Today I do a post reviewing a work by her. It just so happens that the article I review generates a little bit of snark in my post, as my commentary takes us in a direction that may not have been anticipated.
Terror's financiers is an editorial written by Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen, and published today, January 17, 2008. It can also be found at Rachel Ehrenfeld's website and at Alyssa A. Lappen's website.
While you are at Dr. Ehrenfeld's website, make a financial contribution, so she can defend herself -- and our Constitutional rights -- against the legal jihad she faces. For details, see her website or the links in my sidebar.
I reproduce the article here in its entirety, interjecting a few comments (that's kind of how I do things, in case you hadn't noticed).
The antiquated Securities and Exchange Commission's computer system prevents investigators from safeguarding U.S. market integrity. "It's like working with one hand tied behind their backs," Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley commented about the Dec. 17 release of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he'd initiated — "SEC: Opportunities Exist to Improve Oversight of Self-Regulatory Organizations." Why can't the government with the world's most advanced computer technology and capabilities equip its agencies with state-of-the-art systems allowing them to better monitor markets and transactions, including illegal activities?
The reason we may not want these guys to have the latest and greatest equipment is because of the potential for abuse.
The Democrats and the Leftards make a big deal out of alleged abuses of the Bush-43 Administration -- and well they should -- but they stand on politics, not on principle.
When their boy, his Slickness Bill Clinton, had his people, including Craig Flintstone -- er, I mean, Livingstone -- leafing through hundreds of FBI files looking for material to use to blackmail and pressure political opponents, the Democrats and Leftards were generally quite quiet on that issue.
I trusted Richard M. Nixon a great deal more than I trust Bill (or Hillary) Clinton, and King George W. Bush has also now made my list of crooked politicians that make me wish for the scandals of the early 70's.
So, either you give these guys all this cosmic technology and they abuse it and infringe on our privacy and rights, or you don't give it to them, and terrorists go free with the corrupt elements in government whining that they can't connect the dots.
Damned if you do...
A big part of the blame goes to Congress, who look for ways to legislate in favor of their buddies, pretty much abrogating their responsibility for oversight of the executive branch. They did finally actually get an impeachment proceeding going against Der Schlickmeister, but King George seems to have them afraid of being waterboarded -- or, maybe too many of them are on the payroll of the Turkish Deep State.
Damned if you don't.
In response to the GAO criticism, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox acknowledged, "additional information-technology changes such as these may help the [SEC] enforcement staff to effectively analyze trends, manage current caseloads and focus areas of investigation." But all federal officials — not just at the SEC — should worry about much more than insider trading.
Actually, if they ever investigated the insider trading that occurred around the events of September, 2001, they would have more to worry about than just insider trading.
Take terror financing. So far, no U.S. official at any level, including presidential candidates from both parties, has publicly addressed how radical Muslim groups and Islamic terror organizations raise major sums to facilitate the murder of Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, among other things.
Yes, take terror financing.
We know terrorists increasingly finance their operations via organized crime activities.
Crack down on organized crime, such as narcotics- or human-trafficking, and the collateral damage you do is to terrorists. Sweet?
When you consider that Islamic terrorists deal heroin to finance jihad, is it a surprise they may have a need to launder money? (Especially with BCCI now defunct.)
And, what about the billions of dollars worth of stock trades that were pushed through the WTC's computers during the attack on 9/11. Even without turning a profit, would they not have served to launder money?
Islamic terrorists need to launder money. Islamic terrorists attack a major financial center. During the attack, record numbers of stock trades get pushed through, then the buildings collapse burying the computers and thus the evidence.
But, some of the hard drives are recovered, and show some unusual trading happened during the attack.
Investigate that and follow the money trail, and it will lead to people who used the terror attack as a diversion -- presumably the terrorists. We could really shut down their operations for good by pulling the plug on their money.
But, instead, Ground Zero -- the scene of the crime of the century -- was cleaned up in record time.
Maybe the money laundering trail doesn't only lead back to Al Qaeda?
Maybe it leads back to those arranging for the clean-up?
Two years ago, President Bush denounced "the murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals [which] is the great challenge of our century." But U.S. dependency on Middle East oil made the Saudis and their Gulf neighbors rich beyond their wildest dreams. Saudi funding propagates global Islamist extremism that former CIA Director James Woolsey describes as "the soil in which al Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are flourishing." The September 11 commission awarded the government an A- for its "vigorous efforts against terror financing," both in 2003, and again in its October 2005 progress report.
No, Mr. President, the great challenge of our century is corruption -- corruption in Washington, London, Moscow, Islamabad, Riyadh, Dubai, Beijing. Those guys in Myanmar look so amateurish by comparison, torturing and killing Buddhist monks.
