23Oct/120

REZKO, OBAMA, AND THE NADHMI AUCHI RAILROAD LINKING CHICAGO, WASHINGTON, AND BAGHDAD (Part 1of 3)

 

 

Guest Writer, John A. Shaw

Shaw served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for International Technology Security and in a variety of other senior U.S. Government positions. Prior to his appointment by former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Shaw was President and CEO of the American Overseas Clinics Corporation. Prior senior positions in the government included the White House staffs of Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush I. He served as White House Liaison to the US Defense Department under President Ford and to the US State Department under President Reagan.  Shaw received a B.A. from Williams College, as well as a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. from Cambridge University,He has taught international security studies at Cambridge University, Williams College, Georgetown University, and theInstitut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris.” (Source)

 

PART I.  NADHMI AUCHI: THE RAILROAD ENGINEER

The kingpin of Iraqi corruption, Nadhmi Auchi, and his Chicago henchman, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, built a well-financed network of political influence in Chicago over several decades. Barack Obama is its most famous beneficiary.


Nadhmi Auchi is an Iraqi-born billionaire who relocated from Baghdad to London in 1980 where he adopted British citizenship.


Auchi is the engineer who designed a new political railroad that connects the Middle East to the Middle West, with tracks that run through Washington.  Auchi financed it all. Think of him as the empire builder for the Chicago, Washington & Baghdad Railroad, with Tony Rezko as Conductor, and Barack Obama as its favored Passenger.


Auchi’s efforts to play a role in American policy-making go back to the Jimmy Carter presidency. It took Auchi three decades to lay a track that reached into the U.S. intelligence community and built a spy ring operating out of Detroit funded by U.N. Oil-for-Food vouchers.


Auchi first appeared on the American scene backed by recommendations from European allies regarding his abilities and dependability. He arrived just as the U.S. was looking to lay tracks to Iraq at the commencement of the Iran-Iraq War. Once his bona fides were established in America, Auchi became a certified Washington player.


The First Gulf War provided Auchi an opportunity to ingratiate him with Pentagon figures whose influence would continue a decade later with the onset of the Iraq War. It gave him the Big Chance he sought.


In time, Auchi was seen as a transatlantic statesman with the magical, transformative ability to affect change everywhere in the world. He sold himself as a global entrepreneur who built a European empire and now wanted to extend it, in a helpful way, into America.


The substance of Auchi’s leverage was simple: Money, the mother’s milk of politics. As was his wont, the money went though middle men, multiple cut-outs, and a complex international financial grid, so that there were no Auchi fingerprints left on anything. It is the standard Auchi method of securing influence over politicians.  


Auchi bought influence in the old way with the Democrats. But while his money generally went to Democratic causes and candidates, intermittent Republican control of the White House enabled Auchi’s influence to spread through his charitable donations to G.O.P. causes, and by bringing his substantive capabilities and sympathetic demeanor to their deliberations and problems concerning the Middle East.


In short, he came to be seen as a statesman and business wizard by men of stature in Washington as he created a positive reputation that transcended party lines.


Through the years, Auchi gained access to the Clinton White House and both Bush White Houses. Today, he is able to influence the Obama White House.


Auchi began as the international banker for Saddam Hussein. For Saddam, he bought national leaders the same way Rezko bought state boards, state senators and, eventually, a governor.


A man who has followed Auchi’s activity closely for twenty five years, and who has held senior positions in the U.S. government, reflects due awe over “the suborning tactics of the patriarch of Arab deal making.” Auchi’s genius, this man says, “is not to start with the deals, but to master the environment so as to suborn it. After that he can drive a Mack truck through the environment. He is patient and wily, a master operator. He finds willing surrogates, like Rezko, to ply local folks in the ‘target’ zone with money and favors, not with grease ball stunts like cash in envelopes (though he does that very well too); he will do whatever it takes. His commitment is for the long term, and his involvement is concealed until everything is in place, be it in Baghdad, Cairo, London, Paris, or Chicago.” The source adds that Auchi has developed a legion of surrogates, both Arab and Western, to act on his behalf so that his involvement in any deal is seldom overt. Everything he does tends to be understated, or denied.


Auchi’s apparent invulnerability comes from two sources: The first is his investment and accompanying avalanche of philanthropy. The above observer notes that “his real gift is to enshroud the whole criminal enterprise in ‘good works’ and charitable giving, stuffed full of medals and titles and ceremonial dinners and cross-cultural ‘peace-making’ exercises. Who would dare bring down such a worthy man…hiding, if you will, in plain view?”


