From Boing Boing
George Soros has responded to Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s accusation that he is financed by narco-gangsters in a great, stiff letter that demands an apology:You do a discredit to yourself and to the dignity of your office by engaging in these dishonest smear tactics. You should be ashamed.
For the Speaker of the House of Representatives, even in the midst of an election season, to descend to a level of political discourse where innuendo and slander replace reason, truth and argument is unacceptable.
This past Sunday, on national television, you suggested that I might be a criminal simply because I have exercised my First Amendment rights to dissent from the policies of the Bush administration…
I must respectfully insist that you either substantiate these claims — which you cannot do because they are false — or publicly apologize for attempting to defame my character and damage my reputation
Hasfert, the Speaker of the House, used the Big Lie tactic so favored by Nazis to smear Soros, a multi-billionaire who made his fortune in currency speculation. Soros also says he will spend whatever is needed to defeat Bush, which of course, is the reason for Hasfert’s slanderous attack.
“You know, I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where – if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from,” Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: “Excuse me?” The Speaker went on: “Well, that’s what he’s been for a number years – George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he’s got a lot of ancillary interests out there.” Wallace: “You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?” Hastert: “I’m saying I don’t know where groups – could be people who support this type of thing. I’m saying we don’t know.”
Well of course he knows where Soros got his money. Any reputable financial magazine can and has explained how Soros made his billions, and made them legally.
From The Crook and Liars email list
UPDATE….Josh Marshall says he’s talked to a bunch of reporters who have asked Dennis Hastert to clarify his remarks about George Soros’ money coming from drug cartels. But instead of doing the non-insane thing and saying he didn’t really mean it, apparently he’s aggressively repeating the charge to anyone who will listen. Soros has now written him a letter demanding a retraction.
It’s just another example of the thuggish nature of the Republican leadership these days. It’s also an example of their bizarre detachment from reality (aka “just make shit up”), since Soros’ career as a money manager, currency speculator, and philanthropist is well known. It’s no secret where Soros made his money. Just ask John Major.
Over at Forbes.com, Michael Maiello got Hastert spokesman John Feehery to concede that the Speaker doesn’t really believe George Soros gets his money from drug runners.
“Of course the Speaker doesn’t think he gets money from drug cartels,” Feehery told Maiello.
That said, Hastert won’t apologize for suggesting he does.