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September 2005
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September 13, 2005
Charity begins at home?
It may have seemed a bit odd to see Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing listed as one of the three "special" charities for Katrina contributions on the FEMA web site. If it didn't, it will after reading this....
According to its most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service, Operation Blessing gave more than half of its yearly allocation of cash donations -- $885,000 -- to the Christian Broadcasting Network, or CBN, of which Robertson is also the chairman.

"There is no accountability when you have two boards working hand in hand like this," said Henderson. "One never knows when you're contributing to Operation Blessing whether the money is really going to the hurricane victims, or whether it's going to pay for some more television time for Pat Robertson's television show."

Some charity watchdog groups have given high marks to Operation Blessing. Bill Horan, the charity's president, at first denied his charity gave any money to Robertson's television operation.

"Well, that's an absolute, total and complete distortion of the truth," Horan said. "Operation Blessing does not give 1 red cent to CBN."

When he was told of the Operation Blessing documents obtained by ABC News, which show a contribution of $885,000 to CBN, Horan called it an accounting issue. [Oooh, isn't there something about "bearing false witness" in the 10 Commandments? - ed]

"I'm president of a charity that's been working 22 to 24 hours a day for the last week trying to save lives down there," he said, "and I'm not going to talk any more about the issues that involve accounting."

A spokesman for Operation Blessing later told ABC News that the charity utilizes Robertson's television network as a conduit for delivering donations overseas, and that none of the money has been used for network activities. [And if you believe that one, you probably still think we're going to find WMD in Iraq just any day now.... - ed]

As for FEMA, Director Michael Brown says that he does not know who decided to recommend Robertson's charity so prominently. [Well, there's a surprise. - ed]