Robertson called for assassination of Venezuela's president

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Postby sparkinthedark » Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:29 am

I emailed them my disgust and they gave me God's blessing. I feel dirty. I don't want their blessing. <p></p><i></i>
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its curious too

Postby wintler » Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:56 am

Cos the US has been trying to oust or kill Chavez for years, e.g. their instant support for coup of 2002 and providing sanctuary to its plotters when it failed.<br><br>Is Robertson putting the word out BECAUSE the intel agencies have so obviously failed, and they want someone, ANYONE, to do it for them?<br><br>I wonder if theres 'triggers' in Robertsons speech, intended to set off distant/AWOL programmed killers? <p></p><i></i>
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Words like this

Postby snowlion2 » Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:52 am

would seem t be the sort of thing that might put a fellas FCC licence in jeapordy...along with all the affiliate stations that broadcast a cry for the assassination of the leader of a sovreign country. Seems to be a tad more serious than the infamous "7 words you can't say on tv" dontcha think? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: South America

Postby chiggerbit » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:29 pm

While attention is focused on the Middle East, dynamics boil in South America. This comes as email to me, but I think it can be accessed at their site:<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><br>BUSH BRINGS THE FALSE INTELLIGENCE GAME TO SOUTH AMERICA<br> <br><br> <br><br>On Tuesday the Rev. Pat Robertson called for the US government to suspend the Fifth Commandment and assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. While the Bush White House quickly distanced itself from the suggestion, the fact is that Robertson’s outburst builds on months of White House tale-spinning and conspiracy theories about South American politics.<br><br> <br><br>From its highest levels the Bush administration has been trying to convince anyone who will listen that Chavez and Fidel Castro are trying to launch a Marxist rebellion right here in Bolivia. <br><br> <br><br>After four years of largely ignoring Latin American politics the Bush administration wants back in the game and it is using the same card that it used to get us into Iraq, false intelligence.<br><br> <br><br>EVOLUTION OF A WHITE HOUSE TALE<br> <br><br>Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice started off the administration’s new tale of concern in February. In testimony before the Senate, commenting on the political rise of Bolivian socialist party leader Evo Morales, she announced, “We are very worried.” Since then, the White House’s rhetoric about the threat in Bolivia has continued to escalate, in ways reminiscent to the rhetorical run up to the invasion of Iraq. <br><br> <br><br>In July, a senior pentagon official speaking off the record told the Associated Press that the recent citizen uprisings in Bolivia were the result of a joint effort by Chavez and Castro, “to steer this revolution toward a Marxist-socialist populist state.” Chavez was providing the cash, he explained, and Castro the direction and organization.<br><br> <br><br>Last week, on a five-country tour of South America, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took up the administration’s warnings again. He told reporters, "There is certainly evidence both Cuba and Venezuela have been involved in the situation in Bolivia in unhelpful ways." Yet, when asked, Rumsfeld could offer neither examples nor evidence to support his claim. <br><br> <br><br>On Rumsfeld’s plane, one of his senior aides, again speaking off the record, laid out the full scope of the White House’s imagined Chavez/Castro Bolivian conspiracy. "The Cubans are back with a big game," a senior Pentagon official told the French news agency, AFP. The official charged that Cuba had, “reactivated its underground networks throughout the region, particularly in Bolivia,” and warned that these Cubans were, “providing political guidance, stimulating street violence and attempting to discredit the country's democratic institutions.”<br><br> <br><br>So now, in place of weapons of mass destruction, we have a hidden army of underground Cuban operatives fomenting violent rebellion right here in Cochabamba. I haven’t spotted any yet.<br><br> <br><br>FOREIGN INTERFERENCE, YES, BUT FROM WHERE?<br> <br><br>No US official has ever presented any actual evidence about all this foreign interference in Bolivia, despite repeated requests to do so from the press. But as we sadly know, in the Bush White House actual evidence is not required before the US acts. Hunches and accusations will do just fine. As Rumsfeld himself argued in the debate over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, “Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist." <br><br> <br><br>Some in the US press, unfortunately, are also up to their old game of swallowing the evidence-free bait. Yesterday a CNN report repeated the Bush tale – hook, line and sinker: “[Chavez] is spending Venezuela’s vast oil wealth to support other leftist leaders in the hemisphere, like in Bolivia, undermining US efforts to spread democracy.”