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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:11 PM
Original message
Bush, GOP Allow Forced Abortions In Marianas To Continue (Write a TV Ad!)
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 06:18 PM by Dems Will Win
Marianas-Abramoff-Bush-Sweeney-Pombo-Delay Timeline

* = UPDATE, NOTE: Much of this text was written by Dengre of DailyKOS on diaries there or in DKOSpedia. Many kudos to Dengre!!

"Any important Republican who comes out and says they didn't know me is almost certainly lying. This is not an age when you can run away from facts. I had to deal with my records, and others will have to deal with theirs." -Jack Abramoff

Background - The super-rich Tan Family from China acquired sweatshops, hotels, bars and golf courses in the Marianas, a US Territory in the South Pacific. Local officials looked the other way at labor violations and far worse. Workers are lured from foreign lands and then forced to work at menial labor for low wages with expenses taken outand they are not allowed to leave. There are 42,000 foreign workers in the Marianas out of a population of 53,000.

Workers inside the RIFU garment factory, in Saipan.

Young women are forced into prostitution, really sex slavery, for the local sex tour industry for Asian businessmen. These women are called Party Girls and can be had for $70. When they inevitably become pregnant, they are forced to have abortions by their employers, often the Tan Family.

If Party Girls or Garment Workers Become Pregnant, They Are Forced TO Have Abortions

Because abortion on Saipan is illegal, most of the Chinese women have abortions at one of the Saipan clinics, which are disguised as acupuncture clinics, and clinics that offer massage and Chinese medicine. Two have been positively identified as abortion clinics (Wendy L. Doromal before the Senate's Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on March 31, 1998, Laura Myers, "Sen. Panel Hears of Marianas Abuses," Associated Press Online, 31 March 1998)

Charging the workers $7,000 to $10,000 for employment fees, they are forced into overtime and basically indentured servitude. Island sweatshops produce clothing and other goods worth $2 billion annually. Each item can be labeled Made In The USA, even though there are no minimum wage laws and workers cannot become US citizens. The Tan Family businesses together have more labor abuse violations that any other company in history. The Gap was the largest retailer making clothes in the Marianas, followed by Dayton-Hudson, May Department Stores, Wal-Mart and Jones Apparel, along with 13 other chains such as Nordstroms, J. Crew and The Limited.

Over the last decade, the Tan family and their companies have spent at least $200,000 on lobbying and contributions to Washington political campaigns. More significantly, the commonwealth government and Saipan business associations invested more than US$11.5 million between 1995 and 2002 to lobby in Washington against changes to the islands' status.

Following numerous smaller cases brought by the Labor Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) against other plants, officials in Clinton's administration proposed curtailing Saipan's legal exemptions. The drive foundered on opposition by congressional Republicans, who were extensively wined and dined by the Tans. The Tans also have a picture of family members with President George W Bush, which hangs above Tan's desk in Hong Kong.

1994 - Between 1994 and 2001, the Northern Mariana Islands paid $6.7 million to Jack Abramoffs law firm, Preston Gates, for lobbying services.

1997 - Jack Abramoff arranges for lawmakers and aides to take trips to the Marianas and meet the local business leaders and be wined and dined by the Tans.

* 1997 Abramoff charged the Marianas for getting then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush to write a letter expressing support for the Pacific territory's school choice proposal, his billing records show.

"I hope you will keep my office informed on the progress of this initiative," Bush wrote in a July 18, 1997, letter praising the islands' school plan and copying in an Abramoff deputy.

1998 - According to a 1998 investigation by the Department of Interior Office of Insular Affairs, a number of Chinese garment workers reported that if they became pregnant, they were "forced to return to China to have an abortion, or forced to have an illegal abortion" in the Marianas. These days, many pregnant workers still feel they have little choice but to visit one of Saipan's underground abortion clinics -- or else lose their jobs. ( /)

March 26, 1998 - "Beneath the American Flag: Labor and Human Rights Abuses in the CNMI," report on forced abortions and sex slavery by Congressman George Miller and Democratic Staff of the House Committee on Resources. Clinton Administration considers federal takeover of island labor and immigration.

