The “Crimes” of Jim Traficant
Although there are probably dozens of members of Congress who could be indicted and convicted for major criminal offenses involving high-stakes bribery and influence peddling that is often quite open and never prosecuted, the Justice Department spent many years coming up with a handful of dubious charges against Rep. Jim Traficant.
Ask anyone who knows how it works in official Washington and they’ll privately admit that the real reason Traficant was indicted on criminal charges was simply the fact that “the powers that be” didn’t like Traficant: he was just too honest and too outspoken.
Right up front, let’s lay it out. Here are some of Traficant’s real “crimes” in the eyes of the elite who railroaded Jim Traficant into federal prison in 2002.
• Criticizing the IRS and calling for expanded protections for the rights of taxpayers under fire from IRS;
• Taking a hard-line stand against NAFTA, the World Trade Organization, and so-called “free” trade and urging protectionist measures to preserve American jobs and defend domestic industry from predatory global speculators;
• Tackling not only corruption inside the FBI and the Justice Department, but also personally assailing the integrity of former Attorney General Janet Reno;
• Attacking Wall Street wheeling and dealing and raising questions about the enrichment of high-level financial interests through the lending practices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund;
• Accusing then-Vice President Al Gore of “trying to steal the election” in the midst of the long-and-drawn-out post-election debacle in 2000;
• Calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from trouble-spots around the globe and questioning constant U.S. meddling in the affairs of other nations;
• Charging American policy-makers with treason for having given top-secret U.S. defense and nuclear technology to the butchers in Peking;
• Coming to the defense of Ukraine-born Cleveland autoworker John Demjanjuk who was falsely charged by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations of being a “Nazi war criminal,”—only to be cleared, ironically, by an Israeli court. (Ultimately, with Traficant sidelined in his own federal trial, they went after Demjanjuk again on “new” charges and restarted the process of seeking to deport the beleaguered old man.)
• Demanding that U.S. troops be sent to guard the Mexican border and prevent continuing hordes of illegal aliens—and potential terrorists—from entering into the United States; and—last but very far from least:
• Challenging one-sided U.S. aid and support for Israel, saying that the biased policy was to the detriment of America’s security and Middle East interests.
Traficant was the only member of Congress—the day after the Sept. 11 tragedy—to point out that U.S. support for Israel and open borders were root problems leading to the tragedy.
While Traficant enunciated these truths, other members of Congress squirmed uneasily, sitting in silence, as Traficant spoke out—even in the face of his impending trial—never one to be cowed.