Friday, March 23, 2007

Times admits Fred Vreeland loves dirhams more than accuracy

I only mentioned it in a link, but former ambassador to Morocco Frederick Vreeland's article in The New York Times (free registration required) caused quite a stir. Read it yourself, but the gist is Ambassador Vreeland is fond of the autonomy plan. Now the Times is admitting Ambassador Vreeland has financial interests with the Moroccan government.

A Times correction (caught by Sahara-Watch, natch) Thursday admitted that Vreeland has more than regional peace at mind when he writes for Morocco:
Editors' Note : An Op-Ed article on March 3, about Morocco’s proposal for an autonomous Western Sahara, should have more fully disclosed the background of the author, Frederick Vreeland. Mr. Vreeland, a former American ambassador to Morocco, is also the chairman of a solar-energy company that has had contracts with the Moroccan government.
A quick Google search revealed that Ambassador Vreeland owns at least 10% of Noor Web, a corporation that sets up solar panels to electrify rural Morocco. A noble goal, certainly, and not one an Al Gore disciple like myself can dispute. It is ridiculous, though, that a qualifier didn't run next to Vreeland's article.

I'm looking into NoorWeb, but I can't read documents in Arabic or French. If anyone can find proof NoorWeb gets special treatment from the Moroccan government--like, say, no-bid contracts--that'd be a great story.


  1. Anonymous2:04 AM

    There are no such thing as a no-bid contract in Morocco. This is not Texas.

  2. Ha, you know from whence I came. Texas is silly like that.

    Still, I'm sure cronyism extends beyond the Rio Grande.