EDITORIAL: Looks like we can see why Washington Time didn’t cover the WHOLE story of convicted pedophile Kurt Treptow. Mr. Treptow aka August Kurt Brackob appears to be connected to Miami, Las Vegas and Romania, US politicians, Porn Valley and their mouthpiece, the FSC and networks of pedophiles and now we find he’s also connected to an archbishop, the CIA and the US Embassy.
Yep, whenever mainstream media leaves some major details out of a story, you can bet there’s much more they’re not allowed to share. This story is from 2007. And today, the plot thickens!!
Euphrosynoscafe by Michael » Wed 11 July 2007 2:48 pm
by Corina Mica
Bucharest Business Week has obtained a key document that it believes was forged by senior US Embassy officials on behalf of imprisoned pedophile Kurt William Treptow, who is alleged to have been a local operative of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The discovery ignites further a developing controversy surrounding US Ambassador Michael Guest’s handling of a situation involving the convicted American child sex abuser and corruption at the US Embassy and at the Fulbright Commission, a Washington-based American government sponsored multi-million USD educational institute. It also comes at a time when major international newspapers including those in France and Germany have published news stories on Romanian adoptions and when the Financial Times has focused on the Ambassador’s alleged misdeeds in the area of adoptions in Romania.
Other documents obtained by BBW indicate a trail of corruption by top US officials at a time when Ambassador Guest and European Union officials, including Baroness Nicholson, are sharply criticizing Romanian officials for the very same thing, with the Baroness focusing particularly on treatment of Romanian children.
The original letter obtained by this newspaper was brought to members of the Board at a Fulbright Commission meeting by Mark Wentworth, the US Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, at a time when the US Embassy said it did not know the whereabouts of Treptow. He said he had received the letter mere minutes before the board meeting began. At the time, Romanian media reported that Treptow had been hiding inside the Embassy compound. Treptow, from Miami Beach, Florida, had been named to the Fulbright board by the US Embassy, ahead of Mr. Obie Moore, a prominent lawyer and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania.
BBW has learned that Wentworth wanted the Fulbright board meeting to go into secret executive session on the Treptow matter but he was overruled. In offering it for board members to read, Wentworth added, “There is no need to discuss this matter further. Mr. Treptow has done the honorable thing.”
In the letter, Treptow, who has a Doctorate (PhD) in history, managed to misspell his own name, which some consider rather extraordinary in any situation but specially for such a sensitive document. Other documents signed by Treptow obtained by BBW show a different signature.
High-level US Embassy officials, including Mark Wenig, press attache, and Wentworth, have repeatedly refused to give BBW a copy of the original resignation letter of Treptow from the board of the Fulbright Commission, though they say they do have it.
Wenig, in an e-mail to BBW on Friday, February 6, wrote, “we have the Treptow resignation letter in our possession, but before I can release it to you, I must have approval that its release does not violate provisions of the Privacy Act, or any other U.S. law. I have a request in to Washington on this issue.” This is not possible as BBW has the original letter.
Other insider documents obtained by this newspaper, including personal e-mails, also indicate that leading US Embassy officials, including Ambassador Guest, former Acting Ambassador Susan Johnson, former Public Affairs Officer, Kiki Munshi, who now uses the family name of Kiki Skagen Harris; Scott Righetti, Academic Exchange Specialist, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington DC; and Ernest Latham, former US Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer in Bucharest and a trainer of certain American diplomats, were involved in corruption, influence peddling and conflicts of interest related to Treptow and another man, Arthur E. John Gonzalez-Alexopoulos, who terms himself ‘His Eminence’ and carries the honorary title of Archbishop from the Greek Orthodox Church.
Treptow wrecks children’s lives
Treptow sexually abused Romanian children in Iasi, some believed to be orphans, and video-taped and photographed his activities. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he used the offices of his Foundation for Romanian Culture and Studies/Center for Romanian Studies as a cover. The children, some under the age of eight years, are undergoing psychological therapy. It is not known if other Americans were involved in the child sex ring.
