Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hastert. a matter of public concern

Phil Giraldi in American Conservative:
"Justice Department records indicate that Hastert will now be “principally involved” on a $35,000-a-month contract providing representation for the Turkish government. He will work as a subcontractor for another former House speaker, Dick Gephardt, who runs the eponymous Gephardt Group.

As Hastert, a former wrestling coach, presumably knows little about the country paying him, his true role will be networking with Congress to block any legislation that Turkey considers to be not in its interest. In that capacity, Hastert would be just one more ex-congressman on the make. But his relationship may be more complicated. FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds claimed that Hastert was investigated by the Bureau for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from Turkish lobbying groups in exchange for “political favors and information.” Edmonds’s claims have never been pursued, presumably because there are so many skeletons in both parties’ closets. She has been served with a state-secrets gag order to make sure that what she knows is never revealed, a restriction that the new regime in Washington has not lifted.

In Hastert’s case, it certainly should be a matter of public concern that a senior elected representative who may have received money from a foreign country is now officially lobbying on its behalf. How many other congressmen might have similar relationships with foreign countries and lobbying groups, providing them with golden parachutes for their retirement?"
Thank you Sir.

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