Thursday, May 17, 2018

Middle East Eye — Turkish Banker Sentenced to 32 months in US Prison for Evading Sanctions

The prosecution of Mehmet Hakan Atilla has further strained relations between US and Turkey.…
A US judge sentenced Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a banker at Turkey's state-controlled Halkbank, to 32 months in prison on Wednesday after he was convicted earlier this year of taking part in a scheme to help Iran evade US sanctions....
The case has further strained diplomatic relations between the United States and Turkey, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned it as a political attack on his government.…
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of about 20 years for Atilla.
However, Judge Berman said before imposing his sentence that the evidence presented at trial showed Atilla was a minor player in the sanctions-dodging scheme, and "at times a reluctant one at that," largely following orders from his supervisor....
The Turkish president has repeatedly condemned Atilla's conviction, most recently on Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television...
"If Hakan Atilla is going to be declared a criminal, that would be almost equivalent to declaring the Turkish Republic a criminal," Erdogan said.
Anyone taking bets on how long Turkey lasts in NATO?

Middle East Eye
Turkish Banker Sentenced to 32 months in US Prison for Evading Sanctions

See also
The major debate taking place is over where one goes from here. There are two distinct schools of thought, one of which basically asks whether continuation of what is essentially a unipolar world, supported by US power, in which the United States continues to be able to assert its vision of world global good order. This has been defined by Washington as a mixture of expansion of liberal democracy plus more-or-less free trade.…
The alternative view is quite different, asserting that Washington’s blow against Iran will ultimately be a Pyrrhic victory for Donald Trump as the blatant interference in what was a universally accepted largely successful treaty in which Iran was fully compliant will produce a global backlash against American interests.
I would say that they are both correct, to a degree. Washington still has enough clout to enforce its will, however, unpopular. But the US leadership is fast burning through its political capital, and American soft power is decreasing quickly, reversing a longstanding rising trend as the US in growingly perceived as the global bully.

Increasingly also, the US is becoming viewed as a rogue state which believes it is so exceptional and powerful that it is above the law and can do as it pleases in the world, recklessly trampling the interests of other states and peoples. That is unsustainable without war.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Will Trump"s Pyrrhic Victory End with America"s Role As Global Bully?
Philip Giraldi, former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer, now Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity


Konrad said...

That same judge Berman presided over the horrendous U.S. case against Ms. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani citizen and graduate of MIT. Ms. Siddiqui warned a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Brandeis University in 2001 at age 28.

After the 9-11 false flag attacks, Dr. Siddiqui returned to Pakistan for a time, and again in 2003.

The U.S. government claims that while they were waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, he named Dr. Siddiqui a courier and “financier” for the (U.S.-financed) Al-Qaeda. When Dr. Siddiqui learned that the FBI was looking for her, she and her three children disappeared in Pakistan.

Five years later (in 2008) she reappeared in Ghazni, Afghanistan, and was arrested by Afghan police on behalf of the FBI, who threw her into a torture dungeon at the notorious Bagram Air Force Base. At that time Dr. Siddiqui was 36.

While she rotted as a "ghost prisoner," the U.S. says she tried to murder two U.S. soldiers in what the U.S. claims was an escape attempt so she could be with her children. She was sent to New York City, held in jail for two years, and was convicted of attempted murder. Ms Siddiqui, then aged 38, asked for a change of venue, saying that a Jewish judge (Berman) would not give her a fair trial. This so infuriated Berman that he sentenced Dr. Siddiqui to 86 years in prison, meaning she will not get out until she is 111 years old. The entire case against her was so weird, so bogus, and so nightmarish that it haunts me.

The US case against Mehmet Hakan Atilla is similar. Just like Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, under torture, had fingered Dr. Siddiqui, so did Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, under interrogation, finger Atilla.

Zarrab was arrested in Miami Florida on 19 March 2016, but was not sentenced. Atilla was arrested in New York City 27 March 2017.

Turkish president Erdogan says the US case is based on evidence fabricated by followers of Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, who is a bitter foe of Erdogan, and who lives in the USA under U.S. government protection.

The U.S. attack on Mehmet Hakan Atilla is another case of the U.S. Empire lashing out in a desperate attempt to show everyone that it is still the boss, and that everyone must fear the boss.

Q. Why does the Empire and Israel get away with so much evil?

A. Because the Empire and Israel always have collaborators.

Each time the USA or Israel targets someone in any nation, there is always someone else in that nation who collaborates with the USA or Israel for personal gain. For example, if you and I are both up for the same job, I can eliminate you from the competition by calling you an “anti-Semite.” In this way I get ahead, as does Jewish supremacy.

Likewise, if the USA says it will punish any European who does business with Iran, there are always Europeans who seek to get ahead by fingering other Europeans as sanctions violators.

The Empire rules because its slaves always include plenty of selfish rats.

Konrad said...

I meant to say Ms. Siddiqui *EARNED* a Ph.D. at Brandeis.