Skip to comments.DECONSTRUCTING THE FBI ABSCAM SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: WHAT DO WE KNOW NOW...
Posted on 11/15/2006 6:57:37 PM PST by PghBaldy
For 26 years, the only portion of the FBI's undercover surveillance video of Jack Murtha meeting with an FBI agent he believed to be the representative of a rich Arab sheik was a 13-second clip that showed Murtha turning down an offer of a $50,000 bribe.
Now that the full FBI surveillance video is available for viewing, the public can see for itself what went on in that room. And what it shows is this: For 26 years, Jack Murtha has been living a lie.
For 26 years, Jack Murtha told his constituents that the only reason he sat with undercover FBI agents posing as the representatives of a fictitious Arab sheik was so that he could bring investment and jobs into his congressional district.
For 26 years, Jack Murtha denied ever making a deal to accept a $50,000 bribe to help a foreigner get into America.
As you can see when you watch the tape, the tape says otherwise.
What the FBI undercover surveillance tape makes clear is two-fold: First, that -- contrary to his assertions at the time, and ever since -- it is clear that Jack Murtha believed he had made a deal to accept $50,000 in cash in exchange for helping that Arab sheik get into the country; and, second, that his stated defense for the last 26 years -- that he went to the meeting solely to discuss business investments in the District -- was a fraud at the time, and has been a fraud ever since.
First, to the matter of the deal itself. Early in the meeting, Jack Murtha designated Howard Criden -- a Philadelphia attorney acting as a middleman -- as his agent, to accept the $50,000 on his behalf. You can see that about 16 minutes into the tape, where Mr. Murtha says, 'I'll deal through Howard eh, uh in this thing."
[Howard Criden had already played the same role -- bagman -- for Congressman Frank Thompson in an earlier meeting with the same undercover FBI agent. In that meeting, Criden had accepted a satchel containing $50,000, saying he was accepting the cash on Thompson's behalf, in exchange for Thompson's own promises of aid for the sheik. So the idea that Howard Criden would act as the physical intermediary, responsible for actually taking the cash out of the room and then handing it to the Congressmen later, was already well-established with the undercover FBI agents running the sting operation.]
Roughly 46 minutes into the 54-minute-long meeting, Howard Criden and Jack Murtha briefly stepped into the hallway outside the meeting room for a private conversation. There, the two discussed a means for Murtha to accept the cash without putting his hands on it -- by having Criden put his hands on it.
Here's what you see on the tape:
"Upon their return, Howard Criden says to Anthony Amoroso, the undercover FBI agent posing as the representative of the sheik, 'John says that it is okay for you to give me what's in that drawer.' [The drawer he was referring to, of course, is the desk drawer in which agent Amoroso had already placed $50,000 in cash.] Jack Murtha then immediately follows, explaining to Mr. Amoroso, 'Is that all right, Tony, let me make it very clear. The other two guys [Congressmen Frank Thompson and John Murphy] do expect to be taken care of, as Howard. And you're gonna have to deal through Howard. Me, you've got my deal.' Criden then acknowledges, 'We have a deal.'
Leaving a room where one has just been offered $50,000 in cash, only to return two minutes later with a bag man saying "John says that it is okay for you to give me what's in that drawer," is not something done by a man who's not aware he's trying to take a bribe.
These are the actions, rather, of a man who wanted very much to take the bribe -- as Jack Murtha said at one point on the tape, "you know, I need the [expletive deleted] money like anybody else does" -- but who thought he was clever enough, and careful enough, to have figured out a way to take the bribe without actually accepting the money himself.
Jack Murtha could have contradicted Howard Criden when Criden said, "John says that it is okay for you to give me what is in that drawer." He could have said, "Howard, I never said that."
But Jack Murtha did NOT contradict Howard Criden. Instead, he said, "Is that all right, Tony," and went on to remind the FBI agent that two other Congressmen "do expect to be taken care of," and then to agree with Criden -- "And you're gonna have to deal through Howard."
Just what did Howard Criden and Jack Murtha discuss in the hallway? Did Criden tell Murtha, "It'll be alright, Jack, I'll take the money, just like I did for Frank Thompson?" In fact, in trial testimony later, Jack Murtha testified that that is EXACTLY what happened in the hallway.
Jack Murtha believed he had cut a deal. But the deal fell apart -- FOR THE MOMENT -- when he refused to take the cash out of the room himself.
Did Jack Murtha call the FBI to report that, as a sitting Member of the House of Representatives, he had just been offered a bribe? Did Jack Murtha call the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or even the Chairman of the House Ethics Committee -- of which he was a member at the time -- to report a bribe attempt, as he was required to do under the Rules of the House in effect at the time?
No, he did not. Instead, as he testified later in federal court, he called his "immigration guy," to determine what could be done on behalf of the sheik. Why? Because he thought he still had a deal.
Second, the so-called "Investments Defense" is now demolished, once and for all time.
As the tape makes clear in numerous places, the only reason Jack Murtha talked about bringing investment into the District was so that it could act as a cover for this exercise. Consider this excerpt from the tape:
"And what I'm sayin' is, a few investments in my district, a few you know, is big to me, to this guy apparently is not too big, to a couple of banks which would get their attention. And investment in a business where you could legitimately say to me -- when I say legitimately, I'm talking about so these bastards up here can't say to me, well, why, in eight years from now, that's possible, we'd never hear a thing for eight years, but all at once, ah, some dumb bastard would go start talking eight years from now, ah, about the whole thing and say, '[expletive deleted], ah, this happened,' then he, then he, in order to get immunity so he doesn't go to jail, he starts talking and fingering people and then the [expletive deleted] all falls apart."
