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Abramoff Letter to Judge: 'I Am Not a Bad Man'

POSTED: 04:35 PM ET, 09/ 4/2008 by Derek Kravitz


In this Jan. 3, 2006, file photo, lobbyist Jack Abramoff leaves federal court in Washington. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: Abramoff Sentenced to Four Years For Corruption

Jack Abramoff, the now-disgraced lobbyist behind a corruption scandal that ensnared several prominent lawmakers and Washington power brokers a few years ago, pleaded with a federal judge to reduce his sentence in a letter (PDF) sent yesterday, apologizing for his "blundering" but saying he is not a "bad man."

"I am not a bad man (although to read all the news articles one would think I was Osama Bin Laden), but I did many bad things," he wrote. "I lied to clients, even while working to get them the results they expected. I cheated my law firm and took advantage of public officials. And, while I gave millions of dollars to charities, I thought I could then skirt the rules in paying the right amount of money to the government in taxes."

Abramoff, 49, is in year two of a nearly six-year sentence in Cumberland, Md., for fraud in his purchase of a Florida casino cruise line. Today, he is scheduled to make his first public appearance in years at his sentencing in a separate case for tax evasion, fraud and conspiracy to ply public officials with gifts in exchange for official actions.

In the letter to U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, written in an e-mail from a prison account and sent late Tuesday to one of Abramoff's attorneys, Christopher Man, Abramoff acknowledged he "permanently" injured people and apologized to former clients, the government and his family.

"I have a lot to make up for and a lot of amends to make," he wrote. "If I ever can earn more than a mere living again, I will be paying back those I have harmed for the rest of my life. However, little is accomplished by delaying that day by my being jailed longer than is necessary."

The letter is meant to persuade a federal judge to release Abramoff as early as 2010. If the judge accepts a Justice Department recommendation regarding his sentence, Abramoff could be out of prison after another three years and three months.

He is facing a maximum of 11 years and three months in prison.

Abramoff writes that he is "extremely nervous" about today's appearance, saying it "truly will define the rest of my life."

Several family members, friends, former colleagues and religious leaders also wrote some 95 letters in support of Abramoff, saying that he is now humble, remorseful and in the midst of the Jewish spiritual process known as "tshuvah" to apologize for his sins.

By Derek Kravitz |  September 4, 2008; 4:35 PM ET Abramoff Scandal
Previous: Ex-White House Aide's Re-Trial Set for December | Next: Exclusive: Palin 'Experienced a Lot Frustration' With Family Feud

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Would he have been humble and sorry if he had not been caught? He should pay for his sins and then ask for an appology and then I am sure he will be forgiven. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Posted by: Omar | September 4, 2008 8:41 AM

He'll be let off quickly. Bad guys run this country and he's one of them.

Posted by: Tom | September 4, 2008 8:45 AM

This man would have no sympathy for a black kid caught selling drugs on the street corner. Abramoff and his crown of Republican crooks wouldn't worry about what that kid could have been if he had of had more opportunities, and what he still could be if given a second chance. He would say lock him up and throw the key away.

Now Jack Abramoff who had more opportunities in life than most of us can even dream of wants a second chance, and you know what I say give it to him, just as soon as he serves his full prison sentence.

This guy not only cheated people he cheated our entire country. He unjustly enriched the wealthy and stole ethical government from American Citizens. He actually should be hanged. Is eleven years really enough time to undo a lifetime of cheating and lying?

Posted by: RW | September 4, 2008 8:48 AM

One less Jewish master amongst our goyim midst. Let him rot, kosher-style, in the pits of hades.

Posted by: F*ck this Zionist Pig | September 4, 2008 8:49 AM

God: The most popular scapegoat for our sins.

Posted by: Mark Twain | September 4, 2008 8:54 AM

As a law and order Republican, I believe this criminal should serve out his sentence.

Posted by: Henst | September 4, 2008 8:57 AM

Glad he is seeing the error of his ways. I'd say in another four years or so, he should get a chance to translate those noble words into reality.
You got caught, Jack. Deal with it.

Posted by: Jh Atlanta, GA | September 4, 2008 8:57 AM

Abramoff called American Indian client "f'ing moron, monkey, troglodyte"

Posted by: John | September 4, 2008 8:59 AM

SCREW THE ZIONSJEWS..JACK ABRAMOFF..

Posted by: AA~ZZ | September 4, 2008 9:02 AM

I hope that he gets 11 years and serves every day. This man represents the worst type of opportunist who sold government access to lobbyists (Bribers?) and even cheated the scumbag clients who were bribing the scumbag politicians. We need Patrick Fitzgerald and his crew to scrub up this country and keeping Jack A. in the Hole is the right message. Send him to rot in the prisons built by friends of the governors that he helped bribe by giving 'access' to power. Hide behind the imaginary 'kazoo' of God, or better yet, show up in court with a breathing apparatus like all old mobsters do.

Posted by: Jack Mehoff | September 4, 2008 9:04 AM

Not only should he spend time in prison but he should be forced to pay back ALL money.

The true test of his life came earlier, when he lied to clients, and he failed. Amazing that he wants a second one.

Posted by: zendrell | September 4, 2008 9:07 AM

I'm sorry, Jack, but very greedy IS very bad.

Posted by: Matt | September 4, 2008 9:08 AM

Does this site have a place to report objectionable posts? I find the blatently anti-semitic tone of AA-ZZ and the other post sent at 8:49am very objectionable.

Posted by: JBF | September 4, 2008 9:17 AM

Orthodox Jews hold themselves to the highest standards and even look down upon other Jews. Yet when it came to business, he could care less who he screwed over as long as he and his friends made money. I have no sympathy at all for this chazzer. He should complete his sentence and then make amends to all the people he hurt.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 9:18 AM

While crimes can not be justified, acknowledgement of wrongdoing and the commitment to do better is admirable.

Posted by: Look Twice | September 4, 2008 9:22 AM

I am sure that all bank robbers and such are sorry too.
maybe we should let them out , they really didnt mean it.
hope he is there for another 20 years.

I remember a young man in 1970 in illinois received 2 years in prison for having a joint in his possession. he didnt hurt anyone. he didnt get out early.
and he wasnt at a country club prison like Abramoff

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 9:30 AM

Jack, Jack, be patient man. Chimpmunk & buckshot are almost done and they will surely pardon you for all your support in their highly successful rape of the treasury over the last few years that you played such a pivotal role in. To bad you won't serve your time with someone whose family you destroyed by your greed and corruption.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | September 4, 2008 9:30 AM

Oh how sad. The crocodile tears are flowing now. This is supposed to persuade us that he is a reformed man? Remember, the job description of a lobbyist is to persuade people to support whoever he is working for.
The only difference is that now he has no client other than himself.
Cry on boy, cry on. I do NOT hear you. Nor do I care.
Cry on. Sniffle.

Posted by: FJS | September 4, 2008 9:32 AM

Hahaha Who's he trying to kid? "I am not a bad man" hey that reminds me of Himmler, who told Dr. Kersten that at heart he was actually a very good person! Don't believe thiss Pond Scum. Let him ROT in jail for as long as necessary!!!

Posted by: Yard80197 | September 4, 2008 9:33 AM

Mr Abramoff's quote "However, little is accomplished by delaying that day by my being jailed longer than is necessary." is correct! Little is also accomplished by advancing it.

If the educated, priveledged, and powerful of this nation aren't required to adhere to the same laws as all Americans, then let's get rid of democracy. These people must set the example of character or be held accountable for crimes commited...right through to the end of their sentence.

