The Republican-Lobbyist-Military-Industrial Complex

"While Abramoff, DeLay and Randy Cunningham dominate the headlines," the Alexander Strategy Group (ASG) "deserves to be heavily scrutinized for its role in each of those scandals and others not yet on the mainstream radar," reports Jeremy Scahill. "Recently, ASG was on the cutting edge of one of the fastest-growing industries ... private security," working for Blackwater USA and an image-boosting industry coalition, the International Peace Operations Association. ASG's clients also included Republican fundraiser and "Bush Pioneer" Brent Wilkes, whose companies have collected "some $90 million in military contracts" over the past decade. Previous to hiring ASG, Wilkes retained Patrick McSwain, Duke Cunningham's former chief of staff, as a lobbyist. McSwain went on to found another "high-powered GOP lobbying firm," Northpoint Strategies, whose clients included the Carlyle Group and Titan Corporation ("of Abu Ghraib fame"). Scahill concludes that such connections speak "volumes to how far and wide these investigations should extend."