'On November 19, 1493, during his second voyage, Christopher Columbus arrived in Puerto Rico. The indigenous Taíno culture dominated the island... By 1520 the Taíno presence had almost vanished.' gsp.yale.edu/case-studies/c…
Lotta folks for some reason think Columbus never landed in what would become the US, ie:
"Baker McKenzie is an architect and pillar of a shadow economy, often called ‘offshore,’ that benefits the wealthy at the expense of nations’ treasuries and ordinary citizens’ wallets." abajournal.com/news/article/p…
Baker McKenzie 'did work for sanctioned Russian banks and arms makers, as well as the kingpins behind some of the world’s largest alleged heists' justsecurity.org/78506/closing-…
‘The US emerges from the leak as a leading tax haven. The files suggest the state of South Dakota, in particular, is sheltering billions of dollars in wealth linked to individuals previously accused of serious financial crimes.’ theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/…
Want to know how the US transformed into the world’s biggest offshore haven? Or why Delaware, South Dakota, and other states became the go-to for anyone looking to hide dirty money?
‘The #PandoraPapers expose how foreign political and corporate leaders or their relatives moved money and other assets in recent years from international tax havens to even more secretive American trust companies, including those in South Dakota.’ washingtonpost.com/business/2021/…
NEW: For @TheAtlantic, I looked at how the US art and auction worlds have exploded into havens for dirty money—and why Hunter Biden is the worst thing to happen to the art world in years. theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
The U.S. art and auction industries have become key vectors in trans-national money laundering networks—and dodged (most) money laundering regulations.
Instead, we're supposed to just take them at their word that they're on the lookout for dirty money.
—Disavowed his oath of loyalty to the US
—Led a movement that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of US troops
—All so that he could no longer be American
—All so that he and other insurrections could continue/expand enslavement of Black Americans
Robert E. Lee's treason is there for all of us to see.
As Ulysses S. Grant wrote, Lee chose to lead a movement that was “one of the worst [causes] for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.”
'Ideally, she says, the world would not see the Soviet Union first and foremost as an ideological project that “fell apart” due to economic woe, but also as a colonial empire that many peoples fought to topple' calvertjournal.com/features/show/…
Wanted: Survey of how the Soviet collapse has (slowly, fitfully) been increasingly understood in the West as an outcome of colonization out of Moscow, rather than just economic failures.
NEW: America’s sanctions policies are long overdue for a reevaluation. But while some elements should be scrapped, programs targeting kleptocrats and their networks should remain—and be strengthened across the board.
One lesson from the War on Terror that’s been overlooked (or forgotten) is just how effective financial measures were at disabling terror networks—and how those (unsurprisingly) follow similar pathways to the kleptocratic networks now operating.
One potential silver lining of the U.S. pulling out of Afghanistan: Maybe Washington will finally—finally—be willing to actually go after kleptocrats and regimes in Central Asia, rather than prioritize security relations over absolutely everything.
In five years, a grand total of *two* Central Asian figures have been sanctioned under Global Magnitsky. No one from Turkmenistan. No one from Tajikistan. No one from Kazakhstan.
If the Biden admin wants to prove it's serious about elevating corruption to a core national security threat, it should also absolutely start launching sanctions salvos against leading corrupt regime insiders in the region.
Sarah Chayes had an entire book years ago on how elite corruption in Afghanistan—and Washington's unwillingness to do anything about it—severely undercut the U.S.'s mission there: nytimes.com/2015/02/22/boo…
Deprioritizing fighting corruption will always, eventually, blow up in our faces.
Shortly after becoming dictator, Napoleon unleashed a torrent of racist policies, not least reimposing human chattel slavery throughout the French Empire (even while completely failing to reconquer Haiti):
For @TheProspect, I wrote about the legacy of Sen. Carl Levin—a man ahead of his time, who could see how kleptocracy would rise, and who helped pass the most important anti-money laundering legislation the U.S. has ever seen. prospect.org/power/the-inve…
One of the most impressive element of Sen. Levin's career was just how much *foresight* he had.
Few politicians had a better grasp on the rising world of offshoring and financial secrecy—and those links to authoritarianism—than Levin.
And Levin knew what to do about it, and about the Americans helping all this dirty money cross international borders.
There's a reason he was one of the first legislators to push for banning anonymous shell companies—all the way back during the George W. Bush administration.
NEW: A series of lawsuits from Russian oligarchs in the UK highlights how easy it is for kleptocratic forces to stifle Western journalists, and anyone trying to shine a light on international money laundering networks. newrepublic.com/article/163131…
The Russian oligarch at the center of the recent efforts to target investigative journalists in the UK, Roman Abramovich, has helped launch what may be the most expensive libel case in British history.
But there's far more at stake than just legal fees.
NEW: The Tom Barrack charges show how wildly successful foreign dictatorships were at secretly swaying the Trump administration—and why so many illicit foreign agents targeted the White House. nbcnews.com/think/opinion/…
Just look at what Tom Barrack—Trump’s close friend, advisor, fundraiser—allegedly did secretly on behalf of the UAE dictatorship:
—Change Trump’s speeches
—Lobby for pro-UAE staffing/policy
—Funnel internal White House discussions to the UAE
—Publicly whitewash the UAE regime
One question: What did Tom Barrack get in return for flipping into a secret foreign agent for the UAE, whispering in Trump’s ear?
One potential answer: Look how much money—$1.5 billion—his private equity firm received from UAE (and Saudi) sources.
Teddy Roosevelt: First president to host a Black man at the White House, yet someone who thought the 15th Amendment was a “mistake” and that 90% of Jim Crow was justified, with Black Americans “altogether inferior to the whites.”
Still strange the US’s crushing of Filipino independence efforts doesn’t have more resonance in 21st century America—everything from widespread use of water-boarding, to efforts to cover up torture reports by Roosevelt’s administration.