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Friday, June 12, 2015

A brave Irishman, BDS, money laundering, and Sheldon Adelson

In this video, a brave member of the Irish parliament, Richard Boyd Barrett, discusses the hypocrisy of the French government, which condemned (rightly) the Charlie Hebdo attacks while arresting as a "terrorist" an advocate of the movement to boycott Israel. (Incidentally, the fellow they arrested happened to be Jewish.) Barrett then goes on to discuss the sheer, unapologetic racism displayed by many member of Bibi Netanyahu's government -- including calls for out-and-out genocide.

It's a good, brief speech. Barrett takes a minute or so to warm up, but when he gets going, he gets going. I warn you: By the end you will be shaking with rage at the sheer hypocrisy displayed by western governments.

Adelson and BDS.  The BDS movment (boycott, divestment and sanctions) is the one thing Israel fears the most. That is why casino magnate Sheldon Adelson -- a man who arguably should be tried for treason, since his first (and perhaps only) loyalties go to a foreign government -- headed up a secret conclave in which a strategy was devised to combat BDS advocates.

How to counter Adelson? Organization and investigation.

One possibly fruitful area of inquiry involves drugs and money laundering.

Adelson, who lost a son to drug abuse, has established himself as a fierce opponent of marijuana legalization. His wife is a doctor who treats addiction. He has donated heavily to organizations which fight substance abuse. I am sure that his passion for this cause is genuine.

Nevertheless, everyone knows -- or should know -- that casinos have long history of serving as money laundering operations for drug cartels. An entire website, Casino Watch, is devoted to the "dark side of gaming."

Are you completely certain that Adelson's casinos are free of this taint? If so, you may want to check out this NYT story from 2013. Also see this Media Matters piece from 2014: "Bribery, Money-Laundering, And Islamophobia: The Sheldon Adelson Story The Media Forgot."
In 2012, Adelson's corporation came under three different investigations from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), an anti-bribery statute. Additionally, the Times reported at the time that several of the company's subsidiaries also "came under investigation by Chinese regulators."

Adelson allegedly attempted to bribe the Chief Executive of Macau, where a substantial portion of his casino business was located, and reportedly instructed Sands Corp. to bribe a Macau legislator with about $700,000 in "legal fees." (ProPublica reported that "several Las Vegas Sands executives resigned or were fired after expressing concerns" about the fee.) A former Sands Corp. executive also alleged that Adelson fired him after he refused to engage in illegal activity and protested the presence of Chinese organized crime syndicates in Sands' Macau casinos.

Adelson initially insisted that he was being unfairly targeted, but Sands Corp.'s own audit committee ultimately admitted there were "likely violations" of the anti-bribery law. And in August 2013, Sands Corp. agreed to pay the federal government more than $47 million in a settlement to resolve a separate money-laundering investigation, in which the casinos were accused of "accepting millions from high-rolling gamblers accused of drug trafficking and embezzlement."
Let us pause here to note another hypocrisy: Adelson calls Obama a "socialist," yet he (Adelson) has staunchly opposed the legalization of online gaming. Most libertarians support online gaming. Moreover, many libertarians would not hesitate to use the S-word to describe government intrusion into that area. Funny, innit, how gazillionaires are perfectly happy with Big Gummint as long as Big Gummint serves their interests?

I strongly urge you to watch the video about BDS embedded below. It's short, it's zippy, and it's very well-produced.

Yessir, that's my Bibi! Bibi Netanyahu's brief appearance in the video below (a little past the minute mark) is fall-off-your-chair hilarious. He accuses people like yours truly of advocating a boycott of Israel while at the same time (get this!) not wanting to boycott ISIS.

This charge is truly insane. Nobody advocates buying anything from ISIS. Along with many other writers, I have devoted numerous hours to exposing the true origins of ISIS, which was created by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the US and Israel as a proxy army against the government of Syria.

If Bibi truly were against ISIS, he would break off all relations with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey -- the nations that fund ISIS.

