Harriet Miers, George W. Bush's personal lawyer, chief lackey and counselor extraordinaire has been hired by the Pakistani government as its official lobbyist in DC. She rose to fame after President Bush nominated her to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (this is a job for life - like being a gangsta'). She ultimately declined the nomination citing an ability to reveal her legal experience because her advise to the President in her previous capacity as presidential counsel was protected under executive privilege. Most people do not believe this for a second and think that she turned down the nomination because she was heavily criticized for lacking the constitutional experience necessary for the job. This of course was bull shit and a conspiracy orchestrated by the elite, marxist media. Harriet Miers is an eminently qualified jurist and scholar (a graduate of the famed Southern Methodist University) who has plenty of 'constitutional' experience. At the time of her S.C. nomination she was serving as White House Counsel (top lawyer for the executive - nominated by Bush II) before which she served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff on Policy (nominated by Bush II), Staff Secretary of the White House (nominated by Bush II), Commisioner of the Texas State Lottery Commission (nominated by Governor Bush, hmmm seems to be pattern there). In my eyes this is as strong a resume as one is ever going to find. (Okay maybe Taft had a slightly better resume.) And if you want more proof of her abilities, just look at her:
Don't you think that If she really was an inexpereinced Republican nominee she would've looked like this:
Or this (once she got older):
Instead of a MILF we get the witch from Hansel and Gretel. She must be really, really smart and experienced to have made her way up the Republican ranks. (What's this now, she was a Democrat who contributed to Gore's first Presidential campaign in 1988 and then changed her allegiances to the Republicans soon after befriending Bush and becoming his lawyer - better keep that one quiet.)
It is truly admirable that she dropped out of the Supreme Court running to protect her client, I mean to protect the President. After her noble act, she continued serving as White House Counsel for another year before being shown the door by the new Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten.
Upon her retirement, Ms. Miers went back to private practice and joined her old firm Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell as partner in the firm's Litigation and Public Policy Group. The law firm has a specialised Washington based lobbying arm known as Locke Lord Strategies and one of the partners of this practice group is a chap by the name of Mark A. Seigel. Mr. Seigel just so happened to be a trusted aide and close friend of Benazir Bhutto. A result of their close friendship was the firm taking up lobbying for the PPP on a pro bono basis. That's right, the PPP has lobbyists in the U.S. and they don't even have to pay for them. Even, the Red Indians have to pay for dodgy lobbyists!
The PPP's appointment of Lord Locke seems to have alerted the Pakistani government who scrambled to get their together by hiring the same firm and paying them $ 900,000 a year.
Needless to say this raises massive conflict of interest issues, as the firm was effectively representing two parties who were who were competing against each other in the same elections. It also highlights the supidity of the Mush's government. We all know that you guys were in talk with the PPP but for the love of God hire different lawyers, especially when the lawyers care so much about the PPP that they are willing to work for them for free.
This brings us to the present. There is now of course less chance for a conflict of interests as the American wing of the PPP and the Pakistani Government are under the control of the same force i.e. Hussain Haqqani.
In all seriousness one must question the appointment of a lobbyist whose reputation in Washington took a nose dive and never recovered. She maybe good friends with the Bush family and Secretary Condoleeza Rize but with the many changes within the administration it's no longer clear that she's that close to the Bush administration. One must also question the abilities of a person who refers to President Bush as "the most brilliant man I have ever met," and as the "best Governor ever". She also stated that "serving President Bush and Mrs. Bush is an impossible-to-describe privilege" and noted that Bush's personal qualities "make a brighter future for our nation and people all around the world possible." (Quotes from Wikipedia). It is evident that Ms. Miers success was intrinsically linked with her personal relationship with George W., but it doesn't seem that there's that much respect for her elsewhere. Soon after he took over as Cheif of Staff, "Joshua Bolten pressed for Ms. Miers' resignation, but the idea was rejected by President Bush. After the 2006 elections, when Democrats won a majority of both houses of Congress, Mr. Bolten asked again for her departure, arguing that the president needed an aggressive lawyer and increased staff for the Office of Legal Counsel to fend off congressional inquiries and subpoenas."
There can be little doubt that Pakistan needs a strong lobbyist in Washington D.C., I'm not sure Harriet Miers is it. I hope our ambassador knows what he's doing - my guess is Mr. Haqqani is banking on Ms. Miers to call in a few favours from the President before he leaves. It doesn't seem to be working at the moment. And I wonder why Mr. Siegel isn't himself dealing with Pakistan since he's quite a well respected Washington insider, who has served as teh executive director of the DNC during the Carter years. Is Pakistan actually giving close to a million dollars to a firm solely on hope that one of its partners will be able to utter something in the President or the Secretary of State's ear the next time they're out on a BBQ?
I now leave you with a rather interesting interactive map detailing the 'Washington Connections' of the major player mentioned in the post. (Courtesy Muckety)