More proof that the Democratic party has been the Culture of Treason for many many years:
The US Senate is looking into allegations that a former US senator urged Baghdad to give a US company lucrative contracts under the much-criticised United Nations oil-for-food programme.
This is the first time that a leading US lawmaker has been linked to the controversial UN programme, whose shortcomings have been an important element of the Bush administration’s critique of the UN.[…]The allegations are based on Iraqi documents, including diplomatic cables, retrieved after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s former president. The Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian business daily, have obtained copies of some of the Iraqi diplomatic cables. A source also described the contents of some of the other Iraqi documents. […]According to the documents, Mr Torricelli, nicknamed “the Torch” for his incendiary political style, had a series of meetings in the late 1990s, when he was a congressman, with Nizar Hamdoun, then the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations. During these meetings, Mr Torricelli allegedly urged the Iraqi authorities to help Mr Chang and Bright and Bright get oil-for-food contracts on good terms.
The first meeting between Mr Torricelli and Mr Hamdoun took place on March 10 1996, when, according to an Iraqi document that has been described to the FT, Mr Torricelli reportedly suggested that he was willing to play an active role in improving US-Iraq communications.
The two talked about Resolution 986, which was going to set the rules of the oil-for-food programme. Mr Torricelli said a number of US companies would be interested in doing business with Baghdad, and specifically mentioned Mr Chang.
According to the same Iraqi document, Mr Torricelli met Mr Hamdoun again two days later. At that meeting, Mr Torricelli said that since their previous conversation he had spoken with Edward Gnehm, the deputy US representative to the UN, who was leading negotiations with Iraq about the oil-for-food programme.
On June 22, according to the same document, Mr Torricelli allegedly met Mr Hamdoun again. Mr Torricelli told him he had heard that the Iraqis might not give US companies any contracts and advised him that this would be a mistake. Mr Torricelli told Mr Hamdoun that he expected to win a US Senate seat in the November election (as he later did), and said that Bright and Bright was important to him and his election campaign and that he hoped that the company would receive contracts from Iraq.
According to the Iraqi document, Bright and Bright initially asked for 60 per cent of Iraq’s oil contracts and a discount of $1.50 a barrel. Then on June 11 1996, a Bright and Bright executive wrote to Mr Hamdoun asking for government contracts worth as much as $300m in the first 90 days of the oil-for-food programme. In return, he said Bright and Bright would continue to support the normalisation of relations between the US and Iraq.
To be fair, the article also highlights a Republican:
In mid-November 1996, according to the Iraqi document, Mr Hamdoun met with Mr Courter, then a former New Jersey Republican congressman, who is described in the Iraqi documents as the president of Bright and Bright. A Dun and Bradstreet entry for Bright and Bright lists Mr Courter as one of its principals. Mr Courter refused to comment. However, a spokesman for the company Mr Courter now runs said he was not an officer of Bright and Bright, but that “he was their [Bright and Bright’s] attorney and was representing them in a legal capacity”.
According to the Iraqi document, Mr Courter reportedly outlined a possible deal to Mr Hamdoun: if Iraq committed itself to stop all delaying tactics against UN inspections, use peaceful means to deal with the Kurdish people, not seek weapons of mass destruction, join the convention against chemical weapons, steer clear of any neighbouring country’s territory and reject terrorism, Bright and Bright would help Baghdad in its efforts to lift UN sanctions.
In return, the Iraqi authorities were to promise to write a letter of intent giving preference to Bright and Bright in the fields of oil, industry, transportation and communications. According to the Iraqi document, Mr Courter told Mr Hamdoun that he had discussed the proposal with US government officials in Washington and had their approval.
While it looks like Toricelli was involved for strict monetary reasons, the Republican on the other hand attempted to get Iraq to comply with the UN resolutions and in exchange the company would help get rid of the UN sanctions. Big difference there.
You will recall what other feats Mr. Torricelli is known for:
Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., led congressional efforts in the mid-1990s that handcuffed the CIA’s abilities to recruit spies – a key policy that helped allow the attacks of Sept. 11 to take place with no intelligence warnings.
