What Abramoff and his puppets produced

Friday, June 09, 2006 at 06:14 PM

It's easy to lose sight of the fact that the sleaze of Jack Abramoff and his many, many cronies and stooges have had real effects on real people for a really long time.

Case in point: the Northern Marianas Islands, as documented in a 2002 government report not released until recently.

The 2002 Justice Department report was obtained by George Miller, a Democratic Congressman from Calif and recently posted on Talking Points.

Focusing on the role played by Senator Conrad Burns of Montana in defeating legislation in 2001 that would have expanded federal control over the territory's immigration and labor standards. the Helena, Montana newspaper notes that the report concluded that:

Nonexistent federal controls over immigration on the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas Islands has created fertile ground for "transnational gangs," drug smuggling and potential terrorism.
The document paints a grim picture of the U.S. territory, where non-citizen workers outnumber citizens and up to 60 percent of the "alien work force have tested positive for tuberculosis and blood borne pathogen diseases," including HIV, hepatitis, malaria and syphilis.

Local government is corrupt, the report continues, with politics controlled by "a few well-placed families and wealthy business people." Although the Marianas Islands are technically U.S. soil, clothes manufactured there can be imported with "Made in the U.S.A." label. Local government sets its own labor rules, including immigration rules and a minimum wage that's lower than in the United States.

The report lists the lack of federal oversight on the islands as its No. 1 change needed to make the islands and U.S. employees working there -- safer.

It says the most common criminal activities on the islands as public corruption, the sale of methamphetamine and immigration crimes. The report also says that transnational gangs are present on the island.

The report further describes the islands and Guam, another U.S. territory in Pacific, as offering "a target-rich environment for terrorist activity."

So there you have the human, gritty, rolling-in-the-mud truth about what these guys have done.  Imagine the joy of living in the Islands as an unprotected alien.  Imagine the millions made by the corrupt politicians in the Islands.  Then think about how casually, how "normally," Abramoff, Burns, Ney and company traded on this misery for their own enrichment.

Scum.  And there should be a very stiff penalty for scum of this magnitude.  With sentences enhanced for anyone of them that claimed to be a "God-fearing" Christian or Jew.

If I told you how low I think these bastards are...