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> Corruption probe shakes Washington, Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Pleads Guilty


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Posted: Jan 5 2006, 12:41 AM
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No justice is ever really served on these guys.

THEY protect their own.

For example, Oliver North was convicted on 3 accounts for his role in the Iran/Contra drugs for arms deal back in the 1980s when Iraq and Iran were at war for 8 years. The USA and other nations helped both sides to ensure maximum death tolls.

Oliver Norths convictions were subsecuently overturned and today he makes good money from being some high paid news consultant.

Another example is when Clinton left office, he pardoned 176 criminals.

THEY protect their own.

This information in the mainstream news media is mere chum for the basking sharks (Americans) who will be asleep the following day and remember very little.

QUOTE
Corruption probe shakes Washington
Wed Jan 4, 2006 6:06 PM GMT165
By Andy Sullivan
QUOTE
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lobbyist Jack Abramoff's guilty plea in a U.S. corruption probe sent shock waves across Washington on Wednesday as top Republicans sought to avoid being tainted by the scandal and Democrats pressed the issue.

President George W. Bush and House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois were among Republicans who donated to charity campaign contributions they had received from Abramoff, while Democrats said the issue would loom large in November's congressional elections.

Others said the investigation would bring needed discipline to a lobbying industry that has enjoyed a freewheeling culture and record earnings.

"I think it's going to make both sides, lobbyists and legislators, ask more questions of each other," said Doug Pinkham, president of the Public Affairs Council, a lobbying-industry trade group.

"A lot of the relationships around lobbying have been awfully loose and enforcement of existing laws has been fairly lax," he said.

Officials with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an influential business organisation, said they thought the scandal could encourage lobbying-reform legislation and spur lawmakers to work harder to pass substantive legislation this year.

Abramoff agreed on Tuesday to help Justice Department investigators probing whether members of Congress gave Abramoff and his clients favourable treatment in return for campaign contributions, sports tickets and other gifts.

Both Republicans and Democrats received campaign funds from Abramoff, but much of the attention has been focussed on former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Texas and Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.

Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Max Baucus of Montana have returned donations from Abramoff and his clients.

Abramoff also was expected to plead guilty on Wednesday to wire-fraud charges for allegedly falsifying a loan in the purchase of a Florida casino cruise line.

Abramoff's cooperation makes the Justice Department's case much easier, a former prosecutor said.

"The real issue is intent -- what was the intent with which an official committed an act?" said Roma Theus, a Florida lawyer who prosecuted corruption cases with the Justice Department. "Testimony of an insider is critical, because it shows what the actual mind-set was, the thought process was."

Democrats said the Abramoff case, along with other ethics issues, will give them valuable ammunition as they seek to take back control of Congress in November.

"We've been talking for months about the culture of corruption in Washington," said Sarah Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "When the Republican leadership is completely consumed with defending itself from ethics scandals, then the work of the people does not get done."

Feinberg's Republican counterpart said that voters do not blame their local representatives if a member of the same party is found guilty of corruption.

"The bottom line from a political standpoint is I don't know of anyone who lost a race because of something another member did or didn't do," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Carl Forti.

Ethics watchdog groups said Congress needs to tighten lobbying laws. One liberal group, the Campaign For America's Future, plans to run ads criticising Ney for his close relationship to Abramoff.

Ney said on Tuesday that he has never done anything illegal or improper and did not know the nature of Abramoff's activities when he dealt with him. DeLay has said he did nothing illegal.

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticl...FF-CONGRESS.xml



QUOTE
Abramoff Deal Opens Trove of Information
By PETE YOST
Associated Press
4 January 2006
QUOTE
In a deal that clears the way for the next phase of a widespread Capitol Hill corruption probe, lobbyist Jack Abramoff has agreed to tell prosecutors and the FBI about alleged bribes to lawmakers and their aides on issues ranging from Internet gambling to wireless phone service in the House.

The full extent of the investigation is not yet known, but Justice Department officials said Tuesday they intended to make use of the trove of e-mails and other material in Abramoff's possession as part of a probe that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.

"The corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff is very extensive and we will continue to follow it wherever it leads," said Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, head of the Justice Department's criminal division.

Court papers in Abramoff's case refer to an aide to then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay who helped stop anti-gambling legislation regarding the Internet. Abramoff, the papers state, paid the staffer's wife $50,000 from clients that benefited from the actions of the staffer, identified by a person close to the investigation as Tony Rudy, DeLay's former deputy chief of staff.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing. Rudy did not return a phone call Tuesday at his lobbying firm.

DeLay, R-Texas, voted against his party on the Internet anti-gambling legislation which was designed to make it easier for authorities to stop online gambling sites.

DeLay attorney Richard Cullen said he believes that when the investigation is completed and the truth is known that the Justice Department will conclude that his client, who had risen to House majority leader before stepping down from the post last year, did nothing wrong.

Abramoff pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion, with his conduct outlined in court papers that refers to "a stream of things of value to public officials in exchange for a series of official acts and influence."

On Wednesday, Abramoff was to plead guilty in Miami to criminal charges stemming from Abramoff's 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos, a case that touches on Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.

The political ramifications of the Abramoff probe were apparent, with minority Democrats intending to make ethics a campaign issue in this election year. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Abramoff's confession in court was "not a surprise because this Republican Congress is the most corrupt in history and the American people are paying the price."

