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Obama's Chilling Crew--The legal harassment of those investigating Tony Rezko.
Frontpagemagazine ^ | 4-28-09 | Andrew Walden

Posted on 04/28/2009 5:42:30 AM PDT by SJackson

Obama's Chilling Crew  
By Andrew Walden
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why is there so little media investigation of the financing behind Barack Obama’s early political sponsor—and now convicted felon—Tony Rezko?     

The dual US-Syrian citizen Rezko--who assisted Obama in the purchase of his Chicago mansion--was heavily funded by loans from Iraqi-British ex-Baathist billionaire Nadhmi Auchi.  According to testimony at Rezko’s trial, Obama met Auchi at an April 3, 2004 event at Rezko’s home during Obama’s 2004 US Senate campaign.  The Times of London reports discovering, “state documents in Illinois recording that Fintrade Services, a Panamanian company, lent money to Mr. Obama’s fundraiser in May 2005.”  Fintrade directors, according to The Times “include Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr. Auchi’s wife”. 

Media bias is an easy—and intellectually lazy--explanation.  Journalists digging into stories involving Auchi often find themselves peppered with threats of libel litigation from a London law firm known as Carter-Ruck.  Hawai'i Free Press has received several such letters.  

In a free society, one might expect reporters confident of the accuracy of their reporting to shrug off such threats.  But Auchi’s attorneys are operating under the laws of an increasingly un-free society—England.      

Auchi’s litigation threats have chased eight articles from the internet sites of the UK Guardian, Observer and New Statesman.  Sweden-based website Wikileaks has posted the eight articles but writes:

Wikileaks itself is now under legal attack by Auchi’s lawyers.  

What is so stifling about English libel law?  Carter-Ruck explains on its own website:

In a December, 2003, obituary, former C-R partner David Hooper wrote:

Posted on the Carter-Ruck website, an article by C-R partner Nigel Tait outlines four very specific “matters the courts consider suitable for injunction.”  These include “unauthorized topless shots of women….”  Tait then points out that in spite of these limited legal bases for “prior restraint” some publishers can be convinced to censor themselves by “the first two (sic) weapons of the Spanish Inquisition.  Fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency.” 

Perhaps hoping to inspire “fear and surprise” with “ruthless efficiency” Carter-Ruck demand letters—laden with misspellings and what appear to be cut-and-paste formulations--have been going out not only to large British newspapers, but also to American newspapers and both well-known and obscure bloggers.  April 23, 2008—in the midst of the US Presidential race--an article on Auchi’s Middle East Online website boasted of knocking articles off of the Guardian and Observer websites.  Bloggers began receiving Carter-Ruck letters demanding that allegedly defamatory comments be removed from their comments sectionMEO displayed a sphinx-like image of Auchi.  The caption: "Tracking even the search engines." 

It worked.  When the November election came and went, the American public barely knew Rezko and knew Auchi even less.  Obama won. 

Hawai'i Free Press received an emailed letter from Carter-Ruck February 10, 2009.  It was followed by faxes and mailings.  Then the phone calls started.  C-R staffer Nuala Guiney rang this writer’s cell phone at 1AM and again at 5AM one morning.  The demand: “cease publishing these false and defamatory allegations about our client by forthwith removing them.”  C-R also claims:  “You should be aware that our client has lived and worked in England for over 25 years and that your article is likely to have been read by a substantial number of readers in England.  Accordingly, in relation to publication of the article in England, it will be subject to English law and the jurisdiction of the court in England.” 

The letter is labeled “Not for Publication”.  Like many of the things one finds under a rock, Carter-Ruck’s “fear and surprise” works better in secret.  Like Tait’s article, this is a sign of weakness on their part.  Their letter was sent to a publication and concerns matters of public interest.  Hawai'i Free Press is not bound by such unilateral declarations.  The Carter-Ruck letters are published along with the reply from Hawai'i Free Press attorneys in a pdf file at this link.

In response The Legal Project of the Middle East Forum assisted Hawai'i Free Press in obtaining representation.  According to its website, “The Legal Project, as part of the Middle East Forum, aims to protect researchers and analysts who work on the topics of terrorism, terrorist funding, and radical Islam from lawsuits designed to silence their exercise of free speech.”  Volunteering his services: Chicago attorney Timothy Kapshandy and a team from Sidley Austin. 

