Thursday, January 31, 2008

Orwell's Winston Smith at work on Rezko?

Winston Smith was the sad bureucrat in George Orwell's dystopian 1984, whose job was to erase all facts not viewed as favorable to the Party in the dictatorship of Oceania.

Maneuvers such as the once alleged by Raw Story would seem familar to Smith:

The controversial Iraq-born billionaire Nadhmi Auchi visited the state of Illinois in 2004 at the behest of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the businessman and political player who helped raise money for Senator Barack Obama's early political campaigns. During the visit, Auchi met with the state's Democratic Governor, Rod Blagojevich, and other political figures. In what appears to be a clumsy "cleanup" operation, evidence of Auchi's visit to Illinois has now been deleted from two websites linked to his company, General Mediterranean Holding.

Auchi is no stranger to controversy but has been back in the news in recent weeks because of Rezko's pending prosecution on fraud and extortion charges. When federal authorities learned of a $3.5 million wire transfer from Auchi's company to Rezko's law firm, they sent the long-time friend of Senator Obama back to jail for violating the terms of his bail. Rezko's prosecution is scheduled to begin in late February.

After rumors began circulating that Auchi may have met with Obama, information was deleted from two websites connected to Auchi's company about a spring 2004 visit to the United States that occurred as Obama was campaigning to be Illinois' junior senator.

On Tuesday, ABC News first reported the existence of photos showing Auchi meeting with Gov. Blagojevich on the website Middle East Online. The link on the website that the report pointed to, which said that "businessmen, and congressmen" also met with Auchi, is now gone.

Other photos from the 2004 viist by Auchi, including one with Blagojevich, can be found here.

Hat tip to Reverse Spin.

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