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Archive for the tag “Trump Administration”

USA: Memo for President Trump – Interim Report Pursuant to Executive Order 13792 for BENM in Utah (10.06.2017)

Only in the DRC: President Kabila are now twice Registered for a Non-Existent Election!

Well, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the one who is on his unofficial third term President. He is running the country on a new cabinet, but not on a new mandate. As per today, the Constitution isn’t allowing him to re-run. He was temporary before his first term for a few years. He was running the Republic without elections between 2001 and 2006. Than he finally got elected in 2006 and than again in 2011. He was supposed to have ended his term in 2016, but that train has passed it due-date by a few months already.

President Kabila is already 160 days overtime, he is 5 months and 9 days. That is well over the supposed time. That is not counting the days he was in-charge without an official election between 2001-2006. So he has a history of running the 3rd Republic without any mandate. That is what he does today!

So the first he registered for an election without himself at the helm was back on the wonderful day of 6th May 2016. It is easy to forget that Kabila did that on a computer looking smart and ready. Vigilant like always, the vagabond ruling Kinshasa and the provinces as well. Today on the 28th May 2017. He was doing the same maneuver. Registering himself for an election. This time without CENI having set any dates, any regulations or credentials needed for candidates. Therefore this exercise was more PR than real. Surely paid lobbyist Bob Dole and others, who are working to better the image in the United States can smile. Since this act will make it more sincere that President Kabila wants to honor the promises of the CENCO agreement of 31st December 2016. So twice now, Kabila has registered himself to something he doesn’t plan to do. Because if he does, that means he loses and someone else will run it.

This is something Kabila knows and the world already knew. If the know the DRC and its situation this wouldn’t be surprising. At this point Kabila acts like he own the Republic and the Republic owes him a big deal. Therefore, he cannot leave and has no plans of exiting the throne that he inherited from his father. It seems like the time and present moment, that the instability and insecurity is also facilitated by the government. To create problems and make it worse. This to be able to postpone the elections and keep his ruling fist. It does seem plausible that by all means he wants to stay in power. Therefore, he has even been seen in the city of Lubumbashi with tanks in recent year, to prove to Moise Katumbi and his supporters. That this place is also ruled by Kabila.

I have no faith that Kabila will honor any agreement that doesn’t extend his rule. Not because he deserves to stay as the President. But because he has shown no signs of giving the mantle to anyone else or put some ready for succession. No-one has even been groomed, only people been doomed for wishing to become Presidential Aspirants, therefore they have ended in exile in Belgium. The nation that took DRC and built massive mansions on their looted fortunes. This is ironic, but the truth. Certainly, Kabila will not back-down and give-up quickly. He has no plan to give in. Peace.

Opinion: President Kabila appoints new Cabinet, but he is 141 days on overtime! (Time to leave for Togo?)

On the 19th December 2016 the last term of President Joseph Kabila went out. The Democratic Republic of Congo we’re the opposition negotiation through Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) agreement on the 31st December 2016. Still, the President hasn’t left any sign of leaving. As the Army are fighting on different front, are trying to avoid more problems, but having civil war situation in Kasai-Oriental, where the province has rebels killing and the army doing the same.

There are not been any visible signs that he is stepping down or giving way. Neither any clear signs of up-coming elections. Like there are just figment of imagination that his term went out in December 19th 2016. That is 4 months and 20 days that he is on overtime, without any consideration of the violation of the Third Republic. The Democratic Republic of Congo deserves better and should have legitimate President. Also, if you count days he has already spent total 141 days, which he shouldn’t be the Commander-in-Chief and President.

Therefore, 141 days on overtime, the news that he has unleashed a new cabinet and new set of ministers. Proves the violation and the rights of the Republic is being misused and misguided. I don’t care to look into the men and woman appointed, because that isn’t fair to the citizens of the DRC. They deserve a legit President and a regime they have elected. Not someone using the army and the resources as their personal business.

Even if on this date that the President appointed 47 Ministers and 11 Vice-Ministers. They are surely all loyal to Kabila, as they doesn’t care about the constitution, nor the laws that the Third Republic are supposed to have.

The Constitution of 2005 says clearly:

Article 70: The President of the Republic is elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of five years which is renewable only once. At the end of his term, the President stays in office until the President-Elect effectively assumes his functions” (Democratic Republic of Congo – The Constitution of 2005).

So he has had two terms, plus the waiting term after the assassination of his father, who also was President. Therefore, because of that, he has already had three terms in that respect, but only elected in two. Now he is on his fourth without any consent or ballots. That because cannot be elected as long as the Constitution is written like this. The thing that he didn’t do, like many other totalitarian leaders, they change the laws to fit their paradigm and continues “legally”. He is functioning as President while waiting to President-Elect assumes his functions. But with no election and no plan of doing so, there is no evidence of him leaving.

That is even more evident as he changes and appoint a new Cabinet, with lots of ministers loyal to him. It is within the law that he appoint ministers. Still, it is 141 days since he had legitimate powers and was the President. Right now, he shouldn’t be preoccupied with who leads Communications or where Lambert Mende is working. President Kabila, should be come a civilian or join Yayah Jammeh in Equatorial Guinea, even go to Togo like Mobotu!

After a weekend of confusing reports on Mobutu’s whereabouts, CNN confirmed on Monday that he was in Togo, escaping there early Sunday just ahead of rebels advancing on his home in the northern Zairian village of Gbadolite” (…) “Mobutu — who fled Kinshasa on Friday, the day before rebels entered the capital in force — was resting in a residence belonging to his old friend, Togolese dictator Gnassingbe Eyadema, government officials in the West African nation said” (Arnett, 1997).

