USA - This Is Huge - Corruption at the highest level

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Woodman, May 27, 2006.

  1. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    For all the silly Bush-haters who harp hysterically on every petty issue as an opportunity to vilify the “evil Republicans”, here is something that you might be able to actually sink your teeth into.

    Be forewarned, though: it appears that both Democrats and Republicans have been implicated in this investigation. For most liberals, this means falling back on a familiar tactic: Blame the “Eeeevil” Republicans! But for now, it seems that rampant corruption has been uncovered on both sides of the aisle and one has but to sit back and examine the rhetoric of partizan pundits as they attempt to spin their own version of this story before the public in an effort to exert some measure of damage control.

    This story appears to have all of the ingredients that would make it as big, or bigger, than Watergate. I hope that it will eventually get some legs under it and receive the relentless media attention that it deserves.

    This is HUGE!
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    By Dan Eggen and Peter Baker
    The Washington Post


    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department signaled to the White House this week that the nation's top three law-enforcement officials would resign or face firing rather than return documents seized from a Democratic congressman's office in a bribery investigation, administration sources familiar with the discussions said.

    The possibility of resignations by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; his deputy, Paul McNulty; and FBI Director Robert Mueller was communicated to the White House by several Justice officials in tense negotiations over the fate of the materials taken from Rep. William Jefferson's office, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Justice prosecutors and FBI agents feared the White House was ready to acquiesce to demands from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and other lawmakers that the materials be returned to Jefferson, D-La., who is the subject of an FBI criminal investigation.

    Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington, was among the leading White House critics of the FBI raid, telling officials at Justice and on Capitol Hill he believed the search was questionable, several sources said.
    Administration officials said Friday that the specter of top-level resignations or firings at Justice and the FBI was a turning point in the standoff, helping persuade President Bush to announce a cease-fire Thursday.

    Bush ordered that the Jefferson materials be sealed for 45 days while Justice officials and House lawmakers work out their differences, but he also made it clear he expected the case against Jefferson to proceed.

    Spokesmen for the White House, Cheney's office, the Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment.

    White House officials were not informed of the search until it began last Saturday and did not recognize the political ramifications, the sources said. By Sunday, however, as the 18-hour search continued, lawmakers began lodging complaints.
    Addington raised heated objections to the Justice Department's legal rationale for the search during a meeting Sunday with McNulty and others, several sources said.

    The talk of resignations adds another element to the tug of war that has played out since last Saturday, when about 15 FBI agents executed a search warrant on Jefferson's office in the Rayburn House Office Building.


    The raid — the first physical FBI search of a congressman's office in U.S. history — sparked an uproar in the House, where Hastert joined Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in demanding that the records be returned because they viewed the search as an illegal violation of the constitutional separation of powers.
    Hastert wrote in an editorial page article in USA Today on Friday that House lawyers are working with the Justice Department to develop guidelines for handling searches of lawmakers' offices.

    "But that is behind us now," Hastert wrote. "I am confident that in the next 45 days, the lawyers will figure out how to do it right."

    Also Friday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., met with Gonzales.
    "I want to know exactly what would happen if there is a similar sort of thing" in the Senate, Frist said.

    "We've been working hard already, and we'll continue to do so pursuant to the president's order," Gonzales said.

    Jefferson, 59, has been under investigation since March 2005 over allegations that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for using his congressional influence to promote business ventures in Africa.

    Two people have pleaded guilty to bribing him, including Brett Pfeffer, one of his former aides, who was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison by a federal judge in Alexandria, Va..

    An FBI affidavit released this week alleged that Jefferson was videotaped taking $100,000 in bribe money and that a search of his apartment turned up $90,000 of that money wrapped in foil inside his freezer.

    Jefferson, who has not been charged, denies wrongdoing.

    Material from The Associated Press
    is included in this report.



    Here's the link:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003022280_jeff27.html

    .
     
  2. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    I hope this explodes.
     
  3. RunRedFox

    RunRedFox Gold Member

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    it wont... its sad but the US population will be easily distracted by something nominal like gay marriage and the corruption will continue. its ridiculous what the american people have put up with in this administration without oposition. truly sad IMO.
     
  4. RunRedFox

    RunRedFox Gold Member

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    i mean what ever happened with the whole carl rove and scooter libby thing. and wasnt donald rumsfield supposed to resign... corruptions been no secret but no one seems to care which is messed up
     
  5. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Well same here. The current Dutch administration has pulled more scams then anyone could imagine. Still they continue business as usual. Pull shit like that in France and the population will set the country on fire. Seems the US and the Netherlands is filled with sheep these days.
     
  6. RunRedFox

    RunRedFox Gold Member

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    indeed, the whole fear aspect of this current administration is pretty alarming... its hard to stand up when you know that police can now search your home without a warant, search your parked car without a warant, hold you indefinetly without a warant under the pretext of the patriot act and the homeland security "scare". it also doesnt help having the new director of the CIA openly come out and say hes taping all of our phones and that in his eyes thats perfectly legal, and knowing that the information of anti war agencys and frowned upon minoritys such as gay organazations information is gathered as well as having military protesters telephone numbers and adress' handed out to those in the military and even posted on the marines local websites keeps my mouth half shut.

    more then anything i attribute it to the general feeling of apathy and ignorance most americans are more then content with.
     
