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Apparently, that's the asking price to meet President Bush so far as Abramoff is concerned.

The lobbyist Jack Abramoff asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a small West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.

The African leader, President Omar Bongo of Gabon, met with Bush in the Oval Office on May 26, 2004, 10 months after Abramoff made the offer. There has been no evidence in the public record that the lobbyist had any role in organizing the meeting or that he received any money or had a signed contract with Gabon.

Also on:
All Spin Zone and AmericaBlog, who's predicting 29% approval ratings soon.

Originally posted to Stand Strong on Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 08:15 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Imagine.... (none) you think he got coffee and danish with that?
  •  President's Day Sale (4.00)
    $9 million!?  I bet he could get Bush a lot cheaper now-a-days. So what's the difference between Bush and a prostitute? There are some things a prostitute just won't do for money.
  •  wow (none)
    gotta find out if he actually paid it!
    •  Nope (none)
      according to GRI records. Though, the President of Gabon did meet with Bush 10 months after Abramoff made the offer. Secret bank accounts, perhaps?

      "Mr. Bush's relationship to the environment is roughly that of a doctor to a patient--when the doctor's name is Kevorkian." Bob Herbert, NYT

      by jorndorff on Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 08:38:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't pay nine cents to pay to meet (4.00)
    George Bush.
  •  Joseph Wilson, the former.... (none)
    US Ambassador to Gabon!!!!
  •  but did he get to sleep (4.00)
    in the lincoln bedroom and was there coffee and/or tea involved?

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    check out Daily Gotham, yo!

    by lipris on Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 08:28:09 PM PST

  •  The people in Gabon starve (none)
    as the crooks in this country do business with its crooked leadear. What in God's name could he possible want to talk to president Bush about. Do you know what just $9.00 from that $9 million would do for a single family in that country?

    This is obscene.

  •  Bongo's a dictator too (none)
    and he's very wealthy, mainly though oil and corruption

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 08:32:48 PM PST

  •  What could they have had to talk about? (none)
    From the Washington Post in 1998:

    The claim of a landslide was facilitated by the deep divisions of the opposition, whose main party split into three factions in recent months. But amid chaotic organization and reports of fraud, it was unclear how much of Bongo's victory was real or manufactured.

    One mystery is Gabon's total number of registered voters. The election commission chairman said Saturday that about 585,000 voters were registered for the election. Today, Bongo's spokesman, Andre Mba Obame, reported 626,000 registered.

    But that is demographically impossible, said David Mbadinga, an aide to Pierre Mamboundou, an opposition presidential candidate. Gabon's 1993 census, adjusted for growth, estimates only a total of perhaps 950,000 Gabonese . . . which would mean two-thirds of the people are old enough and registered to vote, he said.

    Bongo's daughter, Pascaline, one of his aides, acknowledged Monday that the voters' lists still need to be cleaned up and said that would be done soon.

    Opposition politicians said employees of the government's document printing service had acknowledged printing massive numbers of false identity documents to permit multiple voting by Bongo's supporters. Foreign journalists watched Bongo supporters distribute such documents in Libreville from a business owned by a Bongo aide during the vote Sunday, and the source close to the Bongo campaign said many such distribution centers had operated.

    Mother Nature bats last.

    by pigpaste on Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 08:41:53 PM PST

    •  Or maybe it was this... (none)
      From Ethno-net Database Gabon
      Windfall earnings from oil exports have helped to give Gabon a higher standard of living than its neighbours and have helped to keep President Omar Bongo in power for 37 years - longer than any other head of state in Africa.

      But according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), falling production from the country's mature offshore fields has reduced government revenue in recent years and forced it to make heavy cutbacks in spending.

      Oil accounted for 60 percent of Gabon's government revenues during the 1990s,

      However, after peaking at 370,000 barrels per day in 1997, production has declined by a third to around 250,000 at present, according to US government statistics.

      The IMF predicted in mid 2003 that oil output would plunge by half again over the next five years as existing reserves were depleted.

      High world oil prices have so far helped Gabon to absorb some but not all of the pain.

      The IMF has forecast a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of US$4,276 for Gabon this year.

      That is 18 percent down from the peak of $5,214 touched in 1996 at the height of the oil boom, but still generous when compared with the average of $475 for Sub-Saharan African as a whole.

      Corruption and the mismanagement of Gabon's existing resources have contributed to declining standards in public services.

      In its 2002 report Escaping the Curse of Oil? The Case of Gabon, the IMF said: Although spending on public health and education has tended to be rather high in Gabon, results have been disappointing.

      It cited examples of contracts being awarded to the cronies of senior government officials and the appearance of totally ficticious contracts in government accounts.

      Mother Nature bats last.

      by pigpaste on Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 08:49:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How much of the $9M was Bush's cut? n/t (none)
  •  So, if Abramoff was getting fees like this, (none)
    I have a hard time believing he wasn't sharing the wealth with BushCo.  The question is, where is all this money?  And how is it being funneled to BushCo?  Some of it we know about such as the Indian Tribe money, but where is Bush's cut?

    Follow the money.  I'm certain this wasn't the only time Jack negotiated a personal appearance fee.

    •  Not sure if the Preznit (none)
      was a direct beneficiary, but the idea is that Abramoff is tied to everyone in DC GOP world, everyone and a few Dems as well. All the money went to wine, dine and steal elections, right? It's money and in DC it just flows and finds it's own level, a very high one at that.

      I saw Charlie Cook give a talk on C-SPAN about a month ago about the current state of DC politics, before Fitzmas. He said, to paraphrase, "Yeah well the leak investigation could end up implicating Libby and Rove but the Abramoff scandal is the one that's got everyone concerned." Can you imagine? Worst than the Plame leak? Let's get this party started.

      I'm not sure how much you know about Abramoff, I've just read snipets myself, but he masterminded the K Street project and his business partner is directly implicated in a gangland killing in So. Florida. The feds already have arrested and charged 3 Tony Soprano types in the murder of Gus Boulis. Can you imagine?

  •  But sometimes you just want barbecue... (none)
    New Stateman
    With the high oil prices of the 1970s came an orgy of Ozymandian building and conspicuous consumption. By 1982, Gabon had become the world's largest per capita consumer of champagne. Even today, despite declining oil production, super-markets in the capital, Libreville, are full of Brie and foie gras flown in for the city's 8,000 French expats and the Gabonese elite.

    Mother Nature bats last.

    by pigpaste on Wed Nov 09, 2005 at 08:57:38 PM PST

  •  Enough said (none)
    No wonder Bush couldn't make time for Cindy Sheehan.
  •  C'mon, have some perspective (4.00)
    It's not like the guy slept in the Lincoln bedroom, for heaven's sake. Besides, I'm sure there's a special service entrance for African leaders.
  •  love the rawstory headline (none)
    BOOM: Abramoff asked ...

    The Abramoff scandal is still just getting started, this is going to make DeLay and Libby look like boy scouts. This is the one scandal in a scandal savvy town that has everyone quaking in their boots. With the Preznit "soft on honesty" once this one gets rolling watch out...

    Reposting the 9 million dollar handshake for yucks.

    Image Hosted by

    I even think that Joe Wilson was ambassador to this country many years ago, yes? The irony.

  •  Could dkos (none)
    open a scandal-pedia? I'm having difficulties keeping track.
    •  yeah (none)
      we also need a team of lawyers with expertise in criminal prosecution and in defense from various juristictions, federal and state. They need to start a round robin blog coverage to explain all this stuff to us laymen. Honestly.

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