December 31, 1998 In late 1998, Marianas Islands' visitors included DeLay, his wife and daughter, and six of his aides. * During his 1998 New Years holiday trip, he told Saipan officials, as was later reported in The Dallas Observer, "When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your most able representative in Washington, D.C., invited me to the islands, I wanted to see firsthand the free-market success and the progress and reform you have made.

At a New Year's Eve dinner on Saipan in 1998, Delay lavishly praised the CNMI governor -- a moment caught on camera by ABC's 20/20: "You are a shining light for what is happening in the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we're trying to do in America in leading the world in the free-market system." Tom Delay then reportedly went off with a local official to attend a cockfight. /

* August 1999 Ralph Reeds firm sends out a mailer to Republican Evangelical Christians on the Marianas to block legislative reform, showing how the Religious Right uses terms like radical left and promises of Christian conversion to support outright sex slavery and forced abortion: "The radical left, the Big Labor Union Bosses, and Bill Clinton want to pass a law preventing Chinese from coming to work on the Marianas Islands," the mailer from said. The Chinese workers, it added, "are exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ" while on the islands, and many "are converted to the Christian faith and return to China with Bibles in hand."

1999 - Edwin Buckham, evangelical minister, former chief of staff and an old family friend of House Majority Whip Rep. Tom DeLay, gets involved, along with former DeLay aide Mike Scanlon, in a 1999 effort by Abramoff to allegedly dangle U.S. tax dollars to influence a election for the speaker of the legislature in the Northern Mariana Islands. * Buckham was now a lobbyist who represented Enron, which wanted to build a power plant for the sweatshops (they lost the bid in 1999). They wanted Ben Fitial, Vice President of a Tan Family company and local garment association director, elected as Speaker of the CNMI House. So Ed Buckham and Mike Scanlon went to CNMI and promised two Representatives, (one from the island of Rota and the other from the island of Tinian) Federal projects if they switched their votes. Once in office, the new speaker pressed the island's governor to reinstate a lobbying pact with Jack Abramoff, and forced the legislature to award Enron the power contract for Buckham.

2000 Abramoff and his wife each contribute $1,000 to the 2000 Bush campaign fund.

2000 - The deal was struck and DeLay's Congress showered CNMI with millions of dollars. Most of it went through the Transportation Committee, especially the Aviation Subcommittee, which John Sweeney sits on. In 2000, there was $1.25 million for resurfacing the runways for the airport on Rota. Jack's Congressional partners also changed the way that Airport Improvement Project money was appropriated to insure that CNMI got a little bit out of every dollar spent. Bush signed all the bills.

2000 A comprehensive study of Marianas sweatshops and violation lawsuits by unions is released. A copy of study can be found at . The Gap was the largest retailer making clothes in the Marianas, followed by Dayton-Hudson, May Department Stores, Wal-Mart and Jones Apparel, along with 13 other chains such as Nordstroms, J. Crew and The Limited.

On the sex slavery, the report says, Sex club owners, whose business mostly caters to Japanese tourists, maintain tight control over their employees through intimidation, physical and verbal abuse, confiscation of their passports, and strict monitoring of their movement. Without their passports, these indentured women cannot leave the island, and their fear of money lenders' and/or traffickers' retribution on them and their families as well as their shame stop them from reporting their plight. Fear and intimidation are common tactics used among CNMI employers. For example, it is not unusual for them to threaten to deport and harm or kill foreign workers and their families if they voice factories' abuses to the media, CNMI and federal government agents, and other foreigners.

2000 Michael Scanlon and Abramoff partner together in getting money for and starting up several non-profit and for-profit entities. The non-profits did not spend money on their alleged missions but served as Abramoffs personal bank for himself and to make hidden payments for the purpose of corrupting Republican members of Congress and their staff. * Their career partners in crime are convicted White House OMB Chief David Safavian, Tom Delay and his aides, dozens of GOP congressmen and the right-wing political mavens Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.

