Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

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The 13 sitting senators who used to support disclosure of Saudi funding of 9/11 hijackers

January 18, 2015

Saudi Arabia provided some financial and logistical support to the 9/11 hijackers through interlocutors in San Diego and Sarasota prior to the attacks of 2001. Congress released a report in 2002 about intelligence failures and investigative shortcomings before and after the attacks. A 28 page classified portion of that report dealt with the Saudi role. In 2003, 46 senators signed a letter urging Bush to declassify that section. Thirteen of those senators are still in office, but they have been virtually silent on the subject of declassification since Obama’s inauguration. They are:

  • Harry Reid (D-NV), minority leader
  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
  • Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Other signatories of the letter included Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and John Kerry. They should all publicly reaffirm their support for transparency on this subject. A bipartisan bill in the House currently has more than 20 co-sponsors for declassification of the 28 pages.

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Saudi Arabia peddling influence in U.S. Congress

September 1, 2014

Somehow this one slipped by us last year. In case you missed it too, the Washington Post did an expose in 2013 about international trips by Congressional staffers paid for by foreign governments.

The #3 sponsor of these junkets is, according to data the Post compiled from 2006 to 2011, is Saudi Arabia. Vox.com recently put the information into this map:

Terror sponsor also sponsors Congress staff trips

Rest assured, these staffers aren’t receiving a fair and balanced view of the two-headed Saudi-Wahhabi royalist theocracy while they’re there.

If there’s a valid fact-finding or diplomatic mission, then let the staffers file expense reports with our government as they would for any other official business. If there’s no official business, travel there during your own vacation time on your own dime.

Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be spending this money if it didn’t think it was getting something in return.

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Holder stonewalls on HLF documents

June 22, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder has once again refused to supply Congress with the same documents that were provided to the defendants in the Holy Land Foundation trial who were convicted of funding Hamas under questioning from Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) during a congressional hearing.

Yes, you read that correctly.  The “Holy Land Five” and their attorneys were given access to materials with information about their own crimes which the Justice Department will not even share with the members of Congress who represent the district where the Holy Land Foundation perpetrated its felonious terror funding operation.

Jihad Watch says that Holder “ducked” the question about whether he would provide the documents.  But that is being too charitable.  In video from the hearing (h/t Creeping Sharia), Holder says that DOJ could provide documents that are already in the public domain, which is another way of saying that they won’t provide the documents Rep. Gohmert requested.

The Department of Justice has done a terrible job policing Islamic charities since Mr. Holder and Pres. Obama came into office.  There is probably enough evidence of wrongdoing about the HLF’s co-conspirators in the case that if DOJ released the documents, it would increase the pressure from the public to prosecute HLF’s partners.

Note the passion and conviction of Rep. Gohmert, and the pompous indifference of Mr. Holder to the seriousness of the request:

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Holton to Congress: Currently no disclosure or transparency standards for zakat, sharia products

June 17, 2012

Chris Holton, vice president at the Center for Security Policy and editor of Shariah Finance Watch, recently briefed staff members from ten Congressional offices on sharia-compliant finance.  During a question and answer period, staffers showed particular interest in the lack of disclosure and transparency requirements on Islamic finance.

One questioner asked Mr. Holton whether, even after all the new financial regulations of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, there are still truly no reporting requirements for banks to disclose whether they have sharia portfolios and where their zakat expenditures are directed.  You’ve got to listen to the answer during three minutes of powerful audio from the the briefing:

In an era where nearly every single aspect of the U.S. financial sector is taxed, regulated, and scrutinized, it is remarkable that banks are not required to tell investors whether the products marketed to them as “ethical” are actually sharia products, that the banks do not have to disclose what charities receive zakat from the Islamic bank divisions and sharia boards, and or even such basic information as whether the bank has a sharia division.

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Democrat to Europe: Prove it isn’t Iran crude

November 4, 2011

During an Oct. 13 hearing on Iran sanctions, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) described his proposal to make the European Union certify that any refined fuel products it sells to the United States did not originate from Iranian crude oil.

