Torture Funds Congressional Campaigns
Over the last few months, I have been working on assembling a list of 2008 reasons to vote for a progressive President in 2008. This morning, I found another reason: Right wing candidates are taking campaign contributions from corporations that torture.
My interest in this subject comes from two sources. First, there’s the screening of the documentary Iraq For Sale that’s taking place in my village this Friday night. Iraq For Sale explores the activities of a few of the many corporations that profit from America’s wars, including the political connections those companies use to position themselves for profitability.
Second, there’s the conversation I had last month with Jeeni Criscenzo, who is running for Congress in southern California. One of the most disturbing things that Jeeni Criscenzo points out in her campaign is that her opponent, Republican incumbent Darrell Issa, has taken a huge amount of money from Titan Corporation over the years.
Don’t know what Titan Corporation is? Think Abu Ghraib.
Titan Corporation sent its workers into Abu Ghraib, where they participated in a systematic program of torture. Titan called its employees “translators”. What a quaint term.
Titan Corporation has its own political action committee to promote its “interests”. What with the passage of the Military Commissions Act, which legalizes torture, Titan Corporation stands to make a lot of money, you see… translating what people say when CIA agents torture them.
Darrell Issa has taken a big 10,000 dollar check from the Titan Corporation PAC this year - the maximum amount allowed. In previous years, Issa has taken more money from Titan, and it’s safe to assume that in future years, he will keep on taking Titan’s money.
Darrell Issa isn’t the only one to take Titan’s money. In this year alone, 28 members of the House of Representatives and 4 members of the US Senate have accepted money from Titan Corporation. These politicians are themselves profiting from war and torture.
Two of these war profiteers are Democrats: Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, who took a one thousand dollar check from Titan Corporation this year, and Congressman Norm Dicks of Washington, who took a five thousand dollar check from Titan Corporation this year. Why did Representative Clyburn and Representative Dicks take money from a company known to be directly involved in the torture in Abu Ghraib? More importantly, why did Titan Corporation choose to pay Clyburn and Dicks this money? What are Clyburn and Dicks doing in Congress for Titan?
Another politician who is profiting from Titan’s involvement in war and torture is Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter. Like Darrell Issa, he took 10,000 dollars this year from Titan Corporation’s political action committee.
Duncan Hunter was the sponsor of the Military Commissions Act in the House of Representatives. Doesn’t that wrap things up all neatly with a bow?
Progressive candidates oppose torture. Right wing politicians profit from torture. That’s reason number 23 to elect a progressive president in 2008.
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