Human Events’ Obama-Biden/Ayers "Plumbers" Story Is Myth

John Batchelor posted a story today about an alleged “Plumbers Unit” on the website of Human Events, which relied heavily on alleged comments I made to Batchelor and my blog posts.  The quotes were false and the statements made by Batchelor fanciful. 

I called their editor, Jed Babbin, today to point out the problems with the story. 

Believe it or not, he wanted to know if the ACLU (I kid you not!) had pressured me into responding. I explained that that was not the case, rather the story was inaccurate and relied on made up quotes from me. He offered me the opportunity to respond and I forwarded the response below.
I would only add to this response that I have not “developed” a “fact” as Batchelor puts it that there is a Plumbers Unit in the Obama/Biden campaign. I have no such knowledge.  Strangely in the first part of the story Batchelor refers to the existence of the Plumbers as a “fact” but later says Diamond only has suspicions.  
Well even that is an overstatement of my views, if I had ever provided Human Events with my views.  While I do theorize on occasion about events in the campaign, I try to rely only on reliably documented and publicly available sources for the posts on Global Labor. I am not an investigative reporter, but an academic with an interest in how authoritarian politics are affecting our democratic society with a particular interest in labor. 
Most of my work has been focused of late on the Obama campaign because of the apparent influence of people like Bill Ayers but perhaps it is time to consider how conspiracy and fantasy are driving the Republicans.


Dear Mr. Babbin:

The story in Human Events that relies on alleged quotes from me is wrong.

I have no knowledge of any “plumbers unit” inside the Obama campaign.

I was not interviewed by Human Events for this story. In fact, I explicitly declined an interview with the author, John Batchelor, when asked, in writing.

I did tell Mr. Batchelor that he was free, as is anyone else, to quote directly from the blog. However, the article does not do that, instead it makes up quotes that do not appear on the blog and that I did not say.

My blog Global Labor has a well established track record for relying on what I know to be true and providing the documentation for what I write there, only occasionally speculating on what the known facts add up to. I did make tongue in cheek references to plumbers-like activity (which I have now removed) but based on what I know I cannot even theorize the existence of a “plumbers unit” – a reference to a group hired by the Nixon campaign to engage in break ins and other shenanigans – inside the Obama campaign.

All I know, and as far as I know all anyone in the public arena knows, is that

  1. Ken Rolling, the former Executive Director of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge called the University of Illinois at Chicago on August 11 in response to what Rolling says were reports on the web about records of the CAC. 
  2. He told the University that they could not release the records they held of the Challenge, which were donated to the University for public access and research in 2002. 
  3. The University initially complied with his request and two weeks later concluded that Mr. Rolling was wrong and that the records could be once again opened to the public. 
  4. Stanley Kurtz of the National Review called the University that same day, August 11, and was told that he could have access to the CAC records 
  5. The next day, August 12, Dr. Kurtz was told that, in fact, the records were closed. 
  6. Separately, earlier in the summer I asked the Annenberg Institute at Brown University for copies of certain CAC records which they readily provided. 
  7. After I posted a blog on what those records contained I followed up my request for some additional information. 
  8. Brown never replied to those requests.

If Human Events or John Batchelor wants to spin those facts into an allegation that there is, in fact, a real Plumbers Unit inside the Obama campaign they are, of course, free to do so. They cannot, however, rely on me to do so.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.


Stephen Diamond, JD, PhD
Associate Professor of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law