<br><br> <br><br>That said, I believe that the White House is right on the mark about two things. First, there is indeed a populist revolt underway in Bolivia and, second, that revolt is very much a product of foreign interference. The problem with the Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld picture is that the real inspiration to rebel comes not from Havana or Caracas, but from Washington.<br><br> <br><br>Five times in five years Bolivia has been the scene of a major citizen rebellion revolving around policies that were sent here from Washington: <br><br> <br><br>In April 2000 the citizens of Cochabamba rebelled against a water privatization coerced on them by the World Bank (the Bank's chief is appointed by the White House). The deal handed the city's public water system over to the US engineering giant, Bechtel, which promptly raised water rates far beyond the reach of the city's poor. That is the same Bechtel to which Bush later handed a no-bid mega-contract to rebuild Iraq.<br> <br>In February 2003 thirty-four Bolivians lost their lives during public protests against an economic belt tightening package imposed on Bolivia by the Washington-based International Monetary Fund. The US is the only single nation in the world which holds a veto over major IMF policies.<br> <br><br>In October 2003 more than fifty Bolivians were killed during protests against a proposed gas export deal to California, a deal backed by the US Embassy here.<br> <br><br>In January 2005 the city of El Alto revolted over another water privatization deal imposed on the country by the World Bank.<br> <br><br>In May and June 2005 a national uprising swept Bolivia, opposing privatization of the country’s vast oil and gas reserves. That privatization was yet another economic experiment pushed on the country by the IMF and World Bank.<br>It may well be that somewhere along the way we discover that some Venezuelan cash found its way into the coffers of activists here, though certainly it would be dwarfed by the US’s own years-long heavy hand in Bolivian politics (In 2002 the US Ambassador here famously threatened voters against supporting a candidate not to the US’s liking.).<br><br> <br><br>But the real question is this one: Are Bolivia’s citizen uprisings homegrown or a creation imported from abroad? <br><br> <br><br>If you speak with people in the streets, the answer is dead clear. After more than a decade of being a lab rat for an experiment in free market fundamentalism imposed on the country from Washington, Bolivians want to change economic course. They want control of their natural resources. They want their children and grandchildren to reap the benefits of those resources, not only corporations such as Bechtel, Shell, Enron and British Gas.<br><br> <br><br>One can agree or disagree with the positions advanced by these protests and with the tactics they have employed. However, what is not in doubt is that the political movement underway in Bolivia today is the product of genuine Bolivian sentiments.<br><br> <br><br>And if US officials really want to track down the agents of foreign influence that have spawned all this, they don’t need weapons inspectors or spies. A simple mirror will do just fine.<br><br> <br><br> _______________________________________<br><br>THE DEMOCRACY CENTER ON-LINE is an electronic publication of The Democracy Center, distributed on an occasional basis to more than 2,500 nonprofit organizations, policy makers, journalists and others, throughout the US and worldwide. Please consider forwarding it along to those who might be interested. People can request to be added to the distribution list by sending an e-mail note to: Newspapers and periodicals interested in reprinting or excerpting material in the newsletter should contact The Democracy Center at "". Suggestions and comments are welcome. Past issues are available on The Democracy Center Web site.<br><br>THE DEMOCRACY CENTER<br><br>SAN FRANCISCO: P.O. Box 22157 San Francisco, CA 94122<br>BOLIVIA: Casilla 5283, Cochabamba, Bolivia<br>TEL: (415) 564-4767<br>FAX: (97<!--EZCODE EMOTICON START 8) --><img src= ALT="8)"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> 383-1269<br>WEB: <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br>E-MAIL: <br><br> <br><br> <br><br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=>chiggerbit</A> at: 8/24/05 11:30 am<br></i>
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Robertson backing off?

Postby Peachtree Pam » Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:04 pm

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re: Robertson Backing Off?

