Thursday, February 24, 2005

GOP's many Talons: Did White House S&M ring order special videos from Abu Ghraib?

Brand new Madsen from the good folks at Online Journal!

The GOP's many Talons
Did White House S&M ring order special videos from Abu Ghraib?

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

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February 23, 2005—There are interesting connections between the White House credentialed Talon News Service, owned by Houston-based GOP activist Bobby Eberle, Jr., and two other "Talon" entities. One is investment and management company Talon LLC of Detroit, co-founded by Michael T. Timmis, a major contributor to conservative Republican causes. Talon Equity Partners LLC is an adjunct of Talon LLC. The other GOP-connected "Talon" firm is Talon LLC of Houston, a "special purpose entity" established by the now defunct GOP bankroller, Enron.

In April 2000, Enron and LJM2, a co-investment entity headed by Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow, set up Talon LLC. Fastow was later indicted and found guilty of multiple counts of fraud. His boss at Enron, CEO Ken Lay, a close friend of and contributor to George W. Bush, was also indicted and is awaiting trial. The Talon entity experienced a 370 percent annualized return on an original investment of preferred Enron stock and made $41 million for LJM2. Investigators in Houston are still trying to determine what happened to Enron's original profits before its stock tanked. There are suspicions that much of the money ended up in well protected and hidden Bush family and GOP coffers.

Timmis is a major contributor to The Fellowship Foundation, a powerful "Christian" fundamentalist operation headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The Fellowship has interlocking relationships with the Leadership Institute, also of Arlington, Virginia, where Talon White House correspondent "Jeff Gannon," a.k.a. James Dale Guckert, took a two-day course at the institute's Broadcast School of Journalism. The Leadership Institute, headed by Virginia Republican official Morton Blackwell, counts such right-wing members of Congress as Tom DeLay, Frank Wolf, Sam Brownback, John Ensign, Todd Tiahrt, Charles Grassley, James Inhofe, Zach Wamp, and Joseph Pitts as members of its "bi-partisan" congressional Board of Advisors. The above Republican members of Congress are also core members of The Fellowship. Gannon has been linked to Fellowship members who are active in two northern Virginia churches heavily influenced by the Fellowship: Little Falls Presbyterian Church in Arlington and McLean Bible Church in nearby McLean. Gannon is also linked to Rev. Rob Schenk, the founder of Washington's National Community Church, a Pentecostal congregation that counts John and Janet Ashcroft as members. It currently meets in a movie theater at Union Station in Washington, DC.

The Fellowship is financially backed by companies with lucrative defense contracts with the Pentagon, many of which are based in northern Virginia. Some of these companies are involved with prisoner detention contracts in Iraq, Cuba, and Afghanistan.

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12/27/2005 6:36 PM  

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