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I.  Background:  GOP Foreign Influence Peddling

Senator John McCain has proved to be Jack Abramoff’s best friend.  

As Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee from 2005-2007, McCain was instrumental in suppressing evidence of Jack Abramoff’s role in directing illegal foreign payoffs to ranking members of the Republican Party.

McCain also did a big favor for Abramoff’s principal partners in crime, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, identified in the 2006 Committee report as key players in the Choctaw Indian and Marianas Island scandals. Not one of the principal witnesses in the matter were compelled to publicly testify by McCain's panel.  The Committee also sequestered 99 percent of the documents it received, and these remain locked away, unseen by the public, in Senate files.

But there’s much more to the scandal than the Indian tribes rip-off McCain did disclose. The strand that runs through all the Abramoff-McCain relationship is foreign money – many, many millions – that Jack, Grover and Ralph funneled to GOP leaders from some of the world’s worst bad guys as part of a foreign influence-peddling operation.

FOLLOW MORE DIRTY GOP MONEY below . . . .

Until Jack was finally indicted on August 11, 2005, he did some truly sinister deals with a long list of bad guys, from al-Qaeda bankers, to Russian intelligence officers, to a South Asian leader involved with rogue nuclear programs. McCain’s role was to limit the disclosures and the political damage that still threaten to destroy the GOP’s foreign funding base and the party’ hopes of ever regaining control in Washington.

This is Part III of a series, The Crimes and Coverups of John McCain, "Reformer".  See, Part 2, "McCain’s 30-Years of Service to Saudi Bank Raiders and Junk Bond Kings" appeared Monday, http://www.democraticunderground.com... ;  Pt 1, "McCain Had Key Role in Iraq WMD Deception", http://journals.democraticundergroun...

II.  Senator McCover-up: Why McCain Was Chosen by GOP Leadership to Oversee the Abramoff Investigation

By late 2005, it was becoming clear as the Justice Department started scratching the surface of Abamoff's influence-peddling network that its exposure was going to be politically explosive, and that it was going to blow up the Republicans.  Details started coming out that showed the scandal was more sinister than the mere rip-off of Indian tribes by their Washington lobbyists. The Wall Street Journal, observed in an article entitled, "Abramoff Scandal Threatens to Embroil GOP":

"The Justice Department's probe is far broader than previously thought . . . its focus on prominent Republicans raises the risk of serious embarrassment to the party before next year's congressional elections."

The Republican Congressional leadership recognized the problem.  McCain was perfectly positioned to be the one to manage it.   He had previously served as the Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, and most importantly, he had some credibility as a "maverick" reformer and a track record of highly publicized feud with Grover Norquist, one of the primary suspects, as a base to build on.  McCain’s talent for damage-control was demonstrated early-on in his Senate career, when he survived his involvement in the Keating Savings & Loan scandal.  (See, Pt. 2, http://www.democraticunderground.com... )

IV. McCain Covered Up the Malfeasances of his Fellow Senators

So, in 2005, "Straight-Talk" McCain was the natural pick as Chairman of Indian Affairs to replace the former Chair Ben Nighthorse Campbell after his sudden resignation. Campbell’s sudden retirement from the Senate has never really been explained.  What we do know is what followed: http://www.washingtonspectator.com/...

By the time McCain took control of the investigation started by Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who retired from the Senate in 2005, investigators knew that Ralph Reed had taken large amounts of Indian casino money in more than one state. What Reed and Abramoff did to one small tribe in Texas justified bringing Reed before the committee and putting him under oath, as was done with Abramoff. Perhaps Reed was never called because he was too powerful to confront, or because he was still considered a prospect for elected office. But he got a walk, and the Tigua tribe in El Paso never got a full accounting of what Reed and Abramoff had done to them.

The inquiry initially had a limited mandate.  The committee stated it would look into the exploitation of several American Indian tribes by Abramoff and a close circle of GOP lobbyists, including Michael Scanlon, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist.  Amazingly, none were ever put on the stand under oath and publicly questioned by the Senate Committee.  Norquist and Reed were never issued subpoenas to appear.  Abramoff and Scanlon refused to testify after being subpoenaed.   http://www.nytimes.com/...  Chairman  McCain settled without much apparent fuss on hearing from a few underlings.

It was an obvious conflict of interest to allow McCain to head a body investigating  Abramoff’s Indian lobbying, as he had headed the Committee in 1995-97, a time when Abramoff successfully lobbied on behalf of the Choctaw to exempt tribal wagering earnings from proposed federal taxes.   http://www.nationaljournal.com/...

Also perplexing is McCain’s decision in March to hire former Senator Conrad Burns, who had received $137,000 from Abramoff, as his Montana campaign chairman.  Burns lobbied the Interior Committee to disperse some $3 million that had been set aside for underprivileged Indian schools to an Abramoff client, a relatively affluent tribal body in Michigan.    
http://neighbors.denverpost.com/...

Burns lost his seat in 2006, following publication of an article in  naming him, along with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Rep. Bob Ney (R., Ohio), Rep. John Doolittle (R., Calif.), as the subject of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into Abramoff’s lobbying activities.  When allegations of his own wrongdoing spilled out, Burns was quoted as saying he wished Jack "had never been born."   http://www.washingtonian.com/...  