BBW has also learned that the US Embassy in Bucharest ignored, and then delayed, a proposal to place Obie Moore, a lawyer with Salans, Moore, Vartires, and Associates, and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania, on the board of Fulbright Commission. Instead, the US Embassy chose Treptow. Reports allege Treptow was a CIA agent and that being placed on the Board of the Fulbright Commission was an attempt at a disguise by the US Government, after Treptow’s cover had been revealed by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).
After Treptow was arrested, Moore has not attended a single monthly board meeting, in more than a year. Under the regulations of the Fulbright Commission, Moore should have been removed from the board nine months ago for missing so many successive board meetings. Insiders say this is a subtle protest against the behavior of the Embassy.
US Embassy corruption
BBW has also recently learned that senior members and former members of the US Embassy helped Gonzalez-Alexopoulos, a 57-year-old retired Greek Orthodox monk from the little-known St. Gregory Palamas Monastery in Etna, California, to win the influential post of executive director of the US Fulbright Commission in Romania.
Documents obtained by BBW show blatant conflicts of interest, influence peddling and discrimination by which US Embassy officials supported this one candidate over more than 40 other applicants, Romanian and American. Even worse, some of those people including Righetti, Munshi and Latham, the last two of whom worked together at the US Embassy in Bucharest in the 1980s, were directly involved in choosing the new executive director. They were on the Selection Committee itself.
The influence peddling included letters of support and campaigning in support of Gonzalez-Chrysostomos. Support by such American officials discriminated against other suitable and well-qualified Romanian and American candidates.
In e-mails obtained by BBW, Gonzalez-Alexopoulos admitted he wasn’t qualified for the position of Fulbright Commission executive director in Romania and that he shouldn’t have had a chance of being selected under normal standard criteria. He also, inadvertently, revealed the conflicts of interest and influence peddling that were at work, describing Kiki Munshi as “my supporter and confidant, and personal friend.” Munshi was on the board of the Fulbright Commission and on the selection committee.
Gonzalez-Alexopoulos added, “Regarding the remote possibility of being chosen for the directorship, I lack some of the specific qualifications for the position. I am hardly, by any stretch of the most productive imagination, an appropriate candidate. The possibility of being offered the position is, aside from your kindness, not unlike that of the Starship Enterprise docking on the White House lawn.”
These e-mails were sent to Righetti and Munshi, who were on the selection committee, as well as to Johnson, and Denny Robertson, head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In his application, Gonzalez-Alexopoulos also submitted a letter of recommendation from Johnson, in which she wrote on official US Embassy headed paper, “I have great pleasure in writing this letter of recommendation for Archbishop Chrysostomos based on his extraordinary performance as a facilitator for the US Embassy/Bucharest Country Team Retreat in early 2001. The Archbishop kindly agreed to assist me in the planning and implementation of a three-day retreat in which the senior staff from the Embassy would be able to reflect upon performance, management and leadership issues.”
Even in Fulbright meetings, before examination of applications or interviewing of candidates had begun, Munshi said that she and Johnson believed Gonzalez-Alexopoulos “was the right man for the position.” Yet Munshi is also quoted in board report minutes saying “A person who is bilingual is needed.” Gonzalez-Alexopoulos was not fluent in Romanian.
Unlike Gonzalez-Alexopoulos, many of the other candidates for the position of Fulbright Executive director, both Romanian and American, were very well-qualified and met the criteria laid down by the Board of the Fulbright Commission in both Romania and Washington, including being bilingual.
Their experiences, both national and international, ranged from senior executive officers on prominent international NGOs, former project leaders with the United States Agency for International Development, senior professors at Romanian universities, local and international consultants and project leaders with the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations Development Program.
Archbishop-Kurt Treptow links
Within weeks of taking over as executive director, Gonzalez-Alexopoulos, sent an e-mail to all board members, against accepted Fulbright regulations, putting forward in very positive terms the name of Kurt Treptow for positions on both the important students selection committee and the finance committee of the Fulbright Board, saying Treptow had “an excellent understanding of the purpose and aims of our programs and will be most effective in focusing attention on nature, scope and feasibility of project statements as a essential criteria in the selection process.”
A few days later, Treptow was arrested in Iasi, and charged with sexual abuse of young children. Immediately, Gonzalez-Alexopoulos sent another e-mail to all board members, saying he had only met Treptow for a few hours – at a Thanksgiving party hosted by Kiki Munshi. This is strange as both men lived during the same year in Iasi and both taught classes and lectures at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in the city, so it would be most unusual that they, as two American academics, would not have met there often.