Posted by: Jon L | September 4, 2008 9:35 AM

Typical right-winger, trying desperately to avoid responsibility for his actions.

Posted by: washpost | September 4, 2008 9:36 AM

Please, no sympathy for a man who has corrupted so many. He is the devil. Add more time, please.

Posted by: the vendor | September 4, 2008 9:36 AM

Let the scumbag rot.

Posted by: MaxMax | September 4, 2008 9:37 AM

He will be pardoned on 1/19/2009.

Posted by: Robert | September 4, 2008 9:39 AM

I do not object to Abramoff serving his time, although I do not doubt his remorse for his crimes.
But I decry the anti-Semitism of some of these letters. A man's crime does not reflect on an entire people. We are all individuals making our individual decisions.

Posted by: Martha | September 4, 2008 9:42 AM

"Does this site have a place to report objectionable posts? I find the blatently anti-semitic tone of AA-ZZ and the other post sent at 8:49am very objectionable."

Why do liberals love to cry so much?

Posted by: Kevin | September 4, 2008 9:43 AM

What about the H-1B stuff too ?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 9:48 AM

why is he complaining? He is on an all expense paid vacation not unlike Martha Stewart was. I suppose he is going to want his old job back. After all, Martha got hers back. Everyone just looks the other way. He will make a living again. Maybe he will do the talk circuit, write a book and tell us all how he screwed everyone since the day he was born, stashed all the cash, and is in need of nothing but will still want and get everything.

Posted by: blessed | September 4, 2008 9:48 AM

I wonder if he feels bad for the young female workers on that island he promoted that were forced to have abortions. Did Tom DeLay ever do time?

Posted by: steve | September 4, 2008 9:51 AM

What makes a good man or a bad man, but what he does? How he feels inside is not the point. What he does in the world around him is. So knock it off, Jack. Your have done very bad things and you are a very bad man.

Posted by: M.A. George | September 4, 2008 9:52 AM

Jack is an ordinary crook who is Jewish.
Let him hang, serve his time, however, not all Jews are criminals, its like saying a crooked pentecostal makes all Pentecostals crooks.Jack is repentenent and feels he can do more good outside jail. His jail house boyfriend cannot protect him; he wants out. Jack dont do the crime nexttime.

Posted by: Bill Biker | September 4, 2008 9:55 AM

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) Received At Least – $22,500

Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) Received At Least – $6,500

Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) Received At Least – $1,250

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Received At Least – $2,000

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Received At Least – $20,250

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Received At Least – $21,765

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) Received At Least – $7,500

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Received At Least – $12,950

Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) Received At Least – $8,000

Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) Received At Least – $7,500

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) Received At Least – $14,792

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Received At Least – $79,300

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Received At Least – $14,000

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Received At Least – $2,000

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) Received At Least – $1,250

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Received At Least – $45,750

Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) Received At Least – $9,000

Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) Received At Least – $2,000

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) Received At Least – $14,250

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) Received At Least – $3,300

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Received At Least – $98,550

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Received At Least – $28,000

Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) Received At Least – $4,000

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,000

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) Received At Least – $29,830

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) Received At Least – $14,891

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Received At Least – $10,550

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Received At Least – $78,991

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Received At Least – $20,168

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) Received At Least – $5,200

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Received At Least – $7,500

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) Received At Least – $2,300

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) Received At Least – $3,500

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Received At Least – $68,941

Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) Received At Least – $4,000

Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) Received At Least – $4,500

Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Received At Least – $4,300

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Received At Least – $29,550

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,250

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Received At Least – $6,250

Posted by: Ric | September 4, 2008 9:55 AM

Oh Jack Abramoff, sniff, I cry for you, I understand, we are such an abused minority, no one understands our need to steal from palestinians and the goyim, sniff we are so misunderstood.

Posted by: Jonathan pollard | September 4, 2008 9:56 AM

June 8 1967 USS Liberty attacked in eastern mediterranean, 34 killed, 75 wounded in two hours of attack by jets, helicopters and patrol boats.
Intantly betrayed by US government and zionist media.
Coverup continues as zionist neocons use US for thier Iraq plans.

Posted by: liberty | September 4, 2008 10:06 AM

Wow, I have no sympathy for the man, but I am absolutely amazed at how many of your comments use his vileness and sins as an opportunity to gleefully vent your own vileness of bigotry, intolerance and narrow mindedness. Shame on you.

Posted by: Mitch | September 4, 2008 10:07 AM

Abramoff is just another fascist jew enemy of freedom & democracy. This country is overrun with them.
Bush's bosses will make him pardon this traitor. Too bad really. He should be hung for treason.

Posted by: DWayne | September 4, 2008 10:07 AM

Why are they even considering lessening his sentence? The trial judge gave me his sentence for a reason.

I'm sure after running around the country playing "Mr. Big Stuff" at someone else's expense he doesn't like being in prison. Even a country club prison.

But just maybe, maybe....he should have considered this before he chose to do the crimes. He rolled the dice knowing full well about getting caught and chose to go for all the marbles.

Why are we even considering this????? Why not just let him out now and apologize to him for his inconveience the last several years?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 10:08 AM

Not bad. Just guilty.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 10:09 AM

Tom said: "He'll be let off quickly. Bad guys run this country and he's one of them."

Sadly... very sadly, I agree.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 10:10 AM

There are millions of Americans sitting in prison for non-violent drug offences and the Republican mantra is "kill them all, throw away the key, no mercy" UNLESS it is one of them that commits a crime, then suddenly judges should take into account how white and rich they are and not make them go to jail.
Our legal system sucks. This is why so many citizens don't trust police, lawyers and judges, they only help you if you are rich and white.

Posted by: Dawn | September 4, 2008 10:11 AM

I do not object to Abramoff serving his time, although I do not doubt his remorse for his crimes.
But I decry the anti-Semitism of some of these letters. A man's crime does not reflect on an entire people. We are all individuals making our individual decisions.
***************************************************

Jews have been the bane of humanity since the beginning of recorded history. They have been expelled from almost every country on earth at one time or another.
Their religion promotes hate, bigotry, and communism. To point this out is NOT anti-Semitic.
Occupying Palestine and murdering tens of thousands of Palestinians IS anti-Semitic though.

Posted by: DWayne | September 4, 2008 10:15 AM

Ric,
Can you cite a source for your numbers? Makes such a post believable. Otherwise it is no better than made up.

Posted by: Jimbo | September 4, 2008 10:18 AM

Posted by: pc93 | September 4, 2008 10:25 AM

When he spills the beans on Bush and Rove and the entire Bush Crime Fanily. Who did he think he was ripping off?

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 4, 2008 10:27 AM

What am I to teach my 4 children about criminals like Jack Abramoff? That if you belong to the right country club, schmooze the right people, corrupt the political system, and belong to the right religion, you can expect great things including leniency for crimes committed? Although I am not a fan of Jesse Ventura, he was right when he said 'religion is for weak minded people'. People use it as an excuse for everything from remorse for crimes to starting wars. Let him do his time, pretend he's found god, and we'll all forget about this in the soon to begin 2012 election cycle.

Posted by: Jaded Citizen | September 4, 2008 10:34 AM

Yes, he is not a bad person. So are the many million of ordinary American who live one day at a time, hoping that the deck is not totally stacked against them. The truth is that people like Abramoff use their power and influence to rob ordinary people of their dream for a better life. They undermine the American dream and they must pay the price of their callous and cynical abuse of the American people.

