Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Malaysia Paid For Bush Meeting via Abramoff
Hmm, and yet W claims he never met the guy. LATimes: "When the govt of Malaysia sought to repair its tarnished image in the US by arranging a meeting between Bush and its controversial prime minister in '02, it followed the same strategy as many other well-heeled interests in Washington: It called on lobbyist Jack Abramoff for help. It was a tall order. The then-prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, had been chastised by the Clinton admin for repeated anti-Semitic statements and for jailing political opponents. But it was important to the Malaysians, according to a former Abramoff associate who attended meetings with the Malaysian ambassador and the lobbyist. Abramoff contacted Karl Rove on at least 4 occasions to help arrange a meeting, the witness said. Finally, the former associate said, Rove's office called to tell Abramoff that Mahathir would be getting an official WH invitation. Neither the former Abramoff associate nor any others who spoke about the Malaysian contacts wanted their names used, out of fear they might damage future business opportunities. In May '02, Mahathir met w/ Bush in the Oval Office; his photo w/ Bush was beamed around the world. Abramoff received $1.2 million from the Malaysian govt for his lobbying services in '01- '02. Documents obtained by Senate investigators appear to confirm at least $900,000 of that amount."