The concern of the power establishment is that an outright embargo on Iranian crude would limit global supply, damage the fragile economic recovery, and ultimately enrich Iran through soaring oil prices.  But the current sanctions regime hasn’t done much to deter or delay Iran from acquiring the hydrogen bomb.  Sen. Menendez’s proposal is an effort to split the difference, and get Europe to do the legwork of finding alternate suppliers to Iranian crude.  In a question to a State Department flunky (to which he later received a boilerplate answer), Menendez explains his reasoning:

The full two hour hearing can be viewed on C-SPAN’s website.

Perhaps Europe can explore for oil off the shores of America where environmentalists won’t let the U.S. do it, refine it, and sell it back to the U.S. as a certified non-Iranian product.  Or the U.S. could expand its own oil production and cut out all the middlemen.  Just saying…

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Video: Sen. Kirk confirms ISI funds Haqqani

October 21, 2011

Money Jihad noted over a year ago that the Haqqani network is probably funded by Pakistan’s spy agency, the ISI.

Navy reservist and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) gives the most recent first-hand confirmation of this disturbing fact in a new video (h/t The Cable) released after his recent two-week annual training to Afghanistan.  Sen. Kirk notes that “The Pakistani government continues to provide financing, operational support, and protection for the Haqqani network in western Pakistan.”  Take a look:

The ISI’s financial and administrative support for the Haqqani network is especially troubling in light of a new CENTCOM report this week that described Haqqani network as more dangerous to the U.S. than the Taliban or Al Qaeda.  Remarkably, there are still people—especially senior State Department officials—who think the U.S. should be supporting the government of Pakistan through foreign aid.

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Terror operatives afoot in Venezuela

August 26, 2011

Roger Noriega, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, has presented chilling congressional testimony on the role of Venezuela in sponsoring Hezbollah in Latin America.  Roll tape:

The testimony before the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence took place in July, which snuck by us until now (h/t Eju! TV) Here are some additional key excerpts from Amb. Noriega’s written testimony:

  • Hezbollah and the Quds Force “cooperate to carry out fundraising, money-laundering schemes, narcotics smuggling, proselytization, recruitment, and training. We can identify more than 80 operatives in at least 12 countries throughout the region…”
  • Hezbollah is “is raising funds through various criminal and commercial operations, recruiting converts from among disaffected youth and others, and developing its operational capabilities in our own Hemisphere.”
  • “Hezbollah’s presence in Latin America is growing significantly with the support of the Chávez regime in Venezuela. Chávez, who has a track record of supporting Colombian narcoterrorists, has cooperated with Iran to provide political support, financing, or arms to Hezbollah, Hamas, or Palestinian Islamic Jihad in this Hemisphere and elsewhere. For example, Venezuela’s Margarita Island has eclipsed the infamous “Tri-Border Area” – the region where Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay come together in South America – as a principal safe haven and center of Hezbollah operations in the Americas.”
  • “A key operative in the Hezbollah network in Latin America is Ghazi Atef Salameh Nassereddine Abu Ali, a man who was born in Lebanon, became a Venezuelan citizen about 10 years ago, and now is Venezuela’s No. 2 diplomat in Syria. Along with at least two of his brothers, he manages a network that raises and launders money and recruits and trains operatives to expand Hezbollah’s influence in Venezuela and throughout Latin America. Nassereddine was black-listed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in June 2008 for his fundraising and logistical support on behalf of Hezbollah.”
  • “As recently as two weeks ago, a U.S. State Department official told this Congress that Hezbollah activity in the Western Hemisphere was confined to ‘fundraising’ – as if that were comforting. The fact is, that assertion grossly understates the growing Hezbollah threat in our Hemisphere, as my foregoing testimony indicates.”
  • “The cocaine kingpin Walid Makled, several of whose companies did business with the Hezbollah operative and Venezuelan diplomat Ghazi Nassereddine, confirmed in a televised interview on April 3 that Hezbollah conducts fundraising and operates cocaine labs in Venezuela with the protection of that government.”
  • “Hugo Chávez hosted a terror summit of senior leaders of Hamas (‘supreme leader’ Khaled Meshal), Hezbollah (unnamed “chief of operations”), and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shallah) in Caracas on August 22, 2010. That extraordinary meeting was organized at the suggestion of Iran, and the logistical arrangements were made by Nassereddine.”