Posted by: RN | September 4, 2008 10:56 AM

Your just a fat piece of S H I T!!
I hope gets the real prison life, your a little B I T C H who killed a man in Florida for his business.

Go to jail and STFU.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | September 4, 2008 10:56 AM

The best thing about the Jack Abramoff incident is that it gave us the opportunity to get some insight into George Clooney's intellect. That is Georgie's JACK abramOFF comment. I have to believe this was a close at hand creation for Georgie, so to speak.

Posted by: RTGreenwood | September 4, 2008 10:57 AM

What Jack did was violate the public trust and should serve out his entire sentence. Although it is easy to bash lobbyist and politicians, the ones who are most offended by Jack's actions are the lobbyist and politicians themselves. Like any profession, be it a doctor, lawyer, teacher, priest, or journalist, there are always bad actors who give the rest of the profession a bad name. As one should not condemn an entire faith because of one bad actor, one should not condemn an entire profession because someone abused the public trust for illegal private gain.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 10:59 AM

I am from China and I am confused.
Why Americans hate Jews?

Posted by: God | September 4, 2008 10:59 AM

Jack was nimble and Jack was quick but when Jack jumped over the candle stick, he got burned. The legal system worked, police and judges threw him in jail. You can now rest assured that your children remain protected from the bad boogie men. If I were you, I would not tell them about the fact that most everyone posting comments here (including their very righteous dad or mom) probably cheated on their taxes, their spouses, their time-sheets, speed limits, coffee refill, etc. etc. etc. Start by taking a look at the darkness in your own heart ...You have chosen to be "jaded". "Be the change" as Gandhi put it.

Posted by: Mitch2 | September 4, 2008 11:03 AM


Somehow Abramoff's crocodile tears fail to move me. This man is a sociopath without a hint of authentic remorse.

Posted by: Skeptic | September 4, 2008 11:06 AM

Abrahamoff was not charge with or found guilty of being a "Bad Man", however, for starters, he could show he is not a "Bad Man" by paying back all the Money he stole. Then he could appologize do his time and go home.

Posted by: Fareed H. Ansari | September 4, 2008 11:06 AM

Jack Abramoff is assuming that he now knows better and that he doesn't need to sit in jail any longer. He has become his own doctor now so to speak, his own judge and jury. Jack knows what is best for Jack. Jack is a grown man, a highly intelligent man, after all. It only stands to reason that only a man like Jack would be able to determine his own punishment and his own sentence.

Jack is the opposite of a troglodyte. Jack is not a bad man. Jack is a model citizen. Jack does everything right. You have to let Jack slide because he is better than you, better than us.

Jack created the system and Jack helps keep the system in place. Therefore Jack should not be subject to the system. What don't you understand about this?

Other people, like Jack, don't want Jack to suffer that much because when Jack suffers, the other people like Jack, the judge, his lawyers, his fellow businessmen, will start to think that they too one day will have to suffer like Jack. And this they can't stand to think about. It's just not going to happen.

If they make Jack suffer to much, then the standard will be set to high. You don't want punish Jack too hard because then all of the system folks will have to suffer the same harsh punishment when they do something wrong.

They have to let Jack out or else everyone else who comes down the pike and screws everything up will have to suffer the same amount of punishment. And again, this doesn't sit well with the folks that create and run the system.

It's easy to beat on the lesser folks, it's easier to make an example out of them.

Posted by: rote | September 4, 2008 11:08 AM

Too many criminals, especially high profile criminals like Abramoff, are released too early for them to really feel and understand the pain and guilt of their crime. As a teacher who assigns "time outs" to children who misbehave, I think he needs a multi-year sentence to fit the crime IN ADDITION TO paying the true costs of his crime by garnishing wages. Then, and only then, will retribution for his crime be delivered. If he is released early, then he MUST reimburse those people he "cheated, took advantage of, bribed", etc. and otherwise sinned against in exchange for leniency.

Posted by: dt | September 4, 2008 11:09 AM

I still amazed that someone from Bush's inner circle has finally done time in prison.... Shocked... Stuned.... Amazed....

Oh wait here comes bush with a pardon.

Posted by: Go for it! | September 4, 2008 11:10 AM

Yes, religion is for the weak minded like Jesus, Gandhi, our Founding Fathers, Einstein, Darwin, Freud, Mother Theresa, Kant, Kierkegaard, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln. The fact is that it's much harder to find a lack of faith among our brightest and most productive thinkers, inventors, philanthropist, educators, and leaders. You truly you are "jaded" by choice.

Posted by: WeakMinded | September 4, 2008 11:15 AM

You, Mr. Abramoff, are the definition of a "bad man." I could say to someone, "You are an Abramoff," and it would be a very damning thing for them to hear.

Most people of principle would agree that your treatment of Native Americans alone, your cheating them of millions with promises that were phoney, while on the other hand ridiculing them, demeaning them, that is quite sufficient to make you a bad, bad man. An evil man in my book.

When you lie and cheat and steal you promote the worst cynicism about government and people and harm democracy. You harm us all. I feel you are a vile human being. Sure you may have some good qualities. I'm sure youlove your family. But that is not character, that's not being a "good person." You have the rest of your life to seek redemption, but if you do not accept that your bad acts do make you a bad man, I don't see there is any hope for you. You will merely be lying and seeking to pull the wool over people's eyes. But all sociopaths do that, and that's what you are.

Posted by: Barbara Wickwire | September 4, 2008 11:16 AM

While he will be paying restitution with any money he makes when it gets our, he will not be destitute. You know all his cronies and friends will take care of him, ensuring he doesn't have to work a day more and still lives a comfortable life. I agree he is the worst kind of criminal (intentionally inflicting harm on others) and give him the maximum.

Posted by: no comment | September 4, 2008 11:17 AM

What does that moron Abramoff THINK designates a person as bad?? It's somebody who DOES BAD THINGS, as he's ADMITTED doing. You can hardly call a person "bad" who does nothing bot good!

They should make an example of him...but they won't.


"...not a bad man," my a**!

Posted by: Chuckie | September 4, 2008 11:19 AM

We do not have enough jail cells to lock up every crook and to lockup a criminal is not a real solution to make our world better; we should find a better way to utilize him as well as other criminals in jail to benefit us as well as them.

Posted by: jack | September 4, 2008 11:22 AM

Hey you "pardon" folks. I'm willing to make a bet with you. I will donate $1,000 to a Democratic charity if Bush pardons Abramoff if you will each give $20 to a conservative charity if he does not. But, I know your type. You throw this stuff out and never seem to remember your foolishness when it does not come to pass. Like most opportunistic "progressives" you love to react and whine but you don't know how to lead.

Posted by: PardonFolks | September 4, 2008 11:22 AM

That's a neat idea. Let's all get along, and while we are at it, let's play patty-cake and eat lemon-drops on a passing rainbow. Smiles and love to everyone!

Posted by: Rainbow | September 4, 2008 11:27 AM

Jack Abramoff still doesn't get it. A truly repentant man would not ask for leniency when it is obviously not due. This isn't about what Abramoff wants or what Abramoff thinks. Abramoff telling us what he thinks, at this point, is completely and utterly psycho and sociopathic.

Behind closed doors and to his lawyers he's probably thinking and saying to himself, "that so and so of a judge better let me off easy." His own opinions and comments clearly spell this out.

He's lobbying now on his own behalf. Doing and saying all the right things to get exactly what he wants. "I've done enough time" is what he's thinking. And unfortunately, people like him are easily able to convince ANYBODY to do almost anything that they want them to do. He's proven it time and time again.

