August 13, 2008

Georgia paid $400k to McCain's top foreign policy adviser

You may wonder about why John McCain has been so wild about getting us into a new Cold War with Russia in general, and into what could turn into a shooting war with them over Georgia in particular. I mean, other than the fact that he's John McCain ... The Washington Post reports:

Sen. John McCain's top foreign policy adviser prepped his boss for an April 17 phone call with the president of Georgia and then helped the presumptive Republican presidential nominee prepare a strong statement of support for the fledgling republic.

The day of the call, a lobbying firm partly owned by the adviser, Randy Scheunemann, signed a $200,000 contract to continue providing strategic advice to the Georgian government in Washington.

The McCain campaign said Georgia's lobbying contract with Orion Strategies had no bearing on the candidate's decision to speak with President Mikheil Saakashvili and did not influence his statement. "The Embassy of Georgia requested the call," said campaign spokesman Brian Rogers.

But ethics experts have raised concerns about former lobbyists for foreign governments providing advice to presidential candidates about those same countries. "The question is, who is the client? Is the adviser loyal to income from a foreign client, or is he loyal to the candidate he is working for now?" said James Thurber, a lobbying expert at American University. "It's dangerous if you're getting advice from people who are very close to countries on one side or another of a conflict."

At the time of McCain's call, Scheunemann had formally ceased his own lobbying work for Georgia, according to federal disclosure reports. But he was still part of Orion Strategies, which had only two lobbyists, himself and Mike Mitchell.

Scheunemann remained with the firm for another month, until May 15, when the McCain campaign imposed a tough new anti-lobbyist policy and he was required to separate himself from the company.

Rogers said Scheunemann "receives no compensation of any type from Orion Strategies and has not since May 15, 2008." Scheunemann declined to be interviewed for this story.

As a private lobbyist trying to influence lawmakers and Bush administration staffers, Scheunemann at times relied on his access to McCain in his work for foreign clients on Capitol Hill. He and his partner reported 71 phone conversations and meetings with McCain and his top advisers since 2004 on behalf of foreign clients, including Georgia, according to forms they filed with the Justice Department.

The contacts often focused on Georgia's aspirations to join NATO and on legislative proposals, including a measure co-sponsored by McCain that supported Georgia's position on South Ossetia, one of the Georgian regions taken over by Russia this weekend.

Another measure lobbied by Orion and co-sponsored by McCain, the NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2006, would have authorized a $10 million grant for Georgia.

For months while McCain's presidential campaign was gearing up, Scheunemann held dual roles, advising the candidate on foreign policy while working as Georgia's lobbyist. Between Jan. 1, 2007, and May 15, 2008, the campaign paid Scheunemann nearly $70,000 to provide foreign policy advice. During the same period, the government of Georgia paid his firm $290,000 in lobbying fees.

Since 2004, Orion has collected $800,000 from the government of Georgia.

Since Orion consists of two guys, that's basically $400k that the Republic of Georgia put into the pocket of McCain's top foreign policy adviser.

You know, these ex-Soviet Union folks must snicker at how cheap it is to buy American politicians. The Exile had a column once about how politicians in the ex-Soviet region expect to wind up with hundreds of millions of dollars in London real estate, while American politicians get bought for peanuts (e.g., $90,000 in cold cash in the icebox).

My view is that we should treat Americans who have been registered agents for foreign governments the way we treat mob lawyers -- as a necessary part of the system, but, in return for the money, they permanently disqualify themselves for important roles in government, other than maybe Mayor of Las Vegas. But nobody else seems to think that way.

By the way, this guy Scheunemann was in deep with Ahmad Chalabi, and now he's got a shot at being, what, National Security Adviser? How many times do you have to screw up in Washington before your act wears thin?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

34 comments:

RKU said...

Yeah, this is a *gigantic* embarrassment to America.

In the respectable Third World, $400K is the sort of bribe you pay to buy the support of the mistress of the ninth son of the Deputy Defense Minister of Nigeria. Someone like McCain's top foreign policy advisor should be worth AT LEAST $400M.