The second reason for his invulnerability is that, by 1980, he had became a major asset of British Intelligence, MI6, enabling him to gain entry into any situation, into anywhere in the Arab world or Europe, and into any problem, financial or political.


His connection with MI6 provided Auchi with an entrée into U.S. intelligence via Lord Cavendish’s, former head of MI6, introduction to a small transatlantic group called Le Cercle,which focused on mutual national security interests. From then on Auchi enjoyed, relying heavily on his charitable donations, access to the U.S. policy-making nexus dealing with the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, his Chicago-based political organization financially greased the skids to give him access to the White House across several administrations.


British journalists universally believe in Auchi’s protective symbiosis with MI6. The best evidence of that is how it took eighteen months for the French government to get Auchi extradited from Britain for trial in the Elf/Aquitaine case. He returned to France, was convicted of getting a $100 million kickback, and admitted to all the charges against him, saying only that he had been told by the President de la Republique that there was no problem. He obviously has no problem with the British Government either.


The cover given Auchi by Whitehall, plus his ability to sue anyone who dared surface any facts about his continuing corruption activities, assured a continuing safe haven for him in London.  MI6 basically has given Auchi a license to steal, and allowed him to buy respectability through charitable donations and good works apart from his business dealings. He has been granted a coat of arms by the Queen, and has been knighted by the Pope.


Auchi has bought the leadership of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, and a measure of benign neglect from the Conservative party. He found them no less pliable than their neighbors across the Channel, or around the Mediterranean, who have been available for sale all his adult life. His General Mediterranean Holdings (GMH) is an appropriate name for Auchi’s financial empire.


Auchi has a clear, long-term strategy.  He has been running a financial operation, parallel to that in the U.S., quite successfully in Great Britain and across Europe for a generation. He was a central, but shadowy, figure in the so-called London Group, which the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction identified as the hub of in-country Iraqi corruption after the 2003 invasion.


Some echoes of Auchi’s methodology can be found in Britain where a pharmaceutical firm run by his daughter was indicted by the Serious Fraud Office at the Treasury for the largest fraud in the history of the National Health Service, but then was absolved. Hospital and medical investments have been a part of Auchi’s strategy, not only in the U.K., but elsewhere in Europe, in Iraq, and in Chicago. He has been feted by the Royal Society of Medicine, and by its counterparts, from Cairo to Chicago.


Nadhmi Auchi was one of Saddam Hussein’s most able and aggressive arms dealers when he came into my purview about twenty five years ago when I had responsibility for foreign military sales for the U.S. government.


As time went on, and I gained greater and greater involvement in the Middle East, I watched Auchi build his financial empire with his brilliant combination of political manipulation, financial genius, and ruthless opportunism. For three decades, I have followed arms and technology trade in the Middle East, and, for that reason, I have an acute sense of Auchi’s operational methods.


I have spoken at length to people who know Auchi well, and to a legion of people who have observed him closely over decades. Most of them do not wish to be identified, either because they do not want their sources to dry up, or out of simple fear. I know of three deaths, two of them outright murders, in which Auchi is a lingering spectral figure. One of them was an American contractor who came to my Pentagon office to tell me how he had been defrauded of $25 million dollars by a Lebanese banker in Iraq. Three days later, he and his partner were shot to death by a hit squad northwest of Baghdad.


What follows is an attempt to put together an overview of the Auchi’s concerted effort over those three decades to insinuate himself into the American political process and into various policy avenues in which he could both provide benefit and derive profit and power. It is necessarily a puzzle with many of the pieces missing. But the pieces that are conjoined provide a sketch of Auchi in action.


The myth propagated by Auchi is that he left Baghdad in 1980 because of disaffection with Saddam. In fact, he left Baghdad with a large chunk of Saddam’s and Muammar Ghaddafi’s overseas money, which became the nexus for his Luxembourg enterprise, GMH.


The reality is that, for well over a decade, Auchi was the main financial operator in Europe for Saddam, who established him everywhere as his principal financial guy. In 1993, Jamil al-Amdar, then Saddam’s main man in China, when seeking asylum in the West, confirmed that “Saddam’s enforcer for Europe is his cousin, Barsan al-Tikriti, who had diplomatic status from a U.N. post in Vienna, but his main money man in Europe and the West, was Nadhmi Auchi.”


