November 16, 2006

"How much money we talking about?"

Jack Murtha: the gift that keeps on giving--for the GOP:

The sting involved undercover FBI agents posing as representatives of wealthy Arab sheiks willing to pay to obtain asylum in the United States. During the meeting in a Washington, D.C. townhouse, the agent offered Murtha $50,000 cash, and he refused it, stating “I'm not this point.” In 1980 a Washington Post report by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative columnist Jack Anderson revealed a transcript of recordings never released to the public. Anderson described Murtha's interaction with undercover FBI agents as "perhaps the saddest scene on the secret Abscam videotapes. ... He refused to take the money, but his reason was hardly noble."

"I want to deal with you guys awhile before I make any transactions at all, period," Murtha said. "After we've done some business, well, then I might change my mind. ... I'm going to tell you this. If anybody can do it – I'm not B.S.-ing you fellows – I can get it done my way. There's no question about it."

Murtha bragged that he could get things done in Congress and tried to explain his hesitation about taking money for favors.

"All at once, some dumb [expletive deleted] would go start talking eight years from now about this whole thing and say [expletive deleted], this happened," Murtha says, according to the transcript. "Then in order to get immunity so he doesn't go to jail, he starts talking and fingering people. So the [S.O.B.] falls apart."

The FBI officer then suggests: "You give us the banks where you want the money deposited."

"All right," said Murtha. "How much money we talking about?"

"Well, you tell me," says the FBI operative.

"Well, let me find out what is a reasonable figure that will get their attention," explains Murtha, "because there are a couple of banks that have really done me some favors in the past, and I'd like to put some money in."

After the video cuts off, Murtha continues: "…You know, we do business together for a while. Maybe I'll be interested and maybe I won't. ... Right now, I'm not interested in those other things. Now, I won't say that some day, you know, I, if you made an offer, it may be I would change my mind some day."

You can't make some stuff up.

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