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WHISTLEBLOWERS PROSECUTED, IMPRISONED BY OBAMA REGIME; VICTIM CONTINUES TO SOUND THE ALARM TO THOSE CHARGED WITH PROTECTING AMERICANS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 14, 2015)— On Monday, The Post & Email published a report on terrorism funding and other illegal activity identified in 2012 by both mainstream and alternative media as having been permitted by the management of London-based HSBC for an unspecified number of years.
On February 6, 2015, WND’s Dr. Jerome Corsi implicated U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, who Obama has nominated to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, as a participant in a “massive cover-up” of HSBC’s wrongdoing by crafting a financial settlement with the bank instead of criminally prosecuting the perpetrators.
Money deposited into HSBC accounts had been laundered through various front groups and other means to reach rogue nations such as Iran, North Korea and Cuba and was also supplied to Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Mexico and Syria for illegal purposes, including the movement of narcotics by drug cartels. According to CBS News, HSBC came to be known as “The preferred financial institution of drug cartels and money launderers.”
On December 11, 2012, CBS reported of the HSBC settlement, “It’s a case that has everything — everything accept [sic] an arrest. That struck some as odd, because in 80 pages of court documents, the bank admits to almost going out of its way to act as a financial clearing house for international pariahs and drug dealers.”
A July 17, 2012 hearing by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence, then chaired by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), brought in six HSBC executives, one of whom announced his resignation while giving testimony. HSBC management admitted that its oversight procedures were lax, agreed to pay the nearly-$2 billion fine imposed, and promised to tighten its controls over questionable deposits and other transactions.
At the time of the announced settlement, Lynch justified the arrangement as a catalyst for HSBC to “turn their company inside out” in order to correct inadequate policing of its practices, calling critics “shortsighted.”
On Sunday, The Post & Email again interviewed 2Lt. Scott Bennett, a former Army Reserve officer and former employee of the contracting firm Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH). In early 2010, while working for BAH as a Global Psychological Operations Analyst, Bennett discovered that funding for terrorism was flowing through Swiss bank accounts, most notably at the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
Bennett had been trained in psychological operations and between 2003 and 2008 worked on domestic policy for the Bush administration, interfacing with Pentagon officials and the State Department’s Counterterrorism Office. He wrote his ABD dissertation on the topic of “Military-Intelligence Contractors, Swiss Banks, and Terrorist Threat Financing Networks and Operations.”
He was recruited by Booz Allen in 2008 and, early in 2010, asked to relocate to Florida to work in the area of Global Psychological Operations to identify and arrest sources of terrorist funding.
In 2009, Bennett was asked to join the Army as an officer trainee by the late Col. Jeff Jones, who noted Bennett’s psychological training and experience. Bennett was provided a Top Secret/SCI clearance and served in the 11th Psychological Operations Battalion.
As a military officer, Bennett felt compelled to aggressively report his findings on terror funding both to his chain of command and to his superiors at Booz Allen with the objective of saving enlisted military members from death or injury on the battlefield. To his surprise, however, the information he attempted to impart was rebuffed.
On two occasions, he found himself arrested at gunpoint while on MacDill Air Force Base, where he was authorized to live after relocating from Washington, DC to Tampa for Booz Allen. Bennett was then interrogated for hours in handcuffs, accused of bringing unregistered firearms on to the base.
In 2011, he was further prosecuted as a civilian by the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida for allegedly wearing his Army officer’s uniform without authorization, providing false information on a military housing report, illegally transporting firearms between states, and impersonating a police officer, all of which Bennett said are absurd and unfounded charges which he is aggressively fighting.
He was convicted and sentenced to an “enhanced” punishment of 30 months in federal prison which began in July 2011 and ended in February of last year.
Bennett told us that as a military officer, he should have been given a military trial on any charges, but instead, he went before a civilian jury and a judge with ties to a law firm for which then-Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer and Attorney General Eric Holder had worked in the past which provided defense for accused white-collar criminals employed by large banks, including UBS.
In 2013, Breuer returned to the same law firm, Covington & Burling, where he is now vice chairman and engages in “helping clients navigate financial fraud investigations, anti-corruption matters, money laundering investigations, securities enforcement actions, cybercrime incidents, Congressional investigations, and other criminal and civil matters presenting complex regulatory, political, and public relations risks.”
At the conclusion of his July 2011 trial and conviction, Bennett was immediately whisked away as a federal prisoner and taken to Pennsylvania on a circuitous route through Oklahoma.