Current and former CIA operatives say that Clinton administration policies, which forbade the CIA from recruiting known terrorists and other criminals, left the U.S. government bereft of all intelligence about such terrorist groups.
In 1995, then-Rep. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., made secrets public at the behest of left-wing activist Bianca Jagger, his girlfriend at the time, according to Newark Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine in the January/February issue of Heterodoxy.
The secrets suggested that the CIA had on its payroll one or more unsavory characters who had been involved in murder.
Torricelli gave away secrets he obtained through his membership on the House Intelligence Committee.
This so outraged then-Speaker Newt Gingrich that he tried to have the New Jersey Democrat kicked off the panel.
Later, Torricelli was criticized in a committee report for having compromised American intelligence-gathering abilities around the world, adding that numerous CIA sources had decided to stop giving information for fear they would be outed by a congressman.
At the time, Torricelli’s activities and leaks against the CIA garnered a large amount of press attention.
Mulshine?s article showed how Torricelli?s action in giving away the name of a CIA source in Guatemala was based not on fact, but on a conspiracy theory of “the loony left,? as Heterodoxy later characterized it.
The lawmaker was accused of having leaped to a number of inaccurate conclusions about the CIA?s role in the deaths of an American hotel owner named Michael DeVine and a Guatemalan guerilla named Efrain Bamaca Velazquez.
In its 1997 report, the House Intelligence Committee had this to say about the antics of Torricelli, by then a senator:
“None of the allegations raised by Rep. Torricelli in the March 22, 1995 letter to the president [Clinton] or subsequent public statements concerning the involvement of the CIA in the DeVine and Bamaca deaths in Guatemala have proved true.?
Still, Torricelli efforts paid off with the Clinton administration, which moved to ban the use of spies or the recruitment of spies that had any involvement with criminals or terrorists.
Torricelli effectively blinded the CIA.
Hey Sen. Rockefeller, you getting worried yet?
Doing a bit more research about Torricelli and came up with this:
The ugly story of New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli continues to grow. The Torricelli/Chang story has it all ? laundered campaign contributions, perjury, the destruction of documents, witness tampering, North Korea, illicit gifts, and a cast of characters reminiscent of the 1996 DNC fundraising scandal from which it emerged. The Senate Ethics Committee reprimanded Torricelli in July for accepting gifts from supporter David Chang after the Justice Department declined to prosecute. New evidence suggests that both the Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee may have neglected their responsibility.
Media lawsuits have now uncovered a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York with details about the antics of David Chang, Torricelli’s high-flying supporter who was sentenced in 2000 for laundering $53,700 in illegal contributions to Torricelli’s 1996 reelection campaign. The recently released letter (under seal for almost two years) was directed to his sentencing judge and described Chang’s help with both the investigation of Senator Torricelli and the prosecution of retired State Department official C. Kenneth Quinones. In light of his help, prosecutors requested that the judge exercise leniency when sentencing Chang.
Chang, initially represented by an attorney with close ties to Torricelli, was indicted in March 2000 for conspiracy, obstruction, and witness tampering in connection with his activities supporting Torricelli. But before trial, with the aid of a new attorney, he offered to help the prosecution. According to Justice’s letter, he provided what is described as “credible information” about Torricelli. Chang related that from 1995 through 1998 he provided tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts to Torricelli in exchange for the senator’s help with Chang’s business projects. Chang said that his relationship began when Torricelli wrote recommendations for Chang to other officials, then asked for $25,000 in cash from Chang for his campaign. Chang obliged, and from then through 1998 Chang said he gave Torricelli cash, antiques, jewelry, and electronics at Torricelli’s request and while Torricelli’s office was intervening on Chang’s behalf with a variety of officials here and abroad. According to the letter, Chang was able to substantiate many claims with other witness and document evidence.
