Tag Archives: Ecuador

The Estefanía Isaías Scandal: See, This Stuff Shows The Ethics Rot In Our Government, And We Don’t Even Notice It

You have no idea who this woman is, do you?

You have no idea who this woman is, do you?

On December 4, the New York Times reported this:

MIAMI — The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.

The woman, Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.

It was one of several favorable decisions the Obama administration made in recent years involving the Isaías family, which the government of Ecuador accuses of buying protection from Washington and living comfortably in Miami off the profits of a looted bank in Ecuador.

The family, which has been investigated by federal law enforcement agencies on suspicion of money laundering and immigration fraud, has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to American political campaigns in recent years. During that time, it has repeatedly received favorable treatment from the highest levels of the American government, including from New Jersey’s senior senator and the State Department.

Amidst the swirling controversies over police shootings, grand jury decisions, race-baiting, fake rape allegations, Obama’s unilateral reversal of U.S. Cuba policy, ISIS, the Sony hack, Jonathan Gruber and more, not to mention the holidays, this story received almost no dissemination, yet in its own, slimy way is more important than any of the rest. For it is the quietly growing tumor of government corruption, allowing money to confer special privileges on the wealthy and policy that undermines the rule of law, that saps the nation of its public trust, and that creates the cynicism that eats away at our democracy’s vitality and strength.

Why did this story avoid media and public attention? It was a perfect storm of factors that make a news story unattractive to journalists and unfathomable to the public: Continue reading

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UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption

UPDATE, 12/19/2011: There is more on the topic of international adoptions here.

There are few things more harmful than a trusted organization associated with good will and good deeds that uses its influence irresponsibly, and there are few organizations with more accumulated trust than UNICEF, the United Nations organization dedicated to children’s rights, safety and welfare. That UNICEF could be promoting policies that actually harms children seems too awful to contemplate, but that appears to be what is occurring. The problem is that most people have grown up thinking of the organization as the epitome of international virtue. UNICEF doing something that hurts kids? Impossible. Since the group’s impressive moral authority seems to be focused in an unethical direction, the damage it can do before public opinion turns is substantial.

The area is  international adoptions. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Family, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Race, Research and Scholarship, U.S. Society