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March 25, 2006
Corruption and Democracy

I haven't been blogging this story, so I can't provide you with a linear narrative, but I'm assume y'all have been reading it on your own.

Disgraced defense contractor planned to promote democracy in Iran

In a new example of disgraced defense contractor Mitchell Wade's attempts to exert influence in Washington and beyond, Wade and two business partners formed a nonprofit group in 2004 to promote democracy in Iran, according to documents and interviews.

Wade and the two partners, who have been large contributors to Republican political campaigns, formed the Iranian Democratization Foundation in April 2004, according to incorporation papers filed in Washington.

You remember Wade, right?

Wade, who headed contractor MZM Inc., pleaded guilty last month to bribery-related charges and making illegal campaign contributions. His chief congressional patron, former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, pleaded guilty in November to taking bribes.

Wade's dealings, which include contracts MZM received from Pentagon intelligence agencies, are under investigation.

The Cunningham connection had consequences.

Much is still unclear about the Iranian Democratization Foundation, including whether it ever took in money or carried out any activities. It was dissolved in November 2004 and apparently never filed federal disclosure forms required of nonprofits with more than $25,000 in income.

Most interesting paragraph?

"We wanted to bring freedom to the people of Iran, freedom from the mullahs," [Sonny] Lee said in a brief telephone interview. The project was stopped "after the government told us they would take care of that themselves," he said. He didn't elaborate.

I'll bet he didn't.

Available contracting records show MZM got one contract for Iraq reconstruction, a $5 million award in March 2003 to provide linguists and interpreters for the Pentagon.

Would those be the linguists and interpreters they need so desperately because the DADT order let them kick out available interpreters who happened to be homosexual?

Why, yes, I believe they would.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:29 AM


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