So if he would do the 3rd Republic a favor, he would leave the Presidency and leave the Nation. It doesn’t seem to be possible at this point. President Kabila has not conceded or tried to give way. Therefore, the trust of him leaving power, seems day-by-day unlikely. President Kabila shows that he uses his power and capacity, as the army are loyal to him. This proves that the elections seems far-fetched, since he has not showed anything feasible or even tried to even get tenders for ballots.

That President Kabila will say elections are expensive, the are to many rebellions, that the M23 are in the Kivu’s, that FDLR are doing their thing, that ADF-NALU still existing, that the Kamunia Nsapu and other groups killing in different provinces. This will all be used as tactics to postpone the elections and make sure there are no official date for elections, nor ordering ballots or securing funds for the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI). They will all be left behind, since there are no plans or wish of the President to get a successor. That means he will leave all his power behind!

This new government is just a disgrace… and not respecting the Constitution of the 3rd Republic. Neither, it is clear disrespect of the people and republic. President Kabila doesn’t own the nation and the public doesn’t owe him anything, they deserves some who legitimate rule them. Time for Kabila to follow the fleeing President and leave for Togo! Peace.

Reference:

Arnett, Peter – ‘Mobutu in Togo as Zaire rebels assume leadership’ (19.05.1997) link:http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9705/19/zaire/index.html?eref=sitesearch

Opinion: Trump’s proposed Tax Reform is made for the wealthy and no-one else!

It is hard to take the “2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs” that was released on 26th April 2017, a one page leaflet of wishes. This is shorter than most of the restaurant and they usually doesn’t have that many dishes to serve their clientele. Still, the Trump Administration and their “Treasury Secretary Steve Mnushin set out a test for tax reform that, “there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class.” (Richard E. Neal – ‘President Trump’s Tax Proposal Another Broken Promise to the Middle Class’ – 26.04.2017). Still, with the first prospect of the wish-list of the Trump Administration is to give the rich less taxes.

An on a one-page wish-list you don’t really have the space or the care for describing the results, I look forward to read the CBO report on the proposed tax cuts. Since this should have some sort of implications, not only let the Manhattan elite afford yet another cabin in the Aspen or trip to Formula One in Monaco. They are speaking of easing the tax-codes and provide tax-relief for American families, without giving any specific detail into what that might be. I am sure the tickets of travel and the indispensable Secret Service guards to the golfing-weekends at the Mar-A-Lago in Florida has more explained reports, than these quick promises to the American families.

They are putting new brackets for the American families, also doubling deductions from the taxes and promise relief, without saying what this means, or if the families really get any serious cuts. While the Business get a shaved business tax rate from 35% to 15 %. One time tax on the Business Ownership abroad, to make sure the funds comes back into the United States. Last is to eliminate the tax breaks for special interest. So the last one, is to significantly add some tax back in the Internal Revenue Service.

So the little plan they have is to either cut and reform it minimally, while giving tax breaks to bigger corporations and the wealthy. The ones who already have the money and earns the profits, get to pay less, while the ones who needs or could have need of serious reform doesn’t get it. The ones earning on this wish-list is the Wall Street connected individuals, the Multi-National Corporations and the Limited Liability Companies (LLC). This sort of tax reform is made for the richest, not for the working class or the average voters who voted for the current President.

This is just another proof, that the President Trump isn’t there to drain the swamp or even trying to stop the major corporate takeover of Washington D.C. and the Capitol Hill. He is more of the same, just infused with less coded language and straight-face doubling down on the foreplay for the business executives. There isn’t anything in the works that proves that President Trump want to care about environment or health of his population over the profits of Goldman Sachs, Merrill-Lynch or any other significant private sector business operative like Exxon-Mobile. All of them will get the blessings and their days in the sunshine. As long as their Manchurian Candidate Trump are in office.

There aren’t anything that proves otherwise, his Executive Orders has been for easement of the businesses, not for the well-being of the population nor environment. The lacking care of the citizens and only caring for corporate citizens will clearly alter the pledges and promises. Certainly, the ones who voted for him should feel betrayed. The corporate greed in the United States is endless, as all the lobbyists, the paid senators, paid representatives and other legislators in Washington D.C. follows their donors more than the public. Just look at Ted Cruz record of praising the Mercer family and their values. Than you get a prime time example and all of the Republicans working for the Koch Brothers will.

The same is now happening from the oval office, with no restraint or any care of the consequence, if they fail or bitterly accept the truth. Doubt it, as they will double down and say it is for the common core, while the true tax cuts is for big-business and multi-national corporations who will have a surge of profits. The supposed trickling down theory will be put into play, while more of the monies will go into the pockets of the wealthy and the difference between the richest and poorest will grow even more. The lack of care from the state combined with the massive wealth, will really also destroy the society and make the ones left behind even feel more vulnerable, but that is not a concern the Trump Administration has. They only care for the billionaires and millionaires, not the ones living on food-stamps or on government subsidizes, as this government would easily have axed all of that.