No wonder America has become the laughing-stock of the entire world these days.

Anonymous said...

How many times do you have to screw up in Washington before your act wears thin?

If you're Jewish, there is no apparent limit.

testing99 said...

So? Obama has ties to Saddam (through Aiuchi and Rezko).

No one is suggesting that the US go to war over Georgia, since Georgia in and of itself is not in the US interest.

HOWEVER, in an age where one guy can make Anthrax, having the US look weak and easily pushed around gives guys in Islamabad, Tehran, and Riyadh unhealthy ideas.

The US either has to pressure Russia to back down, maintaining US prestige (and fear in those quarters), or make an example of someone else, like Tehran.

Fundamentally, the US and China need cheap oil to run our economies. So do the Europeans but they live in a fantasy land. Russia, Tehran, and Riyadh cannot survive without oil at astronomical levels and so in some form there will be a huge conflict between them and the US-China grouping. It might not (let's hope!) be armed conflict, but there will be conflict. Only one side can win after all.

I expect Russian actions will cease once they've seized the pipeline. In which case we'd better hit Tehran hard to focus Islamabad's mind on behaving.

Oh, what the heck am I thinking? Obama will just give a big speech like Josiah Bartlett in the West Wing and that will solve EVERYTHING!

anony-mouse said...

If having as your foreign policy adviser a lobbyist for Georgia is such a bad thing, why doesn't a single Democrat mention it?

Or Russian?

How many pro-Obama commentators are mentioning it?

Here's why-most Americans, although they don't want to get involved, are sympathetic to Georgia in this matter (maybe they are unaware of the enormously long history of Georgian imperialism, centuries of Georgian attacks on Russia, or the simple fact that Georgia is so much bigger, physically, militarily, and population-wise than Russia)

Bring on the anti-Georgia (and anti-Israel) comments!

Anonymous said...

Probably about four or five months from now, WaPo or NYT will "discover" this information if things get really sticky in Georgia.

Blogs should not be able to scoop giant newspapers with such regularity.


Its a shame that so many Americans dont realize that NATO binds this nation to take up arms if member nations are attacked. How many black or hispanic voters (you know, the ones whose votes count so much more than white voters) would be willing to fight a real war with Russia and her 7000 nukes, subs, modern air force, navy, and army for the benefit of a piece of land about the size of Rhode Island in the northern middle east? I bet not many.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's great that papers are taking an interest in foreign lobbies' influence on US politicians. I wonder if there are any others worth looking into. Let's see...nope, drawing a blank.

Anonymous said...

Wait, we're not in a cold war with Russia?

They're invading democracies, against us at every diplomatic turn, and up to their old tricks (poisonings, election meddling, etc).

I'm glad Russia's our friend. I would hate to lose Eastern Europe again to an enemy.

I suppose we'll let them march right back into a partitioned Germany?

I guess we're on the other side of both oceans from Russia so the crocodile will have a while before it gets to us. We might even be last.

It's wonderful that Georgia never got to be a NATO member. Remind me again which NATO member did the Soviets/Russia invade?

Michael T said...

Completely off-topic.

Have a look at what http://isteve.blogpsot.com/ brings up. I thought Steve'd been hacked when I mistakenly typed that. (I'm not the only one who types urls am I?)

colt said...

Apart from the fact that Obama brings with him all the AA/Political-Friends-in-Africa baggage, the dissapointing thing about this election is that both runners are somehow entangled in the Soros/Brzeziński web. Maybe that's the only useful information we're getting from this conflict.

The CFR couldn't have set up this election any better.

boredom whore apathy slut said...

