Any thoughts on the Paul reporting from TPM?
Everytime I see someone connected to all the worlds dictators, I think there must be some real financial scam involved. And the mention of Charles Taylor reminded me of Pat Robertson's ties to him. It strikes me that Paul puts Denny in a two degrees of separation from an awful lot of corruption.
Actually, I hadn't really thought about it - it all seemed a little bit weird and I figured that he was proabably just a showboater - particularly after I saw this photo of him on TV proud-as-punch that he was on the front page of the CST and proving it to the world, by showing the paper on TV.
( I joked to EW that "now that you mention it, it does put hastert just 2 degrees from some seriously revolting people: Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, Condolleezza Rice and Bill O'Reilly")
The allspinzone has a decent post highlighting some of the curiousness about the Paul/Hastert story if you want some background.
I asked starroute if she knew anything about him:
I frankly wasn't aware of Paul until this latest maneuver -- and don't even seem to have any files that mention him.I passed starroute's comments to EW with a note:
However, a quick look at his Wikipedia entry shows that (1) he's based in Houston, where so much oil-and-Bush-related weirdness goes on, (2) he's got ties to Nelson Bunker Hunt, as well as to prominent Republicans, (3) his main gig is world peace and hunger, (4) he's been involved in Liberia and Haiti (two places I know the International Republican Institute has been active), (5) he's come under question for possible financial improprieties.
Putting all that together, if you were to tell me he was a covert agent for the CIA - or the Bushes - or the Council for National Policy - or the Reverend Moon - or powerful, reactionary, international financial interests - or any combination of the above, I'd just nod my head and say, "It figures."
Oh, and add in Fox News:This reporter, while covering the aftermath of tsunami at Thazhanguda, a coastal hamlet in Cuddalore, bumped into one such preacher, whose indulgences can be the envy of, well, even a Hollywood star. K A Paul, who was born in Andhra Pradesh but who bloomed in the US, had flown down in his personal Boeing 747, leading a group of people under the banner Global Peace Initiative. Among them were boxing legend Evander Holyfield, a Miss World runner up from Canada called Nazinin Afshin-Jam, and a Fox-TV crewAnd here's a blog post by Douglas Farah, asking why Charles Taylor was allowed to slip away, that gets a comment from Michael Roston suggesting K.A. Paul might be to blame.
So, yeah, there's definitely something funny about the guy.
I can't put together any theory that remotely makes sense. If they were trying to bribe/blackmail hastert (to stay, or to go, or something else) - I'm not sure why they'd use that particular messenger, or the dodgy cover story, or the shameless self-promotion - but anything is possible.emptywheel's response:
Yeah, it was some of Farah's work on Taylor (and Robertson's weird relationship with Taylor) that made me think of this.(I won't mention the visuals I got every I read 'Hastert' and 'weighing' in the same sentence)
FWIW, I don't think Paul would be involved in bribing fat Denny NOW. But I can imagine he'd have been involved in the past, and his involvement at this point is part of a wider cover-up. Or to put it this way--consider whether they might be weighing forcing Denny out, in hopes of retaining Congress, over needing to keep him in (or needing to keep him quiet, yet force him out). Paul might be precisely the kind of messenger to deliver the message (as he might be with some of the other examples of his dictator outreach.)
I'd imagine fat Denny is having a tough time weighing the competing interests raised by the Foley thing. There's his own self-interest, of course. There's the interest of the above-board GOP party (what little there is of it). And then there's the interest of those whose interests are largely driven from outside of the US. Paul'd be in that last camp, and it may well be that that camp sees its interests as superceding those of the pedestrian above-board GOP.
And FWIW, yeah, Moon'd be a good guess. Think about the WashTimes' own recent scandals. And Insight's weird anti-Bush stuff of late.
As I mentioned, K.A. Paul is an odd messenger for them to choose - but then again, the whole story is weird - not least the full front page of the CST (above) and their story which is a little skeptical.
I can't imagine a scenario where anyone who wanted to send Hastert a serious message would use a publicity-seeking freak to send the message - unless they urgently needed to instantaneously get the message to people all over the world that the meeting had indeed taken place and that Paul had passed on whatever the message was to Hastert. Under this scenario, for example, (outta-my-arse-speculation) perhaps the Turkish heroin network had a pre-established signal that everyone in the network knew that if they saw Paul in the media that they had to immediately flush all their product down the nearest toilet, or alternatively, that they had a pre-arranged signal that if they saw Paul then they didn't need to panic and could go about their business despite appearances that the sky might be falling.
That's about the best I've got. Anyone else?