November, December 2000 Abramoff and his wife each personally contribute $5,000 to 2000 recount fund. Greenberg Traurig runs up $314,000 bill for the RNC effort in Bush vs. Gore, which the RNC never repays, making it an undeclared contribution in-kind to the Bush election effort. Rep. John Sweeney leads GOP Brooks Brothers Riot in Miami Courthouse and succeeds in stopping third recount of Miami vote. President Bush nicknames Sweeney Congressmen Kick-Ass.

* January, 2001 Jack Abramoff (the fox) is named by Bush to the Interior Department transition team (the henhouse), as Insular Affairs within Interior regulates the Marianas. He is able to name key appointments to the Marianas as well as place his own personal secretary Susan Ralston right into the White House as Karl Roves Assistant. Salon later reported that Ralston would call up Right-Wing String-Puller Grover Norquist to see if callers should be placed through to Rove or not. Abramoff now had a direct pipeline to the Oval Office.

Bush with Abramoff/Rove Assistant Susan Ralston in the Oval Office

January 4, 2001 Jack Abramoff sends a a pitch letter to the Governor of CNMI, Pedro P. Tenorio, making the case why CNMI should rehire him as their lobbyist for the coming Bush era. "Our standing with the new administration promises to be solid as several friends of the CNMI (islands) will soon be taking high-ranking positions in the Administration, including within the Interior Department," There was some hesitation on CNMI to spend more money on a Washington Lobbyist now that their GOP allies controlled everything. Abramoff needed somebody to travel to CNMI to make his case, to seal the deal. Since Doolittle and Delay had already done their part earlier to pitch Abramoff, John Sweeney, Congressman Kick-Ass, was chosen by Abramoff to be the salesman to the Marianas. Sweeneys campaign later received $3,000 in contributions from Greenberg Traurig itself.

* February, 2001 Ted Kennedy introduces bill that raises the Marianas minimum wage. Harry Reid is a co-sponsor.

* February 22, 2001 - "Jack has a relationship with the President," Tom DeLay's former spokesman and Abramoff's business partner Michael Scanlon once said. "He doesn't have a bat phone or anything, but if he wanted an appointment, he would have one." New Times Broward-Palm Beach, 2/22/01

February November 2001 A new contract was signed with the Marianas and the New Team Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig goes to work blocking any efforts to end the system of abuse. Abramoff also effortlessly organizes to have his clients on CNMI showered with tens of millions of dollars from US taxpayers. Records show at least 195 contacts between Abramoff's Marianas lobbying team and the Bush administration from February through November 2001.

* USA TODAY: The documents show his team also had extensive access to Bush administration officials, meeting with Cheney policy advisers Ron Christie and Stephen Ruhlen, Ashcroft at the Justice Department, White House intergovernmental affairs chief Ruben Barrales, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles and others.

Most of the contacts were handled by Abramoff's subordinates, who then reported back to him on the meetings. Abramoff met several times personally with top Interior officials, whose Office of Insular Affairs oversees the Mariana Islands and other U.S. territories.

April 9, 2001 Speaker Ben Fitial of the Marianas House meets with Doolittle and Sweeney of the House Appropriations Committee. Mr. Fitial: "I am very glad that the CNMI has friends in such powerful positions. Whether the issue is construction funding or Compact impact assistance, the Appropriations Committee will make the important decisions, and I am confident we will receive a fair hearing because of our friends that serve on that committee."

* April, 2001 Patrick Pizzella, part of Abramoffs team on the Marianas, is appointed Deputy Undersecretary of Labor by Bush, ensuring no change on the Marianas $3.05 minimum wage, nor the forced abortions and sex slavery.

* May 9, 2001 Former Tan Holdings VP and now Marianas Speaker Ben Fitial meets with Bush at White House event.

