Wednesday, July 09, 2003

The story of Pat and Charlie

O'Reilly just went after Jesse Jackson for having some sort of relationship with Liberia's Charles Taylor, even though Jackson has admitted that he was duped into believing that Taylor was a good guy. O'Reilly has big problems with Jackson, but why won't he speak out against Pat Robertson, who wrote the following after taken to task by the Washington Post:

I personally have never visited Liberia. I have never met President Charles Taylor. I have absolutely no knowledge of the activities in Liberia during the bitter civil war which toppled the ruthless dictator, Master Sergeant Doe. I have no first-hand knowledge of the revolutionary activity in Sierra Leone.

All I do know is that for the past three years, Freedom Gold has hired 130 Liberians, has placed in country as its chief geologist Dr. Alexei Sokolov, a member of the Soviet Academy of Science, and Joseph Mathews, a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology. We are in touch with citizens, government officials, many Christian pastors, and others inside and outside the country. During that time, Freedom Gold has assisted the people of Liberia to gain a better life. It has found freedom of religion, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, and what appears to be a judiciary dedicated to the rule of law.

It is clear that the Clinton State Department urged upon the United Nations sanctions against Liberia which will only serve to deepen the poverty and misery of the people. The Washington Post has now joined in the fray of those who wish to topple the duly-elected government of the nation.

Here's what a wonderful place Robertson's Liberia is:

Hundreds of women fleeing bitter civil warfare in northern Liberia live in dismal conditions in refugee camps after enduring rape and other brutalities at the hands of parties to the conflict.

An AFP journalist recently visited the government-held frontline town of Voinjama, the provincial capital of the troubled Lofa County, and scattered refugee camps where thousands of victims of the war were being sheltered.

The people at the camps looked malnourished and sported tattered clothes. In all, six camps house a total of about 30,000 internally displaced people.

According to a local Christian charity running the camps, at least 300 of the refugee women living there have been raped.

And he loves the Congo too:

Through an emotional fundraising drive on his TV station, Robertson raised several million dollars for the tax-free charitable trust. Operation Blessing bought planes to shuttle medical supplies in and out of the refugee camp in Goma, Congo (then Zaire).

But investigative reporter Bill Sizemore of the Virginian Pilot discovered that over a six-month period - except for one medical flight - the planes were used to haul equipment for something called African Development Corporation, a diamond mining operation a long way from Goma. African Development is owned by Pat Robertson.

Did Robertson know about the diversion of the relief planes? According to pilots' records, he actually flew on one plane ferrying equipment to his mines.

One of Robertson's former business partners recalled that, although he often travelled in the minister's jet, he never saw Robertson crack open a Bible. 'Everywhere we were flying he had the Wall Street Journal and Investors' Daily.'

Oh. And this...:

Pat Robertson has a long history of cozying up to Third World dictators. This tendency first earned a lot of attention in the mid-90s, when his dealings with the bloody kleptocrat Mobutu of Zaire [now Congo] became known.

Robertson, loyal to a friend, criticized the State Department on the “700 Club” for refusing to allow Mobutu into the country. What the dictator would be doing here is unknown; being detained for an international tribunal might have been a good idea. Robertson also lobbied Congress to modify sanctions against the Mobutu regime, as if we were somehow being unfair to one of the worst rulers in African history.


When it appeared that the beleaguered (and terminal) Mobutu was losing a protracted struggle with rebels, Robertson tried to get in good with rebel leader Laurent Kabila, a former Maoist whose faction was known to kidnap Americans. Kabila, however, would not be enticed by someone who had been cozy with his enemy.

Apparently, Kabila's standards were too high for him to accept Pat Robertson.

I can't judge his heart -- the Bible says so. I guess Robertson just has a different Jesus than I do.


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