Sunday, February 18, 2007

GOP donor faces terrorism charges

We interrupt the 24/7 coverage of Anna Nicole Smith (who is still dead) to bring you the following news: apparently crooked businessman and US National Republican Senate Inner Circle Member for Life faces terrorism charges because of a scheme to supply night vision goggles to a terrorist training camp in Aghanistan. From CBS News:

(CBS/AP) Terrorism charges brought Friday against the administrator of a loan investment program claimed that he secretly tried to send $152,000 to the Middle East to buy equipment such as night vision goggles for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

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.


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." [Emphasis mine-CK]

Now, truly, in the money-grubbing atmosphere of today's electoral campaigns it's hardly surprising that political parties don't look too closely at who is giving them money (at least until they get indicted that is). And so it may be entirely co-incidental that someone with pro-terrorist sympathies chose to give to the GOP.

On the other hand, given that GOPers were at the time supporting BushCorp™'s efforts to divert money, troops, and attention from the GWOT to indulge his testosterone struggle with Saddam, perhaps Mr. Alishtari felt that by supporting the GOP he was helping his terrorist friends.

Certainly al Qaeda couldn't ask for a better recruiting tool than Bush's Iraqi escapade.

I suppose Mr. Alishtari, good GOPer that he is, was getting the most bang for his buck.

[Note: all implications in the above regarding Mr. Alishtari's guilt or innocence should be presumed to be proceeded by the word "alledged" - CK]

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