Saturday, October 21, 2006

Republican Scumbag Outs Other Republican Scumbag

Oh, this is too rich... watch as the pedophile caucus of the Republicans turn on one another to preserve their electability...Representative Jerry Weller refers page incident to House

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Morris, through his election attorney, moved Thursday to inform the House that a former male page or intern may have been the subject of inappropriate attention from another lawmaker. Weller's campaign manager Steven Shearer said the congressman was not prepared to reveal the identity of the youth, the timing, nor the identity of the lawmaker, but felt confident that a former page or intern was "inappropriately invited to a social function by another congressman."

Weller and his staff learned of the alleged incident through conversations with reporters and others Thursday. Shearer said Weller directed his campaign attorney to inform the House Page Board and the House Ethics Committee of the incident. The committee is investigating inappropriate contacts by former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., with former pages and the handling of the matter by House leaders and staff.

Shearer said Weller's name came up before the page inquiry within the last week, but as far as the congressman knows, solely in the context that he was the sponsor of the page or intern in question. He said neither the congressman nor his office ever knew of the invitation, what became of the incident, and have yet to confirm the identity of the former page or intern. He said the congressman would provide whatever information might be asked of him by the Page Board or the committee, and stressed that neither had contacted Weller for any reason.

"When it comes down to it, we are very, very confident that's the extent of anything associated with Congressman Weller," Shearer said.

The unconfirmed mention of Weller in the page inquiry had inspired intense speculation on Democratic-leaning Internet Web blogs about what role he might have played. Shearer accused the congressman's opponents of leaking his name in connection with the page inquiry, and said it came from "national Democrats what want to put another seat in play for free."

Weller's 11th Congressional District seat has been considered relatively safe by independent observers in recent weeks, though predictions of a disastrous Nov. 7 election for incumbent Republicans have many Democrats hoping that the party will post unexpected victories in seats like Weller's. The race, however, has yet to attract big money from national party organizations on either side, indicating Weller is thought to hold the advantage over Democratic opponent John Pavich, a Beecher attorney and political newcomer.

Well, this is an interesting turn... the same reporters who were talking about Weller as the SUBJECT of an investigation into an illicit affair with an underaged page are still saying that it's him. Perhaps he's just throwing out chaff to cover his own ass?

This brings up an interesting question: Just who the hell is Jerry Weller? Well, he's a Republican from Illinois who sits on the House International Relations Committee Committee where he serves as Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, which oversees all legislation and policy regarding the nations of the Americas, including coutries like, oh, say Guatemala. In a hilarious coincidence, he's also married to three-term Guatemalan Congresswoman Zury Ríos Montt, the daughter of the former brutal dictator of Guatemala!

Yes, Weller's father-in-law is an infamous former dictator accused of genocide, with an international warrant for his arrest hanging over his head. No wonder Weller doesn't support the creation of an International Criminal Court... his own father-in-law would be dragged in front of it! Let's get a run-down on this fellow, shall we?

On March 7, 1982, General Ángel Aníbal Guevara won the Guatemalan presidential election. On March 23, General José Efraín Ríos MonttRíos Montt seized power in a coup d'état, that was quietly backed by the CIA. Ríos Montt and his junta immediately suspended the constitution, shut down the legislature, set up secret tribunals, and began a campaign against political dissidents that included kidnapping, torture, and extra-judicial assassinations. The activities of political parties and labor unions were officially suspended under the threat of death by firing squad.

Ríos Montt unleashed a scorched earth campaign on the nation's Mayan population that, according to the United Nations truth commission, resulted in the annihilation of nearly 600 villages. The administration established special military courts that had the power to impose death penalties against suspected guerrillas. A 1982 Amnesty International report estimated that over 10,000 indigenous Guatemalans and peasant farmers were killed from March to July of that year, and that 100,000 rural villagers were forced to flee over the border into southern Mexico.

According to more recent estimates, tens of thousands of non-combatants were killed by regime's death squads in the subsequent eighteen months. Based on the number of people killed per capita, Rios Montt was probably the most violent dictator in Latin America's recent history, more so than even other notorious dictators such as Chile's Augusto Pinochet, Argentina's Jorge Rafael Videla, and Bolivia's Hugo Banzer.

In 1999, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú presented charges for torture, genocide, illegal detention and state-sponsored terrorism against Ríos Montt and four other retired Guatemalan generals. In September 2005 Spain's Constitutional Court ruled that Spanish courts can try those accused of crimes against humanity even if the victims were not of Spanish origin. In June 2006, Spanish judge Santiago Pedraz traveled to Guatemala to interrogate Ríos Montt and the others named in the case. However, at least 15 appeals filed by the defense attorneys of the indicted prevented Pedraz from carrying out the inquiries. On July 7, Pedraz issued an international arrest warrant against Efraín Ríos Montt. For his part, Rios Montt admitted in a July 2006 press conference that there were "excesses" committed by the army during his reign, but strenuously denied his culpability. Ríos Mont is the founder of the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG), a Guatemalan political party which his daughter (Jerry Weller's wife) now leads. He ran for President of Guatemala in 2003, but only drew 10% of the vote.

One wonders if Republican Jerry Weller's unrelenting support for Torture is a result of his association with General Ríos Montt, or if he was drawn to the family because of his love of Torture?

In 2004, Weller's Democrat opponent, Tari Renner, asked that Weller make a public statement denouncing General Ríos Montt's past actions, and those of his wife. Weller refused. Renner also asked that Weller step down from his seat on the International Relations Committee, because of his marriage to a foreign legislator. See, Weller's committee seat requires that he oversee all of the Americas, including Guatemala... but Republicans have never met a conflict of interest that they haven't embraced with open arms. Weller's advocacy and vote for CAFTA is just such an example, and is particularly egregious because he had promised prior to his marriage to Ríos Montt that he would not vote on any legislation involving Guatemala. As a FRG party leader, Rios-Montt de Weller is also a supporter of CAFTA.

So, in the long run, is Weller worse for reputedly having sex with a 16-year-old female page, or for supporting and aiding the political ambitions of a brutal dictator? Either way, he's a torture-loving scumbag who deserves to lose in November.