WASHINGTON–DC-The Government of Turkey–seeking to draw attention away from their failed attempt to extort upwards of $32 billion from the United States in exchange for its cooperation in a war on Iraq–has–according to Senate and House sources–directed its Washington–DC multi-million dollar lobbying team to undermine what they view as growing support in Congress for legislation reaffirming the Armenian Genocide.
Turkey’s team in Washington–DC is lead by high-priced lobbyists former US Representatives Bob Livingston and Stephen Solarz–both of whom were among the most enthusiastic deniers of the Armenian Genocide during their Congressional tenures. Sources on Capitol Hill report that the two former Congressmen are already at work on "damage control" of Turkey’s refusal to allow US forces to be based in Turkey. They have–according to these sources–also started working to protect Turkey during what they view as this "window of vulnerability" by aggressively attacking any effort in the coming weeks or months to affirm the US historical record on the Armenian Genocide.
Washington Post correspondent Dan Morgan today reported that Solarz and Livingston–who he described as "two influential former senior House members," are "representing Turkish interests in Washington." Moran added that "pro-Turkish lawmakers have formed their own caucus–made up of members who support that country’s democracy–close ties to Israel and military purchases from contractors in a number of congressional districts. . . And Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Edward Whitfield (R-Ky.) headed for Turkey last weekend for meetings with senior Turkish officials in the wake of parliament’s rejection of the US request to station troops."
Since his resignation from Congress in 1998–Congressman Livingston has received several multi-million dollar contracts from the Turkish government. According to filings with the Justice Department–in exchange for these paymen’s–the Livingston Group "provided the foreign principal with government affairs representation before the Congress and federal government of the United States."