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Frank Wolf's Shocking Matinee

The representatives of companies doing business in East Asia must have had no idea they were in for such a buzz kill when they scheduled a meeting with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) this week.

While the members of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce wanted to discuss business issues, Wolf preferred talking about human rights abuses.

A few minutes into the Wednesday session in the congressman's office, Wolf got up and popped in a graphic videotape of Chinese police officers executing prisoners. He went on a "tirade," as one source put it, about Chinese prisoners who are being executed so that their organs can be harvested.

One participant in the meeting stood up and objected, according to witnesses, pleading with the congressman to stop the video.

Since our sources seemed too freaked out to discuss the meeting on the record, we asked Wolf about it. "I told them about this kidney thing," Wolf explained. "I said, 'Do you know what's taking place?' People are being executed. They sell their corneas and kidneys."

Wolf said one of the participants, a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, couldn't take it. "He said, 'I'm offended by that ... That film offends me.'"

"I shut it off right away," Wolf told The Sleuth, adding, "They asked for the appointment." (That's right, folks, when you ask for an appointment with Frank Wolf, you better expect a little graphic video violence...)

Wolf, a leading proponent of improving human rights in China, Vietnam and elsewhere, sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in April listing a number of alleged horrors and saying the Bush administration isn't doing enough to stop them.

Wolf said he laid all this out to the lobbyists and trade proponents who came to his office this week, all of whom are living in Vietnam, according to Wolf and another source. Which may explain why our other source told us the group didn't understand why they had to watch a video about executions in China.

But because some of the attendees worked for companies doing business in China, Wolf said he thought the topic was fair game. "They must have a guilty conscience," the congressman concluded.

Maybe so. And maybe Wolf should hang the letters "VM" (for "Very Mature" audiences) on his door to alert the next group of international business lobbyists.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 14, 2007; 7:32 PM ET
 
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