Postby Starman » Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:02 pm

This hypocritical lying self-righteous slug should be spanked. Now he's waffling:<br><br>""There are a number of ways of taking out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted," Robertson added."<br>(from the link PeachtreePam posted, <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> )<br><br>Since Chavez is far-more popular in Venezuala than Bush is in the US, and since WAAAY more people percentage-wise voted for Chavez than Bush, and since authentic democracy is booming in Venezuela while it's under assault and being dismantled here in the states, Robertson is apparently suggesting Bush should be 'taken out' -- including Robertson's favorite, "kidnapping."<br><br>What a fool -- yet, so typical of the delusional 'religious' rightwing.<br><br>I think the suggestion that Robertson was testing the public-mind waters or innoculating the public with a pro-war political-'patriotic' immune-system-booster is quite apt. Seems, there's definitely something going on to manipulate opinion and establish a popular attitude of hostility towards Chavez and Venezuela.<br><br>Freaky.<br><br>And of course, Robertson's intimate financial ties to brutal thuggish dictators is hardly brought-up by the corporate press -- As Robertson's links to Zaire's notorious Mobuto Seko and his using his organization's 'humanitarian' resources to further his diamond-mining interests. Apparently, Robertson thinks Christ's Sermon on the Mount is one of the least-important Gospels, replaced by the Doctrine 'Wealthiness is close to Godliness.'<br><br>Starman<br>***<br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>--excerpt--<br>One of Pat Robertson's Latest Frauds<br><br>OFFICIALS MUM ON ROBERTSON DIAMOND MINE OPERATION PROBE <br><br>A yearlong investigation of televangelist Pat Robertson's activities in Africa is now over, but state officials are sitting on the final report pending a review by attorneys, reports the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. The probe focused on possible inappropriate activities involving Robertson's Operation Blessing outreach, and a private corporation he operated known as the African Development Co. Based in Zaire, the firm was established by Robertson during the rule of the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. The two men established close ties, and Mobutu wined and dined Robertson during one visit to the country; ADC also received vast forestry and mineral concessions, but the diamond mining operation eventually went bankrupt. Mobutu, after a quarter-century of iron fisted rule, died last year in exile from cancer. He left Zaire bankrupt and impoverished, and since 1994 had even been considered persona non grata in the United States. <br><br>In April, 1997 two pilots who worked for Operation Blessing charged that planes linked to Robertson and his ministry flew mostly to haul equipment for ADC's private diamond operation. Robert Hinkle, the chief pilot told reporter Bill Sizemore that of about 40 flights within Zaire during the half-year period he was there, "Only one or at most two" were related to the humanitarian mission of Operation Blessing. The rest were "mining-related." <br><br>"We got over there and we had 'Operation Blessing' painted on the tails of the airplanes, Hinkle told the Virginian-Pilot, "but we were doing no humanitarian relief at all. We were just supplying the miners and flying the dredges from Kinshasa out to Tdshikapa." <br>. . .<br>Conflict of Interest? <br><br>Another aspect of the Robertson probe is the role of Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, and Governor Jim Gilmore. Both men received campaign contributions from Robertson during the 1997 statewide elections; in addition, Robertson was a member of Gilmore's transition-advisory team. Earley received $35,000 from Mr. Robertson, and Gilmore $50,000. Contributions to the Gilmore campaign from other associates of Robertson also attracted public concern. <br><br>According to the Pilot newspaper, the Attorney General's office is keeping the report on Robertson and Operation blessing sealed, insisting that while the investigation is over the contents still remain as "working paper" which are shielded by attorney-client privileges. Sen. Howell, expressing irritation by the continued secrecy, said that the investigatory process has dragged on "long enough," and noted that the tax exemption status for Operation Blessing is up for renewal again next year. "We need to have the facts," Howell added. <br><br>Another official, State delegate Barnie K. Day said that the "working papers" seal being used by the Attorney General was a ploy widely employed in Virginia. "There's nothing that says you can't be open," said Day, adding that the present laws permit "officials (to) hide things if they want to, but people who want to be open can still do it." The Pilot added that Del. Day suggested that the Attorney General should make