Thursday, February 16, 2017

Riza Aziz goes to court to challenge the DOJ-Riza relies on AG Appandi's findings, and challenges the DOJ to impugn Appandi's honour, integrity, professionalism ........

by Ganesh Sahathevan

n court papers quietly filed this past week, various entities connected to Red Granite Pictures co-founder Riza Aziz are attacking the U.S. government's attempt to seize real estate properties in the huge $1 billion action targeting alleged corruption of Malaysian public funds.

The Justice Department has touted the 1MDB case as its biggest kleptocracy case to date, but Aziz's lawyer, Matthew Schwartz, a former assistant U.S. attorney who once prosecuted Bernie Madoff, slams the U.S. government for failing to include "essential detail" about the supposed crimes. He's demanding a dismissal.

"[T]he Government's entire theory of the case presupposes that the Malaysia Attorney General's findings are factually and legally invalid," states the court papers. "There is therefore no way for this litigation to proceed without a ruling from this Court on whether the Malaysian Attorney General's sovereign functions were illegitimate.".

Where does one begin.............


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Clinton ally Shearer was investigated for breaching the Logan Act for contact with Bosnia-An unauthorised extension of the Clinton's own dealings with Bosmal of Bosnia?

by Ganesh Sahathevan

The following from Wikileaks concerns Cody Shearer,and his breaching the Logan Act for unauthorized contact with Bosnia.It should be read in conjunction with these previous publications by this writer on this and related blogs.

Hillary Clinton, Bosmal, and the Al-Qaeda financier TWRA

Hilary Clinton supports Clark-Bosmal plan

And now, Wikileaks

Clinton insider faced IG probe for informal diplomacy <> // Washington Examiner // Sarah Westwood – July 19, 2015* A longtime Clinton ally who was once under investigation for a possible violation of the Logan Act may have helped Sidney Blumenthal prepare intelligence memos for Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state. Cody Shearer was the subject of a State Department inspector general probe in 1998 after he allegedly conducted rogue negotiations that "caused temporary diplomatic damage in Bosnia," according to documents obtained by Citizens United through the Freedom of Information Act. The inspector general found that Shearer, whose ties to the Clintons stretch back to the 1992 election, "may have represented himself as speaking on behalf of the U.S. Department of State" in private conversations about the proposed partitioning of Bosnia — a policy the U.S. publicly opposed. More than a decade later, Shearer is entangled in another instance of back-channel information peddling at the State Department. Shearer assisted Blumenthal and Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA operative, in preparing a series of informal intelligence memos for Clinton as she waded deeper into the Libyan conflict, according to Pro Publica. The edited tranche of emails published by the State Department in May and June suggest she relied almost exclusively on their guidance to inform her decision-making in the country. Shearer's sister Brooke first grew close to Clinton during the 1992 presidential election, when she traveled with the former first lady on the campaign trail. Shearer's brother-in-law, Strobe Talbott, has been close to the Clintons for decades. After rising through the ranks of the State Department to become deputy secretary of state, Talbott accepted a position as head of the Brookings Institution. But it appears he, too, maintained influence at the agency through his connection to Clinton. When she went looking for a new assistant in June 2009, Clinton turned to Talbott for suggestions on who to hire. Clinton's emails suggest she and Talbott were in frequent contact and even had "catch-up calls" to provide each other with diplomatic updates. Talbott's name surfaced in the inspector general documents as having written a letter to his brother-in-law that warned Shearer to "be careful in his actions" in Bosnia during Bill Clinton's presidency. The records suggest the FBI participated in the probe of Shearer's independent diplomacy.

Senator John McCain is suspected of having breached the Logan Act in 2008-Wikileaks Podesta Emails

[big campaign] Did McCain violate US law on the Colombia trip?

Petronas Block 310 offshore Johor likely to go to China, along with control of Middle Rocks

by Ganesh Sahathevan

It has been previously reported on this blog that  PM Najib may have handed the Luconia and Greater Sarawak oil and gas provinces to China and that the loss to Malaysia may exceed Badawi's USD 100 billion Brunei deal.

