Emails with many lawyers

This is the full email communication between the "WTO" (Andy, posing as Mike Moore, "Alice Foley," "Andreas Bichlbauer," and several others) and the Center for International Legal Studies (CILS)… and then between the "WTO" and pretty much all of the CILS conference participants. Trigger warning: it gets pretty graphic. This correspondence was edited and printed as a full-page article in the New York Times.

For the full story, see the project page, presentation, and video.

Open all Close all

 

MICHAEL BUXTON DEVINE, LL.M.
Attorney-at-Law & Barrister-at-Law

E-Mail: mde1009767@aol.com

 

 

2611 40th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50310, U.S.A.
Tel: +1-515-255-8066

 

Of Council To
Pavelic & Levites P.C.
Attorneys-at-Law

780 Third Avenue
Twelfth Floor
New York
New York 10017
U.S.A.
Tel: +1-212-688-0500
Fax: +1-212-688-0012

 

Chambers Of
Donald Gordon
Barristers-at-Law

3 Temple Gardens
Temple
London EC4Y 9AU
England
U.K.
Tel: +44-(0)20-7353-0832 Fax: +44-(0)20-7353-4929

Attorney-at-Law
District of Columbia
States of Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, and Wisconsin
Barrister-at-Law
England and Wales

London, England
May 18, 2000

BY EMAIL ONLY
Mike Moore
Director General
World Trade Organization (WTO)
Geneva
SWITZERLAND

Re: Conference on International Services
Session on International Trade
Center for International Legal Studies
Salzburg, Austria, October 26-29, 2000

Dear Mr. Moore:

I write on behalf of Professor Dennis Campbell, Director, Center for International Legal Studies ("the CILS"), Salzburg, Austria. More information about the CILS can be found on the internet at www.cils.org.

In cooperation with the American Bar Association Section of International Law and Practice and The John Marshall Law School of Chicago, Illinois, the CILS is hosting a Conference on International Services in Salzburg on October 26-29, 2000. A special session on International Trade is planned. As subchair of this session, I am looking for four or five speakers and a panel moderator.

There are usually 60 to 80 participants at these conferences. Speakers and moderators receive a substantial discount on accommodation and meals at the conference’s five-star hotel in Salzburg plus a substantial discount on the conference fee. Accompanying significant others also receive a substantial discount on accommodation and meals.

Would you be interested in serving as a speaker at or as the moderator of the Session on International Trade? If so, if you would kindly contact me at the email address as above listed or at my London chambers’ address, telephone, or fax also as above listed, then I will inform Professor Campbell of your interest and he can provide you with more specific details.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

MICHAEL BUXTON DEVINE, LL.M.
Attorney-at-Law & Barrister-at-Law
Des Moines, New York, London

Michael B. Devine

Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 20:49:10 -0400
From: Mike Moore <mmoore@gatt.org>
To: MDe1009767@aol.com
Subject: Re: CILS Conference, Session on Int'l Trade, Salzburg, Austria, Oct. 26-29, 2000

Dear Mr. Devine,

Thank you for your kind invitation.

I may not be able to attend personally, but I would like very much to send a substitute. Would this be possible? Please let me know and I will begin the search process.

Thank you,
Mike Moore

 


 

Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 05:59:11 EDT
From: MDe1009767@aol.com
To: mmoore@gatt.org
Subject: Re: CILS Conference, Session on Int'l Trade, Salzburg, Austria, Oct. 26-29, 2...

Dear Mr. Moore,

Thank you for your email.

Yes, you may send a substitute speaker. Please contact Professor Dennis Campbell directly about this. He has put together the final speakers' list, but I am sure that he can accommodate another speaker. You may contact Professor Campbell at the Center for International Legal Studies on email as follows: cils@cils.org When you contact Professor Campbell, please inform him that you are replying to my invitation to you to speak.

Thank you and best wishes.

Michael B. Devine

 


 

Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2000 13:32:36 +0200
From: Dennis Campbell <cils@cils.org>
To: mmoore@gatt.org
Subject: 26-29 October conference

Dear Mr Moore:

Michael Devine advises me that you wish to send a staff member to speak at the 26-29 October conference in Salzburg.

If you will confirm name of the individual and contact information, I will have further information sent.

Regards, Dennis Campbell
Center for International Legal Studies

 


 

Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 11:46:18 -0400
From: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
To: Dennis Campbell <cils@cils.org>
Subject: Re: Fwd: CILS Conference, Session on Int'l Trade, Salzburg, Austria, Oct. 26-29, 2...

Dear Professor Campbell,

We have confirmed with the speaker. Here is his fax number:

Dr. Andreas Bichlbauer
fax: +43 [01] XXX XX XX

Best wishes,
Alice Foley
Secretary to Mike Moore


 

salzburg
salzburg

 

salzburg
salzburg

 


 

Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 20:58:57 -0400
From: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
To: Susanne Daringer <susanne.daringer@cils.or.at>
Subject: Re: Fwd: CILS Conference, Session on Int'l Trade, Salzburg, Austria,
    Oct. 26-29, 2...

Dear Susanne,

When Michael Devine invited Mr. Moore to send a substitute speaker on his behalf, Dr. Andreas Bichlbauer was kind enough to oblige.

It has recently come to our attention that CILS is asking Dr. Bichlbauer to pay a registration fee for speaking at your conference. In the interest of equitable representation, the WTO has adopted a blanket policy against paying for appearances or other promotions, and as such we are simply not able pay your registration fee.

If your fee pertained to the cost of accommodations you need not worry, since we have already made arrangements for housing. And because we have already made Dr. Bichlbauer's travel arrangements, we have no choice but to insist that you waive your fee in this instance.

