Abramoff, the Russian Mob, and Israel
The set of e-mails published by Senate investigators, cited above, between Jack Abramoff and his Israel-based paramilitary agent Shumuel Ben Zvi, actually consisted of a three-way dialogue involving also some furtive Russian figures who have paid Abramoff millions.
Leaders of the Russian oil company NaftaSib, including NaftaSib Vice President Marina Nevsakaya, were collaborating on acquiring paramilitary and sniper supplies (Russian equipment or otherwise) for routing to Israel, which were to be paid for by looting American Indian gambling casino clients and falsifying accounting records, according to Senate Indian Affairs Committee exhibits of Nov. 2, 2005.
Abramoff's Russians loom large in the overall story of the Abramoff-DeLay money-laundering apparatus. NaftaSib paid for Tom DeLay's 1997 visit to Moscow, where DeLay worked alongside Abramoff and DeLay chief of staff Ed Buckham. These Russians subsequently paid about $1 million through Caribbean cutouts, on behalf of Abramoff, to Buckham's political money laundry, combining political action committees for DeLay, Enron lobbying, and the Republican party front group, Family Action Network. Following the trip and these covert payments, DeLay agreed to allow Congress to proceed with the 1998 International Monetary Fund bailout of Russian finances, including a deal stopping taxation of private Russian oil companies.
Also in 1998, NaftaSib and its lobbyists (presumably Abramoff) worked with circles within the U.S. political, military, and intelligence community (including the American Security Council Foundation, identified with the late CIA deputy director James J. Angleton and neo-conservatives), to prepare the way for a U.S. visit of corrupt Russian leader Viktor Chernomyrdin. That NaftaSib lobbying was "part of the work of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission," according to the Russian daily Kommersant, Aug. 20, 2004.
The frenzied looting of privatized post-Soviet Russia by billionaires and gangsters, facilitated by the personal alliance between Vice President Al Gore and sometime Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, reached a spectacular 1999 climax in the case of "Golden ADA": a Russian corporate entity used by the Russian "Mafiya," Chernomyrdin, and other high Russian officials, to loot huge public sums through stolen and smuggled diamonds and other gems.
The Boston Globe, Feb. 23, 2006, reported that Federal prosecutors are probing deeper into further work by Jack Abramoff for NaftaSib, in light of an additional $2.1 million NaftaSib paid him through their Dutch front company, Voor Huisen, which ceased to exist days after Abramoff was forced to resign from his lobbying firm.
On March 1, 2006, the Globe reported that Abramoff and his Russian friends had set up a front company, First Gate Resources, to arrange for oil-drilling ventures inside Israel. Intrigues around this enterprise are discussed in the set of e-mails released by the Senate probers, alongside the paramilitary matters.—Anton Chaitkin