Monday, April 18, 2005

Pride Before the Fall

Tom DeLay 3, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

This Man Must Go!

“Swan Lake in Sugar Land Anyone?”

Now it seems that Tom DeLay may have begun his swan song.
It seems that Republicans of the neocon ilk prefer to fund themselves by a more or less parasitically predatory means. They worldview appears to be that they are the lords and kings, and the rest of us are the serfs that must serve them. They operate by the simple rule that the best way to pay – is with other people’s of money. And as far as funneling cash is concerned, the best way is circuitously indirect. Tom DeLay’s trip to Russia is a perfect example of how this might be done, and a perfect example of why they don’t want you to know about it.

Now DeLay says that his office spent $57,238 for 6 days in Moscow. He met with Russian oilmen, church leaders, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, - oilmen. He played some golf with those oilmen, went to dinner with them, and discussed important business with them. The whole thing would be mutually beneficial, and would prove how influential big oil is on both sides of the Atlantic. According to Russia’s Blotter:

“The scandal illuminates the rather sensitive sphere of interaction between our countries. Not surprisingly, it is discovered that the Russian oil business could carry out that which was never before possible to official Moscow, - to create a pro-Russian lobby in Washington.”

Among the entourage was Jack Abramoff.

If ever there was a man who was tied to a particular junket more than Abramoff, let him be a rainmaker in the Sahara desert. Abramoff was the perfect lobbyist-liaison who had clients and friends on both sides. His firm Preston Gates Rouvelas & Meed, lobbies for two firms. One Chelsea Commerce Enterprises is based in the Bahamas. It is said that Chelsea has ties to a Russian oil company – Naftasib. The other company Preston Gates has as a client is a Russian firm Soyuzkontrakt, that is into many things, among them oil field equipment. Could there also be a connection between Soyuzkontrakt and Naftasib?

The Russian paper gives credence to The Washington Post’s assertion that there is definitely a connection between Naftasib and Chelsea Commercial Enterprises:

“Today's Washington Post in particular is interested in a six-day visit by DeLay to Moscow in 1997. According to the influential newspaper, the Moscow tour of the congressman was ostensibly financed by "Chelsea, the obscure Bahamian-registered company.” To nobody known in the USA and Russia Chelsea, among whose founders was also a citizen of the Russian Federation, has ostensibly paid DeLay’s expenses on the visit to Moscow (officially the nongovernmental organization was engaged in the organization of trip, but the Post proves with the facts, that behind it was Chelsea’s lobbying firm). According to the report submitted by the congressman, the trip (including crossing, dining and hotel accommodation) has cost him and his four subordinates $57 thousand. But, as asserted by four smaller sources of the newspaper, DeLay has received from Chelsea not only $57 thousand on travel expenses, but also $440 thousand as the certain encouragement for lobbying activity in Congress. However, even payment of the congressman’s of travel expenses by lobbyists is enough to begin an internal investigation concerning the republican (under the rules it is forbidden to members of the congress to accept payment for official trips from lobby groups and agents of foreign states).”

Not only can’t representatives accept junkets from lobbyists and foreign agents, but also it is incumbent upon them to check and see if any trip is legit.

The Post article quoted by Gazeta goes on to state:

“Chelsea was coordinating the effort with a Russian oil and gas company -- Naftasib -- that has business ties with Russian security institutions, the sources said.”

According to in 1997, Chelsea was in fact a client of Preston Gates et al. at the same time when they had Soyuzkontrakt as a client. With Abramoff’s reputed ability to launder money through many legitimate organizations, I’d like to know if money from Naftasib could have been laundered through Chelsea, and through Soyuzkontrakt. If anyone from the Post, or New York Times reads this, I wouldn’t mind an answer in your publications.

Now DeLay claims that he thought the money came from the National Center for Public Policy Research. The NCPPR organized the trip.

Trouble is in a party as networked as the Republican one apparently is everyone separated from one another by only three degrees. If Abramoff wanted someone to launder his, he might know whom to approach. Abramoff is acquainted with F. Andrew Messing Jr., executive director of the National Defense Council Foundation. He is acquainted with (a) Amy Moritz Ridenour Chairman and President of the NCPPR, and David A. Ridenour, Vice-President and Secretary of the NCPPR. Also Abramoff and the Ridenours know Bruce Eberle whos boss was Morton C. Blackwell is an executive director of the RNC, head of GOPUSA, and it's mother outfit The Leadership Institute,“ and was publisher” of Jeff Gannon’s Talon News where Eberle worked as editor, and Executive director of the Council for National Policy, an organization to which most of the Republican pantheon has belonged to at one time or another.

So here’s my theory to what may have happened to give Tom DeLay the royal treatment in Moscow:

Everyone wanted to have their needs met. People in the Russian government Naftasib and Soyuz Kontrakt wanted an American market for Siberian oil. Chelsea Commerce Enterprises would no doubt be the distributor. Tom DeLay wants the kind of pull that shepherding and brokering such a deal would confer. Abramoff dealings with Chelsea and Soyuz made him the perfect middleman who would make money from every direction. Naftasib contacted Abramoff through Chelsea, or Soyuz. Abramoff had a connection to the Ridenours and the NCPPR either through Messing or Blackwell. Now how does a rich Russian oil company circumvent House ethics rules on influence peddling? By secretly transferring the money to a decoy, and having the representative in question take his payoff from there. It’s done all the time here through dummy corporations. Or, you can do it through affiliated companies and organizations that your lobbyist is connected to. If I were devoid of morals, I’d want to be that lobbyist. And maybe Jack Abramoff was.

Part II of this article will appear in the next post. I am taking a week off on vacation. But all the time I will be looking and reading. Have no fear. In the immortal words of De Govuernatah, "I'll be baaahck!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're confusing Bruce & Bobby Eberle.