Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bush "AIDS Czar" Who Discouraged Condom Use Around The World Resigns in Sex Scandal -- UPDATED, below

Last night Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias resigned, and the State Department issued a press release saying he had resigned for 'personal reasons'. Very personal reasons, it turns out:

On Thursday, Tobias told ABC News he had several times called the "Pamela Martin and Associates" escort service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." Tobias, who is married, said there had been "no sex," and that recently he had been using another service "with Central Americans" to provide massages.

Tobias' private cell number was among thousands of numbers listed in the telephone records provided to ABC News by Jeane Palfrey, the woman dubbed the "D.C. Madam," who is facing the federal charges.

How Tobias thought it would help his case to tell ABC he had been using Central American gals, I can't say. (Were the Pamela Martin prostitutes escorts illegal aliens?)

Who is Randall Tobias? He is the former CEO of Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant, as well as the former Chairman of AT&T. A bigtime Bush contributor. A bigwig in Indiana politics. Founder of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence at Indiana University (which his children head, nepotism is a great thing.) And, since 2003 United States Global AIDS coordinator with the US Agency for International Development (I'd refer you to his bio on, but it was removed last night!) and since 2006, Deputy Secretary of State (as well as Global AIDS cooreinator), as USAID was merged into the State Department.

And during his government service, he's been pushing the fundie hatred of condoms, and thereby condemning people around the world to be infected with HIV:

Tobias has consistently put the Bush administration agenda before science and facts in the global fight against AIDS, acting as the “front man for Bush’s ideology-driven policies on prevention and on treatment (of AIDS).”

His HIV-prevention policies have focused on “abstinence-only-until-marriage”
leaving “large segments of the population at immediate risk of HIV infection.” He has also made inaccurate public statements on the effectiveness of condoms in AIDS prevention and has funded questionable organizations supported by President Bush, but lacking in technical competency in HIV prevention.

Let's hope he hasn't infected his wife. Hypocrite.

ABC is doing a big story this week on all the phone numbers from Pamela Martin's escort service. I wonder who else is going down? (Very punny.)

ThinkProgress: Rice Appoints Political Sycophant To Head U.S. Foreign Aid Efforts

ABC News: Senior Official Linked to Escort Service Resigns

WaPo: Rice Deputy Quits After Query Over Escort Service
Randall Tobias Oversaw U.S. Foreign Aid Programs

UPDATE: (I can't keep up!)

ThinkProgress: Official Caught Using Escort Service Demanded Anti-Prostitution ‘Loyalty Oaths’

Tobias required any group seeking US funding to take an anti-prostitution oath so broad that it outlawed outreach to sex workers; Brazil lost $40 million in funds it would have used to encourage condom use by sex workers.

During an “Ask the White House” online chat in 2004, Tobias defended the policy, saying the U.S. was “partnering with communities” to begin “fighting sex trafficking and prostitution, while still serving victims of these activities.” Tobias added that he was overseeing several “highly successful” relationship programs “aimed at men and boys to help them develop healthy relationships with women.”

A truly inspired idea, having someone who pays for “gals come over to the condo to give me a massage” run programs on developing “healthy relationships with women.”

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