Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Abramoff's jail choir

They convicted one of Jack Abramoff's cronies and the media didn't even mention Saipan or the Marianas! What a relief, because the same paragraphs about the CNMI, obviously cut-and-pasted from story to story, keep popping up every time there's a Jack attack.

This time it was
Robert E. Coughlin II, one-time Deputy Chief of Staff of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, which is handling the Abramoff probe. Or was. Justice's Office of the Inspector General has jumped in. They prosecuted him out of Baltimore because of his Washington ties.

I really expected a local connection, either the firing of U.S. Attorney Fred Black in Guam or the leak and hush-up of the Justice Department report on CNMI security. It might still come. As part of his deal he's agreed to join the growing prison choir chronicling this sad chapter in American history.

Roll your own

I'm sopping up all of the convictions, that's my old-school, Old Testament hellfire and retribution attitude toward public corruption. Throw the rascals out? It doesn't work, they just retool as lobbyists themselves or find a
golden parachute. (Check out the positions of the 'no comment' fellows in this article) More and more, their crimes seem like ancient history to voters.

And the punishments have been New Testament: white collar crime terms. Six months here, a year or two there. Fines. Even Abramoff –so far-- has only gotten seventy months. I don't think he's in a cell with The Brute. I mean, it's not like they smoked pot or anything.

Commentators have groused about the investigations' glacial pace—Coughlin's work? It's surprising more wasn't made of this in the stories I've read about him.

But the wheels of Justice keep turning, and these guys are turning on each other like rabid dogs.

Oh, that's okay then

On the campaign trail: "TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- In an April 26 story about the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., The Associated Press erroneously reported that Feeney and former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, were on the same golf trip to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney traveled to Scotland with Abramoff in 2002 and Feeney's trip with Abramoff was in 2003."

Postscript: Some of these guys sold out for a pittance. Crooks have a long history in our system, but cheap crooks even disgust their pals.

PPS: Coughlin's payoffs included tickets to U2 and Dave Matthews Band concerts. So much for Rock The Vote.

PPPS: Alex Gibney's
Casino Jack, soon to be a major motion picture.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Nice reporting. I wonder if the prison choir is all in tune?

I once had a boss ages ago in the land of Cleve when I was just a new attorney who discussed with me the importance of being honest at the "honor park" lots where you park your car, put your dollar in a slot, and there's no attendant on duty, just one who comes around (usually once a day) to collect. He described this bit of honesty as exercise. If you couldn't be honest in little things, how would you have the muscles and courage to stand up for honesty when bigger challenges came along.

Looks like this "Justice" attorney (Coughlin) didn't get such a basic lesson. Selling out for some meals and rock concert tickets!! Too bad-for him, for us, for justice.