A well-known Lefty commenter here left a cryptic comment, saying we should look at Rocky Mountain News liberal columnist Jason Salzman's blog to demonstrate that we "protest too much about telling the truth." This is what was supposed to bowl us over:
In addition to ripping off Native Americans, Abramoff made big money defending the Marianas Islands’ exploitative immigration policies, which may even have resulted in forced abortions. Abramoff spearheaded a successful lobbying campaign to block immigration reform in the Marianas. Abramoff specifically targeted the House Resources Committee, which had jurisdiction over the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and on which Schaffer was a member. Only last month, after decades of oppositin [sic] from Abramoff and Congressmen like Schaffer, did Congress finally pass immigration reform for the Marianas.It makes a nicely packaged narrative, with a lot of innuendo and guilt by association, but its clever characterizations and omission of key facts adds up to missing the truth by a mile. When you read it carefully, what Salzman writes really doesn't say much at all, except that what Schaffer (and others) observed firsthand about CNMI doesn't match the rhetoric of Big Labor leaders.
As reported in The Post, Schaffer visited Marianas, courtesy of an organization with ties to Abramoff, and defended its immigration policies in Washington DC. Overall, Schaffer’s lobbying tactics aligned with Abramoff’s. [emphases added]
To get a better picture, read Rossputin's second installment. First, there "may have been forced abortions," Salzman slyly writes, repeating one case of secondhand testimony. But how about the testimony of a Christian missionary who visited the island and had her eyes opened?:
And regarding “forced abortions”, Mrs. Lafferty says “I was not able to find anyone who had an abortion, whether forced or not, and nobody I met knew anybody who had had an abortion.” Lafferty went out of her way to try to ensure honest answers from the workers: “We made it abundantly clear that if anyone was being hurt, raped, or enslaved, I would see to it that the perpetrator would go to jail, and the victim would be taken care of. If anybody needed help, I would help them.” Still, with this sort of “witness protection program” offer (my characterization, not Lafferty’s), and with a Chinese missionary as a translator, none of the allegations which made Lafferty’s blood boil seemed to have any substance.The organization that paid for the trip?:
As far as who paid for the trip that Schaffer was part of, Lafferty put it directly: “We paid for the trip and as far as I know we were not reimbursed for anything by [Abramoff lobbying firm] Preston-Gates.”Rossputin goes on to show that the Post's sinister claims that Schaffer "met with clients of Preston-Gates" amount to nothing. He could not have conducted a thorough independent investigation otherwise.
Rossputin also debunks the Post's use of a photo to make it look like Bob Schaffer and his wife merely took a pleasure trip to the Marianas - something Lefty bloggers have seized on repeatedly to promote their distorted picture of reality:
After those several days of nearly non-stop investigation and meetings, Schaffer was scheduled to fly home the next morning when someone asked him how he had enjoyed the island, to which Schaffer responded, according to the source just mentioned, “It’s a shame it’s so beautiful and I never got a chance to see it”. That person then contacted someone he knew at the airline and arranged to get Schaffer’s return flight moved from the following morning to the following evening so that Schaffer and his wife (who had accompanied him to investigate garment factories and interview workers) could have a few hours of relaxation before flying home. Schaffer, his wife, and the staffer who accompanied them on the trip, enjoyed a few hours of recreation without hosts and without being accompanied by representatives of the government or any industry, after Schaffer’s mission on the island had been completed.Should we expect to see anyone recant and/or apologize for perpetuating a distorted picture of reality?
Keep reading Rossputin's important investigative series.