I look forward to see the estimates from a real tax-plan from the Trump Administration, one with the implication and proposed reaction to the taxes and cuts. If the Trump Administration after these sort of cuts ever compare themselves to previous administrations and their cuts. They should be careful, as this will spike the deficit and the borrowing will grow enormously, into amounts that make the Democratic government look careful and fiscal sound. But it is only the Republican Presidents and Governments who is allowed to act as drunk dogs and then complain when the democrats doesn’t serve them at the last call. Certainly, this is the prospect of this sort of acts. This will not be for the American families, neither for the middle-class, this tax cuts are for the business owners and the wealthy who pockets dozens of millions on this without any consideration on fiscal funding of the budget, nor the expenses running the current government. But hey, Trump wants to downgrade the American economy and also weaken the dollar, so this might be one of the many ways he tries to do it. Kudos! Peace.

Trump Administration proposed budget (FY-2018) to axe the ‘Economic Support Funds’ and the ‘Development Assistance’ on the African Continent!

Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.”Kwame Nkrumah

You should expect by a man blessed and gotten the support by the Christian Conservative in the United States of America, to care a little about the ones who has less and needs support. You would expect of a man who claims to be a Christian and a man of faith to support charity and good causes. But President Donald J. Trump isn’t like any other Christian Conservative, I know, as he has used his own Foundation to buy statutes of himself and also use it on his real-estate, as well as reports of buying celebrity memorabilia.

Well, why do I start with this? Because it was released yesterday the remarkable “Financial Year 2018 Control Levels by state bureau, operating unit and Account”, this are the planned budget for the AEECA, DA, ESF, GHP-State and GHP-USAID. This United States Government document is dated not further back than the 6th April of 2017. The effects of the planned cuts in some of the regional aid projects, development aid and economic support funds, is as astonishing as the Presidency itself. It is a disgrace to anything of humanitarian understanding and belief of goodness in the Trump Administration at all. This sort of acts of disregard of humanitarian assistance, proves that the Trump Administration is a selfish, disgusting and belittling state. Who cannot afford to help the ones in need or the continue to finish the projects they have put forward abroad. The development projects overseas will now fail over night. Just take a look!

The “Economic Support funds” and “Development Assistance”, who are slashed a total of 100% from 2017 to 2018 are in Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the African Union! Also the own offices and planning regional development all over the continent like the: USAID African Regional, USAID Central African Regional, USAID East African Regional, USAID Sahel Regional, USAID Southern Regional and the USAID West Africa Regional as well. That is 20 African countries being directly dropped by the Trump Administration and cutting needed funding of running expenses by these government. This happens without any consideration of finding alternative sources or taxing to cover the dropped direct support. That is apparent the act of the Christian Conservative President Trump, who is supposed to be a charitable and caring character. Clearly, he wants to send the African nations a message, that he doesn’t give two shits about their fate or their sustainability.

What is the meaning behind the ESF: “Economic Support Funds (ESF) is economic aid designated to promote economic or political stability in areas where the United States has special strategic interests. Authorized under Chapter 4, Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, ESF is a flexible assistance tool that can be structured to meet a diverse range of foreign policy and economic development objectives. The makeup of ESF programs are made on a country-specific basis, while the nature of ESF assistance to a particular country is determined by a combination of the needs of the recipient and U.S. foreign policy objectives. Among ESF’s diverse applications are the following programs (among others): advancing peace and stability, building accountable and transparent institutions, creating economic and educational opportunities for youth, countering extremist ideology, counter-terrorism and counternarcotics, governance, economic growth, anti-corruption, trade capacity building and democratic strengthening. The executive branch is responsible for policy decisions and justifications for ESF use, including country eligibility and funding levels” (Security Assistance Monitor).

What is the meaning behind the “Development Assistance”: “ … [for] sustained support of the people of developing countries in their efforts to acquire the knowledge and resources essential to development and to build the economic, political, and social institutions which will improve the quality of their lives.” (USAID, 2005).

So the Trump Administration apparently doesn’t see any Foreign Policy or Economic Development Objectives inside 20 African Nations in Financial Year of 2018. This is only in the African States and Republics, not all over the world. Clearly the values of quality of life, building economic, political and social institutions doesn’t matter to Trump. The monies saved are surely going to more ‘Mothers of All Bombs” or to expensive carriers to fight an unnecessary war. Since, President Trump is caring or considering about the acts of his time in office.

The USAID operations on the African continent is clearly sending a message, that he does not think off or has anything to offer them. That the U.S. plans to be their uncle or sugar-daddy, that their instead thinking of leaving them behind. The wealth of United States rather goes to building war-ships and bombers, than being used on Humanitarian projects building institutions abroad. Therefore, the United States as a power-player on the African continent is gone with this. As their forged relationship and patronage is gone with this sort of budget. The significant relationship between their development projects in the 20 nations who suddenly get brash cuts and stopped all funding off. Peace.

Reference:

Security Assistance Monitor – ‘Economic Support Funds’ link: http://securityassistance.org/south-asia/content/economic%20support%20fund

USAID – ‘U.S. Foreign Assistance Reference Guide’ (2005) link: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnadc240.pdf

DRC: “Further mass graves and killings discovered in Kasais” says Zeid (19.04.2017)

This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 19, 2017 – UN investigators in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have confirmed the existence of at least 17 further mass graves in Kasai Central Province, which has been the scene of clashes between soldiers and members of a local militia known as Kamuina Nsapu. This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.

The presence of the additional graves was confirmed during an investigation mission to Kasai Central between 5 and 7 April by staff from the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) and UN Police (UNPOL).