Dude, Steve.....WRITE A FUCKING BOOK FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!!!!!! WTF MATE? For my sanity, at least? Just lay the shit out. seriously.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, any crackdown on foreign influence would affect the Israelis disproportionately. Which is why such inquiries get cut off at the knees before they get anywhere.

http://www.nysun.com/national/adl-asking-the-fbi-to-investigate-leak/1381/

http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/06/the_fbis_investigation_of_aipa.html

No one is sure exactly when the other shoe will drop. But both FBI and AIPAC 'sources' speaking off the record have said they expect that Rosen and Weissman will also be arrested and charged with having passed on the information, which they are alleged to have known was classified 'top secret,' to Israel. ...Polls taken by the Anti—Defamation League have shown that the prejudice held most widely by their fellow Americans against American Jews is the belief that they are more loyal to the state of Israel than to the United States. According to the ADL polls, fully half of the American public suspects their Jewish compatriots of 'dual loyalty.' ...

The investigation of AIPAC, if it leads to the conviction of AIPAC executives, is certain to greatly increase this prejudice and give it new respectability among America's elite classes—government officials, journalists, academics, think—tankers and all other decision—makers and opinion—makers. AIPAC is widely perceived in the Washington 'beltway' as a representative of the American Jewish community as a whole.

AIPAC is sponsored and supported in one way or another by nearly all of the organizations represented on the board of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the umbrella group that speaks for the American Jewish community to the U.S. government. ...AIPAC and its executives are perceived to be at the center of the American Jewish 'establishment,' the 'organized American Jewish community.' If AIPAC is discredited in the eyes of the American public as a nest of spies, then the loyalty of every single American Jew will be put in question.


See also this:

http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/6215.html


By the by, I actually like Israelis a lot more than American Jews. Israelis are mostly right wing nationalists, with simpatico views on building a wall, terrorism, and the like. Too bad that they're right wing nationalists for Israel...

Way I look at it, if what's good for Israel is good for America, can we at least *also* have a wall along the southern border like Israel's wall? Please?

As for this guy above:

Here's why-most Americans, although they don't want to get involved, are sympathetic to Georgia

HAHAHAA.

Most Americans had never HEARD of the place before last week. They aren't "sympathetic" to Georgia anymore than they are to Kazakhstan. This is a clear example in which media coverage completely shapes people's opinion of a place. A flick of the wrist, an inversion of the adjectives, and the "New York Media people" could make Saakashvili into the next Hitler for his exclusion of Muslims from the Georgian flag.

headache said...

Testing99,
I'm a fan of much of your writing, but not everything. You sed:
"Fundamentally, the US and China need cheap oil to run our economies. So do the Europeans but they live in a fantasy land."

I agree that Green power is economically nuts. I know what I'm talking about because I'm also a mechanical engineer and I know about specific energy densities. However, if Germany were to go back to nuclear power (the consensus for this is beginning to form across ALL political parties, except the communists), continue with its advanced power efficiency programs, and considering that the industry here is ready to switch to electrical cars, there is no reason why Germany at least cannot break the DIRECT connection between oil consumption and economic growth. The reason is that the country is small and the public transport network well maintained. So the only major concern is supplying enough electricity for industry. Switching to electrical cars should take care of most of the oil. The remainder will be for the army, aeroplanes and trucks. Many moderns ships run with gas turbines and gas is still in good supply from the North Sea.

Obviously the key to all of the problems with Russia, the ME and even Africa is to get off oil and cheap minerals. Most of the minerals currently sourced from Africa you can also get from Canada or Australia (it has the same geological structure as South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe because before under Gondwanaland they were a connected land mass). In that sense Steve is right. If the elites, instead of worrying about quotas, increasing immigration, throwing money at Africa and entangling themselves in unnecessary wars, would pursue energy and mineral autonomy and security we could be completely withdrawing ourselves from many of the conflicting parts of the world within about 5-10 years.

Anonymous said...

is that both runners are somehow entangled in the Soros/Brzeziński web.

More than "entangled".

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/17/AR2008031702440_pf.html

A group of Jewish leaders announced that it was having a public meeting yesterday to discuss the 2008 presidential election. Representing John McCain: former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger. Representing Hillary Clinton: former White House official Ann Lewis. Representing Barack Obama: "a high-level representative of Barack Obama's presidential campaign (TBA)."

Security guards with Israeli accents turned away people at the door as the room overflowed.

