813 E. 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1882
Mr. George W. Bush, President
Mr. Bill Frist, Mr. Tom Daschle, Senate
Mr. Dennis Hastert, Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, House of Representative
Mr. William H. Rehnquist, Supreme Court
Mr. Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Bank
Mr. Michael Garcia, INS
Mr. Gray Davis, California
Mrs. Louise Frechette, United Nations
Mr. Nicholas Stern, WorldBank
Mr. Ruud Lubbers, UNHCR
Mr. Ted Turner, AOL Time Warner
Mr. Bill Gates, Microsoft
Mr. Kenneth Roth, HRW
Mr. Richard Schmalensee, MIT
Mr. Jimmy Carter, Carter Center
Los Angeles, January 14th, 2003
Object: Proposals made to Leaders, ‘large-scale lying’, critical issue, democracy, weapons of mass destruction, refugee status.
Dear Mr. President, Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
I take the liberty of writing you to forward you several letters discussing problems or issues that are important for the entire humanity. I also must mention certain difficulties I encounter (ed) here in the US and in other countries; some of these difficulties are significant of problems the poor are facing today, and others are due in part to the proposals I made and the political opinions I expressed while presenting my work. Finally, I would like to make few more remarks concerning the two proposals and the recent actualities.
Attached documents (letters, proposals, complaints,…).
In attachment 1, the letter addressed to country Leaders and I.O. Chiefs, I proposed to limit at 65 the age to assume the responsibility of country Leader and I.O. Chief and gave several arguments to justify the establishment of such a limit. In this letter I also mentioned briefly the proposal to develop a new computer system to improve the transfer and integration of statistical data at the worldwide level. In attachment 5, you will find a summary description of this project proposal, the EU evaluation sheet, and some of the letters of support sent by experts and politicians around the world. In attachment 3, the letter sent to several University computer sciences’ experts, you will find arguments explaining why it is an important proposal for the international community and why it would have a great impact on the fight against poverty.
In attachment 2, the letter sent to several university Presidents, I presented both proposals and described several other issues raised by my legal case. In attachments 5 and 6, the letter sent to the Press (NY Times) and the letter sent to the Immigration Judge in charge of my application for political asylum, you can read about what happened to me in France and in the other countries where I seek asylum (Switzerland and Belgium). In attachment 8, the appeal sent to the Appeal and State hearing section of California, I described some of the difficulties I had since I was given the refugee status and after I complained to obtain all the benefits associated with this status. Finally, in attachment 9, the letter sent to the Director of the INS Office of Internal Audit, I described the difficulties I had with the INS.
A serious problem the poor are facing is that the social workers and other civil servants constantly lie to them to steal them their benefits or to slow down their effort to come out of poverty or simply to show the power they have over them and the hate they have toward the poor. This is not a problem specific to the US, in Belgium I was given a note from the minister of social affairs in which he was asking the social workers (working in refugee camps or shelters) not to lie to refugee. Refugee like the very poor (homeless…) have almost no way of complaining legally (or if they have some in theory, it is in reality impossible, because of their living condition or the complexity and length of the procedure), so the people with which they are in relation show absolutely no respect for them and rob them the little they have or are entitled to have (this is often referred to as corruption).
Large-scale lying and’ unethical’ behavior.
‘Being lie to’ is, of course, not happening only to the poor. Mr. Schmalensee wrote in an article ‘What I understand happened at Worldcom didn’t involve an ethical problem. It involved outright, large-scale lying to investors. It is not a subtle point to teach that you should not lie…’. No, it is certainly ‘not a subtle point to teach you should not lie’, Mr. Schmalensee is very right. In our information society lying to someone is like poisoning him. Now if the ‘educated and well informed’ investors of Worldcom and other corporations can be fooled by the lies of a dishonest management, the poor can even more easily be fooled by the lies of social workers and other persons (lawyer, civil servants,) they must be in contact with. And most of the time there is no trace of these lies, even though their impact can be a matter of life and death.
The rapes of children by catholic priests and the lies told by the church to cover them are significant of the strong tendency of the catholic church to lie and to show little respect for the new generations. The Pope, for example, shows no respect for the new generations when he refuses to retire despite his age and illness, and he lies when he says that ‘his life is in the hand of god’. Not only does he lie, but he also insults his Swiss guard who protects him, the doctors who took care of him after he was shot, and the ones who take care of him now that he is very sick, the scientists who develop the medicine he is taking and the cooks who prepare his food. Many people who do not get all the care he receives, in Africa for example, do not even live until 40 or 50 on the average (and he is 81). Some other religious communities also have the tendency to lie, and we have seen the disastrous results of these lies on September 11th 2001 in New York and Washington.
