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July 01, 2006

The NYTimes - What the fifth columnists said four years ago

click for larger imageWith the NYTimes so deep in the throes of BDS that they would rather kill a legal and successful intelligence program (and if American soldiers or civilians are subsequently murdered ... oh well) than allow any credit devolve to the Bush Administration. So it is interesting to follow how a mere four years ago, the NYTimes was berating the Bush Administration for not being more aggressive in intelligence gathering.

My whole-hearted thanks to Ilyka Damen for passing on this wonderful chestnut, buried behind the "you gotta pay for it!" wall ...

Terror's Money Trail
Published: September 26, 2001

WESTPORT, Conn. - President Bush has just stepped up efforts against the international financial network that provides the lifeblood for Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist organization. He is setting up an interagency Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center and has signed an executive order to cut off terrorists and their supporters from the United States economy. These are good first steps, but much more will have to be done.

We should begin by recognizing what we're dealing with. It is wrong to think of Al Qaeda as being financed primarily by Mr. bin Laden. If there were a single source of financing, the problem would be much easier to solve. More important is Al Qaeda's global network of financial donors, Muslim charities, legal and illegal businesses, and underground money transfer businesses.

We should also recognize what can't be accomplished by targeting the financial network alone. Such actions will not, by themselves, strike a death blow to Al Qaeda. Here in the United States, we have been doing after organized crime's financial network ever since we convicted Al Capone for tax evasion. But organized crime still exists. Nonetheless, by disrupting the criminal financial network, we will force Al Qaeda to take time and money to rebuild it -- and in the process help obstruct terrorist operations.

In the United States, we have strong anti-money-laundering laws and bank regulations. But virtually none of this exists where Al Qaeda raises and moves most of its money -- namely in predominantly Muslim countries where banking systems are underregulated and in the informal hawala banking system that is almost completely unregulated around the globe, including in this country.

The administration should now make broader use of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the law cited by President Bush in his executive order. That law allows the federal government to threaten to cut off foreign governments and institutions from the American economy if they do not take action against the Al Qaeda financial network or cooperate in giving the United States information on terrorist financing.

This strategy was adopted by the Clinton administration after the terrorist attacks on the American embassies in East Africa in 1998, when President Clinton signed similar executive orders against Al Qaeda and the Taliban government in Afghanistan. In some instances, it worked. The efforts helped ground the Afghan national airline, making it harder for Al Qaeda to move resources back and forth from Afghanistan. But over all, we had only limited success. In some cases, foreign governments lacked political will. In other cases, the governments had little ability to help because they had no system to combat money laundering or to audit fund-raising organizations. In the wake of the recent attacks and greater attention to charities that provide direct fund-raising links between Al Qaeda and societies in the Middle East, the Bush administration may be more effective in pressuring other governments.

Clamping down on terrorists' finances will also require Congress to act. In addition to its powers under existing law, the federal government needs the ability to cut off rogue banks without having to prove publicly a direct connection to terrorists. Unfortunately, a bipartisan bill that would have allowed sanctions against countries and banks that operate as money-laundering havens was stopped last year by Senator Phil Gramm. That bill has been reintroduced this year and new hearings are scheduled for today. The legislation is more necessary now than ever.

Congress also needs to make sure that we are fighting all forms of terrorist fund-raising at home by expanding anti-money-laundering regulations to cover securities brokers, casinos and the underground hawala system here at home.

Efforts to take down terrorist groups through military actions will probably take longer than we appreciate. Dismantling terrorism's financial network could take even more time -- which is good reason to start now.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of the suicide wishes of the contemporary American far-left who are so eager to have more terrorist action on American soil. I'm tired of far-Left's bad faith excuse for responses, exemplified by the Heatheresque perfidy of yet another'chickenhawk' meme by a rather silly, shrill and puerile female who proudly will not understand the issues at hand. In contrast, Fausta points out Protocol I (aka terrorist protection act) of the Geneva Conventions was specifically rejected by President Ronald Reagan and, to this day, has never been adopted by the United States.

So while the UN continues to engage in explicit antisemitism and an allegedly "Western" country puts a book author on trial for insulting Islam, what we get from the NY and LA Times to Tokyo Murtha to the giggling Left cultists, is that it is America that is the problem ... and they are damned well going to do their best to see it fail until us rednecked, Zionist, neocon, godbag, Christianist, homophobic, misogynist, election-stealing, chimpyluvrs start electing the CORRECT people who will bring us PEACE [through surrender].

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Posted by Darleen at July 1, 2006 04:18 PM