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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Froot Loops Launderers and Other Terrorists
Michelle directs me to the Progress Report, which points out that many of the cases the Department of "Justice" touts as victories in the "war on terrorism" (I never used to use so many quote marks!) have, um, nothing to do with terrorism:

The Justice Department has been touting "a list of more than 280 cases that the department cites as evidence that it is winning the war on terrorism." The list has been "regularly highlighted by Ashcroft and other Justice Department officials in speeches and congressional testimony, and even by President Bush." But when the LA Times asked for documentation of the Justice Department claims the "department declined to provide a complete accounting of the terrorism-related prosecutions that Ashcroft and others cite." After the LA Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request they received "a highly redacted accounting covering only about half the number that Ashcroft trumpets." Included in that list were "two New Jersey men, operators of small grocery stores, who were convicted of accepting hundreds of boxes of stolen breakfast cereal, in a crime that occurred 16 months before the terrorist hijackings." A Justice Department spokesman admitted that some of the cases included in the count "don't necessarily involve terrorists or people convicted of terrorism-related crimes."

Michelle also notes some very interesting remarks from Fearmaster Cheney from the same report:

On a visit to Abu Dhabi [in 1996], Cheney criticized U.S. sanctions on Libya saying, "There seems to be an assumption that somehow we know what's best for everybody else and that we are going to use our economic clout to get everybody else to live the way we would like." While many oil CEOs were loathe to attack the U.S. sanctions - especially while visiting foreign nations - Cheney was not. As the Journal of Commerce reported on 5/6/96, "Cheney, Halliburton's chief executive, has publicly slammed the sanctions while others have not."
In May of 1997, Cheney criticized the Congress for tightening sanctions on Libya, and specifically said the oil industry had a right to do business in countries with deadly WMD. As Oil and Gas Journal reported, "Cheney said oil and gas companies must explore where the reserves are, and that means doing business in countries that may have policies that the U.S. does not like." Cheney said, "The long-term horizon of the oil industry is at odds with the short term nature of politics."
The next year, Cheney ratcheted up his campaign, once again criticizing the U.S. security policy on foreign soil. According the Malaysian News Agency reported, "Cheney hit out at his government for imposing economic sanctions like the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act."