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I recently posted an item about the lobby firm APCO’s representation of the government of Kazakhstan and congressional hearings about Kazakhstan’s desire to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings, who chaired the panel in question, wrote a letter complaining that the item implied that APCO had improperly influenced the proceedings on behalf of Kazakhstan.
I went back and read my notes from several conversations about the hearings. Then I read my post. Basically, I blew it — twice. First, I misconstrued what I was told about the hearing. Second, in my haste to write the item before heading to a meeting I inadvertently used language that exaggerated APCO’s role beyond even what I believed my notes reflected. To sum up: My story was correct in identifying APCO as Kazakhstan’s lobbying firm, and the firm did dispatch several lobbyists to the hearings. But I have no evidence that APCO helped set up the hearings or improperly influenced them. I regret the error.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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