Fifteen of the mass graves were in a cemetery in the town of Tshimbulu and two in the locality of Tshienke. The UN team gathered information that soldiers from the Forces armées de la Republique démocratique du Congo (FARDC) had reportedly dug the graves, after clashing with presumed elements of the Kamuina Nsapu militia between 26 and 28 March. At least 74 people, including 30 children, were reported to have been killed by soldiers as a result of these clashes.

The UN team also visited Kananga to gather information about alleged abuses and violations there. Between 28 and 30 March, FARDC soldiers were reported to have shot dead at least 40 people, including 11 children and 12 women, in the Nganza commune of Kananga, and injured at least 21 others. The majority of the victims were said to have been killed in their homes as soldiers went door to door looking for militia members.

Two of the victims died in hospital, while the remaining 38 were reportedly buried by the local population in three mass graves. FARDC soldiers were also reported to have buried an unknown number of bodies in a fourth mass grave in Nganza cemetery.

UNJHRO also received reports that at least two women and three girls had been raped by FARDC soldiers during the same operation in Nganza. Defence and security forces were alleged to have arrested and detained 27 people, including 10 boys and a 15-year-old girl.

The UN investigators, who also visited the Katoka commune of Kananga, heard reports that during search operations by officers from the Police nationale congolaise (PNC) on 28 March, a 23-year-old man, a 17-year-old boy and a one-month-old baby had been killed. The UN team was told that the baby had been fatally injured after being trampled on by police officers searching their house.

The Kamuina Nsapu militia, which is loyal to a local customary chief killed by the army on 12 August last year, has been accused of recruiting hundreds of children into its ranks, and targeting state agents and symbols, including government premises, schools, hospitals, police stations, as well as churches. An example of such violence happened on 30 March when about 30 alleged Kamuina Nsapu militiamen attacked the parish church of Saint-Jean de Masuika in Luiza territory, where they ill-treated at least three nuns and a priest, threatening to kill them. In addition, the priest and one of the nuns were reportedly abducted and then released the next day after money was paid. The militiamen also vandalized the church, breaking doors and windows, and burning the priest’s chasubles.

“The discovery of yet more mass graves and the reports of continued violations and abuses highlight the horror that has been unfolding in the Kasais over the last nine months,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“It is absolutely vital that the Government of the DRC takes meaningful steps, which to date have been lacking,  to ensure that there is a prompt, transparent, and independent investigation to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by all parties, and other abuses of justice. My Office has offered its assistance in conducting such a credible investigation. We reiterate our request for access to all sites of mass graves, as well as to all witnesses, including those in detention, and other relevant information necessary to determine responsibility at all levels,” Zeid said.

“The scale and nature of the violence increasingly underscore the need to monitor the situation closely. Should there be no effective national investigation, I will not hesitate to urge the international community to support an investigation by an international mechanism, including the International Criminal Court, which recently reminded the DRC authorities of their primary responsibility under the Rome Statute to investigate and prosecute the alleged acts of violence in the Kasais,” the High Commissioner said.

Alabama’s impeachment report airs out Governor Bentley moral turpitude!

The Alabama Constitution of 1901 expressly provides five grounds for impeachment: willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, intemperance in the use of liquor or narcotics, and “any offense involving moral turpitude while in office, or committed under color thereof, or connected therewith.” It provides almost no guidance, however, and much less any mandates, as to how either house of the Legislature must conduct its respective part of the process” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 44, 2017). What is Moral Turpitude: “Moral turpitude is a legal concept that refers to any conduct that is believed to be contrary to the community standards of honesty, justice, or good moral values. While there is no one exact definition of acts that are considered under moral turpitude, they are typically described as any acts of vileness or depravity, or of sexual immorality, whether in a private or social context. One example of moral turpitude is murder. To explore this concept, consider the following moral turpitude definition” (Legal Dictionary – Moral Turpitude)

There are interesting times in Alabama, United States, a grand corruption case and impeachment of the Governor Robert J. Bentley, because of the Trump Administration and their scandal this has been silently going on. Even if it is interesting as the precedence for this trial is misuse of his office and of campaign funds. That the House of Representatives in the State was able in 2016 to put forward the case and file it. Proves that the other representatives in Alabama want the state to be just in front of their citizens, not just a place for the Governor Bentley to eat.

As Gawker itself noted in March 2015: “That the Bentleys are making sure they can the suppress details of their divorce is not a surprise—they had already been doing it for months. According to documents filed by Dianne Bentley, the two have been separated since January—things appear to have been so bad that the First Lady had to be convinced to attend Bentley’s inauguration on January 19—but as AL.com notes, the two have “gone to great lengths to hide [that] fact.” For instance, on July 24, more than seven months after their separation, both Robert and Dianne used their Twitter accounts to wish each other a happy anniversary, with Dianne writing, “God has blessed us w/ 50 years of marriage.” (Sargent, 2015).

That the two term elected Alabama Governor Bentley has misused his position, not only been unjust to his wife with the affair at the Alabama State House, he had also let his unelected adviser Rebekah Mason, who could use her close relationship to control the Governor. Therefore, she was de facto Governor, as she had to be in the room when decisions we’re made. This proves alone, not only the misuse of public funds and use of state budget on her place inside his campaign team and as consultant firm.

