9:52 AM, Apr 27, 2013 • By JONATHAN SCHANZER
On Sunday, the leading experts on terrorism finance in the Middle East and North Africa will convene for a five-day conference. The Financial Action Task Force is essentially the United Nations for combating terror finance, and MENAFATF ranks among its most important regional bodies. So why is the group meeting, in all places, in Khartoum?
Sudan was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 by the Clinton administration for providing support to a wide range of terrorist organizations. Sudan remained on the list because it provided a safe haven to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda in the early 1990s.
While Washington successfully pressured Khartoum to purge al Qaeda from the country after the September 11 attacks, Sudan remains on the terrorism list today because, among other things, it provides financial, military and material support to Palestinian terrorist groups such as the Iran-sponsored Popular Resistance Committees, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hamas.
Sudan maintains a close and continuing relationship to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is perhaps the most prolific of the countries on the state sponsor of terrorism list. Iran uses Sudan as a hub to provide weaponry to local conflicts throughout Africa. Port Sudan, on the Red Sea coast, is a key node in the smuggling routes that bring Iranian weapons to the Gaza Strip. Iranian warships have docked recently at Port Sudan for unspecified reasons. Sudan furnished Hamas with Iranian-made Fajr 5 rockets last year, an arsenal that precipitated Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in November.
Somehow, MENAFATF doesn’t seem to see a problem with any of this. As the website states, “The MENAFATF is voluntary and co-operative in nature and is established by agreement between its members…and sets its own work, rules and procedures.”
That would appear to be an understatement.
Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Treasury, is vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
12:43 PM, Apr 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
For all the talk of "changing the culture in Washington," it appears to be business as usual ... only more so.
Revises downward GDP forecast.4:02 PM, Mar 20, 2013 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
In a press conference today, the Federal Reserve announced it will keep interest rates low and leave QE3 unchanged, continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds to prop up the economy.
We need a better argument against the massive federal debtFeb 11, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 21 • By MEGHAN CLYNE
Politicians are not known for originality. In their public speech, most cling to the security of clichéd stock phrases the way toddlers hold fast to threadbare blankets.
9:04 AM, Jan 26, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama pledged this morning in his weekly radio address to continue to crackdown on "irresponsible behavior."
"Here in America, we know the free market is the greatest force for economic progress the world has ever known. But we also know the free market works best for everyone when we have smart, commonsense rules in place to prevent irresponsible behavior," Obama began.
2:01 PM, Oct 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Earlier today, the Obama campaign pushed around a story that they claimed proved Mitt Romney "was against the auto bailout...but personally [benefited] from it."
2:40 PM, Sep 5, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Always looking "forward," President Obama has asked Bill Clinton—who was elected to the presidency 20 years ago—to speak tonight and suggest to the American people (whether explicitly or implicitly) that this is really a choice between Clinton and George W. Bush, rather than between Obama and Mitt Romney. If you're Obama, this beats running on your record.
3:00 PM, Jul 24, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
According to the pool report, "joining POTUS on the flight from San Fran was Penny Pritzker, the campaign's finance chair four years ago. Jay Carney said she was in the neighborhood."
Must be nice to have been a big bundler for President Obama, and pretty convenient to get a lift on Air Force One when the president just so happens to be in the neighborhood.
11:52 AM, Jun 4, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Last week, Marc Lasry defended private equity on national television. "Private equity, do they do God's work or are they vampires?" a CNBC host asked Lasry, who is a hedge fund manager. "I think they do very good work," he replied.
Today, Barack Obama will go to Lasry's New York City home. But the president isn't going to voice his disagreement with the money man; instead, he's going to collect a check--$40,000 per person in attendance.
9:44 AM, May 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
This morning on CNN, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was asked, "Why is it not hypocrisy for the president to take campaign donations from private equity when he's attacking private equity making that an essential part of his campaign?"
Quantifying the conflict between the People and the Political Class. Feb 27, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 23 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
This may come as a shock to many pollsters and much of the press corps, but public opinion is a little more complicated than randomly calling 1,000 Americans, asking them a dubiously worded question about a complex political issue, and reporting the aggregate results.