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Ear to the Ground

Former Congressman Charged With Funding Terrorist

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Posted on Jan 16, 2008
Afghans
rawa.org

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, second from right, signs an agreement with a rival warlord. Hekmatyar, a religious fundamentalist who has been described as a butcher, was once America’s most favored holy warrior, but the U.S. tried to assassinate him after he backed Osama bin Laden (another former recipient of American support).

Mark Deli Siljander, a former Republican congressman, has been indicted for allegedly helping an Islamic charity fund Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a vicious Afghan militant leader with ties to al-Qaida. According to the book “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Hekmatyar was the largest recipient of U.S. weapons during the Afghan war with the Soviets.


BBC:

The indictment alleges the charity sent about $130,000 (£66,000) in 2003 and 2004 to accounts in Peshawar, Pakistan, that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had access to.

It alleges the charity paid Mr Siljander $50,000 that was stolen from a US development agency.

It says Siljander “engaged in money laundering and obstruction of a federal investigation in an effort to disguise IARA’s misuse of taxpayer money that the government had provided for humanitarian purposes”.

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By cyrena, January 20, 2008 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Louise,

I just now had a chance to finish the ‘connections’ story from cooperative reseach. (the link you provided).

I wish I could be more original, but all I can say is…HOLY SHIT!! The more I read, (thanks to your excellent research) the futher my jaw drops, and I can only sit here shaking my head, as my jaw just sort of drags along on the floor beneath me, until I remember to pick it back up.

Yes, I wonder how it is that this long history of gangsterism, has not caused our obliteration from the face of the earth.

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By amunaor, January 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Louise.

What a psychotic mess!

Like a broken program, stuck in a repetative loop. Someone needs to smak these folks in the head to jar this program of self-hatred loose, who continue attacking their own image in the mirror.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By cyrena, January 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

•  Minding their masters [and that would NOT be we the people] they passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 H R 4986, 369-46.

•  HR 4986 mandates that it is the policy of the US to “develop, test, and deploy, as soon as technologically feasible, in conjunction with allies and friendly foreign countries whenever possible, an effective defense against the threat from Iran.”

Louise,
Thank you for posting this information. It’s very helpful, (at least for me) since I have less time to keep up these days, and I’m not even distracted by the stupidity of organized religion. I did know about the VETO of the first measure.

Nope, I’m only distracted by the everyday cruelties of life in the US under a totalitarian regime that is beginning to put Hitler and Stalin to shame as seemingly ineffective. Congress and Hitler’s Nazis? I see little difference. The Nazi Propaganda machine and US mainstream media? Same thing. Blackwater and the SS? Same thing.

A ‘threat’ from Iran? We know there is none. Would they still be a target for the defense corporation if they actually HAD nukes, or were likely to get them? Of course not. Funny how the defense industry isn’t threatening China, eh?

Gotta keep the GWOT going, ‘cause Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, and General Electric, and all of the others need our money. Gotta put those weapons to good use. So, let’s just pick a target, any target, as long as it’s one that isn’t really a danger, or could return the ‘favor’ in kind. And hey, there’s that double bonus with Iran, since that will bring total control of the oil heartlands as well.

Meantime, based on all of this, is anybody surprised that Hillary has won the Nevada caucus?
Have I mentioned lately, how much I hate these people? Not just the masters, but their minions in Congress as well.

OFF with their heads!!!

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By Louise, January 17, 2008 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Yep, lets wait and see.
Meanwhile, down in the aquarium we call the House of Representatives, have you seen what the jelly-fish did yesterday?

Minding their masters [and that would NOT be we the people] they passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 H R 4986, 369-46.

The second installation, given Bush VETOED the first one.

This will no doubt be more to his liking, since it basically dismisses NIE and declares Iran a nuclear threat.

Of course that other body of spineless creatures who slime around D.C., mainstreammedia had nothing to say about the VETO, unusual in light of the fact that they had a great deal to say about the threat to America if congress didn’t get a war funding bill to Bush before the holiday recess, which they did.

So it should be no surprise that we haven’t heard much about the “new and improved” version passed yesterday. Probably waiting for marching orders from their masters. 

Ever been in a really dirty aquarium? The smell is sickening!

Here’s the way I see it. Israel and the Zionists, and the Christian right and the hate in the name of love crowd really don’t call the shots.

No. It’s the money.

