Royally Kranked

Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Story Behind the Disappearing Dept Of Homeland Security Report and the "Reassigned" USA Attorney on Guam-The tie in between the President & Jack Abramoff

So I’m going through all sorts of pages I’ve downloaded & saved, especially the ones about Jack Abramoff, and I find this story from July of this year, and while the original link no longer comes up without paying for access to the LA Times Archives, just enter the article’s title into a search engine, and you’ll get more than enough citations of the same article

Here's the google cache/search results of the no longer available for free LA Times Story

There are two articles that will get referenced often, the LA Times Story-available as search results for any search engine entries entitled

“Inquiry Into Lobbyist Sputters After Demotion”

And the subheading

“The unusual financial deal between Jack Abramoff and officials in Guam drew scrutiny.”

The other article is one I mentioned on Halloween, and didn’t draw anywhere near as much attention as it deserved, seeing as it involved Jack Abramoff’s getting a Dept of Homeland Security report-mandated for the top politicians of both parties in the House & Senate-permanently delayed, and it’s on the Bloomberg website, entitled

“Justice Department Didn't Act on Warning About Abramoff Client”

For easy reference, a graph with either red (LAT) or (BLMB) will identify the story’s original sources/passages

The U.S. Justice Department never acted on a post-Sept. 11 proposal, contested by lobbyist Jack Abramoff, calling for increased federal control over immigration to the Mariana Islands.

“The agency reassigned the two officials who produced a 34- page report that contained the proposal, and House members of both parties who oversee the Homeland Security and Justice departments said they were never told about it. The 2002 report, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, warns that continued local control over the Marianas' borders will ``seriously jeopardize the national security'' of the U.S.” (BLMB)

It wasn’t actually the Agency so much did the reassigning as it was someone slightly higher up the chain of command

“ A U.S. grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor and the inquiry ended soon after...... In Guam, an American territory in the Pacific, investigators were looking into Abramoff's secret arrangement with Superior Court officials to lobby against a court revision bill then pending in the U.S. Congress. The legislation, since approved, gave the Guam Supreme Court authority over the Superior Court.” (LAT)

The inquiry served as the basis for what would later be the central charge in the Bloomberg article, a report commissioned by the Dept of Homeland Security, one that charged lax immigration standards on the Northern Marianas Islands-home to Sweatshop owners who used Abramoff to lobby against strengthening workplace safety and environmental protection regulations at the most miserable of their work sites-could lead to an attack on US interests ala the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Sudan

The immigrant to native ratio on the NM Islands is about 5:1, and the standards regarding identification are almost nonexistent

It’s in this climate that the Island’s Sweatshop Owners looked at this report about needing to tighten lax immigration standards from the only point of view that mattered, theirs, and for them, it’s a matter of BIG money involved

“ Restricting immigration could be a blow to the economy of the Marianas, which is located about three-quarters of the way to the Philippines from Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean......The Marianas have almost five times as many foreign workers as native workers and aren't subject to U.S. minimum-wage laws. That helps them export such goods as T-shirts, caps and pants cheaply to the U.S., all labeled ``made in USA...... Abramoff lobbied against efforts to tighten those laws. The islands have 28,717 foreign workers, compared with 6,006 natives, in the labor force, according to Central Intelligence Agency statistics.'' (BLMB)

It’s this group that has prevailed upon Abramoff to constantly lobby their most dependable ally in the Congress, one who would stand fast against the do-gooders intent on tightening up the Islands abysmal workplace safety & environmental laws

Tom DeLay

Before moving on with more of Abramoff’s actions, just how much clout he really had in the GOP, it’s important to notice what the report is about that’s got Abramoff so concerned with it’s release, a mindset in which he actually saw the DoJ as an obstacle to his lobbying efforts

“The 2002 report, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, warns that continued local control over the Marianas' borders will ``seriously jeopardize the national security'' of the U.S.”(BLMB)

“Black also arranged for a security review in the aftermath of Sept. 11 that was seen as a potential threat to loose immigration rules favored by local business leaders. In fact, the study ordered by Black eventually cited substantial security risks in Guam and the Northern Marianas.”(LAT)

“ The Justice Department report on the Marianas said the islands, which rely on tourism and are home to military facilities and visiting U.S. Navy vessels, ``offer a target-rich environment for terrorist activity.''

“Under a 1976 covenant between the commonwealth and the U.S., immigration laws don't apply to the Marianas ``except in the manner and to the extent made applicable to them by the Congress.'' (BLMB)

And it’s in THAT capacity that Abramoff reacts to the only thing that’s ever mattered to him, Money, the more the better

It’s that focus on money to the exclusion of everything else that makes Abramoff’s lust for money so brazen & defiant of all logic

“ Abramoff, whose law firm was paid $3.5 million by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, to lobby between 1998 and 2002, tried to block the report, according to an e-mail released this month by House Democrats.”(BLMB)

Even more brazen is who tipped him off to that impending DHS report commissioned by Black & Meissner, one of the bigger guns at the DoJ

“ In an Oct, 1, 2001, e-mail to the Marianas government, Abramoff said he was alerted to the pending immigration report by the Justice Department chief of staff, whom he hosted in his luxury box at a Washington Redskins football game. He said he would pass on to the government any information he received from the official. At the time, David Ayres was chief of staff...... In the e-mail, Abramoff warned that some ``bad guys'' in Justice had been saying the commonwealth ``if not taken over, will be a major entry point for terrorists. This, of course, is patently ridiculous and we have been working to counter this.''(BLMB)

“Patently Ridiculous” would usually apply to someone this filled with pure greed, except that in this case, it’s hard to see how Abramoff was exaggerating about the clout he possessed as the GOP’s superlobbyist, and here’s where the final pieces fall into place, the Administrative troublemakers unappreciative of W’s willing to do the bidding of one of the most corrupt figures in US history get their careers blocked during the investigation of weak spots in the Homeland’s Security

“ Abramoff said he would meet with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. One of Abramoff's associates was Kevin Ring, who joined the firm after serving as counsel to a Judiciary subcommittee that Ashcroft chaired when he served in the U.S. Senate.