Some political consultants and analysts are comparing potential damage from the Abramoff investigation to the 1992 House banking scandal that led to the retirement or ouster of 77 lawmakers.

Abramoff's cooperation has made lawmakers nervous.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., became the most recent addition to the roster of politicians announcing plans to donate Abramoff's campaign contributions to charity.

The court papers in the Washington case refer to Ney, saying that regarding SunCruz, the congressman placed a statement drafted by Abramoff partner Michael Scanlon in the Congressional Record. The statement, the court papers say, was calculated to pressure the owner of SunCruz to sell on terms favorable to Abramoff.

Ney denies wrongdoing, saying that "at the time I dealt with Jack Abramoff, I obviously did not know, and had no way of knowing, the self-serving and fraudulent nature of Abramoff's activities."

Abramoff and his former partner, Adam Kidan, are charged with concocting a false $23 million wire transfer making it appear they contributed a sizable stake of their own cash into the $147.5 million purchase of cruise ships.

The court papers released Tuesday in Washington raised questions about Ney's former chief of staff, Neil Volz. The documents say the ex- staffer contacted the congressman on behalf of an Abramoff client that won a lucrative deal from Ney to improve cell phone reception in House buildings.

Volz contacted his ex-boss within one year of leaving the congressman's staff, the court papers say, a possible violation of federal conflict of interest laws which impose a one-year lobbying ban.

Volz referred questions to his attorney, who was not immediately available for comment.

Abramoff was once a well-connected lobbyist able to command almost unimaginable fees: A Louisiana tribe once paid Scanlon and him more than $30 million over 26 months. Now facing up to 11 years in prison, Abramoff apologized after pleading guilty.

"Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for all my actions and mistakes," Abramoff said. "I hope I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I've wronged or caused to suffer."

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/04/D8ETT0R85.html


QUOTE
Abramoff Pleads Guilty, Will Cooperate
By MARK SHERMAN and CURT ANDERSON
AP
Jan 3, 2006
QUOTE
WASHINGTON - Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who spawned a congressional corruption scandal, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three felonies and pledged to cooperate in a criminal probe edging closer to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.


"I plead guilty, your honor," Abramoff said in flat, unemotional tones, accepting a plea bargain that said he had provided lavish trips, golf outings, meals and more to public officials "in exchange for a series of official acts."

In one case, he reported payments totaling $50,000 to the wife of a congressional aide to help block legislation for a client. The aide worked for DeLay, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Public corruption aside, Abramoff admitted defrauding four Indian tribes and other clients, taking millions in kickbacks from a one-time business partner, misusing a charity he had established and failing to pay income taxes on millions of ill-gotten gains.

He is expected to plead guilty to additional charges on Wednesday in Florida in connection with charges stemming from the 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats.

At the Justice Department, officials said they intend to make use of the trove of e-mails and other material in Abramoff's possession as part of a probe that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.

"This investigation continues ... however long it takes, wherever it leads," said Alice Fisher, assistant attorney general.

Whatever the legal ramifications, there was swift political fallout at the dawn of an election year in which minority Democrats intend to make ethics a campaign issue.

In a turnabout, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., joined the roster of politicians announcing plans to donate Abramoff's campaign contributions to charity.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Abramoff's confession in court was "not a surprise because this Republican Congress is the most corrupt in history and the American people are paying the price."

Abramoff faces as much as 11 years in federal prison as well as fines in connection with his guilty pleas on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion. The precise penalty is to be determined in part by the extent of his cooperation with prosecutors. Together with his former business partner, Michael Scanlon, he is expected to face restitution costs of $25 million.

Abramoff also will be required to pay $1.7 million for unpaid taxes, officials said.

Scanlon pleaded guilty last November to corruption charges as part of the investigation that began 21 months ago.

The Bush administration's former chief procurement official, David H. Safavian, was charged last fall with making false statements and obstructing investigations into a 2002 golf outing. He has pleaded innocent.

The court papers released in connection with Tuesday's plea offered these glimpses into Abramoff's activities:

- On behalf of clients eager to stop internet gambling and postal rate legislation, Abramoff paid $50,000 in 10 equal monthly payments beginning in June 2000 to the wife of a congressional aide identified as Staffer A. Based on other information made public, Staffer A was Tony Rudy, at the time a top aide to DeLay. His identity was confirmed by officials who spoke only on condition of anonymity, noting that the court papers did not name the aide.

DeLay's office had no immediate comment. The congressman has previously said any actions he took on legislation were consistent with his political philosophy.

Separately, DeLay is fighting state campaign finance charges in Texas, hoping to clear himself in time to reclaim his leadership post in Congress.

- Abramoff contradicted statements by Rep. Bob Ney, saying the Ohio Republican accepted a golfing trip to Scotland in 2002 with the knowledge that the lobbyist's Indian clients were paying for it. Ney is not mentioned by name, but his identity is clear from a description of his committee chairmanship. Ney issued a statement saying, "At the time I dealt with Jack Abramoff, I obviously did not know, and had no way of knowing, the self-serving and fraudulent nature" of his activities.

- Abramoff also said he had made a $10,000 donation to the National Republican Campaign Committee at Ney's request, part of what the plea agreement refers to as the "corruption of public officials."

- Court documents said Abramoff solicited $50,000 from a wireless telephone company and got Ney's agreement to push the company's application to install a wireless telephone infrastructure in the House of Representatives, a job Ney's committee would have overseen.