Those in Montgomery who work with the governor said Mason, 43, is an integral part of his team and that her influence has continued to grow” (…) “You can’t get to the governor unless she clears it,” said one legislator, who asked that his name not be used. “Some people resent that.” (…) “Earlier this year, Mason was named one of “The 50 Most Powerful and Influential People in Alabama” by the conservative site Yellowhammer.com, who described her as “part of the very small circle of the governor’s closest advisors.” (…) “From crafting State of the State Addresses to coordinating external efforts to advance the governor’s agenda, Mason is involved in all of it. No one has the governor’s ear more than she does. No one,” the site noted” (Gore, 2015)

The consultant firms that Governor INC hired to work for him. The Alabama House Judiciary Committee’s report, even as the Governor has worked to deliver as little information as possible, there are clearly evidence of the misuse of the Executive power in the State. Not only falling in love with another woman, than the ones who the Governor was married to. Just take a look!

Entitlement:

By insisting that Governor Bentley is entitled to due process under the federal Constitution, he implicitly asserts that he owns the Office of the Governor of the State of Alabama and that his suspension or removal from office is a deprivation of his property. This is wrong” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 14, 2017).

Impeachment:

The very purpose of impeachment – to protect the public from an abusive official – would be undermined if the Executive were shielded from the full reach of the Committee’s investigative authority in this circumstance. Thus, the “alleged misconduct of a chief executive that is sufficient to warrant an impeachment inquiry should not, as the [Governor’s] contention suggests, present a reason for exempting him from accountability; rather it should have the opposite effect.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 23, 2017).

Governor Bentley withheld documentation:

Leaving aside for the moment the question of the applicability of that privilege as asserted by a Governor against a co-equal branch of government in an impeachment investigation, Governor Bentley certainly should have produced all non-privileged documents responsive to the Committee’s request. In most circumstances, it is the burden of the subpoenaed party to support specific claims of privilege by describing the nature of the documents withheld” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 30, 2017).

No disclosing his Cell-phones:

Despite multiple witnesses stating that Governor Bentley has consistently used three cell phones, Governor Bentley provided no documents responsive to the Committee’s request for a list of his cell phones or mobile devices (Item 29). He objected that the request “seeks information outside of the possession, custody or control of the Office of the Governor.”109 The Committee sought, without success, to determine if Governor Bentley was drawing a distinction between an “Office of the Governor” cell or so-called “burner” phone and a “Robert J. Bentley” cell or burner phone. The Committee noted that the document labeled OTG009338 (Ex. 5-CC) is a cover page for a selection of text messages from a phone that is referred to as “Governor state phone.” At a minimum, Governor Bentley’s “state phone” was in the possession, custody or control of the Office of the Governor” (House Committee of Alabama, P. 32, 2017).

Witnesses and Governor refused to testify:

On October 24, 2016, the Committee, through Special Counsel and pursuant to Amended Committee Rule 6, sent to the Office of the Governor notices for the transcribed testimony under oath of Governor Robert J. Bentley, Zach Lee, Wesley Helton and David Byrne. Despite follow-up requests, the noticed persons have declined to testify” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 34, 2017).

Secret relationship:

A number of law enforcement personnel and other staff members we interviewed were suspicious that the confidentiality agreements were designed to conceal the Bentley-Mason relationship. On the other hand, Seth Hammett maintains that the agreements were not intended for that purpose and resulted entirely from his concern that the Office of the Governor did not adequately control who attended meetings, or the flow of information in those meetings. Hammett was concerned that this lack of information control could result in the leak of sensitive information from the Office. He claims the agreements were specifically designed to address that concern. Information security was a consistent theme of the changes Hammett made after he took over as chief of staff, and according to him, such concerns were his primary motivation for the structural changes he implemented in the Office” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 57, 2017).

Rebekah Mason’s employment:

As noted above, Rebekah Mason joined Governor Bentley’s 2010 campaign and then transitioned into his Administration, first as Communications Director and later as Communications Advisor. Beginning February 2011, she was paid a salary of approximately $98,000 per year, which was reduced after March 2012 to approximately $48,000 per year” (…) “In July 2013, Mason left formal employment with the Office of the Governor to begin work on Governor Bentley’s re-election campaign, although she was at the Capitol in Governor Bentley’s office on a regular basis, having maintained a parking space and keycard access. While working on the campaign, Mason was paid through her company, RCM Communications, Inc., which was incorporated on July 19, 2013. A review of publicly-available campaign finance records reveal that RCM Communications received money from Bentley for Governor, Inc., and was not paid by any other political candidate in Alabama. Bentley for Governor, Inc.’s publicly-available filings reflect that RCM Communications was paid monthly for “Consultants/Polling” and received reimbursement for transportation, lodging, food, and administrative expenses. From July 31, 2013, through November 13, 2014, Bentley for Governor, Inc. paid RCM Communications $426,978.43, which included $184,515.00 for “Consultants/Polling” and $220,346.00 for “Advertising.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 57-58).

Lewis on the Mason’s connection with the Governor:

Lewis had never met the dermatologist from Tuscaloosa who was on the verge of becoming Governor that November, but he accepted an offer from the commander of the DPU to serve as Dr. Bentley’s protective detail leader should he be elected Governor. Lewis met Dr. Bentley and his family on Election Day and was immediately impressed. Lewis saw Dr. Bentley as a family man and recalled that “he just expected us to handle things above board, to be responsible in what we did. And, you know . . . he was a religious man. He was a Christian, and he had that reputation already so you knew that you had to toe the line when you were around him.” (Ex. 9-B)” (…) “After Robert Bentley was elected Governor, the relationship between the two men grew close. Lewis recalls: “[T]he governor was like a father figure to me when we first started. We’re very close. We would talk about anything.” (…) “As Governor Bentley’s affair with Mason evolved, Lewis noticed that Governor Bentley “started to change.” Lewis’s relationship with Governor Bentley soured, and Lewis ultimately came to distrust Governor Bentley. He noted: “I knew that if the governor would betray his own family, there’s nothing to stop him from coming at me.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 62, 2017).

