Friday, July 20, 2007

Why Has Markos Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga (M.A.M.Z.) Lied About His Wealthy Salvadoran Oligarchy Family Background?

I refer hereinafter to Markos Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA as "MAMZ" simply because (1) these are the initials of his last name, and (2) it takes only five keystrokes to type "MAMZ" while Markos A lberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA requires thirty-four keystrokes, including punctuation and the shift key for capitals.

As with John F. Kennedy (JFK), Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) and Martin Luther King (MLK), it is perfectly appropriate and respectful in our society to refer to political figures by their initials.

Today, in response to my diary entitled, "Wealthy Moulitsas-ZÚÑIGA (Kos) Family Pollutes Fragile Salvadoran Estuary, Threatens Wildlife,
"Karmafish," one of MAMZ’s chief defenders at MyLeftWing, said:

Francis, I have to say, while I find these diaries vile (mainly because they are filled with dishonest innuendo and obvious malice) I also find them interesting. (Which, needless to say, is why I comment in them.) So, I want to leave you this evening with one question:

You make much of the fact that Moulitsas seems to have contradicted himself by claiming that his family left El Salvador without much money and yet his family owns the Hotel Suites Jaltepeque.

How do you know that when Markos returned to the United States in 1980 that his immediate family had access to this "vast fortune" you claim they had? Are you privy to his mother and father’s financial situation in 1980? Can you even confirm that Carlos, the hotel manager, was financially flush in 1980?

If you cannot, you see, you have a big hole in your argument.

For you to prove, as you have claimed, that Moulitsas lied, you must demonstrate the finances of his immediate family in 1980. That of his mother and father.

So you need to answer that question. (…)Karmafish in Comments.

I'm very pleased that, as a prime defender of MAMZ, Karmafish has offered the defense of MAMZ’s repeatedly false statements about the nature of his family background. Karmafish says,
"For you to prove, as you have claimed, that Moulitsas lied, you must demonstrate the finances of his immediate family in 1980. That of his mother and father."
I appreciate Karmafish pointing out this matter because it offers an opportunity for us to explore the full extent to which MAMZ has, until now, intentionally misled and deceived his followers, the media and the public about his Salvadoran family background.

Let’s examine a statement that MAMZ made to an El Salvadoran newspaper, La Prensa Gráfica, on the ninth day of April of this year, in the year two thousand and seven, and based on an interview that can only have occurred THIS YEAR. In this interview, based on the verb forms MAMZ uses, and the events to which he refers, he is clearly making claims about his family's wealth AT THE TIME HE STARTED DAILY KOS, which would have been not earlier than the year 2000.

Speaking specifically of the time period in which he started DailyKos and of the political and financial resources he had available for that purpose, MAMZ said:
"En el mundo antes de internet, alguien como yo nunca hubiera tenido ese nivel de éxito. No tengo dinero. No vengo de familia famosa o poderosa. Era inmigrante en Estados Unidos (...) La tecnología me dio la oportunidad de crear una publicación con más de un millón de lectores diarios sin tener que tener mucho dinero. Los costes de lanzamiento eran cerca de $100".

Translated: "In the world before the Internet, someone like me never would have been able to reach this level of success."

"I don't have money." [Stated in the present tense of the verb "to be."]

"I do not come from a famous or powerful family." [Again, stated again in the present tense of the verb "to be."]

"I was an immigrant to the United States." [Utterly false, but stated in the past tense, which makes it crystal clear that his other statements, stated in the present tense, were with respect to the time when he started DailyKos, NOT with respect to 1980.]

"Technology gave me the ability to start a publication with more than a million readers daily, without having to have much money. The costs of starting were around one hundred dollars." [This last paragraph makes it perfectly clear the temporal frame, the time frame, to which his is referring. He is saying that when he started DailyKos in 2000 or 2001, his family was not famous or powerful, AND he is clearly asserting that his family was so poor that he could not count on them for any financial help in starting DailyKos.]"
This interview with La Prensa Gráfica proves conclusively that Kos was not referring to 1980 when he said "I don’t have any money." He was NOT referring to 1980 when he said, "I do not come from a famous or powerful family." Clearly, he was referring to the year 2000 or 2001, when he started DailyKos, and he was arguing that, AT THE TIME WHEN HE STARTED DAILYKOS, he did so with access no more financial or political resources than a poor and humble immigrant would have.

