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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Justice Department’

US Seizing Iran Owned NYC 36-Story Building

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The Justice Department has conducted the biggest seizure of terrorism-related assets in its history, confiscating a 36-story office building in Manhattan from an Iranian straw company.

A district court ruled on Tuesday that the office building’s owners, the Alavi Foundation and Assa Corp., were “shielding and concealing Iranian assets” in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in press release: “The Judge’s opinion upholds what was the contention of this office from outset: ‘Assa was (and is) a front for Bank Melli, and thus a front for the Government of Iran.’”

The building, at 650 Fifth Avenue, was built in the 1970s by a foundation linked to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Iranian government took over the building following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and since then it has been owned by a variety of banks and shell corporations, according to the Dept. of Justice.

The ruling allows the U.S. to seize bank accounts and other properties belonging to the building’s owner, and also, possibly, use the proceeds to compensate victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism.

Congress Must Pursue Leakgate

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

On its face, it might seem that Attorney General Eric Holder’s appointment of two veteran federal prosecutors to mount a criminal investigation into the recent spate of national security leaks is a step in the right direction. Indeed, those appointments seem to have quieted congressional calls for the appointment of a special independent investigative counsel and holding congressional hearings into what will doubtless come to be known as Leakgate. Yet there are some issues that come to mind.

For one thing, while we have no reason to doubt the integrity or qualifications of the two attorneys, they will be working within the confines of and answerable to higher-ups in the Justice Department, which, after all, serves as the administration’s legal adjunct. And they will have to work with the ordinary powers prosecutors have at their disposal.

It will be recalled that it was the extraordinary powers granted to the special prosecutors in the Watergate episode – Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski – that engendered much litigation and conflict but also enabled them to develop and follow leads in order to make headway in the case.

But more significant is that while the leaks certainly require attention in terms of criminal law, they surely have an overriding political aspect, raising as they do the possibility of possible Obama administration involvement – something especially significant now, in the run up to the November presidential election.

Holding public officials politically responsible – or exonerating them – for leaking to journalists in advance of an election is primary. Yet the secretiveness attendant to a criminal investigation, which will feature the empanelling of grand juries, issuance of subpoenas and interviews of potential witnesses, will also tend to dry up the public flow of information.

Those with inside knowledge will doubtless be counseled by their attorneys to keep their silence outside of the criminal investigation. And this would be true of a criminal investigation by either regular or special prosecutors. So the chances are the public will hear nothing more about the leaks until after the election, when the Justice Department investigation is concluded.

A further lesson from Watergate also presents itself. A robust and very public set of Senate hearings chaired and co-chaired by Senators Sam Ervin and Howard Baker were conducted at the same time as the criminal investigation – which resulted in a number of convictions of senior Nixon administration figures – and which certainly did not hamper it in any way. More to the point, the process of gaining those convictions was not compromised by the public hearings.

Voters have a right to know how the leaks of such important secrets came about, particularly as they prepare to cast their ballots in November. Properly designed Watergate-type congressional hearings would seem eminently appropriate to the task at hand.

Buchanan Again

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
Over the years the Monitor has on several occasions revisited the matter of Pat Buchanan’s apparent obsession with Jews and Israel. The list of his statements about Jews and Israel, ranging from the insensitive to the derogatory, continues to grow, most recently with his complaint that if the Senate confirms Obama nominee Elena Kagan, “Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats.”
As with almost every one of Buchanan’s previous remarks concerning Israel or Jews, there are those who insist his words are being taken out of context or willfully misinterpreted. But with Buchanan it’s long reached the point where even if one were inclined to cut him slack on this or that individual comment, the sheer body of his work amounts to a damning indictment of his attitudes and mindset.
Buchanan’s strange concern for accused Nazi war criminals, coupled with his disdain for Holocaust survivors, whom he’s described as suffering from “group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics,” led Alan A. Ryan, Jr., a former Justice Department prosecutor, to characterize Buchanan as “the spokesman for Nazi war criminals in America.”
And Buchanan’s deep-seated resentment of what he’s described as “the caustic, cutting cracks about my church and my popes from both Israel and its amen corner in the United States” exploded to the surface in the late 1980s over the controversial move by Carmelite nuns to erect a permanent convent at Auschwitz.
Upset with conciliatory statements made by the late Cardinal John O’Connor and other church leaders, he sneered: “If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When Cardinal O’Connor of New York declares this ‘is not a fight between Catholics and Jews,’ he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith.”
In 1982, Buchanan referred to the mass killing of Palestinians by Lebanese Christians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps as the “Rosh Hashanah massacre,” and opined that “the Israeli army is looking toward a blackening of its name to rival what happened to the French army in the Dreyfus Affair.”
So Buchanan already had something of a history when he gained notoriety, shortly before the 1991 Gulf War, by describing the U.S. Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” and claiming that “There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East: the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.”
If anything, Buchanan has become even more outspoken about Jews and Israel over the past two decades. He’s authored books and columns arguing that the U.S. should not have fought Nazi Germany in World War II and has been in the forefront of those charging that the war in Iraq was dreamed up by a cabal of neoconservative Jews and their Knesset handlers.
In 2004, he accused President Bush of “outsourcing American Middle East policy to Ariel Sharon.”
In 2005, he asked, “Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam? Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.”
Also in 2005 he wrote, “Neocons say we attack them because they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon.”
In 2007 he observed, “If you want to know ethnicity and power in the United States Senate, 13 members of the Senate are Jewish folks who are from 2 percent of the population. That is where real power is at .”
And then just last year, in a column that appeared on Good Friday, a seemingly demented Buchanan wrote that the Justice Department’s determination to deport John Demjanjuk to Germany was reminiscent of “the same satanic brew of hate and revenge that drove another innocent Man up Calvary that first Good Friday 2,000 years ago.”
In other words, Buchanan likened the plight of an accused Nazi war criminal to that of Jesus Christ, the very object of his – Buchanan’s – religious veneration.

For every comment noted above, there are at least four or five others in the Buchanan oeuvre – dozens and dozens of statements oozing hostility and vitriol. A simple Google search using words like “Buchanan” and “Jews” will keep anyone busy for quite some time.

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/buchanan-again/2010/05/18/

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