Auchi has woven another myth that he broke with Saddam over the killing of his brother. But, in fact, that murder arose from his brother’s attempts to take over a Saddam pipeline deal.


For the next three decades Auchi built up his empire in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S., with the U.S. as his ultimate and richest target, and with Saddam providing the money.


Auchi’s overarching ability is to spread money around politically and use it to leverage lucrative government and commercial contracts. His role as Saddam’s banker allowed him to build his GMH into the largest stockholder in BNP Parisbas, which, thanks to Auchi, became the trough for the U.N. Oil-for-Food scam. (A researcher for the Volker Report on the U.N. Oil-for-Food program confirmed that, while Auchi’s name never appeared in the report, his fingerprints were evident across the program; French political pressure prevented its inclusion in the report).


Auchi was found guilty in 2003 of taking a million dollar kickback in the Elf-Aquitaine scandal in France, the largest corruption case in French history. His influence with successive presidents of France assured that he was only given a suspended prison sentence and a several million dollar fine. He returned to England unscathed.


A good indicator of Auchi’s methods of operation and reach can be found in David Ignatius’s 1994 novel, The Bank of Fear, where the main antagonist is based wholly on Auchi. The novel reflects the history of the two decades after 1980 when Auchi was the unacknowledged but actual financial front man for Saddam in Europe. Ignatius had started to write an expose of Auchi and his dealings, but decided that the British libel laws made a novel a wiser alternative.


COMING NEXT - PART II: A SNAPSHOT OF AUCHI’S METHODS: FIXING THE CONTRACT FOR THE IRAQI CELLULAR PHONE SYSTEM

2Oct/120

Update: Obama associate Daniel S Mahru sentence delayed until after election.

Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

 Update;

The Department of Justice will not disclose Daniel S. Mahru's probation deal publicly until after the Presidential election.

 Mr. Mahru was scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 4, however to no surprise to anyone paying attention, that date has now been reset to November 15.

-

Are reporters at the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times covering this scandal, or are they drafting fairy tale books about it?

Origninal post  9-20-12
DoJ silences Obama associate Daniel S  Mahru with his freedom
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Ernie Souchak, Etidor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay
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llinoispaytoplay.com (IP2P) has learned that Daniel S. Mahruformer business partner of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, made a deal with the Department of Justice (DoJ) for his silence. IP2P is the first to report that on, October 4 2012, Daniel S. Mahru will receive probation at his sentencing hearing.

 

IP2P has also learned that this is being done to insure Mahru will not speak of crimes, of which he has knowledge, that implicate Barack Obama, Valarie Jarrett, Allison Davis, Tony Rezko and others. (Remember Tony recently saying he committed crimes for which Fitzgerald did not charge him.)

 

IP2P is also investigating the circumstances surrounding meetings that took place where Daniel T Frawley and Daniel S Mahru (both convicted felons) met with author Jerome Corsi in Chicago to discuss secret meetings between Barack Obama, Nadhmi Auchi, Tony Rezko, (now GovernorPat Quinn, and others.

 

Mahru is unwilling to talk about what was discussed at those meetings. Could that have anything to do with his probation deal?

 

The DoJ and (now formerU.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald protected Eric Holder, Barack Obama and a host of other criminals that occupy high offices in our state and federal government.

 

Brenda J Elliot at rbo2.com recently posted an article suggesting how important Mahrus silence is to the DoJ.  

 

Where's that special prosecutor when you need him?

 

Developing


 

 

30Sep/120

Nadhmi Auchi’s London law firm targets American Thinker website

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Illinois PaytoPlay has learned that Nadhmi Auchi’s London-based law firm, Carter-Ruck, recently demanded that the American Thinker website remove the piece below that refers to their client and his association with Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Until US law changed in 2010, making the US press no longer subject to British libel law, Carter-Ruck was able to successfully intimidate US websites into compliance with its demands.  

AT pulled the piece briefly while it verified the accuracy of the information concerning Auchiand then reposted the original, unchanged.

Meanwhile, the two big Chicago daily papers continue to ignore the Auchi-Rezko-Obama connections.

Here is the American Thinker piece in its entirety:

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September 20, 2012

Obama's Chicago Arab-American network comes into focus

Lee Cary

 

The linkage between Illinois and U.S. Senator Obama's network of Arab-American supporters in Chicago is cracking open.

