Bush administration lax on terrorist financing

By Geraldine Sealey
November 8, 2004 10:59PM (UTC)
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The White House has recently tried to justify the Iraq war by saying Saddam Hussein's government was a "state sponsor of terrorism" -- and yet the Bush administration has been more lax on companies that do business with state sponsors of terrorism. Talk about "mixed messages"!

From the AP: "Despite the Bush administration's pledge to battle terrorist financing, the government's average penalty against companies doing business with countries listed as terrorist-sponsoring states fell sharply after the Sept. 11 attacks, an Associated Press analysis of federal records shows. The average penalty for a company doing business with Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan or Libya dropped nearly threefold, from more than $50,000 in the five years before the 2001 attacks to about $18,700 afterward, according to a computer-assisted analysis of federal records."


Why has the White House been so forgiving with these companies? The AP has a suggestion. "Nineteen executives or directors of companies fined by [Office of Foreign Assets Control], for dealing with state sponsors of terrorism were top campaign fund-raisers for Bush."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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