Best wishes,
Alice Foley

 


 

Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2000 04:28:31 -0400
From: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
To: alice foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: conference

Dear Ms Foley:

Thank you for your email of 7 October in regard to the 26-29 October conference.

I am sorry if there has been a misunderstanding, but it was made clear from the ourtset (certainly in Mr Devine's initial communication) that speaker's have a 40% discount from the normal registration fee. These terms also were included in the letters and registration materials we forwarded some time ago to your office and to Dr Bichlbauer.

You will understand that we cannot offer special treatment to WTO representatives.

Thus, we cannot waive the registration fee for Dr Bichlbauer. If this presents an insurmountable difficulty for the WTO, please advise me so that I can delete Dr Bichlbauer from the final schedule.

Regards, Dennis Campbell
Center for International Legal Studies

[We never did pay...] 

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 04:25:28 -0400
From: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
To: alice foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: WTO representative

Dear Ms Foley:

We were somewhat puzzled by Dr Bichlbauer's participation at the conference.

He was accompanied by someone we took to be a driver and/or security person and someone who filmed his remarks. The essential thrust of his speech appeared to be that Italians have a lesser work ethic than the Dutch, that Americans would be better off auctioning their votes in the Presidential election to the highest bidder, and that the primary role of the WTO was to create a one-world culture.

In the late afternoon, a camerman (I think it was the same one who filmed Dr Bichlbauer's speech) appeared at the hotel and sought to interview our delegates. He said Dr Bichlbauer had been hit in the face with a pie outside the hotel and wanted to know if the delegates thought Dr Bichlbauer's speech had provoked the attack.

I have no idea whether or not Dr Bichlbauer was hit with a pie. Certainly there was no public announcement whatsoever that a WTO representative would be with us, and the meeting itself was not open to the public. Nor were the conference schedule or list of participants available to the public.

Several of our delegates (including work-ethic impaired Italians) approached me to express concern about the speech, the alleged pie incident, and the cameraman who sought interviews in the late afternoon.

Your clarification will be appreciated.

Regards, Dennis Campbell
Center for International Legal Studies

 


 

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 07:01:00 -0400
From: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
To: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: WTO representative

Dear Mr. Campbell,

Indeed you are correct, Dr. Bichlbauer was in fact "pied" after speaking at the Salzburg CILS conference. At present we are not completely certain of all the details, but it appears that the cameraman you mention had something to do with it. Dr. Bichlbauer was assigned one official assistant, Ravi Bhaticharaya. Bhaticharaya did not follow proper security protocols in bringing on this cameraman, who seems to have essentially been an agent provocateur who planned the pieing from the start. And we have received one other report linking the "reporter" with this fellow.

I can express our sincere regrets in regards to this matter, and can assure you that Mr. Bhaticharaya's actions will be scrutinized over the next days with the greatest care. We hope you understand that this sort of incident reflects primarily the unfortunate circumstances under which the WTO must accomplish its work, and that our security can never be entirely adequate to the situations we face.

Please also let me know whether I may forward your e-mail to parties relevant to the investigation of this matter. And please send us any more details about this incident so that we may pursue our investigation.

As for concerns regarding Dr. Bichlbauer's talk, please be assured that we are certain he did not mean to offend with any remarks. If any parties were indeed offended, please have them write to me with their concerns, and they will be dealt with appropriately.

Best wishes,
Alice Foley
Administrative Assistant to Mike Moore

 


 

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 11:06:23 -0400
From: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
To: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Cc: cils <cils@aol.com>
Subject: Re: WTO representative

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I am sorry to learn that this event did, in fact, occur because we support the work of the WTO.

For obvious reasons, we did not announce the conference or the schedule to the press or release the list of speakers to the public. The event was known only to the speakers and delegates, and the list of speakers and participants was available to delegates only after they arrived in Salzburg on 26 October.

Since the cameraman arrived with Dr Bichlbauer, we of course assumed he was part of his party, and he entered the meeting (which otherwise was closed to the public) with Dr Bichlbauer, and I believe also took lunch with him and our delegates.

I have no knowledege of what may have happened outside the hotel. When the cameraman returned to the hotel in the late afternoon and attempted to film and interview several delegates, many declined to speak with him because they thought his questions - indeed, the whole situation - seemed odd.

As to the content of Dr Bichlbauer's remarks, I doubt whether any of the delegates will take the time to write to you, having already indicated their concerns in conversations with me. Apart from those who were offended by the references to the Italians, the US election, and the idea of a one-world culture, others thought the presentation flippant. And that is the greater pity in presenting the WTO's perspective to a group of international business lawyers.

Regards, Dennis Campbell
Center for International Legal Studies

 


 

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 16:23:29 -0400
From: Andreas Bichlbauer <abichl@gatt.org>
To: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
Subject: Friday lecture in Salzburg

Dear Professor Campbell,

I was disappointed to hear from Alice Foley that some people in the audience on Saturday disliked my lecture. I am dismayed indeed to have caused offense to any parties present, and sincerely hope that any disapproval stems from a considered response to the facts as presented, rather than being a knee-jerk reaction to matters presented without adulteration normally reserved for broader, less intelligent publics.

Perhaps adding to my disappointment is my--and our--expectation of the conference. We hoped that it could provide a forum wherein our most edgy ideas and concepts could find an open but critical ear. It seems we were wrong on both counts.

Those who were upset by the lecture were clearly unreceptive to any message departing from the simple WTO "party line" as it is presented in larger arenas. At this conference we hoped to examine this "party line" through repackaging in a clearer and more carefully delineated fashion, for the sake of more lucid examination and a greater awareness of "issue extremes" for use in more politic descriptions--those intended for the consumption of larger blocs of the consuming public.

