Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Howdy Doody defense

As is well known, Congressman Bob Ney is named in the indictments of Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon.

Here's the key paragraph for Rep. Ney in Scanlon's indictment. Lobbyist A is Jack Abramoff.
From in or about January 2000 through in or about April 2004, SCANLON and Lobbyist A, together and separately, sought and received Representative #1's agreement to perform a series of official acts, including but not limited to, agreements to support and pass legislation, agreements to place statements into the Congressional Record, meetings with Lobbyist A and SCANLON’s clients, and advancing the application of a client of Lobbyist A for a license to install wireless telephone infrastructure in the House of Representatives.
That's the indictment. Here's the second half of this criminal duo confessing in Abramoff's plea agreement (PDF). (His indictment was similar).
In exchange for those things of value, from in or about March 2000 through in or about April 2004, defendent ABRAMOFF, Scanlon and others, together and separately, sought and received Representative #1's agreement to perform a series of official acts to benefit defendant ABRAMOFF's business, clients and others, including but not limited to, agreements to support and pass legislation, agreements to place statements into the Congressional Record, meetings with defendant ABRAMOFF's clients, and advancing the application of a client of defendant ABRAMOFF for a license to install wireless infrastructure in the House of Representatives.
The specific crime Abramoff is confessing to here is "Bribery and honest services fraud of public officials." Honest Services fraud, in just this count of the indictment, means that we, the public, have been defrauded of the honest services of our representatives.

Powerline is not going to take this lying down. They are fantastically propagandistic in discussing the plea agreement. They say this is mostly smoke and is a "purely private matter". They strongly imply that the prosecutor was simply out to get members of Congress. Motives are unstated; presumably all the Powerline readers know who is out to get them.

Powerline approvingly quotes the statement from Congressman Ney's office
Congressman Ney has never done anything illegal or improper and the allegations in this plea agreement do not change this fact.
Not being an expert in propaganda, I looked up some citations to see how to classify the series of misrepresentations made by Powerline. Ultimately, I think they're combining the techniques Glittering Generalities and Euphemisms. So it's a "purely private matter" when two lobbyists in a crooked enterprise get a Congressman to help them purchase a mobbed-up casino. What public interest would be served by investigating a trivial issue like that? Will there be a moment in the next year where we're not dumbstruck by the irony of the hysterical prosecution of a sitting president for a series of blowjobs, in contrast to this blithe dismissal of a wide variety of real crimes?

Look, the evidence for this part of the indictment is not hard to find.

Here are the Ney's two comments relating to SunCruz.
Incidently, Gus Boulis was murdered in February 2001, although sadly, this is not part of the indictments or pleas in this case.

So Rep. Ney was unaware of what Abramoff was doing?! Right. It's the Howdy Doody defense. He was unaware that someone's hand was up his ass, making him say things.

(cross-posted at http://dailykos.com -- not sure how these cross-siting things ought to go...)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Blog Flux Directory