"Saudi funding propagates global Islamist extremism...."
So, we invade Iraq!
How many Iraqis were on board those aircraft on 9/11?
The entire nation of Iraq has disappeared into that gap between what is said and what is done.
In fact, government efforts thus far have apparently targeted the wrong funding sources. The vast Middle East sums feeding the global spread of radical Islam and jihad have not diminished. Yet, our government tells us, the Saudis and their neighbors are U.S. allies.
Oh, you two ladies hit the nail right on the head!
"In fact, government efforts thus far have apparently targeted the wrong funding sources."
Why do you suppose that is?
The guys giving the orders are corrupt and have business dealings that tie them in with those who make money off terrorism and narcotics.
So, what do they do? They use government resources to go after rival organized crime syndicates.
The War on Terror has become a mob-war-by-state-proxy and -- Presto! -- Afghanistan is once again the opiate capital of the world, under the watchful eyes of US and Nay-to forces.
Such disinformation, combined with outdated monitoring technologies and systems, contributes to continuing government failure to secure U.S. financial institutions, economic stability and national security.
Give the appropriate technology to the US government, and then demand results.
And hold Congress accountable at election time if they don't do a good enough job of oversight.
(In other words, vote out all incumbents in 2008.)
Government agencies have long warned of the federal failure to properly monitor and impede funds flowing to terrorist organizations. These include several GAO reports and a May 21 IRS report criticizing government ability to identify charities favored by radical Muslims to fund terrorism.
There's a reason why the political leaders don't have the will to follow the money trail -- it leads back to their friends, and to themselves.
That goes for George and Dick, that goes for Bill and Hillary -- that goes for key people in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, that goes for key appointed and career government officials....
"The IRS provides only minimal assurance that tax-exempt organizations potentially involved in terrorist activities are being identified," it says. Furthermore, the report recommends that the IRS and other agencies "develop and implement a long-term strategy to automate the process... to identify potential terrorist activities related to tax-exempt organizations." Another major issue slipping under the radar concerns the growing influence of petrodollars on U.S. economic institutions, banks, markets and government agencies.
It's not under the radar -- it's very detectable. Where do you suppose the trail leads?
The reason government investigators don't see it is because they've been ordered to close their eyes -- just like the Sibel Edmonds case.
Due diligence currently available identifies the routine and obvious risks associated with Western market participants. However, growing Islamic banking and Shariah-compliant industries promote themselves as hot new financial markets in which to invest. The attraction for U.S. and Western banks and investors is the $1 trillion and rising annual Saudi and Gulf state oil revenues.
Then again, like many other "innovative" products, the "ethical" and "socially responsible" Middle East and Islamic banking and investment market present many new risks not currently addressed either by their proponents or by regulatory agencies, much less due diligence services now available.
These markets and products lack transparency and Western accounting. Frequently, their documentation and offering statements do not disclose information required by federal laws and banking regulations. Furthermore, this market is increasingly governed by radical Islamic clerics whose provenance is unknown to the Federal Reserve Board, U.S. and international equities and bond ratings agencies, index providers and other insufficiently educated market participants and facilitators.
Data-mining software is available in the market today. But it lacks the ability to also analyze social and political networks and identify terrorist links. An important new program will shortly be available to fill that gap. It will also aid collection, processing, investigation, discovery, data-sharing and reporting intelligence.
When Able Danger got going, looking at open-source information on Al Qaeda, it connected Condoleeza Rice to Chinese proliferation! (Why?)
No, that's way too dangerous. Such technology can only be used against law-abiding Americans. If it ever got turned loose on the world of terrorism, it would connect organized crime, nuclear weapons proliferation, slave-running and who-knows-what-else, and it would connect it all to Very Important People.
That's why Able Danger got deep-sixed (although they kept the information).
The government needs this technology to stop terror financing. And businesses need objective consultants with regional expertise, language skills and access to the latest software to fully meet their "know you customer" and disclosure regulations.
Businesses that fail to take these extra precautions are liable to suffer major losses, market dislocations and possible prosecution for material support of terrorism.
"Businesses that fail to take these extra precautions" may find out that it is their computers that are laundering drug money during the next big terrorist attack.
Haven't you ever stopped to think about all those financial and investment services that were at Ground Zero?
What about WTC-7, that collapsed -- almost as if it had been imploded -- hours after the attack, even though no plane hit it?
Do you know what was in WTC-7?
In addition to more financial and investment services, WTC-7 housed the government agencies that investigate financial, investment and white collar crime.
Hat tip to my email bird-dogger.