While imprisoned at the federal penitentiary in Schuylkill, Bennett met Brad Birkenfeld, another UBS whistleblower who possessed an enormous amount of documentation which meshed with Bennett’s discoveries made while at Booz Allen investigating terrorism funding.
Although testifying to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence in 2007 about his knowledge and role in assisting UBS bank account owners to avoid taxes as well as ways in which the bank was funding Middle Eastern terrorist groups, Birkenfeld was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly failing to disclose a business relationship he had with wealthy real estate mogul Igor Olenicoff.
Birkenfeld also received an “enhanced” sentence.
In October 2009, left-leaning TIME Magazine wrote of Birkenfeld’s prosecution:
No one, including himself, would argue that Bradley Birkenfeld, 44, is a saint. The former UBS private-banking executive hasn’t hidden the fact that he once bought diamonds with illicit money in Europe and then spirited them to California stuffed in a toothpaste tube, all part of an effort to conceal $200 million in assets on which his client — the Russia-born, California-based real estate mogul Igor Olenicoff — owed $7.2 million in U.S. taxes. But at the same time, almost no one in the U.S. government would deny that Birkenfeld was absolutely essential to its landmark tax-evasion case against Swiss banking giant UBS. The former UBS employee turned whistle-blower exposed the previously hidden world of offshore tax shelters, which cheats the Treasury out of about $100 billion a year. Thanks to his insider information, UBS was fined $780 million, and it promised to “exit entirely” from the U.S. tax-shelter business and to provide the names of thousands of American tax dodgers, from which hundreds of millions of dollars still might be collected. It also led to new tax treaties with the Swiss that should provide unprecedented tax information in civil cases and better access to such data in criminal cases.
The article then quotes Kevin Downing, “a senior Justice Department tax trial lawyer,” as having said that Birkenfeld’s voluntary disclosures as “an insider” were invaluable in the U.S. government’s discovery of billions of dollars in unpaid tax revenue having been withheld by American citizens through UBS bank accounts.
Considering Birkenfeld’s help, many observers wonder why the Justice Department decided to arrest and prosecute him. In the end, he pleaded guilty to a single fraud conspiracy count; he was sentenced on Aug. 21 in a federal courtroom in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to 40 months in a federal penitentiary (to start Jan. 8). Many critics believe the decision to prosecute Birkenfeld, whom some consider the most important whistle-blower in years, sends the worst possible message to other financial-industry insiders who might be considering coming forward. The Government Accountability Project (GAP), a Washington watchdog organization that has extensive whistle-blower experience, says a chilling effect is already apparent: a senior executive at a European bank that offers similar U.S. tax shelters is having second thoughts about going public because of the Birkenfeld case.
TIME also reported that Birkenfeld was “told on at least one occasion by DOJ officials that they were not looking to prosecute him,” but that in June 2008, he was arrested while arriving in the U.S. to attend his high school reunion.
Despite allegedly owing $7.2 million to the IRS in unpaid taxes, Olenicoff was not prosecuted. In a CBS “60 Minutes” interview in August 2010, Birkenfeld expressed mild anger at the fact that he is the only person to have been prosecuted in the UBS tax-evasion scheme which he voluntarily exposed.
Birkenfeld served 40 months in prison and, upon his release, was awarded $104 million by the IRS as a whistleblower, receiving the largest such payment in U.S. history. The payout was made approximately six weeks after his release, on September 11, 2012, the day a U.S. compound was attacked by Islamic militants and four Americans killed.
Former DOJ attorney Jesselyn Radack, who now represents whistleblower Edward Snowden and has worked for the Government Accountability Project, was quoted by TIME as having said that a retaliatory approach to whistleblowers “runs deep in the government.”
The Obama regime has been noted by The Guardian, to whom Edward Snowden disclosed NSA spying on Americans in June 2013, as having conducted “the most aggressive ‘war on leaks’ since the Nixon administration, according to a report published on Thursday that says the administration’s attempts to control the flow of information is hampering the ability of journalists to do their jobs.”
The referenced report was written by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie, who alleged that “Aggressive leak investigations and prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act have had a ‘much more widespread chilling effect than Nixon’s enemies list.'”
On June 12, 2012, left-leaning Mother Jones reposted an article from TomDispatch which stated that “Leaks that favor the president are shoveled out regardless of national security, while national security is twisted to pummel leaks that do not favor him. Watching their boss, bureaucrats act on their own, freelancing the punishment of whistleblowers, knowing their retaliatory actions will be condoned. The United States rains Hellfire missiles down on its enemies, with the president alone sitting in judgment of who will live and who will die by his hand.”
