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I’m on everyone’s mailing list for “News from Turkey,” so this morning I received an excited missive about a piece in the Huffington Post. It revealed the non-news that Turkey spends a lot of money lobbying the United States:
… within days of starting its war on the Kurds, Ankara hired Squire Patton Boggs for $32,000 a month, as a subcontractor to the powerful lobbying firm, the Gephardt Group. Squire Patton Boggs includes former Senators Trent Lott and John Breaux, and retired White House official Robert Kapla. The Gephardt lobbying team for Turkey consists of subcontractors Greenberg Traurig, Brian Forni, Lydia Borland, and Dickstein Shapiro LLP; the latter recently added to its lobbying staff former CIA Director Porter Goss. Other lobbying firms hired by Turkey are: Goldin Solutions, Alpaytac, Finn Partners, Ferah Ozbek, and Golin/Harris International. According to U.S. Justice Department records, Turkey pays these lobbying/public relations firms around $5 million a year. Furthermore, several U.S. non-profit organizations serve as fronts for the Turkish government to promote its interests in the United States and take Members of Congress and journalists on all-expense paid junkets to Turkey.
Among the U.S. lobbyists for Turkey, perhaps the most questionable is Porter Goss, CIA Director from 2004 to 2006, who has agreed to sell his soul and possibly U.S. national secrets for a fistful of Turkish Liras.
None of this is news. Turkey’s not even among the top ten spenders, as far as foreign lobbies go. (That honor usually goes to Canada, although apparently in 2013 it went to the UAE.)
But here’s the thing that chaps my hide. I’m fine with selling our politicians to foreign governments. We’re running a $43.8 billion trade deficit, after all. We can’t afford to be fussy.
But aren’t you insulted that we’re selling them so cheaply? We’re the United States of America. Shouldn’t Porter Goss be worth more than a measly 32,000 bucks a month? We borrow more than that every minute, so why should we sell him for less than 32,000 dollars a second? What kind of superpower do these people take us for?
And if we’ve already established that, and we’re just haggling over the price, we need to get serious about dollars and cents. Because that’s peanuts, and it’s not going to pay the bills.
So here’s my question for Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, can you convince me that when you’re president, you’ll sell our has-been CIA directors for a sum that says, “America is Great Again?”
I don’t want any more empty campaign promises, either. I want to see it. Live, on prime time.
First, I want to hear how much Trump thinks they’re worth. Then I want to watch him auction them off, one by one. That would certainly be more entertaining than watching another dreary debate about policy, wouldn’t it? Ratings would go through the roof, I bet. And if Trump makes enough from the Goss sale to pay for an F-35, I’ll stump for Trump forthwith.
You with me, Ricochet? Get me a better deal, and show me the money. Live. Because we’re worth it.