May 23, 2001 Senator Conrad Burns, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the chair of an appropriations subcommittee that controls spending for the Interior Department, meets Abramoff's lobbying team at least eight times in early 2001 and collects $12,000 in donations. Burns votes against a bill that would have ended a "guest worker" program in the Northern Mariana Islands' garment industry; in 1999, he had voted in favor of an identical bill. (DKospedia)

Fall 2001 LAT Aug 07, 2005: Black was also apparently less than popular with the island's immigrant-labor-driven textile businesses because he had started a post September 11th investigation into whether the island's loose immigration policies represented a security risk.

The acting U.S. attorney was a controversial official in Guam. At the time he was removed, Black was directing a long-term investigation into allegations of public corruption in the administration of then-Gov. Carl Gutierrez. The inquiry produced numerous indictments, including some of the governor's political associates and top aides.

Black also arranged for a security review in the aftermath of Sept. 11 that was seen as a potential threat to loose immigration rules favored by local business leaders. In fact, the study ordered by Black eventually cited substantial security risks in Guam and the Northern Marianas.

October 1, 2001 Abramoff warns his Marianas clients in an e-mail: The other immediate (next two weeks) challenge is the Justice Department.

Last week the bad guys who still work there (the ones who got that bad letter on Murkowski issued) started a drum beat that the CNMI had to be taken over, because it was a loophole in the federal immigration network, and that, as such, was a threat on terrorism. They have been spending a week or so telling everyone who will listen that the CNMI, if it is not taken over, will be a major entry point for terrorists. This, of course, is patently ridiculous, actually just the opposite, and we have been working to counter this, but they are not backing down.

We had the COS of the Justice Department in our box at today's Redskins game and it seems that there might be a classified document floating in the department which deals with this matter. Making it classified, if that is indeed the case, was a good idea by our opponents, since that means we cannot get it. Hopefully Babauta has some connections there and can get a copy (perhaps at least on a redacted version), which he can pass on to you to draft a response. If this is at a stage where it is gaining momentum, he will need to leak into the press that they are considering this and how it is exactly the opposite of what should be happening. This is a real potential threat. It will require some major action from the Hill and a press attack to get this back in the bottle. He should just follow the example we have used in the past, where we get the press out front carefully and push the Administration back.

I am supposed to see the Attorney General next week (the Thursday after Simchas Torah) and Kevin was slated to play basketball with him before then. We will both mention this to him. The AG will be fine, but the underlings are a worrisome matter.

* October 1, 2001 We have worked with WH Office of Presidential Personnel to ensure that CNMI-relevant positions at various agencies are not awarded to enemies of CNMI," Abramoff's team wrote the Marianas in an October 2001 report on its work for the year (same email as above).

February 2002 Abramoff meets with then-Gov. Guttierez of the Marianas to win a new $1.3 million contract and conspires with him to get US Atttorney Black replaced. LA Times, July 1, 2006: Abramoff, the report said, told investigators that the two came up with a plan to smear Black by releasing copies of a letter Gutierrez had written in 1995 to President Clinton. The letter referred to Black as "a good Democrat" and recommended he be reappointed as U.S. attorney. Black was originally appointed as acting U.S. attorney by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. Saying he is a good Democrat will get him demoted is the theory. In one e-mail to Abramoff referred to Black as "a total commie. We need to get this guy sniped out of there." In another e-mail, Abramoff wrote: "We are opposed to Black. He has been screwing us for years. So this is good payback. I don't care if they appoint Bozo the clown, we need to get rid of Fred Black."

2002 LAT Aug 7 05: In 2002, Abramoff was retained by the Superior Court in what was an unusual arrangement for a public agency. The Times reported in May that Abramoff was paid with a series of $9,000 checks funneled through a Laguna Beach lawyer to disguise the lobbyist's role working for the Guam court. No separate contract was authorized for Abramoff's work.

