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Mar 3, 2006
Focus: GLBT
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The Dutch government has decided to end the six-month freeze on deportation of gay Iranian refugees from the Islamic Republic of Iran. This means that Saba Rawi, a gay Iranian man currently seeking refuge in the Netherlands is in imminent danger of being deported to Iran where the hardline government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely arrest, imprison, and perhaps even execute him. Please take five minutes to phone, fax, e-mail, or write immediately on Saba’s behalf and ask that deportation proceedings against him be halted immediately and that he be granted permanent asylum by the Dutch government. Send your comments to H.E. Boudewijn J. van Eenennaam, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, at The Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008. The phone number is 202-244-5300; the fax number is 202-362-3430. The ambassador can be reached via e-mail at webmaster@netherlands-embassy.org. This is Saba Rawi's story as told by The Gay City News in An Urgent Appeal for Simple Humanity: Saba Rawi is a 30-year-old gay Iranian now facing imminent deportation back to the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Netherlands. Saba, who lived in the northern Iranian city of Rashd, was arrested for kissing his boyfriend on the street—the boyfriend was able to flee arrest. Saba was tortured by the police and raped by a police officer, who, using the threat of a prison term, blackmailed Saba into signing a letter saying he was not harmed by the police and that his rape was at the hands of others. Saba signed the letter under this horrific pressure—and then managed to flee Iran. Saba eventually arrived in The Netherlands. That was some four and a half years ago. Since then, Saba has been serving as the Dutch representative of the Persian Gay and Liberation Organization, the largest Iranian gay group. After the worldwide protests against the hanging of two gay Iranian teenagers in Mashad last July, The Netherlands was one of several countries to have temporarily suspended deportations of gay Iranians who had not been granted asylum. But that Dutch suspension has now ended, and Saba—who inexplicably had his request for asylum refused, and his deportation ordered—now will find himself in a Dutch court once again, on March 8, to present his final appeal against deportation back into Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fiery furnace for gay Iranians. If the Dutch government sends Saba back to Iran, he will face arrest, prison, and perhaps even execution, a fate that has befallen so many other victims of Iran’s lethal anti-gay pogrom.
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Posted: Mar 3, 2006 10:35pm
Mar 3, 2006
Former US Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham has been sentenced to 8 years and 4 months for accepting bribes from defense contractors. But the investigation isn't over yet and now it's spread to the CIA, where the CIA Inspector General has opened an investigation into the agency's #3 official, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who oversaw contracts involving one of the companies accused of paying bribes to Cunningham. Let's review:
  • Cunningham, a Republican congressman from California, was found guilty of accepting $630,000 in cash and gifts from Brent Wilkes, founder of ADSC Inc.
  • ADSC Inc. received more than $95 million in government defense contracts.
Wilkes, at this point an unindicted co-conspirator who is rumoured to soon be singing like a bird, happens to be a longtime friend of Brent Wilkes, according to this ABC news article:
The two played high school football and were in each other's weddings.
So how close were they more recently? Well, according to Newsweek,
Foggo and Wilkes are old buddies. Pals in San Diego say that between assignments overseas, the genial, hefty Foggo was a conspicuous presence at Wilkes's parties.
"Curiouser and curiouser," cried Alice! But that's just the corruption part. Now for the cronyism part, again from the same ABC news article:
As executive director of the CIA, Foggo oversees the administration of the giant spy agency. He was appointed to the post by CIA Director Porter Goss after working as a midlevel procurement supervisor, according to former CIA officials.
Say again? Newsweek, redux:
After Porter Goss took over as CIA director, many agency veterans were astonished when the former House intel chair chose Foggo, a midranking bureaucrat, to become CIA executive director, the agency's third-ranking official, responsible for day-to-day operations.
Gee, I wonder if this is going to lead to a "Heckuva a job, Dusty!"
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Posted: Mar 3, 2006 8:28pm
Mar 3, 2006
Fox blowhard and bully Bill O'Reilly may have finally lost it, thanks to Keith Olbermann and some mischievous bloggers. Olbermann, host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, has repeatedly awarded O'Reilly the "Worst Person in the World" designation during his show. Like most bullies, O'Reilly can dish it out but he can't take it so he's been stewing over Keith's antics for a few months now. And on March 2, he finally stepped over the edge. When a caller to his show the The Radio Factor, (produced by Westwood One, not Fox) simply mentioned Olbermann's name, O'Reilly issued a threat. The conversation went like this:
The caller began by telling O'Reilly, "I like to listen to you during the day." Continuing, the caller stated, "I think Keith Olbermann's show," at which point O'Reilly disconnected the call, proclaiming: "Mike is -- he's a gone guy. You know, we have his -- we have your phone numbers, by the way. So, if you're listening, Mike, we have your phone number, and we're going to turn it over to Fox security, and you'll be getting a little visit."
Turns out that the caller was Mike Stark, who described the experience on Daily Kos, as did two other bloggers. All three called the radio show and as soon as they mentioned Olbermann's name, O'Reilly hung up on them. Each of the three later received a phone call from the head of Fox Security who claimed that he'd been told they'd made several harassing phone calls to O'Reilly. Read a summary of all three of their experiences at The Political Cortex blog. Hear an audio file of one of the calls here. So in O'Reilly's version of reality, making a call to a radio show which invites people to call in and mentioning the name of someone O'Reilly dislikes most intensely constitutes harassment and will result in an intimidating phone call from the head of Fox Security. Whoa! What is wrong with this picture. Then again, it's Bill O'Reilly, who often screams "shut up!" at guests on his FOX show and has their microphones cut off when they don't comply. And let's not forget that it was O'Reilly who convinced FOX to sue Al Franken for allegedly violating what they claimed was their trademark in Franken's book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. What a humilation it must have been when the judge refused to halt distribution of Franken's book, calling FOX's lawsuit "wholly without merit, both factually and legally." I hope someone smacks him down again for this latest intimidation tactic.
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Posted: Mar 3, 2006 6:26pm

 

 
 
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Sola Thane
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