It now appears that as a result of Najib's Pedra Branca/Middle Rocks gambit which gives China effective control of the waters off south-east Johor, China may well gain control of Petronas Block 310. Being an "open" block, it does not have to be put out for auction,and while theoretically anyone can propose an exploration programme for the block, anyone who has had to deal with Petronas knows that "anyone" means a party favoured by the UMNO/BN government.

These are shallow water blocks and given that the market for oil services is still somewhat depressed it would be well within the means of the Johor Government to explore and possibly exploit the area on its own.There is no need for Chinese investment, at least at the early exploration stage.


Hillary Clinton , the Brookings Institution & Douglas Paal :Their overt support for Najib Razak at the height of his 1MDB theft may have been a breach of the Logan Act.


Hillary Clinton said of the Brookings Institution  during the opening of a speech she gave at the think tank in September 2015:
“There are a lot of long-time friends and colleagues who perch here at Brookings”.

It has been reported that the relationship was close enough that   "these close allies and colleagues of the Clintons used their institution to smear Bernie Sanders’ policies as intangible throughout the primaries."

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: Democratic presidential nomiee Hillary Clinton addresses the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists August 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Clinton took questions following her remarks.

Douglas Paal, the author of the Brookings publication below  in support of Malaysian PM Najib Razak, prior to the 2013 election,is a  well known US government intermediary in East and South East Asia, given his often overt support for politicians favoured by the State Department. Paal and the other author of this article, Jeffrey Bader, are both former senior State Department officials. 

Paal at least has always claimed to be acting independently , and this writer would be surprised if the State Department or any other US agency were to now claim that he was acting with authorization. as defined for the purposes of the Logan Act.

While the article appears to be directed at the Malaysian voter, its publication on a website most Malaysians would be unaware of suggests that it was meant for local US consumption.
Nevertheless, it does make explicit support for Najib Razak, even as he was stealing from his own 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, and investing that money in the US.

This article does appear to be the work of  a  private person or persons acting without authorization to "influence local and foreign government policy in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States".The Brookings Institution, Paal and Bader must wear the blame, if the Logan Act is to be applied consistently.

That the Brookings Institution has close ties to the Clintons raises questions about their involvement in any attempt to help Najib win the Malaysian election and/or conceal his theft.

An American Perspective on Malaysia’s Elections: Preserving Najib Razak’s Gains

Jeffrey A. Bader and Douglas H. PaalWednesday, May 1, 2013
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has called national elections for May 5. This date is perilously close to the statutory deadline to hold the elections, suggesting he is concerned that the results may lead to his departure from office. Malaysia, the United States, and much of the world have a stake in the outcome.

