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07-07-2010, 01:51 PM   #1
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You can't trust anyone..Mark D. Siljander

and of course bad Bush laws lest we "forget"..........
"It's not clear whether Siljander ever engaged in the lobbying push," said John Wood, U.S. attorney in Kansas City.[46] Nevertheless, IARA paid Siljander with money that was part of U.S. government funding awarded to the charity years earlier for relief work it promised to perform in Africa, the indictment says.[46] Prosecutors initially alleged that Siljander was paid $50,000 by the Islamic American Relief Agency for acting as a lobbyist, money that was assigned by the U.S. Agency for International Development for other unnamed tasks. On January 28, 2008, Siljander appeared for a brief hearing in Kansas City, Missouri and pleaded not guilty in Federal court before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.[47]

However, the source of the allegedly misused funds, the USAID, a government agency tasked with promoting American values worldwide, indicates that none of their funds were misused: "According to the most recent USAID Office of Inspector General report, which covers October 2006 to the end of March 2007, "OIG oversight activities during this period did not identify any instances where terrorist organizations received USAID funds." USAID audit procedures should be enough to prevent terrorist financing."[48][49]

Further, the USAID indicates that there is no mechanism for effectively monitoring "blacklisted" groups: "USAID cannot confirm or deny whether an individual passed or failed screening." This secrecy was part of the focus of comments OMB Watch submitted to USAID, which stated, "PVS will more than likely result in the creation of a secret USAID blacklist of ineligible grant applicants, based on PVS results. Organizations and individuals erroneously listed as having ties with terrorism will have no way of knowing they are deemed as such, or why. Innocent and well deserving grantees will have no formal means of appealing such decisions."[48]

It has recently been admitted by the Bush Administration in conjunction with a variety of organizations that efforts to effectively screen groups from potential involvement in support of terrorism have been plagued with errors at every level. "The decision, announced Tuesday at a meeting of U.S. officials and representatives of nonprofit groups, was made after lawmakers and several large aid organizations said that the global screening requirements were onerous and unwarranted. An official of the U.S. Agency for International Development had earlier promised to defer the program, which initially was to have taken effect Monday."

Charges of money laundering are at the root of the Siljander indictment, with "conspiracy and obstruction" built around those accusations. However, the basis of the Bush Department of Justice "money laundering" charges theoretically make any funds received from a blacklisted charity, a list devoid of "due process", whether banning is public or secret, whether funds are distributed before or after "blacklisting," guilty of a criminal act in support of "terrorism."

With such overbroad application of enforcement, according to OMBWatch,[51] any vendor or supplier could face prosecution. Equally, no person could donate funds to any charity organization where the remote chance that any relationship, no matter how tenuous or obscure, may exist or have existed with any organization or individual tied to a "blacklist."

Mark D. Siljander - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
AFP: Ex-US lawmaker admits being agent for banned Islamic charity
WASHINGTON — A former US lawmaker pleaded guilty Wednesday to obstruction of justice and working as an unregistered agent for a foreign charity linked to global terrorism, officials said.

Mark Deli Siljander, 59, a former US representative from Michigan, pleaded guilty to charges contained in a 2008 indictment related to his work for the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) of Columbia, Missouri, the Justice Department said.

Co-defendant Abdel Azim El-Siddig, a former IARA fundraiser, also pleaded guilty to conspiring with Siljander and others to hire Siljander to lobby for IARA's removal from a Senate Finance Committee list of charities suspected of having terrorist ties.

Siljander, who also had been an alternate representative to the United Nations General Assembly, had concealed the organization for whom he was lobbying, prosecutors said.

"A former congressman engaged in illegal lobbying for a charity suspected of funding international terrorism. He then used his own charities to hide the payments for his criminal activities," US Attorney Beth Phillips said.

"Siljander repeatedly lied to FBI agents and prosecutors investigating serious crimes related to national security. With today's guilty pleas, all of the defendants in this case have admitted their guilt and will be held accountable for their actions."

Siljander operated a Washington consulting business called Global Strategies, and worked with the Missouri-based Islamic charity that was the office of an international organization headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan and linked to Al-Qaeda.
AFP: Ex-US lawmaker admits being agent for banned Islamic charity
The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (PATRIOT Act) was first passed by a landslide after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to provide law enforcement and intelligence agencies additional powers to thwart terrorist activities; it was reauthorized in 2005. The legislation has been criticized by many from across the ideological spectrum as “one of the most significant threats to civil liberties, privacy and democratic traditions in U.S. history” and as unconstitutional, with certain provisions violating the rights of innocent persons, especially under the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments.

Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-07-2010 at 02:09 PM.

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