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The Republican Party, cults and their money

Use to be people thought of the Moonies as a cult. But now, thanks, in part, to George and Barbara Bush who get $100K a pop for giving pro Moonie speeches, they are not perceived that way. For starters see GOP and Straight; GOP and Scientology™; FACTNET.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pinellas Commissioner Susan Latvala pumps Scientology(TM) despite its past reputation for dastardly deeds

I urge the convening of a grand jury to determine the truth or falsity of the Scientologists' claim that they have gotten more than 100,000 people off drugs. Established national leaders in drug education and treatment such as PAR, Straight, the Drug Enforcement Administration and mental health professionals should be asked to testify. Former Clearwater mayor Gabe Cazares, letter to the editor , St. Pete Times, Jan. 18, 1990

References:

1. South Park's expose on Scientology™ is the best quick overview of this cult ever done. View Tom Crusie and Trapped in the Closet.



2. Scientology™ operations aimed at former Clearwater mayor Gabe Cazares. LINK1 LINK2


3. Watch the Clearwater Hearings and what Scientologists™ did to Paulette Cooper who wrote the first expose book about them. Part1 Part2




4. Susan Latvala models a hot pink party dress with feather boa at a Scientology™ sponsored fashion show in Clearwater while in Paris Deputy Mayor Anne Hidalgo leads a protest against Scientology™. [Picture of Susan Latvala cropped from photo by Kathleen Flynn, St. Pete Times, 7-19-04.]

Straight was founded in Pinellas County Florida six months after the Church of Scientology™ moved its Naval Headquarters land base there. Two major cults involved in addiction treatment founded at the same place and at the same time. There are many other similarities between Straight and Scientology. For example critics have accused both of using confessions to control members and of sometimes restricting the diets of some members to large helpings of leguminous plants.

In 1990 former Clearwater mayor Gabe Cazares wrote an amazing letter (see excerpt above) to the editor at the St. Pete Times suggesting that "established leaders" like PAR, Straight, DEA and mental health professionals should testify about Narconon™'s claim of success rates. But Straight, unknown to Cazares then, is a destructive cult whose own success rates have been questioned.

Since closing for charges of criminal child abuse Straight has heavily infiltrated PAR. Pinellas Commissioner Susan Latvala directs PAR and is on Straight's (under its current name Drug Free America Foundation) Advisory Board. Her husband Jack is the former chairman of the Florida Republican Party. Check her out above (4) modeling a dress at a Scientology™-backed function. PAR is referring clients to Narconon™ and 6th Circuit Judges Alan and Babb like Narconon™ (Judge Rushing likes Criminon™).

A former director of the DEA is on Straight's (DFAF) Advisory Board.

And former mental health specialist and Drug Czar Robert DuPont was a Straight consultant! Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst has declared Narconon Day and Jeb Bush has declared Betty Sembler Day in honor of Straight cofounder Betty Sembler.



Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Why the United States Government should share in the liability for the damages caused to former Straight clients

by Wesley Fager © August 5, 2003.

The involvement of the government of the state of Florida in the violation of civil liberties and human rights for as many as 50,000 American kids at Straight, Inc. is well documented at Straight, Inc., the Judges and Cops. The following special report describes the role that the United States government played in aiding and abetting Straight in its nefarious activities which have resulted in harm to countless children in violation of state health codes and laws, and in violation of national and international laws. The report explains why the United States government, as a result of the actions of its high level administrators, should be required to share in the liability that their actions have caused.
____________________________________
In a front-page article titled "A Study in Ethics" in Sunday's The Virginian-Pilot (Aug. 3, 2003) a story is told about medical experimentation on one and two year old day care children without the consent or knowledge of the children's parents. In 1996, 2000 and 2001 medical scientists conducted an experiment at 14 day-care centers in the Tidewater, Virginia area using CMV or Cauliflower Mosaic Virus. CMV is a virus that attacks cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, but is known to be harmless to humans. The medical team sprayed fragments of DNA from the virus at various locations in the day care centers. They then tried to track the spread of the virus within the school and amongst the children in order to determine how viruses are spread amongst kids. Of course what the team was looking for is how more potent, destructive human viruses are spread amongst children. No doubt this is a worthy scientific endeavor and hopefully will one day help in our understanding of the spread of diseases amongst our children. But is the Mosaic Virus completely safe? And who are these doctors who decide that they can experiment on our children without our knowledge and consent? And, finally, what, if anything, does the Mosaic Virus, have to do with Straight, Inc. and the United States government?

