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

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Getting Tricked in DC. - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Behind the Lines,Venture in Africa
Author: John Malone
Date: 2nd March, 2007 @ 04:35:01 AM

So, at the invitation of Senator Hagel’s Chief of Staff, our Managing Director from Kenya and I fly out to our nation’s capital.

Our arrangements were incredibly efficient, and so we remarked to each other. Everything was trouble free. We left the airport, cuaght the train, and before we knew it, we were at DC Union Station, taking a very short walk to our hotel, which maintained excellent arrangements for us.

Having discarded some of what we were carrying, we walked back to Capitol Hill and the Russell Office Building where, in room 248 and others, Senator Hagel offices.

We kept our 4:30 pm appointment promptly. Although I had asked for an appointment with Senator Hagel, his Chief of Staff Lou Ann Linehan had her assistant call me the week prior and set an appointment with her for this time. So, we kept it. Linehan had made a concerted effort to keep me from meeting with Hagel for seven months.

(I think she didn’t want me to tell Hagel what she and Rexon Ryu have done. Ryu, who took over for Andrew Parasiliti in dealing with our matters, asked me last July to attempt to negotiate one more time with the Kenyans. He offered if that failed, Senator Hagel would write a letter to Secretary Rice. After I complied, and the effort miserably failed, Ryu declared he never said Hagel would write Rice. He said it in the hearing of three others, including Ambassador Don Yamamoto.)

The alternative – that Senator Hagel himself wants to avoid a meeting – is something others have said to me, but was not what I believed at the time. I emphasize that it was Linehan who scheduled the appointment. I even told her assistant that I did not especially care to meet with her, but that I would as an effort to meet with Hagel.

Linehan was terse and rude from the outset of our meeting, saying to Lazarus, “Who are you?” We sat down and she handed me a four page summary of “CTH’s” (Chuck T. Hagel) efforts on our behalf. I read it quickly, wondering why she didn’t provide the document to me in advance. It was a slanted account, serving to cast me as someone unreasonable in my own affairs. No copy was provided for Laz, nor one given for me to keep.

I told her it was detailed, but not accurate. I offered to provide commentary to correct it if she would like. She wasn’t interested.

She said, “Do you think there is a conspiracy of 36 people in the State Department against you?” I answered, “Why are you talking like that? I am having a problem with an ambassador who is on a personal agenda. In fact, I have considered that I should sue him personally.”

She said, “You need to hire an attorney to handle this.” I said, “I have already hired attorneys for this.” I don’t think it is necessary for someone to hire an attorney to meet with Senator Hagel.

In fact, Lazarus had just recently counseled with perhaps the best-known Kenyan senior partner of Kaplan & Stratton in Nairobi.

I was not interested in rehashing again with her the 3-year history. I asked what all of this had to do with meeting Senator Hagel. She said she saw no reason for me to meet with him.

I asked her to put that in writing. She said “that’s a possibility”, and made some remarks about not being afraid to show the media the list I had read.

I think her concern was that the media learns of the expropriation. She rambled about the media, and I asked again to meet the Senator. She looked at a TV monitor and said I could see Hagel on CNN voting for actions about illegal immigrants. I said I had experience with an illegal immigrant, who under a false identity took a 13-14 year-old girl out of Kansas.

She said, “Are you against illegal immigrants, too?” I answered, “What kind of remark is that? I have successfully started the largest IT training operation on the African continent. I committed myself and resources for many years there.”

She said, “A lot of Americans have done such things.” I asked, “Laz, do you know American investors doing such things in Kenya?” He shook his head in the negative.

Now, having lost her temper, she stood up. “This meeting is over.” It lasted 11 minutes.

As I was leaving the office, I told her she shouldn’t have done what she just did, and as the door was closing, that I did not believe she was representing Senator Hagel’s viewpoint.

This is when it starts to get weirder.

Laz and I had walked to the Capitol area. I knew Don Yamamoto of the Bureau of African Affairs often worked until 8. I called to meet with him Tuesday evening, prior to our time Wednesday, wherein we anticipated a full day at the State Department.

To my surprise, Yamamoto’s secretary told me he had whisked off to Africa, and, of all places, was in Nairobi. I was stunned. This call took place in a rotunda area down the hall from Senator Hagel’s office. She told me she would call me right back. I told her I would just wait in the Russell building.

While waiting for her, I called Barbour, Griffiths, & Rogers, the leading Republican lobbying firm, to reach Andrew Parasiliti, who had served on Hagel’s staff. I thought he tried to help me. I realize now he was being duplictous.

Laz and I went back up the hall, stopping at Senator John McCain’s office, remaining in the hallway. I thought I could ask Senator McCain to tell Hagel I was trying to meet with him, but his staff usurpers were keeping me away. I heard that Senator McCain and Hagel were personally closer than colleagues.

I was considering going in to McCain’s office, when he came out through the next door. I called a greeting to him, and he responded to both Laz and me. He went down the hall, and I thought he would return shortly. I waited.

Within a minute, a short guy in uniform – let’s just call him Sergeant David Napoleon of the Capitol Police – approached and ordered Laz and I to come with him. I asked him what this was about and if we were free to leave. He said we were. I knew he did not have cause to arrest me. I was wondering what was going on.

At the end of the hallway he asked for my driver’s license. He said we were “told to leave” and refused. I said, “Nobody told us to leave anywhere. Isn’t this a public place?” Yes, it was. I said, “What’s the problem?” He didn’t answer, but kept asking for my driver’s license. He said he needed my social security number. I wanted his superior officer. He was called.

In short, the police – as many as eight of them – detained Laz and me for an hour. They said Senator Hagel’s Chief of Staff (Luann Linehan) – his “AA” – had called them. (Perhaps she had a guilty conscience about the way she treated us, fearing retribution, thinking she deserved it: I can only guess.)

After being released by the police, we simply walked away from the Capitol, frittered away the next day, and came home. I called Senator Hagel’s office, talked to his scheduler (Emily Haigh), and asked for an appointment. She said she did not call the police. I have since been waiting for either an appointment, or something in writing telling me I cannot have one. It’s been 9 months now.

So, here’s the lesson. If you want to meet your elected representative in our nation’s capital, be prepared to meet someone who has never stood for election, and then the Capitol police.

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