Indeed, it is ever more important to the WTO to discuss and bring WTO policies into the full glare of intellectual examination in contexts such as your conference--the perfect breeding ground, we imagined, for well-considered, critical responses to our ideas. We imagined that our policies and ideas be presented to this "group of international business lawyers" without any watering-down, as an intellectual help to more careful formulations. Again, apparently we were wrong.

Furthermore, I personally take offense at the imputations of inappropriate language and flippancy. I take the greatest pride in my ability to present difficult arrays of facts in carefully constructed ways, with fully adequate language, and feel that my delivery on Saturday was fully up to par with my best efforts. I cannot brook such innuendo, and am saddened to learn of it.

Best wishes
Andreas Bichlbauer

 


 

Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 01:50:22 -0500
From: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
To: Andreas Bichlbauer <abichl@gatt.org>
Cc: alice foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: Friday lecture in Salzburg

I can only report the reaction of many of the lawyers, from several countries, who approached me.

Regards, Dennis Campbell

 


 

Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 01:50:25 -0500
From: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
To: alice foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: Friday lecture in Salzburg

-------------Forwarded Message-----------------

From: Andreas Bichlbauer, INTERNET:abichl@gatt.org
To: Dennis Campbell, 100305,2602
Date: 28.10.00 22:10

RE: Friday lecture in Salzburg

Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 16:23:29 -0400
To: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
From: Andreas Bichlbauer <abichl@gatt.org>
Subject: Friday lecture in Salzburg

Dear Professor Campbell,

I was disappointed to hear from Alice Foley that some people in the audience on Saturday disliked my lecture. I am dismayed indeed to have caused offense to any parties present, and sincerely hope that any disapproval stems from a considered response to the facts as presented, rather than out of a knee-jerk reaction to matters presented without adulteration normally reserved for broader, less intelligent publics.

Perhaps adding to my disappointment is my--and our--expectation of the conference. We hoped that it could provide a forum wherein our most edgy ideas and concepts could find an open but critical ear. It seems we were wrong on both counts.

Those who were upset by the lecture were clearly unreceptive to any message departing from the simple WTO "party line" as it is presented in larger arenas. At this conference we hoped to examine this "party line" through repackaging in a clearer and more carefully delineated fashion, for the sake of more lucid examination and a greater awareness of "issue extremes" for use in more politic descriptions--those intended for the consumption of larger blocs of the consuming public.

Indeed, it is ever more important to the WTO to discuss and bring WTO policies into the full glare of intellectual examination in contexts such as your conference--the perfect breeding ground, we imagined, for well- considered, critical responses to our ideas. We imagined that our policies and ideas be presented to this "group of international business lawyers" without any watering-down, as an intellectual help to more careful formulations. Again, apparently we were wrong.

Furthermore, I personally take offense at the imputations of inappropriate language and flippancy. I take the greatest pride in my ability to present difficult arrays of facts in carefully constructed ways, with fully adequate language, and feel that my delivery on Saturday was fully up to par with my best efforts. I cannot brook such innuendo, and am saddened to learn of it.

Best wishes
Andreas Bichlbauer

 


 

Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 05:11:37 -0500
From: Mike Moore <mmoore@gatt.org>
To: Dennis Campbell <100305.2602@compuserve.com>
Cc: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: Re: Fwd: WTO representative

Dear Professor Campbell:

I was dismayed to learn of your unfortunate experience with our representative, Andreas Bichlbauer. I have reviewed the Powerpoint file that Dr. Bichlbauer says formed the basis of his presentation in Salzburg. And I must emphatically echo your sentiments--it is indeed not only flippant, as you say, but wordy, repetitive, and often convoluted.

The matter of the unaccredited security detail is also rather shocking to us. Dr. Bichlbauer should indeed have been far more alert, particularly in the present climate; had he been, the unfortunate incident that took place later that day might have been avoided.

I will recommend that Dr. Bichlbauer be required to attend a refresher course on public speaking, communication, and policy before any further appearances on behalf of the WTO.

As for the ideas conveyed in Dr. Bichlbauer's lecture, I agree they could have been presented in a more palatable form. We do consider elegance of presentation essential in conveying our ideas and aims to diverse audiences. However, having examined the presentation exhaustively, I am forced to conclude that never in any particulars do Dr. Bichlbauer's statements--assuming they derived from the material I received--depart from the spirit--if not the precise letter--of our intentions and aims.

That is, while we of course do not advocate vote-selling or siesta-banning at the present time, it is quite true that efficiency and the streamlining of culture and politics in the interests of economic liberalization is at the core of the WTO's programme, and such practices as described by Dr. Bichlbauer are useful in clarifying the long-range interests of global development as promoted by our organization and others.

My hands are tied. Again, I can only recommend a thorough examination of Dr. Bichlbauer's presentational skills and understanding of WTO protocol and policy.

Please let me know if there is anything else we can assist you with.

Best wishes,
Mike Moore
WTO Director General

Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 00:14:55 -0500
To: Friends of Bichlbauer: [moderator, three co-panelists, two audience members];
From: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: investigation

Dear Friends,

I regret to inform you that I received your addresses from Dr. Andreas Bichlbauer--who represented the WTO in Salzburg two Fridays ago--under very melancholy circumstances. Dr. Bichlbauer, in fact, passed me your cards from his hospital bed after suggesting you might have some insight into the unpleasant crime which took place that day.

