Room 8’s story on Iraq War opponent Rep. [sw: Gary Ackerman]’s war profiteering made it to print today in Newsday.
Additionally, the records – reported on www.r8ny.com, a New York City political Web site – show Ackerman (D-Jamaica Estates) accepted a “personal loan” last year for as much as $100,000 from Selig Zises, a large investor in a California-based company that Ackerman called Xenonics Options. However, Ackerman, who denies any improprieties, said the alleged loan was actually a sale of stock that he accidentally misreported. … On March 9, 2002, Ackerman, a senior member on the International Relations Committee, purchased between $1,001 to $15,000 of stock in Xenonics, which is today valued at between $100,000 and $250,000, according to financial records.
The stock had ballooned to as much as $1 million as Room 8 had previously reported. It has since fallen to level reported by Newsday. Ackerman’s attempt at playing dumb — “If I was smart or really knew something, I would have sold it then” — is pretty lame since, as Gur at Room 8 points out, “said questionable dude not only sits on the House Financial Services Committee, but also on the Subcommittee on Capital Markets – which has oversight on the Securities and Exchange Commission.” Ackerman says that he “played no role in steering federal dollars to Xenonics.”
The real, moral question remains: how does one square opposition to a war with profiting from it? If you oppose said war what would the ethical use of the profits be? Should he give it away to charity? Perhaps an organization trying to bring peace and understanding to said war-torn nation. Or should he spend those war profits on an absolutely awesome bat mitzvah for his little tatalah? It’s decision time Ackerman: mensch or schlemeil?