Friday, February 22, 2008

It Really Is a Republican Crime Syndicate

Smile, you're under indictment.

Yes, that's Rep. Rick Renzi, state co-chair of the McCain's leadership team in Arizona, under indictment for damned near everything.

A 26-page federal indictment unsealed today accuses Renzi and two former business partners of conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government. The sale netted one of Renzi's former partners $4.5 million.

A little newswatch for you--see if you can see where they identify any linkage to McCain in this article from MSNBC.comin this article:

Congressman charged in land deal

WASHINGTON - Republican Rep. Rick Renzi has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in Arizona.

A 26-page federal indictment unsealed in Arizona accuses Renzi and two former business partners of conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government. The sale netted one of Renzi's former partners $4.5 million.

Renzi is a three-term member of the House. He announced in August that he would not seek re-election.

Today's indictment comes after a lengthy federal investigation into the land developing and insurance businesses owned by Renzi's family.

In April 2007, federal agents raided a Sonoita, Arizona business owned by Renzi's wife, Roberta.

You read that continues to carry water for McCain and the pushback from the NYTimes story is having an effect, apparently. If a Clinton or Obama guy sneezes and gets indicted for it, regardless of who they are or where they are on the chain of command up to the candidate, you're going to hear about it. Not so with McCain, of course. Because McCain doesn't have lobbyists in his campaign--he has friends, of course. Friends like Rick Renzi. Who couldn't even serve three terms without using his office to line his pockets.

I guess it isn't news when, the day after McCain denies being involved in shady dealings with a lobbyist, a member of his home state Congressional delegation, a supporter of his at a very high level, and a man with who he's written legislation gets a kiss-of-death indictment. I guess McCain's "mentoring" of the three term Congressman ain't what it was cracked up to be.

And, bear in mind, the Republicans still control the fucking Justice Department. That Renzi was indicted at all, in lieu of the US Attorney scandal, says a lot.

Yes--there's ALWAYS a nice picture to go at the end of one of these posts...

UPDATE by Blue Girl, Noon Central

There is a whole ‘nother level to the Rick Renzi story that hasn’t been addressed. Here is the part you haven’t heard, from

"In 2003, Rep. Renzi sponsored legislation (signed into law in November 2003) that earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars to his father’s business while, according to environmentalists, devastating the San Pedro River. The provision, which was added to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, exempted the Army’s Fort Huachuca base in Sierra Vista, Arizona from maintaining water levels in the San Pedro River as called for in an agreement made in 2002 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Rep. Renzi claimed he introduced the measure to prevent the closing of the Fort and to promote its enlargement. Environmentalists, however, concerned about the impact Fort Huachuca’s expansion may have on water consumption and the fate of the San Pedro River, argued that as the fort expands, so too would the local population, draining water from the river. Notably, neither the fort nor the river is located in Rep. Renzi’s district."

"A key beneficiary of Rep. Renzi’s legislation was ManTech International Corp., a Fairfax, Virginia based defense contractor where Rep. Renzi’s father, Retired Major General Eugene Renzi, is an executive vice president. General Renzi served at Fort Huachuca during his career in the military. ManTech had $467 million in contracts at Fort Huachuca with options for an additional $1.1 billion between 2004 through 2008. In addition, the company, which has an office in Sierra Vista, Arizona, was the largest contributor to Renzi’s 2002 congressional campaign and the second largest in his 2004 campaign."

And this is the analysis of bmaz at Watching Those We Chose:

This information is extremely critical to the Renzi equation, in spite of the fact that it is not what the superficial mainstream media are focusing on. Ft. Huachuca is not just a nice town near the fragile San Pedro River, it is an important, if not critical, military intelligence facility. Renzi's father is much more than a simple pass through for money on the land deals you are hearing about. Renzi's father is Gene Renzi, who is one of the owners and chief executives of a not so nice, and not so little, company by the name of ManTech International. If you are not aware of ManTech, take a look at them. If you ever wondered what in the world was the general template for rogue security outfits like Blackwater Inc; here is your answer and more; and what is in the public domain is a mere fraction of what they appear to really have going on.

There has been a long running controversy over the groundwater/environmental contamination issue, with much of the effort being led by a firebrand local environmentalist by the name of Dr. Robin Silver and his group, the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity. Dr. Silver has been tilting at both Renzis for years, is tenacious, and is owed a debt of gratitude for pressing the case against Rick Renzi from the outset. It has long been rumored that there is much more than the groundwater/environmental bit going on the Renzi/ManTech front, and that giant digital fiber optic trunk lines carrying all types of critical information and data, including some highly secure, i.e. the kind that all the illegal and warrantless Total Information Awareness programs might would desire and require, are involved.

All of this is just a rumor, of course; there has never been any substantive confirmation, nor any hard evidence at all. Of course that is what you would expect if it is just a loony conspiracy theory; it is also what you would expect if the rumors were true. This much is known: Eugene Renzi is a very major, under the radar, VERY connected player in the absolute highest levels of intelligence gathering, data mining and analysis. With, and through, John Poindexter (Gene Renzi and Poindexter have an enduring, tight, decades long parallel path in Naval and Army Intel, with Gene Renzi reportedly being tasked or associated with Poindexter on spook type NSA programs during the Reagan/Bush41 years), Gene Renzi is said to be directly connected to Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld. There appears to be far more here than could have been imagined.

My imagination is ginned up. How ‘bout yours?

UPDATE II - PALE RIDER at 1:26 Eastern

I spent two months on Fort Huachuca--hated every minute of it.

What they have there is the training set-up for almost all of military intelligence--Army, Navy, USAF and Marines go there for schools. They do the UAVs there, they do some collection and they have a blimp that flies aloft most days to watch people crossing the border.

Much of what goes on there is not so hush-hush or significant, however. Misawa, Fort Meade, Fort Lewis, Hawaii, Denver, Fort Gordon and Lackland all have facilities that are probably a lot more significant than Huachuca.

UPDATE III - BLUE GIRL at 7:00 Central

If I had known that the congressman was indicted the day after his father's funeral, I might have worded my concerns about specious contracts and ManTech a bit differently. MG Eugene Renzi was laid to rest yesterday. The congressman's attorneys are decrying the timing and the crass nature of issuing an indictment today, before he has been allowed a decent mourning time.

And that attitude pisses me off...I would ask "why is he so special?" I knew someone in high school who ran afoul of the law and was in jail when his grandma passed away. He was allowed to attend the funeral...wearing orange and shackled, and he and his guards sat in the back of the church, alone. He was not allowed to speak to his siblings as they buried the grandmother who raised them. So I don't feel too sorry for a criminal republican who was indicted after the funeral, and not during. Who the hell does he think he is that he should get different rules than everyone else? That very notion makes me want some arrogant assholes head on a platter every time I witness it, no matter who is displaying it.

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