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July 18, 2007

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The other side of the story is this, which I take it you've not seen yet.

Cunningham report portrays entangled panel
The still-unreleased findings say intelligence committee aides were used by the California congressman, now in prison for bribery.
Silvestre Reyes is blocking release of the unpublished report. Should I have blogged this? I assumed everyone saw it.

I presume the report shows either negligence on the part of the other Members or hints at worse.

Sing Duke, sing. Take ‘em all down. Even (especially) if they are all Republicans.

Sing Duke, sing. Take ‘em all down. Even (especially) if they are all Republicans.

You've got class and sense, OCSteve.

"demanding bribes"

I donno... Maybe his "benefactor" can claim to have been a victim of extortion? I've long thought that a lot of supposed "bribery" of politicians would be more accurately described as extortion of the people paying the 'bribes'.

"Sing Duke, sing. Take ‘em all down. Even (especially) if they are all Republicans."

Yeah, let's only clean up the Republican party, so that a few years down the road the Democratic party looks sleazy by comparison. Steve, you should be hoping that he sings a bipartisan song, 'cause that's the only way the institution is going to be cleaned up.

Brett: Of course I hope any and all corrupt politicians of any stripe are found out and prosecuted. But you have to excuse me if I especially want to see what was once my party cleaned up from bottom to slimy top.

What kind of security clearances do these bribe-paying defence contractors have? Shouldn't their clearances be revoked, on the basis that they could be blackmailed into giving up classified material?

RepubAnon: What kind of security clearances do these bribe-paying defence contractors have? Shouldn't their clearances be revoked, on the basis that they could be blackmailed into giving up classified material?

Karl Rove still has a security clearance after giving up classified material: why shouldn't these defence contractors still have theirs? /irony

OCSteve: Of course I hope any and all corrupt politicians of any stripe are found out and prosecuted. But you have to excuse me if I especially want to see what was once my party cleaned up from bottom to slimy top.

As any honest and sensible Republican would.

check out the exerpt Yglesias has:

    [In a prison interview with the FBI, Cunningham] Insisted there were no prostitutes at Wilkes' Washington poker games, but said Wilkes hired prostitutes for him during a Hawaii vacation. Cunningham was miffed that Wilkes got the “younger and cuter” prostitute and said he was “somewhat embarrassed on this occasion because he had some difficulty in completing intercourse.” On the next night, Cunningham again had a prostitute but said he “did not have sex” with her “because he felt guilty about his behavior.”

i hope the GOP sex scandals never end. the more the party of the finger-wagging moral scold is shown to be the party of the prostitute-visiting, child-propositioning, gay-sex-and-meth sneaking hypocrite, the better off we'll all be.

If this was last year and Reyes was the controlling Republican on the committe, I'd be outraged.

Well, the outrage holds. Reyes should release the documents, properly cleaning house means opening windows and letting sunshine in.

I presume the report shows either negligence on the part of the other Members or hints at worse.

More broadly, I find it hard to believe that Cunningham's activities were not fairly widely known or seriously suspected. I think it would be very hard to be that corrupt and not have lots of people smell a rat. The world just doesn't work like that, especially in such a public and cutthroat place as DC.

"If this was last year and Reyes was the controlling Republican on the committe, I'd be outraged."

I may be wrong, but isn't he the Democratic party member in charge of the Intelligence Committee?

I may be wrong, but isn't he the Democratic party member in charge of the Intelligence Committee?

I found his wording a little confusing as well,, but I think Mr. Furious' point is that he's just as outraged as he would be if this were happening when the Republicans were in charge.

OFF-TOPIC: Just heard McCain's speech in the Iraq debate. It sure sounded like a Presidential campaign concession speech.

I may be wrong, but isn't he the Democratic party member in charge of the Intelligence Committee?

I think that was Mr Furious's point, Sebastian.

Oh, I see. It wasn't that Mr. Reyes could have been the controlling Republican, but that the controlling Republican equivalent of Mr. Reyes etc., etc. Got it.

Slightly OT and I may have mentioned it before: Don’t name ships (even fictional ones) after politicians when they are still alive as you never know what they may get up to.

James Cobb wrote a serious of fiction books about a futuristic stealthy naval ship. The name of the ship? USS Cunningham.

Considering that in one of Sylvestre Reyes's first interviews as the new designee as Intelligence committee chief, he identified Al Qaeda as "predominantly... probably Shi'ite", maybe he is just avoiding revealing more embarrassing evidence for his complete lack of basic knowledge of information relevant to U.S. intelligence.

"More broadly, I find it hard to believe that Cunningham's activities were not fairly widely known or seriously suspected. I think it would be very hard to be that corrupt and not have lots of people smell a rat. The world just doesn't work like that, especially in such a public and cutthroat place as DC."

Go back and read the stories on Cunningham - he was commuting to the Capitol Building in a Rolls Royce, and sending out menus listing what services he would perform for what level of bribes on his Congressional letterhead. If he had ever perceived the slightest need for concealing the evidence for his crimes and ill-gotten gains, he had long ago gotten past such a perception. Which really begs the questions of how much his crimes were common knowledge in his committee, and what else is going wrong in the House intelligence committee.

