The political propeller backwash caused by the Trump administration has swept into Washington the flotsam and jetsam of Republican Party grifters and mercenaries eager to cash in on foreign opportunities as the U.S. Department of State stands to be gutted even further under Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s choice to replace the recently-fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.
WMR has received from an anonymous source a proposal recently received by the Embassy of Zimbabwe from Dennis Lennox, a controversial Republican activist and self-styled “strategist” from Michigan, who is apparently trying to cash in on the current vacuum created in the U.S. State Department’s international public diplomacy arena. Lennox worked for the 2016 presidential campaign of Ted Cruz and was accused by Republican Party officials of using underhanded tactics to swing the GOP convention delegates from Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the Cruz camp. Lennox’s tactics were so extreme, Adrian Poulisse, the former GOP chair of Benzie County, Michigan, threatened to leave the Cruz campaign if Lennox were not shown the door.
Lennox was a columnist for the Mount Pleasant (Michigan) Morning Sun but was fired in 2015, with the newspaper deleting all of his past columns from its website. Lennox had made false allegations against Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) during the outset of the GOP primary battle in Michigan. Lennox also altered the Wikipedia page of Ingham County, Michigan Democratic Commissioner Mark Grebner, stating falsely that he was a “homosexual.” Grebner sued Lennox and an out-of-court settlement was reached in which Lennox paid Grebner $1,500. A right-wing colleague of Lennox altered Grebner’s Wikipedia page, falsely declaring he was a convicted child molester. A lawsuit against that individual by Grebner resulted in a judicial award of $3,500 to Grebner.
Lennox’s columns have been featured in The Detroit News, The Weekly Standard and The Washington Examiner.
During the 2012 presidential primary campaign, Lennox was accused of uprooting Santorum campaign signs across the street from a Mitt Romney rally. Lennox, who appears to be a wannabe Karl Rove-like provocateur, also began a vicious campaign against Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema, calling him a “Know Nothing adherent” and an “ignorant bigot.”
Lennox stalked former Representative John Conyers (D-MI) after sexual harassment allegations began swirling around the long-serving congressman. Lennox even followed Conyers on to a Delta flight bound from Washington, DC, to Detroit.
Lennox, who claims to have done business in Singapore, now has his eyes set on Zimbabwe, the former white minority-ruled Rhodesia, which recently tossed from power the nonagenarian longtime dictator Robert Mugabe.
In a proposal to Zimbabwe, whose president is Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union—Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) party, Lennox offers to lead a delegation of journalists from right-wing publications—Townhall, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The Washington Free Beacon and The Christian Post—to Zimbabwe. The right-wing journalists would “increase awareness of Zimbabwe; counter fake news; highlight reforms made by the new president ahead of new elections; and promote Zimbabwe as a safe destination for American tourists.” What is ironic is that the ZANU-PF platform remains decidedly Marxist-Leninist and a group of far-right journalists are proposed to propagandize for the Mnangagwa government among U.S. conservative Republican circles.
Lennox also requests Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government pay for top-shelf airfare and accommodations for the boondoggle to Harare. The proposal states that Lennox and his team of right-wing “journalists” be afforded: round-trip business-class airfare on a Sky Team member airline (Delta, Air France/KLM, and Kenya Airways); hotel accommodation at an international hotel rated at 4 stars or 5 stars; ground transportation; (4) internal security [if necessary]; and dinner each evening.” Lennox suggests that the “national tourism office” or “business interests” fund the travel costs.
Lennox’s scam is not much different from that of Tzvika Brot, the head of the Trump for President absentee ballot campaign in Israel that targeted dual U.S.-Israeli citizens in Israel and the illegally-occupied West Bank. Brot, a veteran of Israel Army Radio, who is now running for mayor of Ramat Yam, a center for the right-wing Likud Party, owing to its large Russian Jewish emigré and Orthodox Jewish population, runs BSI Public Affairs, a firm incorporated in Delaware.
BSI has managed to secure a contract to represent the government of Hungary in Washington. It also has an agreement with the Washington lobbying firm of Sanitas International, which represents Bahrain, Dubai, Afghanistan, Republic of Congo, and Trinidad and Tobago. BSI, which is represented legally in Washington by Marc Zell, the law partner of former Pentagon official and known Israeli agent-of-influence Douglas Feith, has also had contracts with the governments of Kenya, Japan, France, and Angola. Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, claims his predecessor in the firm died from likely poisoning in a Kenya hotel room after a deal with the Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube “went sour.” Black Cube was retained by disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein to dig up dirt on women who accused him of sexual assault.
Trump’s Washington has made it easier for scammers and fraudsters of every stripe to get rich quick as laws on ethics and propriety are cast by the wayside.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).