public the results of the Operation Blessing investigation "to avoid any suggestion of favoritism toward Robertson." <br><br>Unanswered Questions: Evangelism or Just Doing Business? <br><br>Robertson was President and sole stock holder of African Development Co. which was chartered in Bermuda (a center for offshore banking-corporate activity) in June, 1992. In the summer and early fall of 1994, Robertson began soliciting support for the Operation Blessing outreach in Africa on his Christian Broadcasting Network, and eventually dispatched six volunteer teams of medical personnel to treat refugees from Rwanda. Donations were asked from viewers in order to fund a "Flying Hospital" plane. <br><br>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. <br><br>In October, 1994, Operation Blessing purchased a Lockheed L-1011 and began outfitting that plane as its "flying hospital." But the two Caribou planes, unsold and still linked to Operation Blessing, reportedly continued working mostly on behalf of ADC. <br><br>What was going on during this time period with Robertson and Mobutu? The African strongman had been in charge since 1964 when, with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency, he emerged successfully in the civil war which had torn apart the nation, formerly Republic of the Congo. In 1971, Mobutu renamed the country Zaire, and turned it into a base of operations for efforts to fuel the civil war in neighboring Angola. He quickly developed a reputation for ruthlessness and megalomania, renaming himself Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku wa za Banga, "the all-powerful warrior who, because of his enduring and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake." For twenty years, his domestic policy outraged human rights advocates, and by 1993 his shoddy record resulted in the withdrawal of economic assistance from France, Belgium and even the U.S. In 1994, the U.S. Department of State charged that Mobutu was behind massive violations of human rights including torture, murder, censorship and religious persecution. <br><br>During this time, Mobutu also systematically drained Zaire of its money and natural resources, embezzling up to $6 billion dollars which he transferred to accounts in Switzerland and Belgium. In one year alone according to the World Bank, $400 million-- a quarter of the nation's entire export revenues -- mysteriously vanished off the books of the government run mining conglomerate. Mobutu was even dubbed the "President of Kleptocracy" for his thieving and predatory manners. <br><br>That didn't stop Robertson, though, from either defending the dictator or seeking financial gain in Zaire. Robertson continually tried to portray Mobutu as a loyal US ally in the war against international communism. He also emerged as Mobutu's close friend, and probably his most valuable asset in a deceptive campaign to maintain his stature with some ruling circles in the United States. Robertson was wined-and-dined by Mobutu on the dictator's presidential yacht, and entertained at one of his lavish estates. Robertson received extensive lumber and mining concessions along the upper Zaire River. He also operated a 50,000 acre farm outside of the capital city, Kinshasa. <br><br>Even with this, African Development Corp. lost money and had to be shut down. Robertson nonetheless maintained close ties with Mobutu, orchestrating a public relations effort in the United States to rehabilitate the dictator's image and obtain a Visa permit. In 1996, as rebels under the command of Laurent Kabila were closing in on Mobutu's last strongholds, Robertson reportedly dispatched a personal representative "offering his assistance and cooperation," according to the Pilot. <br><br>Robertson: Mobutu Groupie, "Schmoozing With Dictators" <br><br>This latest probe into Robertson's blending of politics, evangelism and business should also call into the question the televangelist's newly found commitment to human rights, especially as an ardent spokesperson for the Freedom From Religious Persecution Act. <br><br>Robertson has been using his "700 Club" program to constantly hit what he terms "religious persecution of Christians," particularly in Islamic countries -- an obstacle to his goal of a vast, worldwide evangelism effort by the year 2000. And Robertson's Christian Coalition has been an adamant supporter of FFRPA on Capitol Hill as well. <br><br>But does his enthusiastic boosting of FFRPA translate into a general commitment for human rights? Critics say no, especially in light of Robertson's close relationship in Africa, Asia and elsewhere with despotic ruling elites and dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko. It seems that, at least in Zaire, the lure of diamonds outshone the prospect of supporting human rights and political democracy. <br><br>** <br><br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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re: Ramifications: Robertson's Threat is a Felony