The fact is that the Mosaic Virus is a genetically engineered virus about which critics fear that its DNA could recombine with other viruses to form new, potentially more infectious diseases. The scientists were from the Center for Pediatric Research (a research team put together by Eastern Virginia Medical School and The Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters--both located in Norfolk, Virginia). Corporate sponsors for the effort were Reckitt & Colemen (now Reckitt Benckiser) manufacturers of Lysol and the Research Foundation for Health and Environmental Effects (a nonprofit created by the chlorine industry).

But now the cat is out of the bag and some parents are worried. "Informed consent is a requirement, not a courtesy," says Yvette Pearson, a visiting professor for philosophy who teaches bioethics at Old Dominion University in Norfolk about the secret experiment. "Even if it was completely undebatable, even if we know it is perfectly safe, it's still the case that you ask people for their consent. You ask parents for consent to do things to their children." The idea of "informed consent" for human experimentation dates back to the The Nuremberg Code of 1947 which forbids medical experimentation on humans without their explicit consent. It was formulated as a direct result of the notorious medical experiments conducted by Nazi's such as Dr. Josef Mengeles on Jews, gypsies, the mentally ill--and on their children.

From time-to-time the United States government has legally participated in human experimentation through government agencies such as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and its subsidiaries like the National Institute on Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The legal basis for this is that these agencies have policies and regulations which include standard "human consent forms" to be filled out by participants to acknowledge that they are participating in human experimentation, thus keeping the United States government in compliance with the Nuremberg Code of International Law and other international law codes.

Shamefully, the United States government has also participated in illegal medical experiments through agencies such as the CIA in its MK Ultra Project. In the late 1960s and early 1970's the CIA was, perhaps illegally, experimenting on prisoners at the federal lockup hospital/prison in Lexington, Kentucky by giving prisoners massive dosages of LSD while at that same facility the NIH was running its own experimental synanon (therapeutic community) which it called The Matrix.

Straight, Inc., the United States government and medical experimentation. Straight, Inc. can not deny that it was involved in medical research. In 1982 Donald Ian Macdonald, MD was appointed Director of Medical Research for Straight-national, and in 1986 Richard H. Schwartz, MD was Director of Research for Straight-Springfield. The Oakton Institute has previously carried the 1991 report by author Richard Lawrence Miller titled TEENS AND MARIJUANA: ETHICS OF RESEARCH in which he accuses Straight's Doctor Richard Schwartz of performing medical experiments on Straight clients without their informed consent. In his report Mr. Miller only touches tangentially on the brainwashing of American children at all Straights which itself is one vast medical experiment. Nor does Mr. Miller discuss the federal government's role in this vast medical experiment. This current report focuses on those two aspects.

In 1971 the United States Senate's Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights under the directorship of Senator Sam Ervin began an investigation of the US government's role in behavior modification. Ervin's 650 page report was published in November 1974 under the title "Individual Rights and the Federal Role in Behavior Modification." Other members of the subcommittee included: Senators John McClellan, Arkansas, Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts, Birch Bayh, Indiana, Robert Byrd, West Virginia, John Tunney, California, Edward Gurney, Florida, Roman Hruska, Nebraska, Hiram Fong, Hawaii, Strom Thurmond, South Carolina, and Lawrence Baskir, Chief Counsel, Dorothy Glancy, Counsel, Joseph Klutz, Research Assistant, Alfred Pollard, Research Assistant, and George Downs, Sr, Chief Printing Clerk, and Anita Kinlaw, a legal intern. The report includes a study of Straight's predecessor program, The Seed, and concludes that The Seed used methods similar to the "brainwashing" methods employed by North Koreans against American servicemen during the Korean War.

Since The Seed was then being funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), under NIH, and since NIDA was then directed by Dr. Robert L. DuPont, Jr., the White House's Second Drug Czar, Senator Ervin directed Dr. DuPont and NIDA to require The Seed to issue NIDA human consent forms to Seed participants and to their parents acknowledging that they were participating in human experimentation as required by NIDA's own regulations.