That was a lie. Even at that time, his "family business" had immense land holdings on the Miami Beach of El Salvador and was developing an enormous condomium/club/hotel complex. The corporate history section of website of Club Jewel of the Pacific, which shares telephone numbers, an e-mail address, and contiguous land with Hotel Suites Jaltepeque, makes it clear that this "urbanization" business has been in operation since 1980 and underwent a tremendous expansion in the year 2001, at precisely the time when MAMZ says he had to start DailyKos with virtually no money because he was from a humble immigrant family with no financial resources.

As Stu Piddy has said,

Kos said it's "Our Family Owned Hotel" ...."Our" means parthy mine, partly theirs....since his mother works there...she is part of the family ...she is therefore an OWNER of the Hotel...most likely with Carlos Alberto Delgado Zuniga....Kos is in effect saying He is a part owner since the hotel belongs to the people called "OUR" one of which is KOS. That's what the words mean...those are his words on his wedding's not an interpretation....
In fact, Carlos Alberto Delgado ZÚÑIGA provided information for a graduate thesis published in 2000, that the Jaltepeque Suites Hotel had received six million dollars in foreign investment between 1997 and 2000.

Charging one hundred and forty dollars per day for a room, the MAMZ family’s Hotel Suites Jaltepeque is more exclusive than the "Group A" Salvadoran hotels such as the San Salvador Mariott, the Raddissson Plaza Hotel El, and the Intercontiental Hotel, all of which charged LESS PER DAY for rooms than did the MAMZ family hotel in 2000. And this information comes from a graduate thesisthat cites Carlos Alberto Delgado ZÚÑIGA, president of the Association of Salvadoran Hotels, as one of its sources.

Even if we give MAMZ every benefit of the doubt and define the limits of MAMZ’s family as he does, we still have to include the Salvadoran hotel and Baja Salt interests as part of his "family interests." MAMZ got married on November 24, 2000.At that very time, in his own wedding album posted after his honeymoon of 2000, he called the Jaltepeque Suites Hotel a "family business."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This means that, even subjectively, in MAMZ’s own mind, in 2000, his definition "family" did include the owners of the Jaltepeque Suites Hotel. MAMZ himself explained his access to this phenomenally expensive resort by referring to it as a "family business."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This raises profound questions about MAMZ’s judgment and his truthfulness. Either (1) in MAMZ’s own mind, it is possible to own the Miami Beach of El Salvador and still claim to be neither rich nor powerful, or (2) MAMZ was simply intentionally misstating the truth for the purpose of invoking a "rags to riches" story that America admires when it is told truthfully.

But, this much is clear: At the very same time that MAMZ claims his family was neither rich nor powerful – when he was starting DailyKos – one of his family’s businesses – the Jaltepeque Suites Hotel – had just received five million dollars in foreign investments.

Kos invokes the immigrant experience to express and confirm his humble beginnings, which make him a credible leader of the progressives in the United States and reduce resistance to his rise as a leader. It would have been impossible for him to present himself in this way while acknowledging the corporate activities of his Salvadoran "family business;" Every immigrant knows that there are no poor people in El Salvador who have own vast stretches of beach in the capital and who have five million dollars to spend building condominiums, pools, clubs and hotels on the most valuable beachfront property in El Salvador.

So, either Kos has a very distorted idea of what it means to not "have money," which is possible given his fabulously wealthy Salvadoran oligarchy family background, or he is simply a liar who intentionally tells falsehoods in order to manipulate the impressions that others, increase his credibility among the credulous, and thereby increase his political fortunes.

Not everyone in the blogosphere has accepted at face value MAMZ statements about his family background. The Unapologetic Mexican blog said about MAMZ after reading recent reports at the Francis L. Holland blog:

"WHOA. This article sort of throws a new light on Mister "poor immigrant" DailyKos Moulitsas and his Humble Salvadoran Family story. Maybe others who are familiar with DailyKos know about this, but it sure is news to me. And important news, given the size of his blog and the purported agendas."
The question of what "family" means is central to understanding MAMZ’s responsibility for the political and commercial behavior that we have recently discovered in his family, including the pollution of grey whale spawning grounds by Baja Salt in Baja Mexico, the destruction of mangrove forests and pollution of the Jaltepeque Estuary in El Salvador, the lobbying and manipulation of Salvadoran government laws and regulations in order to permit the devastation of the Jaltepeque Estuary, and Carlos Alberto Delgado Zúñiga’s association with a group (ANEP) that the CIA and other organizations have called "right-wing" political pressure groups that have been associated with Salvadoran death squads.