First of all, rest assured that Dr. Bichlbauer refrains from directly accusing any of you of responsibility for his dreadful state. It was likely somebody else, he says, someone whose features he had no time to see, who after his less than well-received lecture (an hour and fourteen minutes after, to be precise) hurled the pie in his face... the pie which, upon forensic analysis, turned out to contain, intentionally or not, an active bacillus agent... an agent which, unfortunately, has led Dr. Bichlbauer into a sickness through which he clings ever more precariously to the tendrils of life.

Who? we have asked again and again, and why? We simply cannot fathom it, and neither can the police. Yet fathom it we must, down to the nut of its clues, till we ferret out the enemy of our plans, the tormenter of our ambassador. Our survival, indeed our very ability to continue presenting our message to groups such as CILS, depends on your active participation in our project of relentlessly seeking for causes: please, please let us know if anything at the conference struck you as strange, or if you can imagine anyone performing this masterpiece of cowardice, that so threatens to delete Dr. Bichlbauer from our midst in the prime of his usefulness.

Best wishes,
Alice Foley
Administrative Assistant to Mike Moore

 

[Note: The below message was later discovered to have been sent not by CILS itself, but rather by... Mike! Andy didn't know this, and answered the message in earnest.]

 


 

Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 07:08:41 -0800
From: cils@cils.org
To: abichl@gatt.org
Subject: RE: Payment for lecture October 27, 2000

Dear Mr Bichlbauer,

Pie, shmie! You owe us two hundred euros, you erudite ass-wipe. Give us our dough, or we'll have every trial lawyer in austria breathing up your hairy ass. You may have gone to law school at Columbia, but that doesn't make you king of the world. Excuse me, but i have to go perish.

Sincerely,
Levon Martin
Special Hire at the CILS to contain Agent Provocateurs

 


 

Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 15:24:35 -0500
From: Andreas Bichlbauer <abichl@gatt.org>
To: cils@cils.org
Subject: RE: Payment for lecture October 27, 2000

Dear Mr. Martin,

This is surprising! I thought surely the CILS team would see better than to sully its image in this way, and would seek to efface the blot on its escutcheon that my pieing represents.

After all, it is CILS and CILS directly that must speak to the suffering my face endured at the hands of the anonymous delegate or person.

Someone like you--are you a lawyer, such a "trial lawyer in austria" as you invoke? By what right do you attack my person ("hairy"--did you see me?) and how do you plan to defend yourself when the time comes? I may be out of practice, I may be long from the running, but there is no need to rub in a failed career: I can still rise. And I do my job well.

Sincerely,
Andreas Bichlbauer

p.s. I do not consider myself king of the world, nor ass-wipe. Please try to bring this to a more civilized level.

Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 18:40:12 -0500
To: Delegates: [all seventy-five conference attendees];
From: Werner Daitz <wdaitz@gatt.org>
Subject: Conference 2000.10.27

Dear Delegates,

Perhaps you have now heard about the unfortunate event that took place during "Provision of International Services and Sale of Goods" in Salzburg, on the morning of October 27, after Dr. Andreas Bichlbauer's lecture on behalf of the World Trade Organization.

A few hours after that lecture, someone anonymously hurled a pie in Dr. Bichlbauer's face. This would have remained merely another irritating illustration of the WTO's unpopularity in today's world of snap judgments, had Dr. Bichlbauer not contracted a rather severe infection from the pie, which was somewhat spoiled.

We are treating this matter with the utmost gravity, as you can surely understand, and so we are asking everyone who was present at the conference, whether or not you saw Dr. Bichlbauer's lecture, to provide us with the following:

1. If you attended the lecture, we would love to hear your personal reactions to it, as part of our efforts at quality control, and to avoid situations like this in the future. Was the lecture offensive in any way? What struck you the most about it?

2. If you attended the lecture, please convey your impressions of the audience's reaction to it; please be specific. (If there were any particularly strong reactions, especially from anyone you did not recognize as a delegate, please inform.)

3. Please convey any incidental remarks you may have heard during the conference, regarding the WTO and especially Dr. Bichlbauer's lecture; if you feel comfortable doing so, please attach a name or personal description to each comment.

4. Again as part of quality control efforts, we would appreciate a one-line summary of your opinion of the WTO and its work, and what in particular it might do better in the future. We take your input very seriously.

Thanking you very much in advance,

Werner Daitz
Public Relations
WTO

 


 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 11:36:12 -0600
From: Donald R. Looper <dlooper@lrmlaw.com>
To: 'Werner Daitz' <wdaitz@gatt.org>
Subject: RE: Conference 2000.10.27

The WTO rep. who spoke was the worst speaker at the seminar. His presentation was just plain weird.
The only remarkable "improper" thing he said was when he blamed the Italian poor work ethic as the reason why a merger between KLM and Alitalia could not work out.
I did not see the pie incident

 


 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 12:34:38 -0500
From: Werner Daitz <wdaitz@gatt.org>
To: Donald R. Looper <dlooper@lrmlaw.com>
Subject: RE: Conference 2000.10.27

Dear Mr. Looper,

Thank you for your lead. As it turns out, the Italian delegates (as well as one German who spoke up during the lecture) have been investigated and are no longer suspected in the assault. Was there nothing else in Dr. Bichlbauer's speech that might have caused upset? We received one angry, somewhat incoherent message from an American delegate about "encouraging voter fraud"--perhaps this was a loose association on the part of the delegate, given the current climate in the U.S., but we are asking around in any case, as the American has refused to answer any further questions.

Also, we would like to apologize for the quality of Dr. Bichlbauer's presentation. He is no longer representing the WTO at such events.