When people like him, Scanlon, Reed, and Ney are allowed to go unpunished for their degraded behavior, it gives everybody else license, reason, and motivation to partake in the same kind of degraded behavior.

It can be seen in some of the degraded anti-Jewish comments that are being written here. Degraded behavior begets degraded behavior.

I'm not interested in Jack Abramoff coming back out into society just yet and teaching classes and writing books. I'm not interested in his particular brand of disgusting knowledge. Why would I want to be influenced by someone like him? He still see's himself as more intelligent and more valuable than he actually is. Which is one of the main problems that got him put in jail in the first place.

Part of his sentence should be that he has to keep his mouth shut and not be allowed to teach for the next 10 years.

His PR machine is going into full effect now. Can't wait to see what else he has to say. He already knows what his sentence is going to be.

Posted by: aged | September 4, 2008 11:28 AM

Hey, that's a NEAT ideas. Lets all get along with prisoners. And while we are at it, let's play patty-cake for lemon-drops on a passing rainbow. Love and peace to everyone!

Posted by: Rainbow | September 4, 2008 11:29 AM

Posted by: Ric | September 4, 2008 11:31 AM

"The draft report of the House Government Reform Committee said the documents — largely Abramoff's billing records and e-mails — listed 485 lobbying contacts with White House officials over three years, including 10 with top Bush aide Karl Rove. The report said that of the 485 contacts listed, 345 were described as meetings or other in-person contacts; 71 were described as phone conversations and 69 were e-mail exchanges.[34]

In the first 10 months of 2001, the Abramoff lobbying team logged almost 200 contacts with the Bush Administration.[33] He may have used these senior level contacts to assist in his lobbying for Indian tribes concerning tribal gaming. The Department of the Interior has Federal regulatory authority over tribal affairs such as tribal recognition and gaming. From 2000 to 2003, six Indian tribes paid Abramoff over $80 million in lobbying fees.[4]

The Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs has authority over policy and grants to US territories such as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).[35] This may have assisted him in lobbying for textile interests in the islands. U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) and DeLay also heavily lobbied the CNMI for opposing the minimum wage.[36][37]"
quoted from wikipedia. seems ol jack was way involved with bush and republicans especially tom delay.. So how he could bribe democrats and why he would do so for such paltry sums of money stretches credulity Ric. Obviously you are repeating necon lies

Posted by: gary | September 4, 2008 11:39 AM

Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon ripping off the Indians seems to have taken back seat to all of the other stuff that they did. Who cares if they bribed public officials? Isn't that just crooks working with crooks?

Now that I think about it, who cares about any of this mess?

Nobody.

Posted by: carcariss | September 4, 2008 11:42 AM

Gary: The fact that dems took Abramoff money is well established.

Posted by: Ric | September 4, 2008 11:52 AM

Mr Abramoff, the "I'm too stupid to recognize my criminality" defense didn't work for Richard Nixon and probably won't work for you either unless another GOP crook gets into the White House.

Posted by: Jack Lean | September 4, 2008 11:53 AM

"I'm not a bad man; I just did bad things?"

Who makes up this stuff? Since when are we separable from what we do? That's like saying I am not a cheater; I just cheated. I am not a liar; I just lied. By Abramoff's "rationalizing" nobody is bad. Hitler was not a bad man; he just ordered bad things!

Posted by: Gasmonkey | September 4, 2008 11:55 AM

screw him

Posted by: gousa | September 4, 2008 12:02 PM

Gary and Jimbo: Here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/02/AR2005060202158.html

I tired of doing your homework.

Posted by: Ric | September 4, 2008 12:04 PM

Not to worry. W will pardon him on the way out the door in January. K Street will become the Avenur of Reformers from the looks of things.

Posted by: Tom | September 4, 2008 12:04 PM

I doubt McCain will pardon him should he win, he led the investigation in the senate.

I don't agree with his policies but he is a man of honor and I have always respected his personal code of honor. Which is why it makes me sick to see him flip flop and kowtow to the GOP that controls him like a puppet these days.

Posted by: Mike | September 4, 2008 12:13 PM

Screw him. He should have thought about the actions that have now pre-disposed him to whinning before he carried those (actions) out.

Posted by: Hootathought | September 4, 2008 12:15 PM

he'll get off, W likes to pardon idiots. I think he feels a connection...

Posted by: Jeff | September 4, 2008 12:16 PM

He's not sorry for his actions, he's sorry that he got caught.

Posted by: edwardian | September 4, 2008 12:22 PM

The dude needs a hair cut.

Posted by: Douglas | September 4, 2008 12:22 PM

Now they just need to get the rest of JA's crew. Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed,Rick Santorum. Make it a full house in the big house.

Posted by: Warpednine | September 4, 2008 12:25 PM

He '...is not a bad man' so much as he is despicable and beneath contempt, evident once one examines his past misdeeds chronicled in detail in Frank Rich's latest book "How Conservatives Rule".

Posted by: TruthIsSuperiorToHonor | September 4, 2008 12:26 PM

The anti semitism reflected in these comments is appauling.While Abramoff deserves condemnation for his actions and his racist remarks about American Indians he should not be held up as an example of the entire jewish people.I'm Jewish and I try to respect everyone and treat them with dignity are these people implying I'M NO GOOD?
jACK aBRAMOFF SHOULD ROT IN JAIL FOR 11 YEARS NOT BECAUSE HE'S jEWEISH BUT BECAUSE HE SUCKS AS A HUMAN BEING.

Posted by: maddog | September 4, 2008 12:31 PM

The anti semitism reflected in these comments is appauling.While Abramoff deserves condemnation for his actions and his racist remarks about American Indians he should not be held up as an example of the entire jewish people.I'm Jewish and I try to respect everyone and treat them with dignity are these people implying I'M NO GOOD?
jACK aBRAMOFF SHOULD ROT IN JAIL FOR 11 YEARS NOT BECAUSE HE'S jEWEISH BUT BECAUSE HE SUCKS AS A HUMAN BEING.

Posted by: maddog | September 4, 2008 12:31 PM

Man of honor, code of honor? Are you talking about John McCain? People of honor don't lie, Mike. This truth is going to have to be repeated over and over again. Your idea of honor is diseased.

Men of honor don't lie. And they don't lie repeatedly. I don't care if he's a politician or a security guard. Men of honor don't lie.

Posted by: cotex | September 4, 2008 12:33 PM

FOX Network needs a new commentator on private sector participation and accountability in govt. affairs; please pardon Abramoff ASAP.

Posted by: Ned Rollo | September 4, 2008 12:38 PM

ANY Washington corruption needs to be considered HIGH TREASON and those guilty taken out and SHOT! That will make them think twice BEFORE they do it, not AFTERWARD.

"The last official act of any government is to loot the nation".

Posted by: JS | September 4, 2008 12:43 PM

My apologies for going off topic, but I reject WeakMinded's argument that being famous for one's intellect, compassion, etc also means one cannot be weak-minded. That's probably a bad choice of words, but yes, it's often used to explain the unexplainable/unknown.

And it's harder to find a lack of religion among our best and brightest? Who says?

Posted by: BundleX | September 4, 2008 12:49 PM

laughing at all the hate.

Posted by: Ric | September 4, 2008 12:52 PM

Has he commented on the pick of Sarah Palin yet?

Posted by: Tom | September 4, 2008 1:09 PM

Let him rot.

