Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Eating Their Mown

* Emptywheel:
Did I Say "Eating Their Own"?

I believe I did.

Well, it appears that Abu Gonzales didn't accept the fall guy routine quickly enough for someone. Jerome Corsi, Swift Boat extraordinaire, has turned his gun turrets back onto the mother ship, peddling a (likely only partly true) smear on Gonzales. And Corsi spares none of his special brand of, um, irony, in that he uses a pedophilia cover-up to smear the man who, a few days ago, said he was going to stick around for the children.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, both already under siege for other matters, are now being accused of failing to prosecute officers of the Texas Youth Commission after a Texas Ranger investigation documented that guards and administrators were sexually abusing the institution's minor boy inmates.
[snip]
The Texas Youth Comission controversy traces back to a criminal investigation conducted in 2005 by Texas Ranger Brian Burzynski. The investigation revealed key employees at the West Texas State School in Pyote, Texas, were systematically abusing youth inmates in their custody.

Burzynski presented his findings to the attorney general in Texas, to the U.S. Attorney Sutton, and to the Department of Justice civil rights division. From all three, Burzynski received no interest in prosecuting the alleged sexual offenses.
Now, it does appear that several wings of Abu G's DOJ declined to prosecute this case. So it is possible it is, as Corsi suggests, political manipulation, perhaps even involving Abu G. But it sure stinks of the kind of smears they usually use on people like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Or, just the kind of scandal that these people keep in their back pocket to keep everyone in line--reminiscent of some DHS scandals from last year.

Interesting.

Johnny Sutton, of course, is knee-deep in House of Death, which brings me to Bill Conroy, again:
Emails link Johnny "House of Death" Sutton to DOJ firing scandal

The U.S. Attorney who spearheaded a cover-up of a U.S. government informant’s role in the House of Death mass murder also appears to have played a leadership role in the recent U.S. Attorney firing scandal.

That U.S. Attorney, Johnny Sutton, is the lead federal prosecutor for the Western District of Texas (based in San Antonio) and serves as chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC), which has major influence in developing Department of Justice (DOJ) policies.

It is in the context of that latter role that Sutton’s name shows up in some of the e-mails turned over to Congress to date by DOJ concerning the Bush administration’s controversial move to fire eight U.S. Attorneys (USAs) — allegedly, according to some critics, in retaliation for their failure to pursue prosecutorial strategies deemed to be in the administration’s political interests.

According to the emails, it is clear Sutton was in the loop on the firings. How big a role he played, if any, in initiating or orchestrating those terminations behind the scenes is not clear from the electronic missives. But given his favored status within the Bush administration, and his long-time ties to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and to President Bush, it seems that someone in Congress should be asking that question.

After all, Sutton has already been exposed as an individual willing to use his political pull within the Bush administration to silence and retaliate against a DEA whistleblower who sought to expose the U.S. government’s complicity in mass murder in Juárez, Mexico, and its role in nearly causing the death of a DEA agent and his family in that same city — another obviously embarrassing political scandal for the Bush White House.

[]

It’s interesting that Iglesias visited Pablo Escobar’s house in Colombia while traveling with Sutton. You have to wonder if Sutton’s Colombia/Mexico tour with Iglesias (whom Sutton later helped to fire) also included a drive-by of the House of Death in Juárez, or of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, which another DOJ attorney and whistleblower, Thomas M. Kent, alleges has been compromised by corrupt U.S. law enforcers who are on the payroll of narco-traffickers.

But I guess in the "big scheme," as Iglesias points out, it’s a good thing to remember that because of prosecutors like Sutton (who maintain justice and do what is right) we can now all put our faith in the comforting script that America saved Colombia from becoming the world's first "narcocracy."

emph in original.

Which brings me to this anon comment, FWIW, from the other day in response to the post where I quoted PaloVerde at length on Sibel:

As for "international gangsters", I'd start with Americans first, particularly those from the state that got Bush elected --Florida. Instead of focusing on the Sicilian variety, though, consider the financial side of organized crime--those involved in money laundering. Close scrutiny at the banking and real estate interests that formed Jeb's base of support in his quest for governorship is in order.

Who initially supported Jeb in his run for governor? Of particular interest should be the non-profit foundation he started prior to becoming elected. (Some of the very same people keep showing up in the oddest places -- the Palm Beach recount, FEMA after 911, ICE, possibly during the House of Death incident.

Madsen has reported that Jeb had "ties" to Centrust, the failed S&L in Miami. Try pulling on that particular string.

Why is Mel Sembler, a Florida developer, so devoted to the Libby cause?

I highly recommend a relatively new blog called Eye on Miami. It should be a daily read.

Unfortunately, I'm way short of time right now... but there's some food for thought for y'all.

Starroute - do you know which ' non-profit foundation' anon is referring to?

update: from starroute in the comments:
The first part of the answer turns out to be simple -- googling for *Jeb Bush non-profit foundation* turns up a bunch of links. Even his Wikipedia entry mentions it: The Foundation for Florida's Future. Founded as a think-tank after he lost the election for governor in 1994. Revived in 2005 when he was due to leave office and roused speculation about his future political ambitions by paying some of his former campaign staff and a political PR firm.

The bigger question raised by that poster, though, is of who was behind it. Here's something from 2005:
Seventeen months before he leaves office, Jeb Bush and some of his most loyal supporters are preparing a public relations offensive to promote the governor's record on reforming Florida's education system.

