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25 February 2015

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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Israel also caused the destruction of Christian communities in Palestine; Ramallah used to be a Christian city.

turcopolier

Babak

As a member of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher I am charged with protecting Palestinian Christians from both the Israelis and Muslim animosity I am acutely aware of that responsibility. pl

TWit

Col Lang,

"Is there a US government list that designates some of these Christian groups as legal for private citizen support?" - No, there is not. The USG has for the last 14 years consistently refused to create a such a 'whitelist' in any other circumstance, and the Obama admin is very unlikely to do so for this instance.

For example, the Somali American community has virtually begged the US Treasury to identify financial institutions that they judge to be 'safe' and fully compliant with relevant regulations, in order for them to send money to needy relatives in Somalia without fear that they will be prosecuted if some of this money somehow ends up in the hands of al Shabaab (a definite possibility if one's relatives are unlucky enough to live in Shabaab-controlled territory). The US Treasury has (reasonably perhaps) refused to whitelist individual banks, but they have also gone beyond this and refused to even articulate clear criteria for transferring money to Somalia that if met would ensure someone would not be prosecuted for material support to terrorists (assuming good faith, of course). I seriously doubt the USG will make it easy for any private citizen to send money to anyone in Syria or Iraq.

In my view, the Treasury does this because they and the DoJ wants to retain a free hand and the material support statute can be used against anyone deemed "undesirable" by the government if they have even the remotest connection to a terrorist group or simply a community from which a terrorist group is drawn. The material support statute has been called by many as a perfect tool for "framing the guilty." So, I guess one just has to hope someone somewhere hasn't decided that they are 'the guilty'...

All this said, with enough pressure Treasury OFAC can and maybe will issue temporary humanitarian exemptions from the material support law, providing that there is no willful intent to fund terrorist groups. They did this in Somalia during the most recent famine, when charities like MSF et al were under serious threat of prosecution simply because they worked in al Shabaab controlled areas and at times had to pay "registration fees" to Shabaab (which it should be noted was the de facto government in the area).

robt willmann

The biggest problem about this issue of trying to help organizations do useful work overseas, and even here, is the U.S. Supreme Court, as you unfortunately can almost expect these days. In 2010, the supreme court delivered an opinion in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, case number 08-1498. In a disgraceful and intellectually dishonest opinion that relied on speculation and not on any specific facts developed in the case, the "material support" federal criminal law was said to be constitutional. The vote on deciding the case was 6-3.

The case was brought by people who wanted to help in a non-violent way and teach others to resolve their differences without violence.

If that was not bad enough, the opinion contains the usual cop-out, stating that, "We do not, however, address the resolution of more difficult cases that may arise under the statute in the future" (p. 2, pdf p. 8). Oh, sure. While the "judges" are up there in the nice supreme court building in Washington D.C. with everything paid for by the taxpayers, some brave soul is just going to have to let himself get indicted with that crime in federal court to try to have "a more difficult case" be "resolved" by the supreme court. Of course, that court does not tell you that they do not have to hear your appeal "to resolve" your "more difficult case" that could land you in prison for a very long time. The supreme court has almost complete discretion in deciding which cases it wants to hear and determine, and which cases it does not. You do not have a right to have your case heard by the supreme court after a federal court of appeals has upheld your conviction and long sentence for "material support" to a "foreign terrorist organization".

You can download and read the opinion and decision here; please do so as it will help you to understand that the federal courts of appeals are no longer the venue for maintaining and shielding individual freedom and constitutional rights--

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1498.pdf

nick b

Col.,

It's tough to know who is legit and who is not, but I've read about a Christian militia called the Nineveh Plain Protection Units. You can read about them here:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/02/23/army-of-assyrian-christians-aims-to-fight-islamic-state/23914327/

They were trained, at least in the beginning, by a fellow named Matthew VanDyke and his Sons of Liberty group. On their website FAQ, it claims it is legal for US citizens to donate to their cause. Here is the website http://www.sonsoflibertyinternational.com/

There is also a group supposedly working with the Nineveh Plains Protection Units (NPU) in the US: Restore Nineveh Now. They have a website and a place to donate as well. http://www.restoreninevehnow.org/

Here's another article that discusses the legality of donating to the NPU:
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/02/06/iraqi-christians-form-anti-isis-militia-and-you-can-legally-fund-them

I have no way of knowing if any of these groups are legitimate, but perhaps it's a place for you to start.

William R. Cumming

IMO the only safe tax exempt and deductible organizations for purposes of the federal income, gift, and estate taxes are those who have received formal IRS approval. CAVEAT EMPTOR FOR ALL OTHERS.

Tpcelt

OFAC economic and trade sanctions are usually quite specfic and can be described re legally allowed contributions on Treasury's OFAC website. Sometimes, regardless of national security concerns, there are legally authorized situations in which humanitarian aid can be provided, which situations can also be very specific. Regardless of good intentions, reference to OFAC info is crucial...sanctions violations are strict liability rules...adherence is required, ignorance or good intentions don't absolve liability.

nick b

WRC,

Wouldn't that be 'caveat donator'?