Posted by: TUG | September 4, 2008 1:12 PM

"A truly repentant man would not ask for leniency when it is obviously not due."

I think this statement is rather poignant.

For such an educated man, such a master of rhetoric, I should think Abramoff is well aware of the duplicity of his request for leniency. One cannot be truly remorseful whilst attempting to shirk the due consequence of his crimes. A lawyer who's entire profession is ideally defined by maintaining the tenuous balance between crime and punishment should be accutely aware of the risk he takes when breaking the law. Admittedly though, most lawyers spend their careers attempting find and exploit loopholes in the law; to tip the scales in favor of the highest payout. Perhaps years of this activity have simply skewed Abramoff's moral compass.

If he were truly remorseful, he would fully embrace the terms of his punishment and serve gracefully. He would have something to prove to himself, his corrupt benefactors, and society.

Decrying his inability to pay off debts to his victims because he is stuck in jail is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to bait and switch. Does anyone here actually believe that Abramoff will pay back one red cent to the people he stole from should he be released early, unless otherwise forced by the state? Furthermore, what makes him think that his victims don't consider a lengthy jail sentence the best form of reimbursement?

Posted by: lee morgan | September 4, 2008 1:24 PM

He was the center of the repuglican bribery machine. He did far more damage to this country than a college kid who sells pot (and gets a decade in prison), or a president who balances the budget but gets a BJ (and gets impeached).

He's the worst kind of traitor: one who did it for money.

Let him be anally raped by all the black men who didn't get job training because his rich repuglie friends cut their own taxes and stuffed what little money was left into their pockets.

FUÇK YOU, ABRAMOFF. I hope you DIE in prison.

-- faye kane, homeless brain
Read more of my smartmouth opinions at http://blog.myspace.com/fayekane

Posted by: Faye Kane | September 4, 2008 1:28 PM

I understand how the Demo-leaning folks would like to see Abramoff stew in jail; he is a white Republican who didn't kill a cop. Vengeance isn't just a right-wing affliction after all.

But the "lock-em-up" *conservatives* who want Abramoff to serve out his sentence confuse me. Why do these people want Abramoff to be unemployed, sitting in jail, on the public dole, not paying taxes? Where is the sanity in that? Who are we punishing, Abramoff or us?

As a libertarian, I believe we should be putting Abraboff on the street, back to work, paying taxes and paying fines. That way the victims in his crimes will actually expect to recover some of the losses (small, but some) they suffered because of Abramoff's larceny.

Lock-em-up conservatives are just like welfare liberals. They like to shove societies problems on to the taxpayers. Jail should be for criminals who are a justifiable threat to society, not just a nuisance.

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 1:29 PM

Abramoff would make a better running mate for McCain than the loony Jesus freak he has now.

Posted by: TOC | September 4, 2008 1:37 PM

This piece of dirt made sure that the factory workers in the Marianna Islands
did not get paid a minimum wage and was proud of his accomplishment.
Let the judge throw the book at him and when he does get out let him pay the Marianna workers the difference between the pitiful wages they earned and the fair pay they should have gotten.
This momzer is beyond redemption.

Posted by: Mario | September 4, 2008 1:40 PM

"Jail should be for criminals who are a justifiable threat to society, not just a nuisance."

The above statement indicates that you don't know what a real threat is. The fact that you don't understand that Jack Abramoff is a threat to society is proof of how much of a threat he actually is. His kind of threat is undetectable by most. And he knows that! And it's the same power that allowed him and John Scanlon to rob people blind! And it's the same power that is going to allow to get out of going to jail!

How is Jack Abramoff and people like him not a threat to society? He is a thief. The worst kind of thief. Since when are thieves not a threat to society?

Not understanding, not being able to see that Jack Abramoff is not a serious threat to society is a bigger threat to society.

Posted by: ignoranceisstrong | September 4, 2008 1:48 PM

11 years!
11 Years!
11 Years!

... and not one day less!

Posted by: thompst | September 4, 2008 1:54 PM

I love all of the white trashy pictures of Sarah Palin that are appearing all over the internet.

I can see it now:

"Mini-Skirts and Machine Guns are what got me elected Governor of Alaska, and it's Mini-Skirts and Machine Guns that are gonna redefine America for years to come once John McCain and I get into office! Woo-Hoo! And I can't wait to put a giant pair of Moose antlers on the front door of the White House!"

Just trying to lighten things up around here a bit.

Carry on.

Posted by: ha | September 4, 2008 1:55 PM

ESAD "ric"h boy, People could care less about your opinion you are another of those poser's that like to spew what bs only to see your self in print!!ESAD

Posted by: ricky boy | September 4, 2008 1:56 PM

"I have been thinking about this moment literally for years," Abramoff wrote a federal judge Wednesday.

Ha! What a slimy and putrid thing Abramoff is. The fact that he says things like this makes me almost pass out from disbelief.

What 'years?' It's only 2008 you truth spinning, manipulating piece of filth! How long have you been in jail? two years at the most?

I guess a demon has to do what a demon has to do.

Posted by: roc | September 4, 2008 2:05 PM

There is no bigger phony than Jack Abramoff. This man encouraged his Indian clients to sell life insurance to their senior members so that they could funnel more of their money to Abramoff, and his cronies

Mr. Abramoff, redemption is yours. Tell the court that you will serve the maximum length of your prison term. Pay back those that you have cheated. Spend the rest of your life-serving people. The difference is that this time you will serve them so that you can help them.

This man is a disgrace to any religion. He uses religion. 11 years of prison sounds about right!

Posted by: Jack Abramoff the Phony | September 4, 2008 2:21 PM

"So much of what happens in Washington stretches the envelope, skirts the spirit of the rules, and lives in the loopholes."


He put all his efforts into being a cold hearted master at manipulating lives for his own personal wealth. And for awhile he did it better than anyone. Wrote the book on it so to speak.

Well Chuck, maybe you made a big mistake. And maybe you need to face the consequence and take it like a man. You didn't hold back while you perpetrated your crimes. If you weren't aware of the actual penalties for your crimes, too bad. As they say, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law.

You have had more than your 15 minutes. So go away. For a long time.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 2:22 PM

ABRAMOFF IS THE WORST KIND OF BAD MAN!

...Working with a business partner in his Sub Cruise fraud who is was indicted for accessory to murder of the man from whom they stole the cruise line?

...Buying off congressmen and senators?

...Working to defeat the interests of one Indian tribe so their billable-client Indian tribe continues to have no competition. ...Then going over and billing the tribe who's interests they just defeated to "fix" the problem?


Abramoff is the WORST kind of double dealing, congress bribing, fraudulent, murder-acssociated bastard.

His FULL sentence is too light!

Posted by: JBE | September 4, 2008 2:31 PM

How is it that you "missed" enforcement of so many anti-Jewish tirades. When someone comments about the misdeeds of the subject it is fine. When someone comments about F...n Jews it is another matter! When the comment is signed by someone as a Jew who doesn't even know any Jews as in pen name Jonathan Pollard, this is despicable.

The Washington Post has a responsibilty to enforce its stated standards, otherwise one might conclude that the Post approves of the anti Jewish tirades.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.

e.g. Jonathan pollard | September 4, 2008 9:56 AM

Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards.

Posted by: I M Hubscher | September 4, 2008 2:33 PM

@ignoranceisstrong

"The above statement indicates that you don't know what a real threat is...."

"He is a thief. The worst kind of thief. Since when are thieves not a threat to society?"

When the thief doesn't hold a gun to your head?

