Casino Jack & The Murder of Gus Boulis: "A Threat to Current
On a day which saw Zacharias Moussaoui's death penalty trial go to
the jury in Washington D.C., Jack Abramoff getting sentenced in Florida, and
George W Bush joining college kids on spring break in Cancun, the only bright
spot all day on Wednesday was provided by a total eclipse of the Sun.
Taking a tip from an old playbook—recall Al Capone ensconced
at his South Florida mansion when the St. Valentines’ Day Massacre rocked
Chicago— Bush slipped out of D.C. just as his erstwhile buddy Abramoff
was facing the music (such as it was) in a Miami Federal courthouse.
For Bush it was clearly a smart move. But it also held eerie echoes of the
circumstances surrounding the murder of Sun Cruz Casino gambling line czar Gus
Boulis, which conveniently occurred while his chief antagonists Abramoff and
Kidan were safely out of the country, and presumably innocent, by virtue of
It was fuzzy logic, as if the Age of Specialization had never happened to humanity,
and we still lived in a world where everyone grew their own food and Mob Boss’s
did their own hits.
But be that as it may—and thank God for small favors—there was
Jack Abramoff, looking sheepish and properly humbled, standing before a U.S.
District Court Judge being sentenced to federal prison.
So that’s where we’ll begin…
We (hardly) ever stoop to saying 'We told you so."
Over nine months ago a story in the The
MadCowMorningNews revealed that disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s
biggest legal worries concerned neither the fraudulent takeover of the SunCruz
gambling ships, nor the Indian casino lollapalooza in which "Casino Jack"
skimmed tens of millions of dollars off the take from casinos on Indian reservations
across the U.S.
Abramoff’s big fear, we reported in a story in June of 2005 headlined
and Republican Muscle,” centered on his potential “exposure”
in the gangland-style assassination of Boulis, a murder which figures prominently
in his rise to power.
This week, with a vengeance, that prediction began to come true, when defense
attorneys for reputed Gambino associates accused of the hit on Gus Boulis announced
plans to subpoena both Abramoff and his former business partner Adam Kidan.
They want to question the two men, court documents showed, about their purchase
of SunCruz, alleged to be "at the heart" of the murder case.
Abramoff and Kidan's testimony is critical, the lawyers alleged, in showing
the bitter feelings and power struggle that followed their purchase of SunCruz
from Boulis in September 2000.
In plain English, they want to ask Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan what they know
personally about the subject of “murder for hire.”
"Murder for hire." Maybe its a new neo-con principle.
"When did newspapers stop reporting what happens every day?"
While going to court for sentencing is probably nobody's idea of fun, Wednesday
actually turned out to be an exceptionally good day for disgraced Republican
lobbyist Abramoff and co-defendant Adam Kidan.
It was 'high fives' all around, as U.S. District Judge Paul Huck accepted the
plea of Abramoff's lawyers and gave him the shortest possible prison time.
How odd that news clips weren't reflecting this fact. They made it sound, in
fact, as if he'd gotten his just desserts:
“U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck sentenced Jack Abramoff and a former
business partner to five years and 10 months in prison and ordered them to pay
restitution of more than $21 million.”
It sounded almost draconian. But what news accounts left unmentioned was that
for the same crimes someone without Casino Jack's, um, impeccable credentials
would be looking at a slightly more severe scenario:
Twenty years of being somebody’s bitch in a world where cigarettes double
as legal tender.
But what passes for reality in America today, lucky for Jack, consists of little
more than a flimsy façade. For example, Abramoff got away with laundering
millions of dollars through IRS-approved charitable foundations
which didn’t even pretend to being real, with the following
“American International Center is a Delaware-based corporation
with the global minded purpose of enhancing the methods of empowerment in possession
of and within the United States.”
A man with a plan... a "global minded" plan
No wonder 263 people wrote Judge Huck to ask for clemency for Abramoff.
Perhaps this is why we haven’t seen stories reporting what really
happened in the ongoing saga of Jack Abramoff during sentencing in
A real story would have had to start like this...
