the bush administration helps pat robertson line his pockets

A few days ago, I posted something about how FEMA, while they couldn’t apparently get their shit together to get into New Orleans and start saving people’s lives, had found the resources to add a link from their website to Pat Robertson’s non-profit organization, Operation Blessing, suggesting that people give donations… Well, Max Blumenthal has something on the web today about Operation Blessing and its tainted past. Here’s an extended clip from the article, entitled “Pat Robertson’s Katrina Cash”:

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.

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. With Earley’s report came a sense of vindication. “From the very beginning,” Robertson claimed, “we were trying to provide help and assistance to those who were facing disease and death in the war-torn, chaotic nation of Zaire.”

(Earley is now president of Prison Fellowship Ministries, an evangelical social-work organization founded by born-again, former Nixon dirty-trickster Charles Colson. PFM has accepted White House faith-based-initiative money and is currently engaged in hurricane relief efforts in Louisiana. Earley remains a close ally of Robertson.)

If you have the time, read the whole article… or at least up until the part where Blumenthal connects Robertson and al Queda… It’s amazing stuff.

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One Comment

  1. Shanster
    Posted September 9, 2005 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Robertson now looks like the slimiest of all the televangelists. Regarding FEMAs link, I now totally agree that they should not have linked to his site.

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