Pat Robertson just set off another verbal M80 with his call for the
assassination of democratically elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Robertson
is no stranger to oral detonation; his Christian Broadcast Network show, The
700 Club
, is a minefield of political incorrectness. The classic example
is his view of feminism, which he says encourages women “to leave their husbands,
kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Elimination isn’t new for him either: In 1988, running for president, he preached
about eliminating drugs and pornography, then the Department of Education and
the Department of Energy. He has even suggested nuking the State Department.
And he had his firecrackers and matches ready when Mr Chávez, in his weekly
“Hello President” broadcast (aren’t you glad we don’t have those?), stated,
“If I am assassinated, there is only one person responsible: the president of
the United States.” Pat called Venezuela, the fourth largest supplier of oil
to the U.S., “a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism.”
He lit the fuse with “You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination,
but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought
to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.” And then
came the ka-boom:

“We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we
exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of
one, you know, strong-arm dictator . . . It’s a whole lot easier to have some
of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

—Pat Robertson, August 22

“Our department doesn’t do that kind of thing. It’s against the law. He’s a
private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time.”

—Secretary of Defense
Donald H. Rumsfeld, August 23

“Mr. Roberts is, of course, no ordinary private citizen. The United States might
not permit its citizens to use its territory and airwaves to incite terrorists
abroad and the murder of a democratically elected president. Venezuela demands
that the U.S. abide by international and domestic law and respect its country
and our president.”

—Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuela’s ambassador
to the United States, August 23

“The ball is in the U.S. court, after this criminal statement by a citizen of
that country. It’s huge hypocrisy to maintain this discourse against terrorism
and at the same time, in the heart of that country, there are entirely terrorist
statements like those.”

—Venezuelan Vice President
Jose Vicente Rangel, August 23

“I don’t even know who that person is.”

—Hugo Chávez, August 23

“Stop the planet, please. I think Pat should get off. Alternatively, we could
just shoot him out of a cannon, Hunter S. Thompson style.”

—filthy assistant,, August 23

“Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement.”

—Pat Robertson, August 25

LA Weekly