Saturday, May 28, 2005

Why Do We Fight Bolton? Could It Be He's - Unsuitable?

Bolton 2, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

I'm listening this Memorial Day to Fox News as they get maudlin over the deaths they created in their war in Iraq. What an irony! They weep crocodile tears for the "heroes", men and women who didn't really want to be there, and who once again - as in Vietnam are dying for something meaningless. And I want to know, will this war, like the one in Vietnam, spread further in the Middle East as the administration covetuously eyes the oilfields of Iran? We sent our troops into Iraq, claiming that we are there to "liberate" them, and make their lives better. Well that's the excuse Bush has switched to, now that the WMD hoax was discovered. Have we "accomplished" that "mission"? Not according to anyone outside of the government who has been there.

After two years of occupation just the electricity alone has not been restored. Water? the only liquid you can readily get is what's in the freely flowing sewage. Clean water? That's a more difficult problem! No Iraqi business homegrown or introduced has been allowed to start up again, or flourish. Only foreign businesses are allowed to operate Not one Iraqi is working, and everyone is poor, disease is rampant, as well as hunger, but no NGO's feel safe enough to come back during this 4th of "Major Military Actions", which were supposed to be over after Bush stood under the "Mission Accomplished" banner. As for justice? We have replaced the "justice" of Saddam, with the "justice" of the GITMO GULAG! Insurgents continue to be well armed well supplied and well lead. And every day someone dies, not counting the soldiers! Our allies are dwindling away every month. the world has called us "murderers, butchers", and worse yet, "torturers"! And yet Bush does not listen to wiser heads and continues to plow ever more deaply into the mire. There can be only one reason. He wants American economic hegemony over the Middle East. Men have died for George W. Bush's arrogance.

And how does this tie in John Bolton? Bolton's appointment as Ambassador to the U.N. is symbolic of the projection this policy towards the rest of the world. How can one be welcomed to that body after insulting it at every oppportunity? Bolton is a man who can't even show proper respect and sensitivity to his own (former) wife, let alone to countries overseas. A few Bolton quotes should make clear how unfit he is for the U.N., but extremely fit for neocon purposes:

"There's no such thing as the United Nations. If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

"Diplomacy is not an end in itself if it does not advance U.S. interests."

"Many Republicans in Congress - and perhaps a majority - not only do not care about losing the General Assembly vote but actually see it as a "make my day" outcome. Indeed, once the vote is lost, and the adverse consequences predicted by the U.N.'s supporters begin to occur, this will simply provide further evidence to many why nothing more should be paid to the U.N. system. "

"As you know, I have over the years written critically about the U.N. I have consistently stressed in my writings that American leadership is critical to the success of the U.N., an effective U.N., one that is true to the original intent of its charter's framers."

"In an interview in 2000 on National Public Radio, Mr. Bolton told Juan Williams, "If I were redoing the Security Council today, I'd have one permanent member because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world." ... "And that one member would be, John Bolton?" Mr. Williams queried. "The United States," Mr. Bolton replied. (New York Times, March 9, 2005)" (Friends Committee on National Legislation)

From these quotes it can be seen that this is not a man who wants to know or care what other nations think of the boneheadedly rude politics of the Bush administration. Clearly Bolton is intemperate, illogical and chauvinistically so. The only thing that Bolton can do in the UN is make enemies for us. Then Dubya will say, "See, they are all against us, those lily-livered-tea-drinking-pinky-up europeans!" This should suit China fine of course since we are already moving ever so swiftly off the stage as the economic giant of the world. There is a most frightening thought! The next superpower of the world will be - totalitarian China!

See, what Bolton doesn't seem to understand is that we are not the supreme power on the planet anymore. We are in a deficit. Our industry is dwindling and the corporations do not see fit to build it up. NAFTA and soon CAFTA allow them the luxury of looking to their own interests! But this is only an illusory imperialism. Globalism can only go so far. If you don't have a firm national base to stand on, how can you compete against the world.

Yet what an irony this creates! And so Bolton is hoist on the petard of corporate globalism! NAFTA has made us all the more dependent on the good graces of the world! Bolton is arrogantly blind about the our loss of greatness, like some pathetic old Victorian, fighting desperately the loss of Kenya.