As you have noticed, I had (have again more recently) informed the press of my proposals and of my difficulties. They can perfectly understand the importance of the issues raised by the proposals and by my legal case, but some of the persons I contacted simply said that they had not received my letter or did not give me any answer at all. The assistant of the Secretary General of Amnesty International also pretended that ‘they’ (AI) had not received my letter in early 2002. She asked me to send another one, which I did, but she still pretended, she had not seen the new letter I sent. I asked her to make some research to find this letter and to contact me back, but she never did (contact me)! The administrative officer of the United Nations Foundation refused to forward to the board members the letters (att. n 1 and 2) I had sent along with a job application, although I had clearly stated that I was writing also to inform the board members of these proposals and issues (that are particularly important for the very poor they are trying to help)!
These lies and behaviors are not surprising, even though they are to me ‘dishonest’. Every time that a scandal comes out in the press and media like Enron, WorldCom,, the people closed to the problem like board members… or even journalists (the CEO of the Financial Times criticized her own journalists for not having talked about these important financial scandals before!) are often contacted and asked if they knew about the problem, and, if yes, why they did not say anything about it. Here every body understands perfectly that the behavior of older (than 65) leaders is outrageous (and not just the behavior of Mr. Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, J. Wolfensohn, Ariel Sharon, Yasser Arafat, Jean Paul II,…).
They simply don’t want to hear about the problem officially, in order not to have a part of responsibility in the scandal and in the death of the victims of these incompetent leaders, thousands, hundred of thousands or millions of people (poor mostly). They may also want to avoid to displease certain older leaders or simply to express their hate for the poor. The fact for example that the Press and Media have several old well known and very rich Leaders like MM. Rupert Murdoch, Summers Redstone, Silvio Berlusconi, not long ago Leo Kirch,…, may explain partly the fact that the Press and Media were more than reluctant to talk about this problem.
Critical situation, responsibilities and critical issue.
I don’t need to remind you that there are people dying almost every day in Israel and Palestine because two old leaders (above 70), who have known only war, show absolutely no respect for the new generations and the poor by holding on to the highest responsibility. These two leaders are obviously not competent enough and aware of the new knowledge and technology that could help them to solve the problems of their population. It is probably not surprising also for some of you to hear about the corruption scandal at the Likoud party or about the general corruption problems in the palestian authority! It is a form of corruption to allow an old leader (above 65) to be country Leader or to manage an International Organization or to be Chief of Justice.
There are also many people (about 6 millions according to some statistics) that may die from hunger in Zimbabwe, and not just because of the very dry weather they have this year! At a more global level, the statistics are even more outrageous:
- There are millions of people whose life expectancy has dropped below 50 (40 in some country)
- There are great number of people who are sent or forced to go on pre retirement at 55, 60 to leave the place to younger (cheaper and ‘better educated’) people.
- ‘90 % working age population is not covered by pension schemes capable of providing adequate retirement income’.
- The gap between the rich and the poor has increased, Mr. Larsen from the IMF writes in one of his recent speeches: ‘It is also true that never before has the gap between the rich and the poor been as wide as today. And that the gap is continuing to widen.’
- And there about 1.2 billion people living with less than one dollar a day and about 3 billions (or 2.8) that lives with less than 2 dollars a day.
Don’t you think that older country leaders and I.O.s Chiefs, particularly the ones who hold on to the highest responsibility after 65, do have at least a part of responsibility in this result?
And isn’t it more than fair to ‘question’ the behavior of a more than 70 years old business leader who has more than 20 billions dollars (or even ‘1 billion’) in his account and who continues to ‘make deals’ to become even richer when at the same time he cannot ignore the situation I describe above?
The problem of limiting the age of high-level Leaders is both a management (or governance) issue and an ethical issue. Not talking about this issue is simply ‘large-scale lying’ to the people of the world. Not long ago the NY Times made a big issue (in an editorial) of the fact that the Augusta National Club did not accept women as member. This subject was then discussed by many other news papers and televisions. Later an employee of Mr. Chretien gave a ‘bird name’ to the US President, and the next day every television and newspaper talked about it, even in Iraq. But no one wants to talk about an age limit for county Leaders or I.O. Chiefs, an issue that costs the live of a great number of people around the world every day!
Giving money to help the poor is not enough. If ‘we’ give money and, at the same time, act completely stupid or in a dishonest manner, this money will not benefit the very poor it is intended to help (in fact this is exactly what is happening, the gap between the rich and the poor has increased these past years although many efforts were made, debt relief initiative...)! If ‘we’ do not explain clearly what are the responsibilities of Leaders, and why it is wrong to stay country Leader after 65, the money ‘we’ give looks more like a way to obtain ‘favors’ from these old Leaders and I.O. Chiefs than a way to help the poor who obviously become poorer everyday. To establish an age limit for country Leaders and I.O. Chiefs is a critical issue (and it is urgent that ‘we’ talk about it).
Democracy, fair election and justice.
