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  • Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Attention readers: Bush friends' kidnap and torture victim needs your help

    I received a rather distressing email earlier today, which highlights the need for more accountability of the rogue regime in Washington. I'll attempt to summarise some points from this article, from Northwest Meridian: In June 2004, A man called Richard Thomas was taken at gunpoint from his home in the Honduras (based on a bogus warrant), basically kidnapped, without any real cause, or due process. Richard was flown to the US in the custody of US marshalls, and faced imprisonment, endured beatings, and a heart attack. In August 2001, Richard, and his father, Dick were hired to turn around a struggling sawmill. The sawmill was founded by Bill Saxon ( a good personal friend of Bush) and an investment group. Shortly after the 11th September 2001, the business situation became dire, so Richard and his father approached Saxon, and a member of the investment group in an attempt to buy the mill.

    In a signed letter of intent, which Richard claims was unauthorized, his half-brother Gary promised approximately $7.8 million in notes for the mill. The letter also ensured that Saxon's $880,000 investment would be paid off first, with any remaining funds going to the other partners in the deal. On Oct. 2, 2002, in Dallas, Texas, Hodges and Gary signed documents formally transferring titles to all of the equipment in the mill to U.S. Construction Group S.A., a Honduran company owned entirely by Richard. Gary's letter of intent never addressed the status of the mill itself or the land on which it sat. The letter was also silent on the question of unpaid wages to the Thomases.

    ......

    As owners of a Honduran export business, the Thomases had to pay taxes to the Central Bank of Honduras, which also functions as a central tax-collection agency. When goods are exported from Honduras, a portion of the gross receipts is supposed to come back to the bank as taxes. Because Gary and Ollie had been selling the product and not sending the money back or paying tax on it to the Honduran Central Bank, none of the proper taxes had been paid to Honduras. In addition, evidence came to light that Gary and Ollie were smuggling contraband back into Honduras. The definitive tip-off was a brand new Dodge Durango, mentioned in an email from Ollie to Gary on May 12, 2004, that was allegedly bought in the States for a dollar down and loaded into the container in order to smuggle it into Honduras without paying duties.

    Richard had a conviction for a driving offence in the US in 1995, and he says that his appeal had been overturned in 1996 without his knowledge, a bench warrant for Richard's arrest was issued in 1997.

    After leaving the bank one day in June 2004, Richard was taken into custody by Interpol and Honduran officers, they had apparently blocked off the street, and surrounded the bank.

    Richard was taken to a local police station by Interpol, afterwards being beaten with batons, and hit with a stun gun; and friends, including 2 attorneys hearing about the arrest visited the police station to ask to see the paperwork, they were shown a warrant issued to "any peace officer of the state of Texas"

    A family doctor was called after Richard collapsed, but the doctor it seems was called by the US embassy and told that if he intervened, his visa would be cancelled.

    Richard was taken to hospital, later being released under house arrest.

    On the night of June 23, the head of security at the U.S. embassy in Honduras, Joseph Stowell, appeared at Richard's house with a group of armed Honduran agents. They stormed the house, threatened the family and forced their way to the back bedroom where Richard was. Despite an order by the local judiciary to allow Richard to recover in his home, they insisted that he accompany them.

    ......

    The van stopped at the home of Richard's doctor, where Richard says Stowell pressured the man into signing a medical release, under the threat of losing his medical license.

    Richard was taken to the immigration office the next morning, where a deportation letter was typed up claiming that his Visa had run out. Though his passport was valid for another month.

    Richard was taken to the cargo bay door of a 727 and handed over to US Marshalls. He demanded to see the paperwork giving them the right to transport him, to which they replied:

    "We don't need shit. And if you keep running your mouth, it won't be a very enjoyable trip to the United States."

    The only paperwork which appears to have come to light is a letter from Bill Saxon asking former US secretary of Commerce, Donald Evans, to give additional help to Stowell, and the ambassador to Honduras.

    Evans, now in charge of the hurricane Katrina fund, replied to say that "Staff members from the Department's Office of Latin America have been working closely with the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa on (this) issue … (and are) fully engaged in examining the allegations raised in (his) letter."

    So, senior Bush regime officials seem to be implicated in this whole sordid affair, Richard and his family have, quite obviously had a very rough time, they need your help.

    This story needs attention, please forward this information to anyone you think can help to spread the word. The media needs to report on this case.

    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

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