At the Justice Department, Fisher said that in one instance, "Abramoff was so bold as to take fees to assist one client when he was actually working for another client to defeat the first client's interests." Those clients were Indian tribes were from Texas and Louisiana, and the issue involved casino gambling.

Apart from his lobbying in Congress, Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for President Bush's 2004 re-election effort, earning the honorary title "pioneer" from the campaign.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he could not say whether Abramoff ever met Bush. McClellan said of Abramoff: "What he is reportedly acknowledging doing is unacceptable and outrageous."

"If laws were broken, he must be held to account for what he did," McClellan said.

Once a well-connected lobbyist able to command almost unimaginable fees - a Louisiana tribe once paid Scanlon and him more than $30 million over 26 months - Abramoff apologized after pleading guilty.

"Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for all my actions and mistakes," he said. "I hope I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I've wronged or caused to suffer."

Pressure had been intensifying on Abramoff to strike a deal with prosecutors since another former partner, Adam Kidan, pleaded guilty last month to fraud and conspiracy in connection with the 2000 SunCruz boat deal in Florida.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060104/D8ETKE8O7.html


QUOTE
Dozens send back lobbyist's donations - Lawmakers fear link to Abramoff
By Susan Milligan
Boston Globe
January 2, 2006
QUOTE
WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress who once counted on super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to help finance their campaigns have begun returning the cash they got from him and his clients, signaling a growing worry that ethics -- and the scandal surrounding Abramoff -- will become issues that could affect close House and Senate races in next year's midterm elections.

Abramoff, a powerful Washington figure who owned a tony restaurant frequented by members of Congress, is under federal investigation for allegedly swindling American Indian tribes out of millions of dollars in lobbying fees and contributions to Abramoff's associates.

With a court date looming Jan. 9 -- and the possibility that Abramoff will cut a deal with prosecutors before that date -- at least two dozen lawmakers have refunded money they fear could look tainted by Election Day in November.

''They're obviously worried," said Michael Malbin, director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute. ''If people get disgusted by the relationship between the people in power and the lobbyists, [Abramoff] is going to become their poster boy."

If a lawmaker is not personally tied to any possible illegal activity involving Abramoff, then giving the money back could burnish his or her image with voters, Malbin said.

But if, as many political analysts suspect, some senators or House members are linked to Abramoff and potentially illegal activity, Malbin said, then ''returning the check won't begin to take care of the problem."

Montana Senators Max Baucus, a Democrat, and Conrad Burns, a Republican, were the latest to return Abramoff-connected cash.

Baucus returned $18,892, including $1,892 he had failed to report for use of Abramoff's skybox at a Washington, D.C., sports arena.

Burns, who has been targeted by Democrats in November's election, gave back $150,000 in contributions before Christmas, reversing an earlier position that he would not return the money.

''The contributions given to my political committees by Jack Abramoff and his clients, while legal and fully disclosed, have served to undermine the public's confidence in its government," Burns said in a statement explaining his reversal.

A Burns aide said the senator has not been implicated in any of the Abramoff investigations, and has not hired a lawyer to handle the case.

Abramoff's dealings are the subject of a Senate probe and a criminal investigation.

Among the deals being scrutinized are contributions from the tribes who hired Abramoff to politicians and political groups associated with him, and overseas trips paid for by Abramoff and involving Tom DeLay, former House majority leader and Republican of Texas, among other political figures.

Capitol Hill sources have also suggested that Abramoff gave free meals and drinks at his restaurant to lawmakers, in violation of a congressional rule barring gifts worth more than $50.

Some political strategists and congressmen believe it's not necessary to return campaign donations simply because the contributor is under investigation.

Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the committee has not recommend to GOP candidates that they return money from Abramoff or his clients.

But on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are uneasy, worried that any connection to Abramoff could become a campaign liability that far outweighs the campaign help he may have given them.

Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat who, like Burns, sits on a congressional committee that oversees Indian tribes' issues, returned $67,000 in Abramoff-related donations a few days before Burns and Baucus gave back their campaign cash.

''Members of Congress try to hold onto as much money as possible, until it becomes politically distasteful to hold onto it," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for the Public Campaign Action Fund.

He predicted that lawmakers who accepted contributions from Abramoff may face serious questions from their constituents on the campaign trail.

''What it does is shine a very bright light on our campaign finance system," he said.

Democrats intend to make ethics an issue against Republicans in next year's elections, using the indictments of DeLay on money-laundering charges unrelated to the Abramoff probe, and former vice presidential aide I. Lewis ''Scooter" Libby for allegedly lying to a grand jury, to paint the GOP as a party immersed in scandal.

New Hampshire Democrats have hounded the state's GOP representatives, Charles Bass and Jeb Bradley, to give back contributions they received from a DeLay political action committee.

Bradley has returned such campaign contributions; Bass hasn't, but has called for DeLay to be replaced as the House leader.

Democratic strategists compare the current series of Republican ethics headaches to the House banking scandal in the early 1990s, when dozens of lawmakers were found to have repeatedly written bad personal checks on their House bank accounts, some racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in overdrafts -- without penalties.

Democrats believe the ensuing voter anger contributed to their loss of dozens of seats in 2004, giving control of the chamber to Republicans.

