Monday, January 7, 2008

Three Degrees of Separation

Maybe the reason, OlHil seemed a bit lachrymose today had to do with her multiplying troubles. Not that the FEC complaint filed by Peter Paul is gonna cause her to lose sleep. Paul has been making the same allegations for a while. Now I’m sure some of you know more of the details, but it is too delicious a maze to ignore.

Okay, follow me here. Paul, a former partner of Spiderman creator Stan Lee, charges that he hosted a fund raiser for Hillary’s 2000 Senate Campaign as a sort of quid pro quo to get Bill’s services for their new venture. Anyway, her campaign reported the cost as $500,000. Her campaign director was acquitted of charges he lied about the amount, although the FEC fined the campaign for understating the cost of $750,000. Peter Paul puts the amount at more like $2 million. George at Babalublog had posted on the whole affair here.

What’s interesting is that in a version of the six degrees of separation, Paul had earlier in his life been convicted of attempting to defraud the Cuban government. In a shades of Chuck Barris interview in 2002, though, he maintained:

"Twenty-three years ago, I had been approached to work with anti-Communist and anti-Castro forces," Paul told the Journal. On behalf of those forces, he became involved in what Freund described as a "politically connected and government-sanctioned activity." When the scheme fell through, Paul said he took the rap and pleaded Guilty to conspiring to defraud the Cuban government and possession of cocaine.

The truth, as Paul explained it, was far stranger than fiction. "By the time I was 27 years old, I was president of the World Trade Center. I had represented the president and government of Peru, the president of Panama [and several other heads of Central and South American states]. I represented every major anti-Communist participant in the Bay of Pigs. I had worked for four major intelligence agencies, and I was recruited by operatives of our government for a plan to embarrass Castro." According to Paul, the target of the fraudulent scam, which apparently involved scuttling an empty freighter and claiming it was full of coffee, was Castro himself and the Cuban coffee market, which at that time was subsidized by Russia. No shareholders were involved...

For today's article. For the 2002 interview. Yup, I'm sending you to the Comics Journal for info. It's really a fascinating story.

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