On September 19, 2012, the Washington Examiner, as part of a series entitled "The Obama You Don't Know," reports that,

"President Obama's controversial relationships with radical figures like Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi have been well-publicized in recent years...

Less well-known is a cluster of Chicago businessmen who formed an Arab-American network at the heart of Obama's political apparatus. Ray Hanania, a Chicago-based Arab-American journalist and activist, described the network in a 2007 interview with Chicago magazine as "a small cluster of activists" in the business community who were politically involved.

Chief among them was Obama mentor Tony Rezko. Born in Aleppo, Syria, home of strongman Bashar al-Assad, Rezko migrated to the U.S. in the late 1970s andbuilt a political and financial empire in Chicago and Springfield, the Illinois capital."

The Washington Examiner article also mentions Rezko's close association with "Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-British businessman and former Iraqi Baathist who was on a terror watch list and thus barred from entering the United States."

John A. Shaw, former senior official of US Defense, State, and Commerce departments, who has called Nadhmi Auchi "Rezko's bag man in Chicago," was responsible for Auchi being put on the terrorist watch list. His description of Auchi can be read here.

Shaw had this to say about the Washington Examiner piece:

"This is interesting, and gives a sense of how wide the Arab net was cast over the Chicago scene. Auchi was the money man for the whole network. His visa was revoked, as you know, not because he was a Baathist once upon a time and was listed as a terrorist; it was specifically because of our report in May, 2004. That prevented his planned return to Chicago in the fall to build on the Rezko land deal to become the Olympic village and God knows what other plans. His feting of Jesse Jackson in London shows that he has continuing involvement in Chicago and expects his visa to be restored by Obama when he pardons Rezko and Blago in January. The game is not over; it has only begun...(Would be interesting to look at Auchi investments in the Detroit area and his role in the Arab spy ring operating out of Detroit).

"Now that we know Auchi was involved with Rezko in a cross section of Iraqi contract schemes, with 22 trips to Damascus and Baghdad between 2003 and 2005, the dimensions of what was in prospect in Chicago becomes clearer. The focus on health and medical schemes and scams in Chicago was paralleled in Iraq, with Auchi getting the British-Iraqi Hospital. The ministry of Health was the fountainhead of corruption for all of Iraq reconstruction, and the ties in Chicago and Illinois were calculated to be a similar bonanza.

"Valerie Jarrett hired Michelle Obama as part of her hospital management company at a salary of over $300,000, and Jarrett was a key player in the quest for the 2016 Olympics. It was peculiar that Obama did not pull out all the stops when he and Michelle went to Copenhagen to press the International Olympic Committee. I would bet that with Rezko convicted and Blago on the way, and the revelations about Auchi involvement and support in Chicago, the bid had become problematic and a real danger. He may have passed the word to the committee that his trip was only pro forma. I wouldn't be surprised."

The Chicago media ignored, or only made superficial inquiries into, Obama's association with persons of interest in the Arab-American community, like Rezko and Auchi.

Meanwhile, the former U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, used delayed sentencing tactics to keep those who could shed light on Obama's connections with Rezko and Auchi quiet.

19Apr/120

Another Mission Accomplished: Frawley joins Blago and Rezko in the Silence Chamber of Federal Prison

 <<BREAKING NEWS>>

Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator

 

 

On April 19, 2012, Federal Judge Ronald Guzman sentenced Daniel T. Frawley to one year and one day in federal prison.  So Frawley joins Rezko and Blago in the Silence Chamber of federal prison until well after the November election. He reports to jail next August 20.

What Frawley knows about Rezko’s dealings with former Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Obama will be unavailable…until it’s irrelevant.

Let’s review Frawley’s puppet dance with the feds:

He pleads guilty to a crime after the statute of limitations had expired, and agrees to pay 4.4 million dollars restitution to the bank he defrauded.

He becomes a confidential informant in the case the U.S. Attorney’s office builds against Antoin “Tony” Rezko, but doesn’t testify at Rezko’s trial.

He is identified as CI2 in the motion to arrest Rezko, after Nadhmi Auchi sent Rezko enough money to cover those who put up assets for Tony’s bond. This causes the feds to suspect that Tony is about to jump bail and head back to the Middle East. So they arrest Tony.

The feds withhold a check for over three hundred thousand dollars made out to Frawley from Rezko, money that Frawley claims Rezko owes him. (So, where did that money go?)