Nonetheless, on multiple occasions, and with a frequency that increased as the relationship between Governor Bentley and Mason grew, Lewis found himself overruled by Governor Bentley. Lewis recalls one occasion when he instructed Governor Bentley’s Director of Scheduling Linda Adams, while planning for a trip, not to put Mason on the State plane. Later that day, Governor Bentley called Lewis and ordered him to put Mason on the flight. Lewis recalls telling Governor Bentley: “Sir, I disagree with that, but you’re the governor and I will respect your wishes.” Lewis believes this conversation was the beginning of the deterioration of his relationship with Governor Bentley” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 79, 2017).

Using the Wallace elevator:

Mason also often came into Governor Bentley’s office without the staff’s knowledge. It is believed this occurred because she was allowed to maintain keycard access to the capitol even though she was no longer a State employee. It was also reported that she was able to arrive in Governor Bentley’s office through an unobserved elevator that moved directly between Governor Bentley’s personal office on the first floor of the capitol and the press office in the basement. (Ex. 5-I at 3-4). This elevator was put in by Governor George Wallace after he was shot and is referred to as the “Wallace Elevator.” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 67, 2017).

Control of 2015 budget:

A stark example of Mason’s control was her role in State budget negotiations in 2015. Spencer Collier told us that in years past, the budget process was initiated by a meeting with State Finance Director Bill Newton and his staff. At the conclusion of that meeting, Collier would meet with Governor Bentley to discuss strategies for addressing any potential cuts. However, in 2015, ALEA was required to meet with Mason and Jennifer Ardis to set budget priorities” (House Committee of Alabama, P: 69, 2017).

The report show’s the connection between Rebekah Mason and Governor Robert Bentley is clear, where the involvement went passed the employee and employer. The details that comes through the report proves the close relationship and the Mrs. Bentley divorce as she understood, because the Governor wasn’t a James Bond. He couldn’t keep himself away from the consultant and the campaign contributor. That even she had to be on the State planes, even as she wasn’t anymore a state employee, the security detail had to accept it. So Lewis said many times it was a bad idea, still the Governor had to have her with him. Just as she had to give him advice on the State Budget. This here proves that an unelected lover can become important.

The First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa has expelled Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and a female staff from its membership amid a raging controversy over an inappropriate audio recording that suggested the governor had an extramarital affair. Bentley was a deacon in the church” (…)”While church discipline is a church family matter, both Governor Robert Bentley and Mrs. Rebekah Mason are no longer members of First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa. I continue to pray for each of them,” Senior Pastor Gil McKee told Christian News Network on Friday” (Hicap, 2016).

So in last month the Church that both cheaters comes from have expelled them, the place they met before they went to Montgomery to become State Officials. Therefore, the Christian Family man because of love life and is extramarital affair, can not also lose all his credibility, but also expelled from his Christian fellowship. That shows the consequences of the Conservative Republican state that Governor Bentley has run.

Therefore, the State impeachment and the clear report proving the misconduct and misuse of power. As well as his unethical affair that also has implicated his office as the Executive, proves how Bentley got hooked on power and on the newfound love. So the former deacon is clearly not following his own teachings when it comes to an affair on the outside of his marriage, as he did what he could to have the consultant close and also keep the divorce silent too. Since he wanted his image to stay relevant. Certainly, the maladministration and the possible use of State property to usher in the relationship can be seen as “involving moral turpitude while in office” (Alabama Constitution 1901).

So that he misused the Alabama state to have an affair with Rebekah Mason, she was apparently married woman, so them both was having affairs for different reasons. The Governor Bentley is bad enough for selling his Christian Family Values, while being unfaithful and having an affair with a married woman, also misusing his position as Executive to get her on trips and get her hired through straw-companies, as campaign consultant, instead of directly in the State House. That shows the level of extent and that the Governor hired and sacked people to keep it secret as well. Even if he bad at keeping it low-key… Peace.

Reference:

Legal Dictionary – ‘Moral Turpitude’ link: https://legaldictionary.net/moral-turpitude/

Gore, Leade – ‘Who is Rebekah Caldwell Mason? Gov. Bentley’s advisor paid $426,978 in 2014 election’ (03.09.2015) link: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/09/who_is_rebekah_caldwell_mason.html

Hicap, Jonah – ‘Baptist Church expels Alabama governor, female staff over admitted explicit calls’ (29.03.2016) link: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/baptist.church.expels.alabama.governor.female.staff.over.admitted.explicit.calls/82816.htm

Representatives House of Alabama – ‘ THE IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION OF GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY PRE-HEARING SUBMISSION OF SPECIAL COUNSEL’ (07.04.2017)

Sargent, Jordan – ‘Alabama Governor Robert Bentley Won’t Say Whether He Fucked a Staffer’ (09.03.2015) link: http://gawker.com/alabama-governor-robert-bentley-wont-say-whether-he-fuc-1728112971

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

DRC: Now up to 30 Mass Graves in Kasai-Oriental Province and other reports!