The auditor's office is reviewing Abramoff's payments totaling $324,000 in 36 separate checks for $9,000 paid through lawyer Howard Hills of Laguna Beach. Hills said he was a middleman.

US Attorney Black starts a Grand Jury investigation of Abramoff for potential money laundering.

May 2002 Classified Marianas Security Report is completed with US Attorney Blacks input: If the present high risk environment is allowed to stand, it will continue to threaten Federal and public interests and seriously jeopardize the national security of the United States.

The lack of Federal jurisdiction over immigration, customs and financial matters coupled with a long history of deliberate territorial indifference to corrective action, creates an atmosphere which fosters criminal activity and public corruption, prevents Federal authorities from achieving optimum effectiveness in their enforcement of U.S. law, and produces critical security obstacles for Federal agencies.

The report also describes the problem of corruption and money laundering. Every time Abramoff went to the Marianas, he went to Tinian, where the Tans have a casino-hotel. Money laundering investigations and prosecutions are significantly handicapped by the political empowerment of both Guam and the C.N.M.I. as specified by the Covenants currently in place. Unfettered access into the C.N.M.L and the presence of an unregulated international gambling casino on Tinian, allow for the perfect venue to launder illegal funds, regardless of their source. This situation is further compounded by the lack of any civil or criminal revenue enforcement by the territorial government or sufficient Federal assets to continually scrutinize banking and money handling businesses.

The P.R.C. has built and currently operates a 600-room hotel and international gambling resort on the island of Tinian in the C.N.M.I. This facility has been in operation for approximately three years. Federal officials indicate that it has-never enjoyed more than a 20 percent occupancy rate and is believed to be a "marker" for mainland China with involvements in international money laundering operations. In March of 2002, this casino became the subject of investigation by Federal authorities because it received $3.5 million in fraudulent loans in connection with the Bank of Saipan fraud scheme cited earlier.

This critical report is then covered up by the Bush Administration and the DoJ for 2 election cycles--to protect the CNMI/GOP connection and also to help the Tans with their labor abuse issues and possible regulation of their casino and other practices. In addition, new casinos are planned at this time--and Delay and Abramoff might have even been negotiating a piece of the action.

Late June 2002 Abramoffs e-mails show he illegally was given a copy of the classified Marianas Security Report by someone in the Bush Administration. LA Times July 1, 2006: Abramoff, according to e-mails cited by the inspector general, worried the FBI report would prompt Congress to restrict immigration in the Northern Marianas cutting off a supply of low-wage labor for garment manufacturers who had hired Abramoff to protect their interests.

After seeing the FBI report, the lobbyist suggested an attack on Black. "We have to make sure that Black guy is smeared into the ground," Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to his clients.

Late 2002 Abramoff learns from his pipeline to the White Housewhich includes Susan Ralston, who used to be his personal secretary and was now working directly with Karl Rove--of the impending nomination of Leonardo Rapadas to replace Frederick Black as US Attorney of the Marianas.

November 18, 2002 Following the request of U.S. Attorney Black, a federal grand jury in Guam subpoenas the Guam Superior Court for records involving a lobbying contract with Jack Abramoff.

November 19, 2002 The very next day, President George W. Bush demotes U.S. Attorney Black from the post of US Attorney. Black later accuses Bush of removing him to stop the investigation of Abramoff, which would be Obstruction of Justice. A DoJ Inspector General investigation of Blacks claim is started in 2005. Rep. John Conyers and CREW in Washington DC years later both say there should be a Special Prosecutor, not just an Inspector General investigation of the Black removal. Abramoff instructs his team to send out e-mails claiming credit for getting rid of Black who--as he said in an earlier e-mail--has been screwing us for years.

* Early 2003 Marianas Republicans, through Fred Radewagen, a lobbyist, make their choice for Blacks replacement known to Karl Rove in person in Washington.