Frawley is dragged through multiple postponements in his sentencing for the better part of a year, until the November ’12 election is close enough for Frawley to receive enough jail time to keep him in the Silence Chamber until the man Patrick Fitzgerald has been protecting for years is re-elected President.

Implausible explanation?  Not when you step back and survey the pattern of the U.S. Attorney’s catch and release program with regard to those most closely associated with Rezko and Blago.

Frawley was guilty as charged for the crimes he committed years ago. He admitted that. But the way his case has been handled over those years calls into question the motives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Has it been about fighting crime?  Or, more about protecting corruption at the highest level of the land?

Frawley’s been a dutiful puppet on federal strings.  And here’s his pay-off:

 

 

 

17Apr/121

Jack Lavin testifies in a stealth law suit, along with other notables

Hugo Floriani, PayToPlay Investigative Reporter

Did you know that a federal civil law suit went to the jury today, April 17, after Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief-of-Staff, Jack Lavin, testified as a witness; Tony Rezko was deposed; and Daniel T. Frawley didn’t testify because his lawyer indicated that, if called, he would “take the 5th”? Here's Jack.

You probably didn’t know any of that, unless you hang around the court house for grins.  And you certainly didn’t know it if you rely on the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun Times to keep you informed.  (Although today, the Times did report that some bald eagles are nesting in the south suburbs. Good to know stuff.)

The case, filed April 24, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, pits Semir D. Sirazi vs. Panda Express, Inc., Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. and the Citadel Panda Express, Inc.

(Illinois PayToPlay reported earlier on another law suit, filed just last January, pitting Semir Sirazi vs. Nadhmi Auchi. Tony Rezko plays a role in both cases.)

Here’s the “Nature of the Action” paragraph in the Sirazi vs. Panda Express case that’s now in the jury’s hands:

“1. This is an action by Sirazi against Panda Express for unjust enrichment, fraud, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty and for violations of the Illinois Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. From 1993 to 2006, Panda Express, Antoin (“Tony”) Rezko, and various Rezko-controlled companies owned and operated numerous Panda Express restaurants in 5 Midwestern states, the majority of which were in the Illinois/Chicagoland area. In June of 2006, knowing that Tony Rezko was under severe financial and legal distress, and desperate for funds, Panda Express (among other improper actions) bought out PE Chicago, LLC’s 50% interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership – the entity that owned and operated the Panda Express restaurants – at a price many times less than the fair value of that interest. At the time of the purchase, Panda Express knew that Sirazi and others had significant ownership interests in PE Chicago. In fact, Sirazi, at the time of the purchase – through his interest in Rezko Enterprises, LLC – owned a significant majority of PE Chicago. Panda Express, however, fraudulently conspired with Rezko to acquire PE Chicago’s entire interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership without Sirazi’s knowledge and at a price far less than the fair value of such interest. As a result of the improper actions of Panda Express, Sirazi has suffered losses in excess of $15 million.”

So, Sirazi asserts he was cheated big-time by Rezko and the Panda Express Chinese food chain, headquartered in Rosemead, California. The originating Pandas were “Andrew and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng, all of whom used to live in the Yangzhou region of China’s Jiangsu province. They started their first Panda Inn restaurant in 1973 in Pasadena, California.”

Here’s the real interesting part: Daniel T. Frawley, in a recently obtained email sent to a confidential source and forwarded to Illinois PayToPlay, claims that Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief-of-Staff, Jack Lavin, fraudulently cooked Rezko’s Papa John’s books by transferring $4,000,000 from Panda Express accounts into Tony’s pizza business.  Here’s that email:

From: Dan Frawley <Address withheld>

Date: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Subject: I MET OBAMA'S AID AT THOMPSON PRISON WHERE BO WANTED TO SHIFT QUANTANIMO PRISONERS
To: robert XXXXX <Address withheld>

THOMSON PRISON, OBAMA, REZKO, JACK LAVIN & MOE CONTRACT

THOMSON PRISON IS THE FIRST SIGHT THE STATE OF ILLINOIS PROVIDED ME TO LOOK AT TO TRAIN THE IRAQI MOE CANDIDATES.

SEAMUS AHERN OF SENATOR OBAMA’S JOILIET ILLINOIS OFFICE WAS AT THOMSON. NEVER CALLED THE SENATOR’S OFFICE TO ARRANGE TO BE MET.

TONY REZKO CALLED JACK LAVIN REGARDING TRAINING THE IRAQI’S AT AN ILLINOIS GOVERNMENT SIGHT.