  7. enquirewithin

    enquirewithin Gold Member

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    I can't see how, in America, this will amount to anything. KBR, Abu Graib, mass-murder of Iraqis, phone-tapping, fixed elections, 'renditions'....

    The prosecution of the Enron bosses is a positive note though.
     
  8. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    This is exactly what I pointed out in several past posts.

    When hatred for Bush has him blamed for everything from election recounts (even before he ever took office), or a bunch of hick goons beating the shit out of Iraqi prisoners half way around the world at Abu Gbaib, or (my favorite rant) charges of racism in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, it diminishes the outcry when a truely legitimate circumstance arises that warrents genuine widespread public scrutiny.

    If anything could take the wind out of this story, it would be the liberal left attempting to seize it as yet another opportunity somehow blame republicans and/or Bush.

    It's time to weed out bastards on both sides of the aisle, and this looks like just the issue to get it done.

    That said, I sure hope you guys are wrong. I'ld like to see this story get the kind of attention that it deserves. I think it NEEDS more coverage, a lot more than it's receiving now.
     
  9. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Very interesting story and it definitely deserves more exposure, but I too would be doubtful of any just outcome from all of this. I think corruption is rife in all governments and just occasionally somebody gets used as a scapegoat to appease the public and let it be seen that justice is being done. Unfortunately, your average Joe Public doesn't really care enough to make any difference, peoples memories are short and SWIS is just as guilty of this as anyone else. It needs a tenacious journo to run with it screaming blue murder as they go...sink those teeth in deep and don't let go till they draw real blood.
     
  10. old hippie 56

    old hippie 56 Gold Member

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    Senator Frist has got into the flay, he first said it was wrong, then over the weekend he reversed course. Said no one is above the law.
     
  11. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    The latest report on this in the last three days is disguised as a political profile of House Speaker Dennis Hastert

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5439162

    When you read through the article, it's clear that the three paragraphs at the beginning (and the three paragraphs at the end) of the story are just inclusions that were apparently meant to tone down the real substance in the middle of the piece.

    Here is the real meat of the story:

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    The sudden national exposure could scarcely come at a worst time for Hastert, who had just been badgering President Bush in protest of a search the FBI conducted on a congressional office the previous weekend. The overnight FBI night raid, apparently unprecedented in 217 years of congressional history, had many House and Senate members howling. So as Speaker, Hastert had an institutional duty to take his separation-of-powers grievance straight to the Oval Office.

    It now turns out that Hastert's pleas did not go unheard. Vice President Dick Cheney, usually a reliable vote for executive privilege and prerogative, objected to the way his old House colleagues were being dissed. The congressman whose office was raided, William Jefferson (D-LA), may well have been a wholly legitimate target. But did the FBI have to storm his office without so much as a heads-up to the Speaker? The Washington Post and the New York Times reported the president had heard the Hill complaints and begun leaning toward some sort of accommodation for the speaker and his wounded troops.

    But when top Justice Department officials caught wind of the seized records being returned, they rebelled. The deputy attorney general in charge reportedly talked of resigning. He was reinforced by his boss, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, and by FBI Director Robert Mueller. Although none actually issued an ultimatum, they caused the prevailing winds at the White House to shift yet again.

    The president ordered a 45-day cooling off period, with the seized materials sealed for the interim. That gives all a chance to step back from their lines in the sand. But a cooling-off does not settle what happens to the records themselves, and it does not address the larger issues at stake.

    No one believes that Hastert weighed in on the Jefferson case out of concern for Jefferson. That much he has made clear. There is, rather, a principle involved, one rooted in the Constitution. Each branch enjoys a presumption of autonomy and shared power.

    But beyond this principle lie other, equally urgent considerations. Hastert may be no more inclined to protect Jefferson than he was to defend former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA), who pleaded guilty earlier this year to accepting millions in bribes. But there are other investigations afoot that may worry Hastert because they concern a number of other senior Republicans.

    For months there has been talk that the Justice Department task force that nailed Abramoff is casting a wide net in the direction of his former friends and associates -- including major power figures in the Republican House.