Thanking you in advance,
Werner Daitz

 


 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 09:38:28 -0500
From: William DeVan <wdevan@virtualmk.com>
To: 'Werner Daitz' <wdaitz@gatt.org>
Subject: RE: Conference 2000.10.27

Dear Mr. Daitz:

I was sorry to hear that Dr. Bichlbauher was infected by the pie. I am certainly opposed to any form violent protest against the WTO, but do not believe that any of Dr. Bichlbauher's comments at the conference led to the assault. I would note, however, that if I were Italian, I would have been very insulted by his comments. He basically stated that the KLM/Air Italia merger was foiled because the Dutch were hardworking, and the Italians were too lazy and slept all day. This insult to italian work habits was compounded by the slide he showed of a sleeping italian worker.

 


 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 12:30:57 -0500
From: Werner Daitz <wdaitz@gatt.org>
To: William DeVan <wdevan@virtualmk.com>
Subject: RE: Conference 2000.10.27

Dear Mr. DeVan,

Thank you for your lead. As it turns out, the Italian delegates (as well as one German who spoke up during the lecture) have been investigated and are no longer suspected in the assault. Was there nothing else in Dr. Bichlbauer's speech that might have caused upset? We received one angry, somewhat incoherent message from an American delegate about "encouraging voter fraud"--perhaps this was a loose association on the part of the delegate, given the current climate in the U.S., but we are asking around in any case, as the delegate has refused to answer any further questions.

Thanking you in advance,
Werner Daitz

 


 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 13:23:42 -0500
From: William DeVan <wdevan@virtualmk.com>
To: 'Werner Daitz' <wdaitz@gatt.org>
Subject: RE: Conference 2000.10.27

I never meant to imply that any of the delegates had a hand in the assault. I meant only to state that representatives of the WTO and GATT should refrain from insulting the populations of entire countries--such as Italy.

 


 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 17:06:35 -0500
From: Werner Daitz <wdaitz@gatt.org>
To: William DeVan <wdevan@virtualmk.com>
Subject: RE: Conference 2000.10.27

Dear Mr. DeVan,

Of course you are correct, and we apologize on Dr. Bichlbauer's behalf; he is no longer representing the WTO in such venues.

We are trying to solve a serious crime, however, and so we must ask again: was there nothing about "voter fraud" in Dr. Bichlbauer's lecture, and if there was, was it strikingly offensive? Our only lead is based on this notion.

Thanking you in advance,
Werner Daitz

 


 

Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 10:00:49 -0000
From: Tax <tax@bsgg.pt>
To: wdaitz@gatt.org
Subject: Conference 2000.10.27 in Salzburg

Dear Mr. Werner Daitz,
We refer to your email of yesterday pertaining the unfortunate incident occurred at the above mentioned conference. Please be advised that, although we were present at the conference, we were not able to attend to Mr. Andreas Bichlbauer's lecture. Therefore, we are unable to give a direct opinion on such lecture. Notwithstanding, in informal meetings we had with other delegates present at the conference we were given the idea that such lecture was not offensive in any way that could incite personal reactions to it. Please convey to Mr. Andreas Bichlbauer our sympathy for the unfortunate and intolerable aggression he suffered and our best wishes for a prompt recovery from his injuries.
With kindest regards.
Yours sincerely,

PAULINO BRILHANTE SANTOS

 


 

Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 19:38:28 -0500
From: "Safran, David" <DSafran@nixonpeabody.com>
To: "'wdaitz@gatt.org'" <wdaitz@gatt.org>
Subject: Re: Conference 2000.10.27

I did not attend his lecture or see the piethrowing incident. However I find it hard to believe that one of the attorney attendees threw the pie.

David Safran

 


 

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 17:51:14 -0600
From: Michael Johnson <mjohnson@chicago.rofgw.com>
To: 'Werner Daitz' <wdaitz@gatt.org>
Subject: RE: Conference 2000.10.27

Wegen unerwarteten Gerichtspflichte hier in Amerika habe ich die Sitzung in Salzburg ganz verpasst. Kann deswegen nichts zur Erforschung dieser Schande vermitteln. Mir scheint's aber, man solle nicht vermuten, es haenge irgendwie mit Dr. Bichlbauers Rede zusammen. Leute, die zu solchen Gewalttaten zurueckgreifen, sind meines Erachtens meistenteils unfaehig sich muendlich auszudruecken oder die Ausdruecke der Anderen weder zu verstehen noch zu bewerten. Ich wuensche dem Herrn Dr. Bichlbauer eine moeglichst schnelle Erholung. Mit besten Gruessen, Michael Johnson
[Translation: "Because of unexpected court responsibilites here in the U.S., I missed the Salzburg conference. Therefore I cannot help in researching this disgrace. It seems to me, though, that we should not think that this attack could in any way be connected to Mr. Bichlbauer's talk. People who use such physical violence are from my point of view mostly incapable of communicating verbally, nor are they capable of understanding and appreciating the communications of others. I wish Mr. Bichlbauer the fastest possible recovery. With best regards, Michael Johnson"]

salzburg

 


 

Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 15:33:31 -0500
From: Andreas Bichlbauer <abichl@gatt.org>
To: cils@cils.org
Subject: Payment for lecture October 27, 2000

Dear Organizers,

I was a little upset to receive your Nov. 2 invoice, insinuatingly marked "1st reminder," for 206 "Euro," for "Accommodation-Charge." I do not blame you for this upset, as you surely did not attend my lecture. This seems to be the way with you organizers.

So to let you in on the secret: there was no accommodation. I was accomodated neither physically, with a bed to aid in my sleeping (and this was on purpose--the WTO does not put its people pell-mell into just any bed), nor morally. I was, if it may be said, disaccommodated--apologies for the strong language, but I received, in my face, hurled, a pie, that has put me into a terrible state. The doctors say it was poisoned, in a way, though this may not have been intentional. In any case, whichever of the other delegates did this, I am sure he or she is your responsibility. How can you now ask for money? I may perish.