* May, 2003 Leonardo Rapadas appointed by Bush to US Attorney of Marianas. The prosecution of Abramoff and certain other Marianas scandals involving local high officials and the Tan family go by the wayside under the Rapadas term.

* July 2003 Abramoff raises at least $120,000 for Bush re-election, becoming a Pioneer. To this day, the Bush campaign refuses to return Abramoffs bundled money.

July 7, 2003 The Marianas aid package - H.J. Res. 63 with Richard Pombo as one of several co-sponsors is introduced. It promptly sailed through 3 House committees (Resources, Judiciary, and International Relations) by September 15, 2003, and the full House on a voice vote shortly thereafter. The bill also breezed through the Senate, whereupon it was signed into law by President Bush on December 17, 2003.

This Compact-Impact payments law committed US taxpayers to pay $600 million: $30 million per year for the next 20 years, with the Marianas allocated $5 million per year from the total.

* 2003-2004 Donors from the Marianas donate $36,000 to the Bush re-election campaign, including Tan family members.

February 2004 The Washington Post breaks the Abramoff Scandal, with $45 million paid by Indian tribes being funneled through phony charities and third parties for political bribery on casino matters.

Oct. 6, 2005 - Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and Rep. George Miller called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the removal of Frederick Black as US Attorney for the Marianas by President Bush.
June 30, 2006 Dept of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine releases whitewash report on the Black Removal from the Abramoff case and clears the Bush White House of Obstruction of Justice. Fines report says because Abramoffs exact recommendation of a person to replace Black was not taken, even though the Abramoff case was not followed up by Rapadas; and because the decision to replace Black was made before Abramoff requested it--there was no Obstruction on November 19, 2002.

Yet this report ignores the very early Abramoff e-mail of Oct. 1, 2001, published in the press in 2005, in which he boasts that he and Kevin Ring will be meeting with John Ashcroft to talk about the Marianas Security Report and will bring up the problem of underlings trying to get the report out. It also ignores Abramoffs e-mail of early 2002, in which he exclaimed: I don't care if they appoint Bozo the Clown, we need to get rid of Fred Black. Rep. John Conyers and Miller continue to demand a Special Prosecutor to look into possible Obstruction of Justice by Bush in the Black Removal.

June 2006 - Democrats propose H.R. 5550, the Human Dignity Act, to reform the Marianas. Despite the proof of forced labor, forced prostitution and forced abortion, Bush and the Republicans refuse to support the Human Dignity Act amd stop forced abortions.

Please remember to recommend! Thanks! - DWW
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. We should have Dem campaign ads on Forced Abortion!
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 06:17 PM by Dems Will Win
or a special interest 527 that uses forced abortion as an issue in the mid-terms!

Can you write the 30-second ad below?

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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Absolutely. This issue is completely underutilized on the trail.
As far as writing a TV ad, Every time I see this crap I'm too pissed off to write anything that would make through TV standards and practices.

Personally, I think maybe the best thing to do would be to start an ad campaign and in the first ad, ignore the prostitution and the forced abortions, and simply hit them with the "importing Chinese workers so they can put Made in USA labels on products that compete with true American made textiles."

Then let the second shoe drop a week or three later, with an "it gets worse" sequel.

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democrat_patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent post.
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. God, what an ugly story this is.
It's a damn crying shame that people living in virtual slavery are working to make the clothing that is sold by American retailers. The retailers should be made to answer for all of this.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. It's not just that they sell it here,
they are allowed to put "Made in the USA" on it!!!!!!! Disgusting.
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Kickoutthejams23 Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. Great post.. US should be ashamed
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Nearly every kind of abuse, rights denial, profit, and influence crime
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 07:06 PM by higher class
comes together in the Marianna's under the Republicans with barely a peep from the Democrats. What's up with a minimum wage by Kennedy and Reid? Didn't they know more? What happened to the Washington gossip system? Were Kennedy and Reid innocenta in knowledge of what was going on?

Thnk about it. Asian slaves. White man profits and whips. With a little help from Asian, American, owners and customers.

