I am not ever going to excuse or condone use of excessive force EVEN if it is in the process of protecting our nation.
That said….there are several disturbing things going on with John McAfee. Let’s look at an article written almost exactly 2 years ago to the day, by an American journalist, Jeff Wise.http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/145/fantasy-island.html.
The original purpose was to interview John McAfee about his research on quorum sensing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quorum_sensing. Quorum sensing refers a process by which receptor bacteria receives signals from inducer bacteria or the signalling bacteria and as such function in gene expression. In other words, they decide what genes are reproduced in a particular environment. The following is an excerpt from the article:
“I’m working on a medical research project that has enormous potential,’ he told me. “I hired a young researcher, Dr. Adonizio, who is the leading researcher on a new branch of antibiotic development, using medicinal-type plants.”
McAfee explained that infectious bacteria become dangerous only when they multiply to a certain concentration, at which point, thanks to a process called “quorum sensing,” they collectively shift to a pathogenic mode. The signal that modulates this response is a certain chemical pheromone — if a drug can block its action, the bacteria will never become dangerous. And because no bacteria are killed, the accelerated evolution that results in antibiotic resistance never occurs. “
Whew! Got that? Good. The journalist was perturbed however by the “leading researcher” Dr. Allison Adonizio, about whom several things McAfee had said about her turned out to be untrue. Wise says that they “began their work together — not, as McAfee had told me, two years earlier, but just seven months before. She had identified, she says, not six promising herbs, but two. Nor, it later emerges, was she “the leading researcher” in quorum sensing, as McAfee had described her; several eminent scholars in the field told me they’d “never heard of that person.”who he says “nobody has heard of”. Also it would seem that the research facility appears hodgepodge since Wise describes the one room back building at Galen University as having just been “knocked together” two days before his arrival. The next thing is that they aren’t really focusing on quorum sensing research but rather an herbal compound to enhance the female libido. Wise says that McAfee plans to use the money he makes from this to then further his research on quorum sensing…HUH?????
Wise also talks about how McAfee says he has bribed his way into gaining cooperation of the locals (that’s us) in the following excerpt:
By now it seems pretty clear that McAfee isn’t as impoverished as he’s let on. The double lot he lives on — one of “several properties” he’s purchased, according to a local realtor — is worth about $1.5 million for the land alone. Then there is the $1 million patrol boat he donated to the Belizean coast guard. (In a letter to The New York Times, he described it as an act of philanthropy; later, he tells me he had to bribe members of the coast guard to prevent them from hassling his ferry business: “This is a third-world country. I had to bribe a whole bunch of folks.”) Throw in a $400,000 set of greenhouses, a handful of other businesses, the rent on a half-million-dollar boat, 35 to 40 local employees, lab buildings and equipment, and the fact that people keep asking him for $1,000 here, $5,000 there, and it all starts to, well, add up.
Which brings me to my original thought when I read the comments both McAfee and his supporters made after he was detained on May 2, 2012. The prevailing sentiment was that the Belize Government is harassing someone who has been such a benefactor to Belize and its people, even the very police who came to execute the warrant. Uhm…so? Just because you throw some money around, you should be beyond the law? And then I read this here article and he in his own damning words admits that he is basically bribing his way so he is left alone. I wasn’t the only one with this impression. Read what the journalist himself observed:
One night, over dinner in Belize, the conversation turned to the subject of a seawall McAfee had built on his property. Seawalls are regulated on Ambergris Caye, as in many places, because though they may retard beach erosion in one place, they tend to accelerate it elsewhere. And so a pair of police officers came to visit him. “We are sorry that we have to tell you to stop building that wall,” they said. “I am sorry that I have to tell you that I am going to build it anyway,” he told them, and they left.
To McAfee, this exchange was proof of the evolved level of discourse in Belize, where a person is largely left to do as he pleases. Yet surely there is a point to laws and regulations, I protested. How would he feel if a neighbor built a wall that caused his beach to erode? “That would be fine.” What if his neighbor built a 20-story high-rise that loomed over his villa? “I’d let him.” Really? “Who am I to say whether a skyscraper is a good thing or not?” he countered. “Just look at the skyline of Manhattan, how beautiful it is.”
At the time, I thought that he was simply being argumentative. But McAfee seems to want freedom without limitation.