Bush allies last month quietly incorporated the Foundation for Florida's Future, a nonprofit group that will concentrate on touting Bush's record on schools. It's a relaunch of a public policy foundation that preceded his 1998 gubernatorial campaign, but this time is organized to be a potentially potent political advocacy group. . . .

Bush's longtime political fundraiser, Ann Herberger, is leading the money-raising effort. The governor tapped three of the state's heaviest hitters in Republican politics to serve on the board: Jacksonville insurance executive Tom Petway; Miami builder Sergio Pino; and Fort Lauderdale cardiologist Zach Zachariah. Each is a "Ranger," the Bush-Cheney designation for people who raised at least $200,000 for the re-election campaign. . . .

After losing his first gubernatorial campaign to Lawton Chiles in 1994, Bush created the original Foundation for Florida's Future, which served as a policy think tank that helped keep his profile elevated. When he won the governor's mansion in 1998, that foundation wound up folding into another conservative think tank, the James Madison Institute, which still promotes conservative policy. . . .

The original foundation became an issue in the 1998 campaign because Bush would not release details of its contributors, and nonprofit organizations are not required to reveal donors. Ultimately, it emerged through tax returns the state inadvertently released to a weekly newspaper that Odebrecht Contractors of Florida had given the foundation its largest single donation, $70,000 in 1995.
That should be enough to start with. There are revealing entries at whitehouseforsale.org on Petway, Pino, and Zachariah.

9 comments:

starroute said...

Luke -

I don't, offhand -- and it's 2 am here, so I'm not going to try to find out tonight. But any time Mel Sembler's name comes up, it's a matter of interest, so I'll definitely check it out in the morning. There's a huge amount of dirty dealing down in Florida -- has been for over 50 years -- and Jeb Bush seems to be involved with at least half of it.

lukery said...

thnx starroute.

sembler was amb. to australia, of course, as is mccallum, who has recently been brought to the fore (again) re the tobacco / AG case...

i wrote about the aussie connection previously
http://wotisitgood4.blogspot.com/2006/05/howard-bush-war-criminals.html

starroute said...

The first part of the answer turns out to be simple -- googling for *Jeb Bush non-profit foundation* turns up a bunch of links. Even his Wikipedia entry mentions it: The Foundation for Florida's Future. Founded as a think-tank after he lost the election for governor in 1994. Revived in 2005 when he was due to leave office and roused speculation about his future political ambitions by paying some of his former campaign staff and a political PR firm.

The bigger question raised by that poster, though, is of who was behind it. Here's something from 2005:

Seventeen months before he leaves office, Jeb Bush and some of his most loyal supporters are preparing a public relations offensive to promote the governor's record on reforming Florida's education system.

Bush allies last month quietly incorporated the Foundation for Florida's Future, a nonprofit group that will concentrate on touting Bush's record on schools. It's a relaunch of a public policy foundation that preceded his 1998 gubernatorial campaign, but this time is organized to be a potentially potent political advocacy group. . . .

Bush's longtime political fundraiser, Ann Herberger, is leading the money-raising effort. The governor tapped three of the state's heaviest hitters in Republican politics to serve on the board: Jacksonville insurance executive Tom Petway; Miami builder Sergio Pino; and Fort Lauderdale cardiologist Zach Zachariah. Each is a "Ranger," the Bush-Cheney designation for people who raised at least $200,000 for the re-election campaign. . . .

After losing his first gubernatorial campaign to Lawton Chiles in 1994, Bush created the original Foundation for Florida's Future, which served as a policy think tank that helped keep his profile elevated. When he won the governor's mansion in 1998, that foundation wound up folding into another conservative think tank, the James Madison Institute, which still promotes conservative policy. . . .

The original foundation became an issue in the 1998 campaign because Bush would not release details of its contributors, and nonprofit organizations are not required to reveal donors. Ultimately, it emerged through tax returns the state inadvertently released to a weekly newspaper that Odebrecht Contractors of Florida had given the foundation its largest single donation, $70,000 in 1995.


That should be enough to start with. There are revealing entries at whitehouseforsale.org on Petway, Pino, and Zachariah.

I also have a feeling I saved a file a couple of months back on Mel Sembler's prowess as a fundraiser -- I'll see if I can track that down and add it later.

lukery said...

thnx starroute. you rock.

post updated

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the lawyers. They always know what is going on.

And that's about as far as I'm going at the moment. I generally like to fly under the radar.

starroute said...

Oh, yeah ... that other Mel Sembler item I recalled from the last few months had to do with him fundraising for Joe Lieberman last fall. Not a reassuring situation, but probably not directly connected with his support for Jeb Bush. (Though you never know. Jeb-Joe? Sounds like the two-headed mutant in an old Heinlein story.)

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Sembler is an artist in detainment and torture, a real culture personality figure for the Bush administration. This explains things in a nice, terse fashion. Yep, he's quite a guy.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Here, too. I've thought Sembler was one of the most interesting characters coming out of the Grand Old Psychopathy party. Nixon would have made him secretary of education.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

So far as Sembler's connection with Jeb Bush, I'm reminded of the lament by Fitrakis and Wasserman, complaining of how Ohio HB3 could rig elections, federal elections in particular:

When it comes to 2008, can you say "Jeb Bush"?

Stranger things have happened.