Will Fred Thompson address his ties to Farhad Azima?
Given his recent commentary on Britain lacking the "will to defend itself," and his impending entry into the Presidential race, will the press force former lobbyist Fred Thompson to address his ties to one of his former supporters, Farhad Azima? Thompson claimed last week that:
Unlike much of Europe, which seems to have lost the will to protect itself and its democratic traditions, many of the new aggressors are increasing military spending dramatically. And many seem willing to sacrifice masses of their own populations if that’s what it takes to force the West into submission.Interesting words coming from former lobbyist Fred Thompson, who has received over $6,000 from Farhad Azima, yes the same Farhad Azima implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal:
Let’s be clear. Iran’s kidnappings are part of a plan to see that nothing interferes with its quest for nuclear weapons. If successful, other dictatorships will follow suit. This is not the time for the free world to neglect its own defense.
In Kansas City, the Iranian-born owner of Global International, Farhad Azima, expressed dismay that his airline might have been bamboozled into gunrunning by the charter firm in Belgium In Beirut, sources familiar with P.L.O. operations told TIME that other planeloads of weapons had been successfully flown to Central America from Libya and Algeria. All the-cargoes were disguised as medical supplies.Before I forget, I guess I should give Thompson credit for returning half of the money he recieved from Azima. From a March 10, 1997 St. Louis Dispatch story:
Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., has returned $3,000 of $6,000 he got from Farhad Azima, a Kansas City businessman, and his family.
Companies owned by Azima were linked with the Iran-Contra scandal; Thompson, the chairman of the Senate committee looking into fund-raising improprieties, said that the money was not illegal, but that he was returning it to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Of course, this does not account for the additional money Thompson raised at Azima's home, as described in the March 1, 1997 Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Azima came to know Thompson after Azima bought Capitol Airways, based in Smyrna, Tenn., in 1983. At the time Thompson served on the board of the company and also represented it in legal matters. According to Federal Election Commission records, Azima raised $9,500 for Thompson's campaign at a 1996 fund-raiser at his Missouri home.