So this guy Wise goes home and starts digging around to find out that McAfee is being sued because of his disregard again for rules. He, in his misguided enthusiasm, decided to open a flight school to teach aerotrekking, something McAfee basically made up. He had hired his nephew, Joel Gordon Bitow, as a flight instructor even though it is ILLEGAL to give instructions when all you have is a SPORT PILOT CERTIFICATE, much easier to get than a PILOT’s LICENSE. Bitow went to one of the most dangerous parts of the canyon in Arizona where he crashed and killed his student, Robert Gilson. Frank Flemming on behalf of Gilson has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against McAfee:
The Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, will decide whether McAfee should be held responsible. Was Bitow acting under McAfee’s instruction, or on his own? To Fleming, unsurprisingly, the case is clear. It was McAfee who conceived of the sport of aerotrekking and who promoted it in the national media. And it was McAfee who gave Bitow the trike to fly and put him in charge of the flight school. “Pushing his nephew, Joel Gordon Bitow, into a situation where he’s giving dual instruction in an illegal operation, to innocent people off the street, and encouraging people to perform low-altitude, high-speed flight over unforgiving terrain with no margin of error — that to me is no different than being a drunk driver or a reckless speeder in a school zone,” Fleming says. His civil complaint seeks $5 million in damages. Punitive damages could run much higher.
SOooooo…..Wise says that McAfee became a permanent resident of Belize because:
“A judgment in the States is not valid down here,” McAfee tells me. “And lawsuits in process in the United States have a difficult time in the collection stage.”
Oh and did we mention he is sleeping with a 17 year old minor???? How long has this been going on? Was she of the age of consent when the affair started? Even so…it could be an indication of just how much disregard he has for social mores. Or is it pointing at the fact that he likes to do what he wants when he wants and let’s face it, how powerful is a 17 against such an older man? He probably figures he would just pay her off too.
My point for doing all of this digging around although thanks to Jeff Wise, a lot of it came in a neat little package, so that I only had to verify what Wise said for the most part, IS: do we know who this man is? AND WHY AGAIN?????? ARE WE DEFENDING SOMEONE WHO IS OBVIOUSLY USING THE WHOLE DAMN COUNTRY TO ESCAPE HIS MORAL AND LEGAL OBLIGATIONS? Even if that Gilson lawsuit is lost, the way McAfee is handling it shows his disrespect for life through his blatant reckless and irresponsible actions behind his flight school and now his running away and hiding all his assets in our country. The way he talks about us is we just need some money, the little peasants and they will do what I want…even in his own interview with Channel 5, he shared his indignation that the Minister of National Security did not bother to call him back: http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/69954
“I attempted to reach Mister Saldivar, the Minister of National Security on six different occasions. He did not return a single phone call, neither did his secretary—which as a last resort, I tried to reach him through his secretary. I sent him a text saying Mister Saldivar it is urgent that I speak to you. He did not respond. He is a member of the same party that was slighted by my refusal to donate. So this is astonishing too; the Minister of National Security. And I was going by to meet with him anyways—I would with any new minister just out of courtesy. I am a foreign citizen in this country; I want to meet the minister to let them know I am here if I can help in any way, hello, goodbye, whatever. It’s just politeness. He refused to respond to my phone calls, to give me an appointment to meet him or in any way to talk to him. And this was three weeks prior to this event that I was trying to reach Mister Saldivar. So Mister Saldivar, please would you call me now?”
Analysts at the Forensic Laboratory, and personnel from the Ministry of Health were taken to inspect the facility and samples of an alleged antibiotic apparently being manufactured at the Laboratory were also taken for analysis. The Ministry of Health has already confirmed that no licence has been granted to McAfee or any of his agents to manufacture antibiotics in Belize. Doing so without a licence is an offence under the Antibiotics Act.
Further investigation led into a query regarding the employment of the security guards. This revealed that only two of the four guards on the premises were licensed to act as security guards.
And in regards to the fatally wounded man’s best friend, the GSU says that three of the eleven dogs on the premises attacked and bit one of the officers on his right thigh. The same dog then attacked a B.D.F. soldier who responded by fatally wounded the dog.
At the end of the search, three of the security guards were arrested and charged for “Providing Security Services without a License”. While McAfee, who was initially detained and charged for the offences of Kept Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition, was later released. This aspect is still under investigation as no such licence has yet been found in the records at Police Headquarters.
We need to be careful here. Just because this man has money and is supposedly being generous which could easily be construed as bribery, he is not NOT above the law. At the same time, if what he claims is true, we need to clean that mess up and expose that politician for what he is, a goddamned crooked extortionist engaging in political victimization. And as for the GSU, please behave according to protocol and severely deal with any in your unit who abuses his/her power. We can’t fight crime by acting like criminals. You must be beyond reproach or don’t bother at all because the cases will get thrown out; you will create bad press,impacting our financial outlook both in tourism and investment dollars; impair any sort of goodwill efforts; and worst of all, fail the very public YOU ARE working for.