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6287Nye & Abramoff: soft justice

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  • World View
    Sep 30, 2006
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      Congressman Nye and Lobbyist Abramoff: soft justice
      By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD*
      http://www.qumsiyeh.org/nyeandabramoff/


      Why did the US Justice Department enter into an agreement with
      discredited Congressman Bob Ney even when they already struck a plea
      agreement with the guy who bribed him, Jack Abramoff? And why did
      many mainstream media outlets ignore the most crucial facts of this
      case?

      We do know that Abramoff established scam operations to take in lobby
      money and spend it as he saw fit. The "Capitol Athletic Foundation"
      took in $6 million for "needy and deserving" sportsmanship programs.
      But it used less than 1 percent of its revenue on such programs.
      Native American leaders contributed millions to the foundation. In
      2002, the Foundation reported it had given away more than $330,000 in
      grants to four organizations that said they never received the money.
      Instead, Abramoff used the organization for his pet projects. These
      included over $4 million to a Jewish school allied with the Zionist
      movement, $248,742 for Abramoff's house in Silver Spring, and hundreds
      of thousands for sniper training of extremist and illegal Israeli
      colonial settlers living on Palestinian land. Ironically, Native
      Americans were defrauded into funding oppression and colonization of
      other native people. Abramoff also used his influence with Congressman
      Bob Ney to get a government contract worth $3 million for an obscure
      Israeli security company.

      That these details are not mentioned in most media outlets perhaps
      gives us clues as to why Abramoff and Nye got off the hook so easily
      despite overwhelming evidence of corruption and graft. After all, it
      is the same Justice Department that refuses to implement US law with
      regard to lobbying for foreign powers in the case of the Israel lobby.
      Public trials in both cases would expose the US public to the
      uncomfortable facts of the detrimental impact of the Israeli lobby on
      US foreign policy. That this is true can be seen from the hysterical
      reaction to the research paper on the Israeli lobby by two respected
      professors at Harvard and the University of Chicago. What Mearsheimer
      and Walt stated is not any secret or heresy; it is in fact something
      well known inside the beltway. Fortune magazine has consistently
      rated AIPAC in the top 5 lobbies in the capitol. The harmful power of
      the lobby was widely critiqued by chorus of Americans beyond the
      academic circles. Examples included General Anthony Zinni and many
      other retired generals, Congressman and Senators (e.g. Senator
      Fullbright, Congressman Paul Findley), and survivors of the
      Israeli-attacked USS Liberty (the lobby managed to prevent further
      inquiry even after new evidence emerged in 2003, see
      http://www.ussliberty.org/). But the circle of those calling for
      reexamination of this "special relationship" with Israel is growing.

      Many governments are finally saying enough is enough and the votes in
      the UN General Assembly on Israel are telling (in most cases, 150-160
      countries voted for human rights and International law against the
      isolated US and Israeli rejectionist policies). At the civil society
      level, campaigns of boycotts, divestments and sanctions on Israel are
      growing. US citizens are also fed up with the hemorrhaging of
      hundreds of billions of our taxes to support occupations in Iraq and
      Palestine. Many are now realizing that there are really two possible
      outcomes to this struggle: the Zionists and their allies in
      governments and the media can succeed OR fail in the short-run in
      maintaining fear and racism to support theft of lands and natural
      resources. If they succeed in the short run, the long term outlook is
      catastrophic: Americans would continue to die serving Zionist special
      interests, extremism and tribalism would flourish, and the US economy
      and perhaps the world economy would be dragged down with endless wars
      to support the exclusivist Zionist ideology.

      The more optimistic scenario is that America shakes loose from the
      lobbyists' grip and embraces International law and human rights for
      all. Americans, Palestinians, Israelis, and others will then be able
      to shape a world not separated by physical or psychological apartheid
      walls; i.e. a post-Zionist world. It was possible in Apartheid South
      Africa despite decades of animosity and hate and it is possible here too.

      *Dr. Qumsiyeh is communication director for the Palestinian American
      Congress and is author of "Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights
      and the Israeli-Palestinian struggle" (Pluto Press).