Thursday, December 08, 2005

Scandals and corruption (The Culture of Corruption in the republican party)

1) The old (and the repubs are trying to bring him back at the end of January in he’s not convicted) majority leader, Tom DeLay, is under indictment on money-laundering charges in Texas. These are felony charges.

2) One of its more colorful members of Congress, Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California, resigned last week after pleading guilty to shaking down lobbyists and contractors for $2.4 million in cash and gifts. The FBI said they’d never had such an easy case. The press is very quiet on all of this. San Diego Columnist George Condon suggested in a December 1 column that Cunningham's actions "may have put ... troops at greater risk by judging contracts more for what they would do for him than for the military."

3) DeLay's former press secretary, lobbyist Michael Scanlon, has copped a plea and is busy explaining to federal prosecutors how he funneled money to perhaps half a dozen other compliant members of the House. Look who else is under investigation - his partners Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed by separate state and federal grand jury investigations into lobbying performed for Indian tribes running casinos gambling businesses. In addition to the allegation of dishonest dealing arising from the consulting contracts themselves, Abramoff and Scanlon are accused of illegal giving favors to senior Republicans Tom DeLay, Senator Conrad Burns and Congressman Bob Ney.

4) Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is at the center of separate investigations that could implicate still other legislators.

5) Controversy over secret CIA prisons and U.S. detainee policy. Reporter Dana Priest published in The Washington Post of November 2, 2005, that "The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.".

6) Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was back before a federal grand jury on Dec. 7th in the CIA leak case, with deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove still under investigation.

7) The Oct. 28 indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The Libby trial will be next year, just in time for the '06 elections.


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