Please give my further explanations to your colleagues. This has put me into a brain-state that is not entirely fixable.

Best wishes,
Andreas Bichlbauer

 

Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 18:13:07 -0500
From: Walther Funk <wfunk@gatt.org>
To: CILS conference delegates: ;
Subject: Unpleasant announcement, URGENT REQUEST

Dear Delegates,

We apologize for interrupting your holiday season with this most unpleasant announcement.

Dr. Andreas Bichlbauer, who spoke on behalf of the WTO at the CILS conference in Salzburg on Oct. 27, and with whom many of you shared a pleasurable moment or two, has passed on. He succumbed yesterday, at 16:50 CET, to an infection thought to have been caught from the rotten pie which was hurled in his face after his Oct. 27 lecture.

We feel sure that you understand the urgency now with which we ask you all to furnish us with any and all information you may have regarding this crime, which to this day remains wholly unsolved. Our only current lead is the "voter fraud" angle. Apparently Dr. Bichlbauer said something in his talk that enraged one of the delegates, so much so that said delegate has refused to speak with us, and has accused the WTO of "encouraging voter fraud."

"Encouraging voter fraud" is furthest from our wishes, of course, and we would like to hear from others who may have heard any statements by Dr. Bichlbauer, that could have been thus misconstrued. Until this subject is resolved we must proceed in the broadest possible manner.

Of course, we do thank those who replied to my colleague Werner Daitz with valuable thoughts and facts, but we are still seeking this crucial bit of information and will appreciate all responses greatly.

A memorial service for Dr. Bichlbauer will take place at the Church of St. Ruprecht at Morzinplatz in Vienna next Sunday at 4 p.m. All those who cannot attend may mail condolences here.

As you can surely understand, we ask that you keep this matter from the press's attention.

Yours until next time,

Walther Funk
Investigative Services

 


 

The expressions of shock, dismay, and sorrow in the responses become embarrassing, and we cannot publish these letters here, out of consideration for their authors. Here, however, are some relevant excerpts, which show that finally, the delegates mention the "voter fraud" angle... though in an unexpected way:

"I attended Dr. Bichlbauer's lecture and the question and answer period after it. The only reference in his talk to voting was in the context of making markets more efficient. He referred to the Austrian-based web site which this year allowed U.S. voters to sell their vote for president, by means of absentee ballots delivered to the web site controllers in exchange for a fee. He did not advocate this mechanism, but commented only that those who care would never sell their votes, and only those who would not otherwise vote would likely do it. I do not recall any questions from the audience on that point afterward, but there may have been."

"I was one of the panelists for the session that featured Andreas Bichlbauer's presentation.... Dr. Bichlbauer made the first presentation of the session. Dr. Bichlbauer's presentation was peculiar, to say the least, but hardly offensive. The first part, 'banana wars' contained some elements of controversy, but was well within fair comment of academics, advocates, or partisan politicians. This part of his presentation was quite interesting. The second part about online auctioning of votes was totally unrelated to the first part and was presented, as was the first part, as his own material and not the official position of the WTO. The second part was just plain weird, and I would have taken it as a spoof or satire on the incredible costs of elections especially in America, except that it was delivered in a manner totally devoid of humor."

"Immediately after the session, there were some comments by several of the people in the room, including me, about how strange Dr. Bichlbauer's presentation was. These comments were to the effect 'What was that all about?' I don't recall specifically who said what to whom. I would characterize these remarks as a collective shrug of the shoulders. No one appeared upset in any way whatsoever."

"That afternoon, at about 4 or 5 pm, I came down from my room and was confronted by a young man who claimed he was a reporter.... He asked what Dr. Bichlbauer said in his speech and I replied that he spoke about the elimination of systemic impediments to efficient markets."

"I am sorry to note that WTO will now probably have to undertake tighter security measures when its professionals speak even in a quasi private forum. This is a tragic situation for all of us involved in these international trade matters. I trust that after the investigation has been carried out and the criminal caught, WTO will made the entire incident public so that the effects of this sort of outrageous behavior can be more widely known and condemned."

"Unfortunately I cannot help in the investigation. Although I belive that I was sitting at the seminar group where Mr. Bichlabuer was making his presentation I did not pay attentation to his speach whilst I was preparing my presentation for the afternoon session. I left for my room after the coffee break to finalize my notes before lunch. I did not see the incident and even did not hear about it until form the e-mails. On the other hand it is difficult to believe that the pie, I imagine the same one as most of us had with our coffee, was infected. It may be a most unfortunate coincidence."

"Rumor had it, that the pie was thrown by the fellow who videotaped the lecture--an individual who accompanied Dr. Bichlbauer to the conference. That is only rumor, and I wish you the best of luck in your investigation."

Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 10:24:56 +0100
From: Christian Campbell <christian.campbell@cils.or.at>
To: info@gatt.org
Subject: Bichlbauer R.I.P.

Dear Mr. Daitz,

Let me congratulate you and your colleagues on a well thought out and well executed prank. But since we all know that it was a joke and we know who you really are, why don't you and your friends let it rest. The joke is not so funny in the second, third, fourth ... telling. By letting Dr. Bichlbauer R.I.P., you can devote your creative capacity and organisational skills to new objectives.

Best regards,

Christian Campbell
Center for International Legal Studies

 


 

Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 17:14:12 -0500
From: The World Trade Organization <info@gatt.org>
To: Christian Campbell <christian.campbell@cils.or.at>
Subject: Re: Bichlbauer R.I.P.

