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Rat Fight! Israeli PM Olmert To Testify Against Ehud Barack In Bribery Trial

Convicted and disgraced former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has agreed to testify against former Labor PM and Defense minister Ehud Barak over accusations that Barak received millions of shekels in bribes related to lucrative government military contracts.

The allegations first surfaced in a report aired on Israeli TV. Channel 10 aired a great many tapes secretly made by OLmert’s close aide Shula Zaken, who has since turned state’s witness against Olmert.

In the conversation in question Channel 10 broadcast, recorded when Barak was still serving as Israel’s defense minister three years ago, Olmert called Barak “a lunatic,” and said Barak was “jealous” of a plush Audi car Olmert used to have.

Barak “will wind up in jail,” Olmert told Zaken in the recording. “You mark my words, Shula.”

Olmert then told Shula Zaken that Barak “took millions, tens of millions of dollars in bribes. There was no arms deal done by Israel [that was not affected]. Everybody is talking about it.”

“Where’s the money?” Zaken asked.

“He hides it,” said Olmert, “in Switzerland or somewhere.” The funds were transferred by Barak’s lawyers to companies abroad “where Barak’s name isn’t mentioned.”

Ehud Barak’s alleged accomplice was his brother-in-law, attorney Doron Cohen, who arranged the deals and handled the money.

It should be noted that Ehud Barak has denied the allegations. And that he played a large role in forcing Olmert to resign as Prime Minister after the corruption scandals surrounding Olmert began to emit their foul stench. So this could be payback.

Another possibly mitigating factor is that knowing what we know of Ehud Olmert, it’s unlikely that this particular rat would have allowed Ehud Barak to pull off something like this without demanding a cut for his silence.

However, there’s no doubt that Ehud Barack had both motive and opportunity as Israel’s defense minister to accept bribes for military contracts, and it certainly would explain a few questionable deals that went down while he was defense minister..as well as his cozy relationship with certain people in Washington DC.

Olmert is already facing six years in prison, a two-year suspended term, and a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000) for accepting bribes in a separate graft case known as the “Holyland affair,” revolving around a large Jerusalem residential development that occurred when he was Jerusalem’s mayor. He’s only out now on bail pending his appeal.

A rat fight, indeed. Maybe they’ll end up as cell mates.

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Continue reading Rat Fight! Israeli PM Olmert To Testify Against Ehud Barack In Bribery Trial

Rat Fight! Israeli PM Olmert To Testify Against Ehud Barack In Bribery Trial

Convicted and disgraced former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has agreed to testify against former Labor PM and Defense minister Ehud Barak over accusations that Barak received millions of shekels in bribes related to lucrative government military contracts.

The allegations first surfaced in a report aired on Israeli TV. Channel 10 aired a great many tapes secretly made by OLmert’s close aide Shula Zaken, who has since turned state’s witness against Olmert.

In the conversation in question Channel 10 broadcast, recorded when Barak was still serving as Israel’s defense minister three years ago, Olmert called Barak “a lunatic,” and said Barak was “jealous” of a plush Audi car Olmert used to have.

Barak “will wind up in jail,” Olmert told Zaken in the recording. “You mark my words, Shula.”

Olmert then told Shula Zaken that Barak “took millions, tens of millions of dollars in bribes. There was no arms deal done by Israel [that was not affected]. Everybody is talking about it.”

“Where’s the money?” Zaken asked.

“He hides it,” said Olmert, “in Switzerland or somewhere.” The funds were transferred by Barak’s lawyers to companies abroad “where Barak’s name isn’t mentioned.”

Ehud Barak’s alleged accomplice was his brother-in-law, attorney Doron Cohen, who arranged the deals and handled the money.

It should be noted that Ehud Barak has denied the allegations. And that he played a large role in forcing Olmert to resign as Prime Minister after the corruption scandals surrounding Olmert began to emit their foul stench. So this could be payback.

Another possibly mitigating factor is that knowing what we know of Ehud Olmert, it’s unlikely that this particular rat would have allowed Ehud Barak to pull off something like this without demanding a cut for his silence.

However, there’s no doubt that Ehud Barack had both motive and opportunity as Israel’s defense minister to accept bribes for military contracts, and it certainly would explain a few questionable deals that went down while he was defense minister..as well as his cozy relationship with certain people in Washington DC.

Olmert is already facing six years in prison, a two-year suspended term, and a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000) for accepting bribes in a separate graft case known as the “Holyland affair,” revolving around a large Jerusalem residential development that occurred when he was Jerusalem’s mayor. He’s only out now on bail pending his appeal.

A rat fight, indeed. Maybe they’ll end up as cell mates.

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The Odious Corruption Enabled by Big Government

I’ve argued that the crowd in Washington profits by plundering America, but that’s just part of the equation. There are also plenty of big companies that have their snouts in the public trough. No wonder many people have become disgusted Writing for the Wall Street Journal, James Freeman points out that a growing number of […]

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How Big Government Sabotages Poor People and Enriches Well-Connected Fat Cats

I don’t like coerced redistribution. When the government uses the threat of force to take from Person A to give to Person B, it simultaneously reduces Person A’s incentives to produce while also luring Person B into dependency. But not all coerced redistribution and government intervention is created equal. I don’t like welfare programs, for … … Continue reading

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Sen. Mitch McConnell Re-elected: A Washington Insider Sustained by the Establishment

The human brain is likely hard-wired to assume that tomorrow will be like today. This coping mechanism effectively narrows the window of our cognitive and perspectival range. The status quo not only endures; it is dominant, whereas reform must push hard to see the light of day. In politics, establishment interests, made wealthy in the status quo, bet their contributions on the political insiders—the establishment politicians who embrace the status quo. As a result, an electorate is manipulated and mislead by branding ads to the extent that it cannot be said that the real will of the people is done. The ensuing public policy is also not of that will; rather, legislation protects the vested interests in return for their contributions. A republic in the grip of this self-sustaining cycle can be said to suffer from a kind of hardening of the arteries. As times change, such a ship of state becomes increasingly unmoored from its people. Eventually, the ship sinks, after the pressure of incongruity has reached an unsustainable level. I contend that the 2014 U.S. Senate election in Kentucky between the Senate’s minority leader, Mitch McConnell, and his Democratic challenger, Alison Grimes, illustrates this political illness in action.

Continue reading Sen. Mitch McConnell Re-elected: A Washington Insider Sustained by the Establishment

Sen. Mitch McConnell Re-elected: A Washington Insider Sustained by the Establishment

The human brain is likely hard-wired to assume that tomorrow will be like today. This coping mechanism effectively narrows the window of our cognitive and perspectival range. The status quo not only endures; it is dominant, whereas reform must push hard to see the light of day. In politics, establishment interests, made wealthy in the status quo, bet their contributions on the political insiders—the establishment politicians who embrace the status quo. As a result, an electorate is manipulated and mislead by branding ads to the extent that it cannot be said that the real will of the people is done. The ensuing public policy is also not of that will; rather, legislation protects the vested interests in return for their contributions. A republic in the grip of this self-sustaining cycle can be said to suffer from a kind of hardening of the arteries. As times change, such a ship of state becomes increasingly unmoored from its people. Eventually, the ship sinks, after the pressure of incongruity has reached an unsustainable level. I contend that the 2014 U.S. Senate election in Kentucky between the Senate’s minority leader, Mitch McConnell, and his Democratic challenger, Alison Grimes, illustrates this political illness in action.

Continue reading Sen. Mitch McConnell Re-elected: A Washington Insider Sustained by the Establishment