“You know, the men who came to Washington in the 1980s to lead the Republican conservative revolution wound up running a racket. And Abramoff was their outside man, outside the White House, outside the infrastructure, but he was very welcome inside the government. He had very good ties with Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. It was all part of an apparatus that was designed to launder money.”
Bill Moyers, Democracy Now, October 2, 2006
I wouldn’t exactly call Bill Moyers a radical or even a leftist. By any reasonable standard, he has always been firmly in the center of the spectrum of U.S. politics. Yet more and more he sounds like a muckraker ringing the alarm about political corruption. I think he is right on the money, so to speak. He’s been out promoting three new TV sized documentaries, the first (showing this week) is called Capital Crimes, and explores the ramifications of the Abramof scandal. I thought Tom DeLay was the victim of an “over zealous Texas prosecutor”!
You can read or hear the interview here:
You can watch the entire documentary, Capital Crimes, here:
Here is Moyers’ description of what he discovered:
“It’s a dizzying scope of perfidy and politics that boggles the imagination, and although Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay have been brought down, the system remains as vulnerable as ever,” says Bill Moyers. “The scale of corruption still coming to light dwarfs anything since Watergate. In one sense it’s the age-old tale of greed, but greed encouraged now by the way our system works. Deep in the plea agreements of Jack Abramoff and his cronies is the admission that they conspired to use campaign contributions to bribe politicians; campaign finance is at the core of the corruption. They took great pains to cover their tracks, and they might have pulled it off except for a handful of honest people, and the work of some enterprising print reporters, Senate investigators, and the ethics team at the department of justice. Following the money in this story leads through a bizarre maze of cocktail parties, golf courses, private jets, four-star restaurants, sweatshops – and the aura of chandeliered rooms frequented by the high and mighty of Washington.”