[Homestead] Rumsfeld ethics

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Wed Sep 22 22:30:54 EDT 2004

If it weren't for his bad ethics he wouldn't have any at all.  I favored 
his presence because he fought torestructure the  musclebound Armed 
Forces into a lean, heavily-armed highly mobile strike force cspable of 
lightning response anywhere in the world from shipboard or the few 
friendly airbases we can rely on.

But like Cheney, he is a wildly dishonest sonofabitch---divesting 
himself of conflict-of-interest assets only when his ownership was 
exposed..  More of bringing back"integrity" to the White House.


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Rumsfeld Sold Stakes in Pentagon Contractors
Wed Sep 22, 2004 04:09 PM ET

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sold stakes 
this summer in at least five companies after they were identified as 
doing business with the Pentagon, according to his latest financial 
disclosure form, made available on Wednesday.

Sold were all his shares in Millennium Chemicals Inc., St Paul Companies 
Inc., Sonoco Products Co., VF Corp. and Zebra Technologies Corp., 
according to an aide's handwritten note on the disclosure report.

The note, dated June 28, said the companies had been "identified as DoD 
defense contractors." The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a 
query about the threshold for such identification, nor about the 
reasoning behind the sale.

The 20-page form, released by the Office on Government Ethics in 
response to a request from Reuters, showed Rumsfeld's assets, 
liabilities and transactions for the year ended Dec. 31, 2003.

Described in ranges rather than exact amounts, his largest holdings 
included a trust in his name valued at $25 million to $50 million, farm 
land in New Mexico valued in the millions and a stake in Gilead Sciences 
Inc. worth $5 million to $25 million.

Rumsfeld served as chairman of Gilead Sciences, a Foster City, 
California, biotechnology company, before being sworn in as President 
Bush's defense secretary on Jan. 20, 2001.

As of July 27, Rumsfeld's designees were "in discussions" about 
divesting his shares in Community Health Systems Inc., which also was 
identified as a Pentagon contractor, according to the Pentagon's 
Standards of Conduct Office, which reviewed Rumsfeld's report for any 
perceived conflicts of interest. Community Health Systems was held via a 
venture called FLC Partnership.

Rumsfeld appeared to be under no legal requirement to sell the shares of 
any of the companies identified as Pentagon contractors, according to 
Alex Knott of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based 
government watchdog.

"It appears as though Secretary Rumsfeld wanted to hold himself to a 
higher ethical standard when it comes to public perceptions," he said.

The form showed Rumsfeld accepted no gifts, reimbursements or travel 
expenses big enough to meet the government's modest thresholds for 
reporting. Among these are a requirement to report gifts from one source 
totaling more than $260.

(Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa)

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