The traditionally dominant party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), and its partners in the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition have experienced internal divisions. Ethnic preferences for Malays in government and the economy have alienated many Chinese, who are a minority (roughly 40 percent of Malaysia’s population) but economically dominant. Najib’s efforts at internal reform have threatened traditionalists associated with former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Younger, urban voters seem itching for change.
There is a strong challenge from an opposition coalition headed by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. His Pakatan Rakyat coalition includes Chinese and Islamic parties and is close enough in some polls to win outright.
But many longtime observers believe the real election is within UMNO, between old warhorses associated with Mahathir and the reformists surrounding Najib. The argument is that if Najib cannot bring in a result that preserves UMNO’s two-thirds majority and capacity to rewrite the constitution, old-line leaders, possibly current Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, would displace Najib and stem reforms.
This is where the stakes need to be clearly stated. Under Mahathir, opposition to perceived residual Western colonialism was a rallying cry and a frequent and increasingly anachronistic theme. His successor, Abdullah Badawi, was less shrill but did not move significantly away from Mahathir’s policies. Najib has fundamentally repositioned Malaysia internationally. He has moved away from the old UMNO policy seeking to divide Asia from the United States and has seen the United States as an important partner for Malaysia and ASEAN.
Najib and his top officials have been forthright in speaking about democratic values in international forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum. They have been critical of states such as North Korea and even Myanmar before reforms commenced there, something that would not have been countenanced in an earlier period when criticism was aimed solely at the West.
Najib has done all this as part of a strategy to retain domestic (Chinese) investment and attract foreign investment in order to accelerate Malaysia’s development. As a demonstration of his commitment to a more open Malaysian economy, he has joined the discussions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with ten other nations.
After economic contraction in 2009, Malaysia’s GDP growth has rebounded to a robust 5 percent, led by double-digit export growth in 2010 and large FDI inflows in 2010 and 2011. Gross investment for 2012 was up 9 percent over the last year, with the fastest growth in private and domestic investment (up 22 percent and 55 percent, respectively). The current account surplus is expected to narrow in the near term, and employment growth is expected mostly in domestic-oriented sectors such as services, in line with Najib’s New Economic Model that aims to create more sustainable, equitable, high-income growth. The Asian Development Bank forecasts that Malaysia’s GDP will grow by 5.3 percent in 2013, accelerating a little to 5.5 percent next year. Malaysia’s strong performance under Najib stands in marked contrast to the ethnic preferences and frequent allegations of corruption and cronyism under Mahathir.
Domestically, Malaysia remains an impressive Muslim-majority nation with a democratic system, pluralism, and generally good standards for human rights protection. Najib has given a number of speeches in international settings denouncing terrorism in the Islamic world and indeed has preached formation of a league of moderate nations to fight terrorism.
Under Najib, Malaysia also has moved to significantly tighten its previously porous export-control system, which had made the country a transit point for shipment and financing of dual-use products going to Iran. Defense cooperation with the United States and others has been normalized, and it has not remained a forum for grandstanding against the West.
Najib has moved to dismantle one of the instruments of repression, the Internal Security Act inherited from the British when Malaysia became independent. Under his guidance the legislature has replaced the law, which provided the basis for lengthy detention without trial.
These are not just achievements for Najib’s leadership, but they are gains for Malaysia, the region, and the world.
As the election campaign unfolds, it will be interesting to see what issues UMNO and its Barisan National coalition and Anwar with his Pakatan Rakyat coalition use against each other (see the table below).
Barisan National (ruling coalition) 
Coalition head: Najib Razak
Pakatan Rakyat (opposition) 
Coalition head: Anwar Ibrahim
The Economy
  • Gradually increase the government’s 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) handouts to RM1,200 for qualified households and RM600 for qualified singles
  • Enact a more broad-based tax system and gradually reduce personal and corporate tax rates
  • Maintain BR1M cash assistance if elected
  • Broaden income tax band, raise the income floor for the 26 percent tax rate to RM400,000 from RM250,000
Bumiputera (Ethnic Malays and Indigenous Groups)
  • Promote and improve Bumiputera policies that favor ethnic Malay businesses
  • Provide RM500 million in seed funding to the Indian community
  • Equally distribute economic assistance regardless of race
  • Undertake an inclusive development platform that includes all ethnic groups
Transparent Government
  • Establish additional corruption courts
  • Elevate officers of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to higher level
  • Introduce corruption elimination policy (DEBARAN) to free anticorruption institutions from political control and improve anticorruption prosecution
  • Undertake electoral reform
Living Standards
  • Expand transport subsidies, education aid, food and housing assistance, public transportation, and rural infrastructure
  • Undertake similar populist policies, and raise minimum monthly income to RM4,000 by end of first term
  • Enact the 2020 plan for high-income development based on innovation
  • Attract RM1.3 trillion worth of investments and create 2 million new high-income jobs
  • Channel investment to small and medium enterprises
  • Raise research and development expenditures to 5 percent of GDP
  • Create a RM500 million national innovation fund
  • Reshuffle tax incentives to give more assistance to small and medium industries
The Environment
  • Introduce financial incentives for renewable energy investment
  • Voluntarily reduce emissions intensity of GDP by up to 40 percent by 2020
  • Pass stricter illegal logging laws
  • Halt work at the Lynas rare earth plant
  • Review the implementation phases of the RAPID petrochemical project in Pengerang
  • Reform logging regulation
Anwar has a mixed record. He earlier stood out as one of Malaysia’s leading progressive political figures and someone who creatively reconciled Islam and Western values. Since his imprisonment by Mahathir in 1998 on allegations of sodomy and a subsequent revival of similar charges in 2008 that was overturned in Malaysia’s courts, he has moved toward a closer alignment with Islamic politics. He has, for example, irritated women voters by suggesting that sharia law could be adopted by tradition-minded Malaysian states. Anwar nonetheless continues to be a strong public advocate of democracy and human rights and criticizes Najib as essentially continuing the more repressive policies of the Mahathir years.
Whether the winner is Najib or Anwar or the conservative forces within UMNO, Malaysians should consider seriously how to preserve the gains of the Najib era. 

