Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Terror on the loose...with Bushco blessings?



I could have made this a lot easier on myself, and every week, as Wednesday approaches, I start to wish I had. There was nothing to stop me from labeling every idiotic remark or outrageous policy the Republicans come up with as 'scandalous,' but early on, I set a higher standard, deciding to list only those scandals that inspired some kind of official action - investigations, indictments, convictions, etc.

It always seems to work out, though. Every week turns up something, and this week is no exception.

Update addition #1 comes from the Justice Department, as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee target John Ashcroft for letting Nabil al-Marabh, once No. 27 on the FBI list of Most Wanted Terrorists, slip through the hands of the American justice system. According to the AP, "FBI and Customs agents gathered evidence al-Marabh had trained in Afghanistan's militant camps, sent money to a roommate convicted in a foiled plot to bomb a hotel and was tied to overseas financial transactions that raised red flags even before Sept. 11."

So, we tracked him down, locked him up and entrusted the Ashcroft Justice Department with bringing him to justice.

Their idea of doing that? Releasing him to Syria without a trial.

Scandalous

The other new entry also comes from the anti-terrorism beat, as the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security opens an investigation into Faisal Gill, who managed to secure a top-secret security clearance despite hiding his relationship to Abdurahman Alamoudi, who, according to Salon, "was indicted last October on terrorism-related money laundering charges and now claims to have been part of a plot by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia."

It's no small thing. As the Salon story points out, "Terrorism suspects, meanwhile, are increasingly being prosecuted for failing to fill out government forms truthfully. "We aggressively prosecute people who fail to disclose their terrorist associations on visa and naturalization documents," one prosecutor said..."

But Gill's not just anybody. He's got a powerful sponsor in the person of Republican lobbyist/strategist Grover Norquist. Could Grover take a tumble as this investigation moves forward? One can only hope, but either way, it's a scandal.

That brings the Scorecard total to 46, and, as always, you can find the whole sordid mess at the Scandal Scorecard home page.

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