"Not understanding, not being able to see that Jack Abramoff is not a serious threat to society is a bigger threat to society."

Your circular logic hasn't proven that Jack Abramoff is a threat to society. He is a criminal, but he is not a threat. Locking him up punishes the rest of us because we have to take money out of our pockets to lock him up, feed and cloth him, and pay guards to keep him away from the rest of society. That is what we do with murderers, rapists and armed robbers. Not larcenists, pot heads, and white collar criminals. Make them pay for their crimes in a way they understand and that doesn't take money from the rest of us: fine them.

What part of welfare don't you understand?

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 2:34 PM

@JBE

"ABRAMOFF IS THE WORST KIND OF BAD MAN!"

What? How does what Abramoff compare to Charles Manson? Ted Bundy? Jeffrey Dahmer? Or how about Timothy McVeigh?

Are you seriously telling the world that you believe Abramoff's crimes are worse than what Osama Bin Laden did to the victims of September 11, 2001?

The people who buy into that argument are warped.

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 2:40 PM

The effects of what Jack Abramoff did are larger and sometimes not as apparant. Today one of the first tribes of Indians the white settlers met is in danger of completely losing its identity. The Delaware Indians sit in Oklahoma, just about out of money, crying out for help. Members of Congress want to help them with restoring their recognition, but those members of Congress feel as though they can't because of the negative politics created by Jack and his ilk. Recognition and any Indian issue is just not being talked about because of the stains created by this whole scandal. Meanwhile, the people who are made to suffer, the Delawares and other tribes, do so in obscurity. It just isn't fair. I'm a Delaware and I'm OK financially, but many are not. This is one of the many bad things to come out of this whole affair. When Jack and some of his rich friends beg for mercy and a shorter prison sentence, maybe the judge will consider all the people they hurt, even the ones no one knows about.

Posted by: Delaware | September 4, 2008 2:43 PM

@Deleware

"When Jack and some of his rich friends beg for mercy and a shorter prison sentence, maybe the judge will consider all the people they hurt, even the ones no one knows about."

But you could write an entire set of books about Native interactions with illegal aliens (white settlers from Europe) and that still wouldn't be settled by the imprisonment of one person. Jack Abramoff wasn't imprisoned because he was a racist idiot who took advantage of Natives. He was jailed because he stole money. It shouldn't matter who he took the money from and you shouldn't care how he gets it back to the tribal council he stole it from. The fact is, he won't be making *any* money sitting behind bars. He will be *taking* money from every citizen - white, black, and Native - in the form of taxes while he sits out his sentence.

It would be infinitely more just for Abramoff to be working and earning money that he should be forced to pay back to those he stole from, not in jail continuing to take money from us for years into the future.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 2:52 PM

Jack Abramoff should serve EVERY SECOND of his sentence. Too many Republican criminals have been pardoned, paroled, had their sentences reduced, which only encourages more of their shenanigans. The sooner Abramoff is back on the streets the sooner he will be cooking up new schemes. Anyone that thinks he will spend one dime of his wealth for restitution is ready for the booby hatch.

Posted by: Pragmatus | September 4, 2008 2:52 PM

@Pragmatus

"Anyone that thinks he will spend one dime of his wealth for restitution is ready for the booby hatch."

What evidence do you have to support that contention, other than your own personal biases?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 2:54 PM

Mr. Abramoff should serve his full sentence in general population. No solitary confinement. No protective custody.

A Native American.

Posted by: Victor | September 4, 2008 2:56 PM

The anti-semitic posts here are vile even by the Post's dubious standards. I wonder how much more would be accomplished in the world if losers didn't sit around blaming their various failings on mysteriously implausible Zionist conspiracies.

Posted by: Rory | September 4, 2008 2:59 PM

@Rory

"The anti-semitic posts here are vile even by the Post's dubious standards. I wonder how much more would be accomplished in the world if losers didn't sit around blaming their various failings on mysteriously implausible Zionist conspiracies."

If they didn't have the Jews, they would blame it on the Masons. If they didn't have the Masons, they would make a group up.

People *love* conspiracies. They feed their deep-seated insecurities by giving them pat answers to troubling and difficult situations in the world. The Jews just happen to be a long-standing historical target.

As we make our secret handshakes and plot the overthrow of the world's governments, we Masons are grateful for the Jews. You've run cover for us for many centuries. Have we bothered to thank you lately?

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 3:05 PM

To Anon who wrote at 2:52pm:

I agree with you that it would be more productive for him to pay what he owes to all the people he has hurt. I would love to see it.

But what he doesn't realize is the hurt that he has caused these people that can never be quantified. For example: what I discussed in my first post-- the people who are hurt because things that would have been a slam dunk are now being put on the back burner because of the political sensitivity of Indian issues after the scandal.

If he could be made to pay for that... it would be wonderful.

Posted by: Delaware | September 4, 2008 3:06 PM

Jack mustabe a neocon. He's such a jerk he would be hard to fictionalize. May your kids goto PS innercity and may your wife wash floors. May Jack rot in jail for a decoade or more.

Posted by: Boils | September 4, 2008 3:14 PM

I'm interested in Jack Abramoff staying in jail. He should not receive leniency. So what if he is helping authorities? HELLO! That's what he is supposed to do! He should have no say in the matter. Our logic is twisted here. How should a criminal of this kind have any negotiating power? It's because he is part of the crowd that creates and enforces the rules.

And Swett, white collar criminals need to know what severe punishment is, what it feels like, what the consequences of their seemingly harmless actions have on society as a whole.

Jack Abramoff thought it was okay to do the things that he did. He thought that he was entitled to steal. This is a major problem.

I understand you not wanting tax payers to foot the bill for Jack Abramoff while he sits in a jail cell, but not understanding that Jack Abramoff is a threat to society is short-sighted of you. And it makes no sense for you to compare and contrast criminal behavior. Of course Abramoff doesn't compare to Charles Manson or Osama Bin Laden.

Abramoff IS dangerous and from what I can gather by the things he has said and done, he doesn't understand this. This is sociopathic of him.

Yes, people who shoot people are dangerous and Jack Abramoff isn't dangerous in the same way that Charles Manson is dangerous. But I still contend that Jack Abramoff is more dangerous because the danger he poses is much more subtle, more pervasive, and ultimately more damaging than Charles Manson ever was or could ever be.

Posted by: alice | September 4, 2008 3:18 PM

Swett, no offense, but you seem like stiff and rigid block head. Do you have a police scanner on your nightstand? If I'm wrong then I apologize. If I'm right, then please, go fix yourself.

Posted by: ojo | September 4, 2008 3:30 PM

Maybe Jack could spend a few months or years with the poorest of the Indians that he hurt. Maybe working with them and for them would be a productive use of his time. And not just a figurative few hours a day, but he could live with them 24 hours a day for months. He could get the real experience of the pain he has caused and share that pain with the people he has hurt. And no free weekend passes-- 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no hope for ever breaking the cycle.

Posted by: Delaware | September 4, 2008 3:34 PM

@Deleware

"For example: what I discussed in my first post-- the people who are hurt because things that would have been a slam dunk are now being put on the back burner because of the political sensitivity of Indian issues after the scandal."

I understand your point, but I still don't think that this approach (jailing Abramhoff) is the best way to achieve a sound public policy. If recognition were really such a "slam dunk", then why would they need a lobbyist?