The Abramoff and DeLay cases, Democrats believe, could help them pick up some seats next year and perhaps even regain majority control of the House.

''My sense of this is that voters are cynical and angry to start, and that more scandal just makes matters worse," said Peter Fenn, a veteran Democratic consultant and former congressional staffer.

He noted that former House speaker Jim Wright, Democrat of Texas, was forced to resign from Congress in 1989 because lobbyists bought large quantities of his books, then handed them out at fund-raisers.

The Abramoff case ''is clearly a much bigger scandal than the House bank or a book," Fenn said.

But while DeLay limited his handouts to fellow Republicans, Abramoff spread his money around to lawmakers and candidates in both parties.

According to an analysis prepared by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Abramoff and his clients doled out more than $4.4 million to candidates since 2000, with $1.5 million of the money going to Democrats.

While Democrats seek to taint Burns with the Abramoff scandal, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has gone on the offense, pointing out that Abramoff gave cash not only to Baucus, but to Harry Reid of Nevada, Senate minority leader and the Democrats' leader.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washingt...nations?mode=PF



QUOTE
Bush Campaign to Give Away Abramoff Donations
By PETE YOST
Associated Press
4 Jan 2006
QUOTE
WASHINGTON President Bush's re-election campaign will give the American Heart Association thousands of dollars in campaign contributions connected to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the White House said Wednesday, as the government pressed forward with a broad-ranging corruption investigation.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday that Abramoff, his wife and the tribal associates that he helped win influence on Capitol Hill donated thousands to the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign. Donations to charities has been the policy in similar situations in the past, McClellan said.

Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for President Bush's 2004 re- election effort, earning the honorary title "pioneer" from the campaign. It was unclear how much exactly the campaign would be giving to charity since McClellan referred questions about the matter to the Republican National Committee, which did not immediately return phone calls about it.

McClellan said Bush does not know Abramoff personally, although it's possible that the two met at holiday receptions. Abramoff attended three Hanukkah receptions at the White House, the spokesman said.

In a plea agreement with government prosecutors Tuesday, Abramoff has agreed to tell the FBI about alleged bribes to lawmakers and their aides on issues ranging from Internet gambling to wireless phone service in the House.

The full extent of the investigation is not yet known, but Justice Department officials said they intended to make use of the trove of e- mails and other material in Abramoff's possession as part of a probe that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.

"The corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff is very extensive and we will continue to follow it wherever it leads," said Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, head of the Justice Department's criminal division.

Court papers in Abramoff's case refer to an aide to then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay who helped stop anti-gambling legislation regarding the Internet. Abramoff, the papers state, paid the staffer's wife $50,000 from clients that benefited from the actions of the staffer, identified by a person close to the investigation as Tony Rudy, DeLay's former deputy chief of staff.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing. Rudy did not return a phone call Tuesday at his lobbying firm.

DeLay, R-Texas, voted against his party on the Internet anti-gambling legislation which was designed to make it easier for authorities to stop online gambling sites.

DeLay attorney Richard Cullen said he believes that when the investigation is completed and the truth is known that the Justice Department will conclude that his client, who had risen to House majority leader before stepping down from the post last year, did nothing wrong.

Abramoff pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion, with his conduct outlined in court papers that refers to "a stream of things of value to public officials in exchange for a series of official acts and influence."

On Wednesday, Abramoff was to plead guilty in Miami to criminal charges stemming from Abramoff's 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos, a case that touches on Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.

The political ramifications of the Abramoff probe were apparent, with minority Democrats intending to make ethics a campaign issue in this election year. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Abramoff's confession in court was "not a surprise because this Republican Congress is the most corrupt in history and the American people are paying the price."

Some political consultants and analysts are comparing potential damage from the Abramoff investigation to the 1992 House banking scandal that led to the retirement or ouster of 77 lawmakers.

Abramoff's cooperation has made lawmakers nervous.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., became the most recent addition to the roster of politicians announcing plans to donate Abramoff's campaign contributions to charity.

The court papers in the Washington case refer to Ney, saying that regarding SunCruz, the congressman placed a statement drafted by Abramoff partner Michael Scanlon in the Congressional Record. The statement, the court papers say, was calculated to pressure the owner of SunCruz to sell on terms favorable to Abramoff.

Ney denies wrongdoing, saying that "at the time I dealt with Jack Abramoff, I obviously did not know, and had no way of knowing, the self-serving and fraudulent nature of Abramoff's activities."

Abramoff and his former partner, Adam Kidan, are charged with concocting a false $23 million wire transfer making it appear they contributed a sizable stake of their own cash into the $147.5 million purchase of cruise ships.

The court papers released Tuesday in Washington raised questions about Ney's former chief of staff, Neil Volz. The documents say the ex- staffer contacted the congressman on behalf of an Abramoff client that won a lucrative deal from Ney to improve cell phone reception in House buildings.

Volz contacted his ex-boss within one year of leaving the congressman's staff, the court papers say, a possible violation of federal conflict of interest laws which impose a one-year lobbying ban.

Volz referred questions to his attorney, who was not immediately available for comment.

Abramoff was once a well-connected lobbyist able to command almost unimaginable fees: A Louisiana tribe once paid Scanlon and him more than $30 million over 26 months. Now facing up to 11 years in prison, Abramoff apologized after pleading guilty.

"Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for all my actions and mistakes," Abramoff said. "I hope I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I've wronged or caused to suffer."

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/04/D8ETTU900.html




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Master Of His Domain
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Posted: Jan 5 2006, 12:21 PM
Quote Post
QUOTE
Chris Matthews Tied to Jack Abramoff, Credibility in Tatters
by Anthony Wade
http://www.opednews.com
January 5, 2006
QUOTE
I have certainly written about Chris Matthews and his propensity for toeing the Republican Party line as well as using his show for a platform to excuse the abuses of the Bush administration and the GOP controlled Congress.

It was just last month when Matthews exclaimed that “everyone likes this president except the real whack-jobs on the left.”

Recently, Matthews has used his show to play softball with anyone willing to minimize the impending Jack Abramoff corruption scandal or try and turn it into a bipartisan event. Now it seems we know why.

Daily Kos is reporting today that Mr. Matthews has ties to Mr. Abramoff and the details of those ties presents ethical problems for someone pretending to be a journalist.

Jack Abramoff is the former super-lobbyist who bilked millions upon millions of dollars from his clients, bribed numerous republican congressmen, and even paid to have things inserted into the congressional record from those he did “business” with.

Amongst the slime of Mr. Abramoff, he also ran a faux charity called the “Capital Athletic Foundation”, which allegedly was designed to provide sports related programs for youth. Instead, Jack used the charity as a front to funnel money in and out of to provide perks to the Congressmen he was bribing and doing business with.

The reality is that less than ONE percent of the revenue of the Capital Athletic Foundation (CAF) actually went to sports related programs for youth. CAF was actually used to fund the overseas trips for Tom Delay and others we are starting to hear so much about.

According to sourcewatch.com, the following is a breakdown of some of the dealings of CAF:

• In 2001, CAF received $1 million from the Coushatta and $177,415 from Foxcom.
• The Coushatta apparently believed that the donation was for a sky box from which Abramoff would lobby Members of Congress during Redskins games.
• In 2002, CAF collected $2.56 million from 9 donors including 3 tribes.
• In 2003, CAF collected $2.15 million from tribes, Michael Scanlon and an internet casino client of Abramoff’s. $2.13 million of the money went to the Eshkol Academy, a school started [in 2001] by Abramoff.
• In a February 2003 email, Abramoff told Scanlon to make sure that his share of money went to Eshkol directly – 'using school as conduit for some of our activities . .. If that won’t fly with them, use CAF.'
• CAF also paid $120,000 in August 2002 for Abramoff, Robert W. Ney, Ralph E. Reed, Jr., and then-General Services Administration Chief of Staff David Safavian "to St. Andrews to play golf with a stop in London on way back. Ney later claimed that the trip’s purpose was to raise money for a foundation, but there were no fundraising events during the course of the trip."

So we have a sleazy lobbyist in bed with a lot of sleazy politicians, all of which are from the GOP. They use a fake charity to provide themselves with junkets around the world such as golfing at St. Andrews in Scotland.

This is where Chris Matthews comes in. On March 5, 2003, Matthews helped put on a charity event for the purpose of raising $300,000 for the Capital Athletic Foundation. According to sourcewatch.com:

“Fox News Channel's Tony Snow is master of ceremonies, and Fox's Brit Hume and MSNBC's Chris Matthews are aboard. Opera great Placido Domingo is an event committee member. But, this being Washington, the event will be mostly populated by powerful lawmakers, including Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas; Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.”

As Daily Kos correctly points out, there are two problems with Matthews’ involvement. The first is what in the world is Chris Matthews doing cavorting with Jack Abramoff and helping him generate money into his fake charity? The second problem and more unseemly, is what is Matthews doing at such a blatantly partisan event? A man who plays the role of impartial journalist is now exposed as being a darling of the Republican Party? Certainly no one would be surprised at Tony Snow’s involvement, since he works for Fox News, but Chris Matthews?

Yes folks, Chris Matthews. If you have watched his show for the past week you have seen him attack Abramoff as a sleaze, but then use every other moment to minimize this scandal. He has tried to make it seem that this is just politics as usual and has gone out of his way to leave the impression with his viewers that Abramoff was an equal opportunity sleaze to both parties. The fact is that Abramoff was a republican, dealt primarily with republicans, and this scandal is not just politics as usual. It goes to the heart of what is wrong with our system when lobbyists have more control over our elected officials than the people they claim to represent. Corporate lobbying is one of the largest problems eating away at our democracy.

Another cancer withering our democracy away is the consolidation of media which has resulted in the bludgeoning of the truth. The truth is massaged, packaged and sold to America. People like Chris Matthews has an incredibly powerful pulpit from which to influence public opinion and any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest should be taken very seriously. For the past week we have seen Matthews try and pooh-pooh the Abramoff scandal and minimize it down to a politics as usual, bi-partisan event. Nonsense. This is potentially larger than Abscam and the cockroaches are starting to scatter, handing back their tainted money to charity as fast as they can and pretending they never knew Abramoff.

