Jack Warner is about to be exposed for what he is and may finally have to pay a price for what was probably his most outrageous piece of theft.
However, as you might expect, he's fighting back with with what is surely the most stunningly dishonest attack of his entire sordid career. Not that any of us would expect anything less from this disgusting old bastard whose rear end Sunil Gulati and the USSF continues to lovingly kiss every chance they get.
In case (for some reason) you don't closely follow the political scene in Trinidad & Tobago, they're currently engaged in one of those Caribbean national election campaigns that makes anything we do here in the US look like the balloting for a middle school student council. It gets really ugly down there.
As head of the second largest political party, the UNC, Warner is very close to grabbing ultimate political control over T&T and all of the really outstanding opportunities for graft, bribe taking and outright theft that that would entail. The money from peddling government jobs alone must make his mouth water.
On the other side is the current Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, whose relationship with Warner has never been particularly good anyway, and got much worse after he and his Sports Minister, who were tired of Warner's refusals to explain where all the money was going, decided to stop funding the T&TFF and instead gave the money to an organization founded by ex-T&T national teamers - Shaka Hislop among them - who used the money for things like soccer fields and coaching and uniforms for poor kids instead of cocktail parties.
They even went so far as to demand that Warner pay a small percentage of the gate in return for using the National Soccer Stadium for national team matches instead of getting it for free and pocketing all the money. Jack was outraged.
As the campaign has heated up, Warner - in a genuinely wonderful piece of low comedy - asked Sepp Blatter for "permission" to take a kind of leave of absence from his "duties" with FIFA so that he could concentrate on "saving his country". Not surprisingly, Blatter graciously consented. Somehow, FIFA will just have to get along without him for a few weeks.
(This of course has raised the spectre of whether, if Warner wins, he'll turn CONCACAF and the CFU over to his two equally kleptomaniac sons. If so, does anyone want to bet that USSF says one word about it? Anyone?)
This was particularly sad for Vladimir Putin, who had arranged a lavish reception for Warner in Moscow that had to be cancelled. This deprived us of the sight of two of the worlds' bigger snakes smiling for the cameras, but perhaps they'll set something up for later.
Or maybe Putin will just mail him the check instead.
And now, into the middle of all this fun and frivolity now comes Jack Warners' worst nightmare:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0puFaKUg56I"]YouTube- FIFA vice president Jack Warner refuses to answer questions at Zurich airport[/ame]
Yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach in Florida, something called the Eighth Annual OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference kicked off.
The conference is put on by a publication called "OffshoreAlert", which focuses on "serious financial crime", the people who commit it and the methodology used to trace it, track it and bring the criminals involved the justice.
The featured speaker this year, who will be making his presentation sometime tomorrow, is none other than Andrew Jennings, whose presentation is entitled:
"Corruption in Soccer- The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-Rigging and Ticket Scandals"
They're gobbling Tums in Zurich.
Last Thursday, OffshoreAlert issued a media release announcing that they had received a formal threat from FIFAs' attorney Lawrence Cartier, had THREATENED LEGAL ACTION over Jennings’s speech, "should it contain any defamatory statements":
Cartier, OffshoreAlert claimed, has in addition suggested they ’make our client’s concerns known to the sponsors of the conference’, even referring to one sponsor by name. OffshoreAlert insists they will not be deterred by FIFA’s warning.
What has made this a particular problem for Warner is that Patrick Manning and his party, the PNM, have announced that they are trying to arrange to broadcast Jennings presentation live in T&T.
As surprising as it may sound, most Trinidadians are not aware that Warner stole every dime of the money that was supposed to go to the national team players after the 2006 World Cup and is now in defiance of an order to pay up. Nor are they aware that Warner tried to stop legal proceedings by getting an order from a local judge who immediately afterwards resigned from the bench to run for office in Warners' party.
Nor are they aware that Jack Warner got the T&T Legislature to legally change the name of their national football federation so that any legal judgments against the first organization would not be applicable against the second.
The only compensation offered to the players was given in the form of $500 checks, drawn on CONCACAF, that were mailed to the players, who sent them back. The actual money, around $20 million, was deposited by Warners' son Darryl in his personal account and has since vanished.
This is all stuff that Manning suspects his fellow citizens would be mightily interested in hearing about.
For his part, Warner was at first defiant, saying:
’I say bring it. And if he can’t find a sponsor, I will sponsor it’
Then, yesterday, Warner upped the ante.
His tactic: lie like hell.
Appearing at a party rally, he announced that Manning had, in fact, used taxpayers' money "to have British journalist Andrew Jennings fabricate a story to defame him".
What's more, he continued, he had "proof" of this conspiracy: copies of emails between various government officials and a PR firm in Washington DC.
He told his audience that he had received these emails "in a brown envelope" which was "slid under his office door" on Saturday night", and obligingly heald up a brown envelope.
I don't know about you, but that certainly convinces me.
Asked to comment on Warner’s allegations yesterday, Jennings claimed it was "the rantings of a mad man."
“If he said I was a Martian, would I have to respond? I am not taking that crap from Warner."
Of course, as everyone knows, neither FIFA nor Warner will ever bring a defamation suit against Jennings. He's as safe as safe can be since, as the lawyers amongst us will surely attest, that would mean that Warner, Blatter, Blazer, Valcke and the rest of them would have to present themselves for depositions and cross examination under oath.
Never, ever, ever going to happen.
Whether this will actually cause Warner any real problems remains to be seen, but it's nice to see him so scared that he's willing to make up ridiculous stories about brown envelopes and conspiracies to try and blunt the impact.
I just wish that at some point USSF would develop a sense of shame over the kind of man they so fervently support.