JACK LAVIN WAS THE CEO OF ONE OF TONY’S COMPANIES. JACK LAVIN MADE A JOURNALENTRY IN PANDA RESTARAUNTS FINANCIAL STATEMENT. JACK TOOK 4 MILLION DOLLARS OF PANDA’S PROFITS AND MADE A JOURNAL ENTRY INTO PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA PROFITS IN ORDER FOR TO OBTAIN A 10 MILLION LOAN FROM G.E. CREDIT.

ANDREW CHERNIG WAS A 50/50 PARTNER OF TONY’S IN PANDA. WHEN CHERNIG DISCOVERED THAT LAVIN AND REZKO DEFRAUDED HIM CHERNIG CAME INTO CHICAGO ON A FRIDAY AND EMPTIED THE PANDA OFFICE.

TONY AND LAVIN KEPT A DOUBLE SET OF BOOKS FOR PAPA JOHN’S. TOD SELACK THE ACCOUNTANT FOR RECKON AND LAVIN PREPARED THE DOUBLE SET OF BOOKS PER AL CHAIB AND REZKO’S ORDERS.

I HAVE SEEN BOTH SET OF BOOKS AND PROVIDED THE USAO’S OFFICE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COPY SAID BOOKS. THE ENTRY LAVIN MADE INTO THE PAPA JOHN BOOKS WAS KNOWN AS THE MIRACE ENTRY AROUND THE REZMAR OFFICE.

CHERNIG NEVER REPORTED THE FRAUD BECAUSE CHERNIG PARTICIPATED WITH AL CHAIB AND TONY IN STAFFING PANDA RESTAURANT WITH ILLEGAL CHINESE ALIENS CHERNIG HELPED SMUGGLE INTO THE UNITED STATES. CHERNIG WORKED THE CHINESE 80-100 HOUR PER WEEKAND PAID THEM FOR 40. TONY AND CHAIB HOUSED THE CHINESE IN THEIR BUILINGS IN OVER CROWDED CONDITIONS AND OVER CHARGED THE CHINESE FOR RENT.

Plenty to chew on there, such as…

  • Was Rezko deposed about the allegation that he was a slum landlord for illegal Chinese immigrant workers employed by the Pandas?
  • Was Lavin asked about the fraudulent bookkeeping allegation from Frawley?
  •  Is this why Frawley’s attorney announced that Frawley would “take the 5th” if called to testify?
  • Peggy Cherng testified at the trial.  Did she mention the use of illegal Chinese immigrants in Panda Express restaurants, as alleged by Frawley?
  • How about Al Chaib – was he asked about any of this?

Now that they have this email, no doubt the intrepid investigative reporters at the Sun Times and the Trib will jump on this story.

Hey, we can dream can’t we?

 

23Mar/120

WikiLeaks on the Auchi-Rezko-Blago Connection

Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator

The photo above originally appeared in a “Middle East website” and shows, left to right, Nadhmi Auchi, then Governor Rod Blagojevich, and a man who appears to be the then Iraq Minister of Electricity, Aiham Alsammarae, pictured alone below.

Alsammarae now lives in a northern suburb of Chicago.

Previously on Illinois PayToPlay, you were introduced to Andrew Walden’s 2008 piece, posted by Accuracy In Media, entitled “Iraqi Billionaire Threatens Reporters Investigating Rezko Affair.”

Bin 2008, Walden doggedly examined Nadhmi Auchi’s involvement in Illinois politics.  His piece below was posted by WikiLeaks.  It focuses on the extensive efforts taken by Auchi’s lawyers to suppress references to their client, worldwide.  Some of the links in the original may no longer work.

__________________________________________________________________________

Debunking the Carter Ruck defence of British-Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi

May 30, 2008 By Andrew Walden (Hawai'i Free Press)

“Nadhmi Auchi, seen here with the Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich (middle) at a 2004 Chicago dinner in Auchi's honor arranged by Antonin Rezko (potentially, right )[1] [It’s not Rezko in the photo.]  All three men have been convicted of corruption related charges (Auchi 2003, Rezko 2008, Blagojevich 2009).[2]

“A British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser (dual US-Syrian citizen Tony Rezko) just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses. The money transfer raises the question of whether funds from Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, helped Mr. Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago.” -- The Times of London February 26, 2008

The Auchi-Rezko-Obama connection came to public attention with federal marshals pounding on the door of Tony Rezko’s Wilmette Chicago mansion in the early morning of January 28, 2008. They hauled Rezko to jail after his bail was revoked for concealing a $3.5 million Auchi loan from the court. The Times outlines the story in two sentences. It should be of tremendous interest to the American public and the world.

