September 02, 2005

FEMA Pushing Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing

Pat Robertson, recently infamous again for suggesting that the US government assassinate the elected president of Venezuela, is having his Operation Blessing organization pushed as a target for donations by FEMA. Even CNN, whose coverage has had me riveted for hours, is advertising this organization as though it were a legitimate and trustworthy charity.

Has everyone forgotten that funds sent to Operation Blessing for aid to victims of the Rwandan genocide were diverted to diamond mining? Oh yes. The Operation Blessing planes mainly ended up carting mining equipment for a Robertson owned diamond mining concern, with only one planeload of medical supplies making it to the refugees. I can only wonder where the charitable donations intended for Katrina's victims will end up.

I say again, we're turning into a third world country and the stench of cronyism is appalling.

Posted by natasha at September 2, 2005 04:27 AM | US News | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |
Comments

Interesting question, Natasha. However, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also circulated a mass e-mail to its mailing list just four hours ago urging people to make cash donations to Operation Blessing.

Maybe Operation Blessing isn't such a bad organization. Or maybe some rich Democrats happen to be diamond mining partners with Pat Robertson in Rwanda?

Posted by: Richard Pope at September 2, 2005 04:21 PM

Everyone is circulating the FEMA press release, the same one that's gone out to all the state governments. All the news organizations are using it.

The problem is with the federal endorsement of this organization. There are a lot of respectable charitable organizations this aid could be encouraged to go to, but instead it's being sent to an organization run by an old friend of the Republican establishment who's engaged in shady dealings and never been called properly to account for it. Was it really necessary to pick this occasion, this organization? It hasn't been a week since Robertson was calling for Hugo Chavez' head on a platter.

Robertson has proved himself worthy of distrust and an embarassment to this country. What the hell was FEMA thinking?

Posted by: natasha at September 2, 2005 07:03 PM

Well, I realized that the DCCC had relied on the FEMA press release AFTER I posted the above comment. I decided to investigate further why the DCCC might have done that, and found the FEMA press release on their website.

Your posted link will lead to the FEMA press release, but it takes three clicks to get there, plus a fourth click to get to the list of organizations. This, of course, is the direct URL link to the FEMA listing:

http://www.fema.gov/press/2005/katrinadonations.shtm

Posted by: Richard Pope at September 2, 2005 09:50 PM

That link bounces you to http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/ and the Bush-Clinton Katrina fund. Seems ol' Pat ain't as pop'lar with them folks in Washington right at the moment.

Posted by: Ian McGarrett at September 7, 2005 03:17 PM