Neither TIME nor CBS reported that UBS accounts have been used to funnel money to Islamic terrorists. While it is possible that at the time they were unaware of the activity, Bennett contacted all major media on the issue through two lengthy, detailed reports he wrote from prison in 2012 and 2013 which were also sent to members of the military and more than 100 congressmen.
Last July, Bennett again sent a report to the Senate Armed Services Committee in the hope of receiving an invitation to be debriefed.
Members of Congress who received the report include Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former Rep. Mike Rogers, former Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, and former Sen. Carl Levin.
As reported in The Post & Email’s previous article on Bennett’s revelations, The Washington Post and NBC News sent journalists to interview him in prison but never published an article on the information and documentation he provided to them. “They got a tidal wave of information they never expected or wanted, and they didn’t print one word about it,” Bennett told us.
A phone call made by The Post & Email to the House Armed Services Committee on Monday regarding Bennett’s knowledge of the operation and desire to testify to Congress has been met with silence. FOIA requests for all documents containing Bennett’s name have also been submitted to the offices of Sens. Ron Paul and Ted Cruz.
The Post & Email has informed freshman U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst‘s media contact of Bennett’s evidence by email but has to date received no response.
We have filed a FOIA request with Sara C. Sweeney, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, who successfully prosecuted Bennett as a civilian after a federal grand jury indicted him on three federal violations.
According to Bennett, Sweeney’s supervising U.S. Attorney, Robert E. O’Neill, lied on the indictment report when he stated that Bennett “was not an active duty member of the U.S. Army Reserves.”
A reference to Sweeney having prosecuted an unidentified case has been removed from the USDOJ website.
Bennett’s quest remains to stop the funding of terrorism which is killing and injuring U.S. military members.
On Sunday, in response to Bennett’s revelations, The Post & Email asked, “Are we just pretending to fight a ‘war on terror?’ Is the U.S. government actively and knowingly funding terrorism?” to which he responded:
I don’t know how you can walk away from the logic that it is funding terrorism. I don’t know how you could disagree with the theory that it is funding terrorism when you look at all the pieces of the puzzle that are beginning to assemble as giant icebergs massing, and the ones in between the icebergs are the ship of these politicians and neutered bureaucrats in uniform who call themselves military officers, and these intelligence people. They’re slowly being surrounded and soon to be crushed by this information, these facts, these documents, this testimony. It’s absolutely inescapable. It’s not one person, and it’s not one perspective; it’s a variety of perspectives that are feeding into this. You have Julian Assange, you have Edward Snowden, you have Brad Birkenfeld, you have Barbara Honegger, you have Susan Lindauer, you have Joseph Nacchio. I have other sources that I’ve talked to who are deep in the history of military intelligence and the terrorist financing, and the information that they shared with me is extremely powerful… things relating to gold and silver bullion in the Philippines and Thailand being covered up under airports, and Bush and Cheney going to Panama and Wyoming, and planes full of billions of dollars’-worth of Iraqi dinars that are five, six, seven dollars a share, and then suddenly, the dinar goes to ten cents. There’s a lot of government financial corruption that all of these sources of intelligence begin to assemble and put together. What is the miracle of pulling everyone together is that these people are putting it forth for the benefit of the American people, for the benefit of our republic, for the benefit of our freedom and for the benefit of our country to survive.
We have a foolish national political ideology in Washington that started germinating under Clinton, and then it cracked under the shell under Bush, the son, the puppet, and under Cheney. I worked with Bush; he was a nice guy; he was semi-conservative, but he had a Democrat wife who I think corrupted him. He had political correctness; he had more homosexuals in his administration than anyone else. I don’t say that condemning of homosexuals; but I say, “If you’re representing the Republican conservative party, you damn well should have conservative Republicans in your key positions of leadership, because that’s why the American people put you in power. They put you in power to represent the conservative philosophy, which is conserving the history of the capital of American Christendom and Western civilization.”
That’s typically what conservatives are: they conserve the most important, vital elements of human existence. The liberal notion is, “Everything can be tossed aside and reinvented,” and that’s very destructive and foolish, because you’re destroying the very foundations upon which civilization has grown for the last 10,000 years. It’s like throwing out the baby with the bath water, so it’s intellectually, emotionally and spiritually a very foolish ideology.