NBC,MSNBC and Raytheon for example, are owned by General Electric. Raytheon just got another sweetheart contract for more war stuff for Iraq. It’s really General Electric and the other major media conglomerates with vested interests in keeping GWOT alive and well who call the shots. Because they decide what we will hear.

HR 4986 mandates that it is the policy of the US to “develop, test, and deploy, as soon as technologically feasible, in conjunction with allies and friendly foreign countries whenever possible, an effective defense against the threat from Iran.”

Translation, defense missiles. That sound you hear is defense contractors counting their money. Oh, and the noise of old missiles getting packed to ship off to Saudi Arabia. Win-win for everyone who loves money more than God!

Those religious whackos are real, and they are dangerous, but they are also a good cover to keep us from looking at the “non-religious” powers that really call the shots. And a useful tool to keep everything stirred up. Something the religiositers don’t understand.

The conceit of organized religion keeps them believing it really is all about them.
It would be funny if people weren’t dying left and right.

But you are right, we need to see what else materializes on this stage.

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By amunaor, January 17, 2008 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Well he is a republican. 
Or, he is innocent!

*** OR A WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING ***

Lets see what else materializes on this stage.
Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Louise, January 17, 2008 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

zeitgeist, January 17 at 12:29 pm #
Re: Re: Here is conspiracy theory:

“Don’t forget to consider that this is the same xenophobic foundation upon which Black Water sits. The whole thing is a very dark cauldron, simmering to a boil.”

“Republican Siljander, and his fellow Christian warriors fit right into this drama of self deprecation.”

***

Actually I agree to a degree, but I have trouble thinking Siljander would risk power and money to fund a Muslim terrorist sect in the name of Christianity. Seems to me the only reason he would take that risk is a firm belief that since money laundering to fund “secret behind the scene” plots involving folks with ties to Islam extremism has been an ongoing fact of doing business with the CIA et al, for many years, he could get away with it. Or he has been set up royal, or he is really, really dumb.

Well he is a republican. smile

Or, he is innocent!

The story was posted on CNN/Crime just a few minutes ago. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/01/16/former.congressman.indicted/index.html

Short. Neither the ex-congressman nor the charity have been charged with supporting terrorism. So what’s up with even mentioning Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the first place, BBC?

But hey, nothing wrong with learning something new every day.

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By Louise, January 17, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Geeze Cyrena! smile
Geeze Louise is one of my kids favorite exclamations! Not because of me, but just because it does rhyme ... and doesn’t offend anyone.

I’ve been watching a video of the Japanese emergency response to the Sarin Gas attack on the Japanese subway in 1995. Impressive. Also a good reminder that there are assorted terrorists everywhere. Only in America could we use that as an excuse to rule the world!

While I was reading your comment something else occurred to me. Perhaps the fruitcakes in charge are shopping for a new poster boy to replace Osama bin-Laden. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar would probably be more readily accepted by the “friends” in the Saudi world, since he doesn’t have the highly visible links to the Royals that bin-Laden has. 

The American populace has become weary [and leary] of Osama’s videos, ever changing face and voices anyway.

They killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [you remember him, the guy with a dozen different faces, who aged backwards and grew a knew leg] and most folks have trouble remembering all the other boogie men’s names. So maybe Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will be the new guy to hate.

No, that really doesn’t make much sense either, ‘cause this story still hasn’t made it to mainstream media.

Besides, Bush would have trouble rolling “Gulbuddin Hekmatyar” off the tongue [I do] So maybe it is exactly what it says it is. A crummy repub getting caught playing with the bad guys. And THIS year, they have decided that’s a not nice thing to do.

[But still, Judging from the name, the guy clearly is not a Saudi.]

Speaking of Bush and Saudi ...
George of Arabia: Better Kiss Your Abe ‘Goodbye’
http://www.gregpalast.com/

From which I borrowed the following:

***
“Since taking office, Bush has doubled the federal debt to more than $5 trillion. And, according to US Treasury figures, on net, foreign investors have purchased close to 100% of that debt. That’s $3 trillion borrowed from the Saudis, the Chinese, the Japanese and others.”

“Now, Bush, our Debt Junkie-in-Chief, needs another fix. The US Treasury, Citibank, Merrill-Lynch and other financial desperados need another hand-out from Abdullah’s stash. Abdullah, in turn, gets this financial juice by pumping it out of our pockets at nearly $100 a barrel for his crude.”

“Bush needs the Saudis to charge us big bucks for oil. The Saudis can’t lend the US Treasury and Citibank hundreds of billions of US dollars unless they first get these US dollars from the US. The high price of oil is, in effect, a tax levied by Bush but collected by the oil industry and the Gulf kingdoms to fund our multi-trillion dollar governmental and private debt-load.”

