Sunday, June 26, 2005

Corrupt Hypocrites, and Stupid, Too

"I hate to ask your help with something so silly," Jack Abramoff wrote to his friend Daniel Lapin on September 15, 2000. Abramoff, of course, is the now-disgraced Republican lobbyist who stands accused of defrauding several Indian tribes of millions of dollars and trying to buy off various Republican congressmen. Lapin is a Seattle-based rabbi who is a close friend and spiritual advisor to Abramoff. Now Abramoff, at the time still hustling his way to the top of Washington lobbying, was coming to him for help:

I have been nominated for membership in the Cosmos Club, which is a very distinguished club in Washington, DC, comprised of Nobel Prize winners, etc. Problem for me is that most prospective members have received awards and I have received none. I was wondering if you thought it possible that I could put that I have received an award from Toward Tradition with a sufficiently academic title, perhaps something like Scholar of Talmudic Studies?... Indeed, it would be even better if it were possible that I received these in years past, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I think you see what I am trying to finagle here!

Indeed he did. "Mazel tov, the Cosmos Club is a big deal," Lapin replied. A few days, later the rabbi wrote again:

Let's organize your many prestigous awards so they're ready to 'hang on the wall.'... I just need to know what needs to be produced. Letters? Plaques? Neither?

"Probably just a few clever titles of awards, dates and that's it," Abramoff replied.

Clever indeed. ...

These guys were around when Ollie North [*] got himself in trouble over emails he thought he'd deleted. That they were so free in their email exchanges shows them to be stupid. Maybe that's why they are corrupt.

[*] "...self-incriminating computer notes that indicated his deep involvement in drug trafficking, as North did; ..."

If there's a Hell, there's got to be a special corner just for assholes like these.

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