It was because of this stipulation to require clients to sign human consent forms, in large part, that Seed expansion programs like the one in Saint Petersburg, Florida shut down in the first place. Mel and Betty Sembler had a son in that Seed. When it closed Mel, Betty and some other Seed parents formed their own Seed-like program which they called Straight, Inc. A half dozen directors left the new Seed in the first 18 months with board member Art Bauknight writing in his letter of resignation that no "basic safety rules" had been developed by the corporation "to protect others from unreasonable risk of bodily harm, loss or damage."

In August 1977 three board members resigned in mass issuing a joint statement declaring that neither Hartz nor Peterman "have the necessary qualifications to rehabilitate preteens or teens who have a drug or alcohol problem ... "furthermore," they wrote, "we feel we cannot recommend Straight Inc. to our friends or citizens of our community." In his letter of resignation director Theodore Anderson wrote "It (Straight) has many of the poor points of the Seed and few of the good points . . . If I had to recommend one (program) I'd recommend The Seed." So former director Anderson had publicly stated that Straight was worse than The Seed.

Right off the bat Straight was accused of criminal child abuse but political pressure was put on Florida's licensing and investigating agency the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS). Bob Marshall, the principal investigator for HRS was fired. There is sound evidence that the HRS report was covered up. Jerry Vancil, one of the 30 cases being investigated, had managed to get to the local newspaper and report that he had been beaten by a host of kids. But Jerry Vancil disappeared and has never been seen or heard from since--dead or alive. To remedy the situation Melvin Sembler replaced Straight's clinical director with Miller Newton who was immensely worse than Jim Hartz, the man he replaced.

NIDA was not the only federal agency to have funded The Seed. The Law Enforcement Assistance Agency (LEAA) had also made grants. In January 1974 Senator Ervin wrote to LEAA administrator Santarelli and asked for detailed information about LEAA funding for behavioral research and the agency's review procedures. "I believe," wrote the Senator, "that LEAA ought to consider a moratorium on the further use of its funds for these purposes until it develops guidelines at least as comprehensive as those now under consideration by the Congress and HEW." To which LEAA Administrator Santarelli replied in a press news release four weeks later in February, 1974 by announcing the cancellation of all LEAA funding for medical research, psycho surgery, and behavior modification because, in his words, there "are no technical skills on the staff to screen, evaluate, or monitor such projects."

So the US Senate had looked at The Seed and found that it was brainwashing kids. Findings of the report were published in the local newspapers so Seed parents who later became Straight board members knew that The Seed used brainwashing and that their own Straight used many of the same techniques. Between reading the report, reading newspaper accounts, and talking to Dr. Robert DuPont, Straight board members knew, or should have known, of the Senate's findings. Straight knew that brainwashing of children (even if Straight thought it was for their own good) was a medical experiment.

Straight was founded in 1976 and needed startup money but it was still too risky to approach NIDA for funds as much had been made in the newspapers about NIDA's relationship to The Seed. It was a certainty that NIDA would have to ask Straight parents and their children to sign human consent forms acknowledging that their kids were participating in a medical experiment. But LEAA had not been setup to fund programs involved in human experimentation. True, LEAA Administrator Santarelli had held a news conference one year before announcing the cancellation of all LEAA funding for medical research, psycho surgery, and behavior modification because, in his words, there "are no technical skills on the staff to screen, evaluate, or monitor such projects."

But that had been a year ago and Senator Ervin had retired just after the his report was published. So Straight went to LEAA in 1976 and again in 1977 and got two startup grants for $50,000 each. And that is how the US government continued to be involved in financing a program that uses brainwashing on American children. And that is how the US government funded Straight in such a high-handed way as to avoid the use of human consent forms; namely since LEAA was not chartered to do medical research, it had no policy for human consent forms anyway!

Thus unless or until some external party could put two and two together, there was really no one around who could expose the duplicity except for LEAA and perhaps NIDA or the Office of the White House Drug Czar. LEAA was not about to expose the deal because it was in violation of director Santarelli's moratorium. That leaves NIDA and the Office of White House Drug Czar. Around 1978 NIDA's director Robert DuPont left NIDA and became a paid Straight consultant. For four years Art Barker had tried to make his Seed program a national program. But he had failed because he had been exposed for conducting human experimentation. His expansion programs in Florida were in shambles. And out of the shambles came Straight, Inc. Dr. DuPont has stated in deposition that it was he who had suggested to Straight that it go national. Straight went national and became the largest juvenile drug rehabilitation program in the world--and one of the most destructive.

