Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

RNC: Deeper probes into widening money laundering scandal

Things are starting to emerge: How big this White House scandal is. It's not just war crimes, but massive funds flowing in and out of offshore accounts.

The question is: Will anything be done about it? At this juncture, I remain skeptical. There needs to be some comprehensive work to bring all this information together, get a sponsor, and some lobbying to get DoJ to pay serious attention.

The 67 day delay into Plane sends a clear message: The White House is interfering with DoJ.

Subj: Prospects the Rule of law will prevail over criminal thugs in the White House


You asked above, "Constant, do you think there is any reasonable chance these snakes might slither away from ALL of this?"


I have read your link and the Isle of Man issues and am unfamiliar with Five Star Trust.

Although I find the scope of the potential money laundering, links to BCCI-BoA-Iran Contra to be large, given the lack of aggressive DoJ interest in these matters I have little confidence US investigators will review the matters.

As to your specific question whether the snakes will avoid all consequences, it depends on how we define consequences:

The question becomes how do we define "getting away":

A. Pardons all around;
B. No investigation;
C. No indictments;
D. Re-election;
E. No impeachment;
F. No trial for vote fraud, money laundering;
G. No frog walk for Jeb Bush, Rove, or Libby;
H. Or something else?

However, I am comforted that the US Auditors in Iraq are looking into corruption and contract fraud; I am not clear that there will ncessarilily be any compelling action to trace US corporation's link from the oil-for-food in Iraq to allegations of siphoning off funds from Iraq contracts back to US campaign contributions.

In short, given the enormity of the issues, and lack of interest DoJ shows in ensuring that the rule of law is aggressively enforced, and the pervasive pattern of bungling by FBI agents, and the scope of the 9-11/TWA800/Intelligence Committee whitewashes I put the odds at better than 50-50 that nothing will happen.

What's needed: People need to keep hammering the issues home, showing how the situations are linked, and continue to compare the allegations, with the evidence, and instructions in the US Attorney Manual.

Is it hopeless? Of course not, as we have seen the Downing Street Memo be the catalyst for greater pressure and attention. I think it is possible, but what is needed is a "big picture approach" to the scandal in terms that the small-minded FBI agents can understand. A 67-day delay shows that the White House is pushing for inaction, not accountability.


Original question: do you think there is any reasonable chance these snakes might slither away from ALL of this?

Answer: Yes, given the lack of interest the Congress and law enforcement community have shown toward the rule of law, there is a greater than 50-50 chance that nothing will be done.

However, if there are substantial independent efforts showing massive corruption, loss of funding, and direct violations of the law in a manner that even the most stupid FBI agent could see "dovetails clearly with the US Attorney Manual," then there might be a chance, weather permitting, that someone might get off their ass and actually look into the matters.

However, given Morgenthau [Manhattan DA] is linked to allegations that his office fabricated video evidence to justify detaining RNC-protestors, then it is reasonable to ask to what extent the Manhattan DA's office isn't there to actually hold anyone accountable, but to create the illusion of an investigation, and then do nothing once the facts are known.

Moreover, there is a reasonable expectation that the "rule of corruption and incompetence by stupid FBI agents distracted by non-sense wars on terror" will simply be used as a pretext to avoid taking action or looking into the matters.

If private investigators, researchers, and bloggers put their minds to it, there could be a credible investigation with some serious questions.

At this juncture, I do not see a compelling "hook" that will mobilize bloggers. The issue is huge.

What's needed is something very specific that links the White House with a very specific action. At this juncture it is very vague and non-specific.

What's needed

There needs to be a specific, public action taken by someone in the White House that sends a clear message of where they stand. For example, the Plame-leaking did this--it was a single event that was clearly wrong, and many things came unglued.

Right now, as soon as anyone mentions "2000/2004 voting" and "money overseas" their eyes start to glaze over, with memories of BCCI and Iran-Contra.

Even if the facts are there, just as we saw in Iran Contra, there will be Congressman [like Cheney at the time] who will be on the committees to "investigate." Given the RNC "control" of the three branches, there's little prospect much will get down.

However, there is one thing that is happening that could bring this undone. If you recall, Senator McCain is pushing to have the Army be held to rules of conduct that require prisoners be treated per Army regulations. The White House doesn't like this as it will undo the "ability to commit torture."

If the Guantanamo Pictures are released, and cause enough public outrage, and the DoD Appropriations Bill is hit with the right attention, then there is a real prospect that the RNC members in the Senate are going to see that "they too can move without fear of consequences from Rove or the White House."

At that juncture, if the DoD Appropriations bill is sufficiently trashed by the RNC membership in the Senate, there could be some momentum to look at specific events that are raising questions about the funding in re 2000/2004.

At this juncture, I think the momentum is potentially there; the great roadblock is whether enough RNC Senators feel as though they can choose the Constitution and rule of law over a tyrant.

Right now, they are blindly following the President, but there are signs that things are starting to shift, especially given the DoD Appropriations and the uncooperative vote on the Patriot Act.

I think something that could change the balance is the unfolding abuse scandal in the CA national guard [17 under investigation; extorting Iraqis for protection money], and the next round of prisoner abuse photos from Guantanamo.