***

[So maybe it’s time to rid ourselves of our prejudice regarding all things Saudi and Royal and hating that dead Saudi called Osama.]

***

“Bush is there to assure Abdullah that, unlike Dubai’s ports purchase debacle, there will be no political impediment to the Saudi’s buying up Citibank nor the isle of Manhattan.”

“So what? I mean, for the average American about to lose their job and their bungalow it doesn’t matter a twit whether it’s Sheik bin Alwaleed who owns Citibank or Sheik Sanford Weill, Citi’s past Chairman.”

***

But my favorite quote is:

***

“It has been reported that the President’s Secret Service men traveling with him seemed embarrassed by the eye-popping loads of diamond and gold gifts which they have to carry back for President Bush. They need not feel they have taken too much from their hosts: Bush has assured Abdullah that the King can suck it back out through our gas tanks.”

***

Isn’t that illegal? Taking the diamonds and gold I mean ...

Great article, I hope you all read it!

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By amunaor, January 17, 2008 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

>I find the “Christian” connection a bit of a stretch, although I agree it is a very real threat.
>

Yes it is a very large and looming threat, magnified in the xenophobia of the Christian jihadists who continue raising tensions with their own spurious, venom laced barbs. As it always has, in this, the reactionary forces they conjure up are a reflection of their own hatred.

Don’t forget to consider that this is the same xenophobic foundation upon which Black Water sits. The whole thing is a very dark cauldron, simmering to a boil.

Republican Siljander, and his fellow Christian warriors fit right into this drama of self deprecation.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By cyrena, January 17, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Jackpine, (and all) I read your response to Expat on the Ritter article, and it was helpful. It filled in some additional holes for at least the Pakistani-Saudi connection, both of which of course have a 9/11 connection…not to confuse things anymore than they already are.

The stuff from Louise is also extremely helpful, though at this point, I need a flow chart or something similar, to keep it all straight. Geeze Louise, (no pun intended Louise, I gould just as easily say Geeze Cyrena, but it wouldn’t rhyme), what a HUGE ball of connected worms/snakes…all tangled up. Wading through this stuff makes my comparative law theory read like an historical adventure novel. So, I’d be wise to get back to it. It follows a certain logic and rational that is somehow reassuring.

Meantime, if some of this information came by way of warantless wiretapping, it’s pretty obvious that there would be little need to wiretap US, since we’re obviously still confused. They should be wiretapping, the Saudis, and the Pakistanis, and the Afghanis.

No, that’s not right. They really should just stay the hell out of EVERYBODY’S business. I don’t need the administration (any of them… the Cheney shadow operation, or the popsicle stand that GW thinks he’s running) to keep me ‘safe’. What we all REALLY need is UN intervention to save us from these gangsters.

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By amunaor, January 17, 2008 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

<Mr Siljander, 57, now heads a PUBLIC RELATIONS firm.>

Interesting suspicions you have. What first jumped out at me was Simjander’s affiliation as head of a public relations firm.

Perhaps, Republican Warrior, Siljander is in on the con, and Bushco has yet to issue the fully orchastrated, self-serving spin, necessary to incite and inflame.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Louise, January 17, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

Meet Mr. Blowback
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, CIA Op and Homicidal Thug
By GARY LEUPP February 14, 2003

http://www.counterpunch.org/leupp02142003.html

“Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Pashtun warlord, former Afghan prime minister, fundamentalist religious fanatic, and homicidal thug.”

“The largest battle in Afghanistan -  in the mountains near Spin Boldak on January 27,[2003] pitted US forces against guerrillas most closely aligned with the Hezb-i Islami movement, which is Hekmatyar’s military arm” 

“The death of nine minibus passengers in an explosion near Kandahar January 31 was also attributed to Hezb-i-Islami. It’s been widely alleged that Hekmatyar - has linked up with Mullah Omar, remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.”

“... one must note a history of sour relations between the Taliban and the warlord.”

“... a far more substantial - association: that between Hekmatyar and the CIA. During the 1980s he received fully 90% the CIA-supplied funds doled out via Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) to the Mujahadeen Islamic warriors. These funds amounted to some half-billion dollars per year throughout the 1980s, matched by equal sums from that other enthusiastic Mujahadeen patron, acting in close cooperation with the US: Saudi Arabia.”

