Tycoon Entertains Thompson

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WASHINGTON: The daily parade of dirty donors assembled by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee constitutes more of a demonstration than an investigation. Roger Tamraz is a case in point. The story of how the palm-greasing oil tycoon made it into the inner chambers of the White House has been known among investigators and journalists since March. It is just now coming to the screen, where Fred Thompson massages witnesses for the best sound bites and head shots, so as to maybe just maybe get regular people interested. And the wisecracking, straight-shooting Tamraz certainly gave it his all. But Thompson may find the unctuous tycoon to be a little too colorful: Tamraz is wanted in Lebanon for embezzlement, linked to the CIA, and allegedly lied to his investors about White House help for a pipeline that never came. In the end, Tamraz makes about as reliable a witness as Kato Kaelin.