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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
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”