Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The bloody-minded endorses the torturer

Televangelist and extreme Christian religious nut-ball, Pat Robertson, (Let's face it. His real name is Marion), endorsed Rudy Giuliani in his bid for the Republican nomination for President today.
Televangelist Pat Robertson today endorsed Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, saying the former New York mayor's promises to appoint conservative judges and protect Americans "from the blood lust of Islamic terrorists" should trump conservatives' concerns about Giuliani's support of abortion rights.
Un huh. That's wonderful. Before you go running off with your hair on fire, however, there's more. You might even call it good news.
Robertson's endorsement came one day after another prominent social conservative, Paul Weyrich, endorsed Giuliani rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a social conservative who ended his own GOP presidential bid earlier this fall, today endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Looks to me like they're all split. And why do I get a niggling feeling there is the promise of money somewhere in this deal between Giuliani and Robertson? Neither one of them is beyond a little corruption and Robertson doesn't do anything for free.

Lest it's slipped your mind, Robertson was once espousing the holy virtues of Liberia's Charles Taylor. Taylor, in the meantime was responsible for a bloody civil war in that country while he siphoned off vast quantities of Liberia's wealth for his own use. In 1999 Robertson signed an agreement with Taylor giving Robertson's Freedom Gold Limited, (A Caymans registered company), a big fat gold mining concession. In return, Taylor got even richer. All the while Taylor was laying waste to Liberia, turning it into a nightmare of murder, rape and factional warfare. Years after his departure his legacy is a population of mutilated and mauled women, and an entire generation of child-soldiers requiring deprogramming.

While Taylor was perpetrating this holocaust on Liberia, Robertson was putting his arm around Taylor's shoulder. They were buddies.

A few years later, after Taylor was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Robertson was his biggest defender, chastising the US government for demanding Taylor step down and turn himself over to authorities. He didn't mention his $8 million investment in his Liberian gold mine at the time.

That's just one of Roberston's dirty little deals with one of the worst people on earth. He had earlier capitalized on another disaster in Africa which should have seen him prosecuted for fraud and breach of trust.
Far from the media's gaze, Robertson has used the tax-exempt, nonprofit Operation Blessing as a front for his shadowy financial schemes, while exerting his influence within the GOP to cover his tracks. In 1994 he made an emotional plea on The 700 Club for cash donations to Operation Blessing to support airlifts of refugees from the Rwandan civil war to Zaire (now Congo). Reporter Bill Sizemore of The Virginian Pilot later discovered that Operation Blessing's planes were transporting diamond-mining equipment for the African Development Corporation, a Robertson-owned venture initiated with the cooperation of Zaire's then-dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.
That attracted the attention of the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs.
After a lengthy investigation, Virginia's Office of Consumer Affairs determined that Robertson "willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements and other implications." Yet when the office called for legal action against Robertson in 1999, Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, a Republican, intervened with his own report, agreeing that Robertson had made deceptive appeals but overruling the recommendation for his prosecution. Two years earlier, while Virginia's investigation was gathering steam, Robertson donated $35,000 to Earley's campaign--Earley's largest contribution.
Those are just the prominent events. There is a litany of episodes marking Robertson as a crook, a liar and an unrepentant con-man.

So, Rudy, go ahead. Accept the endorsement of Marion Gordon Robertson. We already know you endorse torture. And by accepting Robertson's public endorsement, we can safely assume you're as dirty as all others he's promoted through his "Christian ministry".

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