“After being sentenced to prison, Jack Abramoff and his co-defendant,
henchman Adam Kidan, left a Federal courtroom in Miami on Wednesday walking
Here's a newsflash for the AP, NY Times, and Washington Post: Abramoff and
Kidan got a sweetheart deal that any convict would take in a heartbeat.
The message sent by Abramoff’s sentencing is anything but “Crime
Of course, anyone capable of stealing $43 million and negotiating a sentence
of just six years in a country club federal prison camp is guaranteed to become
a legend in American jurisprudence.
For having negotiated the Deal of the Century he is about to go down in history...Credit
where credit is due:
Jack Abramoff is a con’s con.
More mascara under the bridge
But wait. There’s more.
Abramoff and Kidan have also been promised further reductions
in their already meager jail time, for ‘cooperating’ with authorities.
What “cooperating with authorities” means, in
practice, primarily consists of “ratting out” some government pre-selected
associates-turned-targets, leaning heavily towards inconsequential Congresspersons
unfortunate enough to be less influential than their peers.
Big deal. A few schmucks are peeing their Sansabelts. If public outcry grows
too loud, it appears there may even be a contingency plan: offering up Katherine
Harris. Even die-hard Republicans aren't too troubled by that
So Jack’s cup truly runneth over. Being connected in America today truly
does mean never having to say your sorry.
But before all this prompts you to hurl your new set of Ginzu knives at your
TV in disgust, be advised of two slightly hopeful signs also at work:
1. Nothing is at it seems. And…
2. What we are seeing, so far, is just the tip of the iceberg.
What that means is that, under the right circumstances, this could really get
"Look out kid. They keep it all hid."
When Sun Cruz casino czar Gus Boulis was gunned down in a plot described by
one reporter as featuring “three mugs, and a moll,”
it set in motion a train of events which is today culminating in a situation
which asks some momentous questions about the health (or even existence)
of an American Republic.
What do Mob hit men in Florida have in common with high-powered
Republican lobbyists? Could this be the biggest scandal in American history?
Will it be allowed to break? Or will it, like Iran Contra and
almost every other recent American scandal, by quietly but effectively covered
How will the powerful shadowy forces operating in the background—you
know the ones— respond should there be inadvertent public disclosure
of any of the truly earthshaking revelations out there waiting to be stumbled
Won’t they be doing their darned-est to make sure nothing that unsettling
The roots of the Abramoff Scandal go so deep into the national Republican Party,
and spread so wide, that we believe they will prove virtually impossible to
ignore...even in an American press corps whose chief shared characteristic is
the ability to stand stock still with their hair on fire while at the same time
assuring their readers they can’t smell smoke.
Tomorrow, we’ll pull back the curtain, just a little, and get a quick
glance at things as they are in the world, before they’re rewritten by
soulless drudges at papers like the Los Angeles Times. A warning: Some parts
of the story, we quickly discovered, were almost too cynical for words.
Remember Ronald Reagan's kitchen cabinet advisor, Alfred Bloomingdale? Betsy's
hubby? He played a small but significant role in the Abramoff story, we will
learn. And he was also and at the same time the central figure
in a little-remembered sex scandal with a woman named Vicki Morgan, remember,
who which was said to have involved all kinds of top Republican officials...
The image of then-Attorney General Ed Meese playing kinky S & M games in
the nude, and having it all captured on videotape may be one
reason its been forgotten.
The murder of the chief witness may be another.
Anyone without both a strong stomach and an unerring sense of the absurd should
be forewarned. While pursuing leads in the story of how Jack Abramoff became
Jack Abramoff we even learned details--heartbreaking details,
really-- about Kiki Camerena, the DEA agent tortured and murdered in Mexico.
While he's only tangentially involved (through his attorney) in the Abramoff
saga, what we learned about him while pursuing the Abramoff story may change
the way you think about the people running America.
And we'll learn that poking into the juncture of Gus Boulis and Jack Abramoff
is sensitive enough for a reporter to hear some well-meaning concerns expressed
about his physical health.
But... Abramoff's already been disgraced. So why is heretofore
knowledge about his role in the murder of Gus Boulis considered to be "threatening
to compromise current operations?"