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Monday, January 15, 2007

Scooter Libby's Trial: Ohio $$$ Connections

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Cincinnatian Mercer Reynolds III, who was a major fundraiser for President George W. Bush and co-chaired the second term presidential inaugural committee, has been raising money for the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Trust. So has former GOP vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, who is on the board of directors of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center museum on the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati. Kemp shows up on the Freedom Center Web site HERE.

The Freedom Center is dedicated to espousing the cause of human rights and honoring those who opposed government abuses. Of course, it is mostly focused on the era of America slavery, but also notes horrors in places like Darfur. For some reason, any possible rights abuses in the corner of the world affected by the Iraq War don't seem to be on its radar. ( Maybe that is because it has gotten millions of dollars in financial support from legislative bodies controlled by Republicans, who for the most part have backed the war. Perhaps it is hard to express opinions about human rights abuses -- no matter where or when they occur -- when dollars are at stake.)

Libby goes on trial this week in connection with the outing of former CIA operative Valerie Plame. There is a Web site, dedicated to portraying Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff as a neo-c0n hero and the victim of an overzealous special prosecutor -- a portrayal that is not universally shared. There are plenty of Americans who view Libby and Cheney as Bush administration insiders who could share some responsibility for the Iraq War, which even Bush now admits is not faring well.

This Libby Web site apparently is inoperative (to borrow a catch phrase from the Nixon White House).

The role of Kemp, the underground railroad honcho Libby fundraiser, is disclosed HERE , where the trust is seeking donations for the Veep's ex-chief of staff's defense fund. And there is a lot about Reynolds, who has long been a partner of St. Louis Cardinals' owner Bill DeWitt (another Cincinnatian) HERE.

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