#6. February 6,
P. 10, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * February 6, 2006...
Behind the Headlines
with Michael Collins Piper
Media Promotes ‘Reformers’
In Wake of Abramoff Scandal
By Michael Collins Piper
the wake of the growing scandal surrounding the sleazy activities
of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a longtime Republican Party
activist and promoter of Israel’s interests, the major media
has been touting two unlikely Republican advocates for “reform”:
former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
However, a careful review of the records of both Gingrich and McCain
indicates that they can hardly be counted upon to bring genuine
reform to curtail the domination of Congress by special interest
Take the case of the former House speaker. While serving in Congress
and talking about cost-cutting, he once declared that U.S. foreign
aid to Israel was one of the areas that no cost-cutting was possible
and that, quite the contrary, required additional funding from tax-burdened
BOTH WAYS: Democrats
from the House and Senate listen to Senate Minority
Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) during a press conference
unveiling the Honest Leadership and Open Government
Act in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress
January 18, 2006, in Washington. Democrats proposed
the legislation in reaction to the corruption and
scandals involving some GOP lawmakers and lobbyists.
Democrat or Republican, the truth is congressmen
(and women) routinely do “favors” for
In addition, while Gingrich was busy on Capitol
Hill carrying water for Israeli interests, his then-wife Marianne
was on the payroll of the Israel Export Development Company (IDECO),
which was promoting the financial interests of Israel vis-à-vis
lucrative trade agreements with the U.S.
Mrs. Gingrich’s lucrative deal with IDECO was cut in August
1994 after she and her husband traveled to Israel at the expense
of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). AIPAC is
the foreign lobby for Israel that, even as this is written, has
been embarrassed by the criminal indictment of two of its top lobbyists
on charges of suspected espionage on behalf of Israel.
At the time it was first revealed that Mrs. Gingrich was taking
home a monthly stipend of $2,500 plus “commissions”
from the Israeli corporate operation. However, Mrs. Gingrich has
refused to disclose the size of those “commissions.”
Mrs. Gingrich has responded to criticisms of her sweet deal by saying
“If I were going to get a political payoff, it would not be
for the amount of money I am making." However, the fact is,
the yearly figure of $30,000 is precisely the kind of figures often
seen linked to political payoffs. And what is interesting is that
IEDCO president Larry Silverstein admitted to The Wall
Street Journal that Gingrich was one of a number of
members of Congress who were lobbied to support his company’s
Mrs. Gingrich’s Israeli connection was obviously an egregious
conflict of interest for Gingrich, but the congressman’s friends
in high places saw no problem — since “our ally Israel”
was involved. Imagine the ruckus if Mrs. Gingrich had been working
for Arab interests.
As for so-called “reformer” John McCain, his track record
is not so much more attractive. Following the 2002 elections, when
campaign finance reform legislation — shepherded into law
by McCain and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) — went into effect,
the New York-based weekly newspaper Forward,
the most influential voice of the pro-Israel lobby in America, bragged
in its first post-election edition that “Jewish interest groups
may be the big winners” under the vaunted McCain- Feingold
campaign finance measures. Forward asserted
Political hands say groups such as the Republican
Jewish Coalition and its counterpart, the National Jewish Democratic
Council, not-for-profits unaffected by the ban on “soft
money” for political campaigns, are poised to be big beneficiaries
of the new [campaign finance legislation] regime.
In fact, under the McCain-Feingold “reform”
measure, the new strength in organized Jewish political power would
come at the expense of corporations, labor unions and other interest
groups — and wealthy individuals, too — who were previously
exempt from regular limits on campaign contributions if their funds
were donated directly to national party organizations for “party
building,” voter drives and issues advertisements.
Under the new law only so-called “issues” groups such
as the aforementioned Jewish organizations would not be subject
to limits. Forward pointed out:
As long as the groups are independent of the
parties and candidates do not “coordinate” their activities
with them, their contributions remain unrestricted.
What this means is that a wide-ranging number
of political action committees focused on Israel interests can now
spend unlimited amounts of money working to elect or defeat candidates.
Although top Jewish organizations such as the Anti- Defamation League
(ADL) of B’nai B’rith and AIPAC target offending politicians
for destruction, these organizations do not formally involve themselves
in election campaigns or donate money to political figures.
However, it is an “open secret” that dozens of other
Jewish political organizations rely on “a wink and a nod”
from the ADL and AIPAC to determine whom they should support or
Anyone familiar with the history and record of McCain would not
be surprised that McCain should be the one responsible for enacting
such unfair and biased legislation
designed to benefit the political power of the pro-Israel lobby.
In fact, McCain owes his entire career to the indirect sponsorship
of the powerful organized-crime-enriched family of billionaire Edgar
Bronfman, head of the World Jewish Congress. McCain’s chief
backer in Arizona politics, Kemper Marley, was a front man for the
Bronfman family, and McCain’s own family beer distribution
fortune came through this connection.
In addition, much of McCain’s own campaign money has come
from a clique of groups and individuals all of whom have close ties
to the Israeli lobby, including: organized crime-linked gambling
interests in Las Vegas, international bankers such as Goldman Sachs
and Hollywood figures such as the late mob-linked Lew Wasserman.
It will also be remembered that McCain’s father, the late
Adm. John McCain, was a key player in the official U.S. government
cover-up of Israel’s murder of 34 American sailors aboard
the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967.
(Issue #7, February 6, 2006, American