evoking “human rights abuses around the world”? Pass me a sick-bucket; this one’s full.
Arsenal Muse has not been chased from the field with unsportsmanlike tactics; he thinks that he has no choice but to retire from the field because he cheated and got caught.
He also thinks that he can somehow move on to a new field of play with no consequences if he pretends otherwise.
On both counts he’s spectacularly wrong.
Nothing is stopping Arsenal Muse from speaking his mind on his own weblog and elsewhere on the web. (Craig may choose to ban Arsenal Muse from his weblog for this abuse of the comments system, but that’s not my call.)
The only voice silenced in this exchange was that of the alternative personality Arsenal Muse used. The only thing crippled by this revelation is Arsenal Muse’s ability to do the same in the future, and his credibility when he denies it.
Of course, the reputation of his primary personality Arsenal Muse has also taken a hit, but it’s his own damn fault for cheating and he should be aware that it is only likely to be a career-ending injury if he continues to use a combination of bluster and bullshit to avoid the central issue (i.e. that he cheated and got caught).
After all, people might then get the idea that he always uses a combination of bluster and bullshit to avoid the central issue.