Oddly, such indiscretions and outbursts by his Senate colleagues don’t seem to bother the man who, after his close call with the Keating scandal, "reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame."   http://www.nytimes.com/...

That McCain’s mission was primarily to contain political fallout and minimize damage to the GOP was never in doubt.  Prior to hearings in 2005,  Roll Call reported McCain "assured his colleagues that his expanding investigation into the activities of a former GOP lobbyist and a half-dozen of his tribal casino clients is not directed at revealing ethically questionable actions by Members of Congress."   Paul Kane, Roll Call, "McCain Won’t Target Members" ( March 9, 2005), http://www.rollcall.com/...  When a batch of Abramoff e-mails were released in March, 2006, McCain’s office redacted all the names of the members of Congress who had a "positive response" to Abramoff’s lobbying.   http://wampum.wabanaki.net/...

V. McCain’s Missing Documents

Indeed, the Abramoff scandal seems to have become  "The Case of the Amazing Vanishing Corruption Investigation", as Scott Horton recently described it in Harper’s.    http://harpers.org/...

While the Committee never heard from the principals in the case, what it did receive were their records.  As Committee Chairman, John McCain made shrewd use of Senate rules to subpoena 750,000 pages of documents related to Abramoff’s lobbying -- literally tons of Abramoff scandal documents –  billing records, memos, appointment calendars --  keeping 99.7 percent of them out of the record, and buried the rest in locked files in the basement of the Hart Senate Office Building .   http://www.dailykos.com/...

This scandal eerily parallels an earlier betrayal of Native American peoples overseen by John McCain while he was Chairman of that Indian Affairs Committee.  McCain has served on the Committee since 1987, and previously headed the committee between 1995 and 1997, a period when the Indian Lands Trust scandal was in full-bloom for the rip-off of billions of dollars worth of land leases supposedly held in trust by the federal government.  

During that scandal, as well, McCain made many statements sympathetic to the plight of exploited native peoples, gaining his vaunted reputation as a "maverick" Republican, but nothing was really done for the victims by his committee.  It was during this period that the tribes finally filed federal suit, Cobell v. Babbitt , and it was then learned that the Interior Department had destroyed 162 boxes of documents needed by plaintiffs to prove the cases in court.   http://www2.hawaii.edu/... Further rounds of document destructions came to light, and the federal government has continued to resist settling the case.   http://www.fcnl.org/... This appalling breech of trust led to a comment in The National Catholic Observer: http://ncronline.org/...

The century of stalling meant the money owed increased exponentially and no administration wants to pay the billions back on its watch. Thus, both the Clinton administration and the current Bush administration tried to derail the Indian trust fund lawsuit. A Jan. 26, 2004, editorial in The New York Times called the refusal to pay half a million Native Americans what is rightfully theirs "a continuing shame." Compared to a scandal of comparable size such as Enron, the federal government’s egregious conduct has been hidden from the public.

 
Next, we see how McCain misused his power as Chairman to limit the scope of public hearings into how Abramoff, Norquist and a circle of GOP lobbyists and politicians sucked up millions from foreign sources linked to terrorism and espionage, violated lobbying laws to change U.S. policy, and then funneled huge wads of cash back to the Bush White House along with Republican Congressional campaign coffers.  

VI.  McCain’s Trusted Role in Protecting the GOP Foreign-Money Machine.

Abramoff and Norquist operated a foreign influence-peddling network that funneled money to the Bush White House and selected Republican Congressmen from the dirtiest of dirty money sources, including terrorist bankers and ex-KGB oil barons.  According to Newsweek:  http://www.truthout.org/...

During the 2004 campaign, Abramoff was a top fund-raiser for the Bush re-election effort, raising more than $100,000 for the campaign. While exact figures on how much he raised for the campaign aren’t known, Abramoff told The New York Times in July 2003 - months before active fund-raising began - that he had already raised $120,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

In addition, between 1999 and 2005, Abramoff, entities under his control, and his clients "gave a total of $4.4 million to more than 240 members of Congress."    http://www.usatoday.com/...   The largest recipient of that largesse was Arizona Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who received $101,620, before he was defeated in the 2006 election.  Large amounts of cash, $217,000, even filtered down to two GOP Arizona State Senators.   http://www.azcongresswatch.com/...

