Skip to comments.The Perfect Villain: John McCain and the Demonization of Jack Abramoff [Book by Gary S. Chafetz]
Posted on 08/22/2008 2:52:25 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow
This is an upcoming book, available on Amazon.com for pre-sale,
presumably due to release closer to the November 2008 election to do more harm to McCain.
Here is the book description, as provided on Amazon:
The Perfect Villain: John McCain and the Demonization of Jack Abramoff (Hardcover)
by Gary S. Chafetz (Author)
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Martin & Lawrence Press (September 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 097738988X
- ISBN-13: 978-0977389889
- Product Description
- Gary Chafetz is a liberal Boston journalist who set out to chronicle the scandal involving conservative gun-for-hire and super-lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. Instead he uncovered a Shakespearean tragedy of deceit, betrayal and political vendetta in which the true villains are Presidential aspirant John McCain, the Washington Post newspaper and the U.S. Department of Justice--all of whom participated in the railroading of an innocent man. Chafetz benefited from exclusive and unconditional access to the jailed Abramoff and to many never-before-released documents. The blizzard of stories originating from the Washington political machine painted Abramoff as an implausibly greedy lobbyist who cheated Indian tribes, bribed politicians and corrupted the political process--a fascinating tale but, ultimately, untrue. The true story, as Chafetz recounts in The Perfect Villain, is even more riveting and compelling.
- About the Author
- Gary S. Chafetz is a twice Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative journalist who worked for The Boston Globe for ten years. In 1992, Boston Magazine named him Boston's Best Investigative Reporter. The following year, Boston Magazine named him one of the ten best journalists of the past twenty-five years.
I just ordered The Perfect Villain: John McCain and the Demonization of Jack Abramoff by Gary S. Chafetz.
Dr. Jack Wheeler writes in his latest To The Point (by subscription only) that John McCain was instrumental, as Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, to nail lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Jack Abramoff is in jail today because of John McCain.
Now set for release in mid-September, comes Chafetz book.
Im guessing the story will be big, but Democrats will have a problem. Do they cozy up to Abramoff to get at McCain? They have absolutely vilified Abramoff as representative of the Republicans! Interesting problem, what?
For those who have forgotten the details of the Abramoff scandal, there is a brief summary, at: InfoPlease.com: Jack Abramoff.
Abramoff went to prison saying he had plenty of big democrat names to expose and the republicans didn’t even try to find out.
Interesting that the author also blames the liberal Washington Post.
It true that I was able to gain access to Abramoff and conducted extensive interviews with him, but it was the evidence that was more compelling. Yes, it was valuable to hear his version/explanations, which I could then confirm independently. After exhaustively looking at publicly released documents, documents never released, media stories, as well as interviews with Abramoff, Kidan, Waldman, and many others, I arrived at the following conclusions. Abramoff never defrauded his Indian clients. The evidence clearly shows the benefits he provided his tribal clients far, far exceeded his fees. This is why they kept hiring him year after year. His clients were hardly unsophisticated. Because they operated casinos whose revenues often approached $500 million a year, they could easily afford the very best lawyers, accountants, and consultants. They kept a careful watch over Abramofff and all of the tribes activities. Abramoff never bribed a single congressman or staff. He didn't have to. He simply played the lobbying game better than most. The “kickback scheme” with Michael Scanlon was simply a referral fee, perfectly legal. Lawyers, mortgage brokers, orthopedic surgeons do this all the time without disclosing this information to their clients. Abramofff is certainly not guilty of income tax evasion. Essentially, he gave away most of his money to tax-exempt, non-profit organizations [501(c)3]. Indeed, he didn't even pay off his own home mortgage. He was eligible for massive deductions from his taxable income thanks to his generosity. As for the bank fraud (wire fraud) charges down in southern Florida, Abramoff would have never been found guilty had he gone to trial. Adam Kidan told me repeatedly that Abramoff knew nothing about the $23 million forged wire transfer. What's more, the lender was involved. They knew that Kidan had no money and was a bankrupt. It was the lender that did not demand to escrow the $23 million deposit, which is what they always do.
As for the Washington Post, its first stories seemed fair, but they were actually misleading, because the subject matter was extremely complex and not understood by the reporter. But I would have probably written those early stories the same way. However, the Post ran a story on September 26, 2004, which crossed the bright red line. The story claimed that Abramoff, the world's most underhanded sleaze, had secretly shut down a tribe's casino in El Paso, so that he could then get the tribe to hire him to get their casino re-opened for a fee of millions of dollars. This story was false, possibly deliberately so. As a result, the Post's 2006 Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Abramoff scandal should be rescinded.
The morning after the Post broke the first story, Sen. McCain—senior member, later chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, essentially launched an investigation into Abramoff. For reasons that will be clear when you read the book, McCain was seeking political retribution. Two years later, he released his 373-page Senate Indian Affairs Report, which he called “fair, accurate, and neutral.” I have examined this report with a fine-tooth comb. McCain description of his report could not be further from the truth. I was astonished by how mendacious the report was.
So why did Abramoff’s tribal clients turn against him? Because it was good business. They could sue his former employers—law firms which did not want their e-mail traffic made public—and win huge settlements, which is what those tribal clients did. They got Abramoff’s brilliant lobbying services at an amazing discount.
So why did Abramoff plead guilty? I believe it was because he was terrified not to. Prosecutors have a 95.5% conviction rate. They have unlimited resources. They threaten white-collar defendants that they will be found guilty of some technical crime, after which they will be put in a maximum-security prison with violent offenders for 30 years. Furthermore, they will be bankrupted by legal fees and traumatized by the whole process. Or, one can plead guilty to whatever the prosecutors say, agree to cooperate, receive a much-reduced sentence in a prison camp, and be out of prison in three years. A risk-averse person would plead guilty.
Now, Abramoff could not admit this to me, because if he did, prosecutors might charge him with perjury for not being sincere when he pleaded guilty and for not being truly remorseful.
Essentially, the Post wrote a truly mischievous story. McCain then wrote a deceitful report. And then the government suborned a defendant to commit perjury by terrorizing him into pleading to crimes he did not necessarily believe he was guilty of. Remember, Abramoff emphatically does not agree with my conclusions. What destroyed Abramoff was not a conscious conspiracy, just a perfect storm.
In the end, Abramoff wasn't a saint, but ironically the Washington Post, McCain, and the Justice Department were the villains, a most counterintuitive conclusion.
The problem for me with McCain was his utter mendacity in his report. He also employed an underhanded tactic. He only released about 2% of the Abramoff documents he had subpoenaed, which meant that independent investigators like me could not confirm McCain's conclusions. (Of course, I was able to get some of these documents.) It made me wonder if McCain is also withholding information about what really occurred during his 5 1/2 years as a POW, not consistent with his claims in his multiple autobiographies.
Thank you for buying the book/pre-ordering it on Amazon. Gary S. Chafetz
I believe that the current arrangements in our nations capitol are so profoundly corrupt that no such politician could survive there for more than a year or two in any position of substantial power.
It is "lessor of two evils" time, in spades, until the opportunity presents itself to "throw the bums out."
Every single person casting a vote in this upcoming Presidential election can be proven to be a fool or a traitor, by this simple reasoning:
From what I can tell, McCain is the lessor of two evils.
Thank-you for your straight forward and careful explanation of the circumstances motivating this book.
I trust and hope that it does not cost McCain the election, even though I suspect that you speak the truth.
Oh - and welcome to the FreeRepublic!
Ping on over here and take a look.
Pretty much what I suspected. Thanks.