The others used their time to raise doubts about Obama's fealty to Israel. "Senator Obama has said that he commits in his first year as president to meeting with President Ahmadinejad of Iran," Lewis said. McCain, Eagleburger added, "will not talk with the Syrians, will not talk with the Iranians, will not talk with Hamas and Hezbollah. . . . He isn't going to push the Israelis."

The skepticism continued through the question time. Daroff said he had "heard in the hallways here" that Obama "doesn't see the U.S.-Israel relationship as much of the mainstream of the Senate or the Jewish community sees it."

Kurtzer blamed such sentiment on "attack dogs" and writers of scurrilous e-mails. "He's right within the mainstream of American society and Jewish community concerns," TBA said.

Next question to Kurtzer: Obama's assertion that he needn't have a "Likud view" -- that of Israel's right-wing party -- to be pro-Israel. Kurtzer explained that Obama wanted to see a "plurality of views." Silence in the room.

To that, Lewis retorted: "The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties." The audience members applauded.


To make up for that, Obama came back and kissed the ring:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/06/8560_obama_at_aipac.html

I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security. That starts with ensuring Israel's qualitative military advantage. ...I will ensure Israel can defend itself from any threat, from Gaza to Tehran. ...

As president I will use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything.


Fix is in. Heads they win, tails nationalists lose. A good 1st order model of the Jewish community is as follows.

American Jews: 80% of them ("left wingers") think Europeans/whites are the number one enemy, and 20% ("right wingers") think Muslims are number one.

Israeli Jews: Proportions roughly inverted, though not as extreme. Maybe 65% think Muslims enemy #1, and 35% think Europeans enemy #1.

The Republicans are the choice of the "right wing" Jews and the Democrats the choice of the "left wing" Jews. I put "right" and "left" in quotes because most of them are right wing on Israel and left wing on the US. Thus they will contort Obama into taking a hard line on Iran, and push Bush to become a warrior for democracy.

And of course close to 100% of them agree that anti-Semitism in any way, shape, or form is unacceptable -- including identifying or naming people or movements as Jewish.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the funniest part about the FBI probe into AIPAC is the defense's strategy.

They are trying to show that sensitive information is leaked by senior figures on an ongoing basis without *any* spying necessary!

At least 15 senior administration officials will be brought in to testify that they gave knowledge to AIPAC to give to Israelis ***AND OTHERS**.

That "and others" bit means that the Israelis sell it to the highest bidder. That's why Pollard got life in prison. During the height of the Cold War, the Israelis got US intel and resold it to the Russians in return for letting some Russian Jews to leave Russia and enter Israel.

Now they can just walk in the front door of the White House, as it's been compromised to such an extent that spying may not even be necessary any more!

http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/6215.html

Convincing a jury that Rosen and Weissman possessed this criminal state of mind won’t be easy. To counter the charge, defense lawyers intend to lay bare the largely hidden world of back-channel Washington diplomacy. They will try to show that senior officials regularly gave AIPAC officials sensitive information with the full expectation that it would be passed along to Israelis and others. In that way, they will contend that AIPAC played a role in developing US foreign policy.

Over prosecutors’ objections, defendants won court approval to subpoena 15 current and former top administration officials. Their names read like the lineup for a crisis meeting in the White House Situation Room during President Bush’s first term: national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice (now secretary of State); current national-security adviser Stephen Hadley; Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of State; William Burns, US ambassador to Russia; Marc Grossman, former undersecretary of State for political affairs; David Satterfield, now the State Department’s coordinator for Iraq; Elliott Abrams, deputy national-security adviser; Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy secretary of Defense; and Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of Defense.

Judge Ellis didn’t okay these subpoenas lightly. He did so after being persuaded that each of these officials would be able to testify about specific meetings or conversations—either with the two defendants or with others at AIPAC—that dealt with information comparable in sensitivity to the kind Rosen and Weissman allegedly obtained and passed on.

