July 9, 2006
Washington BabylonThe Vanity Fair article on Duke Cunningham and the Republican culture of corruption is a must read.
"What these revelations provide is a window into Babylon or the last stages of Rome," explains a source with knowledge of the multiple ongoing investigations. "Many felonies went undetected because in the Defense Department a lot goes on in secret, and these crimes grew in the shadow of both 9/11 and one-party rule—with little scrutiny. So what you're looking at is a world where money, secrecy, sex, and indulgence were all in play. Where everyone is guilty of something."The Republican Party wants it to look like corruption runs rampant in both parties but not even close. Sure, not all Dems are clean (William Jefferson and his bribe money in the freezer comes to mind), but Republican corruption goes above and beyond single renegade crooks.
Cunningham's corruption was breathtaking in size and scope but by no means an isolated case. He's just one cog in a complex maze of shady deals between Republican lawmakers and defense contractors. Other lawmakers caught in the dragnet: Representatives Jerry Lewis, Bob Ney and Katherine Harris, all Republicans.
Cunningham's now serving his time. Who's next?
Image: Vanity Fair.
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