    The task force has focused on staff and lobbyists to date, but it is expected to pursue more indictments. Some on the Hill fear the task force is redefining criminal bribery, broadening it to include campaign contributions given without the sort of quid pro quo that would constitute obvious corruption. This might allow the net of suspicion to be cast quite widely indeed.
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  12. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Congress takes on the feds
    By PERRY BACON JR.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006; Posted: 2:16 p.m. EDT (18:16 GMT)

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/05/31/jefferson.raid.tm/


    The battle between the FBI and Congress over documents seized in a raid on the office of Congressman William Jefferson, a Democrat from New Orleans, turned Washington upside down last week. The FBI, which has long been investigating allegations that Jefferson accepted money in exchange for helping businessmen secure deals in Africa, says it had already found $90,000 wrapped in foil in the freezer of Jefferson's apartment and had a videotape of him allegedly accepting $100,000 in bribe money. But when federal agents, who had been trying to get documents from Jefferson for nine months, obtained a warrant and searched his Capitol Hill office, they found an unlikely adversary: House Speaker Dennis Hastert. The Illinois Republican argued that the search violated the separation of powers between the Legislative and Executive branches and demanded that the FBI return the seized documents.

    Hastert grew even angrier when ABC News, quoting unnamed federal law-enforcement officials, reported that Hastert was being investigated in another corruption case, involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The Justice Department denied the story, but Hastert, suspicious of the report's timing, accused the FBI of trying to "intimidate" him.

    As Hastert led congressional appeals to the White House, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller made clear that they would not comply with any presidential order to return the seized materials--and were willing to risk being fired for their defiance, says a law-enforcement source. So the President instead ordered the FBI to hand over the documents to the Solicitor General's office, which is not involved in the probe. The documents will be sealed for 45 days while Congress and the Administration seek agreement on what prosecutors may view.

    Bush's order didn't totally calm a jittery Capitol Hill. Two other corruption investigations by the Justice Department could implicate members of Congress: the Abramoff case and a probe of defense contractors' ties to several lawmakers. The FBI says it's just doing its job. "We go where the evidence takes us," says a senior official. "Why should a Congressman be off limits?


    .
     
  13. old hippie 56

    old hippie 56 Gold Member

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    The 45 days also give everyone involved, more time to cover their tracks, and make large donations to their favorite charities.
     
  14. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Yes, and durung those 45 days, how many of those files do think will get lost or misplaced at the Solicitor General's office?
     
  15. old hippie 56

    old hippie 56 Gold Member

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    They would probally end up buried with Hoffa, since the FBI can't find him either.
     
  16. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Okay, now pay attention boys & girls.
    This is how politics works:

    1.) There is a huge scandal brewing in the recent seizure of congressional documents. Some big-name/high-powered lawmakers stand to go to prison if this leads to indictment trial and conviction, and all indications are that it will.

    2.) This is a huge story that rivals or exceeds Watergate.

    3.) Since both Republicans and Democrats are at risk of being indicted, they BOTH need to find a way divert public attention from this issue long enough to give them time to work behind the scenes so they can bribe witnesses, get rid of evidence, and collaborate to issue legislative measures that will stall the investigation.

    Now, check this out, what a coincidence!

    Republicans Reignite Hot-Button Issues
    Senate Votes on Gay Marriage, Estate Tax
    Are Aimed at Rallying Conservative Base


    http://online.wsj.com/public/articl...zRjsInsTYA_20060705.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

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    55 Utah Guardsmen join border agents in Arizona

    By Jerry Seper
    THE WASHINGTON TIMES
    June 6, 2006

    http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060605-111133-4911r.htm


    ...now all you country-club Republicans and tree-hugging liberal Democrats can bitch at each other over lesser issues while the REAL villains are sneaking around behind your back, FUCKING YOU ALL IN THE ASS!
     
  17. Silence_Inc

    Silence_Inc Silver Member

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    the worst part - when i saw him on television - he paused after every stupid statement to get applaus ... what soap opera american politcs are!
     
  18. Mr. Giraffe

    Mr. Giraffe Palladium Member

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    Ummm... Chirac is in power in France.

    A quick google for 'Chirac corruption' should burst that bubble.

    In reality, every population will put up with unimaginable corruption so long as they're well-fed and full of fear.

    Compare the Netherlands to Italy or Ireland and I think you'll find the Dutch emerge smelling of roses.
     
  19. korky8097

    korky8097 Gold Member

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    I see alot of this discussion geared towards the american people, saying they are too careless to stand up. For a good portion of the population i believe this is true. But fact of the matter is, if a group decided to rise up and say something, they would be labeled as terrorists by the goverment and investigated, searches of their home and past would aslo be brought into question. People know this, they have found a way to scare the hell out of us and actually go though with what we all fear. The people have absolutely no say in politics anymore. Not because we dont care for a say or care to have part in politics, because we fear the goverment like a schoolboy would fear a bully. THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.

    I think with the right kind of media coverage, which would not be difficult, this event could drastically change things, for the better. Far better than having to fear every detail of your life exploited because you want to have a say in laws that affect you. This has got to be one of the only issues i agree with the FBI on, just because somebody has money and power doesnt make them above the law. These assholes should be burned at the stake for this. What is sad is that there is probably a whole lot more of this going on than we can all imagine, which would be the reason this gets dropped. Congressmen will help cover for these assholes in order to keep their own scams/scandals out of the public eye.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2006
  20. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    here we are, five months later and it would seem that they have swept the whole fucking thing under the rug.