“Hekmatyar is Mr. Blowback, among the most vicious of former US clients now at odds with their one-time paymasters. So his career deserves some study.”

***

Which brings me back to my original question:
“Was the alleged money laundering while he was a congressman, when Afghanistan and Osama were the good guys being victimized by Communist Russia? Or is the money laundering contemporary with current going-ons, now that Osama and the more recently created al-Qaeda are the bad guys?”

***

“The conference held in Bonn [2001] was designed to establish a new regime that would address Pashtun concerns, provide stability and place the nation [Afghanistan] firmly within the U.S. orbit.”

“From IRAN, Hekmatyar fumed that “Only groups fitting US requirements and interests have been invited” to Bonn. The former CIA operative now called for a jihad against the US.”

***

“In March, press accounts indicated that Hekmatyar had left Iran for Herat, either because Iranian authorities had expelled him, or because he wanted to militarily challenge the new government, with Iranian assistance.”

“The standard spin on such stories - was that the former prime minister had formed an alliance with his former Taliban enemies, and their al-Qaeda friends. - It’s hard to know what to make of such reports.”

“Hekmatyar is considered close to Shi’ite Iran, and Iran and the fiercely anti-Shi’ite Taliban came close to war in 1998.”

***

And suddenly comes to light that sought after connection - IRAN!

This paragraph sums up the state of affairs far better than I can:

***

“Quite likely, the empire that chose to subsidize some of the most reactionary, misogynistic, fundamentalist scumbags on the planet to destroy the Soviet Union and to achieve “full spectrum dominance” will continue (due to the efforts of its erstwhile clients, like Mr. Blowback), to pay for its sins. Support a brutal Shah? Watch his enraged victims seize your embassy and take your agents hostage. Support Iraq against Iran, to punish Iran for overthrowing your Shah? Watch the Iraqi ally use the weapons you sold him against your client oil-state of Kuwait. Finish off Saddam, in a splendid little war? Watch how the world, recoiling in horror and outrage, will prepare its answers. “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7). Imperialist sin is system wide, having its own (evil) logic, at odds ultimately with the logic, morality and interests of ordinary American people, who alone, in the end, can excise it through the radical exorcism of thorough-going regime change right here at home.”

***

Suggest reading entire article!

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By Louise, January 17, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Now, take a look at this:

Complete 911 Timeline
Pakistan and the ISI Intelligence Agency

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&geopolitics;_and_9/11=isi

Notable quotes:
“Selig Harrison, a long-time regional expert with extensive CIA ties, will later say that he complained at the time about how ISI support of the Taliban was backed by the CIA. “I warned them that we were creating a monster.”

[ISI - Inter-Service Intelligence - Pakistan’s secret service guys]

“... in 1976, the Safari Club, a newly formed secret cabal of intelligence agencies decides it needs a network of banks to help finance its intelligence operations. Saudi Intelligence Minister Kamal Adham is given the task. “With the official blessing of George H. W. Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine ...”

***

An absolutely must read timeline!

Pulling together the connections between G.H.W. Bush, the CIA, the FBI, Pakistan, Hekmatyar, the Taliban, Osama, al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, money laundering, the Saudi’s, the BCCI, the ISI, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, drug trafficking, Bushes visit to the Middle East, and where we are today. Headache generating, mind blowing stuff! All documented by the way.

Perhaps the report of the indictment of Mark Deli Siljander is really nothing more than keeping us from taking a look at the sordid big picture. Or, perhaps its yet again an effort to make the really bad guys look good and Iran look really bad!

I have no idea. I’m still confused, plus I have a headache!

But I must say, I am in awe of anyone, good or bad, who can keep track of this stuff!

The wonder is that our meddling in everybody else in the worlds business hasn’t already caused our obliteration from the face of the earth!

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By Louise, January 17, 2008 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

“... i wouldn’t put it past this administration to throw an old Republican to the wolves in order to scare America and prove that we really do need the government to spy on everyone all the time to keep us safe.”

Bingo! I think your theory probably comes close to the truth. Thanks.

But, [always there is a but] if this is indeed a “conspiracy” to scare America, how come we’ve yet to see it in the American news? Unless it can be categorized under “create confusion” a time tested tool in the administrations arsenal. Useless however if nobody knows about it. Maybe this little bit of news is being aimed at discrediting the repubs, but that doesn’t even make sense if nobody knows about it. (?)

