Saturday, July 15, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
(scroll down for new posts - and note that this post has been "forward-dated" so that it stays on top - it was actually posted in feb 05 )
In the September 2005 Issue of Vanity Fair, David Rose wrote an article called An Inconvenient Patriot which documented some of the details about Sibel Edmonds' story.
In the article, Rose describes an FBI counter-intelligence operation investigating attempts to bribe elected members of Congress in DC and Chicago dating back to 1997. An FBI Counterintelligence official who worked on this particular case noted that according to "some of the wiretaps, the F.B.I.’s targets had arranged for tens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
These efforts appear designed to slip under the Federal Election Commission regulations which stipulate that only donations greater than $200 are required to be itemized in public filings.
Rose's article suggests that these payments/bribes were made by certain Turkish lobbying groups as the price for Hastert's decision to torpedo a proposed congressional resolution which would recognize the Armenian genocide.
Despite many attempts by Vanity Fair, Hastert declined to provide any information refuting the claims, and in the six months since then, his office has simply dismissed the claims as 'ridiculous' - until now. In the most recent edition, Vanity Fair published a letter from Hastert's lawyer Randy Evans which purports to debunk some of the claims in Rose's article - but the letter is transparently disingenuous to anyone remotely familiar with the details. (see here for Evans' letter, and responses from both David Rose and Sibel Edmonds)
It isn't obvious why Hastert decided to respond to these charges in VF now, six months after Rose's article, but it is very clear that the response is unsatisfactory.
Dennis Hastert is two heartbeats, and two impeachment motions, away from the presidency. It's up to him to prove that he is worthy of the position - a good starting point would be the debunking of these very serious allegations that he is in the pocket of foreign interest groups.
Hastert must come clean now and release the detail of all of his campaign contribution data, for all of his PACs and any other fund-raising vehicles.
(I'm in the process of developing some campaign ideas and some action-items and should have more in the next week)
(cross-posted at wotisitgood4)
I'll keep this post on top - so scroll down for new posts
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Hastert: Republican Culture of Corruption
howie klein at FDL:
Hastert, of course, loudly denies any and all wrongdoing– he is a Republican politician and "deny, deny, deny" is what they teach them in their version of ethics school– and he is demanding retractions and apologies and everything else that Cunningham said and did (before he broke down and weeped and begged for mercy and wore a wire to help the Feds rat out his crooked associates).
Hastert, of course, has a long history of shady dealings and making vast sums of money through bribes and kickbacks. VANITY FAIR exposed him last year after he took a $500,000 bribe from Turkish agents to prevent the adoption of bipartisan legislation recognizing the Armenian holocaust. With Tom DeLay forced to resign in disgrace, and getting his affairs in order before his inevitable prison sentence (allegedly), Hastert has become the titular head of the Republican Culture of Corruption. And what everyone in DC and back home in Illinois’ 14th CD is wondering is, can he be swept out of office by the son of a preacher man?
The high school ex-wrestling coach-turned-multimillionaire (feeding, greedily, at the public trough for over 20 years), represents a north-central district due west of Chicago stretching nearly to Iowa. (Actually, Hastert represents multi-national corporations and the lobbyists who whore for them but his power derives from his political base in IL-14.) Electorally, Hastert has run far ahead of the GOP ticket, although his vote percentage slipped significantly in the last two cycles (from 74% to 69%) In 2004 Hastert spent $5 million on his campaign while his unknown opponent spent $18,028. Caught up in a more public corruption scandal than in the past– and facing a far more formidable opponent– Hastert is in for the battle of his political life this November.
It is rare– very rare– for constituents to defeat someone whose national power has brought the district so much pork and until 1994, when Republicans started a whispering campaign falsely accusing Speaker Tom Foley of being gay, no Speaker had been defeated for re-election since the Civil War!
If John Laesch doesn’t succeed in dislodging Hastert it won’t be through lack of the personal qualities that define worthy leadership. And it won’t be through lack of motivation. John’s younger brother, Sgt. Pete Laesch, currently stationed in Iraq, asked John to run against the gargantuan rubber stamp who represents their district in Congress.John is 32 years old and grew up in West Africa where his missionary parents were stationed. They moved to a farm in Newark, Illinois when John was 12. He enlisted in the Navy when he was 21 and served as an intelligence analyst in Bahrain, monitoring terrorist activity and analyzing foreign political and military structures, winning numerous citations and meritoriously rising 5 ranks within 3 years.
John already won his primary and now Democrats are united behind his race to replace an out-of-touch, entrenched, corrupt Speaker of the House with a fresh, energetic young man with integrity, strength and vision. John needs help to get out his message. I can’t imagine a candidate as forthright and independent as John is going to get sufficient help from Rahm Emanuel’s DCCC. It’s up to us.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Sibel's Whistleblowers’ Dirty Dozen
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- June 29, 2006
Contact: Sibel Edmonds, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org
The following members of Congress, by their action or inaction, have stood against real investigations, hearings, and legislation dealing with government whistleblowers who have exposed waste, fraud, abuse, and or criminal activities within government agencies.
These representatives of the People are not only standing against whistleblowers, but against the public’s right to know, effective oversight, accountability, and ultimately against the democratic processes that underpin our society. (To see the pdf list click here).
We, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, together with whistleblower members of our partner coalitions, consider it our duty to advise Americans of these representatives’ collusion with government and private interests to the detriment of the People.
Our position is based on our concern for our nation’s security, for accountable government, and the People’s Right to Know what their representatives and government are doing in their name, all of which depend on vigorous congressional oversight.
Our stand is not based on any political ideology or party – our coalition members include Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents. We do not ask you to vote for or against these individuals; nor do we ask you to choose a particular candidate over another.
All we ask is that before you decide to vote, you consider the true positions of these representatives with regard to their lack of candor or courage on core issues that matter to our country’s well-being.
Over the years, time and again we have informed these representatives about illegal government actions, agency fraud, and lying to Congress by administrators and bureaucrats. Yet these representatives have consistently refused to take any action and have instead betrayed the People they have taken an oath to serve.
We hope that by appealing directly to the American people, we can help bring about needed reforms, since we have proven unsuccessful in our appeals to the following representatives: the Whistleblowers’ Dirty Dozen. (To see the pdf list click here).
1. Senator Hillary Clinton
2. Senator Mike DeWine
3. Rep. David Dreier
4. Rep. Dennis Hastert
5. Senator Orrin Hatch
6. Rep. Peter Hoekstra
7. Senator Jon Kyl
8. Senator Joseph Lieberman
9. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger
10. Senator Rick Santorum
11. Rep. James Sensenbrenner
12. Rep. Mark Souder
(update: i'll be interviewing sibel over the weekend about why these 12 congress folk are on the list)
About National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation’s security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation’s borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct. The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement. For more on NSWBC visit www.nswbc.org