People who are supposed to be impartial in the news business build their reputation upon their ethics. Without a neutral ethical base they have no credibility. That is why no one takes Fox News seriously. We all know they are bought and sold for the Republican Party. What a lot of America is not aware of though, is that so are a lot of other would-be-truth-tellers, such as Matthews. When Matthews tells America that everyone loves this president, we now must wonder who paid him for that opinion. When we see him minimizing the Abramoff scandal, we now know it is because he is in the middle of it. He is no longer a journalist; he merely plays one on TV.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_an...thews_tied_.htm




--------------------
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"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jan 5 2006, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE
Abramoff To Reveal All In Congress Bribes Scandal
Senior politicians alleged to have accepted favours · Republicans likely to suffer most damage
By Julian Borger in Washington,
The Guardian - UK
1-4-6
QUOTE
A well-connected Republican lobbyist agreed yesterday to give evidence against top politicians whom he allegedly bribed, in what analysts predict may prove to be the biggest congressional scandal in American history.

The lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy involving "corruption of public officials" as well as fraud and tax evasion, after striking a deal with federal prosecutors that is expected to lift the lid on a culture of corruption in Congress, in which legislative favours are routinely exchanged for lucrative perks.

Politicians from both parties received money from Mr Abramoff and his clients, but the scandal is likely to inflict most damage on the Republicans and could ultimately threaten their hold on Congress.

One of the party's most powerful figures, Tom DeLay, who was instrumental in orchestrating its victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004, is at the centre of the investigation for his close financial ties to Mr Abramoff. He is also facing charges in a separate case involving political money-laundering in Texas and had to step down from his job as House majority leader last year. A senior White House budget official, David Safavian, has been arrested for failing to report gifts from the indicted lobbyist.

"This is potentially the biggest congressional scandal in history," said Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor and the head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog organisation. "Abramoff knew everybody. He knows how Washington works."

The White House spokesman Scott McClellan was unable to say yesterday whether George Bush had ever met Mr Abramoff, but he denounced the lobbyist. "What he is reportedly acknowledged doing is unacceptable and outrageous," he said. "If laws were broken, he must be held to account for what he did."

Mr Abramoff was a central fixture in Washington political life, wining and dining top politicians in his own restaurant, hosting them in plush corporate boxes at sporting events, and flying them on all-expenses-paid golf trips to Scotland.

The lobbyist and his partners also coordinated political donations worth $1.7m (£975,000) to more than 200 members of Congress on behalf of clients such as the Choctaw Indian tribe in Mississippi, the US-administered Northern Mariana islands in the Pacific and Russian oil magnates.

Legislation passed by Congress in recent years directly benefited those clients and the justice department's ethics division is now seeking to prove that those votes were bought.

"Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for all my actions and mistakes," Mr Abramoff told the judge in a Washington courtroom. "I hope I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I've wronged or caused to suffer."

Mr Abramoff was also expected to plead guilty to fraud today in a separate case in Miami, involving his purchase in 2000 of a fleet of casino ships. The man he bought the fleet from, Konstantinos Boulis, was shot dead a year later in the middle of a dispute over the sale.

Prosecutors are reported to be focusing on about 20 politicians and their staff, including the biggest recipients of Mr Abramoff's largesse. As well as Mr DeLay and Mr Safavian, they include Bob Ney, the Republican head of the House administration committee known as "the mayor of Capitol Hill" for his extensive influence, and Democratic senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. The three men have all denied any wrongdoing. Mr Dorgan and several other members of Congress have returned political donations received from Mr Abramoff and his clients, in a rush to distance themselves from the man who was once a popular socialite.

Despite the involvement of some Democrats, Stanley Brand, a former congressional lawyer, said Republicans were likely to feel the brunt of any public backlash in the November congressional elections.

"The party in power always suffers," said Mr Brand, who is now in private practice specialising in defending public officials.

The scandal will also bring scrutiny of Mr DeLay's decade-long bid to pack Washington lobbying firms with Republicans. The scheme, known as the "K Street project" after the wide boulevard that houses much of the industry, helped create lucrative jobs for party activists.

But Mr Brand doubted that the scrutiny would lead to profound change.

"Everyone will get worked into a lather and then they'll go back to what they've done for the past 200 years ... You're not going to get money out of politics and you're not going to get influence out of government."

Backstory

The Abramoff scandal began last year as a little-noticed investigation into casinos on some Native American reservations. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and other tribes complained to Senate investigators that they had been paying millions of dollars to Washington lobbyists to help protect their gambling income from taxation and competition but were getting little in return.

The lobbyists in question were led by Jack Abramoff, a Washington super-lobbyist who owned his own plush restaurant, Signatures, for entertaining politicians, and Michael Scanlon, a former spokesman for one of the Republican party's top power-brokers, Tom DeLay.

The inquiry uncovered a culture of influence-peddling that infused Congress and tainted the White House, as first Mr Scanlon and then Mr Abramoff decided to cooperate with the justice department. As well as meals at Signatures, Mr Abramoff offered hospitality in comfortable "sky-boxes" at sports events and golfing trips to Scotland, for a chance to play at St Andrews.

One of the lucky golfers was Mr DeLay, who took his wife and entourage on an Abramoff-financed trip to Scotland in 2000. He has claimed it was a working visit, involving a meeting with Margaret Thatcher. Baroness Thatcher's office has confirmed the meeting. Mr DeLay stepped down as House majority leader in September after being charged in a separate case involving political money-laundering in Texas.

http://rense.com/general69/scan.htm




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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Posted: Jan 6 2006, 09:32 PM
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Abramoff says he could implicate 60 lawmakers
Wall Street Journal
5 Jan 2006
QUOTE
Excerpted from today's Wall Street Journal:

Making the bribery case especially striking -- and worrisome for members of Congress -- is that some of its elements include transactions that occur in Washington every day. It is commonplace for lawmakers to solicit campaign donations from lobbyists, who routinely offer them in hopes of gaining advantage. Yet Mr. Abramoff also went far beyond routine practice by furnishing lawmakers with lavish trips, free meals and entertainment as well.