And it is not outrageous and not against the idea of democracy despite the remark of a French Deputy, former candidate at the French presidential election I contacted (see att. n 2). The United States that is often referred to as the most advanced democracy, has limited its Presidential Mandate to two terms. The European Court of Human Right has limited at 70 the age of its judges. Even some International Organizations limit at 55 the age to apply for certain jobs, so the establishment of such a limit is not at all against the idea of democracy. Au contraire, I believe that one of the important goals of democracy is to make laws that are in the interest of all the community. And that an election is fair, only if the people do receive all the information on important issues, and on knowledge and new technologies available to solve the problems of the community.
Mr. Carter, who travels the world to, among other things, promote the importance of fair elections and the idea of democracy, may agree with me. In Africa, to have a fair election may mean (first) to give an ‘easy and safe’ access to the voting office to the people and to make sure that the votes are counted right. But in rich countries, to have a fair election ‘we’ must make sure that the people are honestly informed on the new knowledge, technology and issues that are important to improve the life of the people. This is why I believe the French presidential election was unfair. No one from the press, media or politicians involved in the election discussed the issue I raised on the age limit for Leaders although several candidates were above this age limit of 65. The election in Israel will also be unfair, if ‘we’ don’t talk about it before the election.
The officials (politicians, ) who limited at 70 the mandate of the judge of the European Court simply addressed some aspects of this ethical and management issue. It seems that some of the judges have complained about this limit, but instead they should have complained about the fact that such a limit was not applied in other professions or countries. The fact that the US Supreme Court has three judges above 70 is a very bad example for the world. The French Chief Justice is about 79; this is wrong, this intellectually and ethically very wrong, but not surprising. You understand that if you allow the people who are responsible to say ‘what is right’ and ‘what is wrong’, justice leaders and religious leaders, to continue working after 65, they cannot criticize the politicians who behave badly on this matter (and other matter also like the immunity of the French President).
The fact that there are no laws to limit the age for country Leaders does not make it right; it simply makes it not illegal. There is in the European Convention of Human Right an article (7) that says that there can be ‘no punishment without law’. This article is very important of course since it avoids people to be sentenced on unfair grounds, but it is not really appropriate for the leaders and politicians who take advantage of the absence of laws even though they have the possibility and the responsibility to change or improve the law. We absolutely must denounce and break this vicious cycle. Mr. Chirac, who refuses to talk to the justice, was obviously not willing to do that and to talk about this issue, but the United States, the most advanced country in the world, may understand the problem better than any other country.
Weapons of mass destructions, massacres and UN responsibility.
The US and the UN complain about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, which I understand perfectly, but as you know, in our information society and given the terrible situation of the world (billions of poor, deadly diseases,) information is also a weapon of mass destruction that kill every day (much more than Mr. Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction); Not talking about the establishment of an age limit for Leaders is a good example of this fact. So it would be fair (and it is important) that we pay a more careful attention to what information we give to the people through the media, and to what issues should be put forward first.
I believe that Mr. Saddam Hussein (65) should not be President of Iraq even if the UN inspectors do not find any weapons of mass destruction. He has a very poor record as leader, he made a war to Iran that cost the lives of many people, then he attacked Kuwait, killed and robbed many other people, and then he paid very little attention to the international community’s concerns. And finally, now that he has reached 65, he does not show any respect for the new generations (which is not at all surprising), but he is not the only one in this situation (or a similar situation) as you know. So perhaps we could look at the Iraqi problem as part of a more global problem. The problem of old Leaders who did a ‘bad job’ and continue to show no respect for the new generations and the poor.
And instead of using first airplanes and bombs, ‘we’ could use ‘our’ information weapon, ‘information tools’ (TV, Newspaper, Internet, phone, satellite...), a clear explanation on what are the responsibilities of Leaders, logical and good sense arguments that apply to everyone, and a ‘significant gesture’ (the immediate resignation of important older Leaders like Mr. Wolfensohn, Mr. Renhquist, Mr. Annan, Mr. Greenspan, Mr. Johnston, Pope Jean Paul II …) to explain to the people of world that Mr. Saddam Hussein, Mr. Arafat, Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Sharon, Mr. Fidel Castro… should step down to bring more justice and more peace to the world, to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor and to show more respect toward the new generations and the poor.
Dr. Brundlandt explained that she will not seek another term mainly because of her age, she perfectly knows the situation of the world and feels that she has done a good job as WHO Director General, but she still feels it is more important at her age to let someone else continue her effort than holding on to one of the highest positions on the planet. Of course, Mr. Annan, who will reach 65 in April this year, should have shown the same honesty and respect for the people of the world, particularly after he admitted publicly the responsibility of the UN, and more precisely of the Department of Peace Keeping Operation he headed at the time, in the massacre of 800 000 people in Rwanda.
