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JUSTICE : Crime & Scandal | April 7, 2005


TOM DELAY, RUSSIAN PATSY?

A Posting in "GordonTalk",

Followed-Up by "No DeLay"

Oh what a tangled web we unweave, when first we practice to reveal the truth in the seemingly endless scandals surrounding House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX).

In DC,  DeLay's fellow Republicans are being coaxed, cajoled, and threatened to carry on the leader's ever more futile defense.

In NYC, even that bully pulpit of GOP dogma, The Wall Street Journal, is apparently calling for his head.

But precious little attention is being paid by the public at large to the serious problems with the Majority Leader in their very own Congress! Of course, the funeral of the Pope and other news have, rightly, occupied the top headlines. And the politics inside the Beltway are often too personal or bureaucratic for the everyday person to pay attention to (even though it would be attention well spent).

But in the DeLay case, there is more going on than all that: the particulars of each of his several scandals are positively byzantine -- far too complex for sound-bites on the evening news.

And according to those in the know, the complexity of at least some of these scandals is not by accident but is, in fact, evidence of conspiratorial design.

Take, for example, the latest apparent violation by the House Majority Leader of the House rules requiring Representatives to ensure that they are not accepting travel reimbursements from registered lobbyists or...foreign agents.

Yes, that's right, folks, we're not talking about the possibility of one of the highest-ranking members of the Congress of the United States taking garden-variety favors from our friends in the home-grown lobbying industry; we're talking about the apparent funneling of money from an organization with strong and well-documented ties to not only the powerful business sector but also the military/intelligence establishment of a major foreign power -- one whose government is less than democratic and whose interests in the world do not necessarily coincide with our own.

In short, have the Russians played Tom DeLay for a patsy? More importantly, has Congressional legislation -- with the full force and standing of the government of the United States (not to mention the disposition of billions of American and other Western dollars) -- been unduly, illegally influenced by the Russian conglomerate NAFTASIB, well known for their oil and other energy interests but less well known for having as their biggest clients the Russian ministries of defense and intelligence -- increasingly powerful in all aspects of Russian society, as former KGB Chief and current Russian President Vladimir Putin tightens the reigns on their fledgling (floundering?) democracy.

To get all the details (at least those brought to light thus far), you may read yesterday's exposť in the Washington Post (they have researchers!).

But let me try to just connect the big "dots"...

In 1997, DeLay took a trip to Moscow, ostensibly to improve Russian-American relations (not a bad idea, if you do it in accordance with the law and in the best interests of all Americans and Russians).

Officially, DeLay's trip was arranged, sponsored, and paid for by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a non-profit organization -- not lobbyists nor foreign agents, so all quite proper and legal.

So where did the NCPPR get the $57K to transport and accommodate our House Leader in the style to which he has become accustomed? (I don't have any particulars on that, but I don't think he stayed in the Motel Sixsky)

Well, according to an inside source, the NCPPR got its money for the trip from an American trust account, set up by an -- unnamed -- law firm.

Hmm.

Unofficially, numerous sources have confirmed that the money came from something called Chelsea Commercial Enterprises, Ltd. -- an "obscure Bahamian-registered company" (read, front company) -- that, when reportedly not acting as DeLay's travel agent, supplied hundreds of thousands of dollars to two big Washington lobbying firms -- Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft LLP and Preston Gates Ellis and Rouvelas Meeds LLP -- targeted primarily towards Republicans who were leaning against efforts to help bail out the Russians in 1997 and 1998.

Part of those efforts included sponsoring trips to Russia for House and Senate members, State Department officials, and officials of the Agency for International Development.

Now, I'm all for helping the impoverished, oppressed Russian people; but I have to wonder two things: how much of the aid that the West eventually did provide, after votes on bills by DeLay and others, actually reached the neediest people over there; and who the heck is behind this front company called Chelsea -- lobbying (and we all know what that means) the Congress of our United States? Enquiring minds want to know! Inside sources say it's none other than NAFTASIB, that Russian energy/military/intelligence conglomerate.

It's one thing when so many of the folks who ran the KGB are clamping down on Russia (the old "security vs. liberty" argument); it's quite another when those very same interests are apparently illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby our Congress and pamper our House Majority leader, who then supports their legislation.

DeLay in effect bought off by Moscow? Say it ain't so, Joe! Aren't our politicians supposed to be for sale only to the highest American bidder?

Fact or fiction? You'll have to be the judge. To get more of the story, you'll have to "stay tuned", folks, for Part Two, in our tale of international intrigue.

But here's a tidbit to tide you over till tomorrow: we'll be taking a good, long look at the man who worked for the lobbying firm of Preston Gates, lobbied on behalf of that noted (front) company Chelsea Commercial, and goes way, way back with Tom DeLay and other prominent Republicans (including the guy sitting in the White House).

Does the name Jack Abramoff sound familiar? Neither did it to me. But after tomorrow's blog, it'll be a name you'll never forget.

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