Straight and the White House Drug Czars. Besides being director of NIDA Robert DuPont was also the second White House Drug Czar. Drug Czar Carlton Turner accompanied Nancy Reagan on her first visit to Straight and endorses the front page of Miller Newton's book Not My Kid with these words: "Not My Kid should be required reading for any parent concerned about their children's future." Turner spoke at a Straight fund raising dinner in May 1982. Donald Ian Macdonald, Straight's national medical research director, became another Reagan Drug Czar.

Bill Bennett was George Bush I's first Drug Czar. In 1989 Bennett assembled together prominent Americans from all over to help him develop the President's drug budget. Included on that team was Straight founder Mel Sembler, Robert DuPont, Carlton Turner, Joyce Tobias, Mac Vines and a host of others sympathetic to Straight. Bush I made former Florida governor Bob Martinez his second Drug Czar. In 1992, Tampa's Channel 13 Eye Witness News handed Martinez the minutes from a Straight board of director's meeting which recorded that "John Martinez, former governor of Florida, will work with Straight on our licensing issues." When asked by Channel 13 News whether John Martinez was he, Martinez would make no comment. [Today James MacDonough, drug czar for the state of Florida, sits on the advisory board for Straight (under its third and current name DFAF) along with Jeb Bush, the President's brother, his wife Columba, and Toni Jennings, his lieutenant governor. Governor Jeb Bush has publicly endorsed SAFE, an Orlando treatment program that grew out of Straight-Orlando.] George Bush I himself made a TV commercial for Straight right out of the Oval Office in return for contributions to his war chest by key Straight officials.

Straight picked up where The Seed left off, except Straight was immensely more destructive than The Seed. The US government found a way to fund Straight without requiring Straight to tell its young clients and their parents that their kids were participating in a medical experiment. The White House drug czars, through their office, helped perpetuate the myth that Straight was a great program helping kids. Even the President of the United States helped spread the big lie.

For 17 years Straight and some of its medical doctors were in violation of international law by being in violation of both the Helsinki Declaration and the Nuremberg Code. In 1983 Reverend Doctor Miller Newton, Straight's national clinical director, left Straight in Florida to setup his own second-generation Straight in New Jersey. In 1989 California health authorities closed down his expansion program in that state for reasons of criminal child abuse. Straight moved into the facility and took over Newton's clients. In just over a year later state authorities closed the California Straight too citing: "Documentation on file indicates that there have been incidents where children have been subjected [to] unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threat, mental abuse or other actions of a punitive nature, including . . . interference with daily living functions such as eating, sleeping or toileting, or withholding of medication." [Letter dated June 27, 1990 from Fred Dumont, Santa Ana, California District Manager for Dept. of Social Services to Straight, National Headquarters explaining why state authorities ordered the program closed.]

Straight simply transferred its clients across state lines to other treatment camps where they would continue to be in violation of international law, where the kids would continued to be abused, and where confessions would continued to be extorted (in the criminal sense).
Many former Straight clients have been permanently damaged either physically or emotionally or both by Straight, Inc. Many are now dead by suicide.

The United States government conspired to help Straight operate in spite of its reputation for abuse, unproved methods, and its known roots in Communist brainwashing. Furthermore, Lawrence Miller asserts that in such an environment Straight's Dr. Richard Schwartz performed medical experiments on kids without their consent. Therefore the United States government should be required to share in the damage done to countless American citizens by a quack medical program that uses brainwashing on teenagers in order to save them from the ravages of drug addiction. An addiction that too many kids were treated for even though they were not and are not drug addicts!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Duke Cunningham wasn't the only Republican on the dole

CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICSMONEY IN POLITICS ALERT Vol. 8, No. 31;
Dec. 1, 2005
tel: 202-857-0044, fax: 202-857-7809
email: info@crp.org,
web: www.opensecrets.org;www.capitaleye.org; www.fecwatch.org

DEFENSE CONTRACTORS HAVEN'T JUST DOLED TO 'DUKE' Disgraced congressman is far from the only politician to receivemoney from defense contractors MZM and ADCSBy Center For Responsive PoliticsA number of federal officeholders have received politicalcontributions from the same defense contractors from whomCongressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) has admittedaccepting illegal bribes, according to the non-partisan Centerfor Responsive Politics.

