Thursday, September 10, 2009

Former U.S. ambassador Timothy L. Towell, charged with forcing sex on male adult teen

Former U.S. ambassador to Paraguay Timothy L. Towell, 75, was charged in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia w ith having sex with an 18-year old male against the young man's will. According to the Washington Examiner, Towell plied the teen with drinks and then invited him to his house in the Georgetown section of Washington. The teen said he felt threatened when Towell brandished a machete and revolver.

Towell served as America's top envoy to Paraguay under the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, from 1988 to 1991. He also served in U.S. diplomatic posts in Brazil, Bolivia, Cuba, and Spain, where he served as an assistant to U.S. ambassador Angier Biddle Duke, and from 1991 to 1993 served as Director for Africa at the Peace Corps. He also served as depity director of the Peace Corps for Asia. Before serving in Asuncion, Towell was the deputy to State Department Chief of Protocol Selwa Roosevelt.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Towell has donated to the presidential campaigns of John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, and Mit Romney, as well as the U.S. Senate campaign of Arlen Specter, Republican-turned-Democrat of Pennsylvania.

On September 13, 2005, the Washington Times reported on a reception at the historic Bacon House in Washington, DC where Washington "flamboyant" lobbyist Edward von Kloberg was remembered by garden party guests, along with Chief Justice William Rehnquist and victims of Hurricane Katrina. Towell, who was present at the party, along with Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, said the death of von Kloberg, the chief of Washington World Group, who lept from the Castle St. Angelo in Rome the previous May, "left a vacuum on the diplomatic scene."

In October 2006, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina and Paraguayan and other Latin American newspapers reported that Towell was the administrator of a 173,000 acre ranch in the Chaco region of Paraguay on behalf of former President George H. W. Bush, under whom Towell served as U.S. ambassador to the country.

Towell served as U.S. ambassador to Paraguay during the presidency of General Andres Rodriguez, a former close associate of dictator Alfredo Stroessner, who was ousted by Rodriguez and the military in February 1989. Rodriguez, who was supported by Towell and the Bush administration, was accused of involvement in the international narcotics trade. Rodriguez was later charged with misappropriating Stroessner's sizable assets in the country after the dictator fled to exile in Brazil.

In the late 1990's, Towell was a Washington lobbyist for Paraguayan President Juan Carlos Wasmosy, one of Paraguay's richest businessmen. Towell, a Republican, also was chairman of the Paraguay-American Chamber of Commerce. More recently, Towell has supported the political opposition against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Towell has also been active in supporting the independence aspirations of the people of Baluchistan, a separatist region of Pakistan and Iran, and in 1995 attended a Washington lunch for Baluchi leader, Prince Mohammad ben Hassan Mohammad, sponsored by von Kloberg.

In a report on von Kloberg's "dive" from the Roman castle that resulted in his death, the London Daily Telegraph, on May 4, 2005, reported, "Edward von Kloberg III, 63, an American who changed his name [by adding 'van' and later, 'von'] because he thought it would sound better with a German twist, flung himself from the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome -- the site of Tosca's suicide in the Puccini opera. Among items found on his body was an American magazine cover with a picture of him meeting the first President George Bush." The report continued, "Italian newspapers said he had been depressed after a failed attempt at reconciliation with his Lithuanian homosexual lover. His suicide note was reported to include the words: 'The last years have been the darkest of my life. Thinking about what was and what is now no longer. The fact that [the lover] has spoken ill of our affair with others has made me suffer a great deal.'"

Von Kloberg's clients included some of the world's most notorious dictators, including Saddam Hussein, Samuel Doe of Liberia, the Burmese junta, Suriname's drig dealing dictator Deis Bouterse, and Romanian Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu. Von Kloberg also reprsented the governments of Nicaragua, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Benin, Cape Verde, Rwanda (prior to the 1994 genocide), Bahrain, Gambia, Dominica, Djibouti, Yemen, Lithuania, Lesotho, Slovakia, Kyrgyzstan, and Slovenia. Von Kloberg, who was apparently fond of "queens," was also an avid supporter of restorations of kings and was a good friend of Rwanda's exiled King Kigeli and Ermias Sahle-Selassie, the exiled prince of Ethiopia.

Von Kloberg bragged that there was one dictator he could not represent because he considered him too corrupt and ruthless: Stroessner of Paraguay, who was ousted from power while von Kloberg's friend Towell served as ambassador in Asuncion.

In an interesting side note, in 1996, the Honduran Apparel Manufacturers Association hired von Kloberg to defend it against charges that sexual abuse and child labor were rampant in Honduras's garment factories.