David Corn captures this gung-ho perfectly:

"Bolton's extremism does not stop at the UN's front door. A year and a half ago, I described Bolton, who's widely considered the leading hard-ass of the neocon clan, this way:
Bolton is a hawk's hawk in the Bush administration. He is the agent conservateurin Colin Powell's State Department. He has led the administration's effort against the International Criminal Court. Last year, he single-handedly tried to revise U.S. nuclear policy by asserting that Washington no longer felt bound to state that it would not use nuclear weapons against nations that do not possess nuclear weapons. (A State Department spokesman quickly claimed that Bolton had not said what he had indeed said.) Bolton also claimed that Cuba was developing biological weapons--a charge that was not substantiated by any evidence and that was challenged by experts. In July, he was about to allege in congressional testimony that Syria posed a weapons-of-mass-destruction threat before the CIA and other agencies, which considered his threat assessment to be exaggerated, objected to his statement. When England, France and Germany recently tried to develop a carrot-and-stick approach in negotiating an end to Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, Bolton huffed, 'I don't do carrots.'"

And the only reason that people like William Kristol defend him is - that they are exactly like him! Here's Kristol in his own words:

"Despite Soros's millions and the Times's resources, the assault on Bolton has been pathetic. What does it amount to? He's a longtime U.N. skeptic--appropriate, one would think, given the U.N.'s "Zionism is Racism" history during the Cold War, and its ineffectiveness (to be kind) in Rwanda in the '90s and in Sudan in this decade. But he's worse than a skeptic, the critics say: He has been disrespectful of the august body in which he will represent us. Why, he once joked, "The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." Well, truer words were never spoken."

And truer colors have never been revealed.

Read Also:

Bush Gives the UN the Finger

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Two Jokers And A King

Galloway and the Dunces, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

Here are two of the most momentous items that are very revealing of the state of affairs in our government, that are not covered as they should be by the media. So here they are, in their own words. Enough said:

The secret Downing Street memo


From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell


Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.


(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)


(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

Galloway vs. The US Senate: Transcript of Statement

George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, delivered this statement to US Senators today who have accused him of corruption

"Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.
"Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.
"Now I want to deal with the pages that relate to me in this dossier and I want to point out areas where there are - let's be charitable and say errors. Then I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought to be. On the very first page of your document about me you assert that I have had 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. This is false.
"I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.
"As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defense made of his.
"I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.
"You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do.
"Now you say in this document, you quote a source, you have the gall to quote a source, without ever having asked me whether the allegation from the source is true, that I am 'the owner of a company which has made substantial profits from trading in Iraqi oil'.
"Senator, I do not own any companies, beyond a small company whose entire purpose, whose sole purpose, is to receive the income from my journalistic earnings from my employer, Associated Newspapers, in London. I do not own a company that's been trading in Iraqi oil. And you have no business to carry a quotation, utterly unsubstantiated and false, implying otherwise.
"Now you have nothing on me, Senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Baghdad. If you had any of the letters against me that you had against Zhirinovsky, and even Pasqua, they would have been up there in your slideshow for the members of your committee today.
"You have my name on lists provided to you by the Duelfer inquiry, provided to him by the convicted bank robber, and fraudster and conman Ahmed Chalabi who many people to their credit in your country now realize played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq.
"There were 270 names on that list originally. That's somehow been filleted down to the names you chose to deal with in this committee. Some of the names on that committee included the former secretary to his Holiness Pope John Paul II, the former head of the African National Congress Presidential office and many others who had one defining characteristic in common: they all stood against the policy of sanctions and war which you vociferously prosecuted and which has led us to this disaster.
"You quote Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Well, you have something on me, I've never met Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Your sub-committee apparently has. But I do know that he's your prisoner, I believe he's in Abu Ghraib prison. I believe he is facing war crimes charges, punishable by death. In these circumstances, knowing what the world knows about how you treat prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, in Bagram Airbase, in Guantanamo Bay, including I may say, British citizens being held in those places.
"I'm not sure how much credibility anyone would put on anything you manage to get from a prisoner in those circumstances. But you quote 13 words from Dahar Yassein Ramadan whom I have never met. If he said what he said, then he is wrong.
"And if you had any evidence that I had ever engaged in any actual oil transaction, if you had any evidence that anybody ever gave me any money, it would be before the public and before this committee today because I agreed with your Mr Greenblatt [Mark Greenblatt, legal counsel on the committee].
"Your Mr Greenblatt was absolutely correct. What counts is not the names on the paper, what counts is where's the money. Senator? Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars of money? The answer to that is nobody. And if you had anybody who ever paid me a penny, you would have produced them today.
"Now you refer at length to a company names in these documents as Aredio Petroleum. I say to you under oath here today: I have never heard of this company, I have never met anyone from this company. This company has never paid a penny to me and I'll tell you something else: I can assure you that Aredio Petroleum has never paid a single penny to the Mariam Appeal Campaign. Not a thin dime. I don't know who Aredio Petroleum are, but I daresay if you were to ask them they would confirm that they have never met me or ever paid me a penny.
"Whilst I'm on that subject, who is this senior former regime official that you spoke to yesterday? Don't you think I have a right to know? Don't you think the Committee and the public have a right to know who this senior former regime official you were quoting against me interviewed yesterday actually is?
"Now, one of the most serious of the mistakes you have made in this set of documents is, to be frank, such a schoolboy howler as to make a fool of the efforts that you have made. You assert on page 19, not once but twice, that the documents that you are referring to cover a different period in time from the documents covered by The Daily Telegraph which were a subject of a libel action won by me in the High Court in England late last year.
"You state that The Daily Telegraph article cited documents from 1992 and 1993 whilst you are dealing with documents dating from 2001. Senator, The Daily Telegraph's documents date identically to the documents that you were dealing with in your report here. None of The Daily Telegraph's documents dealt with a period of 1992, 1993. I had never set foot in Iraq until late in 1993 - never in my life. There could possibly be no documents relating to Oil-for-Food matters in 1992, 1993, for the Oil-for-Food scheme did not exist at that time.
"And yet you've allocated a full section of this document to claiming that your documents are from a different era to the Daily Telegraph documents when the opposite is true. Your documents and the Daily Telegraph documents deal with exactly the same period.
"But perhaps you were confusing the Daily Telegraph action with the Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor did indeed publish on its front pages a set of allegations against me very similar to the ones that your committee have made. They did indeed rely on documents which started in 1992, 1993. These documents were unmasked by the Christian Science Monitor themselves as forgeries.
"Now, the neo-con websites and newspapers in which you're such a hero, senator, were all absolutely cock-a-hoop at the publication of the Christian Science Monitor documents, they were all absolutely convinced of their authenticity. They were all absolutely convinced that these documents showed me receiving $10 million from the Saddam regime. And they were all lies.
"In the same week as the Daily Telegraph published their documents against me, the Christian Science Monitor published theirs which turned out to be forgeries and the British newspaper, Mail on Sunday, purchased a third set of documents which also upon forensic examination turned out to be forgeries. So there's nothing fanciful about this. Nothing at all fanciful about it.
"The existence of forged documents implicating me in commercial activities with the Iraqi regime is a proven fact. It's a proven fact that these forged documents existed and were being circulated amongst right-wing newspapers in Baghdad and around the world in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Iraqi regime.
"Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.
“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.
"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.
If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.
"Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Halliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer.
"Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.
"Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government."
© 2005 Times Newspapers

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Гордость Приходит Перед Падением. (Pride ... Fall 2)

Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

DeLay can’t shed that lobbyist tar baby Jack Abramoff no matter how hard he tries. Or maybe both he and Abramoff are both like flies caught on flypaper, two made from Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas stationary, three from invoices for the Moscow Country Club.

Proof that not only were DeLay associates traveling on the dime of a lobbyist, but that Abramoff paid for the junkets of other Republican Congressmen isn’t that hard to find now that obtained the Preston Gates expense accounts for trips taken to Saipan by various groups sponsored by Jack Abramoff and another lobbyist Patrick Pizzella dated May 20, 1997.

For the January 24th Congressional Trip airfare for Congressman Thompson was $5,013.22, and for Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) it was $4,596.22. Clyburn claims it was from an organization known as the National Security Caucus Foundation. The Oklahoma Daily states:

“The lawmakers were invited to the Marianas by a nonprofit organization, the National Security Caucus Foundation. Clyburn said he understood the foundation would be paying the expenses.

But Gregg Hilton, who ran the now-defunct foundation, said the group never paid for the trip. He said the lawmakers weren't told the foundation that invited them never put up the money. Both Clyburn and Thompson filed House disclosure reports showing the group paid for the travel, and Clyburn provided the invitation letter.

Hilton, who was on the trip himself, said the National Security Caucus Foundation was a project of the American Security Council Foundation, an organization he ran and now serves as a director. The foundations promoted a strong national defense, democracy and human rights.

Hilton said he arranged the trip with the island government and was led to believe by Preston Gates officials that the territory would pay the expenses and be reimbursed by the private sector.

He said he was not aware that Abramoff or Preston Gates paid for the trip until AP showed him the documents.”