The UN should have discussed this issue. If the Security Council can impose on Iraq to disarm, it certainly can recommend or impose an age limit to lead a country. It also could have suggested that I.O. Chiefs show the example on this matter like Dr. Brundlandt did. I have informed Mr. Annan on this subject several times, and he perfectly understands that this issue is particularly important for the people of Africa whose life expectancy has dropped sharply recently, but it seems that he has decided to close his eyes on this issue like he did for the massacre in Rwanda. He also closed his eyes on my computer project proposal that was supported by many International Organization’s experts, and let me continue to have great difficulties everywhere I go.
None of the undeserved prices and honors (Nobel Peace Price, Honorary doctorate degree in law from Northwestern, United Nations Association price, ) he receives can erase the part of responsibility he has in the massacre of 800 000 people as former head of the UN Peace Keeping Operation Department. And he is not a man of vision, because if he had had the slightest bit of vision, he would have anticipated the massacre in Rwanda (he is from a country not so far from Rwanda). There is not one criminal in the US jail who has a part of responsibility in a crime as terrible as the Rwanda massacre. And no one is saying anything to him although in America, a man has been (not long ago) sentenced to 25 years in jail for having stolen 11 dollars. A big corporation has been sentenced to pay 28 billions dollars to a victim who got cancer after using its products.
Another man has been sentenced to stay more than 20 years in jail and to pay more than 2 billions dollars for having modified the formula of some medicine that gave the cancer to one of its user. When you hear about these sentences, you feel that the United States really values life, and that this country believes in the idea of justice. But if at the same time the US does not say anything about Mr. Annan responsibility in the Rwanda massacre and about the retirement age of 65 he has reached, then it is obvious that there is very little justice in the world when it comes to really important matter. It also makes it easy for people like Mr. Ousama Ben Laden to recruit their terrorists to commit more terrible crimes. There are no two good behaviors, Dr. Brundlandt’s behavior and Mr. Annan’s behavior. Only Dr. Brundlandt’s behavior is right and appropriate.
Mr. Turner and Mr. Gates, your donations are very important for the world, but they will only really help the very poor, if ‘we’ don’t just say ‘I am sorry’ for the Rwanda massacre. I.O. Chiefs must feel that they have a part of responsibility in what is going on, because they do. Just like you have something to do with the creation and the development of CNN and Microsoft, I ‘think’!
Refugee status and compensation.
The subject, issues and proposals that I discussed in this letter are not ‘just’ important for the entire humanity, they are also important in my trials against France, Belgium, and my asylum application in the US. Even though you don’t have a lot of details on my case, you can see that I am constantly victim of errors from the administrations (even here in the US so far) and you can probably understand why. For example, here I was given the refugee status (att. n 7), which was a great relief for me, but now I am not even sure of that anymore, although I had been told that once you have the refugee status you have it for your life!
I understand that some of the remarks I make and that some of the issues raised by case are indirect critic toward certain well-known US Citizens and toward certain US system of law (like the legal help system,). And I am very sorry for that, but they are important for everyone on earth and it is my responsibility to make them since no one seems to understand or to be ready to talk about the problem. And it is also my duty to explain their importance to the justice (‘you’), if I want to obtain justice and a compensation for the many undeserved difficulties I encountered in France and elsewhere. I could have easily talked about the many strong points of the United States like I have done in the past. There are surely more to talk about in this area, but you know that to be fair we must also talk about the weaknesses of ‘our’ ‘systems’, particularly when they are not specific to one country.
You will notice that I have first talked to many I.O. and Country experts and politicians around the world. I have obtained both direct and indirect support for my proposals (letters of interest, the decision of Dr. Brundlandt…). I made the effort to base my proposals and remarks on logical arguments or simple good sense arguments or accepted knowledge. So I should not be punished, persecuted and robbed from everything I have and the little I am entitled to have for my remarks (or for no other reasons either). Au contraire I am entitled to obtain justice and should be allowed to obtain a job to continue my work, so I am asking you to help me to obtain justice for me and for the many people who are concerned by the issues raised by my case. I remain
Att. n 1: Letters sent to G8 Leaders and I.O.s Chiefs dated December 23rd 2001 (7 pages).
Att. n 2: Letter sent to ‘8’ US University Presidents dated May 29th 2002 (6 pages).
Att. n 3: Letter sent to several computer science experts dated October 29th 2002 (3 pages).
Att. n 4: Brief summary of the project proposal I worked on, one page evaluation from the Inco-Copernicus experts, and some of the letters of support (16 pages)
Att. n 6: Letter sent to the Immigration Judge dated August 21st 2002 (9 pages).
Att. n 7: Verification of status from the INS issued on September 5th 2002 (1 page, DS).
Att. n 8: Appeal sent to the California appeal court for social rights (5 pages).
Att. n 9: Complaint sent to the Director of the INS Office of Internal Audit (6 pages).