Roger Luncheon and the King Kong affair

It appears that the choice of Dr. Roger Luncheon as the star witness in the legal matter of His Excellency the President and Freddie Kissoon – the King Kong case, as it has come to be known – may not have been a wise one after all. Everything that we have read in the media about the case up to this time suggests that the poor Doctor is going through the wars, that he is being put through the ringer – so to speak – by Kissoon’s Attorneys and that there is little that the President’s Counsel, Anil Nandlall appears to be able to do to spare Dr. Luncheon the agony.

Why ever was the HPS put on the witness stand in the King Kong case? The poor Doctor appears physically fragile, as though he could do with an extended period of convalescence rather than having to attend to the administration’s less than spotless laundry in open court. Is there not some medical provision that could have spared the HPS the unrelenting humiliation of having to say in answer to one question after another that he does not remember?

While all of us are aware of the Doctor’s magic tongue as the government’s Chief Spokesman, journalists aren’t really allowed to rough him up. He shuts them down. Lawyers, however, aren’t journalists. They’re more like trained human pit bulls, schooled in the techniques of stalking and tormenting their prey and after they are finished picking you to pieces you are ready and willing to say just about anything they wish you to say. Lawyers are ruthless ringmasters and the Dr. no tiger…not these days, anyway.

The net effect of having the Doctor serve as the President’s star witness has been twofold. First, it exposes, for all to see, the quite profound wear and tear which eighteen years as HPS, Cabinet Secretary, Chief Media Minder, Secretary of the Defence Board, Chairman of the NIS Board and the sundry other official posts which he holds, has inflicted on the state of health of the man once believed to wield more influence than most of the rest of the PPP Cabinet…put together. The other effect it has had is to make it seem – for now at least – as though it is the state and not Kissoon et al that is being prosecuted, to say nothing about some of the ugly stains on the state’s linen.  

And if it is indeed the case that Dr. Luncheon’s recollection of the ambassadorial composition of the Foreign Service and how it came to be that way is fuzzy then he must be perilously close to the evening of his day as a public official. After all, Dr. Luncheon was right there, in the thick of things, providing official imprimatur to the infamous Rohee purge at Takuba Lodge. Surely, whatever the condition of his memory at this time, the Doctor can surely recall at least snippets of the humiliation of what the newly elected PPP administration saw as “Burnham’s diplomats,” beginning with a round of coarse encounters between Mr. Rohee and the diplomats in the various overseas missions. Then there were the expected recalls and the confrontations over outstanding emoluments, some of which ended up in court and the systematic targeting of some amongst the lower ranks of the Foreign Service. Dr. Luncheon was there through those times and after that he enjoyed even greater say in the goings-on at Takuba Lodge.

President Jagdeo really should have known better not to allow the King Kong gaffe to pass without making a great song and dance over it at a time when it really doesn’t seem to matter any more, except, perhaps to his ego. After all, how much damage can even the winning of the lawsuit do to Kissoon and company compared to what it has already done to his administration…having to wash those huge piles of dirty laundry in public; and just look at what the whole thing has done to poor Dr. Luncheon in the bargain!

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