Yet the paper trail is a very short one to Saipan and the names of Clyburn, Thompson, Abramoff and Preston, Gates, Rouvelas are prominent on it.

Well, if a pair of Democrats could be taken to task for an ethics violation, then the same rule should apply for the Majority Leader and his staffers.

The Marianas trip was done by DeLay’s then chief of staff Ed Buckham and DeLay aide Tony Rudy.

The authentication is quite simple. The Memoranda of May 6 and May 20, 1997 sent to Abramoff were sent by one Jennifer Senft (now Jennifer Senft Hamann, Director of Development for Citizens For a Sound Economy). They were in regards to “CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands) Billing” for the May 6, 1997 memo, and “CNMI Travel Expenses for the March Bill” for the March 20, 1997 memo.

For their “January 24th Congressional Trip”, Airfare for Congressman Thompson was $5,013.22, and for Congressman Clyburn was $4,596.22. Hotel expenses for them were $227.20 for Congressman Thompson, and the same for Congressman Clyburn.

Now, Jack Abramoff’s Leadership Trip of December 4 – December 12, 1996 listed in the May 6, 1997 memo includes all expenses “minus airfare”. “Hotel in Saipan for Ed Buckham” was $2,028.61. “Airfare from Saipan to Manila” was $518.00. “Upgrade for Buckham to Manila” was $52.00. The same was for “Upgrade for Rudy to Manila”, and “Upgrade for Abramoff to Manila”.

Now what is significant to me in as far as it concerns the claim that a “non-profit” organization, the National Center for Public Policy Research, paid for Tom DeLay’s trip to Moscow, is that the name of the head of this organization, Amy Ridenour appears, (though misspelled) under “Patrick Pizzella’s Think Tank Trip of November 10 – 15, 1996 airfare for Audrey Mullen, Amy Ridenor and Roy Marsden “. “Amy Ridenor’s” (Ridenours), airfare was $5,440.95.

The Moscow Trip

MSNBC News whose records are as yet unquestioned by anyone states:

“WASHINGTON - In August 1997, then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and his friend lobbyist Jack Abramoff were at the Moscow Country Club — the most exclusive golf course in Russia. Hotel records obtained by NBC News show DeLay stayed two nights, in room 229, with Abramoff next door.
The cost of DeLay's room, with all the amenities, was $295 a night. On the bill, charges for DeLay and his chief of staff are mixed with Abramoff's — room charges, sports pool bar, mini bar and phone, for a total of $3,302.50
NBC News has learned the expenses were, in fact, put on the credit card of a lobbyist and a Russian businessman. A document obtained by NBC News suggests DeLay was informed soon after the trip, by the non-profit National Center for Public Policy, that it paid the bill — which is allowed under House rules.

A source close to the case says $885 was charged to Abramoff’s credit card, and records indicate the rest was put on the credit card of Alexander Koulakovsky, general manager of a Russian oil and gas company called NAFTASib.”

Well once again the hotel bill records do not lie.

"INVOICE 3231 Moscow Country Club (Russia), 11/08/97

9000 DeLay 0.00 11/08/97 12:27

3 HMNG 11/08/97

->227 Mr. Abramoff
10/08 Telephone 30.00
->227 Mr. Abramoff
10/08 Telephone 330.00
->227 Mr. Abramoff
10/0B Telephone 30.00
->227 Mr. Abramoff
10/08 Telephone 54.00
->227 Mr. Abramoff
10/08 Telephone 229 Mr. DeLay 72.00
11/08 Mini Bar 22Q Mr. Buckham 29.50
11/08 Mini Bar 227 Mr. Abramoff 4.00
11/08 Mini Bar 2:7 Mr. Abramoff 6.00
11/08 Mini Bar 22: Mr. DeLay 8.00
11/08 Min: Bar 229 Mr. DeLay 6.00
11/08 Telephone 174.00
->227 Mr. Abramoff
11/08 American Express 2417.50
Total 3302.50 3302.50
Balance 0.00 USD

Total incl. VAT : 3302.50
Folio amount net: 2752.08
VAT: 550.42
Local Currency total 19319,63 Thousand Rubles"

Thursday, May 05, 2005

*************** Whatz Dat News? ***************

Want to know how I could do a translation of Russian firsthand?
PROMT-online is a big help. It speeds up something not impossible for me, but that would take longer. Then I correct for grammar. Necessary, given the nature of translation engines.

I've added PROMT-online to my permanent links.

Of course, if parts of the translation are confusing I do rely on my Ukrainian to funnel through the meaning of the sentence in question from the original Russian.