Imagine

Speaking of Israel...5'2" black/hebrew IDF woman about to go home "commits suicide" by "shooting herself in the face with her own M16"...twice. RIP.

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2015/02/24/young-black-hebrew-soldier-dies-mysteriously-at-israeli-air-force-base/

also please revisit "No, Mr. Netanyahu! We Won't Let You Drag the U.S. into War With Iran!"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-michael-lerner/no-mr-netanyhu-we-wont-le_b_6734706.html

Israel builds walls through Bethlehem, separating a Christian monastery from its lands:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/26/us-israel-palestinians-monastery-idUSBRE93P0VE20130426

Bethlehem mayor asks the Pope to intervene against building a wall through Bethlehem:

https://occpalgaza.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/palestinians-try-to-stop-illegal-israeli-apartheid-wall-near-west-bank-monastery/

The Beaver

@ nick b

I would be very wary about Matthew VanDyke. What he does is not very kosher?

He fought with the rebels in Libya ( which group ???) and was imprisoned for a while.
Once there was no more interest in Libya , he moved to Syria to fight there and there are rumours that he tried to pull something illegal whilst he was in Syria ( one of the journalists beheaded by ISIL was working with him at one point).

This is an eye opener:
http://www.digital-resistance.com/insight/vandyke-leaks/

William R. Cumming

YUP!

Babak Makkinejad

As if the Pope is going to do anything; a few months ago one of the Qum ayatollah's wrote him a letter and asked his assistance against common forms of religion-based political extremism.

He received a polite reply from the Vatican foreign minister with no action-oriented substance.

Babak Makkinejad

All:

On the "Religious War" front:

http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/62411-150226-east-jerusalem-greek-orthodox-seminary-set-on-fire

nick b

Beaver,

Thank you. As I mentioned it's tough to know who is legitimate and who isn't. This VanDyke fellow gotten a lot of press lately. I saw another story about him this morning:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/american-christians-heading-up-private-militias-fighting-jihadists-in-iraq/

Once again, to me, it looked like a reasonable starting point if one were researching for an outlet to contribute/donate.

Have you heard anything about Restore Nineveh now, or the American Mesopotamian Organization, which seems to be behind it?

FkDahl

Both Elliot Higgins and Mathew van Dyke have a mutual benefactor in Virginia (it must be our dear colonel!), as reported in the leaks linked to by The Beaver. They were also aware of the syrian rebels possessing sarin, but kept it quiet, not to disturb the official story of the Ghouta gas attack.
Brown Moses is now busy with the Bellingcat website, keeping busy showing how Russia is providing fire support to the Novorussian rebels.
"Matthew VanDyke: the film-maker waging war against Isis" - wow...

The Beaver

Nick

I don't know much about them except that I have been following a bit since last July.

Just want to draw your attention to this release:
http://www.restoreninevehnow.org/?p=553#comment-89

different clue

Nick b,

I wonder whether the American Chaldean community has organizations or spokesfolk/group leaders who would know.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

I suspect that this was done by Price-Tagger types or their fellow travelers and supporters.

I suspect that the majority of Jewish Israelis disapprove of that sort of thing or at least feel uncomfortable about it. But I further speculate that they and their government will do as little as possible about it because they are afraid of a Civil War with their pro Price-Tagger compatriots. Any movement which is prepared to arrange the killing of a Prime Minister is certainly ready to unleash and uphold its end of a Civil War. When Israel gets a GOI which has zero Price-Tagger sympathisers in its coalition, and that government is ready to hold up ITS end of a Civil War to victory or defeat, then the GOI will do something real about the Price Taggers. Otherwise, not.

( I realize that my civilian experience gives me no knowledge of the actual smell/feel/etc. of warfighting
and I don't know if a civil war would be long run positive or negative for Israel. I can only say I feel confident that it would take a civil war to put Price Taggerism and the Price Taggers all the way down).

turcopolier

FKDahl

"it must be our dear colonel!" What an unfounded assumption! I had never heard of either of them before I saw their names here on SST.

rjj

Anybody have any what Restore Nineveh is code for? It is from one or more of the OT prophets and the fundies get the reference.

Babak Makkinejad

What about spitting on priests as they walk in Jerusalem?

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

How many and which Jews are spitting on priests? I don't know for a fact, but I suspect fairly few fairly rarely. And the ones who disapprove are afraid to make the spitters stop. I suspect the ones afraid to make the spitters stop are afraid of fights and then riots. But if the spitters keep spitting, even if its only a few dozen, then the disapprovers will have to risk many thousands of spitter-supporters coming out to defend the active spitters. And the disapprovers are not yet ready to wage the violence necessary to put down thousands of spitter-supporters when they get violent in support of rather few spitters.

Babak Makkinejad

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/ultra-orthodox-spitting-attacks-on-old-city-clergymen-becoming-daily-1.393669

May be they have stopped since.

Tyler

FKDahl,

Brown Moses is a fool and a useful idiot who thinks youtube makes him an intelligence analyst.

A rather in depth thread on his antics (NSFW):

http://somethingsensitive.com/index.php?topic=5879.0

FkDahl

It is a very unfounded assumption -I am learning not to let "facts" interfere with my constructs... ;-)

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