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Monday, July 2, 2007
CNS on Peter Paul: Closer, But...

A June 29 article by Fred Lucas comes closer to a complete telling of the Peter Paul story than anyone else on the ConWeb -- such as WorldNetDaily, whose Art Moore might as well be fellating the guy -- but there's still a few flaws that fall to Paul's favor.

Lucas writes: "The Clinton attorneys in recent briefs point out that Paul is a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty to manipulating his company's stock price in 2001 and pleaded guilty to a previous felony of defrauding the Cuban government in 1979." While that isn't a WND-type whitewashing, Lucas still glosses over the more daming details -- not mentioning that investors and banks were defrauded out of $25 million, for instance. And Paul did not plead guilty to the scam in 2001; that's when he was indicted, around the time of which he fled to Brazil and fought extradition back to the U.S. for two years. He pleaded guilty in March 2005 and is still awaiting sentencing after two years -- another suggestion that Paul is stalling for time.

Lucas made a similar claim in a June 19 article. The original version, reprinted at NewsMax, states that Paul "has two previous felony convictions, pleading guilty to fraud in the 1970s and to a drug charge in the 1980s." But the CNS version was later edited to "clarif[y] wording" to state that Paul "has a previous felony conviction of defrauding the Cuban government in the 1970s," removing the reference to the drug-related case. But the cocaine is a separate charge of which Paul was convicted at the same time as the Cuban-defrauding case, as the Washington Post points out. So it makes no sense for Paul and Lucas (through the "clarification") to suggest that it was the same thing.

Lucas states that "Paul accuses the Clinton camp of bringing up his history in a bid to divert attention away from the facts of the case," but he doesn't mention the equally valid argument that Paul is bringing up these charges against the Clintons in order to divert attention away from his felonious history and to attempt to reduce the prison sentence he's about to receive. 

Lucas also quotes James Nesfield, president of a group called the Equal Justice Foundation of America, noting only that Nesfield "is not a disinterested party, having bought the troubled Stan Lee Media firm." Indeed, the EJFA appears to be little more than a proxy for Paul to attack the Clintons. Its website declares that "The case of Paul v Clinton has been selected by EJFA as the most important Whistleblowing case in America in 2007"; no other cases are mentioned. The website also states that it had an "Official Site opening" on June  26 -- just three days before Lucas' article appeared.

(And it's apparently not to be confused with the Equal Justice Foundation, which appears to be a conservative-leaning group involved in a number of issues, or the Equal Justice Foundation that funds public-interest work at Georgetown Law School, or the similarly themed Equal Justice America. Nesfield might want to look for a new name.)

Nesfield, by the way, has called himself a "modern-day pirate" and a "Machiavellian creature of the dark" in his role in snapping up distressed dot-com firms a few years back, including Stan Lee Media. That company is currently suing Marvel Comics and Stan Lee himself (who's no longer involved with the company), claiming that it owns a piece of the rights to comic characters created or owned by Lee and Marvel. (And the Freepers -- specifically, "Doug from Upland," who's working with Paul on a Hillary-bashing documentary -- are trying to tie this to the Clintons, too.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 2, 2007 1:50 AM EDT

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