However, that’s what Bush represented, because he came in and had Ken Mehlman as the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, and Ken Mehlman turned around and sued California over Proposition 8, wherein a majority of Californians said, “Marriage is between and man and a woman.” Ken Mehlman came out and said, “Gay marriage is going to be forced down your throat.”
Those are the things that trigger great revolutions in this country. Regardless of what the media reports, if you walk down the street, every neighbor you meet, for the most part, will say, “I believe in the conservative and traditional values, moral values.” They won’t bash homosexuals, but they do not believe that marriage should be a carnival of chaos.
The Susan Lindauer and Barbara Honegger show that we did on Sunday was very enlightening because it brought in the [Zacarias] Moussaoui testimony, the Birkenfeld documents and those revelations to Carl Levin, of which I’ve released a portion. I haven’t released everything yet because my case is still unfolding, and I want to bring all of that in and get it on the record. Then it will be taken to Congress as a record to say, “This was put in the courts, so it’s public record; you can’t classify it now that it’s been in the courtroom.”
Bennett said that he expects his legal actions to be brought forward “in the next few months.”
It’ll be brought into the courts, then simultaneously to the military and Congress; doing this simultaneously makes it impossible to classify. As I told Sean Stone, I will make everything I say unclassified because it came to me from unclassified sources. Whatever was said might have been classified by other parties, which is another issue, but what was given to me I’m going to tell the American people because I think it’s important for their safety and for the preservation of our country.
We’re dangerous in thinking that the world is not going to turn its back on us. I think we’re rapidly approaching a point where Europe, Russia, the Middle East and China – and that will trigger the bigger BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), to all incline away from us like a drunk at a party, like a rabid, drug-induced fanatic, pulling away. People are saying, “Wait a minute; this isn’t Western civilization; this isn’t America under Ronald Reagan or the classic American John Wayne; this is a crazy person who thinks he can go and conquer the world. Don’t you read history? Don’t you know Genghis Khan? Don’t you know Caesar? Don’t you know Hitler?”
The hope is that all of this material is going to be shared in a joint session. Former Sen. Bob Graham has called for the release of the remaining 9-11 documents. Barbara Honegger was just talking about that. It’s powerful, because it will disclose the Moussaoui sources’ connection to the bin Laden-Saudi financing of terrorism. What’s more important: it will expose information about UBS, as well as other Swiss banks, which was released by Birkenfeld in 2007. It also exposes the corruption on the parts of Hillary Clinton, Lanny Breuer and Eric Holder.
In a Friday editorial, columnist Paul Hollrah suggested that UBS might have laundered money funneled to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, to which millions of dollars were donated at levels far exceeding the legal limits and levels of average Americans. Former UBS Americas executive Robert Wolf, a major Obama bundler who has often played golf with the White House occupant, is a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
While implicating the military, Congress and his supervisors at Booz Allen as willfully ignoring the intelligence he gathered which may have cost an untold number of American lives, Bennett implicates the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a provider of funding for terrorism using Swiss banks, the same terrorism against which Obama last week asked Congress to authorize continued efforts to defeat.
Obama requested that Congress grant him the authority to pursue ISIS for the next three years while at the same time attempting to assure Americans that “another prolonged ground war in Iraq” is not part of his plan. However, he made the case for extenuating circumstances which would require U.S. Special Forces to be deployed to the region where ISIS has slaughtered thousands in the cause of establishing a new Islamic caliphate.
The Long Island Press correctly reported that under the U.S. Constitution, only Congress can declare war as stated in Article I, Section 8. However, Congress has not officially issued a declaration of war since World War II, instead authorizing the use of “military force” in various theaters requested by various presidents.
Some presidents have taken action on their own, without congressional approval.
At great personal risk, Bennett is continuing his efforts to secure an invitation to testify to Congress about the vital information he possesses in order to save American lives. He has been widely interviewed by alternative media since the mainstream media has declined to either interview him or publish the information he has already provided.
Bennett has termed his story one of “an American military officer and Booz Allen Hamilton Defense Contractor who, despite being threatened, tortured, persecuted, and then imprisoned by the American Department of Justice and Attorney General of the United States, continued his counter-terrorism mission; discovered and exposed in whistle-blowing reports to Congress and the military a scandalous conspiracy of government abuses and failures, and fought to inform the public of the unconstitutional and heinous acts being inflicted upon them without their notice, out of his sense of duty to ‘support and defend’ the Constitution of the United States against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.”