What a mix of crimes. What depths of crime. What disregard for humans. How they must laugh at us for doing all of this behind our backs. Well kept secret? How much money did Democrats get from the Mariannas. The question has been asked about Native American groups. Now - how much money did Democrats make from Abramoff, Scanlon, or anyone else?
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The Tans and Marianas groups tried to bribe the Democrats




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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thanks. Using myself as an example, I only followed this on the fringe
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 10:15 PM by higher class
while it was going on (to the extant is was reported). I sure would like to know more about the coverage. I'd like to hear why Dems who knew didn't speak up (more).

If this is going to hit the fan (perhaps even from this chronology) we can probably start to hear accusations/lies/exagerrations against Dems. Do you know of any quotes by Dems that assert what you are writing?

Damn. They contaminated a U.S. possession. They are messing with the whole world and making ugliness stick. Fine relgious folks. Devout Jews and Christians. Beware of people who brag about their faith/religiosity.

As you can tell, this article has ticked me off.

We need to save those women.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. The Democrats are coming to rescue them!

Wednesday, June 7, 2006 rEP. George Miller - DEMOCRAT

Members of Congress announced today they are re-introducing legislation (H.R. 5550) to reform labor and immigration laws in a U.S. territory that Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff protected from scrutiny for over a decade despite strong evidence of dramatic abuses of women there. DeLay will leave Congress this Friday while still under indictment for money laundering in Texas and Abramoff will enter jail on charges including conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, and tax evasion later this month.

Representative George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, is being joined by Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA), co-chairwoman of the womens caucus, and Representative John Spratt (D-SC), ranking member on the House Budget Committee, in introducing The United States-Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Human Dignity Act to apply basic labor protections and U.S. immigration laws to the Pacific territory.

Rapid action on this legislation is essential given disclosure of a suppressed report by the Department of Justice detailing threats to U.S security from organized crime and terrorists who have access to U.S. territories thanks to loopholes protected by DeLay and Abramoff, said Miller, who has long sought reform of the laws governing the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This report clearly demonstrates that because of the Republican culture of corruption, coercion, and cronyism, Americans are less safe.

For years, DeLay and Abramoff used their power and influence and corrupt practices to defend the indefensible, said Miller. The House of Representatives failed to stop extraordinary abuses of poor women guest workers in the textile and tourism industries in the Marianas despite overwhelming evidence documented by the federal government, Congress, the news media and other sources.

DeLay and Abramoff arranged for appropriations, organized campaign contributions, led tour groups of members of Congress and their staff, and directed money to questionable charities to solidify their power in Washington. In doing so, they ignored well-documented threats to American security, criminal activity, violations of labor law, forced abortions, and human trafficking.

They were running a protection racket, said Miller. DeLay and Abramoff protected the Marianas garment industry from congressional scrutiny and were rewarded handsomely for it with trips, lucrative contracts, campaign money and more. The most exploited women in the world, and the American legislative process, paid the price.

DeLay used his office to block Congress from considering our bipartisan reforms. He told key committee chairman not to hold hearings on these abuses. The bill we are introducing is a test of whether that protection racket continues today.

The protection of the abusive industries in the Mariana Islands was part of what the Washington Post recently described as a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay's leadership offices. DeLay extolled the Saipan garment industry as a perfect petri dish of capitalism that should be replicated in the mainland U.S. as well.

I hope that the House Resources Committee will immediately schedule hearings on this legislation, Miller said. Not only are the reforms needed to protect workers there, but they are needed so that Congress overall changes to federal immigration law do not overlook this gaping opening that the Justice Department tells us can and will be exploited by organized crime and terrorists.

For more than ten years, Congressman Miller and his colleagues have repeatedly pressed for reform of the laws governing the Northern Mariana Islands to end abuse of garment workers and threats to Americas security. Hearings have never been held in the House of Representatives on this issue during all that time. Last year, Miller intensified his effort to gain a hearing in Congress as additional information about the role of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Rep. Tom Delay on this matter came to light. Miller called for an investigation into potential wrongdoing regarding Abramoff, members of the House of Representatives and their staff, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Below is a timeline of that effort.