Postby Starman » Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:11 am

DBeach said:<br><br>'It's illegal to threaten another with a plan.'<br><br>**<br>Indeed -- that was my impression. I didn't research this, but expected someone to eventually post an opinion on the legality of Mr./Dr. Robertson's most unchristianlike foreign policy suggestion -- and indeed, John Dean of Nixon/Watergate fame has stepped-up to the challenge <br>-- Using Robertson's own self-avowed bias for Judges to faithfully follow the law as written (in opposition to so-called 'activist Justices' who maintain that judicial discretion is essential for the law to be administered fairly), it's pretty-clear that Robertson's threat is a felony offense. Chances are, if he was a Democrat or an Arab or a popular 'leftist' social activist or University Prof. etc, he'd be looking for a criminal defense attorney. <br><br>So, this is just the latest sign of Robertson's unmitigated hypocrisy that reflects that of the so called 'Moral Majority', including the Bush Gang and the War Party and their fawning sycophant braindead apologists, basing the 'logic' of their judgements on the deeply-embedded assumption of American exceptionalism. There's probably nothing quite so heady to the thugs like Robertson, Rummy and Bush as to damn everyone they please to perdition simply on the authority of their self-righteous sayso. It's a tribute to the power of bullshit over weak minds that propagandists like Robertson can sell the horrors and injustices of neocolonial wars and Imperialiast exploitation as embodying America's 'Christian' values.<br><br>Too much.<br>Starman<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br>Was Pat Robertson's Call for Assassination of a Foreign Leader a Crime? <br> By John W. Dean <br> <br>Original: <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br> Friday 26 August 2005 <br><br>Had he been a Democrat, he'd probably be hiring a criminal attorney.<br> On Monday, August 22, the Chairman of the Christian Broadcast Network, Marion "Pat" Robertson, proclaimed, on his 700 Club television show, that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez should be murdered. <br><br> More specifically, Robertson said, "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination," referring to the American policy since the Presidency of Gerald Ford against assassination of foreign leaders, "but if he [Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop." <br><br> "We have the ability to take him out," Robertson continued, "and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with." <br><br> Robertson found himself in the middle of a media firestorm. He initially denied he'd called for Chavez to be killed, and claimed he'd been misinterpreted, but in an age of digital recording, Robertson could not flip-flop his way out of his own statement. He said what he said. <br><br> By Wednesday, Robertson was backing down: "I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out,'" Robertson claimed on his Wednesday show. "'Take him out' could be a number of things including kidnapping." <br><br> No one bought that explanation, either. So Robertson quietly posted a half apology on his website. It is only a half apology because it is clear he really does not mean to apologize, but rather, still seeks to rationalize and justify his dastardly comment. <br><br> From the moment I heard Robertson's remark, on the radio, I thought of the federal criminal statutes prohibiting such threats. Do they apply? <br><br> For me, the answer is yes. Indeed, had these comments been made by a Dan Rather, a Bill Moyers, or Jesse Jackson, it is not difficult to imagine some conservative prosecutor taking a passing look at these laws - as, say, Pat Robertson might read them - and saying, "Let's prosecute." <br><br> The Broad Federal "Threat Attempt" Prohibition Vis-à-Vis Foreign Leaders <br><br> Examine first, if you will, the broad prohibition against threatening or intimidating foreign officials, which is a misdemeanor offense. This is found in Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 112(b), which states: "Whoever willfully - (1) ... threatens ... a foreign official ..., [or] (2) attempts to... threaten ... a foreign official ... shall be fined under this titled or imprisoned not more than six months, or both." <br><br> The text of this misdemeanor statute plainly applies: No one can doubt that Robertson "attempted" to threaten President Chavez. <br><br> Yet the statute was written to protect foreign officials visiting the United States - not those in their homelands. Does that make a difference? <br><br> It would likely be the precedent of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that would answer that question; the Fourth Circuit includes Virginia where Robertson made the statement. And typically, the Fourth Circuit, in interpreting statutes does not look to the intent of Congress; it focuses on statutory language instead. <br><br> And in a case involving Robertson, to focus on language would only be poetic justice: <br><br>Robertson, is the strictest of strict constructionists, a man who believes judges (and prosecutors) should enforce the law exactly as written. He said as much in his 2004 book, Courting Disaster: How the Supreme Court Is Usurping The Power of Congress and the People.