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tree hugging liberal

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Pacts With The Devil: How Robertson Enriched Himself By Partnering With African Dictators

   Evangelical preacher Pat Robertson yesterday accused modern-day Haitians of bringing the recent, devastating earthquake upon themselves as a result of a "pact with the devil" their ancestors made in 1791 to obtain their freedom from the French. Robertson is, it appears, intimately familiar with pacts with the devil--or at least some devils in men's clothing, if his actions in Africa in the nineties are anything to go by.

An investigation of Pat Robertson, published by the Virginian-Pilot in 1999, shows that he operated a charitable organization, Operation Blessing, as a front for an investment in his African Development Company, of which Robertson was the sole stock holder and for which he serves as president. The ADC was heavily invested in forestry and diamond mines in the country now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo--which was then known as Zaire and ruled by the brutal dictator Mobutu Sésé Seko. Mobutu, who was known for his murder and public torture of political rivals before turning to bribery and embezzling more than $5 billion from his impoverished country's treasury, was apparently quite a good friend to Robertson, given that Robertson offered to intervene in the coup that toppled Mobuto's regime.

Robertson's Operation Blessing was founded and pitched to donors as a missionary project in Africa focused on survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Robertson asked for money to fund the purchase of airplanes to be sent to Zaire to ferry medical teams around to treat Rwandan refugees. Robertson did not reveal his ownership of the ADC, which has been registered in Bermuda in 1992 and was already invested in Mobutu's diamond mines, as well as other interests. The Virginian-Pilot reported:

    In August, 1996, the Operation Blessing ministry purchased three DeHaviland Caribou planes. The ministry retained ownership of two of the cargo transports, while a third was transferred to another Robertson corporation known as Africa Air. What happened next has prompted considerable speculation. A month after purchasing the airplanes, all three (painted with the Operation Blessing name) were flown to Zaire, and reportedly put up for sale. From September, 1994 until February, 1995, the three planes were allegedly then used mostly in in-country flights ferrying mining equipment and support materials used by African Development Corp. According to the chief pilot, only two flights were related to any humanitarian enterprise; they consisted of a medicine delivery, and retrieval of stranded missionaries.

As a result of Robertson's misleading statements about the intended purpose of the donations, the Virginia Department of Consumer Affairs called for an indictment of Robertson in 1999, but then-Attorney General Mark Earley refused to indict his largest campaign donor. In 2001, Early resigned from his post to pursue a heated and expensive gubernatorial campaign that he eventually lost to now-Senator Mark Warner. The ADC went out of business, shuttering before Mobutu was forced from office.
        Mobutu was not the only repressive, murderous dictator with which Robertson did business in the nineties. In 1999, with the ADC a failure, Robertson signed an agreement with repressive Liberian dictator Charles Taylor to invest in that country's gold mines and share the profits--personally--with Taylor. Robertson's company, Freedom Gold, was registered in the Cayman Islands--another tax haven--and was paying Taylor money even as the UN slapped sanctions on Taylor for his work to encourage the "blood" part of "blood diamonds" in neighboring Sierra Leone. Robertson used his television show to attack George W. Bush for calling on Taylor to step down, and then preposterously claimed that Freedom Gold was a missionary evangelical group.

Taylor has been on trial since 2007 at the Hague for war crimes that he committed as President with the help of money Taylor and his cronies obtained from Freedom Gold for mining rights. The charges against him include the use of child soldiers, government-directed rapes, murders, mutilations, beatings and lootings and torture.

    The specific counts against Mr. Taylor are:

        * Five counts of war crimes: terrorizing civilians, murder, outrages on personal dignity, cruel treatment, and looting;
        * Five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, sexual slavery, mutilating and beating, and enslavement; and
        * One count of other serious violations of international humanitarian law: recruiting and using child soldiers.

It seems as though, if Robertson's God was truly into righteous vengeance, He wouldn't have to send an earthquake to Haiti, terrorists to the World Trade Center or a hurricane to New Orleans. He could just send a lightning bolt to where ever Robertson was peddling his hate right now--or a plague of rats to ABC Headquarters, which currently airs Robertson's "The 700 Club."

"The road is long and full of difficulties. At times we wander from the path and must turn back; at other times we go too fast and separate ourselves from the masses; on occasions we go too slow and feel the hot breath of those treading on our heels."  Che


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Thanks for sharing, but I'm not surprised that Robertson is a charlatan.
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love, you make"
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