Abramoff Fed Washington's Outstretched Hands

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The 25th anniversary of Abscam passed recently, and without a lot of fanfare... These days Abscam is dwarfed by the scandal that threatens to eat Washington. The Jack Abramoff mess is so much bigger than Abscam it has no name other than his. The investigation spans at least four law enforcement agencies and 12 FBI field offices, and may easily exceed Abscam's convictions.

The Abramoff affair takes powerful officials from Capitol Hill to the South Sea Islands, where they learn about the previously unknown virtues of sweatshops. A clip from one of those excursions of U.S. Representative Tom DeLay, with flowers in his hair and embracing a fully bearded Abramoff, may become as iconic as that picture of Monica in her beret hugging Clinton on the rope line. By Margaret Carlson

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