Friday, August 24, 2007

"Today's Must Read By Spencer Ackerman"

TPMmuckraker August 23, 2007 9:36 AM: - August 23, 2007,
"Barbour Griffith & Rogers has long been a powerhouse GOP lobbying firm. Now, apparently, American politics are just too small-time. BGR, according to a report by IraqSlogger's Christina Davidson, is trying to influence Iraqi politics as well. BGR, the firm started by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, has been promoting Ayad Allawi, the one-time Iraqi interim prime minister who over the weekend published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for the parliamentary overthrow of current PM Nouri al-Maliki. The piece amounted to a trial balloon for American support for a second Allawi-led government, promising non-sectarianism and stability. Allawi has decades-old ties to the CIA, making him a known quantity to U.S. officials during a time of extreme frustration with Maliki. But frustration alone doesn't get governments to fall. That's where BGR comes in. On August 17, the firm purchased the domain name (the site's not yet live). Following publication of the op-ed, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) called on the Iraqi parliament to hold a no-confidence vote on Maliki. BGR circulated Levin's comments around Washington -- and particularly to Congressional staffers -- using the e-mail address Yet BGR hasn't registered any affiliation with the ex-premier:"

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