But there is more to this story than run-of-the mill political corruption. Nadhmi Auchi is alleged to have a long affiliation with Iraqi Baathism and Saddam Hussein—which his attorneys deny. How close were they? According to a 1960 US Embassy report, Auchi was convicted along with Saddam by an Iraqi court for his part in a failed 1959 assassination attempt against then-Iraqi Prime Minister Qassim. For his crime, Auchi earned a sentence of “three years rigorous imprisonment.”

{snip}

Journalists digging into stories involving Auchi often find themselves peppered with threats of libel litigation from a London law firm known as Carter-Ruck. Auchi’s litigation threats have chased eight articles from the internet sites of the UK Guardian, Observer and New Statesman.

{snip}

WikiLeaks itself is now under legal attack by Auchi’s lawyers.

What is so stifling about English libel law? In the U.K., as Carter-Ruck explains and Slander Cases.html on its own website:  “A libel claimant does not have to prove that the words are false or to prove that he has in fact suffered any loss. Damage is presumed.”

In a December, 2003, obituary, former C-R partner David Hooper wrote:

“The libel lawyer Peter Carter-Ruck, who died on Friday, had a chilling effect on the media. He was a chancer, out for the maximum fee. And he did for freedom of speech what the Boston Strangler did for door-to-door salesmen.”

Posted on the Carter-Ruck website, Injunctions.html an article by C-R partner Nigel Tait outlines the limited legal bases for “prior restraint” in England but then explains that some publishers can be convinced to censor themselves by “the first two (sic) weapons of the Spanish Inquisition. Fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency.”

Perhaps hoping to inspire “fear and surprise” with “ruthless efficiency” Carter-Ruck demand letters—laden with misspellings and what appear to be cut-and-paste formulations--have been going out not only to large British newspapers, but also to American newspapers and both well-known and obscure bloggers.

Posted on April 23, 2008—in the midst of the US Presidential race--an article on Auchi’s Middle East Online website boasted of knocking six articles off of the Guardian and Observer websites. Bloggers began receiving Carter-Ruck letters demanding that allegedly defamatory comments be removed from their comments section. MEO displayed a sphinx-like image of Auchi. The caption: "Tracking even the search engines."

It worked. When the November election came and went, the American public barely knew Rezko and knew Auchi even less. Obama won.”…

Read Walden’s thorough refutation of Carter-Ruck’s position here on WikiLeaks.

 

22Mar/120

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. & Nadhmi Auchi: Mutual Admiration

Jontel Kassidy, Senior Capital Correspondent

In case you missed the news back in October 2010, the Anglo Arab Organisation honored Chicago’s Reverend Jesse Jackson for his role in promoting “peace and justice.”  Here he is being greeted by Nadhmi Auchi, President of the AAO, headquartered in Britain.

The AAO website noted that:

“’We remember how the Americans shunned and did not mix with their black brethrens. But today, the [sic} has a black President,’ said Auchi.  ‘The {sic} plays an important role in different parts of the world along with many countries including [sic}. Just and lasting peace can be achieved, especially between Israelis and Palestinians and in {sic},’ added Auchi.

Edward Davey, British Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, praised Rev. Jackson's struggle for human rights not only in the US but also in the world.
Davey highlighted the British economic policy in his speech, stressing his country would not cease helping poor countries in the world.

Rev. Jackson highlighted some of the stages of his struggle for human rights. He pointed out that among the conditions for achieving peace with the Palestinians was to look after the people, their rights and economic life.

‘It is true that there is globalization, but the truth is we need a globalization of helping workers and the rest of humanity,’ said Rev. Jackson.

Auchi and Rev. Jackson exchanged symbolic gifts at the end of the reception, which was attended by many important British and Arab personalities as well as heads of diplomatic missions and Arab journalists in Britain.”

There’s no indication in the AAO press release at the time that anyone brought up Jackson’s reference once to New York City as “Hymietown”.  In 1984, while speaking with a Washington Post reporter, he called Jews “Hymies” and the Big Apple…well, you know.

A few weeks later, Jackson’s remarks were printed by another WaPo reporter. At first, Jackson denied the accusation; then later he confessed and offered an emotional mea culpa before a largely Jewish audience.