Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ever hear of Mark Deli Siljander? Chances are you won't

From Yahoo News(1/16/08) (H/T Cliff Schecter)


WASHINGTON - A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

Mark Deli Siljander, a Michigan Republican when he was in the House, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

A 42-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying — money that turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Siljander, who served in the House from 1981-1987, was appointed by President Reagan to serve as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations for one year in 1987.

He could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. His attorney in Kansas City, J.R. Hobbs, had no immediate comment.

The charges are part of a long-running case against the charity, which had been based in Columbia, Mo., and was designated by the Treasury Department in 2004 as a suspected fundraiser for terrorists.

In the indictment, the government alleges that IARA employed a man who had served as a fundraising aide to Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader and mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The indictment charges IARA with sending approximately $130,000 to help Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom the United States has designated as a global terrorist. The money, sent to bank accounts in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 2003 and 2004, was masked as donations to an orphanage located in buildings that Hekmatyar owned.

Authorities described Hekmatyar as an Afghan mujahedeen leader who has participated in and supported terrorist acts by al-Qaida and the Taliban. The Justice Department said Hekmatyar "has vowed to engage in a holy war against the United States and international troops in Afghanistan."

The charges paint "a troubling picture of an American charity organization that engaged in transactions for the benefit of terrorists and conspired with a former United States congressman to convert stolen federal funds into payments for his advocacy," Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein said.

Siljander founded the Washington-area consulting group Global Strategies Inc. after leaving the government.

The indictment says Siljander was hired by IARA in March 2004 to lobby the Senate Finance Committee in an effort to remove the charity from the panel's list of suspected terror fundraisers.

For his work, IARA paid Siljander with money that was part of U.S. government funding awarded to the charity years earlier for relief work it promised to perform in Africa, the indictment says. Under the grant agreement, IARA was supposed to return any unused funds after the relief project was wrapped up in 1999.

Instead, Siljander and three IARA officers agreed to cover up the money's origins and use it on the lobbying effort, the indictment charges.

In interviews with the FBI in December 2005 and April 2007, Siljander denied doing any lobbying work for IARA. The money, he told investigators, was merely a donation from IARA to help him write a book about Islam and Christianity, the indictment says.

In 2004, the FBI raided the Islamic American Relief Agency-USA group's headquarters and the homes of people affiliated with the group nationwide. Since then, the 20-year-old charity has been unable to raise money and its assets have been frozen.

The charity has denied the allegations that it has financed terrorism. IARA in Columbia has argued that it is a separate organization from the Islamic African Relief Agency, a Sudanese group suspected of financing al-Qaida. A federal appeals court in Washington ruled in February that there was a link between the two groups.

In an indictment handed down in March, the charity and four of its officers were charged with illegally transferring $1.4 million to Iraq from March 1991 to May 2003 — when Iraq was under various U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

The indictment also alleges that on 11 separate occasions the defendants transferred funds from the United States to Iraq through Amman, Jordan, in order to promote unlawful activity that violated Iraq sanctions.

In all, Siljander, IARA and five of its officers were charged with various counts of theft, money laundering, aiding terrorists and conspiracy.

"By bringing this case in the middle of America, we seek to make it harder for terrorists to do business halfway around the globe," said John Wood, U.S. attorney in Kansas City.

Betcha you'll never hear a peep from the right-wing noise machine or the msm, because this guy is a REPUBLICAN. Do you hear me?--a REPUBLICAN!!

And, playing on the Google turned up this piece from 1992 by Frederick Clarkson, in which he reveals Siljanders ties to both Sun Myung Moon and extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalists.

Is there anybody this God-fearing patriot doesn't have ties to? How about the petroleum industry? Oops, he's got that covered, too, if only peripherally.

NACS, The Association of Convenience and Petroleum Retailing, has an annual convention, and guess who was the featured speaker in 2007 at their interfaith prayer breakfast? Read this bio and buildup for Mr. Siljander. If you appreciate irony, you will find this positively dripping with it. Given his indictment, it's hilarious.


Thomas said...

You dorks just elected a koran-toting muslim. When we catch repubs doing illegal activities, we toss them out and convict them, you clowns honor them. KKK Exaulted Cyclops Robert "SWheets" Byrd (D) KKK, is the democrats "honored" elder-statesman!

JohnDWoodSr said...

A Muslim - toting a Koran??? The unbelievable nerve of the guy!

Anonymous said...

Thomas, how does it feel to go through life spitting up right wing talking points like a trained dog?

Thomas said...

Probably no worst than you libs feel spewing your hate America spew, Mr. heroic "anonymous", why?

Oh, I forgot to mention your re-election of such notables as Jerry Studds 6 more times after being convicted of boinking male interns, callboy ring leader Barney Frank and demos also have the honor of re-electing the only senator with a confirmed kill with an Oldsmobile.

How do you people sleep at night?

JohnDWoodSr said...

Thomas--from the tone of your comments, it's apparent we'll never see eye-to-eye, because your head is buried so far up your ass.
You're so ate up with hate that if a liberal saved you from drowning, you'd throw yourself back in. Go away.

Thomas said...

Well, john, your big mistake is thinking you are a "liberal". THIS guy was a proud and patriotic liberal of the democrat party: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge - and more."

Ever hear what calls themselves a "liberal" today say something like that?

How about this:

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."

Any of today's current Soros-moveOn-dailykosers would call him a "war-monger" and both he and the once proud and patriotic democrat party are long dead replaced by a fascist like cult demanding government have 1st dibbs on our incomes, dole out Constitutionally protected rights as the ruling elite sees fit and basically micro-managing every facet of our lives. To buy votes by promising “free” health insurance to 25 year old “children” of upper middle-income families is blatantly proposed government-proposed dependency. That isn’t the America Kennedy spoke of.

As for hatred, may I direct to comment number one.

No, you might call yourselves "liberals" but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Thomas said...

I see the vitriolic comment (number one) about republicans is missing now!

JohnDWoodSr said...

Thomas--somehow, your logic has become so twisted as to preclude a reasonable response, so I won't waste my time. You simply have no concept of "liberal", or of Christ's teachings about caring for the least among us, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, providing shelter for the homeless, or His teaching about the difficulty a rich man will have gaining heaven. If you're not a Christian, OK, but if you are, you'd better rethink your attitudes. Pull out your dictionary and look up the word "empathy" if you still need help.
As far as your second comment today, I have no idea what you're referring to. I have not altered the blog posts or the comments here in any way.

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