``We'll hope the higher ups will take some time to squash this on their own,'' Abramoff wrote.(BLMB)

“ Abramoff, who then represented the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, alerted his clients in a memo about the expected report and warned: "It will require some major action from the Hill and a press attack to get this back in the bottle."

“The lobbyist also wrote that he and his aides expected to meet in the near future with Justice Department officials, according to Abramoff billing documents released this year by the Marianas government.”(LAT)

The sticky wicket for Abramoff & W finally ensnared them in November 2002, on a separate issue entirely

“ In Guam, an American territory in the Pacific, investigators were looking into Abramoff's secret arrangement with Superior Court officials to lobby against a court revision bill then pending in the U.S. Congress. The legislation, since approved, gave the Guam Supreme Court authority over the Superior Court.

“In 2002, Abramoff was retained by the Superior Court in what was an unusual arrangement for a public agency. The Times reported in May that Abramoff was paid with a series of $9,000 checks funneled through a Laguna Beach lawyer to disguise the lobbyist's role working for the Guam court. No separate contract was authorized for Abramoff's work.

“ The transactions were the target of a grand jury subpoena issued Nov. 18, 2002, according to a copy obtained by The Times. The subpoena demanded that Anthony Sanchez, administrative director of the Guam Superior Court, release records involving the lobbying contract, including bills and payments.”(LAT)

Here’s where W’s self-aggrandizing myth of being the Grim Warrior protecting the unrighteous completely falls apart when it comes to keeping US interests around the world as safe as possible

“ A day later, the chief prosecutor, U.S. Atty. Frederick A. Black, who had launched the investigation, was demoted. A White House news release announced that Bush was replacing Black.”(LAT)

One Day Later

There’s no positive or logical spin that can be applied here, no way for the President to appear as anything but a hired enforcer of the most thuggish type, one more at home amongst the Saddam Hussein’s of the World as opposed to speaking unscripted in front of a hostile/skeptical audience asking questions not preapproved in advance of the proceedings

It’s important to note here that what gets President Jr to reassign the US Attorney, Frederick Black, is NOT the suppressed DHS Report, it’s a completely separate investigation into Abramoff & his clients by Black that gets W to act in a way that can only be labeled as “Damning” to any claims that the President gives a damn about National or Homeland Security-more on that in just a bit

So now the pieces fall into place on a puzzle most of us never saw, and there’s an unnerving question unanswered by W’s reassigning of US DOJ personnel the day after a Grand Jury is empaneled

Just what did the President get in return for such an unalloyed breach of Presidential power?

Consider that question in the context of Black’s career when W reassigned him

“ Black, 56, had served as acting U.S. attorney for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands since 1991.

“The career prosecutor, who had held a senior position as first assistant before accepting the acting U.S. attorney job, was demoted to a staff post. Black's demotion came after an intensive lobbying effort by supporters of Gov. Gutierrez, who had been publicly critical of Black and his investigative efforts.”(LAT)

And that DHS report commissioned by Black, the one with the release to the top officials in both parties in the House & Senate required, whatever became of it ultimately is a mystery to all involved

“ Lawmakers of both parties said they never saw the recommendations. ``I never saw such a report,'' said Representative Henry Hyde, an Illinois Republican and the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.”(BLMB)

I’ll ask again

Just what did W get from Abramoff for ridding him of that troublesome US Attorney, and looking the other way concerning leaks in his own Govt-The DoJ Chief Of Staff tipping off Abramoff to the critical DHS report soon to be released-leaks which have a DIRECT bearing on Homeland Security?

Abramoff’s motive in silencing the DHS report was monetary, just what was W’s motive in actively obstructing an investigation into the GOP’s top lobbyist?

Here’s the REALLY scary part

One occasion, or no more than a few would be bad enough, but this Administration is REPEATEDLY looking the other way when it comes to financial motives taking precedence over Homeland Security, as yet another article published in October 2005 so ably points out

“The Bush administration has missed dozens of deadlines set by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks for developing ways to protect airplanes, ships and railways from attacks.

“A plan to defend ships and ports from attack is six months overdue. Rules to protect air cargo from infiltration are two months late. A study on the cost of giving anti-terrorism training to federal law enforcement officers who fly commercially was supposed to be done more than three years ago.”

Dozens of deadlines completely missed/ignored

What did President Jr get for saving Abramoff’s lobbying money, and what’s he getting for his Administration deliberately ignoring dozens of missed Homeland Security deadlines?

How, LOGICALLY, did the President’s reassigning of the US Attorney and the writer of the DHS report slamming the NM Islands for lax immigration security, uphold his sworn oath to protect the American public?

This massive clout is exactly why Abramoff is going to do damage to the GOP that will be far worse in scope than even the scourge of the Watergate scandal, the big players always fall hard

2 Comments:

  • I am continually stunned by the greed and arrogance of these people. I'm sitting her shaking my head at the shear evilness of it all.

    By Anonymous Susan, at 1:28 PM  

  • When is someone going to impeach Bush alias "the testy kid?" I read that expression on a Molly Ivans article. I think it fits him to T. KEEP ON BLOGGIN'

    By Anonymous AMY, at 9:51 PM  

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