Thursday, July 24, 2008

Douchebag of the Week


U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who backed out of plans to distribute food to Darfur refugees when he learned he couldn’t hunt wildebeest.
Hunter's staff contacted the embassy in N'Djamena, Chad, last week to see whether Hunter could distribute food at a camp. Hunter also wanted to put together an outing to hunt wildebeest and distribute the meat to refugees.

The embassy was decidedly lukewarm. It worried about logistics and the need to divert scarce staff to coordinate Hunter's schedule. There also were concerns about coordinating with the World Food Program's distribution schedule. The embassy sought advice from Foggy Bottom as to what to tell Hunter, a former presidential candidate, who will Congress at the end of this term.

Here's State's response last week: "Talking Points Regarding CODEL [Congressional delegation] Hunter":

· The embassy "welcomes Congressman Hunter's interest in food assistance to Darfur refugees in Chad. Given the significant" U.S. aid in the world program, the embassy "would encourage the congressman to time his visit to coincide with an already scheduled food distribution."

· The embassy will "make the necessary arrangements for" Hunter to watch a food distribution in a camp.

· "Regarding the Congressman's desire to hunt wildebeest and distribute the cured meat to refugees, wildebeest are not present in Chad." (We're told some have been there, mostly in a no-hunting wildlife refuge.)

And, in case Hunter was looking for other game:

· "The Government of Chad does not permit the hunting of large mammals."

Actually, there's not a whole lot of wild game roaming these days near the refugee camps in Chad. It's a desert, and it has been at war for the last few decades. (The wildebeest's annual migration between Kenya and Tanzania is under serious threat from poachers, CNN reported last week.)

Hunter's office called State on Thursday and said he had decided not to go and that he was looking instead at commercial hunting expeditions in Kenya, Tanzania and Southern Africa.
You didn’t think Hunter was really going there just to feed starving refugees, did you? You didn’t think Hunter would still go after learning that he wouldn’t be permitted to kill large animals, did you? You didn‘t think Hunter would do enough research to know there aren’t wildebeest in Chad before trying to arrange a trip there to hunt them, did you?

What a douchebag.

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