Ex-Rep. Reveals Dirty Secret of D.C. Politics

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• Bob Ney details why Congress fears the Israel lobby.

By Michael Collins Piper —

A notorious Orthodox Jewish influence-peddler manipulated accusations of “anti-Semitism” to force a powerful member of Congress to give a lucrative (and sensitive) contract to an Israeli cell phone company, giving that firm access to the cell phone calls made on Capitol Hill.

Former United States Representative Robert William Bob Ney (R-Ohio)—snared in the wide-ranging criminal web spun by Zionist intriguer and Washington, D.C. lobbyist Jack Allan Abramoff—has a lot of stories like this to tell.

The only member of Congress sent to prison after pleading guilty to corruption charges relating to his association with Abramoff—despite widespread knowledge that perhaps as many as 100 other members of the House of Representatives had been compromised by Abramoff—Ney has released an interesting memoir, Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill. And while he tells quite a bit in it, it’s clear (if you can read between the lines) that he’s holding back some really “juicy” information about some of his former colleagues.

However, the story of how Jack Abramoff connived to pressure Ney into awarding the cell phone contract to an Israeli firm is one of the most revealing (if not explosive) tales within the book.

The contract was within Ney’s purview as chair of the House Administration Committee. Two companies—including Foxcom, the Israeli venture—were competing to provide cell phone service for the U.S. Capitol. Various members of Congress (for their own reasons) were pushing Ney for one or the other company to get the lucrative contract.

Ney asked the National Security Agency (NSA) to look into possible dangers arising from providing cell phone access to Capitol Hill—the seat of power of the U.S. government. He was particularly concerned about Foxcom since it was foreign-based.

Still, after the NSA approved the pending contract, Ney was faced with continued maneuvering by the two companies and their lobbyists. At one point, one of the rival lobbyists asked why Ney would even consider giving the contract to what the lobbyist referred to as a “Jew” company—citing its Israeli origins.

Target Traficant

Ney says he was “shocked” by this language, but, he says, Abramoff—lobbying on behalf of Foxcom, the Israeli firm—saw this as a golden opportunity. Ney writes:

Jack played this one beautifully. He had heard about the “Jew” comments and told me that I was being portrayed by the American Israel [Public] Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and others as “anti-Jewish; anti-Semitic.” He said that . . . for the sake of my political future, he wanted to clear this up. He also told me that Foxcom was not happy about it either. When he brought them over and put the executives in my conference room. . . . I met with the executives, assured them that I was not anti-Jewish and that if the process proceeded, they would have a fair shake. I told them there were security questions concerning both companies.

Looking back, I think that Jack heard about and capitalized on the “Jew” comments. He utilized it to get his people [the Israeli firm] before me, and I must say that it did give him an advantage. I didn’t want to look anti-Jewish, which in American politics is a death sentence. It all worked out for Foxcom and Jack.

Already drowning in Abramoff’s sewer, Ney approved the contract for the Israeli company. Later, when the Abramoff scandal unfolded, Ney found himself being criminally charged for approving the contract, which the House of Representatives quickly rescinded. Then with a number of other charges hanging over him, Ney pleaded guilty, well aware he was slated to be the single congressional fall guy in the Abramoff cesspool.

Although Ney never says it, it is likely he assumed because Abramoff was a well-connected supporter of Israel, that Abramoff’s intrigues would be given a pass by those who keep an eye on congressional ethics. However, Abramoff’s corruption was so widespread on Capitol Hill that his slick wheeling and dealing was impossible to ignore—even for a Department of Justice (DoJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) both infested with supporters of Israel and those under their sway.

Ney’s interesting book contains a lot of revelations. However, although he discusses a number of other obvious contraventions of justice by the DoJ and FBI, he never mentions the hit-and-run by those agencies aimed at his fellow Ohio congressman, then-Rep. Jim Traficant, who—for obvious political reasons—was set up and taken down on spurious, trumped-up corruption allegations, the full account of which is told in the book Target: TRAFICANT.

Ney’s book is the story of a (probably) good man who made a mistake and got into politics, went to the top and back down to the ugly bottom, but still maintained his dignity and sense of humor.

This author casually met Ney at the beginning of his career in Congress, one marked by crippling alcohol abuse (which Ney has since abandoned). Our brief meeting was in the famous Hawk ‘n’ Dove, a Capitol Hill saloon—one far less pricey than some of the establishments, in the future, where Ney would drink himself blind at Abramoff’s expense. At the time, I thought Ney was a nice guy but very much a lightweight in comparison to some of the other congressional figures I’d met and I wondered how he would fare on the Hill. I think the predatory Abramoff targeted Ney precisely because he perceived him as vulnerable and easily manipulated.

Michael Collins Piper

Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.

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