According to the LA times, 5 Democrats objected to keeping the report secret. There are 12 on the Committee:

Silvestre Reyes , Chairman (Texas)
Alcee L. Hastings, Vice Chairman (Florida)
Leonard L. Boswell (Iowa)
Robert E. (Bud) Cramer, Jr. (Alabama)
Anna G. Eshoo (California)
Rush D. Holt (New Jersey)
C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (Maryland)
John Tierney (Massachusetts)
Mike Thompson (California)
Jan Schakowsky (Illinois)
Jim Langevin (Rhode Island)
Patrick Murphy (Pennsylvania)

That sounds like 7 Democratic House Committee Members who want to keep it secret. It would probably be interesting to find out which ones are which.

fire 'em all. fine wit me.

BTW, completely off-topic, but no active open threads to put it in right now -- LOLfeeds:

http://lol.ianloic.com/feed/obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/atom.xml

sgf,

I wasn't aware of all that business about the Rolls-Royce etc. Obviously that makes it more blatant. Even without that, though, there just have to be some indications to anyone who's awake.

fire 'em all. fine wit me.

Same here. Need to be scorched

"Even without that, though, there just have to be some indications to anyone who's awake."

Which is, like, what the article and report are entirely about.

LOLfeeds:


    Your organization's Internet use policy restricts access to this web page at this time.
    Reason: The Websense category "Sex" is filtered.

i can't wait to get home and try it out!

cleek,

It's not _that_ exciting -- it's just various kitten pictures with captions from the recent ObsWi posts.

"Even without that, though, there just have to be some indications to anyone who's awake."

Which is, like, what the article and report are entirely about.

Gary,

Yes. I guess my only point is that this really shouldn't come as any sort of surprise.

Why was the committee investigating itself?

Well, it's for damn sure not Jan Schakowsky blocking the release of the report. Patrick Murphy is new on the Intel Committee and would be un-implicated in this report's findings. Holt is a straight arrow and progressive; ditto Eshoo.

My money is on Reyes, Hastings, Cramer, and Ruppersberger. Mike Thompson I know nothing about; if he's from southern California I suspect him.

Some of the lolfeed pictures I got were pretty interesting matches to their captions, though. I wonder if there's any simple way to save them, instead of saving them and uploading them somewhere. I wonder if it's at all context sensitive, or if they're all jut coincidences.

Oh, I see I misread Sebastian's comments.

I stick by my reading of the 'Sunlight Five' as including Schakowsky, Murphy, and Holt.

A question mark for Eshoo. She's a confidant of Pelosi's, and if the report is an embarrassment to Reyes, Pelosi might be against releasing it because she picked him for chair.

Boswell is unlikely to have been involved in defense or intel earmarking.

"Why was the committee investigating itself?"

CYA.

1973 nostalgia from Time magazine:

The cease-fire has been bullet-riddled, and the U.S. withdrawal was far from complete last week. But there was one sure sign of vanishing American involvement: the daily military press briefing, an eight-year-old Saigon spectacle known as the 5 O'Clock Follies, had its final performance with an American cast. Army Major Jere Forbus, the last Follies star, sighed, "Well, we may not have been perfect, but we outlasted Fiddler on the Roof." The Associated Press Saigon bureau chief, Richard Pyle, was less benign but more accurate when he called the briefings "the longest-playing tragicomedy in Southeast Asia's theater of the absurd."

The briefings were originally designed to give reporters clear, concise summaries of widely scattered action. They grew out of casual sessions started by Barry Zorthian, a former Voice of America official, after he became head of press relations in the U.S. mission in Viet Nam. Now a Time Inc. vice president, Zorthian recalls that until he arrived on the scene, there had been no regular briefings. Gradually the 5 O'Clock Follies evolved into a strange show that satisfied no one. "The military instinct," says Zorthian, "was always to provide less rather than more. Many times the information we gave out was incomplete. Or else it was too early for us to be sure of its accuracy."

Partly as a result of reporters' demands for precision, briefers began to deal in body counts and other statistics that eventually proved to be of dubious value. As time passed, most enterprising newsmen boycotted the Follies. Explains Keyes Beech of the Chicago Daily News: "They seldom bore any resemblance whatever to the facts in the field." On March 16, 1968, a mimeographed release included this passage: "In an action today, Americal Division forces killed 128 enemy near Quang Ngai City. Helicopter gunships and artillery missions supported the ground elements throughout the day." Thus did the Follies announce the infamous action at My Lai.

But the show moved to Baghdad: there's nothing like a good revival.

Shoot, wrong thread.

"Holt is a straight arrow and progressive; ..."

Ditto that - Holt is definitely one of the good guys. We should be able to count on him at least to shine a bright light where needed.

Not to nit-pick on an otherwise good post...aw, what the heck: ADCS isn't exactly what you could accurately characterize as a "war profiteer", given that what they do as bread-and-butter has little to do with war; their contracts are almost completely for the conversion of documents from one format (I'm assuming hardcopy, here, but it might be WordPerfect, which was at one time preferentially used in some branches of the military) to another.

That, and their largest contract awards came prior to the start of our activities in Afghanistan.

Other than that, ADCS is, to all appearances, led by an utter scumbag and may in fact be populated by other scumbags. I'd like to see ADCS and guys like Dusty Foggo get nailed with something concrete and substantial, and I'd also like to see guilty parties on Defense Appropriations get nailed as well.

Addendum: I'd guess ADCS' payroll, with about 100 employees, to run well in excess of $10 million/year, considering where they are, so I'm left wondering how their CEO has all this money to throw around. They got their first big contract in 1997, if memory serves, and they've landed something like $90 million in contracts over a decade.

Looks odd to me. Looks to me as if there might be some other business going on that we are, so far, not yet privy to.

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