Morning Report 11/22/05
Historic Guilty Plea Ends Golf War

Wampumgate busts wide open. Look for blood — finally — on the floor of Congress.

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Harkavy

The bill comes due: On October 16, 2002, during the beat of Capitol Hill war drums concerning a Gulf war, D.C. lobbyist Mike Scanlon was focused on the golf war, e-mailing Jack Abramoff, "Sweeeet! Our Choctaw money is here — ." To honor the occasion, I put a Choctaw war bonnet on Abramoff.

Way back in the summer of 2001, when the Bush regime hadn't quite figured out how to invade Iraq, another monumental money-making scheme was afoot in D.C.: Soaking the Indian tribes' casinos for millions of dollars.

Oh, it's nothing new for the U.S. establishment to steal from Indians. But the money went directly to the campaigns of the Bush regime and other GOP pols. And some of it was used to send right-wing Christian pols Tom DeLay and Ralph Reed to historic St. Andrew's to play golf. And some of it paid for the computers on which some of the most powerful fundraisers for George W. Bush sneered at the Indian tribes' leaders as "monkeys."

As I pointed out September 30, the smoking guns of what I call Wampumgate really do include both smoking and guns. But now the real shooting will start: Lobbyist Mike Scanlon has finally agreed to plead guilty and flip on everyone, which I assume includes the main character, Jack Abramoff, and several congressmen.

I'm getting ahead of myself, but not to the extent that these schnooks got ahead of themselves.

You see, after 9/11 had provided the right excuse to invade Iraq to seize oil, make defense contractors rich, and protect Israel from the Moors, this other scheme — call it Wampumgate, Plundergate, Plunderstorm, whatever — was already on the attack, sending pols and their pals to Scotland to battle the moors that are the mecca of the golf world.

It's too rich. And so were they.

Well, this golf war is finally over. It's only fitting that you turn to the Washington Post's story this morning of the guilty plea.

The Post's Susan Schmidt, who shares a byline on it, has been trying for years to send smoke signals about this huge scandal.

It was only yesterday morning that I suggested that the White House name the national turkey "Jack and Mike."

Now that Scanlon has pled guilty, it's likely that he will be doing some naming of his own.

You will simply not believe the number of stories the Post has run about this mother of a scandal — check it out. There's much more to it than the dribs and drabs, but those are pretty interesting. There's some detail about the golf trips in "Traveling on the Abramoff Plan," a June 22 piece from the Center for Public Integrity whose sub-headline noted:

    Dozens of members of Congress have accepted trips from non-profits with registered lobbyists on their boards

Back in April 2004, my colleague Wayne Barrett and his investigative crew uncovered a fascinating part of the scandal in "Inside Bush's Indian Bureau: A Labyrinth of Lobbyists is Manufacturing Millions."

For the full, unfiltered flavor, look at the stacks of e-mails (here and here) that flowed among and between Abramoff, Scanlon, Reed, and others.

Not to diminish the ongoing tragedy of Iraq, but it's tee time: The Bush regime is now fully engaged in a two-front war for survival.


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