Monday, November 7, 2011

Abramoff turns CBS's Lesley Stahl's stomach with extent of corruption in Washington

Abramoff's book may be the catalyst needed to spur the American electorate into action to clean up Washington, by getting rid of the career politicians and relying on citizen legislators to do their bidding. Two terms and out should be our motto.

Jack Abramoff, onetime power broker for the elite of Washington, D.C., is holding no punches in exposing corruption on Capitol Hill and warning it may run deeper and wider than most Americans can even imagine.

"People are under the impression that the corruption only involves somebody handing over a check and getting that favor, and that's not the case," Abramoff told CBS's Lesley Stahl. "The bribery, call it, because ultimately that's what it is, that's what the whole [lobbying] system is ... it is done every day, and it is still being done.

"The truth is there are very few members [of Congress] who I could even name or could think of who didn't at some level participate in that," he said.

At one time, Abramoff told Stahl, his lobbying firm had an estimated 100 members of Congress in its back pocket.

Abramoff influenced legislators by lavishing them with access to private jets and junkets to the world's greatest golf destinations, free meals and access to the best tickets to area sporting events. But the best way to peddle influence, Abramoff said, was to tell congressmen's staffers high-salaried jobs would be waiting after their stint on Capitol Hill.

The moment the job was offered, Abramoff explained, "That was it. We owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request from our clients, everything that we want, they're going to do."

"It was effective," Abramoff said. "Most congressmen don't feel they're being 'bought.' Most congressmen I think, can in their own mind justify the system."

Stahl was stunned and personally sickened by the revelations, summarizing, "I really think what you were doing was subverting the essence of our system."

"Absolutely right," Abramoff affirmed. "But our system is flawed and has to be fixed. Human beings populate our sytem. Human beings are weak."

"And you preyed on that," Stahl asserted.

"I did."

Read full WND article here.

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