Here in the Pacific Northwest there are several small tribes that have never negotiated treaties with the US and so have therefore never received formal recognition by the feds. That makes negotiating tribal compacts with the states they reside in impossible. Economic development that would have followed those tribal compacts is also impossible. Their only choice is to band together with other tribes into confederations with recognized tribes. This leaves them cultually isolated but polically protected. Not exactly an ideal situation.

The process to receive federal recognition is laborious and litigious. Often it involves intervention of congressional reps to get action from the Department of Interior. This is why I believe that jailing Abramoff, and ultimately punishing the taxpayers, will never change the system.

If I were Commander-in-Chief for a day, and could run legislation through Congress in 24 hours, I would change the entire recognition system to make the process less cumbersome. I would also explore putting Native relations under the Department of State rather than Interior and start the process of eliminating the Bureau of Indian Affairs entirely. As far as I can tell, Natives haven't gotten nearly as much from that governmental con job as whites.

If you want Abramoff to see what Natives have to deal with on a daily basis, then make his work-release contingent on spending a year working on one of the poorest Native reservations in the state. Perhaps he would get a better appreciation for what was on the line when the people who hired him payed his salary.

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 3:34 PM

"And Swett, white collar criminals need to know what severe punishment is, what it feels like, what the consequences of their seemingly harmless actions have on society as a whole."

Then take their money away. That is what motivates them. That is how they calculate the risk of their actions.

I don't think they believe they thought their actions were harmless. I believe they weighed the risks versus the rewards.

"Jack Abramoff thought it was okay to do the things that he did. He thought that he was entitled to steal. This is a major problem."

And so you take his motive to steal. If I steal 50 million dollars under the current system and only get caught for 10 million, I do 10 years for 40 million dollars. Do the math. I guarantee you that white collar criminals do and they think that getting paid 4 million a year to watch TV in prison isn't such a bad deal.

Take away all of the money the person steals and tack on 40 million in penalties, and now there is NO incentive to steal.

"I understand you not wanting tax payers to foot the bill for Jack Abramoff while he sits in a jail cell,.."

No, I don't think you do.

"..but not understanding that Jack Abramoff is a threat to society is short-sighted of you."

You and others in this forum continue to make the assertion that Abramoff is a threat without describing it.

"And it makes no sense for you to compare and contrast criminal behavior. Of course Abramoff doesn't compare to Charles Manson or Osama Bin Laden."

Then where is the *threat*?

"Abramoff IS dangerous and from what I can gather by the things he has said and done, he doesn't understand this. This is sociopathic of him."

You've met and analyzed Mr. Abramoff?

"Yes, people who shoot people are dangerous.."

Yes, they are. When did Jack Abramoff shoot someone?

"..and Jack Abramoff isn't dangerous in the same way that Charles Manson is dangerous."

Thank you for agreeing that he doesn't deserve to be locked up.

"But I still contend that Jack Abramoff is more dangerous because the danger he poses is much more subtle, more pervasive, and ultimately more damaging than Charles Manson ever was or could ever be."

You can contend all you like, but proof is much better. None of Mr. Abramoff's victims is dead as a result of his crimes. All of Manson's are.

So far, you haven't make a case for his being MORE dangerous. All you've proven is that you like to pay more in taxes than I do.

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 3:44 PM

@ojo

"Swett, no offense, but you seem like stiff and rigid block head."

Now who could be offended by an opening like that?

"Do you have a police scanner on your nightstand?"

No. I don't live in constant fear.

"If I'm wrong then I apologize."

I doubt you would apologize for anything.

"If I'm right, then please, go fix yourself."

I got a vasectomy a long time ago. But I've got three children, so you're too late.

Are people in your circle of friends so cordial to people they don't know, or do you *have* a circle of friends?

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 3:46 PM

You see, this is why more jail time for Abramoff will work. It's because being in jail is the last thing Abramoff wants to do! He won't mind working. He wants to work. He likes to work. Being out and about and working isn't punishment. It's what he wants.

He will end up thinking that he didn't do anything wrong if he isn't made to sit and stew in his own mess.

If he's broke, let him file bankruptcy like the rest of us.

Posted by: mags | September 4, 2008 3:49 PM

To Marv Swett,

That was a well written response with very good points.

Posted by: Delaware | September 4, 2008 3:51 PM

@mags

"He will end up thinking that he didn't do anything wrong if he isn't made to sit and stew in his own mess."

Everyone that makes this claim seems so confident that Abramoff will emerge from prison having received some great epiphany 10 minutes before his release date.

What will probably happen is that Abramoff will spend 11 more years in jail and will leave prison broke and unable to pay any restitution. His victims and their community will have paid another $4.4 million in taxes to keep him incarcerated. And in the end, the victims will never recover a fraction of the money they are owed because Abramoff will have re-entered the workforce at an age when most people are entering retirement. He will have an even harder time making any money to pay restitution.

Yep. Abramoff will have certainly learned a valuable lesson. So will his victims.

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 3:57 PM

@Deleware

Thanks.

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 3:59 PM

Swett--

Should we create a whole seperate set of laws for people like Abramoff, white collar criminals? Why bother putting Abramoff and the rest through any of this?

Posted by: mags | September 4, 2008 4:09 PM

@mags

"Should we create a whole seperate set of laws for people like Abramoff, white collar criminals? Why bother putting Abramoff and the rest through any of this?"

Separate laws? No, we already have plenty of laws. We should just quit building so many prisons and then finding excuses to throw people into them.

Doesn't it disturb you that there are more, not fewer, crimes that require incarceration? Doesn't it bother you that there aren't more judges who explore alternative sentencing?

How much money are you willing to take from your schools, community clinics and hospitals, and public roads to build prisons and incarcerate people who are not violent offenders? Despite my challenge, not one person has identified the threat to society posed by someone like Abramoff. Yes, he is an economic criminal and there should be alternative means for dealing with his malfeasance. But too often we allow ourselves to give into cheap, politically expedient solutions pushed by prison contractors, short-witted politicians, and the contractors who run the prison complex. Don't you think they have an economic interest in making more crimes punishable by lengthy prison terms?

And the whole prison system industry is an excuse to push for other more insidious agendas. Prison overcrowding? Suspend habeas appeals and grease the skids on executions. As though we would already have a glut of prison capacity if we didn't make jaywalking a 1-year prison sentence.

Am I exaggerating a bit? Only on the jaywalking. There is more than enough capacity in both the state and federal systems to hold violent offenders without raising taxes if we were to quit incarcerating every first-time non-violent offender. We could deal with repeat offenders without increasing the prison system as well if we were able to convince state legislatures and Congress to pass alternative sentencing guidelines for non-violent crimes.

But I don't put too much stock in these measures ever coming to pass. One run though the forum and you'll see that politicians have done a pretty good job of convincing their electorate that the only solution to non-violent crime is to lock people up and throw away the key.

Anyone who argues otherwise is "soft on crime".

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 4:28 PM

He's not a bad man, he just did bad things...he can't expect a judge to buy THAT in this day and age? Oh, that's right, I forgot, nobody takes responsibility for their actions anymore, he was driven by (fill in some lame excuse here) to do those bad things. The reason this jerk doesn't think he's bad, is because our legal system has done an excellent job "blurring" our perception of "Right & Wrong"...there's always someone else to blame for why YOU did what you did...and we certainly can't expect something like "Moral" behavior" from an attorney, whose world rests on what can only be "proven" in a court of law...not that it didn't happen, but look at all the hoops and technicalities that get 100% guilty people off scott free, so in his little coniving mind, he really isn't a bad guy...it's not like he killed someone. Wait, that's right, he DIDN'T, so, he MUST not be a bad guy afterall.