Desperate to get Michael Flynn, the US intel community and DOJ have put at risk go-betweens throughout South East Asia:American Chambers Of Commerce exposed

by Ganesh Sahathevan 

US CoC Logo.png
United States Chamber of Commerce

It is fair to say that most if not all government agencies in South East and East Asia were not aware of the very existence of the Logan Act . Not that is until this week when it has been used to seek the resignation of President Trump's National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Now, as a result of his resignation ,or sacking ,for breaching that Act, government agencies in South East and East Asia would be aware that the US citizens who have or are acting as go-betweens providing back channels to the US Government may be in breach of their country's own laws. These would include those acting for US corporations whose business dealings often involve discussions about US and local government policy on any number of issues. Influencing or changing the relevant policy is a necessary part of such discussions.

"Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."
The problem for US citizens who have or are acting as go-betweens in this region is this. First, none are likely to be doing so with "authority" and even if they are, it is not likely that the US Government is going to admit to it; go-betweens are used to sort out issues that are best kept of the record by the US Government.That is what US Chambers of Commerce, for example, are meant to do. That expediency is probably the reason why there have been no prosecutions under the act in its more than 200-year history.

The Justice Department's decision to threaten prosecution of Michael Flynn for breaching the Logan Act may not only have alerted governments in this region to the Act's existence, it also alerts them to an avenue of attack against US citizens that they have dealt with ,or are dealing with for the prosecution of Flynn suggests that the DOJ has now reversed the long standing policy to not enforce the Act. This may or may not be a valid conclusion, but US citizens threatened with exposure are likely to take the threat seriously, and give in to demands.

In this region where where government owned companies dominate the economy, and where media outlets are usually government owned or controlled, "correspondence or intercourse .. with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States", are likely to be the norm rather than the exception. Anyone who has dealt with the US Chambers Of Commerce in this region would understand what all that means.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Michael Flynn & The Logan Act-Did not the same occur in that well publicized case in '63,involving JFK, John Scalli ,and the KGB

From the NPR:

If Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, was trying to reassure the Russian ambassador about sanctions leveled by the Obama administration, then he may have broken the law.

That law is the Logan Act. It's gotten a lot of attention recently and is at the center of the scandal surrounding Flynn, who resigned Monday night after multiple reports were published noting that he had misled the vice president and others in the administration. Flynn categorically denied to Mike Pence, then vice president-elect, last month that he had discussed the sanctions.

The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799 ) is a United States federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States.

But now read,from 1963:
That afternoon, however, the (Cuban Missile) crisis took a dramatic turn. ABC News correspondent John Scali reported to the White House that he had been approached by a Soviet agent suggesting that an agreement could be reached in which the Soviets would remove their missiles from Cuba if the United States promised not to invade the island

The above account is from the State Department's website, but Scalli and his friends told it differently :

In 1962, when Scali was a diplomatic reporter for ABC News, President John F. Kennedy disclosed the existence of offensive missile sites in Cuba and warned that if any were fired at the U.S., the nation would retaliate against Moscow, not Havana.

Two days later, Scali was contacted by Alexandr S. Fomin, a KGB official in Washington and a personal friend of Khrushchev.

"Is Kennedy serious? Would he really do that?" Fomin asked Scali. "You're goddamn right he would," Scali said, according to a friend, Warren Rogers.

Over lunch, Fomin outlined a proposal under which the Soviets would dismantle the Cuban missile bases if the American government would pledge not to invade Cuba.

Scali got the message to the President. The next day, Khrushchev added a stipulation to the proposal that the United States abandon its missile bases in Turkey. A furious Scali met Fomin to denounce a "dirty, rotten, lousy, stinking double-cross."

The United States ignored the Turkey-base proposal and concluded the negotiations through Scali.

However, Kennedy would not allow Scali to tell the story.

ABC planned to disclose the account after Kennedy's assassination, but the Los Angeles Times and its New York sister publication Newsday published the story first.