It remains unclear which lawmakers prosecutors are looking at, and also how persuasive Mr. Abramoff could be in helping to make potential cases against any of them stick. A onetime chairman of College Republicans -- a close ally of such party luminaries as Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist -- Mr. Abramoff says he has information that could implicate 60 lawmakers.

"The case is significant and the corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff is very extensive," said Alice Fisher, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's criminal division, at a news conference. She said prosecutors "will continue to follow it wherever it leads."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1136298381...e_whats_news_us




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jan 6 2006, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE
Incoming
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
05 January 2006
QUOTE
"It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left. Our job is to remove them from power permanently."
- Jack A. Abramoff

All of official Washington is at this moment waiting with bated breath for the avalanche. Jack Abramoff, the disgraced super-lobbyist, has made a plea agreement in the massive prosecution against him and his cronies. Every talking head who has spoken on the subject has stated bluntly that the fallout from this plea deal will almost certainly result in the largest scandal to hit the capital in decades.

The questions, of course, are straightforward: Who is involved? Who took money from this guy? Who is on his pad? Most significantly, who did Abramoff name when he decided to sing to the prosecutors?

Republicans, nervous about the bad noise to come, have attempted to paint this as an equal-opportunity crime. To wit, the Democrats are into Abramoff as deeply as the GOP. The facts, however, do not bear this out. According to campaign donation information gathered by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, the following officeholders and candidates have received political donations from Abramoff since 2000:




Tom DeLay (R-Texas).
John Ashcroft (R-Mo.).
Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ).
Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).
John Ensign (R-Nev.).
Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
Charles H. Taylor (R-NC).
Chris Cannon (R-Utah).
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
Mark Foley (R-Fla.).
Richard Pombo (R-Calif.).
Christopher S. "Kit" Bond (R-Mo.).
Curt Weldon (R-Pa.).
Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).
Doug Ose (R-Calif.).
Ernest J. Istook (R-Okla.).
George R. Nethercutt Jr. (R-Wash.).
Jim Bunning (R-Ky.).
Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.).
Tom Feeney (R-Fla.).
Dan Burton (R-Ind.).
Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
Suzanne Terrell (R-La.).
Rob Simmons (R-Conn.).
Charles W. "Chip" Pickering Jr. (R-Miss.).
Connie Morella (R-Md.).
Gordon H. Smith (R-Ore.).
James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.).
James M. Talent (R-Mo.).
John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.).
John Thune (R-SD).
Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.).
Bob Smith (R-Fla.).
Bob Ney (R-Ohio).
CL. "Butch" Otter (R-Idaho).
Carolyn W. Grant (R-NC).
Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.).
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).
Heather Wilson (R-NM).
J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.).
Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).
James V. Hansen (R-Utah).
John Cornyn (R-Texas).
Kimo Kaloi (R-Hawaii).
Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.).
Mike Ferguson (R-NJ).
Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).
Ralph Regula (R-Ohio).
Ric Keller (R-Fla.).
Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).
Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).
Dave Camp (R-Mich.).
Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.).
Tom Young (R-Ala.).
Bill Janklow (R-SD).
Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.).
Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.).
William L. Gormley (R-NJ).
Bill McCollum (R-Fla.).
Bill Redmond (R-NM).
Bob Riley (R-Ala.).
Claude B. Hutchison Jr. (R-Calif.).
Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.).
Francis E. Flotron (R-Mo.).
George Allen (R-Va.).
Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).
Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-NC).
Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Bob Smith (R-Fla.).
Joe Pitts (R-PA).
Charles H. Taylor (R-NC).
Bob Ehrlich (R-Md.).
Charles R. Gerow (R-Pa.).
Ed Royce (R-Calif.).
Elia Vincent Pirozzi (R-Calif.).
Jerry Weller (R-Ill.).
Mark Emerson (R-Utah).
Tom Davis (R-Va.).
Van Hilleary (R-Tenn.).

Also:

Americans for a Republican Majority, Leadership PAC of Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Republican Majority Fund, Leadership PAC of Don Nickles (R-Okla.).

Keep Our Majority PAC, Leadership PAC of Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Leadership PAC, Leadership PAC of Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio).

Rely on Your Beliefs, Leadership PAC of Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Friends of the Big Sky, Leadership PAC of Conrad Burns (R-Mont.).

Senate Victory Fund, Leadership PAC of Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

American Liberty PAC, Leadership PAC of Bob Ney (R-Ohio).

Battle Born PAC, Leadership PAC of John Ensign (R-Nev.).

Fund for a Free Market America, Leadership PAC of Phil Crane (R-Ill.).

Team PAC, Leadership PAC of J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.).

The Republican Party of New Jersey.

Also:

George W. Bush ®.

Notice anything similar? Each and every name listed, each and every PAC, has an ® after it. The Center for Responsive Politics does not have one Democrat - not one - listed as having received a donation from Jack Abramoff. The amounts given to the Republicans listed above amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In extremis, Republicans have taken to bandying about the name of Byron Dorgan, Democratic Senator from North Dakota, as evidence that this Abramoff thing is a two-party scandal. Dorgan received $67,000 from Native American tribes represented by Abramoff - not from Abramoff himself - and has since returned the money. Furthermore, he got the money before the tribes had any dealings with Abramoff. In short, Dorgan's so-called involvement in the matter is a red herring.