Bribes, unlike lawful contributions, involve an agreement to take action in return for the money. Political action committees controlled by MZM, Inc., which wasfounded by alleged Cunningham co-conspirator Mitchell Wade, andADCS, Inc., which was founded by alleged co-conspirator BrentWilkes, have contributed more than $1 million in the last 10years to a roster of politicians, leadership PACs and partycommittees.

Top recipients include Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr.(R-Va.), Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.), Sen. Elizabeth Dole(R-N.C.), Tom DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority PACand President Bush. Republicans have been the recipients of 95%of the two defense contractors' giving, according to the Centerfor Responsive Politics' analysis.

For Cunningham's part, he and his political action committeereceived at least $115,000 since 1995 in political contributionsfrom the two defense contractors and their employees. Throughits PAC and employees, MZM gave Cunningham and his "AmericanProsperity PAC" $30,000 over the last decade, while ADCS and itsaffiliates contributed $85,500 during that period.Former MZM CEO Wade and ADCS President Wilkes have been named asco-conspirators in the Cunningham case.

News reports cite two additional co-conspirators, alleged to be Thomas T. Kontogiannisand John T. Michael. According to the Center for ResponsivePolitics, Kontogiannis and his spouse have given $33,650 at thefederal level since 1995, all to Republican candidates and partycommittees. Michael gave $1,100 to the National RepublicanCongressional Committee during the same period. <http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=193>

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Bushes knew of Straight's brutality but did nothing to stop it

The Bushes knew of Straight's brutality but did nothing to stop it. Instead they continued to take money from Mel Sembler and let him rise to chairman of the finance committee of the national GOP, and appoint him Ambassador to Italy in 2002.

In 1992 while then President George H. W. Bush was campaigning for reelection against Bill Clinton, Tampa Channel 13 News aired a 3-day series on Straight abuses called Straight: Healing or Harming with Kim Keelor reporting. It was a very damaging expose reporting on charges of abuse from Straight centers from all across America. In the segment she asked both President Bush and Ambassador Sembler to comment on the alleged abuses at Straight.

In the first segment Ms. Keelor reported, "We wanted to find out if Mr. Bush knows about Straight's documented abuse and other violations. We sent a sample of cases to the President . Bush's Deputy Press Secretary [Tony Mitchell] said, "...we are not in the position to judge the merits of this program. Based on what we see here, we believe they should be fully investigated..." "

In return for campaign contributions of over $100,000 each President Bush appointed two former Straight presidents to ambassadorships and made a TV commercial for Straight . Joseph Zappala, who did not speak Spanish and had but a high school education, was made ambassador to Spain. Mel Sembler, who answered his Senate questionnaire on languages spoken wrote, "English, fluent," was appointed ambassador to Australia.

In TV 13's second segment Ms. Keelor reported, "We asked both ambassadors about the abuse charges. Zappala didn't respond. Ambassador Sembler didn't answer our questions but did write, "Straight is the most undervalued program in the United States. It is unfortunate that the media has chosen to focus upon unsubstantiated complaints." "

Straight and the Republican White House Drug Czars

Straight's predecessor program was called The Seed. The Seed had been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) under the directorship of Robert DuPont. Besides being director of NIDA Robert DuPont was also the second White House Drug Czar. NIDA stopped funding The Seed after a US Senate Report accused The Seed of using North Korean brainwashing methods on American kids. Dr. DuPont left government service and became a paid consultant for Straight. In fact, he claims that it was his idea that Straight go national. He also claims he was the one who got Nancy Reagan involved in Straight. Today he is on Straight's Advisory Board, under its latest name--the Drug Free America Foundation.

Drug Czar Carlton Turner accompanied Nancy Reagan on her first visit to Straight and endorses the front page of Miller Newton's book Not My Kid with these words: "Not My Kid should be required reading for any parent concerned about their children's future." Miller Newton is Straight's former national clinical director. Turner spoke at a Straight fund raising dinner in May 1982.

Donald Ian Macdonald, Straight's national medical research director, became another Reagan Drug Czar.

Bill Bennett was George Bush I's first Drug Czar. In 1989 Bennett assembled together prominent Americans from all over to help him develop the President's drug budget. Included on that team was Straight founder Mel Sembler, Robert DuPont, Carlton Turner, Joyce Tobias, Mac Vines and a host of others sympathetic to Straight.