Chavez & Hezbo leader Nasrallah

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Mack: Venezuela is state sponsor of terror

August 24, 2011

Chavez aims, but Mack hits the target

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) says what we should do is declare “Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism due to its continued material and financial support of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Hezbollah, the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).”

The allegation from a sitting congressman that Venezuela is funding Hezbollah and the IRGC has scarcely been covered by the media, but it should be.  From Rep. Mack’s press release (with a hat tip to La Gaceta):

WASHINGTON – Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Connie Mack (Fl-14) today pushed five amendments in a full committee mark up of The Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012 to bring fiscal discipline to the nation’s foreign policy and cease aid to those countries which harm America’s freedom and security.

Mack’s five amendments would:

  • Eliminate foreign aid funds for Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Boliviia
  • Cease U.S. contributions to the Organization of American States.
  • Eliminate U.S. funding for Global Climate Change Initiative Activities.
  • Establish a Congressional recorded vote which states “The delay in the authorization of the Presidential Permit is threatening the economic and national security benefits of the Keystone XL Pipeline.”
  • Name Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism due to its continued material and financial support of the Revolutionary ArmedForces of Colombia (FARC), Hezbollah, the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Mack stated:  “Let’s engage our allies and friends, but let’s not continue to support organizations and countries that perpetuate destruction of freedom and democracy,” Mack said.

“With our financial house in disarray in our homeland, the least the Congress and the President can do is streamline our foreign dollars to our allies and engage in efforts to improve our economy at home; such as, the immediate passage of the pending Free Trade Agreements with Colombia and Panama.  Additionally, with American businesses saddled with environmental protections already, other countries should do their part to improve the global climate, not just the U.S.” Mack added.

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House GOP against aid to Hamas

August 23, 2011

…Putting them squarely at odds against the Democratic administration…

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen

Not to mention that America is going broke.  What a novel proposal that the U.S. must certify that foreign aid doesn’t go to terrorist organizations before it is distributed!  From the Washington Post on Jul. 21:

House moves to restrict U.S. foreign aid

By Mary Beth Sheridan

House Republicans sought to put their stamp on U.S. foreign policy Wednesday by advancing a bill that would slash federal payments to the United Nations and other international bodies and slap restrictions on aid to Pakistan, Egypt and others.

With the bill, the House Foreign Affairs Committee sought to rein in some of President Obama’s policies and to slice $6.4 billion from his $51 billion request for 2012 for the State Department and foreign operations.

The measure’s passage was a foregone conclusion because of the panel’s Republican majority. Even if it passes the full House, though, the bill is expected to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where the Democratic majority is preparing a State Department authorization bill of its own.

Still, the bill could signal to lawmakers how to shape the appropriations bill, a separate piece of legislation that determines where the money actually goes.

The committee’s measure mandates that security assistance be provided to Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority only if the Obama adminstration certified that no members of terrorist organizations or their sympathizers were serving in their governments. That was aimed at Islamist groups such as the Palestinian organization Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah — which have political power but are on the U.S. terrorism list — and the Muslim Brotherhood, which is expected to do well in Egypt’s upcoming elections. It is not considered a terrorist group.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Time to stop the PA aid

July 22, 2011

The U.S. has finally smartened up and stalled some of its financial aid to Pakistan.

As the Palestinian Authority considers reconciliation with Hamas, the U.S. Congress is finally having second thoughts about extensive foreign aid to the Palestinian territories.

Couple the rekindling of the romance with Hamas with the news that West Bank residents enjoy a lesser poverty rate than residents of Washington, D.C., and the decision shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

The Palestinian Authority and its PLO predecessor have funded terrorism even more openly than has Pakistan.  Shouldn’t the same freeze on foreign aid apply to the PA, especially in these days of budget austerity?

Not so, says the White House.  Pres. Obama insists (h/t Israel Matzav) on continued funding for the Palestinian Authority

Can 2012 come too soon?