Much of that money came out of GOP slush funds controlled by Abramoff and his confederates. What the public wasn’t told by McCain was that a large portion of the income taken in by Abramoff and others came from sources under investigation by U.S intelligence and counter-terrorism.  McCain withheld from public release the vast bulk of subpoenaed lobbying records related to a period when Abramoff engaged in extremely serious improprieties on behalf of those non-Indian tribe clients, including:

•  In the months immediately after 9/11, Abramoff worked with Grover Norquist to lobby the Bush Administration on behalf of a Saudi banker, Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Dallah al Baraka Group (DBG), accused of being a longtime financier of Osama bin Laden.  Kamel, who is worth a reported $2.6 billion, was the primary owner of the Sudanese and Saudi banks used by bin Laden to build his al-Qaeda network after his 1991 expulsion from Saudi Arabia.  As owner of Dallah Avco, Kamel employed Omar al-Bayoumi, who shepherded the Flight 77 hijackers immediately after their arrival in the U.S.   http://houseoflabor.tpmcafe.com/... ; reproduced at:  http://www.democraticunderground.com... The 373-page Senate Indian Affairs Committee Final Report mentions neither Kamel’s name nor Dallah al Baraka. (See, http://indian.senate.gov/... )

•  In 2002, Abramoff and Scanlon received a $1.2 million fee to set up a White House meeting between George W. Bush and the leader of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamed, who was viewed as persona nongratis by some in the State Dept. for human rights abuses.  http://news.nationaljournal.com/...  

Mohamed’s visit, which was arranged with the help of Karl Rove, was also resisted by some in U.S. intelligence and law enforcement as Malaysia had not been fully cooperative in counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda, including its allegedly botched surveillance of the al-Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur in early January 2000, at which the 9/11 and USS Cole attacks were planned.   http://web.archive.org/...  ; c.f., http://falcon.arts.cornell.edu/...  

Malaysia was also a hub of the nuclear proliferation network of A.Q. Khan.   http://news.nationaljournal.com/...   Western intelligence services linked a Malaysian holding company, Kaspudu Sendirian Berhad, which is owned by the Malaysian prime minister’s only son, Kamaluddin Abdullah, to Khan’s network. Time Magazine reported that Abdullah’s holding, Scomi Precision Engineering, fulfilled a 3.5 million dollar contract to build components for 14 uranium enrichment centrifuges that ended up being shipped to Libya’s nuclear program.  http://www.time.com/...  The 373-page Senate Indian Affairs Committee Final Report mentions neither Mohamed’s name nor makes reference to Rove’s involvement. (See, http://indian.senate.gov/... )

*      Abramoff and Scanlon set themselves up as intermediaries for deals involving Malaysian gas and oil interests in Sudan, where U.S. companies are legally banned from doing business.  The Washington Post stated, "Another Abramoff financial vehicle was the nonprofit American International Center, a Rehoboth Beach, Del., ‘think tank’ set up by Scanlon, who staffed it with beach friends from his summer job as a lifeguard. The center became a means for Abramoff and Scanlon to take money from foreign clients that they did not want to officially represent. Some of the funds came from the government of Malaysia. Banks and oil companies there were making deals in Sudan, where U.S. companies were barred on human rights grounds. Sudan was among several oil-rich nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East that Abramoff eyed as venues for lucrative energy deals. Abramoff told associates he wanted to become a go-to person for U.S. companies seeking to do business with oil-patch nations."  http://www.washingtonpost.com/...   The 373-page Senate Indian Affairs Committee Final Report makes no mention of Abramoff’s lobbying on behalf of Malaysian interests in Sudan. (See, http://indian.senate.gov/... )

• The fees paid Abramoff and Scanlon by Malaysia funneled through AIC were allegedly laundered through [b]Edward Fuelner, President of the Heritage Foundation[/b].  A report issued on May 12, 2005 by Democrats.org stated that Fuelner had previously done business with Abramoff with Malaysian clients: "In August 2001, DeLay led a delegation to Malaysia where he attended informal meetings and a fancy dinner in his honor given by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in Kuala Lumpur. Jack Abramoff attended the dinner thrown in DeLay's honor. Edwin Feulner was president of the Heritage foundation at the time of the trip. Feulner also went to Malaysia , saying that, "I sat by the pool while they played golf." Feulner worked for Belle Haven Consultants as a senior advisor. Official travel disclosure stated that the Heritage Foundation sponsored the travel. However, [i]Time[/i] magazine reported that former Wyoming Senator Malcolm Wallop, a Heritage senior fellow who was on the trip, said Heritage did not pay for the trip and that Belle Haven Consultants, a for-profit, Hong Kong-based firm linked to the Malaysian government, played a key role. According to Wallop, "Heritage had nothing to do with it... Belle Haven did." Both DeLay's office and the Heritage Foundation insist Heritage paid for the trip. (Time, 4/25/05; Washington Post, 4/17/05; Member Travel Disclosure Form, 3/19/02]. "   http://www.democrats.org/... The 373-page Senate Indian Affairs Committee Final Report mentions neither Fuelner’s name, the Heritage Foundation, nor Belle Haven Consultants. (See, http://indian.senate.gov/... )

*   Also withheld by McCain were documents related to $3.4 million in fees received from executives of  NaftaSib, a Russia energy company.  According to The Washington Post, NaftaSib "has business ties with Russian security institutions."  http://www.washingtonpost.com/...  Other sources specify that Abamoff and DeLay received that money from operatives working for the GRU (Russian military intelligence) as part of an influence operation.   http://www.afpc.org/... Abramoff worked from 1997-2005 with former Tom DeLay advisor Ed Buckham.  About $60,000 was spent on a six-day 1997 Russian trip for Tom DeLay, Buckham, and Abramoff.  In 1998, href=" million was sent to Buckham via his organization U.S. Family Network to "influence DeLay's vote in 1998 on legislation that helped make it possible for the IMF to bail out the faltering Russian economy." DeLay voted for the legislation.   http://www.washingtonpost.com/...  The 373-page Senate Indian Affairs Committee Final Report makes no reference to Abramoff’s Russian lobbying, Russian intelligence, or to NaftaSib. (See, http://indian.senate.gov/... )