Bush I made former Florida governor Bob Martinez his second Drug Czar. In 1992, Tampa's Channel 13 Eye Witness News handed Martinez the minutes from a Straight board of director's meeting which recorded that "John Martinez, former governor of Florida, will work with Straight on our licensing issues." When asked by Channel 13 News whether John Martinez was he, Martinez would make no comment.

Today James MacDonough, drug czar for the state of Florida, sits on the advisory board for Straight (under its third and current name DFAF) along with Jeb Bush, the President's brother, his wife Columba, and Toni Jennings, his lieutenant governor. Governor Jeb Bush has publicly endorsed SAFE, an Orlando treatment program that grew out of Straight-Orlando. George Bush I himself made a TV commercial for Straight right out of the Oval Office in return for contributions to his war chest by key Straight officials.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Scientology™ front group

More and more I hear of people referring to CCHR. If you have a problem with psychiatry (and who doesn't) I'm sure you'll find all you want to know about that profession's misdeeds from CCHR. I myself own two excellent books exposing psychiatric abuse that were written by CCHRers. But you should be advised that CCHR is a front group for the so-called Church of Scientology™. When L. Ron Hubbard first introduced Dianetics in 1950 he thought it would be embraced by psychiatry and the rest of us as the poor man's alternative to psychoanalyses. Instead, doctors rebuffed him as being the cosmic nut case he truly was. Ever since many Scientologists have attacked psychiatry, often perhaps, for the wrong reason. If you want to learn what's wrong with psychiatry I suggest you read Peter Breggin's Toxic Psychology. If you want to know more about CCHR and the Church of Scientology™ visit my good friend Arnie Lerma's web site.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Who am I

Paul Krugman

I just took Quizalla's on-line quiz that is suppose to decide which New York Times Op-Ed columnist I am most like. Here's what they say, thank you very much.

You are Paul Krugman! You're a brilliant economist with a knack for both making sense of the current economic situation and exposing the Bush administration's lies about it. You somehow came out as the best anti-war writer on the Op-Ed staff. Other economists hate your guts for selling out to the liberals. To hell with 'em.


Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Melvin Sembler--The Ugly American.
Miguel Martinez's blog on European opinion of wealthy Americans

Last year Miguel Martinez, an Italian, published a web page, in Italian, about Mel and Betty Sembler and their Straight program. His page is here:

Now, just moments ago, I received an eMail from Miguel. He has written a blog on Sembler's latest scandal--getting US taxpayers to buy him a $113 million monument to himself. Here is his eMail to me:

The US gov't has just bought a huge building in Rome and added it to the US Embassy. What is interesting is that Congress has called it officially "The Mel Sembler Building". It isn't Sembler is still alive, but he has buildings named after him by the government - reminds me of Stalingrad and Saddam City :-))Obviously the construction tycoon wanted what every European jokingly says about the American super-rich: to get immortality by having his name big in the city of the Vatican and the Colosseum. However, Sembler apparently didn't trust them to do so when he was dead, so he pressured them into doing it while he was
still alive.

I wrote something in my blog about it (in Italian only) here:

However below is the full article on the topic from the website of the US embassy.

Good luck,
Miguel Martinez, Italy

US Embassy website on the Mel Sembler Building

MY RESPONSE TO MIGUEL FOLLOWS:

Dear Miguel,

Thank you for your eMail about Ambassador Sembler's latest folly and thank you for helping educate the Italian people about who this guy we sent you really is. Unfortunately, the American political process has evolved into electing a President who has raised the most money because he is the one who can buy the most advertising time on TV and in the press. In return for their money, our presidents often reward their wealthy contributors by giving them ambassadorships to beautiful European countries. Merit has nothing to do with it. And we, the American people, suffer because of the bad name these pampered, rich elite give to all our countrymen. Personally, I was deeply offended for years over the way Americans are perceived by Frenchmen, in particular, since many of our soldiers died liberating France from Germany. However, since meeting Melvin Sembler I can finally understand how such a small handful of influential US envoys and businessmen have given us all a bad name.

It's funny that you compare Sembler's monument to the naming of Stalingrad and Sadam City because yesterday I wrote a blog comparing repression in the US Embassy in Rome to repression in Iraq under Sadam Hussein. That link is here.

The story of Sembler's monument in Rome actually goes much deeper than what has been reported in The Washington Post. A fuller accounting can be found in an article by me here.

Thank you,

Wes Fager,
USA