Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Spy Victim Dies; A Lobbyist Confesses

Some historical perspective on spying, as recorded in the New York times obit for Frank Wilkinson, McCarthyite scapegoat and First Amendment activist who went to jail to defend his principles

But Mr. Wilkinson was not finished with the federal government. When he discovered, in 1986, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been compiling files on him, he filed a Freedom of Information Act request for their release.

He was sent 4,500 documents. But he sued for more, and the next year the F.B.I. released an additional 30,000 documents, and then 70,000 two years later. Eventually, there were 132,000 documents covering 38 years of surveillance, including detailed reports of Mr. Wilkinson's travel arrangements and speaking schedules, and vague and mysterious accusations of an assassination attempt against Mr. Wilkinson in 1964.

Meanwhile, yet another right-wing extremist, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has entered a plea bargain and promised to implicate a number of his buddies in Congress. He admits to influence peddling--and former Republican Senator Ben Knighthorse Campbell accuses him of trying to rig elections on Indian reservations, as well. Abramoff has close ties to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, current House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, and other ultra-right honchos. The Wall Street Journal has said the number of US Representatives implicated could be as high as 60, most of them on the Republican side, but so far, only Robert Ney of Ohio has been specifically named. (Sorry, WSJ's website structure doesn't allow me to copy the link)


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