•  Naftasib executives later assisted DeLay in obtaining sniper equipment and evading U.S. export license requirements for shipment to settlers groups on the West Bank. .   http://www.time.com/... A footnote in the report makes a brief reference to the diversion of funds from Indian tribes to purchase sniper equipment for export to Israeli settlers.  The 373-page Senate Indian Affairs Committee Final Report makes no reference to Abramoff’s Russian lobbying nor to the role of NaftaSib in his efforts to evade U.S. arms export regulations. (See, http://indian.senate.gov/... )

McCain’s inquiry touched on issues that went far astray from a look into the exploitation of several American Indian tribes by Abramoff and a close circle of GOP lobbyists,  including Robert Scanlon, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist.   However, where the investigation unearthed other, more serious illegalities, these were simply skipped over, and omitted from the record.  

About a year after it began its formal investigation, however, the Committee subpoenaed all of Jack Abramoff’s recent lobbying records, along with those of Norquist, Reed and Scanlon.   The Committee staff received the electronic files from Jack’s former employers: the lobbying firm, Preston Gates, from 1995 to 2000, and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a law firm with close GOP ties, where Abramoff worked from 2000 to 2004.  These firms were tied to the scandal and McCain held their fate in his hands.   When printed out, these amounted to an estimated 750,000 pages.  McCain’s Committee would end up releasing only a small faction of these, a mere 4800 pages.  Dozens of boxes of documents remain sequestered in Committee files pursuant to arrangements that McCain and the GOP majority imposed on the committee.  See, page 6 of the Final Report; also, see, Dennis Greenia ("dengre"),  Daily Kos, Jack Abramoff: John McCain’s other Lobbyist problem, ( Feb 22, 2008), http://www.dailykos.com/...

VII. Conclusion

By withholding most of the evidence received in response to his broad subpoena, McCain managed to cover-up the larger picture of the political work Abramoff did for his clients, some of which was clearly contrary to the U.S. national interest.  This has thwarted the efforts of investigators outside McCain’s committee to independently examine the bulk of the record, which remains hidden.

However, this is completely consistent with McCain’s role as a career cover-up specialist for the foreign influence-peddling and financial frauds of the Republican Party.
_______________________________________
Copyright 2008.  Mark G. Levey

Originally posted to leveymg on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:01 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: thanks for this (6+ / 0-)

    this is a big fat hairy deal.......every one of these guys would never be caught dead without their flag lapel pin, either.....what does that tell you.

    simplicity is the most difficult of all things

    by RichardWoodcockII on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:05:27 AM PDT

    •  Any one of the 30-40 separate issues raised here (7+ / 0-)

      would (and should be) a "big fat hairy deal" - love that phrase.

      Where is the corporate media and party elders on this?  They should be sticking to this like flies in a big fat hairy scandal.

      Why is McCain getting a pass?  We all have to ask that.  

      •  Question for McCain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leveymg

        If there is evidence ANY administration actively manipulated intelligence to influence public opinion and create support for an otherwise unnecessary military action, should there be any consequences?

        If he says yes, then start the hearings....
        If he says no, then be afraid....be very afraid....

        Follow up:
        If it turns out that this was only possible because of a corrupt scheme between the Hammer, the Abramoff/Norquist/Reed alliance and Karl Rove, do you consider that a RICO violation?

        simplicity is the most difficult of all things

        by RichardWoodcockII on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:08:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  RichardWll, the "Tip Jar" in your subject line (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wordene, Catte Nappe, Muzikal203

      could easily be mistaken for the author of this diary's own TJ. FWIW, something more like "Diarist, please post a tipjar" would be more appropriate, so readers who don't bother to scroll all the way to the top to check the author's name won't mistakenly plunk some spare change in your comment. Some people even get downright hostile toward users who post as you did, and have been known to hit 'em with HR's.

      Searching for corrupt, lobbyist loving John McCain?

      by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd (7+ / 0-)

    My favorite topic. Get'em. Get'em all.

    I want to see McCane's secret stash of Abramoff transcripts. I believe he used them to blackmail his way to the Repug nominee. He is terrible.

    by ghett on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:07:14 AM PDT

  •  Awkward question (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg, walkshills, PBen, KenBee

    OK, I accept that John McCain is up to his eyebrows in this cover-up. But he has not been chair of that committee for the last 18 months. The current chair is Byron Dorgan (D-ND).

    So, here's my awkward question: why have the documents not been released by Dorgan and the Dem-controlled committee?

    •  That's my next diary. (6+ / 0-)

      Still waiting for sources to get back to me.

      If anyone has insight into this, please tell the rest of us,

      Waxman also has some of these documents, but according to the Final Report of the 2006 House Oversight Commmittee nvestigation references some 13,600 out of 750,000 McCain received.

