Jack Abramoff opens up to 60 Minutes about lobbyist and government corruption
Former powerful lobbyist Jack Abramoff sat down with 60 Minutes to explain how lobbyists and politicians butt rape democracy and the American people. The interview, “Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist’s playbook”, is disgusting on several levels. The least of which is 60 Minutes interviewer Lesley Stahl’s reactions that either show how completely oblivious she is or how bad she did in college theater with her weak attempt at overcoming disingenuous shock responses.
Nothing Jack says here is all that surprising is it? I find it a poor excuse from those involved to say they didn’t think they were doing anything all that wrong.
” I was so far into it that I couldn’t figure out where right and wrong was. I believed that I was among the top moral people in the business. I was totally blinded by what was going on.” – Jack Abramoff
No Jack, you had your eyes open the widest. You knew you were manipulating policy and the political system for your own personal gain and that of your clients. You giggle like a school girl at various parts throughout the interview about how good you were. You were the best demon in Hell and you were proud of it. I believe that accomplishment still impresses you. Your ego betrays you. Yes your first few lines in the interview are delivered with a straight-faced expression but the more you speak the more the braggadocio like element raises its head.
This interview just publicly highlights further justification for money to be taken out of Washington. Revolving doors need to be closed. Abramoff correctly says the law should be changed to not permit politicians or anyone in their staff from working for or with a lobby after leaving office to curb some of the corruption. That would be a good start.
When we would become friendly with an office and they were important to us, and the chief of staff was a competent person, I would say or my staff would say to him or her at some point, “You know, when you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.” Now the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to ’em, that was it. We owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they’re gonna do. And not only that, they’re gonna think of things we can’t think of to do.
The theatre of some parts of the interview is also disgusting. I know I’m not the only one who sees it. The Young Turks Cenk Uygur didn’t miss it. The seriousness of the crimes seem downplayed. Take the moment where Neil Volz, who was chief of staff to former Republican Congressman Bob Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee at the time says to Ney ” I let you down man and I’m sorry…” <sarcasm>Come on don’t beat yourself up over this guys…really…you’ve suffered enough. I mean no one should be subjected to making forced unemotional apologies for the camera. It’s just dehumanizing and degrading. I mean it’s bad enough that Lesley Stahl is “not kidding” when she says she’s “mad at” Abramoff in a lovingly soft monotone voice. Dammit Lesley he’s just human cut him some slack here. That type of callous cold blooded tongue lashing is uncalled for.</sarcasm>
“Look I did things and I was involved in the system I should not have been in. I’m ashamed of the fact I was there, the very reason why now I’m speaking about it. And now I’m trying to do something, in recompense, is the fact that I thought it was– it was wrong of me to do it.” – Jack Abramoff
I somehow don’t believe this is the real reason you are speaking out about it Jack. Unfortunately we’ve seen how this sort of thing plays out. Abramoff goes to jail, comes out, does an “I’m sorry” and “I’m so ashamed of myself” piece exposing the corruption we already knew was there, writes a book and becomes a best-selling author. All is well in the world. When what should happen is Abramoff should prove how bad he really feels about helping to destroy the very fabric of this country through actions that had a real negative impact upon millions of men, women, and children in this nation and the rest of the world (due to the interconnected nature of the global economy) by naming names and helping to prosecute, remove from office and jail those that do what he did and were party to his dealings. Three and a half years in jail just doesn’t cover it because there are people who deserve to be in jail that are still in positions that influence policy in this country and Jack knows them. Abramoff has firsthand knowledge of illegal activity that those people took part in. Jack Abramoff owes you, your children, our future and this nation. Jack is deeper in debt than an American college student.