Some defenders of MAMZ have argued that we must assume that his family is limited to his mother and father, but this does not comport with the facts or with what we know about Latin American culture. Latin Americans tend to have a much broader definition of the word "family" than North Americans do. For example, the word "parents" means "mother and father" in English, but the word "parientes" means "all of one’s relatives" in Spanish.

"Definition of "Parientes"

One website says of Latin American families,

" The family is an important element in Spanish life, not the nuclear family as in North America, but the extended family. The extended family in the totality involves the nuclear family, blood and affinal relatives, ritual relatives (the neighbors were part of the family through this extension of the family), and maids, house boys, and pets (1976:19).
Mayers believes that one cannot truly understand Latin American society apart from the extended family (1976:61). According to Mayers it is the identification with one’s extended family that brings prestige and status to the Latin American (1976:27). It is for this reason that Dealy says, "Family is the Latin American’s primary means to success" (1992:178). " JoelComiskyGroup
In light of the damning contrast between how MAMZ has characterized his family (poor and lacking power) and the facts we have learned about his family (wealthy and powerful polluters and lobbyists), some of MAMZ supporters insist that his characterizations can be interpreted as truthful if we interpret them has having been limited to his nuclear family, i.e. mother and father.

There are two problems with this approach. First, we do not have any evidence that MAMZ’s own mother (and father when he was alive) are not the owners, stockholders or partners or otherwise financial beneficiaries of the Jaltepeque Suites Hotel and Baja Salt. So, even if we limit his "family" to his mother and father, that does not resolve in his favor the question of the wealth and power of his nuclear family.

The second reason that interpreting "family" in a narrow way is an unsuccessful defense is that the cultural norms both of the United States and of Latin American contradicts this "nuclear family" interpretation, both objectively and in terms of MAMZ’s subjective understanding of who his "family" and who would be members of a "family business."

For North Americans, it would be very strange and counter-factual to insist that we do not come from a wealthy or important family when, at the same time, we have access to one of the most exclusive hotels in the nation for the purpose of conducting our honeymoon. Moreover, when our access to that sumptuous and exclusive hotel resort is based on the fact that the hotel was a "family business," operated by family members, no one would believe us if we said we were not wealthy and powerful. Rather, we North Americans would normally tend to brag about our connection to such a wealthy family rather than endeavor to hide it.

It would likewise be strange for us North Americans to insist that members of our family were not powerful even as they were participating in the leadership of three national business organizations associated with the "family business," while making international trips to promote the globalization of the tourism industry and being cited regularly in national newspapers concerning the "family business" activities. Certainly, in United States culture, where our status and power are based on "who you know," it is very strange to disclaim such powerful family members.

Según Sandra Muralles, nueva presidenta de Fedecatur, el reto principal será posicionar a la región como un único destino y continuar coordinando con los gobiernos de los países centroamericanos estrategias para asegurar la seguridad de ciudadanos y turistas.
Agregó que parte del reto será impulsar la marca de Centroamérica como un destino más competitivo dentro del mercado europeo.
El cargo fue entregado por Carlos Alberto Delgado, presidente de la Cámara Salvadoreña de Turismo (CASATUR) a Muralles, presidenta de la CAMTUR), durante la reunión que los funcionarios sostuvieron en Guatemala con motivo de su asamblea general ordinaria.
Federatur está integrada por las cámaras de turismo de Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá y Belice, y agrupa a más de 800 empresas del ramo, entre hoteles, tour operadores, agencias de viajes y prestadores de servicios afines. PrensaLibre.Com
If it is strange to disclaim powerful family members in the United States, it is unthinkable to do so in Latin American without a very good and well-though-out reason. And yet MAMZ has taken pains to insist, on his own website, that he ought never be referred to by his maternal last name. "My last name is "Moulitsas"!, he insists.