      The White House is holding out 600 more that Waxman requested last October.

    •  I hope it's some strategery (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leveymg, zett, Lisa Lockwood, DBunn

      for the election timing...but I doubt it. My bet is some co-option blackmail.
        That's to me the most likely scenario where money gets spread on both parties...less on the Dems, but then they are tainted as well, and with the volume of the rw smear machine...ah, but you already know that, heh.

       If dems have some loss in this as well, we better take our costs as well.

       If we lose a Senator over it or a Rep. or three that would be the price we have to pay to get this corruption stopped.

       I am looking forward to that story Mark. Thanks again, this is really ten, no 20, no dozens of diaries...

      Meatwad (R) for pResident.

      by KenBee on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:00:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope its a strategy thing, too (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lisa Lockwood, KenBee, DBunn

        Really hard to get people in DC to talk about the sequestered documents.  I'm not the only one digging.

        •  Eagerly awaiting your next post (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leveymg, KenBee

          on this subject. You've written many fine diaries here, with more than the usual amount of research and care.
          Question.... is CREW involved in trying to bring more of these documents into the light of day?

          Searching for corrupt, lobbyist loving John McCain?

          by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:04:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dengre (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leveymg

          had some documents he was asking for help with just last 2 weeks ago...I didn't ask, no skills or time.
           Hope you post more of this here...the campaign is big biggety big, but these bedrock diaries are needed, thanks for doing It.

           My take on Dorgan is some corruption blackmail issue, not necessarily on him, but that's the way the reepers and the lobbyists roll.
            I remember how the newspapers had Reid and others as corrupt, when the orders of magnitude are buried in the story, if there at all. The message is 'they all do it' and there's too much truth in that for me.

          It's RICO time.

          Meatwad (R) for pResident.

          by KenBee on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:10:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I can't rec this enough, John Doolittle was (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg, walkshills, KenBee, xaxado

    ... right in the middle of all of this crap with Malaysia and Jack Abramoff, Rove and the WH and influence peddling,  and has been using White House and private criminal defense lawyers for years now to aid in covering up his role in it, and the Dept of Justice's investigation of it.  (they offered him a plea bargain back in April of 2007 and he refused and has been fighting subpoenas ever since, for more backstory click on my username and scroll down and pick any of numerous diaries on this).

    The largest local paper refused to endorse a Democrat in the primary, and instead on the Republican side of things endorsed the Republican who had been in the House previously during the late Clinton/early Bush administration, and had taken donations from Abramoff's lobbying firm, Doug Ose.  Well, that guy lost the primary, conveniently, so they're running another super right wing idealogue instead who termed out of the state legislature.  Wait until you see where this [redacted] idiot gets his money from and all the shady characters he's being supported by.

    •  Doolittle faces some serious jail time (3+ / 0-)

      Can you link some Malaysia articles you've seen that tie him in to that part?

      •  There were some references to a Malaysia trip (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leveymg

        .... he took to look at "tsunami" damage that was published right before the 2006 election in the Sacramento Bee, when the were looking at his expense reimbursements for travel,  and didn't even put a dent in his base. Just a few months ago we found out via some yearly "amended" financial statements from the past that he has been hiding all along the fact that he owned stock in Chevron Oil. (Chevron Oil is involved in that Malaysian Pipeline deal, I think, or the natural gas development in Burma that feeds the tyranical junta, or both.... I'll throw in a few google links at the end to show this  )  Chances are ask anyone on the street and they've never heard of this stuff.  Vice President Cheney and George Bush and even Laura Bush made many trips out here in 2006 to fund raise for John Doolittle and to make sure he stayed in office, where he very narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Charlie Brown.

        Let's work this backwards...

        "everything has ground to a halt pending resolution of this issue" 12/20/07,  his legal standoff as of last Dec.  Now, I was told this spring by the Republicans that Doolittle had actually told all his political friends during that time period in December, that he was resigning from running again in 2008, a long time before he made that announcement public in January 2008.  
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        When you look at Doolittle's expense disbursements on his FEC documents, you can see he is paying the white collar criminal defense law firm of Wiley Rein and Fielding.  Fred Fielding is from that firm, and this Fred Fielding is now the official White House Counsel to President Bush, and runs the legal team that Rove brought in after the 2006 election to get Bush all lawyered up so he would be difficult to impeach. http://www.dailykos.com/...

        In my opinion, Doolittle's plan is obviously to hold on to office as long as possible, and then get a last minute pardon or legal reprieve right before Bush goes out of office. Because Doolittle could bring down the White House if forced to testify.  Look at what former WH spokesflacky Scott McClellan just revealed and confirmed for us (if you can believe him...) last week with his book. The Iraq war was started on a fabricated excuse.   Bush and Doolittle need each other.   Doolittle and wife Julie don't want to go to jail, Bush certainly wouldn't want him flipping and yacking it up about Abramoff's access to the WH.

