Andrea Billups writes in an Aug. 2 Newsmax article:
A former U.S. ambassador has sued three Venezuelan executives, accusing them of racketeering, bribing authorities for energy contracts, and defamation.
The 48-page lawsuit on behalf of Otto Reich, who was Venezuelan ambassador under President George H. W. Bush, was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday. The suit claims the men paid kickbacks to government employees in Venezuela in exchange for lucrative contracts for power plant construction.
But as you go deeper in the article, the lawsuit is really all about Reich complaining that the people he's suing cost his consulting firm business by allegedly spreading rumors about who he was working with.
In other words, it's a pretty arcane lawsuit. Why should we care? Billups does a lot of resume citation to try and make us care:
Reich, 67, who served as ambassador from 1986-1989, and later assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs under President George W. Bush, now heads his own Washington, D.C., consulting firm, Otto Reich & Associates (ORA).
Reich, who served a year as a temporary assistant secretary of state, resigned from the Bush administration in 2004. He has been described in media accounts as a rock star in Latin America where he hosted a Spanish-language version of CNN's popular "Crossfire" program. He also served as a foreign policy adviser to presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney.
But Billups overlooks a few things. As we've detailed, Reich ran a pro-contra propaganda operation during the 1980s with the American public being the target of said propaganda -- U.S. government agents targeting Americans with propaganda is generally frowned upon. Reich was also a champion for a convicted terrorist, Orlando Bosch, being allowed to enter the U.S.
For all of Billups' touting of Reich's resume, though, she fails to report the one thing that likely explains why this story exists in the first place: Reich is on the advisory board of LIGNET, a "global intelligence and forecasting" service operated by ... Newsmax.
This is nothing more than in-house promotion disguised as "news."