The endless violence that has occurred in the Province since March 2016 to April 2017 has to stop. The killings of innocent civilians as the United Nations finds more and more mass graves in and around Kasai-Oriental. That the Kamunia Nsapu rebels are dangerous is an understatement, but the Armed Forces of Democratic of Congo (FARDC) has really made a manslaughter and something that must reminisce of a genocide. The amount of killings and the systematic destruction of society as the amounts of dead and findings of graves, is only the beginning. With the coming reports of the villages that is looted and the senseless tyranny, that has appeared in the region should worry anyone who care about somebody. There are also towns who has been taken for granted that has gotten issues by the armed insurgency. So the end-game right now is scores of dead and the mass graves as the armed violence continues.

While the International Community condemns the killings of the UN Experts and their interpreter, there isn’t much else than a weaker UN Peacekeeping Mission tabled from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and an unsure political process underway. As the local reports will tell about both condemnation from CRONGD and Reprodhoc, but also other mere facts of the dire situation that is healthy to know.

CRONGD condemns the killings:

The Regional Council of Central Non-Governmental Organizations (Crongd) of Kasaï Central and the Provincial Network of Human Rights Organizations (Reprodhoc) say …” (…)Condemn with the utmost energy the violence, the exactions, the stalking, the killings and the massacres of the populations and the villages in the Kasai space, vigorously protest against any pretension to want to resort to and impose peace by force, knowing that the force Has never produced lasting peace, “they denounced” (…) “… Call for an independent international investigation into the killings and massacres of those currently buried in nearly 30 mass graves, calling for justice..” (Ngonga, 2017).

The Situation in Luebo, Kasai:

The administrator of Luebo regrets that the enlistment kits have been set on fire and even feared the holding of elections in this part of Kasai. He explained that the National Police is not armed to face such an attack: “The police are not equipped to deal with a war that is happening. Under these conditions, the police could only intrench themselves because they were not an army. In Luebo, there were never any soldiers, “concluded Joseph Mbuyi Mubenga” (Ntambwe, 2017).

Government disclaim the reports from Catholic church in the Kasai province:

But in Kananga, it is the brutality of the army that is pointed at, notably by the Catholic church, in the front line on the ground. “It is difficult to understand these reactions of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church speaking of the disproportionate use of force, whereas we do not have the elements on what exactly happened …, “Said Lambert Mende, spokesman for the Congolese government, by telephone” (TV5Monde, 2017).

Government proclaims order:

The military is patrolling to restore order in the region, according to Justin Milonga, who recommended that local people report any cases of slippage in these operations. “If there are cases of slippage, all of us, we are called to denounce them so that sanctions are inflicted on these elements of order. I reassure you … that there are even some officers who are in prison for having slipped on the ground, “he said before calling the residents who fled their homes to return. This deployment is part of the “restoration of public order disrupted by militia activism and not to bother the population,” said Justin Milonga at a press conference” (Radio Okapi, 2017).

So there are reports that are worrying, but there some concern of the matter. It is hard to believe Lambert Mende and Vice-Governor of Kasai Central Justin Milonga, as the amounts of mass graves and the scores of death is arising, the violence and uncertainty isn’t something that seem real. That the army is there and trying to monitor the situation is clear, but the control of the different battalions and knowledge of the rebels activity seem unclear. Even if some of the soldiers are having mutiny can also be asked. Since there reports of military personnel behind bars. Therefore the spokesperson shows there has been transgression within the army of both violence and otherwise, if not the men wouldn’t serve time.

There are so many questions as the numbers of mass graves comes in Kasai-Oriental or Kasai Central, as the brutality and violence aftermath and current state appear. As the local reports of both looting and vandalism, as well as towns feeling unsure about the armed insurgency like in Luebo. The civilians and people Congo, deserve better and the Congolese Authorities has to take action, as their inaction and the probable causes for the breaches against crime against humanity should be looked into. The Presidency of Kabila should not able to walk away from this without a scratch, as his rule is questioned and deservedly so. Peace.

Reference:

Acualite.cd/ Ngonga, Franck – ‘Kasaï Central : Un collectif d’ONG parle d’environ 30 fosses communes et demande une enquête internationale’ (03.04.2017) link: https://actualite.cd/2017/04/03/kasai-central-collectif-dong-parle-denviron-30-fosses-communes-demande-enquete-internationale/

Ntambwe, Stanislas – ‘KASAÏ: LA CITÉ DE LUEBO SOUS CONTRÔLE DES HOMMES ARMÉS’ (03.04.2017) link: http://www.lepotentielonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16740:kasai-la-cite-de-luebo-sous-controle-des-hommes-

armes&catid=90:online-depeches&Itemid=517

Radio Okapi – ‘Kasaï-Central: la population appelée à dénoncer les dérapages des militaires’ ((03.04.2017) link: http://www.radiookapi.net/2017/04/03/actualite/societe/kasai-central-la-population-appelee-denoncer-les-derapages-des?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+radiookapi%2Factu+%28Radiookapi.net%29#sthash.ZffUtZla.dpuf

TV5Monde – ‘RDC : 7 mois de violences au Kasaï’ (03.04.2017) link: http://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/rdc-7-mois-de-violences-au-kasai-162430

Weaken mandate of MONUSCO is a gift-wrapped surprise to Kabila!

We don’t want to just cut for the sake of cutting. There are places we can cut. Everybody knows there’s fat at the U.N. Everybody knows there’s fat in the peacekeeping missions. So that’s why we’re taking each one.” – Nikki Haley U.S. Ambassador to the UN (Westcott, 29.03.2017).

