Monday, July 14, 2008

Money For Access to Bush Administration

This is a huge scandal emerging. Go to TPM.

Here's a teaser:

"The exact budget I will come up with, but it will be somewhere between $600,000 and $750,000, with about a third of it going directly to the Bush library," Payne said in the video. "I think that the family, children, whatever [of Akayev], should probably look at making a contribution to the Bush library."

An undercover reporter sits at a table with the Kazakh politician and asks Payne who the meeting might involve.

"Cheney's possible, definitely the national security adviser [Stephen Hadley], definitely either Dr Rice or . . . I think a meeting with Dr Rice or the deputy secretary [John Negroponte] is possible . . .

"The main thing is that he [the Asian politician] comes, and he's well received, that he meets with high-level people . . . and we send positive statements made back from the administration about 'This guy wasn't such a bad guy, many people have done worse'."

Unlike campaigns, presidential libraries do not have to disclose their donors.

Trading American diplomatic assistance to human rights violators in exchange for vast sums of money isn't so bad, many people have done worse.

One of the first things I thought when reading this report was that it reminded me a lot of a New York Times piece from a few months back profiling former President Bill Clinton's trading of public relations and lobbying help on behalf of a uranium financier and the Kazhak dictator in exchange for donations to the Clinton Global Initiative.

It's nice to see that the Bush administration is getting a head start on setting up his own influence-peddling racketeering scheme.

Can we please impeach Dick Cheney yet? Can we please put some of these criminals in jail?


UPDATE: Indeed the details unfold. The Payne fellow implicated in this London Times video was George W. Bush's personal travel aide during his father's campaign in 1988. He has been extremely close and loyal to the President since then.

Think about that. This guy was his personal travel aide in 1988. That was when Mr. President was still known to be a huge liability for his father. Er, I guess he's very much that now. Maybe you know what I mean - this Payne is a career fixer.


oyster said...

I hope this blows up into an extended scandal, right before and during the GOP convention.

Do you think it will?

E said...

Hmm. That's an interesting possibility. To a certain degree I think there appears to be a scandal fatigue in the national mainstream media that has set in with regard to coverage of the Bush administration. Beside that, as evidenced recently by the AP, the national MSM is bent on providing as compelling as Presidential race as possible. For those reasons, I have a hard time imagining this turning into an extended scandal because of fearfulness related to its political implications in an election year.

With that said, I don't see TPM giving up on it. I personally find the implications of this scandal absolutely abhorrent. People should be going to jail for this... This could compel Democrats not to shy away from Dennis Kucinich's articles of impeachment...

I guess I see both sides here.

I think it partially up to progressive bloggers to pursue answers on this story as a means of initiating mainstream media coverage.