J. said...

The government of Georgia paid him only $290,000 in advising fees? They should have known that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. The advise they got was worse than useless, it encouraged them to attack the Ossetian enclave, a de facto Russian protectorate. And now they have the Russians in Tbilisi. Very bad advise, Mr Schneudemann. If I were Shakashvili, would sue him to get my money back. I presume the advice came with some kind of money-back garantee, did it.

headache said...

"The government of Georgia paid him only $290,000 in advising fees?"

Like I sed, it's all about making a quick buck in a volatile neighbourhood.

curt said...

"Fix is in. Heads they win, tails nationalists lose."

Considering all this McCain seems the better choice for white Americans. Under Obama whites get screwed by both AIPAC and the blacks. Under McCain whites only get screwed by AIPAC.

neil craig said...

The Georgian government itself was elected in the "rose revolution" which was openly funded by western NGOs (many of them government funded despite the "N" in NGO). It is in turn finding US politicians. We saw the same at the last election where Gore got funding from an Albanian of no fixed income, in support of a KLA organised, & armed by the NATO powers. Slightly unconnected the guy who got so much coverge by putting up a banner (in English) in China, turns out to have been taking leave from his full time job with Friends of the Earth in the UK - a body whose European branch turns out to be 80% funded by western governments & NGOs, which it in turn lobbies for ever more well paid EU "environmental" bureaucrats.

Richard H said...

"The US either has to pressure Russia to back down, maintaining US prestige (and fear in those quarters), or make an example of someone else, like Tehran."

Oh, I get it. You're a parody of a war loving lunatic. Let me try. Let's also nuke Mecca if China doesn't lay off Tibet. HAHA, funny stuff.

Martin said...

"Rogers said Scheunemann "receives no compensation of any type from Orion Strategies and has not since May 15, 2008." Scheunemann declined to be interviewed for this story."

Oh, well, that certainly insulates him from any hint of blame - the fact that he has only been in the employ of a foreign power for no more than five months out of the calender year in which he is advising a presidential candidate on foreign policy matters pertaining to the country to which he has prostituted his services.

And should McCain lose in November? Mr. Sheunemann will go right back on the foreign payroll. And should McCain win? Sheunemann may well become A deputy Secretary of State, and then after a few years, he'll leave in order to "spend more time with his family", i.e. go back to recieving large checks from foreign governments.

These people need to be called what they are. Traitors.

"Another measure lobbied by Orion and co-sponsored by McCain, the NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2006, would have authorized a $10 million grant for Georgia."

In case you missed the meaning of that sentence: Senator Good Government sponsored an EARMARK to a foreign government.

An earmark sent to your state for a university library or a new freeway interchange? Bad. An earmark sent to George to allow them to hire lobbyists to influence your government? Good.

So, Senator "Keating 5" McCain can add hyprocrite to his list of failings. Jerk. I wish that the commies in Hanoi had kept him.

"testing99 said...

No one is suggesting that the US go to war over Georgia, since Georgia in and of itself is not in the US interest."

Yes they are, you insufferable clown. People are suggesting that they be granted membership in NATO, which would obligate us as a treaty partner to go to war over them, whether they were vital to our national interest or not. Or we could refuse to go to war over them, which would make hollow the very threat implied by NATO, and render it meaningless.

"Fundamentally, the US and China need cheap oil to run our economies."

So what? Fundamentally, it'd be nice to run our economies on fairy dust. But neither it, nor cheap oil, exist. We would do well to handle our relations with other countries more as it was done in the 1890's. We had a better understanding of our own interest then.

daveg said...

Russia, Tehran, and Riyadh cannot survive without oil at astronomical levels and so in some form there will be a huge conflict between them and the US-China grouping.

It is the crazy foreign policy of Cheney, Neocons and Israel that is drivingup the price of oil. Iran and Russia are just benefiting from the constant missteps of these idiots.

Notice how the price of oil as dropped as the threat of attack on Iran has lessened? Iran and Russia want to sell the world their oil.

Note, however, that AIPAC is trying to get the US Senate to pass a bill demanding sanctions against Iran including and embargo of ports.

Now THAT is going to increase the price of oil, and Russia, China and Iran have nothing to do with it. I assume that you are against such a bill testing99, being so concerned with the price of oil an all, no?