Conflicts of interest
Ernest Latham was a board member of Treptow’s publishing house in Iasi and his writings and academic papers were published by Treptow. Latham trains American diplomats who are traveling to Romania and other countries. He has worked in the American foreign service for more than 20 years, in eastern Europe under Communism, with at least one known stint in Bucharest before 1989 as cultural affairs officer. Both Munshi and Latham had their writings published together in one book by Treptow’s center in June 1999. Munshi suddenly prematurely retired from the diplomatic service and returned to the United States, around the time Treptow was arrested in Iasi. She is now an art dealer in Vandermere, North Carolina, though it is believed she is still completing an academic doctorate (PhD) degree at the University of Bucharest. Johnson has also left Romania. It is believed present board members of the Fulbright Commission include Ioan Mihailescu, Chancellor of the University of Bucharest, Alin Ciocarlie, Agerpress, Obie Moore, lawyer with Salans, Moore, Vartires, and Associates, and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania, Richard Anderson, managing director US -based UPC and an AmCham board member, and Cristian Niculescu Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
US Embassy stonewalls journalists
Despite repeated efforts, by fax, e-mail and phone by BBW over the last year to get specific questions answered and to hold an interview with Ambassador Guest to discuss these issues, none has been granted. This lack of response by Guest and his officials is in stark contracts to Guest’s frequent voiced sentiments as a supporter of freedom of the press, strong criticism of local and national authorities for corruption and conflicts of interest and lack of transparency on public issues. Such comments have angered Prime Minister Adrian Nastase and President Ion Iliescu, as well as other political leaders.
Said one diplomat, “Sheltering of a pedophile and the conflicts of interest by top US Embassy officials, including Ambassador Guest, by discriminating against candidates for jobs, contrast sharply with their attacks on officials in Romania for being corrupt.”
Guest was reported in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), “Corruption is rampant in Romania. I’m in fact disappointed in Romania and have grown more so during the time I’ve served as America’s ambassador here. Clearly, there are many people who benefit from ‘the system’, some of them in influential positions in politics, business or society, or with influential contacts in those areas.” He added that in Romania “rule of law is incomplete.”
Ambassador Guest also said he supported freedom of the press, adding that there was a “growing number of questions we at the Embassy and in Washington have about press freedom in this country…more needs to be done for party officials to understand the importance of protecting press freedoms.”
One insider said: “The stone-walling and failure by US Embassy officials to cooperate fully with the journalistic investigation into the Kurt Treptow-CIA-Fulbright scandal amounts to nothing less than hypocrisy by both the Embassy and Washington officials of the Bush Administration. They must investigate completely and utterly and punish the guilty officials.”
Articles on Treptow and the Fulbright Commission have already appeared in leading international media such as The Washington Times, the Washington-based Chronicle of Higher Education, the top education newspaper in the United States, and other foreign media.
“I am amazed that Ambassador Guest has not ordered an immediate investigation and published the findings openly,” added another diplomat. “How possibly could a person like Treptow be appointed to a multi-million dollar educational institution dealing with young people?”
Requests from BBW for an interview on the subject have been turned down by Guest, and he has described this newspaper as “Stalinist” in an American Chamber of Commerce meeting in Bucharest. In e-mails obtained by BBW, Wentworth, declined to give journalists details on how to reach Gonzalez-Alexopoulos. In one e-mail seeking additional information on the Treptow-US Embassy-Fulbright scandal, Wentworth said: “Frankly, I found the tone of your letter insulting – a judgment with which I believe the Ambassador would agree, were I to ask him. I trust that you did not intend to imply, as the letter suggests, that you have something to teach him on corruption or transparency. You may not be aware of how highly regarded the Ambassador is in Washington for precisely the clear-cut manner in which he has addressed these twin issues.”
Thomas Delare, Charge d’affaires at the US Embassy, denied “there have been any indiscretions by Embassy or ex-Embassy officials and that something is being kept from the public.” He said the Ambassador’s schedule was too full for interviews. He said he could not give any information about Treptow, Latham, Righetti, or Munshi.