        On 27 Sept of 2007, Doolittle's staffers were getting seriously subpoenaed by the DOJ regarding the Abramoff trial. They wanted records going back 11 years, that would be what, to 1996 ?
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Sept. 18, 2007  Doolittle got subpoena'd for the Brent Wilkes trial re Wilkes bribing Rep. Duke Cunningham, but subsequently managed easily to avoid the subpoena and did not testify during that. (damn! ).  During the trial, the accused said that there were others involved in this and the Republicans as a whole were running a sort of shakedown on the lobbyists for the Defense Industry. http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Sept 4 2007.  Doolittle's chief of staff at the time, Ron Rogers, and his deputy COS, Dan Blankenburg, announced they had gotten subpoened, too, to testify in front of a Grand Jury.

        April 13, 2007.  While on the way to the Casino up in Oroville, CA, to give a talk to the local chamber of commerce, Doolittle gets a phone call from wife Julie back in Oakton, VA.  The FBI is raiding their house. Doolittle cancels that but does go on to the Town Hall meeting in Oroville, where he gives no indication that anything is amiss.  He and Julie will keep this a secret for several days before they leak it to the press, then blame the press for the leak in a carefully scripted series of press releases and media interviews. Wow, was House Minority leader John Boehner pissed off when he found out by watching it on teevee April 18.  http://www.dailykos.com/...
        Subsequently after many media interviews the truth (sorta) comes out... Doolittle had been offered a plea bargain right before the raid by the DOJ, and had turned it down.

        1.  The spring of that year, the US Atty firing scandal breaks loose,  with US Atty General Alberto Gonzales eventually being forced to resign after it was revealed that the DOJ was being manipulated by the firings of many US Attornies in key states where Republicans were being investigated for corruption during the Bush Administration.  US Attorney for Southern CA Carol Lam was one such firing, she managed to indict Brent Wilkes the defense contractor in the Duke Cunningham bribery case mentioned above, right before her last day on the job in Dec of 2006.

        So here is another example of the White House going to extraordinary lengths to protect Rep. John Doolittle (and others) from federal prosecution.

        Why not just throw him to the wolves ?  There have been so many Republican scandals resignations indictments pleas bargains convictions, what's one more ?

        Now that I've set this up for newer readers who weren't following this during the last campaign cycle, let's now finally go back to what levymg asked me for... how does Doolittle tie into Malaysia, and when ?
        You need to see this Nov 4, 2006 diary by Dave the Rave, where he did a great series of cartoon illustrations about Doolittle's support of the CNMI's sweatshops and forced prostitution by women brought to the islands under false pretenses.

        "John Doolittle is a Pimp"
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        under that story, I had left a comment that went like this:

        ....I've been trying to download this thing for 12 minutes just to read it (and make sure it wasn't some Republican troll  posting actual porn). A few less megapixels?

        According to the SacBee yesterday, November 3, 2006, page 1, con't on page 18, headline "FBI Probes Funds for Doolittle Trip"  Rep. Doolittle took a trip  to Korea and then to Beraya Beach and Spa resort on the Maylasian Island of Langkawi early last year ( Feb 2005.)  Malaysia is next to Thailand.  Doolittle is hiding his receipts, saying he's "too busy campaigning in California," which are said to include records of a ...gulp...massage.  Doolittle's trip cost $29,400, and was paid for by front organizations paid by Alexander Strategy Group. (Jack Abramoff). The SacBee article is incomplete, you need to also read the Washington Post article(s) on this to get the entire story. Then you will feel ill.

        I spent part of yesterday researching into this deeper.  The country of Malaysia, thru various entities, was engaged in a scheme to funnel hidden money to Abramoff's lobbying firm to sweeten up its poor image as a human rights abuser.  WAPO, Foreign Lobbies took Guise of Nonprofits

        That WAPO article still is missing the scope of the amount of money paid by Malaysia to Abramoff for "damage control."  READ HERE WAPO Think Tank's Ideas Shifted as Malaysia Ties Grew  for how the country of Malaysia used millions of dollars and Abramoff's firm to buy off the good will of the very conservative Heritage Foundation thru its work with Belle Haven Consultants.

        The question I was asking myself was what was going on in Malaysia during that time period that they would be needing to curry such favor by using an Orthodox Jewish lobbyist such as Abramoff to hide their past (and ongoing) history of such extreme anti- Semitism.  If you recall from past history, the Heritage Foundation PRAISED Vp Al Gore for walking out of a 1998 banquet in Malaysia to protest then Prime Minister's Mahathir Mohamad's policies. Malaysia's official religion is Islam, although there are also Budhists, Christians, and Hindus and other religions there. They still do not officially recognize Israel.

        "9/11 changed everything".  On September 27, 2001 16 days after 9/11, Alexander Strategy Group started working for Belle Haven, seeking to "provide a better image of Malaysia to the USA."

        That's when I started feeling sick. Sometimes the passage of time is necessary to understand how things are connected.

        The Malaysian money was partially funneled to the consultants and lobbyist firms thru PK Baru Energy of Malaysia, established in 2000, associated with Megat Junid, an ally of PM Mahathir Mohamad and a political enemy of Anwar Ibrahim, who was thrown in jail by Mahathir Mohamad in a case that sparked international outcry.
        So yes, they'd need their image sweetened up.