As for Mr. Bush, he has given the Abramoff money he received to charity, according to the White House. DNC Chairman Howard Dean pegged the total amount Bush received from Abramoff at $100,000.

Abramoff attended three Hannukah receptions at the Bush White House - Hannukah? What happened to fighting the War on Christmas? - but Bush denies knowing him.

"The president does not know him and does not recall meeting him," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "It is possible that he could have met him at a holiday reception or some other widely attended event."

Heh. Sounds like what we heard from Bush about Kenny "Boy" Lay.

It is going to be an interesting year.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010506Z.shtml




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jan 6 2006, 09:48 PM
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Small peanuts compared to the hundreds of billions spent on war while looting Iraq of its antiquities and museums and its oil plus lucrative contracts for the Carlyle Group (Bush), Halliburton (Cheney) and Bechtel (Rumsfeld).

Not to mention the 2.3 - 2.6 TRILLION dollars missing from the Pentagon.

Basically, what these beings have done is raped Americas treasury and the tax payers.

The federal reserve needs to be abolished and America needs to print its own currency - U.S. Treasury Notes like JFK was doing just before THEY murdered him.

user posted image

And all of the criminals who reside in cushy high paying government jobs need to be arrested for their war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against the environment.




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Jan 9 2006, 07:26 PM
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Hello Pupp, nice posts. From what I have been reading so far, it seems like the Old Man Jack said that if he does not get the protection he deserves for his crimes, then he will rat everyone else out. It is crazy that he robbed the Native Indigenous peoples in the US of their money for years and now wants to try to be a hero for ratting others out.
They all should pay for their crimes and "protect their own" while being babba's *(&#@!


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Posted: Jan 9 2006, 09:55 PM
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It'd be funny if this went all the way to the top. As I understand it, if Bush and Cheney were both to get the chop, the presidency goes to the most recent living president - our mate Billy Clinton. Clinto and a hostile congress - I'd like to be a fly on the wall. Where to the Hillary bid for the presidency then?




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Posted: Jan 11 2006, 02:28 PM
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That would be interesting, however Cheney has enough indictments being charged against him in France. Well, as usual, someone will take the blame for Bush and his crew. Cheney would end up having another heart attack. I wouldn't mind being the fly on the wall that day either. The *(@# is about to hit the fan!


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Posted: Jan 14 2006, 10:34 PM
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The US News media has gone silent on the corruption scandals in Washington DC and instead have focused on the Alito confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice and of course, Iran.

Just like a masterful magician, Don't watch this hand...
QUOTE
US tells Iran this time it may have gone too far
AFP
January 11, 2006
QUOTE
WASHINGTON - The United States has warned Iran that it will not escape being referred to the UN Security Council if it proceeds with its plan to conduct sensitive nuclear work.

The administration of President George W. Bush said Tuesday it was "in close contact" with its partners, including Britain, Germany and France, discussing a response to Iran's removal of UN seals from equipment that is being used to enrich uranium.

"If the regime in Iran continues on the current course ... there is no other choice but to refer the matter to the Security Council," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

At present, he added, the United States is "in close contacts with the Europeans and others about how to move forward" at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

McClellan said Bush for now has no intention of launching an attack against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, adding that, however, the military option remained on the table.

McClellan also reminded reporters of numerous statements issued on the subject by Bush.

For the time being, the spokesman pointed out, the Bush administration is working with the international community to resolve the issue by peaceful and diplomatic means and intends to continue doing so.

The US administration did not say if the talks focused on convening an emergency meeting of the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog group.

Nor did it say if the US will throw all its weight behind attempts to persuade the Security Council to take up the measure after two fruitless years of European-led negotiations to persuade Iran to abandon uranium enrichment.

"I think we are entering a period of intense diplomatic activity on this question," said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "There are intense discussions at the political director level, and I will expect we will see more and more discussions at the minister level."

By removing seals on equipment inside the Natanz nuclear plant located in central Iran, Tehran showed its determination to at least partly resume its uranium enrichment activities.

However, the West may now believe Iran has crossed the line.

That is how Westerners who for months have been pressing Iran to end its enrichment activities were interpreting the decision to remove the seals.

Gregory Schulte, the US ambassador to the IAEA, said earlier that Iran was "taking another deliberate step towards uranium enrichment, the process for creating nuclear bomb material.

"By cutting the seals, the Iranian leadership shows its disdain for international concern and its rejection of international diplomacy," Schulte said in a statement.

Both White House and State Department spokesmen mentioned "a serious escalation" on the part of Iran on the nuclear issue.

The United States, which has repeatedly made clear it has no doubt Iran wants to acquire nuclear weapons, has been a long and active advocate of referring the matter to the UN Security Council.

Since 2003, Washington has reluctantly allowed the
European Union's bid to persuade Iran to provide guarantees that its nuclear program is of a purely civilian nature.

The question now is whether Washington has really concluded that Tehran has gone too far and whether it will be able to convince Moscow and Beijing to support it in the Security Council.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060111/wl_mi...cy_060111115800




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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