Jammie Wearing Fool asks if there is anything Obama touches that doesn’t crumble. The president donated $100,000 of his Nobel Peace Prize “winnings” to the charity set-up by author Greg Mortenson to support many things, including schools in Afghanistan. Mortenson’s book tagline: “one man’s mission to promote peace…one school at a time,” is reportedly a fraud. No doubt the president would champion Muslim schools, right after nixing the Washington D.C. area voucher program, mostly for Black students, to keep those school teachers, unions and the DNC happy. Can’t have too many well-educated Blacks, now can we?
Greg Mortenson, best-selling author, philanthropist, mountaineer and favourite of President Barack Obama is fighting off another title: fraudster. The influential author of Three Cups of Tea has become the latest bestselling memoir writer to be accused of passing off fiction as fact.
Mortenson’s book is an inspirational tale of a mountaineer who finds a remote village after failing to climb K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. He is taken in by strangers and three cups of tea later he promises to build them a school. The charity inspired by the encounter has raised $60m and in 2009 said it was supporting 54 schools in Afghanistan serving 28,475 students, 21,165 of them girls. Obama donated $100,000 to the group from the proceeds of his Nobel prize. The book has become required reading for US servicemen heading for Afghanistan.
But reporters for CBS’s 60 Minutes programme visited almost 30 of the schools and claimed that roughly half were empty, built by someone else or not receiving any support. The programme alleged that Mortenson’s charity, Central Asia Institute (CAI), spent more on book promotion and publicity than on building schools. Mortenson took private jets to events where he was paid $30,000 to speak, according to the programme, and former associates accused him of using CAI as his own “private ATM”.
If you have read the excellent and riveting “Into Thin Air” by John Krakauer, you’ll be interested in his comment that the Mortenson story is a “beautiful story,” but “a lie.” Read it at the Guardian.