<br> Still, since the applicability of this misdemeanor statute is debatable, I will focus on the felony statute instead. <br><br> The Federal Threat Statute: Fines and Prison for Threats to Kidnap or Injure <br><br> It is a federal felony to use instruments of interstate or foreign commerce to threaten other people. The statute is clear, and simple. Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 875(c), states: "Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both." (Emphases added.) <br><br> The interstate or foreign commerce element is plainly satisfied by Robertson's statements. Robertson's 700 Club is listed as broadcasting in thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia, not to mention ABC Family Channel satellites which cover not only the United States but several foreign countries as well. In addition, the program was sent around the world via the Internet. <br><br> But did Robertson's communication "contain" a "threat" to "kidnap" or "injure" Chavez? <br><br> First, Robertson said he wanted to assassinate President Chavez. His threat to "take him out," especially when combined with the explanation that this would be cheaper than war, was clearly a threat to kill. <br><br> Then, Robertson said he was only talking about kidnapping Chavez. Under the federal statute, a threat to "kidnap" is expressly covered. <br><br> As simple and clear as this statute may be, the federal circuit courts have been divided when reading it. But the conservative Fourth Circuit, where Robertson made his statement, is rather clear on its reading of the law. <br><br> Does Robertson's Threat Count as a "True Threat?" The Applicable Fourth Circuit Precedents Suggest It Does <br><br> If Robertson himself were a judge (or prosecutor) reading this statue - based on my reading of his book about how judges and justice should interpret the law - he would be in a heap of trouble. But how would the statute likely be read in the Fourth Circuit, where a prosecution of Robertson would occur? <br><br> Under that Circuit's precedent, the question would be whether Robertson's threat was a "true threat." Of course, on third reflection, Robertson said it was not. But others have been prosecuted notwithstanding retractions, and later reflections on intemperate threats. <br><br> Here is how the Fourth Circuit - as it explained in the Draby case - views threats under this statute: "Whether a communication in fact contains a true threat is determined by the interpretation of a reasonable recipient [meaning, the person to whom the threat was directed] familiar with the context of the communication." <br><br> This is an objective standard, under which the court looks at the totality of the circumstances surrounding the communications, rather than simply looking to the subjective intent of the speaker, or the subjective feelings of the recipient. So even if Robertson did not "mean" to make a threat, and even if Chavez did not "feel threatened," that is not the end of the story. <br><br> In one Fourth Circuit case, the defendant "asked if [the person threatened] knew who Jeffrey Dahlmer [sic] was." Then the defendant added that, "he didn't eat his victims, like Jeffrey Dahlmer; [sic] that he just killed them by blowing them up." This defendant's conviction for this threat was upheld. <br><br> In another Fourth Circuit ruling, the defendant, an unhappy taxpayer, was convicted for saying, to an IRS Agent, that "in all honesty, I can smile at you and blow your brains out"; that "once I come through there, anybody that tries to stop me, I'm going to treat them just like they were a cockroach"; and, that "unless I can throw somebody through a damn window, I'm just not going to feel good." <br><br> Viewed in the context, and taking into account the totality of the circumstances, it was anything but clear that any of these threats were anything more than angry tough talk. The same could be said of Robertson's threats. Yet in both these cases, the Fourth Circuit upheld the defendant's conviction, deeming the "true threat" evidence sufficient to do so. <br><br> For me, this make Robertson's threats a very close question. President Chavez publicly brushed Robertson's threats off, for obvious diplomatic reasons, yet I suspect a little inquiry would uncover that the Venezuelan President privately he has taken extra precautions, and his security people have beefed up his protection. Robertson has Christian soldiers everywhere. Who knows what some misguided missionary might do? <br><br> If you have not seen the Robertson threat, view it yourself and decide. Robertson's manner, his choice to return to the subject repeatedly in his discourse, and the seriousness with which he stated the threat, all strike me as leading strongly to the conclusion that this was a true threat. Only media pressure partially backed him off. And his "apology" is anything but a retraction. <br><br> Will Robertson be investigated or prosecuted by federal authorities? Will he be called before Congress? Will the President, or the Secretary of State, publicly chastise Robertson? Are those three silly questions about a man who controls millions of Republican votes from Christian conservatives? <br>*<br> John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, is a former counsel to the president. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Robertson called for assassination of Venezuela's presid