        I also looked at what happened in Malaysia in 2004, which would have been the period of time just proceeding Doolittle's gift trip in Feb 2005.
        READ HERE:

        USA Today: Key Figure in nuclear network arrested

        if you read nothing else, please read that link
        In the May 28 2004 article, USA Today reports that the Malaysian government has just arrested a business associate of the Prime Minister's son, Buhary Syed Abu Tahir.  Tahir was accused of working with Pakistan's Abdul Khan to sell NUCLEAR uranium enriching equipment to Libya, North Korea, and Iran.

        The Malaysian Prime Minister's son is named Kamaludin Abdullah, and was a director of Kaspadu, a parent company of SCOPE (Scomi Precision Engineering) a manufacturer of centrifuges.

        Tahir brokered a contract for Scomi Precision Engineering, or SCOPE, to build sophisticated components that authorities say were for Pakistani-designed centrifuges to enrich uranium.The CIA and Britain's MI6 seized a shipment of the Malaysian-made centrifuge parts in October on their way to Libya. The raid was central to exposing Khan's network, and triggered international investigations into Libyan and Iranian nuclear programs.

        The Pakastani scientist, Khan, if you recall, was pardonned by Pakistani President Musharraf in 2004.  
        Kamaluddin Abdullah has cut all ties to Tahir. Tahir was thrown into some detention center in north Malaysia to be held indefinitely without charges.

        But yes, Malaysia would need its image sweetened up after that little nuclear whoopsie.

        What better way to do that than to send some nice ultra conservative American Congressmen on a fancy Malaysian resort vacation.  He could pretend he was looking at tsumami damage

        I was going to do this as a diary, but the format for entering a diary is very sticky on my computer, and I'd just like to get the information out.
        one more source link:                              The Standard, China's Business newspaper, "Houses of Scandal"  jan28, 2006

        And here is the WAPO link you want:  Foreign Lobbies Took the Guise of Non Profits  11/3/2006
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        Early last year, (that would be 2005)  two little-known nonprofit groups paid for Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.) and his 12-year-old daughter to travel to South Korea and Malaysia. Their last stop was the Berjaya Beach & Spa Resort on the Malaysian island of Langkawi, where they bunked at an oceanfront chalet staffed with a personal butler, got massages and rode water scooters on Burau Bay.

        Doolittle's junket, which cost $29,400, was among the most expensive privately sponsored trips by members of Congress in recent years. The two groups that split the bills were not ordinary nonprofits. They were fronts for vigorous lobbying campaigns bankrolled by foreign entities and were operated by a Washington lobbying firm, Alexander Strategy Group, according to public records and people who worked with the firm.

        Records show that the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council was funded by the Hanwha Group, a South Korean conglomerate. The stated goal was to enhance the influence of Hanwha's chairman, Seung Youn Kim, a controversial figure once jailed for violating Korean financial law in his purchase of Sylvester Stallone's Hollywood mansion. Lobbyists for the U.S.-Malaysia Exchange Association filed reports stating that their funds came from a Malaysian energy firm and that the work was "on behalf of the government of Malaysia." ....  

        The board of directors of the US- Malaysia Exchange Association consisted of Jamaludin Jarjis, Megat Junid, fmer Wyoming Senator  Malcolm Wallop,(R),  (that would be how this ties into VP Cheney)  and Stewart of Alexander Strategy, the lobbying group.

        By early 2006, Alexander Strategy was shutting down the Korean and Malaysian non profit groups and then Alexander Strat. ended up soon after going out of business because of the Abramoff scandal.  Julie Doolittle, John Doolittle's wife, was "hired" by Alexander Strategy to do "event planning" and "fundraisers" which never came to be because... they were canceled because of Sept 11, 2001.

        So it's not hard to infer from this that the government of Malaysia was paying the wife(s) of a Republican Congressperson via laundered money (that went thru Indian Casinos for the suds 'n duds cleanup )  for some sort of favors from the United States Congress and maybe even the White House.  

        Doolittle and the other people on the trip met with the Malaysian Prime Minister in Kuala Lumpur on this 2005 trip.  So this is not just the guy went to the beach with the lobbyists.  This is the guy went to the beach after concluding some sort of business deal.

        Here's the link to the 5/28/2004 USA today story
        "Key figure in nuclear network arrested"

        http://www.usatoday.com/...

        KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Authorities Friday arrested a Sri Lankan businessman accused of brokering nuclear black market deals — the most senior figure in the proliferation network of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan to be jailed since it was exposed this year.

        Buhary Syed Abu Tahir developed social and business ties in Malaysia in the mid-1990s.
        AP photo
        Buhary Syed Abu Tahir was picked up under a security law allowing indefinite detention without trial and taken to a prison camp, three months after police cleared him of breaking any Malaysian laws for arranging for a company controlled by the prime minister's son to make centrifuge parts for Libya's nuclear programs.

        Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who earlier insisted the police investigation proved there had been no wrongdoing and that Tahir would remain free, personally signed the detention order in his capacity as home minister, government officials told The Associated Press.

        The things politicians have to go thru to keep the kids out of trouble.