Posted by: Bill H | September 4, 2008 4:55 PM

@Bill H

"The reason this jerk doesn't think he's bad,"

Who said he wasn't bad? He's a criminal. That makes him a bad person. I just said he isn't worth wasting money on.

I just don't believe that I should pay taxed to keep him locked up when he could be earning money to pay restitution.

I also think people who like to raise taxes for wasteful spending are bad people.

Are you a bad person?

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 5:05 PM

If he were truly repentant he wouldn't be asking to be let out early - he would be asking for forgiveness and offer retribution to his victims. THAT is what real teshuva is about. According to Jewish tenets, G-d won't forgive you unless you do that.

Posted by: librarianmom | September 4, 2008 5:09 PM

"I am not a bad man"

Says who?????

Posted by: Anonymous | September 4, 2008 5:11 PM

They should have given this piece of crap twenty years. But when you snitch out everyone you ever had contact with, you tend to get a lighter sentence.

Ah well, he'll be some sort of repeat offender.

Posted by: captainkona | September 4, 2008 5:49 PM

@captainkona

"They should have given this piece of crap twenty years."

Translation: "This guy is worth spending $8 million dollars to incarcerate."

Why?

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 6:07 PM

Using a charity for fund raising purposes is usually a tip off that something is not quite right,which is why Grassley is investigating tax exempt hospitals.

Posted by: Zippy | September 4, 2008 6:13 PM

@Zippy

"Using a charity for fund raising purposes is usually a tip off that something is not quite right.."

Care to elaborate? All charities do fund raising, including the Muscular Distrophy Association, the Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, and St. Vincent De Paul, to name just a few.

Posted by: Marv Swett | September 4, 2008 6:24 PM

Posted by: Marv Swett

Sorry Marv I meant Political Fundraising as in having charities flying pols to Scotland and throwing political event/ and political fundraising using tax exempt monies and facilites.

Good point. Grassley is all over this.

Posted by: Zippy | September 4, 2008 6:54 PM

Posted by: Marv Swett

Sorry Marv I meant Political Fundraising as in having charities flying pols to Scotland and throwing political event/ and political fundraising using tax exempt monies and facilites.

Good point. Grassley is all over this.

Posted by: Zippy | September 4, 2008 6:57 PM

To the numerous posters who have complained about anti-Semitism:

I alerted The Washington Post about the numerous vile, despicable anti-Semitic posts on its Web site. THESE POSTS ARE STILL HERE.

A few days ago, I wrote on The CHicago Tribune's Web site that Osama Bin-Laden was a __astard except that I added the first letter. I received a response that my post was unacceptable because I used the B word.

Aren't you glad that newspapers have such sterling standards.

It's nine hours now and the anti-Semitic posts are STILL HERE.

Shalom,
ZWrite

Posted by: ZWrite | September 4, 2008 7:56 PM

It is MUCH, MUCH more difficult to find lack of faith among the world's brightest and best...

Name 10 atheists who are generally considered the brightest and most prolific inventors, educators, philanthropists, world leaders, and philosophers. I already gave you 10 off my head and I will be happy to give you 10 men and women of faith for every one known atheist you mention. And I will continue to do it for every name you give after that. In fact, you can use my email at faithandbrains@yahoo.com and I'll continue to give you 10 persons of faith for every atheist you can mention as long as you are willing to keep up the charade.

Though it will be tough to go up against such intellectual heavy-weights as Jesse Ventura!

Posted by: Hey Athiests | September 4, 2008 11:15 PM

Thank You ZWrite! And you are right about the sterling standards. Unfortunatly it does not just happen to Jews but any people of faith ... Christians are also a fairly safe target.

Posted by: Stop The Racism | September 4, 2008 11:18 PM

And in the role of Shylock: Jack Abramoff!


He got his pound of flesh, now he's got to pay for it!

Posted by: weiji2001 | September 5, 2008 7:17 AM

I think Marv Swett would agree with that EYE FOR AN EYE is not the best to subdue crime. By the way, the reply "I got a vasectomy a long time ago. But I've got three children, so you're too late." is wonderful.

People keep reading bible and can hardly put it teaching into practice. I wonder why?

Posted by: Jack | September 5, 2008 8:59 AM

All the comments about Jewishiness being the root of his evil actions are simple minded and specious. He may be a good man, he may be a bad man. How about all you goyim so full of antisemitic vitriol should recell their own Lord's injunction: Judge not least ye be judged.

It is this rampant antisemitism that is pure crap. The fact of the matter is probably closer to the general tendency of Republicans of all stripes to be rip-off artists of the first water. When you think about the goodness of Christians, it is wise to recall Mark Twain's remark that Hell too is a Christian nation. For the sake of confoort to all of you on the way there, I hope this provides some consolation. At least then you all will spend your time in Hell in the company of your familiar friends and oved ones.

Posted by: Robyn | September 5, 2008 11:10 AM

@Hey Athiests


The Atheism debate is retarded. I don’t know any intelligent people worth their salt who claim to be atheist. Rather, most of them are agnostic. The prefix “ag” meaning “I don’t know.” Smart people who aren’t religious are generally content to leave it at that. There isn’t enough evidence to prove that there is a god and there isn’t enough evidence to prove that there isn’t.

Atheism, conversely, is the absolute denial of the absolute. Atheists claim to know that there is no god beyond a shadow of a doubt. That is to say, “in my infinite knowledge, I know there is no infinite being.” And that’s just stupid.

Posted by: lee morgan | September 5, 2008 1:43 PM

Atheists & People of Faith:

OK - I repeat, there are far more people of faith among our world's generally accepted brightest and best then people of no faith. I do not include agnostics when I say people of faith. Not because I discount or disrespect them, it's just that they don't tend to publicaly stand on principals of faith.

In particular, I will supply you 10 world renouwn names of people of Judeo-Christian faith for evry name you can supply of non-Judeo-Christian belief or non-belief who is generally considered to be one of the world's best and brightest thinkers etc.

The list of names I already gave were almost all Judeo-Christian people of faith who spoke publically of their faith - Gandhi is the only exception.

Let's not forget this started with the comment that "Religion is for the weak minded" (ascribed to the very brainy Jesse Ventura). My point is that the strongest minded people of our entire history were, on the contrary, people who ascribed and were devoted to religious belief.

faithandbrains@yahool.com - So far I have received exactly no takers on my challenge.

Posted by: Hey Atheists | September 5, 2008 5:52 PM

When a General of The United States Military uses probate and the power of attorney with groups, corporations or individual please understand that the catagory of Hostile Enemy Combatant is not a court and when it has the President of The United States in it all sorts of compiliations arise that stop you from thinking streight that it at all is legal above the law in question when really The Internal Arrairs Bureau of The United States of America investigates General's for Internation Wrong Doing involving fiance, real estate, probate, marriages, court orders and the like involving a catagory or rank being used by someone of authority against other individuals even The President Of The United States Of America.

Why Then does a Senator, A President, Most Generals, and all Elected People Runing for President say they have his lawyer for him but has no Bureaus questions yet of this date? A Court would be in order you would think by now wouldn't you? Or is this a Generals Ploy to by pass Insider Trading and Corruption of Justice?


James L. Cherry
Norfolk, Virginia

Ask any of them, Orack Obama had the Generals doing it behind him at his Democratic Republician Convention.

Ask Andy.Fox@Wavy.com or Don.roberts@wavy.com

Posted by: James L. Cherry | September 8, 2008 12:26 PM

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