disclose, denny

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hastert, Turkey & Livingston

In Sibel's response to the Hastert letter in VF - She specifically refers to both the ATC and Livingston:
"7) In the VF article Hastert’s spokesman says that Hastert has no affiliation with the A.T.C. [American-Turkish Council] or other groups reportedly mentioned in the wiretaps: “He does not know these organizations.”:
a. Please refer to Mr. Hastert’s trips to Turkey (all trips that took place- 1996-2002); its sponsors…they are self evident. Now how can he claim not knowing these entities (very intimately)?

b. Also, should we refer to Mr. Hastert’s dealing with the named foreign organization via [former House Speaker] Bob Livingston’s lobbying firm (Livingston Group)?"
She's not being particularly coy here - and I'm pretty sure that this is somehow connected to this odd statement she made last month which set off a flurry of speculation:
"He (Bob Livingston) is charging $1.2m - he's charging Turkey - and this is not the government of Turkish Republic, this is umm - who are these people who are paying him $1.2m per year? to do what? that is the question."
The FARA forms specify that the official client is the Turkish Embassy - is it possible that some of the Embassy's financing comes from somewhere other than the Turkish Government? I would have assumed not - but perhaps the embassy has some 'external' fundraising. Even if that was the case, I would have assumed that the Turkish Govt had some oversight of the Embassy's budget, and therefore was at least aware of the big chunks of money being shovelled at Livingston (and similarly Feith and Perle's IAI)

In the comments here, some sugegsted that maybe it was the the Turkish military who was financing the lobbying expense, or perhaps the ATC (and/or ATAA et al). Sibel's comments above suggest that the ATC et al may have been the vehicle for bribing Hastert - it's possible that the same groups were the vehicle for paying Livingston and Perle/Feith.

I know that Turkey has been through some tough financial times in the past decade, but I absolutely don't believe that Turkey couldn't have come up with say $20million to pay for 'lobbying' expenses in DC if required (as has been suggested), therefore we can probably assume that if the ATC is paying the Turkish Embassy in order to shovel money at Hastert and Livingston et al, then it is for purposes other than for the specific benefit of Turkey - that is, the money from the ATC is to benefit the ATC (or more specifically, to benefit certain members of the ATC).

The FBI has the answer to all these questions, recorded, translated and transcribed - it sure would be helpful if they let us in on their secrets.

FWIW, "Friends of Bob Livingston PAC" doled out $310,000 in the years 2000 to 2006, and in the same period, the Livingston Group PAC handed out $450,000 - and it was generally spread far and wide (amongst Republicans)

cross-posted at wotisitgood4


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