Postby Harvey » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:50 am

Western Media Shorthand on Venezuela Conveys and Conceals So Much

A Reuters article (4/18/18) reports that the European Union “could impose further sanctions on Venezuela if it believes democracy is being undermined there.”

The line nicely illustrates the kind of journalistic shorthand Western media have developed, over years of repetition, for conveying distortions and whitewashing gross imperial hypocrisy about Venezuela. A passing remark can convey and conceal so much.

The EU’s sincerity in acting on what it “believes” about Venezuelan democracy is unquestioned by the London-based Reuters. Meanwhile Spain, an EU member, is pursuing the democratically elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, for the crime of organizing an illegal independence referendum last year. Weeks ago, he was arrested in Germany at Spain’s request, and other elected representatives have been arrested in Catalonia, where Spain’s federal government deposed the elected regional government after the referendum.

In July 2017, a few months before the referendum in Catalonia, Venezuela’s opposition also organized an illegal referendum. One of the questions asked if the military should obey the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which was an extremely provocative question, given the opposition’s various efforts to overthrow the government by force since 2002. The referendum required an extremely high level of political expression, organization and participation. It allegedly involved 7 million voters. The Venezuelan government disregarded the results—as Spain disregarded the Catalan referendum results—but unlike Spain, did not jail people for organizing it, or send police to brutally repress voters. In fact, two weeks later, Venezuelan voters (overwhelmingly government supporters, since the opposition boycotted and did not field candidates) were violently attacked by opposition militants when they elected a constituent assembly. The attacks resulted in several deaths.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has hardly failed to call attention to the hypocrisy of both the EU and Spain, but the Reuters article made no mention of it.

Reuters also reported that “the country’s two most popular opposition leaders have been banned from competing” from Venezuela’s presidential election on May 20. Reuters didn’t name the two supposedly “most popular opposition leaders,” but in the past (e.g., 4/12/18, 2/28/18, 2/19/18) the wire service has identified them as Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles. As it happens, according to the opposition-aligned pollster Datanalisis, whose results have been uncritically reported by Western media like Reuters for years, opposition presidential candidate Henri Falcón has been significantly more popular than Capriles in recent months, and barely less so than Lopez.

Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Political Leaders


Mark Weisbrot (in an opinion piece for US News, 3/3/18) broke the news that US government officials had been secretly pressuring Falcón not to run, so that the election could be discredited as including no viable opposition candidate. Two weeks later, Reuters (3/19/18) discreetly reported Weisbrot’s scoop.

However, by far the most important thing Reuters neglects telling readers about the “two most popular opposition leaders” is that had they done in the EU what they’ve done in Venezuela since April 2002, Lopez and Capriles would both be serving long jail terms.

Capriles and Lopez together led the kidnapping of a government minister during a briefly successful US-backed military coup in 2002 that ousted Venezuela’s democratically elected president, the late Hugo Chávez, for two days. Lopez boasted to local TV that the dictator installed by the coup (whom Lopez called “President Carmona”) was “updated” on the kidnapping.

Imagine what Carles Puigdemont’s predicament would be if, rather than organizing a peaceful referendum, he had participated in a foreign-backed, ultimately unsuccessful military coup against the Spanish government. Needless to say, running for public office would not be on the table. That would be the least of his worries.

In Venezuela, Capriles eventually served a few months in prison for participating in the coup, while Lopez avoided doing any time, thanks to a general amnesty granted by Chávez. Lopez was finally arrested in 2014 for leading another violent effort to overthrow the government.

I’ve reviewed before (teleSUR, 1/9/18) violent efforts to overthrow the government that Lopez, Capriles and other prominent opposition leaders have been involved with since the 2002 coup. I also described how Julio Borges and Henry Ramos (two other prominent opposition leaders) have openly sought to starve the Venezuelan government of foreign loans as it struggles with a severe economic crisis.

In August, Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s entire economy that will cost Maduro’s government billions of dollars this year (, 3/22/18). It has threatened to go even further, brandishing an oil embargo or even a military attack. With sufficiently compliant media (and the collusion of big human rights NGOs like Amnesty International), such depravity becomes possible.

The Reuters article also says that Venezuela’s economic “collapse has driven an estimated 3 million people to flee the country.” No need to tell readers when the economic “collapse” began—2014—much less who made the estimates or if other sources contradict them. In fact, the UN’s 2017 population division numbers estimate Venezuela’s total expat population as of 2017 at about 650,000—only about 300,000 higher than it was when Chávez first took office in 1999. Even a group of fiercely anti-government Venezuelan academics estimated less than 1 million have left since the economic crisis began. (See, 2/18/18.)

Cherry-picked statistics aside, when Western powers want a democratically elected government overthrown, the approach is clear. Complete tolerance for violent foreign-backed subversion—which the powerful states and their allies would never be expected to tolerate—becomes the test for whether or not a state is a democracy. The targeted government fails the test, is depicted as a dictatorship, and all is permitted. Only the tactics required to bring it down need be debated. ... s-so-much/
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
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And be loved
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Re: Robertson called for assassination of Venezuela's presid

Postby Elvis » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:43 am

^^^^ Exactly. Thanks for posting.
“The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.” ― Joan Robinson
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