Confused I remain. wink

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By Louise, January 17, 2008 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

“Mark Deli Siljander should also be charged with treason, if the FBI and the CIA investigate Mr. Siljander and his co-conspirators I bet that they will find that the Biblical reconstructionist are behind this.”

***

Agreed, if the man was money-laundering for the purpose of aiding and supporting our current enemy - currently - he should be charged with treason. If the alleged crime occurred back when the “bad guys” were the “good guys” a charge of treason could open the possibility of doing the same with folks like daddy Bush and Cheney, and a whole slew of others. And how likely is that to happen?

I find the “Christian” connection a bit of a stretch, although I agree it is a very real threat.

The article could have been describing Huckabee, who has made it very clear when and if he becomes president, he will change the Constitution to make Christendom the official Church of the United States.

Scary thought, because there are so many “Christendom’s” there will be a major battle to win control over the government, not to mention the minds and souls of all of us. Leading no doubt to prayer and faith by force!

But on the other hand, I guess that would be a sorta victory for those guys over there, who wanna come over here and destroy our freedoms! Like we aren’t doing a peachy keen job of destroying them all by ourselves ... duh

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By jackpine savage, January 17, 2008 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Some fleshing out, historically, on what i’m about to say can be found in my reply to Expat in the “Pakistan Conundrum” thread.

The dates in question are quite recent: circa 2004 and later.

There is a problem though with the government tying Siljander to Hekmatyar and Hekmatyar to the Taliban/Al-Qeada.  (It should be noted that sorting out the shifting of Afghan warlords in relation to one another will always be conjecture.)  Hekmatyar has been in exile/on the run since the Pakistani ISI put its money and weight behind the Taliban in the battle for Kabul.  He was last seen in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border area.  Though he is bitterly anti-American, its hard for me to accept that he’s working with the Taliban.  Not only did they get the prize (Afghanistan), but they stole his army and kicked him out of the country.  These are not men who forget slights to their honor.

But what do i know…

There is a fuzziness about this whole story that doesn’t sit well with me.  It could be a conspiracy, as brhorton suggests.  It could be the straight truth.  Or it could be something else.  I’ve heard rumors that the plot was broken up because of warrantless wiretapping.  We know that not much happens in the DoJ without the administrations approval.  And i wouldn’t put it past this administration to throw an old Republican to the wolves in order to scare America and prove that we really do need the government to spy on everyone all the time to keep us safe.

Happy hunting in your search for the truth.

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By mary, January 17, 2008 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

The dates here are indeed very interesting.  Also, who else was he close to, especially now?  Hope you can find out more info here, and share with the rest of us.  Thanks…..

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By cyrena, January 17, 2008 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

Louise,

Beats the hell out of me. I’m as confused as you are. I think it’s the DATES that really throw me here…thanks for bringing that up..1981-1987? That sort of puts a new meaning to the term ‘former’ huh? Kind of like me being a ‘former’ 4th grader.

Gee-mennie as my dad would say.

Guess I better check in with Greg Palest myself.

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By brhorton, January 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

Here is conspiracy theory: 

Mark Deli Siljander is a member of the Christian right and a Biblical reconstructionist bent on destroying the American Constitution and installing a bible based government;

I guess the plot was to arrange money for the Taliban and al-Qaida so they would or could attack America again and while the people in a state of fear give giving the Christian Republicans another chance to erode more of our constitutional rights away.

Mark Deli Siljander should also be charged with treason, if the FBI and the CIA investigate Mr. Siljander and his co-conspirators i bet that they will find that the Biblical reconstructionist are behind this.

Mark Deli Siljander is the first link, How far up will this go? i wonder if anyone in the federal government knew about this?

I suspect the Chris Hedges and his book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” is correct

Check out: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/8616/reconstructionists.html

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By Louise, January 16, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

“A former US congressman has been charged with helping to fund “a key al-Qaeda supporter” in Afghanistan.”

“Mr. Siljander was a congressman from 1981-1987 and served one year as a US delegate to the United Nations.”

Help me here, I’m a little confused.

Was the alleged money laundering while he was a congressman, when Afghanistan and Osama were the good guys being victimized by Communist Russia? Or is the money laundering contemporary with current going-ons, now that Osama and the more recently created al-Qaeda are the bad guys?

If the charges date back to an earlier time, does this mean we’ll have to wait twenty years to see Bush and Cheney brought up on charges? Or, if the charges against Siljander are contemporary, one has to wonder, is this really more about proving to an ever more doubtful US populace the validity of “Enemy Cells” within our borders?

Think I’ll check in with Greg Palest.

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