The PEN American Center in New York appears to be a protected organization. I base this on how swiftly my blog about them was shut down.
Why is this? What's going on?
Looking at their stated causes, their targets like China and Iran, one can speculate that the organization is an extension of neo-con foreign policy. PEN has no hesitation in becoming an instrument of foreign policy. An example of this is the recent award to an Iranian-born author whose wealthy family fled the country during the Iranian revolution. Is a signal being sent with this award? Possibly. This at a time when certain ideologues have presented a case for bombing or invading Iran.
WE CAN HYPOTHESIZE that someone is using PEN in this way. I have no evidence to support this. None. I'm speculating.
But think of it. A literary organization with a spotlessly liberal veneer, supported by major literary names, whose stated purpose and indeed actions are right and just. There ARE writers abused in countries not under the American umbrella. What a tool such an organization could make. What an ideal "cutting edge"; cultural and ideological missionaries for the soldiers and conglomerate salesmen to follow.
I don't know if this is the case. Nobody does. With the literary world we seem to be forever in the dark.
We DO know that American literary journals and organizations were used this way in the past. The Paris Review/CIA revelation was one example. It's because of the PRESENT situation that we need the full truth from the Paris Review about CIA involvement in their founding; how far and long it extended. We've received to this question: silence.
We'll never comprehend the present if we're not allowed to understand the past.