LAST Wednesday, the 20th of July 2016, US Attorney-General (AG) Loretta E. Lynch announced the filing of civil forfeiture proceedings by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) against an American based movie production company. According to her, the DoJ was seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than one billion US dollars in assets that are associated with money-laundering proceeds.
Lynch impressed upon the Wednesday presser that she meant business when it came to tracking dirty money that may have flowed through US financial institutions. According to her, the DoJ was committed to not allowing “the American financial system to be used as a conduit for corruption.”
The picture I get when reading that statement is of a woman – principled and virtuous – who is on a perpetual quest to uphold US and international laws in a manner that does not condone money laundering and terrorist activities. As a matter of fact, and just for the record, Lynch is well-known for throwing everything but the kitchen sink at anyone accused of involvement in terrorist funding or money laundering.
But something told me she wasn’t quite the woman she made herself out to be.
Early in February last year, the US government found itself under intense pressure over a massive data-leak that took the wraps off a conspiracy by the Swiss banking arm of HSBC, the world’s second-largest bank. The conspiracy told of secret dealings between banking officials and wealthy customers from around the world, particularly those from the Middle East, to conceal billions and billions of dollars worth in assets that belonged to these customers. The origins of these assets are yet to be accounted for.
The conspiracy stole the headlines of major dailies such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and many others (some links provided below this article as examples). Now, we are talking about media channels that seem to go along very well with Malaysians. I mean, isn’t it true that Malaysians tend to hold as gospel anything that Wall Street Journal churns from the gossip vineyards, even if it were a story about a squirrel that ate an elephant whole?
Anyway, the leak was attributed to an individual from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who blew the whistle over an unearthly conspiracy by HSBC employees to help drug lords, arms dealers and very influential billionaires from around the world to conceal the nature and amount of funds they had in their accounts from revenue boards.
Now, much of that had happened during the Bush administration. Lynch, then in her capacity as the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, was said to have meandered through articles of law to let bank officers and employees involved in the scam off the hook. HSBC was made only to pay a hefty fine, which is peanuts compared to the billions it had helped launder that couldn’t even be accounted for in full.
Much of the dirty money was said to be drug and terrorist related, including funds that were allegedly traced to Mexican drug cartels and Middle Eastern terrorists, the likes of ISIS. Several reports that surfaced online (the links of which are also provided below) seem to point towards another conspiracy by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) – the very same department that made headlines in Malaysia recently – to put a damper on discoveries into money laundering complaints that were brought against the bank. That is to say, they virtually ‘ignored’ these complaints.
Lynch dived right into controversy when she was appointed the US Attorney-General, as all of these matters came immediately and directly under her purview. As a point of interest, her duties as the AG are to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court where it concerned the Supreme Court. She is also responsible to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the president of the United States, among others.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) is only responsible to support the Attorney-General in the discharge of her responsibilities. Just as in Malaysia, Lynch is vested with power to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence at her discretion. By virtue of this reasoning, the recent filing of civil forfeiture complaints by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) against an American based movie production company was actually done at the discretion of the US Attorney-General, Loretta Lynch.
Now, why is Lynch suddenly so dedicated to the cause of eradicating the flow of dirty money through the US when she had taken a lackadaisical and lacklustre attitude when dealing with discoveries into the prodigious and unearthly sums – billions and billions worth of US dollars – which the HSBC was reported to have helped drug lords and terrorists conceal from taxmen? Was she not aware that some of the complaints against HSBC related to terrorist activity in the Middle East, possibly even ISIS?
I mean, just who is the real terrorist here? Lynch or ISIS? I don’t know. You tell me.
But even if the controversies swirling around her are untrue, aren’t they enough to make you wonder how a woman like her could have been retained by the Obama administration in such a sensitive and big-league position?
In addition to these charges, HSBC was also said to have been engaged in a systematic scheme to defraud citizens of India. Evidence that was provided by an HSBC client who had accounts both in the United Kingdom and India included documents that were from his investment account, his correspondence with HSBC officials, documents that were misused by the bank, and various legal opinions that outlined the nature and extent of fraud that was involved.
Why was Lynch unresponsive to these allegations?
If Lynch is really as honourable and virtuous as she portrays herself to be, then why did she allow HSBC to virtually ‘get away with murder’? I mean, did Lynch and Obama not take it upon themselves to right the wrong of the previous administration so as to prevent “the American financial system to be used as a conduit for corruption?”
Do you see the hypocrisy yet?
For those of you who are either genuinely unaware or have been in a coma for some years and have just woken up, the US has been directly involved in and assisted covert regime change operations since the late forties, the days of the Cold War. These operations are without the overt use of military force and are often tasked to the CIA, which in turn may influence both the AG and the DoJ through investigative papers that may be slanted against the favour of a regime that the US government wants ousted in a given country.
And that begs the question – are the DoJ and Lynch complicit with US President Barack Obama to effect a regime change in Malaysia? – http://www.malaysia-today.net/