The President’s Outreach to the Continent of Africa
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 – The lobbyist Jack Abramoff asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.
The African leader, President Omar Bongo of Gabon, met with President Bush in the Oval Office on May 26, 2004, 10 months after Mr. Abramoff made the offer. There has been no evidence in the public record that Mr. Abramoff had any role in organizing the meeting or that he received any money or had a signed contract with Gabon.
White House and State Department officials described Mr. Bush’s meeting with President Bongo, whose government is regularly accused by the United States of human rights abuses, as routine. The officials said they knew of no involvement by Mr. Abramoff in the arrangements. Officials at Gabon’s embassy in Washington did not respond to written questions.
“This went through normal staffing channels,” said Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, who said the meeting was “part of the president’s outreach to the continent of Africa.”
Actually the price was probably only $4.5 million until Bush heard it was Bongo. Dubya has a real bug up his ass about one of Bongo’s pals, a former US Ambassador to Gabon.
Oh somebody’s having a good laugh at the fountain of cosmic irony tonight.