In an article entitled "Scoping Identity Fraud," the author say:
Minor variations in the recording of a person’s real name can be the source of multiple identities for that individual. These can arise through errors made by agencies when recording identity details at the registration stage, by an individual having a preference for using their second name in place of their first name or by transposition of forenames and surnames. The later can be a particular problem with ‘double’ or composite surnames. Scoping Identity Fraud.
Effectively, MAMZ has, for one reason or another, created a fictitious identity for himself that is different from the actual and verifiable facts of his life. "Kos" has multiple names. " ‘Kos’ is the US-Army/screen nickname of the founder of Daily Kos." At his website, "Kos" (MAMZ) insists that his second last name ("ZÚÑIGA) MUST NOT be used when making reference to him. MAMZ says that Latin culture requires this approach, but a everyone know that people like Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, regularly use their entire names, including maternal and paternal surnames, when referring to themselves in public.

Why would MAMZ intentionally create a partially fictitious version of his family background? None of us knows at this point, but the combination of the power of his position and the discrepancies we have found compel us to brainstorm, to engage in some speculation and to consider various conceivable alternatives based on the facts that are on the table.

As Curmudgette commented yesterday,
No one is claiming they know Markos's actual income. That's the point. We only know what Markos, himself, claimed to be making at the time of his home purchase. He publicly stated a rough figure. It's been quoted and sourced a few places in this thread. That figure raises some questions about how he is meeting the costs of his lifestyle, if his statement was accurate.

MAMZ has falsely called himself an "immigrant" and acknowledges that he was trained for six months by the CIA in the year 2001.

Yesterday, there was considerable discussion in the thread about an issue of which I know nothing at all: MAMZ’s personal and corporate finances. As Curmudgette commented yesterday,
No one is claiming they know Markos's actual income. That's the point. We only know what Markos, himself, claimed to be making at the time of his home purchase. He publicly stated a rough figure. It's been quoted and sourced a few places in this thread. That figure raises some questions about how he is meeting the costs of his lifestyle, if his statement was accurate.
There are two possible reasons that come immediately to mind as to why MAMZ would create a partially fictitious background: The first is that he was trained to do so by the Central Intelligence Agency, when he interviewed with them for six months in 2001. In this alternative, he independently recognized that being known as wealthy oligarch from El Salvador would not help him to build a progressive blog and build a political following in the United States. So, relying in part on his training at the CIA, he opted to create an alternative public identity that did not include the inconvenient facts of his family history. This required that he never publicly mention the names of his family members and, in fact, he has never done so.

A second conceivable reason for the creation of an inaccurate identity would be that one was directed to do so by the Central Intelligence Agency, because (a) secret agents need a convincing but fictitious background, and (b) it would be impossible for anyone to infiltrate the American progressive movement while openly acknowledging that he comes from an extremely wealthy [and greedy] Salvadoran oligarchy family that is rich and powerful and is very active in the present in El Salvador’s right-wing corporate circles.

I am not asserting that I know MAMZ current relationship to the US Government, but I am stating as a matter of fact that I DO NOT know what his current relationship, if any, is to the intelligence agencies of the US Government.

The US Congress’s Church Commission said,
Counterintelligence is both an activity and its product. (…) a vast amount of information is required. (…) This information must be gathered within the United States and in all the foreign areas to which U.S. interests extend.
Douglass Valentine, a writer who has studied the CIA activities in Vietnam extensively, says, "Anytime the Company [the CIA] spent money for training a foreigner, the object was that he would ultimately serve our purposes."

"The president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors has vigorously protested government intelligence agents posing as journalists and the government recruiting reporters to serve as informers. In a letter to John M. Deutch, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, ASNE President William B. Ketter called the practice "dangerous" and "contrary to the principle of an independent American press." American Society of Newspaper Editors
Whatever the reasons for MAMZ unwillingness to acknowledge his true background, it is urgent that the truth be discovered because MAMZ’s organization, YearlyKos, will be hosting most or all of the Democratic presidential candidates in a candidates’ forum on August 4, 2007. Certainly, the integrity of the forum itself depends upon the integrity of the forum organizer, the man after whom the YearlyKos forum is named, Mr. Markos Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA (MAMZ).

1 comment:

Ningen said...

Zuniga's spook background helps explain why he bans people for talking about 9/11, and pushes the idea that real talk about 9/11 is "tinfoil" and discrediting.

Now that I know he is a liar, I will assume he's also lying about what he really thinks about 9/11. That's what he wants you to think.

The guy's a traitor in my book.