There is something very wrong with our current day of leadership and their pride. If a mission had been finalized and done, than I would understand why they decided to change the mandate or suspend it. What happen at the United Nations Security Council this week, the 31st March 2017 is a mystery to me. It is a unique act of ignorance and lack of understanding, as if the less is better when the acts of oppression and killings happens on a day-to-day basis. When villages and towns are silenced by either government forces or rebels. That the UNSC see it fit to cut their mandate and have less soldiers to be there monitor and control the acts against the civilians. Take a look!

The worrying news from the United Nations:

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for another year but reduced the number of troops” (…) “In a resolution unanimously adopted, the 15-member body decided to keep the UN Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) until 31 March 2018, but approved 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units” (…) “In a previous mandate extension, the Council approved 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units” (MONUSCO, 2017).

That the United Nations Security Council cuts with 3,600 military personnel into the MONUSCO Peacekeeping Operation mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is like a wrapped Christmas gift in early March. Also the cut in in military observers by a 100, only keeping the same amount of police personnel and police units, shows the lack of understanding the fragile situation inside Congo. The Congolese Authorities are oppressive and silencing the citizens, while citizens are dying and even mass-graves are appearing in Kasai-Oriental, as M23 have resurfaced, the Mayi-Mayi creating issues, Kamwina Nsapu rebellion, the ADF-NALU inside the Kivu’s. There are so much violence and killings, still the International Community play foul by stepping down their mission as the situation isn’t becoming clearer or better.

There been issues in North Kivu and South Kivu for long as Rwandese and Ugandan based rebel groups, together with relics of the great-wars of the 1990s are still at large, these are done in systematic oppression, as well as the resources have been exported through channels that even lead to the building of gold refinery in Entebbe recently. Still, this is all happening under the nose of the United Nations Security Council, they know this as of late two of the UN Experts together with their interpreter lost their lives while following up on the mass-graves of Kasai-Oriental. Therefore, that after months of killings in yet another province, that the MONUSCO getting weaker is gift to President Kabila and his violent oppressive army FARDC.

Important cuts of MONUSCO according to the U.S. Ambassador to the UN on the DRC Mission:

““We can reduce the troops tremendously,” Haley would later tell a gathering of foreign-policy mandarins and reporters at the Council on Foreign Relations. President Joseph Kabila’s “corrupt” government, she suggested, may be unworthy of international support from the United Nations. And the U.N. mission, she added, might be compromising its integrity by “aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people.” (Lynch & McCormick, 2017).

Well, what the new Ambassador Haley doesn’t see that if the UN didn’t have a genuine mandate and forces there, than the escalation and the possible worsen efforts from the government could have appeared, as the price of power from the central government hasn’t really showed lack of use of excess force in the past. As well as giving way to rebels to steal and take resources so they can export it to Rwanda and Uganda. That has happen over a decade and shaped the mineral industries, as well as the relationship between the Republics. But I am sure that Haley haven’t read the bloody history or the extended warfare and warlords that has affected the Congolese heartland. That would surely make her think of other than corruption, but also of the amount of innocent people killed. She and the U.S. can replicate their dollars and drop silver dollars again to crash economies as they did in the past. But, to use economy as a reason to give way to President Kabila, seems futile and like monkey-wrenching the UN Peacekeeping mission.

So the cutting of the fat, will also cut the will and possible effects of the UN Mission in the DRC. They are maybe saving some funds, but even creating most likely unknown effects where the stakes are higher than a service adjourned and continues peace. The Kabila Government are far likely fearing the UN and their MONUSCO while knowing that the UN will cut their support and their mandate to save U.S. Tax payers monies. Instead of seeing the benefit of securing the peace in the Congo. Certainly, the nation who was partly involved in the killing of President Patrice Lumumba, should feel their needed support of a peaceful transition and recognize that they also kept the funding of President Mobutu Sese Seko for decades upon end. So the US history in the DRC comes with a price and they should not talk budget, but talk on how to strengthen the MONUSCO’s mandate to secure the civilians, who are used as pawns on the chess-set, while the leaders are trading favors and finding paths to stay in power. Kabila knows this and using all tricks to be able to stay without holding an election or respecting the CENCO agreement. Therefore, the weaken MONUSCO by 3,600 military personnel is gift, a splendid gift to Kabila and his cronies.

Kabila, should be delighted and have an afternoon delight with some liquor and prime cut beef. However, the US administration shows that they are not thinking long-term in policies in their respects to the UN. This will cost more and take more time on their involvement in peacekeeping mission in the future, as the resolving mechanisms and the results of stifling the powers are gone. The mission themselves sometimes doesn’t deliver great results in change, but they keep the violence at bay and also make sure the governments doesn’t extended their power grab. That would change if the weaken mandate of MONUSCO would be even more axed. Peace.

Reference:

Lynch, Colum & McCormick, Ty – ‘Nikki Haley Threatened to Withhold Backing for U.N.’s Congo Mission, Then Blinked’ (30.03.2017) link: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/30/nikki-haley-threatened-to-withhold-backing-for-u-n-s-congo-mission-then-blinked/

MONUSCO – ‘DR CONGO: SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS PEACEKEEPING MANDATE, BUT REDUCES TROOP STRENGTH’ (31.03.2017) link: https://monusco.unmissions.org/en/dr-congo-security-council-extends-peacekeeping-mandate-reduces-troop-strength

Westcott, Lucy – ‘U.N. AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY: ‘I BELIEVE YOU WILL SEE CUTS TO THE U.N.’ (29.03.2017) link: http://www.newsweek.com/nikki-haley-un-budget-cuts-peacekeeping-575967

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