Just a few moments later in the tape, Mr. Murtha continues, discussing what he calls "a business commitment" in the district:
"A business commitment that makes it imperative for me to help him. Just, let me tell you something. I'm sure if -- and there's a lot of things I've done up here, with environmental regulations, with all kinds of waivers of laws and regulations. If it weren't for being in the district, people would say 'Well that [expletive deleted], I'm gonna tell you something This guy is, uh, you know, on the take.' Well once they say that, what happens? Then they start going around looking for the [expletive deleted] money. So I want to avoid that by having some tie to the district. That's all. That's the secret to the whole thing."
"That's the secret to the whole thing." Investment not for the sake of investment, but because "that's the secret" to how you can take a bribe and get away with it.
Jack Murtha has not been telling the truth for 26 years. You can believe what he says, or you can believe your own eyes. But you cannot believe both.
Because the media had a horse in the race. They were cheering for the Dems. If a homosexual in Congress emailing adults after they left the page program can be spun as a Congressman soliciting minors for sex and the word "macaca" can sink a race and John Kerry saying that you'll wind up in Iraq if you don't study and get in the private sector can almost tank the Dems' chances, then there was no way in Hell they were going to address this while Congressional leadership was in play (BECAUSE of "corruption" and scandal).
The real question is : why was Murtha only an unindicted co-conspirator?
This didn't come out before the election because when you are in the majority you are not concerned with the corruption of the other party. It is only when you lose that majority that you tend to look harder at the faults of the other party. Remember when Bill Clinton was President, there was a scandal a week on this sight.
I find it interesting that before this past election the Democrats were reading the same books about the Masons, the Illuminati, drug running from Columbia that Repbulicans were reading during Clinton's term. If I had been wise I could have sold all those books on EBay and got rid of my whole collection. It looks like I may have to start reading them again.
Murtha needs to resign
Michael Reagan on Hannity & Colmes tonight (repeated at 12am ET) said he cut a deal with Tip to let him off the hook, which caused the prosecutor to resign in disgust the next day.
Non, non, non, mon ami. This just proves we happen to have the best government Arab money can buy.
Why is it that dems always force the republicans to step down but they dont have to?
The whole damn system is a "culture of corruption".
Right on. The Congress is the most corruptable body of people in America.
***The real question is : why was Murtha only an unindicted co-conspirator***
Who shielded Jack? Thats a good question.
Pelosi is looking to make an ethical House and she appoint Murtha, The we find that she and Murtha worked some land schemes. Schemes in which she herself is not innocent.
Murtha should resign? LOL Soshould Pelosi. Dont hold your breath. Take them before the same ethics commission that gave Reid a clean slate. LMAO.
This thing has some legs I hope , but somehow I doubt it.
I would like to see the IRS get involved with Pelosi. She is supposedly worth 50 Million dollars. Where did that come from? I think I read today she has some deal going where the Navy is rebuilding an island that her husband and a relative will eventually turn into prime real estate.
Ethical House. Bwahahahaha. Funny what is coming out. i wonder if Steny Hoyer is involved in this news release.
Paybacks are hell.
As usual, the lib media was coaching the third baseline
and the DEMs slid into Home Plate safely, only to scream
like little pansie-"HOMEFREE"....JJ61
[The whole damn system is a "culture of corruption".]
Ahem, If you don't mind, I wrote that!
Some animals are more equal than others. Rats in this case (tho' they do seem to be pigs too, in many cases).
Better check this out:
The book to read is "Charlie Wilson's War" by George Crile. Charlie Wilson saved Murtha's bacon, at Tip O'Neals bequest. Also: the Dhimmacrats armed the Taliban.
I wonder if Murtha ever shoved a half grapefruit in some dames's face.
See, See, Good one Leni....JJ61
Because Tip O'Neill, the Speaker at the time, got the investigation quashed - even though the outside prosecutor wanted it pursued. The outside prosecutor resigned when this happened. See John Fund's article in today's OpinionJournal.com
I dunno. I listened to most of the tape and heard a guy who seemed genuinely interested in bringing business to his district. He told the scamer several times that "Getting this guy in the country won't cost you guys a cent." The scammer really had to try hard to shove the money down Murtha's throat. I don't like Murtha and wish he would have lost, but I think getting hot and bothered about this stuff 26 years after the fact is full of baloney. Just sayin'.
Because John Murtha was playing a very useful role - bashing Iraq strategy. The Democrats and their stooges in the MSM decided that Iraq was going to be one of the main talking points in the election. Murtha was selected to carry the water for them because he was a veteran and had a reputation as a supporter of the military. He must have been promised something - very likely the Majority Leader position.
Well, the election is over now and Murtha has outlived his usefulness. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
From one who myself, should have done more.
I'm with you. Maybe it'll come out much later that Rove orchestrated a plan for the GOP to take a dive. Two years of Democratic control, and 2008 turns into a landslide and the death knell for the Dem/Libs!
Murtha for SPEAKER!!!
I webmastered the Vets for the Truth / Boot Murtha.com website. We obtained a copy of the full 54-minute FBI surveillance tape and put it as one of several posts here on Free Republic. But folks were so, well, distracted with all the races throughout the country that they weren't interested much in Murtha's own little Congressional race in Pennsylvania's District 12.
Vets for the Truth sounded the alarm about Murtha as did Murtha's opponent Diana Irey. It is somewhat rewarding to see that some of that is now, belatedly, getting national attention.
Why is this coming out NOW? It would be more effective if it came out AFTER Murtha won a leadership post.
Just a bump and thank you for all you did this fall. Heard Diana on the radio today. Hope we see more of her.