        Meanwhile, now in 2008,
        Try googling  -  Chevron Oil Pipeline Malaysia  -
        So, now, wait until you see THIS LINK ABOUT OIL PIPELINES  http://www.buzzflash.com/...
        buzzflash,  5/8/07
        Malaysia to Build $7BN Oil PipeLine Project

        Malaysia will build a $7 billion pipeline to transport Middle East oil across the north of its peninsula to East Asian countries, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday. .... Abdullah, who is also the finance minister, said that the project was one of the government's major initiatives to develop Malaysia's northern region. ... The News Straits Times reported Monday that Trans-Peninsula Petroleum Sdn Bhd, the company that will construct the 312-kilometer (194-mile) pipeline, said that it will invest as much as $7 billion in the ambitious project over eight years.  The pipeline will run from northwestern Kedah state, across Perak state to northeastern Kelantan state, which faces the South China Sea, which chairman Rahim Kamil Sulaiman said would bypass the piracy-prone Malacca Strait.  Half of the world's oil shipments currently pass through the 960-kilometer strategic strait, the busiest seaway in the world. .... "Investors will also be invited, among them the key oil producers of the Middle East, Islamic funds, and major consumers in East Asia," he said.  Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the proposed project was intended to reduce transport costs and security risks for tankers on the Malacca Strait.  Yin Shao Yang, oil and gas analyst with Kenanga Research, said that there was much excitement over the mega project, with Middle East oil transported by the pipeline to "come primarily from Iran for the hungry Chinese market."  However, Yin cautioned that the "economics of the oil pipeline project is not determined yet," flagging ongoing competition with neighboring Singapore as Southeast Asia's petro-chemical hub.

        So you see two things here. One, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is still around and making energy deals, and two, he's in on this deal to ship Iranian oil to the Chinese via the Malaysian Pipeline.

        So when John McCain goes around humming "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"    this is actually the scenario he's thinking about.  The Sunnis they kicked out of Iraq when they started the war, fleeing the wrath of the Shia, fled to neighboring Iran.  McCain and the Republican party are scared witless that the Sunnis are going to just give a big FU to the thought of sending any more oil west to the United States when they can send it east to China, a country that is running around in mid Africa but so far has left the middle east alone.  

        Why the [redacted swear word]  these Republicans just didn't offer them a bigger price for the oil they so covet,  instead of dicking around with threatening them with the start of WW 3 if they sell it to another customer  is beyond me.   The Malaysians apparently were interested in doing business with the United States earlier in the Bush administration, and sought to curry favor the way you do it with the Republican party, you make some "donations" under the table and hope the idealogues look the other way on those human rights violations,  and agree to do business with you.  

        National Geographic ran a great article late in 2007 about piracy in the Straits of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia               ( located north of Australia, South of China )  which is not under control and would not be real safe to ship oil tankers through.

        Yahoo answers the question Who owns Malaysian Petrol and who controls the price of petrols  (See how Petonas, the Malaysian national petroleum company, also runs projects in nearby Myanmar  aka Burma, which the junta uses the profits of to support their dictatorship )
        http://answers.yahoo.com/...

        here's a Dept of Energy link about Thailand. Notice how Thailand also imports fuel, (from Myanmar) and also acts as a partner in the Asian fuel markets
        http://www.eia.doe.gov/...

        PTTEP has a stake in many of Thailand’s natural gas producing fields, including Bongkot, the country’s largest. Foreign companies, however, supply the bulk of Thailand’s natural gas output. Chevron is the largest foreign operator, accounting for 70 percent of the country’s natural gas production from 22 offshore fields. PTT has a leading position in mid- and downstream natural gas activities, including much of Thailand’s domestic transmission and distribution infrastructure.  

        Here's a link about Chevron oil wanting to start drilling in Africa in Chad 6/9/2000
        World Bank and the African Oil Pipeline
        http://www.nadir.org/...

        Now Chevron and the Malaysian company, Petronas, have joined ExxonMobil in the project.

        Here's a link about Petronas the Malaysian national oil company and Chevron in Chad, Africa in 2006
        Chad announces Tax Deal with Chevron Oil
        http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/...

        I hope by throwing several of these links at you, anyone can see that there definitely is a business relationship between the government of Malaysia's Petronas Oil Company, Chevron, and various petroleum/natural gas projects in Asia and Africa, and that...

        ... That was why Doolittle was probably interested in taking that trip.

        This is a big, long, fat fuzzy comment.  But it goes to show that the administration has indulged in the worst sort of fear mongering on the American people just because they royally screwed up their business relationships that they needed, to ensure a steady supply of petroleum and gas at premium prices to keep this country running during a foreign occupation.  And now when you have Congresspeople who are so compromised by scandal it continues to cost our nation billions of dollars and lost lives, and death and destruction in other countries as well.  

  •  Great compilation of the facts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg, AmericanRiverCanyon

    Recommended.

  •  Wow! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg, AmericanRiverCanyon

    A real diary about John McCain!
    Thanks!
    Rec'd an tipped.

    "Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes begging." - Luther

    by Cartoon Messiah on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 01:03:57 PM PDT

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