You are dishonest testing99, and you do not have the interests of the US in mind when you speak.

Robert said...

So, Steve, how are you going to celebrate President Bush's victory in Iraq?

Anonymous said...

"If you're Jewish, there is no apparent limit."

However, there is no evidence that Schuenemann is jewish.

Anonymous said...

"How many times do you have to screw up in Washington before your act wears thin?"

Perhaps what you consider a screw-up, he considers a triumph. Actually, scratch that "perhaps". I'm sure that's exactly how they think of it. They wanted a war, they got a war. Chalabi served his purpose and was discarded afterwards.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Lugash says that MSM looks like it's backing Georgia. Nary a mention of the Georgian MLRS attack that preceded the Russian invasion.

One, two, three, four, what are we fighting for? Who knows? We are going to get dragged into this tarpit somehow.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

Headache: If the elites, instead of worrying about quotas, increasing immigration, throwing money at Africa and entangling themselves in unnecessary wars, would pursue energy and mineral autonomy and security we could be completely withdrawing ourselves from many of the conflicting parts of the world within about 5-10 years.

It seems to me recently that we should extend this concept forward, much further forward.

Terraform Mars or Venus and evacuate white people from the Earth. Then, without evil white racists, the non-whites (who of course live in harmony with nature) can build the techno-socialist paradise that we otherwise deny them.

Anonymous said...

“(maybe they are unaware of the enormously long history of Georgian imperialism, centuries of Georgian attacks on Russia”

I am aware of it, Stalin was a Georgian who murdered millions of Russians when he ruled the Soviet Union. Stalin was also the one who forced the change of borders to reward his homeland in Georgia.

Neil' said...

It could be far worse than just the conflicts of interest with McCain and Scheunemann business: Maybe McCain knows that trouble between Georgia and Russia will help him win the election:

http://angela593.newsvine.com/_news/2008/08/13/1747003-georgia-war-a-neocon-election-ploy

Even if not fully conscious, the very existence of the connection could motivate someone to steer things in that way, with the horrible consequences for the parties involved. That's why it's bad in principle.

canson said...

After reading the comments I had one thought.

Low trust society anyone?

David said...

The Artist Formerly Known as Evil Neocon said

In which case we'd better hit Tehran hard

In precisely which case *hadn't* "we" better hit Tehran hard, by your lights?

Those monstrous Iranians and Russians. Opposing Jewish hegemony. I mean aspiring oligarchs. I mean United States interests. Er, democracy. Democracy! That's it. Just like Thomas Jefferson yearned for!

One thing is certain. Americans are boobs. We've been fetched by this manipulation for 90 or so years.

Media full of aggressive Jews neatly shapes opinions according to advisers and government players all of whom are aggressive Jews or in the pockets of aggressive Jews having passionate interests that are not necessarily those of other peoples (except temporarily and tactically). The only controversy will be over what shade to apply to the latest "revolution" - hunter green, corn, mauve?

What Big Jew wants, Big Jew gets - even at the cost of national destruction. That needs to change.

Anonymous said...

Max Boot is pushing to send Stinger missiles to Georgia. Of course, Russia would immediately retaliate by supplying insurgents with maps & weapons, cutting off oil, and dozens of other things.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/what-to-do-about-georgia-12298

Boot emigrated from Russia in 1976, and I recall seeing that he is Jewish. And lest we imagine that these are just "quotes" and "articles" of no importance -- he is a foreign policy adviser to McCain.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/documents/the-war-over-the-wonks.html

Svigor said...

In precisely which case *hadn't* "we" better hit Tehran hard, by your lights?

QFT & LOLs.

tommy said...

Randy Scheunemann is, I believe, Catholic.

Nedd Ludd said...

tommy said...
"Randy Scheunemann is, I believe, Catholic."

Weren't those guys who started the Catholic Church Joo-ish?

In fact, wasn't the guy whose ideas those Catholics follow
Joo-ish too?

What more proof of a conspiracy do you need?