Concerned attorneys are not alone is stepping forward. In the U.S. efforts are underway to prevent foreign court libel judgments from infringing on the First Amendment guarantees of press freedom. On May 7, 2008 Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) was among those announcing introduction of the Free Speech Protection Act which has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. He explained: “The United Kingdom has become a popular venue for defamation plaintiffs from around the world, because under English law it is not necessary for a libel plaintiff to prove falsity or actual malice as is required in the United States.”

Senator Lieberman’s Free Speech Protection Act is modeled on “Rachel’s Law” signed April 30, 2008 by New York Governor David Paterson.  Rachel’s Law had passed both houses of the New York state legislature unanimously March 31 after being introduced with bi-partisan support.  “Rachel” is Rachel Ehrenfeld, an investigative journalist and author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It

Ehrenfeld’s 2003 book, published in the U.S., pointed to Saudi multi-millionaire Khalid Salim Bin Mahfouz as a funding source for al-Qaeda prior to 9-11. Mahfouz sued. He is Saudi; the book, its author and publisher are American; but rather than coming to a U.S. court, Mahfouz selected English jurisdiction in a typical case of “libel tourism.” Ehrenfeld did not answer the English suit and instead countersued in U.S. federal court.

The Illinois legislature has now passed a similar law and California legislators are considering following suit with SB 320The Los Angeles Times April 9 editorialized: “Some public figures are using England's plaintiff-friendly laws to go after books they don't like. New York and Illinois have come to the defense of U.S. writers. Congress and California should too.”

The UK Guardian reports:

The three MPs are going to meet a lot of resistance.  As Auchi’s General Mediterranean Holdings website explains:

In response to the Carter-Ruck letters Hawai'i Free Press re-researched its article and made one change to reflect conflicting information about whether Auchi’s General Mediterranean Holdings owns stock in BNP-Paribas, a leading French bank.  The article remains posted online: Lehman Brothers: Obama’s Rezko-Auchi conflict of interest

Carter-Ruck  claims, “it is untrue that our client is the largest private shareholder in BNP Paribas.”  But the website of Auchi’s Luxembourg-based "Compagnie Internationale de Participations Bancaires en Financières SA" (CIPAF) boasts, “Until the merger of BNP and Paribas, the Cipaf group was one of the largest independent shareholders of Compagnie Financière de Paribas. Since the merger, it ranks amongst the topmost investors in the enlarged BNP Paribas, now a leading European banking group.” 

Perhaps Carter-Ruck should sue Auchi for defaming himself.  If that sounds absurd consider this item from the former C-R partner, Hooper:

The letter asserts nine points which it calls “highly defamatory and false.”  This is typical Carter-Ruck style.  A C-R letter to The New Statesman contains ten pages of “It is untrue” --including 14 points denying this writer’s August 24, 2008 Accuracy In Media article titled, “Iraqi Billionaire Threatens Reporters Investigating Rezko Affair.”  There are several such “Not for Publication” Carter-Ruck letters posted online by bloggers at TheRealBarackObama, RezkoWatch, AJacksonian, and NoQuarterUSA—where C-R actually demanded removal of comments to a blog post.

This writer is researching the nine points made in the C-R letter and will soon publish a detailed analysis of each with supporting links to primary sources and media articles which have withstood threats from C-R.  If C-R can use cookie-cutter letters to intimidate, then researchers and journalists can certainly save a lot of time and effort by supplying carefully researched and documented cookie-cutter answers.  Stay tuned.



TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 200404; 20040403; 200505; 20050523; 200805; 20080507; 200902; 20090210; antoinrezko; auchi; baath; baathists; baathparty; billionaire; binmahfouz; bnpparibas; bnpparinbas; bright; carter; carterruck; censorship; chicago; chicagocell; chicagoway; cipaf; davidhooper; dohrn; dualcitizenship; ehrenfeld; elfoil; fear; fintrade; fintradeservices; freedomofspeech; freespeechprotection; fundraiser; gmh; guardian; guiney; harassment; hawaiifreepress; hooper; ibtisamauchi; illinois; illinoiscell; iraq; iraqi; iraqibillionaire; kapshandy; khalidbinmahfouz; lehmanbros; lehmanbrothers; libel; libellaws; mahfouz; martinbright; meo; meonline; middleeastonline; nadhmiauchi; nigeltait; nualaguiney; obama; obamabundler; obamafundraiser; obamatruthfile; observer; panama; panamaniancompany; paytoplay; petercarterruck; rachelehrenfeld; rachelslaw; rezko; ruck; sidleyaustin; tait; terrorism; thelegalproject; threatletters; threats; timothykapshandy; tonyrezko; transparency; wikileaks; wuo