Dear Mr. Campbell,

Thank you for your kind words. Indeed you are correct, it becomes tiresome, and now we are all very glad Dr. Bichlbauer has passed from our midst. To tell the truth, we would have dispatched him or at least let him rest immediately after the conference, had we felt that his speech had been understood and appreciated--that is, had folks reacted with appropriate outrage to his schemes for American voting, which struck us as considerably more offensive than his insults to Italians.

In any case, our interest in hearing such a reaction (or, conversely, hearing that such a reaction had not occurred) impelled us to this final act of tastelessness, the dispatching of Bichlbauer... which, unfortunately, seems to have upset a delegate or two. So, to fix everything up and leave it almost as tidy as we found it, we will send only one more e-mail, announcing Bichlbauer's non-death and relative fictionality, without making the delegates (or CILS) look like fools for having believed it. We promise it will be the last one.

Thanking you for your patience,
Werner Daitz

http://www.gatt.org/
The World Trade Organization: Making the World Safe For Effectiveness.

 


Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 15:32:10 -0500
To: Delegates: ;
From: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: Happy news

Dear Delegates,

We are pleased--and disturbed--to relate a strange new development, one which luckily does not sport the dark hues of the last.

But first of all, we would like to thank all those who took the trouble to write us regarding possible clues to Dr. Bichlbauer's untimely demise. Fortunately, these clues have proved unnecessary, for it turns out that while our friend has indeed passed on, it has been a passage from the realm of WTO representation into that of the most utterly fraudulent fiction!

Those who found Dr. Bichlbauer's talk "peculiar," "puzzling," and so on were alert to a situation that has only now become clear to our overcentralized eyes: Dr. Bichlbauer was an impostor! He was only by conniving and self-falsification a WTO employee, and there was never a pieing, even less an infection and death. He, his "security guard," and his "cameraman"--who was indeed also the "reporter," as some suspected all along--belong, it turns out, to an anti-trade cabal called "The Yes Men," whose interests run exactly counter to our own, and who will stoop to any level whatsoever to make points.

(The point they were attempting to make with this trickery, according to the handwritten letter which we received by this morning's post, had something to do with "corporate power" and "democracy," though the syntax and handwriting of the letter are, truth be told, too execrable to make much of. ((We will be happy to provide a copy of the letter if anyone wishes to see it.)) But if their point had indeed to do with such issues, they clearly failed to make it, since all the questions we asked you regarding "voter fraud"--questions we were prompted to ask by an equally fraudulent "investigator"--met nothing from you but confusion, dismissal, and an inability to recall. ((To add insult to injury, we suspect the "infection" and "death" were arranged precisely so that the "investigator" could prompt us to ask these same questions, whose wombs have proven so barren. So much for points made by death! So much for corporate power!)) )

It is of course extremely embarrassing to us that we can have been conned, like common dowagers, in this way. But in our defense it must be said that while, in our brief acquaintance with him, Dr. Bichlbauer's explanations of WTO principles were often elaborated in a way we found somewhat tasteless, they never did amble beyond the confines of WTO orthodoxy; there was a thoroughness to his adherence that made it impossible to fault him, and which allowed him to become our full representative with little to-do.

We hope the inconvenience caused you by our lack of vigilance is offset by the value of new knowledge, however bizarre, and we apologize for any emotional turmoil you may have undergone as a result of this experience, especially in its (fortunately not tragic after all) denouement.

The memorial service, to have taken place at 4 p.m. this Sunday at St. Ruprecht in Vienna, is of course cancelled.

With very best wishes,
Alice Foley

 

[After Dr. Bichlbauer's lecture, this delegate had raised his hand and asked what the WTO was doing to appeal to the protesters--who, he opined, were protesting not because there was anything to protest, but because they needed something to do.]


 

Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 17:03:34 -0500
From: paul_brinkman@dc.kirkland.com
To: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
Subject: Re: Happy news

Dear Alice:

While I must admit that your stunt was indeed impressive in terms of sheer gall, in the end I'm afraid you and your colleagues have proved very little other than your general ignorance of the important trade issues on which you profess to care, and cemented your well-deserved reputation as "protestors in Nike tennis shoes." Why the stunts? What did you set out to accomplish? Do you really not believe in anything? In my day, protestors cared deeply about their views and were not afraid to debate them. By cleverly sneaking into the conference, you had a grand opportunity to make a point if you had something to say. No one would have thrown you out of the room once you got up to speak. You could have made an empassioned speech against globalism and trade and started a lively debate. Believe it or not, there is a lot of academic work on both sides of the globalization issue, and the lawyers in the room were not nearly as close minded as you think. Instead, your Dr. Bichlbauer came across as an uneducated boob who failed to make any real point. You wasted both your own time and ours. Then you demean yourselves further with juvenile talk of pies and infections. The sad thing is that you're hurting your own cause.

 


 

Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 20:48:45 -0500
From: Alice Foley <afoley@gatt.org>
To: paul_brinkman@dc.kirkland.com
Subject: Re: Happy news

Dear Mr. Brinkman,

Thank you for writing! We appreciate the feedback and will attempt to answer you as best we can.

While I must admit that your stunt was indeed impressive in terms of sheer gall, in the end I'm afraid you and your colleagues have proved very little other than your general ignorance of the important trade issues on which you profess to care, and cemented your well-deserved reputation as "protestors in Nike tennis shoes."

Who has called us that? Who is us? Perhaps you mean by "you and your colleagues" all those protesters you described (in Salzburg, at the lunch following Dr. Bichlbauer's lecture) as just protesting for the sake of it, because they need something to do, and despite having no real commitment to any cause. (There are no real issues worth fighting for these days, you said; when asked what might be a real cause, you suggested "perhaps we need another Milosevic.")