You are spot on. As American's, how can we support the dispossession and ethnic cleansing Israel has committed since it's inception? We have a moral duty to stop this by withholding our tax dollars and military giveaways that enable this murderous regime to exist in it's present form.
If Bibi truly were against ISIS, he would break off all relations with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey -- the nations that fund ISIS.

I don't believe Israel has formal relations with either Qatar or Saudi Arabia, so there's not really anything to "break off" there. That's kind of like urging Obama to break off US relations with North Korea.

Turkey is another matter, of course. I hope Erdogan's recent humiliation at the polls might take care of that.
There have been a flurry of stories, from a wide variety of sources, concerning Israel's de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia. Examples:

As for Qater:
Adelson excepts the many socialist aspects of Israel's economics to be sure.
Justin Raimondo has an excellent piece out on dual citizenship which, astonishingly, Congress members are not required to divulge. The central concern is dual US-Israeli Congress members.
Conn Hallinan points to an interesting development:

Gathering in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh were Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, newly crowned Saudi King Salman, and the organizer of the get-together, the emir of Qatar. The meeting was an opportunity for Turkey and the Saudis to bury a hatchet over Ankara’s support — which Riyadh’s opposes — to the Muslim Brotherhood, and to agree to cooperate in overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

Details here.
I'm afraid BDS will be illegal soon in the U.S. - Congress has decided that you do not have the right to not like Israel. Section 914 is only one of the stealth amendments being slipped into congressional bills [h/t james_cole at ZH]:

(8) supports States of the United States examining a company’s promotion or compliance with unsanctioned boycotts, divestment from, or sanctions against Israel as part of its consideration in awarding grants and contracts and supports the divestment of State assets from companies that support or promote actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.

Which encourages state governments to boycott or sanction (withhold contracts) from companies that participate in the Israeli BDS movement, or divest from BDS-participating company's investment. Indeed, not only should states BDS companies that engage in Israeli BDS, but they should do so for companies that merely SUPPORT it.

The preceding paragraph in the amendment is even more bizzare:

(7) supports efforts to prevent investigations or prosecutions by governments or international organizations of United States persons on the sole basis of such persons doing business with Israel, with Israeli entities, or in territories controlled by Israel;

Prohibit investigations or prosecutions? Isn't that kind of illegal?
But wait... there's MORE. That TPP that passed but didn't pass because the TPA was fake voted down? Well, the TPA will pass next week after a little drama, meaning the TPP will go for signature, too.

Hidden in the TPP:

"...In both houses of Congress, the relevant committees have voted (unanimously in the Senate and by voice vote in the House) to include in their respective TPA bills an important provision backed by both Democrats and Republicans regarding Israel. The provision, supported by AJC, would make it a principal trade negotiating objective of the United States to discourage trading partners from taking actions that could prejudice or discourage commercial activity between the U.S. and Israel, to seek the elimination of state-sponsored foreign boycotts against Israel, and to end compliance with the Arab League Boycott of Israel...

The death penalty for even mentioning BDS is sure to come next.
Gareth Porter has a terrific piece out on US relations to al Nusrah for those interested.

It seems that from early 2015 Saudi Arabia and Turkey overcame differences and backed al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham in Idlib Province in a new military command called the Army of Conquest. And it was this group that captured Idlib on March 24.

Charles Lister, a senior analyst at Brookings Institution Doha, blew the whistle on the key detail -- that US personnel in an 'operations room' control centre in Turkey had been 'facilitating' the Idlib success by the Army of Conquest.

This despite the fact that al Nusrah has rejected US overtures to distance itself from al Qaeda and has instead publicly affirmed its loyalty to them.

So there you have it. The US was previously bombing al Nusrah but now that it has been reconstituted as the Army of Conquest and given Turkish and Saudi blessing then the US is on board to help it defeat Assad.

There's still that pesky issue of the US providing direct military support to murderous jihadists allied to al Qaeda. Some truths are best concealed from the public for as long as possible I guess.

btw, Charles Lister is no lightweight terrorism commentator. For him to point to US involvement is significant.
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