April 14, 2005: Representative George Miller's initial request for an investigation by the House Resources Committee.

May 9, 2005: Resources Chairman Richard Pombo responded, requesting a full and complete document log in a three-ring binder, annotated.

May 11, 2005: Rep. Miller renewed his request for an investigation, including extensive documentation.

June 30, 2005: Chairman Pombo and Rep. Nick Rahall referred the request to the Department of Justice.

July 18, 2005: Representative Miller wrote to the Department of Justice, expanding on the Resources Committees referral.

October 6, 2005: Representatives Miller, Conyers, Delahunt, Bordallo and Rahall wrote to the Department of Justice, requesting an outside special counsel to investigate whether Jack Abramoff prevented the release of a review of CNMI immigration issues.

November 14, 2005: Department of Justice reply to lawmakers on outside counsel request, assuring them that the Office of the Inspector General had initiated an investigation.

December 6, 2005: Representative Miller wrote again to the Resources Committee, renewing and expanding of his request that the Committee immediately open an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing involving Mr. Abramoff, his associates, and their relationship with members of Congress, their staff, and federal agencies.

January 11, 2006: Representatives Miller, Conyers, Delahunt, Bordallo and Rahall again wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales with their concern that only an outside counsel investigation could determine the extent of Jack Abramoffs wrongdoing.

June 9, 2006: Tom DeLays Final Day in Congress

June 29, 2006: Jack Abramoff begins his time in jail for convictions on conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion.

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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thanks. This is a prime example of how DU contributes. Thanks for
posting. Keep us up on this.

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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. Forced Abortion TV Ad

It's A Scandal

Jack Abramoff, George Bush and the Republican Party For Years Have Allowed Forced Abortions, Forced Prostitution and Forced Labor in the US Marianas Islands, Taking Millions of Dollars in Campaign Contributions and Lobbyist Fees in Return.

It Amounts to outright bribery of the most immoral kind.

If you are against Forced Abortions, Forced Prostitution and Forced Labor in the US Marianas Islands.

Tell Your Republican Representative (Fill in Name) To Support the Democratic bill H.R. 5550, the Human Dignity Act, to reform the Marianas.

(This could be a 30-second 527 ad)
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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. This post reflects the true nature of the Republican Party!
This abominal state of affairs should be put front and centre in the WAR ON THE-RIGHT-WING-FREAK-SHOW currently running the country.

The picture of the naked blindfolded women made me sick. Every bastard involved in this crime against humanity needs to fry in hell.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
13. Kicking for the evening.
I'm speechless.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. kick
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
15. Where can I get a list of US clothing companies who promote slave labor?
If I'm buying from them, I want to stop.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. There was a phony lawsuit
Here are the companies that settled and hardly paid anything--and little changed!

Brylane, L.P.
Calvin Klein, Inc.
Cutter & Buck, Inc.
Donna Karan International Inc.
The Dress Barn, Inc.
The Gymboree Corp.
J. Crew Group Inc.
Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
Liz Claiborne, Inc.
The May Department Stores Company
Nordstrom Inc.
Oshkosh B'Gosh, Inc.
Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.
Sears Roebuck and Company
Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc.
Warnaco Group, Inc.
Woolrich, Inc.

Companies that have not yet settled are:

The Gap, Inc.
Dayton Hudson/Associated Merchandising Corp. (Target and Mervyns)
J.C. Penney
Lane Bryant
The Limited
Levi Strauss & Co.
Abercrombie and Fitch
Brooks Brothers

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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I don't buy from any of these

These are all mall stores (seen one, seen 'em all), though Liz Claiborne has products sold in the PX (at very expensive prices). That company is raking in the big bucks, off the sweat of others, using Liz's name.
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