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    18 February 2007

    Republican "Emboldening the Enemy" | White House Connections

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    This is a far more serious charge than the typical rhetoric that emanates from Republican politicians (like the Congressman who uses fake Lincoln quotes in a lame attempt to ignore the obvious), pundits, and operatives about Democrats. No, this time it appears to be serious and based on reality.

    Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to an indictment accusing him of terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and other charges. The charges carried a potential penalty of 95 years in prison.

    On NewsMeat I found this:

    (Click to go to Newsmeat)

    And CBS dug up this...
    CBS News has confirmed that Alishtari is a donor to the Republican Party, as he claims on his curriculum vitae. Alishtari gave $15,500 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amount includes $13,000 in 2003, a year when he claims to have been named NRCC New York State Businessman of the Year.

    Alishtari also claims to be a lifetime member of the National Republican Senate Committee's Inner Circle, which the NRCC describes as "an impressive cross-section of American society – community leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, and sports and entertainment celebrities – all of whom hold a deep interest in our nation's prosperity and security."

    I've sent a question to the "inner circle" asking if all members "embolden the enemy." I'm eagerly awaiting their reply.


    In a later addition, the Cunning Realist (h/t TPM) finds the defendants purported CV and notes:
    Now check out this CV posted by someone with the same name (note: I have no idea if it's authentic or represents the same person) which notes a 2003 appointment to the "White House Business Advisory Committee."

    Note the entrepreneurial business background with a focus on technology/security. Have any of those businesses ever received government contracts or funds? Any direct or indirect contact in the past with anyone from the Bush administration or Congress?

    Soooo... we'll see where this goes but if the defendant was committing and/or under investigation for fraud as pointed out in the AP coverage and was close to the White house as the CV suggests, then we're back where we often end up with this administration: What did they know and when did they know it?

    [Final Update]
    Josh Marshall points us to what may be the defendant's blog: Alishtari's blog (which is now offline). It talks about some supposed connection with VP Cheney:
    ...in a rather rambling post there's a reference to an alleged meeting with VP Dick Cheney. "When I went to DC in the Fall of 2003 and met with VP Cheney, I was first in a room full of advisors where I asked how to resolve this and they advised me to talk to counsels which led to this solution."

    So we have a NRCC champion, VP Cheney friend, and a national security related contractor allegedly donating money to terrorist. This... this would be a problem.


    Additional media coverage:

    The Blotter
    The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) won't say what it plans to do with thousands of dollars in campaign donations it received from an accused terror financier...

    NY Post (no mention of Republican connections)

    Reuters (no mention)

    Newsday (no mention)

    The NY Journal News
    On his blog and on an MSN group titled "atalishtarispeeches," Alishtari calls himself a "conservative Republican" and a "Reagan Republican" devoted to peace, dedicated to halting child slavery as well as "Internet fraud, violence and online scams hurting innocent children, women, and families so help me God."

    CT Blog
    Elsewhere, on an Internet forum, Alishtari described himself as "ex-victim" of identity theft and claims the following, which might also havae a connection to his case: "Mr. Abdul Tawala Alishtari successfully stopped crooks using his good name but they still scammed hundreds of millions USD from innocents victims woldwide from their ID theft trying to blame anyone but themselves for their scams and ID theft done with impunity and hubris. In the specific case, the pertinent government authorities, in that instance, caught one felon who later on admitted his crime in written settlement. That agency, OSC, in Canada sent release letters to Mr. Alishtari's company."

    I wish I had time to pursue both of those statements.

    Alishtari was no simple businessman; he used his money, in part, to buy a seat at some interesting political tables, all Republican and all after the 9-11 attacks. He made $15,250 in political contributions to GOP entities between April 2002 and the end of 2004 (see the details here). A resume that he posted at MSN Groups boasts of membership in GOP groups open only to high-rollers. It would be interesting to determine which Congressmen and Bush Administration officials met with Alishtari and what they discussed, and whether his companies were awarded major federal government contracts in the past 5 years.


    Those freeper's got wind of this and then once the defendant was identified as a Republican they -- like nothing happened -- brushed it aside. I wonder why?

    Here is some of the defendants poetry.

    Posted by Geoff


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