Thus far, 16 congresspeople, staffers, aids & lobbyists have already plead guilty in this wholesale ripoff of the American people, and the circle of targets appears to be expanding. By the account in dengre's awesome diary, it's the inexplicably-still-a-Congressman from Alaska Don Young (R), and his contacts in our bonded-sweatshop Pacific "territory" (the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands) which are now the focus of the investigations. (If you haven't heard of the migrainy, diarrheac, epikagic, pulp fiction-level disaster that is the Northern Marianas Islands' recent labor history, you should do yourself a favor and check it out, since you're apparently on the interweb already . . . but be warned, this tale of woe is not for the faint of heart. Suggested google search terms would pair "Northern Marianas" with "Abramoff" and "sexual slavery," or "sweatshops" for those with less of a stout eye for ugly truths.)
A taste of the dengre's diary:
The Abramoff Scandal is Expanding: More GOP woes for 2009...The GOP is pissing its pants right now, thinking about the New Sheriff in town at the DOJ - Eric Holder - who has a long record, a la Patrick Fitzgerald, of taking down corrupt politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle. Perhaps that's why the scummier-than-thou kakistocrats in the RepubliCon's Minority Senate Caucus are frothing at the mouth and retching blood, threatening to hold up the Holder nomination. They are weak with fear.
For many the Jack Abramoff scandal is old news, ancient history and in the past. As the corrupt Bush Administration winds down many of his corrupt fellow travelers are hoping that the Abramoff scandal is dead and buried—and that their involvement will never bubble to the surface. These Corruptionists hope that the Abramoff scandal is over, but they are just whistling past the graveyard. As Faulkner said:"The past is never dead. It’s not even past."Quietly, the professionals at the Department of Justice have been working this massive scandal—that is complex by design—to build cases that move from the outer edges to the heart of political corruption in Washington DC. Abramoff is just a doorway in—not an endpoint—and prosecutors are zeroing in on some big fish in a corrupt stream. . .
. . . When the Washington Post broke the Abramoff scandal in a February 2004 article, [former John Doolittle & John Ashcroft aide] Kevin Ring shared his insights on the scandal in an email exchanged with friends that was released as part of a November 2, 2005 Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee doc dump. In one email, Ring
confessed:I know more than the article and the truth is worse.The Truth is Worse could be the Abramoff scandal tagline. Hell, it seems to be the motto of the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. Kevin Ring is a major scandal player and he is actively fighting the Department of Justice and the investigation into the scandal—when Ring falls, the last line of defense for many corruptionists in DC will fall with him. Lately Ring and his lawyers have been arguing with the Government over discovery and the evidence they have against him. These exchanges have revealed new details about the massive scope of the ongoing Abramoff investigation.
And the funny thing about being weak with fear is that, well, it makes you weak.
Pass the porcorn y'all!