Saturday, September 10, 2005

FEMA Promotes Pat Robertson Charity

Interesting. Wonder what our Thornblogging friends think of this, especially the following:

"MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, with respect to the case that Juan was talking about, which was in 1994 when Robertson bilked Operation Blessing donors out of money to ferry mining equipment into Zaire, which was a direct partnership with Mobutu Sese Seko, he was actually -- this scheme was actually exposed by a reporter from a small paper in Virginia, and Virginia’s Office of Consumer Affairs initiated an investigation and determined that Robertson “willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements and other implications.” That's a direct quote.

So, they determined that he bilked his donors, and the Attorney General at the time, a guy named Mark Earley, agreed, but he overruled the Office of Consumer Affair's recommendation for Robertson's criminal prosecution. This might have put Robertson in jail and ended the whole -- ended his entire ministry. So, who is Mark Earley? Mark Earley, during his campaign for Attorney General, was essentially bought off by Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson donated $35,000 to his campaign. That was his largest contribution. Now, today Mark Earley is the head of Prison Fellowship Ministries. He was appointed by former Richard Nixon dirty trickster, Chuck Colson, and Prison Fellowship Ministries is very similar to Operation Blessing. They're a faith-based social work group that has accepted White House Office of Faith-Based Initiative money to do social work, and they're actually supposedly doing some relief work in Louisiana.

So, I think this reflects, you know, sort of the, you know, the larger hustle going on, which is, you know, being propagated by the White House. In 2001, Joe Allbaugh, who is a former member of Bush's Iron Triangle, you know, with Karen Hughes and Karl Rove, his Texas team, was appointed head of FEMA and he said -- you know, he said before Congress that FEMA was a giant bureaucratic entitlement program and that it should basically be whittled down, and its work should be delegated to faith-based organizations. So we are seeing that being implemented through his successor, Mike Brown, who is his former college roommate and was appointed FEMA head solely because he was Joe Allbaugh's former college roommate.

So we're seeing groups like -- I mean there are only two secular groups on FEMA's list, and currently, I think there's scores of secular groups doing relief work. Pat Robertson's group, Operation Blessing, is not doing relief work in Louisiana. They -- you know, I turned on the 700 Club, which is Pat Robertson's daily TV show where he called for Hugo Chavez's assassination, to get a sense of the kind of work they were doing, and what I saw were profiles of white evangelicals who had suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. And undoubtedly, a lot of white evangelicals in the Gulf Coast of Mississippi have suffered, but when it came to covering the plight of people in New Orleans who are largely poor and largely black, I have never -- I haven't witnessed any coverage of this disaster that's so racist as I saw on the 700 Club.

On the September 5th edition of the 700 Club, there was a report from a guy named Gary Lane, a CBN [Christian Broadcasting Network] correspondent from outside the New Orleans Convention Center, which is where, you know, thousands of, you know, impoverished disaster victims were held without food and water for some days in some cases. And Lane declared a number of possessions left behind suggests the mindset of some of the evacuees. They include this voodoo cup with the saying, “May the curse be with you,” and then a picture of a voodoo cup from like a souvenir shop in New Orleans came on the screen. Then he -- you know, he started showing piles of music CDs. It reminded me of, you know, when the U.S. invaded Panama and opened up Manuel Noriega's desk and found, you know, porno magazines. It was almost like a psy-ops operation to discredit the evacuees as people not worthy of aid.

And the 700 Club also featured a reverend named Wellington Boone, who’s a far right wing black minister, who seemed like he was invited to provide a counterpoint to Jesse Jackson, who had been all over the news. And Boone declared in an interview on CBN's website, separate from his 700 Club appearance, that these people who have gone through slavery, segregation and the Voting Rights Act are doing this to themselves. So what I saw in Pat Robertson's operation was an intentional attempt to demonize the people who had been victimized by Hurricane Katrina and by the response of the government, in order to justify whatever his operation was doing on the ground, which seemed to be directed at helping only a certain subset of the hurricane victims which were in his ministry's network, as it were. And when I say network, I mean within the network of the churches who he is distributing cash grants to."

Interesting.

3 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

More on Colson's group: Their "Statement of Faith":

"Statement of Faith

We believe in one God, Creator and Lord of the Universe, the co-eternal Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe that Jesus Christ, God's Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary atoning death on the cross, rose bodily from the dead and ascended to heaven where, as truly God and truly man, He is the only mediator between God and man.

We believe that the Bible is God's authoritative and inspired Word. It is without error in all its teachings, including creation, history, its own origins, and salvation. Christians must submit to its divine authority, both individually and corporately, in all matters of belief and conduct, which is demonstrated by true righteous living.

We believe that all people are lost sinners and cannot see the Kingdom of God except through the new birth. Justification is by grace through faith in Christ alone.

We believe in one holy, universal, and apostolic Church. Its calling is to worship God and witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the Gospel among all nations and demonstrating its commitment by compassionate service to the needs of human beings and promoting righteousness and justice.

We believe in the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit for the individual's new birth and growth to maturity, and for the Church's constant renewal in truth, wisdom, faith, holiness, love, power, and mission.

We believe that Jesus Christ will personally and visibly return in glory to raise the dead and bring salvation and judgment to completion. God will fully manifest His kingdom when He establishes a new heaven and new earth, in which He will be glorified forever and exclude all evil, suffering, and death."

Saturday, September 10, 2005 5:37:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

What do you expect from a traitor and convicted felon?

Saturday, September 10, 2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The presidency?

Sunday, September 11, 2005 9:58:00 AM  

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