If that's what you mean by us and our colleagues, then by "reputation" you must mean among your colleagues, and among readers of Forbes and the like. We do not really care about "our" reputation in those arenas, if I may be so bold as to speak for ourselves and our "colleagues."

Why the stunts? What did you set out to accomplish?

To illustrate amusingly, through example and some exaggeration, the motives and aims of the WTO and its colleagues. The point wasn't to illustrate this to you, in the audience there in Salzburg, but rather to others, in other audiences--of greater number, and more influential.

Do you really not believe in anything?

I beg your pardon? There is a severe disjunction either in your text or my understanding of it. I will ask Drs. Funk and Daitz whether they understand it any better.

In my day, protestors cared deeply about their views and were not afraid to debate them.

But you said (also at lunch) that the protesters of "your day" (a strange expression; for many, political activism can extend beyond their early twenties) were by and large protesting apartheid in South Africa more because they enjoyed the fun, the group feeling, etc., than because they really cared about the issues.

And although there may conceivably be some protesters "afraid to debate," I don't think that is the rule by any means. Are you seeking a debate opponent? I'm sure, given a forum, an appropriate party could easily be found.

By cleverly sneaking into the conference, you had a grand opportunity to make a point if you had something to say. No one would have thrown you out of the room once you got up to speak. You could have made an empassioned speech against globalism and trade and started a lively debate.

As I said, the point was not to appeal directly to you and your colleagues to change your mind; rather it was to illuminate, through exaggeration and strange humor, the actual speech of the WTO and its colleagues, to other audiences. Based on our preliminary research, we are on the right track.

Believe it or not, there is a lot of academic work on both sides of the globalization issue, and the lawyers in the room were not nearly as close minded as you think.

You are certainly right about the lawyers in the room not all being squarely on the side of corporate freedoms at any (human) cost, as attested to by the outrage expressed by two of those present to what Dr. Bichlbauer said about the Italians and Dutch. We could certainly have sparked an interesting debate, and this would perhaps have been useful to those present in some way, though of course none of the lawyers would have likely changed their minds one way or the other--far too much to hope for, really, and at the same time a more modest goal than ours.

Instead, your Dr. Bichlbauer came across as an uneducated boob who failed to make any real point. You wasted both your own time and ours.

But Mr. Brinkman, you were reading the newspaper during Dr. Bichlbauer's talk, almost the whole way through! I believe it was USA Today, but I could be wrong. In any case, you cannot say whether he made any real point, because you were not listening. If you would like, I could send you the speaker notes to his Powerpoint presentation, or even footage of the speech, and give you a second chance to listen to it, so you could see whether or not he makes the following points, and some others:

  • The quest to eliminate barriers to free trade at all costs would, if carried to its logical conclusion, result in some very unfortunate situations. In other words, the "rational" pursuit of economic efficiency at all costs is barbaric.
  • The WTO's quest to prevent governments from making economic decisions based on morality and emotion, as in the "honest bananas" case, is berserk, as berserk as the "joke" Dr. Bichlbauer made: "It is not possible to kill a person by hitting that person over the head with a banana. It is, however, possible to kill a person over bananas by hitting that person over the head with a machete."
  • The idea of a "consumer democracy" is ridiculous. Calling citizens "consumers" is demeaning and disgusting, and also frightening.
  • Privatization is not always a good thing at all. (Realizing this, even some former champions of free trade have come out against imposing privatization on developing nations, though it is still considered a good thing in the developed world, despite examples from the British train system to the state of American health care.)

These points and others are extremely clear to those who view the speech on video monitors. To make sure, we have even quizzed viewers and received satisfactory answers. In the room, live, these points may admittedly not have come across quite as clearly, even if one wasn't reading the paper, because who would expect the WTO representative to be making them? This is why all present will be invited to view it from home, with new hindsight.

(You apparently also missed the point that Dr. Bichlbauer made, at lunch, when he said to you that Haider, despite being "a bit of a nazi," was really quite ok, because he was all for free trade, and in fact modeled his party's goals on those of the US Republican party's... and that in fact (Dr. Bichlbauer continued) the nazis themselves were really ok, more or less, because of their interest in trade.... I believe you got up at that point and moved to another table, after announcing that this wasn't your "realm of expertise.")

Then you demean yourselves further with juvenile talk of pies and infections.

The pies and infections were our attempt to get some information about delegates' response, or lack of response, to Dr. Bichlbauer's talk about private enterprise solutions to the big mess that is democracy. The offensiveness of those remarks we felt to be much greater than those about the Italians and Dutch, but no one mentioned them.

Finally we achieved our aim, albeit at the cost of good taste and some patience.

The sad thing is that you're hurting your own cause.

We are sorry to have offended you and made you think even less of us and our colleagues than before.

Best wishes,
Alice Foley


 

Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2000 14:00:29 -0500
From: Mike Moore <mmoore@gatt.org>
To: MDe1009767@aol.com
Subject: Re: CILS Conference, Session on Int'l Trade, Salzburg, Austria, Oct. 26-29, 2...

Dear Mr. Devine,

I just wanted to follow up our August correspondence with a hearty "thank you" for thinking of us. The conference was a great success for us and we do hope you think of us again for any upcoming opportunities of this nature, as we are increasingly committed to putting an honest, human face on our sometimes mysterious undertakings. To relate our aims and ideas unsaccharined, unadulterated, to a group of like-minded experts--this is really more valuable to us than you might imagine.

Do you know of more such opportunities within the next weeks or months?

Very best wishes,
Mike

Here's the New York Times reprint of some of our emails with CILS conference organizers and participants.

Salzburg
Salzburg