Weekly word: blacklistAugust 26, 2010
Random House defines a blacklist as “a list of persons under suspicion, disfavor, censure, etc.”
We often apply the term “blacklist” to any terrorist designations by the U.S. State Department, Treasury Department, the United Nations, and FATF. But each organization’s blacklisting carries its own specific meaning.
The State Department designates foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Designation serves as a stigma and a sign of American disapproval, and members of designated FTOs are “inadmissible and removable” from the United States.
Treasury designates and sanctions countries and individuals under a mix of executive and Congressional authorities, usually within the context of identifying people, companies, or countries that have some role in financing terrorism, not just espousing terrorist views or even engaging in terrorist acts. Treasury designations require American banks to freeze any accounts held by the designee and prevent Americans from doing business with the terrorists.
Designations by the United Nations, for example, blacklisting by the UN’s Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee, result in asset freezes, bans on international travel, and arms embargos in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1267.
FATF identifies countries that are sponsors of or have such weak controls that they are high risks for money laundering. Officially FATF calls them “non-cooperative countries,” but it’s a blacklist. Corporations in FATF member countries should avoid doing business with blacklisted countries or be at risk of indirectly helping those countries launder money for terror.
By the way, FATF is based in Paris, and they should probably blacklist France itself for its steadfast business relationships with Iran, itself a blacklisted country.