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Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*

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Expropriation! - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Behind the Lines,Venture in Africa
Author: John Malone
Date: 27th July, 2006 @ 02:32:17 PM


It’s the one word the U.S. State Department apparently never wants to say.

In early June of 2003, Presidential appointee and political hack Nick Wanjohi, Vice Chancellor of the JKUAT, dispatched campus security to our joint venture operation and forcibly ejected the management of Diamond systems, Ltd. and “suspended” our company, which was a 50% partner.

This action, taken by the government of Kenya, is what is known as “expropriation.” Wanjohi made the move while the Diamond Systems managing director was in the USA. Wanjohi’s dean of faculty, Professor Henry Thairu, with whom we first came to agreement in the venture, was also in the US at the time.

My initial response, being half-a-world away, was to call the US Embassy in Nairobi.

I was immediately told the US Ambassador, Johnnie Carson, was not in the embassy, having already been discharged from his duties. So I was connected to the acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Virginia Palmer. I told Palmer our venture had been seized by police force. She was stubbornly incredulous.

“Who is this?” she would ask, after I had introduced myself. “What are you talking about?” I explained again. Immediately – and I mean IMMEDIATELY – she decried any responsibility by the embassy in the matter. I dispute with her, in that this was not some kind of small-time problem of diplomacy, but a bold move of police force expropriating valuable assets. She simply HUNG UP on me. It’s almost impossible to explain her behavior, unless you compare it to calling your local cable company.

When it comes to acts such as this, an initial wrong response by parties who have some responsibility to react – such as the US Embassy in Nairobi in this case – can lock them in to defending the indefensible. My experience today is that people are so hard-headed and nasty, that they simply re-victimize a victim in order to defend themselves for doing nothing. Disgracefully, it seems to happen all the time, but it CERTAINLY happened in this case.

The embassy, under the temporary leadership of Palmer, failed to help in any way, or even issue a protest to the Kenyan government about the expropriation. Not too long afterward, a new ambassador, Mark Bellamy, was appointed to Kenya. He immediately locked himself in to defend Palmer’s position. Of course, this is a major problem in organizations of every kind, especially today. leaders do not lead, but act as defenders of all the doings of their underlings. I found myself up against the State Department fraternity.

Later, as the opposition to doing anything about the expropriation mounted in the State Department, I received an anonymous call from someone claiming to be in the State Department who told me my matters would not go anywhere “because of the war on terror, it’s controlling everything in policy. Kenya is a centerpiece in the region for the war on terror.”

For this reason, I knew I could not simply work with people in the U.S. State Department, or Commerce Department personnel who worked in the embassy. They were either on the wrong agenda – such as Palmer – or too far down in the feeding chain.

Remarkably – if not surprisingly – today Virgina Palmer has been “kicked upstairs.” She was economic counselor while in Nairobi, but served on the embassy’s “Counter-Terrorism Working Group.” So she was well able to see that protesting the expropriation of our assets was inconvenient to trying to pry concessions from the Kenyans in the “war on terror.” Now, she is a regional director for a new department of counter-terrorism that reports directly to Secretary Rice.

As these things go, they went in Kenya. When we send Pollyanna, Li’l Abner, and Suzie Creamcheese into foreign service, they set about building their careers, not building effective foreign service. Polly, Abner, and Suzie don’t stay in places like Nairobi for more than 3 years – possibly six – and they can be outlasted. Every Kenyan knows that.

I told that to State Department personnel incessantly, all of whom have fewer years – and fewer contacts – in Kenya than I do. Nevertheless, because liberals pray at the ballot box, they had Pollyanna’s optimism that the new Kibaki government would do “all the right things.”

And the Kibaki government DID do some “right things” as gauged by the State Department, albeit in every case to get some more US taxpayer money. For instance, Kenya signed the anti-terrorism “protocols” and set up national counter-terrorism centers. I’m pretty sure they received high praise in reports to Congress by our State Department personnel for taking that money.

However, as it turns out, Kenya not only didn’t arrest terrorists, but let go those accused of bombing a Hotel filled with Israelis in Mombasa, and firing a rocket at an airplane evacuating Israeli nationals. No one has since been arrested.

While my matters rose to the desk of then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Palmer began to descend into the details or our problem and her mistakes. She tried to negotiate the matter with junior administrators at the JKUAT! Meanwhile, President Kibaki took the step of appointing Chancellors at each national university in Kenya instead of holding the office himself as President Moi did. Kibaki is himself a professor, and used to teach at Uganda’s Makerere University in Kampala.

So, who did he appoint at JKUAT? He appointed Islamic radical Ali Mazrui, a permanent resident of the United States and Kenyan citizen who occupies office space and New York State tax money at the SUNY-Binghampton. He also prances around the US collecting large speaking fees while touting radical Islam on college campuses.

There’s your counter-terrorism!

You guessed it: there’s more. LOTS more.

Little did I know that State Department personnel were also running the office of a powerful US Senator out of my own home state.

Comment by Iker » 18th October, 2015 @ 11:52:36 AM

As for non-instructional text I’m reading . Fictionalized true story about dpoerssien era moonshiners from the county I grew up in (Franklin County, VA).Product Description (via Amazon)Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant’s grandfather and two granduncles, The Wettest County in the World is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; Howard, the middle brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father’s business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.White mule, white lightning, firewater, popskull, wild cat, stump whiskey, or rotgut whatever you called it, Franklin County was awash in moonshine in the 1920s. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the wettest county in the world. In the twilight of his career, Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads trying to find the Bondurant brothers, piece together the clues linking them to The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy, and break open the silence that shrouds Franklin County.In vivid, muscular prose, Matt Bondurant brings these men their dark deeds, their long silences, their deep desires to life. His understanding of the passion, violence, and desperation at the center of this world is both heartbreaking and magnificent.

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