1 posted on 04/28/2009 5:42:30 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

—bflr—


2 posted on 04/28/2009 5:45:13 AM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: SJackson
Why is there so little media investigation of the financing behind Barack Obama’s early political sponsor—and now convicted felon—Tony Rezko?

The MSM follows the New York Times. And the New York Times gives all dems passes - for everything.

3 posted on 04/28/2009 5:45:37 AM PDT by GOPJ (We sleep safe..because rough men stand ready..to visit violence on those who would do us harm-Orwell)
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To: GOPJ

Welcome to the United Thugocracy of America.


4 posted on 04/28/2009 5:53:17 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: SJackson

Obama is a crook and a sham and we all know it; even his voters are beginning to figure it out.


5 posted on 04/28/2009 5:53:52 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote.)
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To: maggief; STARWISE

PING!!


6 posted on 04/28/2009 5:55:52 AM PDT by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
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To: GOPJ
I am sorry but political bias by the media is a reality. It is not intellectual laziness. Nothing on Rezko-Obama connection for Obama’s house in the Main stream media. Nothing on Blagoivich-Emmanuel-Obama and how they worked to get a corrupt individual under federal investigation reelected in the mainstream media. Nothing about the Rezko-Obama connection with millions of dollars that disappeared to Rezko for renovation of buildings in Obama’s community organizing area. There is a long list of scandal associated with Obama that was never mentioned by the media! We do know all about trooper gate, we know about Bristol Palin, we know the main stream media reported the Internet lie about Bristol being the mother of Palin’s baby. Any little hint of a scandal about Palin was reported.
7 posted on 04/28/2009 5:56:14 AM PDT by carcraft (Pray for our Country)
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To: SJackson

Any real news we can get has to come out of Britain or someplace out of country.


8 posted on 04/28/2009 6:02:56 AM PDT by Piquaboy (Military veteran of 22 years in Navy, Air Force, and Army.)
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To: penelopesire; Protect the Bill of Rights

btt


9 posted on 04/28/2009 6:08:31 AM PDT by maggief
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To: freekitty
Obama is a crook and a sham and we all know it; even his voters are beginning to figure it out.

Unfortunately I know people who haven't figured it out yet.

10 posted on 04/28/2009 6:12:47 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: SJackson
Volunteering his services: Chicago attorney Timothy Kapshandy and a team from Sidley Austin.

FYI, Sidley Austin is where michelle and barack both worked upon graduation from Harvard.

11 posted on 04/28/2009 6:16:27 AM PDT by fso301
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To: SJackson

Interesting. I’ve known about England’s libel laws and libel tourism for a while. It’s old news. But I can’t follow their line that no one knew about the connections between Obama and Rezko.

Half the country didn’t care, and the Obama campaign did a superb job of deflecting interest away from any allegations of impropriety.


12 posted on 04/28/2009 7:12:55 AM PDT by sig226 (1/21/13 . . . He's not my president . . . Impeach Obama . . . whatever)
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To: fso301

And where Michelle met Bernadine Dorhn.


13 posted on 04/28/2009 7:22:57 AM PDT by SJackson (Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Rep. Bobby Rush)
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To: SJackson

“A libel claimant does not have to prove that the words are false or to prove that he has in fact suffered any loss. Damage is presumed.” That is one of the MOST INSANE statements of “law” that I have ever read. TRUTH IS THE ABSOLUTE DEFENSE. I would suggest that all here should stand firm against any intrusion of idiots who profess to believe that quoted statement. God save England!


