Interesting that many well established medical humanitarian groups had trouble getting planes in and Pat Robertson's group, Operation Blessing, got planes in every day. This is not surprising since the "christianized" U.S. military is controlling who gets into Haiti. People so desperate can't say no to any kind of aid, it should be offered in a neutral way. The Navy carried in supplies for Operation Blessing, but planes with supplies from some other organizations were diverted repeatedly. I wonder how many Bibles were on that ship.

From CBN:

Operation Blessing president Bill Horan said the partnership with the Navy is going to make an important difference.

Note that Operation Blessing brings film production crews with it everywhere and dramatically portrays everything they do.

"It's absolutely crucial and what's so great about the cooperation of the U.S. Navy is that we couldn't afford to ship this stuff down there and it would have taken too long to get there," Horan explained. "This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of the United States to reach out to the people of Haiti."

"It's going to be a pretty big portion of the cargo going down there. It appears that Operation Blessing was very well prepared for this," Navy Capt. George McCarthy added. "It's all packed up. It's all ready to go. It's been very, very organized and your folks down here on the ground have done a great job and they've been with us the whole time."

The ship will arrive at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in about five days. Navy helicopters will then airlift the supplies to Operation Blessing's temporary headquarters at the Port-Au-Prince airport in Haiti.

I do not disagree with the military transporting aid, in fact they should have done so immediately rather than just sending a ship with no supplies. What I want to know is if they transported for other organizations and why they blocked some non-religious aid groups from getting supplies in which would have saved lives.

Max Blumenthal from the Nation about Pat Robertson and Operation Blessing after Katrina: 
September 7th 2005

Every cloud has a silver lining. Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless, and plunging the entire city into chaos. In the hurricane's wake, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its director, Michael Brown, forced out of his former job at the International Arabian Horse Association, with no credentials in disaster relief, have become targets of withering criticism. Yet FEMA's relief efforts have brought considerable assistance to at least one man who stands to benefit from Hurricane Katrina perhaps more than any other individual: Pat Robertson.

With the Bush Administration's approval, Robertson's $66 million relief organization, Operation Blessing, has been prominently featured on FEMA's list of charitable groups accepting donations for hurricane relief. Dozens of media outlets, including the New York Times, CNN and the Associated Press, duly reprinted FEMA's list, unwittingly acting as agents soliciting cash for Robertson. "How in the heck did that happen?" Richard Walden, president of the disaster-relief group Operation USA, asked of Operation Blessing's inclusion on FEMA's list. "That gives Pat Robertson millions of extra dollars."

Though Operation USA has conducted disaster relief for more than twenty-five years on five continents, like scores of other secular relief groups currently helping victims of Hurricane Katrina, it was omitted from FEMA's list. In fact, only two non-"faith-based" organizations were included. (One of them, the American Red Cross, is being blocked from entering New Orleans by FEMA's parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security.) FEMA, meanwhile, has reportedly turned away Wal-Mart trucks carrying food and water to the stricken city, teams of firemen from Maryland and Texas, volunteer morticians and a convoy of 1,000 boat owners offering to help rescue stranded flood victims. While relief efforts falter in the face of colossal bureaucratic incompetence, the Bush Administration's promotion of Operation Blessing has ensured that the floodwaters swallowing New Orleans will be a rising tide lifting Robertson's boat.

I think I am starting to see a pattern here. Note the theme of bureaucratic incompetence which is used in any situation which does not make sense to the public. It is the pat answer used for situations ranging from disaster relief to security issues. There may be a commission to look at why the rescue efforts were such an uncoordinated disaster. The answers are always the same: miscommunication, poor management, no coordination between the different agencies. This keeps the public from looking at the real issues or applying blame.

Are higher ups in USAID and at the Pentagon continuing these same practices of promoting 'christian' organizations that went on during the Bush administration? It certainly appears so. The evangelical organizations are continuing to use "personal crises" to recruit people to their religion. In Haiti they have a captive audience and consider this disaster an opportunity.

Robertson recently ignited a media firestorm when he called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez during a broadcast of The 700 Club. He has also blamed the 9/11 attacks on America's tolerance of abortion and homosexuality and declared the Supreme Court a greater threat to the United States than Al Qaeda(well finally something Pat Robertson and I can agree on). Robertson assiduously cultivates his celebrity with remarks like these, casting himself as a divisive bigot to his foes and a righteous prophet to his allies in Christian right circles. But there is much more to Robertson than the headline-grabbing hothead he plays on TV.

Notice in all of these disaster situations Pat Robertson makes some kind of idiotic hate statement to draw attention to himself. It has to be very inflammatory to work in this country where there are so many idiotic statements from evangelicals. This time he accused the Haitians of making a pact with the Devil to rid themselves of the French, when there is no belief in the Devil in the Voodoo religion and most of the people are Catholic anyway. Is he doing this to mobilize the uneducated and evangelically indoctrinated right into sending him money?

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."

Now doesn't this sound similar to Sarah Palin's use of the state personnel board to try to vendicate herself? If the legislative body that does the investigation finds wrongdoing, just use another agency which is controlled by the guility party to issue a statement of no wrongdoing.

(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.)

Absolved of his sins, Robertson dug his heels back in African soil. In 1999 he signed an $8 million agreement with Liberian tyrant Charles Taylor that guaranteed Robertson's Freedom Gold Ltd.--an offshore company registered to the same address as his Christian Broadcasting Network--mining rights in Liberia, and gave Taylor a 10 percent stake in the company. When the United States intervened in Liberia in 2003, forcing Taylor and the Al Qaeda operatives he was harboring to flee, Robertson accused President Bush of "undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country.

Robertson's scheming hasn't abated one bit. He is accused of violating his ministry's tax-exempt, nonprofit status by using it to market a diet shake he licensed this August to the health chain General Nutrition Corp. (Robertson continues to advertise the shake on his personal website.) He has withstood criticism from fellow evangelicals for investing $520,000 in a racehorse named Mr. Pat, violating biblical admonitions against gambling. He was even accused of "Jim Crow-style racial discrimination" by black employees who successfully sued his Christian Coalition in 2001 for forcing them to enter its offices through a back door and eat in a segregated area (Robertson has since resigned).

The Bush Administration has studiously overlooked Robertson's misdeeds. In October 2002, just months after he denounced the White House's faith-based initiative as "a real Pandora's box"--and one month before midterm elections--Robertson pocketed $500,000 in government grants to Operation Blessing. Since then, with the sole exception of his criticism of the US intervention in Liberia, Robertson has served as a willing surrogate for the Administration. His Regent University gave John Ashcroft a cushy professorship to cool his heels after his contentious tenure as US Attorney General. And Robertson's legal foundation, the American Center for Law and Justice, is spearheading the effort to rally right-wing Christian support for Judge John G. Roberts Jr.'s confirmation as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Now, as fallout from the President's handling of Hurricane Katrina threatens to derail the GOP's long-term agenda, Robertson is back at the plate for Bush, echoing the White House's line that state and local authorities--and even the disaster victims themselves--are to blame for the tragedy engulfing New Orleans.

I wonder if the ships from Venezuela with food and fuel were even allowed to unload once they got to Haiti. If MSM covered such a story I would be very surprised.


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