A lazy, ridiculous slur

by Joshua Foust on 2/11/2013 · 10 comments

Washington Free Beacon writer Adam Kredo thinks I’m somehow connected to Chuck Hagel and Chevron and Kazakhstan and… oh well, just read it.

When Kazakhstan’s riot police slaughtered dozens of striking oil field workers last year, Atlantic Council affiliate Joshua Foust rushed to discredit the reports.

Foust, a member of the Atlantic Council’s Young Atlanticist Working Group, attacked critics of the government-backed crackdown, claiming they were relying on a “completely invented body count” to “politicize” the incident.

In the lede graf he refers to, but doesn’t link, a blog post I wrote a year ago about the riots in Zhanaozen, where I said the claims that 70 protesters were gunned down was almost certainly exaggerated. Instead of linking to what I wrote, he chose instead to link to a piece of libel written by a date-raping middle aged meth addict that only comes up through determined Googling of my name — and not on the first page of the search, either.

Anyway, responding to everything in that piece, which amounts to the worst sort of guilt by association, is pointless: Kredo doesn’t care about any fact, just the straws he is grasping at to undo Chuck Hagel’s nomination. Because if he did care about facts, he would have mentioned that Hagel was also on the board of directors of the job I held at the time I wrote about Zhanaozen.

And most importantly, if Adam Kredo actually cared about facts he would have mentioned that I was right about Zhanaozen, and the claim that 70 people were killed actually was exaggerated: according to the best numbers available, the Kazakh police killed fifteen.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Dave S. February 12, 2013 at 11:35 am

Agreed on the WFB grasping at straws re the Hagel nomination. That being said…

1) What is inaccurate about the first two paragraphs of the WFB piece? (The content of the linked Ames piece is irrelevant to this question.)

2) a piece of libel written by a date-raping middle aged meth addict

Better hold off on complaining about ad hominem attacks for a while. (Meanwhile Ames responds “Who’s middle aged?!”)

that only comes up through determined Googling of my name — and not on the first page of the search, either.

I did not type “joshua foust” nor hit Enter with particular determination, but you are correct that the fourteenth result for those search criteria (the article in question) doesn’t appear until the second page of search results.

3) From that last link I only see a reference to “official figures” placing the death toll at 15. Based on my limited experience I would hesitate to equate “best numbers” with “official figures” but maybe that’s just me.

Joshua Foust February 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm


Kredo presents what I wrote misleadingly, and implies I was wrong to say that body counts were exaggerated. I don’t care what Ames says about anything: I don’t read it and I block his minions who try to harass me. But my description of him is accurate, according to his own bragging.

As for the total tally of dead, it’s true those are official numbers… but they come sourced from HRW’s best efforts to investigate and consistent reporting from Eurasianet, neither of which are likely to simply accept as fact Astana’s self-reporting. They say plainly they assume there are more dead, but they cannot confirm them (and I’ve written elsewhere on this blog that there were probably more dead than the initial count of 15).

The point is: Kredo did not present any of that honestly. Like, at all.

Michael Hancock-Parmer February 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I doubt anyone will take Adam Kredo seriously regarding Kazakhstan or other countries he only writes that which he can Google/Wikipedia-out before press time. Your reputation as a Chevron shill, Josh, is as safe as my own.

Peter Rankin February 15, 2013 at 3:17 am

Re: “piece of libel written by a date-raping middle aged meth addict”

I get this guy as being responsible for the last three hits on the first page of a Joshua Foust Google search. Just interested – do these searches vary depending on location?

Myles February 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

I get his posts as #7 and #8. That is weird.

Nathan Hamm February 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Google personalizes search results based on a whole lot of variables. In 2009, they were using 57 variables. They probably use more now.

Peter Rankin February 19, 2013 at 2:09 am

Thanks Nathan. Have you got a link for that info? I’d be interested to find out more. I Googled “Google’s 57 personalized search variables” and only got this rubbish:


Nathan Hamm February 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

There’s a lot out there, including some stuff from this last summer about how to turn off personalization. I don’t follow this stuff too closely or entirely understand how it works, but it sounds like it’s based on much more than just your own personal search history such as your physical location, computer, and browser.


Myles February 19, 2013 at 7:32 am

I get the same results – including Exiled at #7 and #8 – whether I’m on my normal browser or a clean one with no cookies or web history.

Nathan Hamm February 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

It’s hard to say what the “pure” results are anymore with pagerank and personalization being so opaque. It could be based in part on your location, computer, and browser.

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