14 posted on 04/28/2009 7:25:51 AM PDT by junkman_106 (The ACLU can have arial intercourse with a rotating glazed pastry!)
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To: SJackson; All

To condense it down for our readers:

Iraqi-British ex-Baathist billionaire Nadhmi Auchi,

one of the wealthiest men in Europe,

who continued to support Saddam Hussein after Auchi left Iraq,

not only was the money-man behind Chicago mobster Tony Rezko,

not only met Obama, personally, in 2004,

not only contributed to Obama’s election campaign,

but is now using British libel laws

and Auchi’s own high priced lawyers

to threaten world, and American journalists,

whose investigative reports about Rezko,

are also looking at all the aforementioned connections;

while Auchi himself

is feted by the political leadership of Britain.


15 posted on 04/28/2009 8:00:06 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: penelopesire; BulletBobCo; seekthetruth; television is just wrong; jcsjcm; BP2; Pablo Mac; ...

~~PING!


16 posted on 04/28/2009 8:09:00 AM PDT by STARWISE (They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter)
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To: carcraft
I am sorry but political bias by the media is a reality. It is not intellectual laziness. Nothing on Rezko-Obama connection for Obama’s house in the Main stream media. Nothing on Blagoivich-Emmanuel-Obama and how they worked to get a corrupt individual under federal investigation reelected in the mainstream media.

Nothing about the Rezko-Obama connection with millions of dollars that disappeared to Rezko for renovation of buildings in Obama’s community organizing area. There is a long list of scandal associated with Obama that was never mentioned by the media! We do know all about trooper gate, we know about Bristol Palin, we know the main stream media reported the Internet lie about Bristol being the mother of Palin’s baby. Any little hint of a scandal about Palin was reported.

You are right. The MSM is so biased they'll give up the industry in order to carry water for one party. The current crop of publishers must be so wealthy they don't care... Oh well, their loss.

17 posted on 04/28/2009 8:16:01 AM PDT by GOPJ (We sleep safe..because rough men stand ready..to visit violence on those who would do us harm-Orwell)
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To: SJackson

Yep, the powers that are behind obama are hard at work. Hey Rahmbo, is your sticking fingers in this too?


18 posted on 04/28/2009 8:21:59 AM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: GOPJ
The MSM follows the New York Times. And the New York Times gives all dems passes - for everything.

You'd think that some place, somewhere there would be a budding young Bernstein or Woodward craving a Pulitzer Prize who would blow the cover off this story and bring fame and fortune to self and rag. But, alas, no. Not in Liberal Land. It cannot be done. Pullizer Prizes are given to good little scribblers who take down the nasty and corrupt Republicans while the nasty and corupt Democrats get clear passage.

Soundtrack: Key in Bowie, "1984."

19 posted on 04/28/2009 2:41:36 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: Wuli

Thank you for providing this service.


20 posted on 04/28/2009 2:43:30 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: April Lexington
If you look up "group-think" in the dictionary you'll see a picture of the New York Times staff next to the definition. And as far as Bernstein or Woodward go - they were essentially stenographers for a disgruntled FBI agent. Reverse it - same disgruntled FBI agent with a dem President in office - same crime or worse - and All the President's Men would NEVER have existed. In fact, Bernstein and Woodward would have been downsized out of jobs for even bringing up the idea...
21 posted on 04/28/2009 3:24:38 PM PDT by GOPJ (We sleep safe..because rough men stand ready..to visit violence on those who would do us harm-Orwell)
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To: April Lexington
If you look up "group-think" in the dictionary you'll see a picture of the New York Times staff next to the definition. And as far as Bernstein or Woodward go - they were essentially stenographers for a disgruntled FBI agent. Reverse it - same disgruntled FBI agent with a dem President in office - same crime or worse - and All the President's Men would NEVER have existed. In fact, Bernstein and Woodward would have been downsized out of jobs for even bringing up the idea...

Then again, maybe they're all fair - and we're blinded by their magnificent light... /s

22 posted on 04/28/2009 3:25:50 PM PDT by GOPJ (We sleep safe..because rough men stand ready..to visit violence on those who would do us harm-Orwell)
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To: GOPJ

Well well well. The threat seems to be if you do business in England, then England can sting you for news only published on American websites. Understood, if unfair. But how can England sting anyone who does no business in England?


23 posted on 04/29/2009 3:24:29 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; Delacon; ...
Note: this topic is from 4/28/2009. Thanks SJackson.

24 posted on 03/13/2011 11:01:55 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: SJackson

bump


25 posted on 01/09/2015 6:18:11 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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