Chang similarly sought the good graces of C. Kenneth Quinones, a now-retired official who at one time had been the North Korean Desk Officer at the State Department. Chang sought help with business prospects in North Korea in 1995-96, specifically support for his company becoming project coordinator for the construction of light-water nuclear reactors, and obtaining a contract to recover the remains of POWs from the North Koreans. Chang also pursued the repayment of debts from North Korea and release of frozen assets there. Chang gave Quinones an Acura Legend, found a job for one daughter and paid $65,000 toward another’s daughter Stanford tuition. Quinones, in contrast with Torricelli, pled guilty to violations of government conflict of interest laws in August 2001.[…]Though many details are still shrouded from public view, with what we now know it appears that Senator Torricelli solicited gifts from a constituent for himself and for family and friends, made official acts contingent on the receipt of gifts, accepted gifts, and directed gifts to others. Given Chang’s close relationship with Torricelli (doing Christmas together?), it certainly reflects poorly on the Senate that Chang was also the center of a massive contribution-laundering scheme that directly benefited Torricelli’s campaign. One might also conclude that Torricelli knew or should have known about Chang’s fundraising machine ? which would add another list of campaign finance violations (civil and potentially criminal) to the mix. In any case, Chang’s efforts to purchase State Department assistance with North Korea through both Torricelli and a key department diplomat would alone make him sufficiently unsavory such that having him around should subject a senator to rebuke. It appears that enough other players in this drama have shared their stories with law enforcement that the Senate need not rely on the “unstable” Chang to sustain such charges.
As Macranger said on his post about The Torch:
If this is pursued it is going to be exposive and backs up my position that the Democrat’s planned opposition to the the Iraq war was based solely on the reason that Bush was about to kill the Golden Goose.
Amen. This is just one thread in the Democratic Culture of Treason quilt, but one that when pulled will bring this house of treason down.
Rockefeller look out!
What has Torricelli been up to lately? Why supporting John Kerry of course:
But having left Washington the ultimate insider ? jettisoned out ? Torricelli is now the outsider who is invited in. He plays a role in the shadows of national politics, having raised money for John Kerry in his 2004 presidential race and advised his friend New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine ? someone he helped guide into politics ? with a leap from the Senate to the Statehouse and is eager to help the presidential campaign of his friend Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who he is convinced will occupy the White House for two terms starting in 2009.[…]Torricelli keeps in touch with colleagues like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Clinton. And they keep in touch with him, usually about speech ideas, he said. […]Torricelli has analyzed the national political landscape from his farmhouse armchair ? the one sometimes occupied by a nearly life-size stuffed St. Bernard, not to be confused with the very real 145-pound Daisy.
He doubts Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) can win the GOP nomination in a primary process so tightly controlled by conservatives and predicted Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) ? whom Torricelli is fond of ? will be the 2008 presidential nominee.
He said Reid would go down in history as one of the great Democratic leaders, along with George Mitchell and Lyndon Johnson.
Other possible Democratic contenders for ?08 who have his respect are Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), whom he called ?one of the of the best political talents in America,? and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who he said ?will be there at the end.?
My favorite part:
President Bush, he said, is incompetent and ?never had the central elements to be a successful president ? the depth of experience, the intellectual curiosity ? there was a sense of inevitability about the problems of this administration.?
Of Republicans in Congress, he said: ?These are some genuinely bad people, and I don?t believe they have the best interests of the United States at heart. I think they have done some real damage to the country.?
Who does this scumbag think will be the one to bring back the power? Why Hillary of course:
he thinks the Congress is likely to change hands in 2008, and he is hanging his hope on Clinton to lead his party back into power.
?There is going to be a premium on experience and competence, and my sense is she has exactly the right skills at precisely the right moment,? he said.
Torricelli believes after watching the way Clinton won her Senate race that she is the Democrats? best hope to alter the demographics in an evenly divided country and forge a coalition that wins her more than 50 percent of the vote.
And how bout this doozy:
Torricelli has plans to host a fundraiser for Clinton at a yet-to-be-determined date. And he still has roughly $2 million left over from his Senate campaign that he will be able to contribute in 2008 ? money he was criticized for keeping instead of donating to colleagues facing reelection in 2002.
To galvanize Democrats in ?06, Torricelli is relying on his old friend President Clinton, who called him from Europe on that dark day as he was driving to his resignation speech and asked him to stay in his Senate race.
This has to be another fav:
?He essentially could be the Democratic Party?s Karl Rove, and I mean that in a positive way,? said Daniel O?Brien, the chief of staff to Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.)
I mean could any article bring this much laughter? Priceless.