Another voice of outrage
Joining a growing chorus of protest, the president of the African nation of Gabon today voiced his extreme displeasure with the imminent firing of University of Oregon president Richard Lariviere. Ali Bongo Ondimba, who met with Lariviere at the White House this past June, said Lariviere's termination could unravel the strategic partnership that the U of O has entered into with his country on "environment and development."
Here is the full text of the Bongo statement, which was hand-delivered by a diplomatic courier to Cylvia Hayes, the governor's girlfriend, at the couple's Portland home:
It deeply saddens me that some people in power in your state continue to drive Oregon into a death spiral with their embrace of mediocrity. Having witnessed many a death spiral of my political opponents, I am keenly aware of the telltale signs. It's yet another application of Oregon's Assisted Suicide law, just as my own troops have been present for many unfortunate suicides here in Gabon.
For the Chancellor and the State Board of Higher Education, a "team player" is someone who falls in line with their acceptance of mediocrity, and the one who strives for excellence does not fit in. In our nation, excellence is commonplace, as is evidenced by the literally dozens of luxury homes owned by my family in Beverly Hills, the French Riviera, and elsewhere around the world.
Let us hope that the Oregon community can take this astonishingly bad decision and recognize that it does not have to define you. You still have the collective capacity to rise up and do great things. For example, having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Gabon Chambers Of Commerce and Industry, I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (forty seven million, five hundred thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed, commissioned and paid for about five years (5) ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at The Central Bank Of Gabon Apex Bank.
We are now ready to transfer the fund overseas and that is where you come in. It is important to inform you that as civil servants, we are forbidden to operate a foreign account; that is why we require your assistance. The total sum will be shared as follows: 70% for us, 25% for you and 5% for local and international expenses incidental to the transfer.
The transfer is risk free on both sides. If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following documents:
(a) your banker's name, telephone, account and fax numbers.
(b) your private telephone and fax numbers —for confidentiality and easy communication.
(c) your letter-headed paper stamped and signed.
Alternatively we will furnish you with the text of what to type into your letter-headed paper, along with a breakdown explaining, comprehensively what we require of you. The business will take us thirty (30) working days to accomplish.
Please reply urgently.