Here's where it all started. My favorite town drunk from New Milford picked up on an interesting story on a big-time Republican donor who was slapped with terrorism charges...well, I'll let him tell the story.Ok... So the terrorism part first:The blogger does a follow-up on how the conservative media covered the story.Terrorism charges brought Friday against the administrator of a loan investment program claimed that he secretly tried to send $152,000 to the Middle East to buy equipment such as night vision goggles for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.
Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to an indictment accusing him of terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and other charges. The charges carried a potential penalty of 95 years in prison.
But would you really believe me if I told you he was a Republican?CBS News has confirmed that Alishtari is a donor to the Republican Party, as he claims on his curriculum vitae. Alishtari gave $15,500 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amount includes $13,000 in 2003, a year when he claims to have been named NRCC New York State Businessman of the Year.
Alishtari also claims to be a lifetime member of the National Republican Senate Committee's Inner Circle, which the NRCC describes as "an impressive cross-section of American society – community leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, and sports and entertainment celebrities – all of whom hold a deep interest in our nation's prosperity and security."
The Republican party needs to be placed on "The List" of terrorist related organizations and watched very carefully.
It is pretty apparent that the FBI and Homeland Security are wasting their time watching us liberal/peacenik/Quaker/progressive/etc. types. Just ask Ken Krayeske...Late Update: Funny. TPM Reader B points out that the New York Post chose a rather different way of reporting this story. Their lede: "A Westchester businessman and purported peace activist was nabbed by the feds for allegedly plotting to funnel more than $150,000 to terrorists at training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan."Don't' hold your breath, it's the New York Post.
No mention of Republican ties. Let me know when they follow up ...
Over the last 48 hours, that particular blog posting from received a great deal of attention from such national blogs as Crooks and Liars, Talking Points Memo, and Raw Story, which in turn gave this New York Story a great deal of national attention. Last night, Keith Olbermann grabbed the ball and gives this blog posting new legs. Take a look.
Make no mistake about it, the blogs pushed this story hard and it all started from a blogger from New Milford. As we approach the 2007 and 2008 elecitons, you'll see more blog postings from progressive blogs popping into the mainstream media. If the 2006 elections told bloggers anything, it's that if blogs generate loud enough of a buzz, the mainstream media will take notice.
Once again, People Powered Media strikes again...I'm buying that drunk a shot!
I highly doubt KO read it here, or even knows my Blog exists for that matter, but I am glad this story got some national attention before the cobbwebs and dust could settle on it in the bush-spin-world media.
And ctblogger is 100% dead on that all together we can make enough noise on some things and make them pay attention to what is going on. The thing is, in order to get them to notice, we have to be paying enough attention to catch these little things, and we really have to shout it out everywhere.
Not only did KO notice but the AP has picked up the story:
The NRCC did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Tuesday about whether it would return the donations.
Alishtari was detained pending a court appearance this week. Prosecutors said he was a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Well, no kidding... If the last decade has proven one thing: All Republicans are dangers to their communities. Unfortunately for us, they are our communities too.
Josh Marshall has a press release:
Here at the right you see the man himself. And if you click this link you'll see the 'press release' the Republican National Committee sent out when Mr. Alishtari was appointed to the NRCC's 'Business Advisory Council'.
Alishtari had the document posted on his company's website GlobalProtector.Net.
His site also apparently had copies of signed photos from President Bush as well as a note from President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush thanking Alishtari for contributing to the Republican party.
And over at at TPM Muckraker they have the NRCC's latest statement on donations they put out:
the National Republican Congressional Committee has released a statement to CNN about the $15,000 in contributions it got from Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, the man indicted last week for financing terrorists in Afghanistan:"We are extremely concerned and disturbed by these charges but we need to be careful not to rush to judgment as the judicial process moves forward. If the individual in question is actually found guilty of a crime, it is our intent to donate the money to charity."
Just because you're the subject of a federal indictment, in other words, doesn't mean your money's not good enough for the NRCC. That's no surprise from the group that has refused to return the money contributed by ex-Reps. Mark Foley (R-FL) and Bob Ney (R-OH).
[update]A little time with Google found a few references to him being a Shaikh/Sheik/Sheikh:
Toronto Kicks Off; "Moon" Deal; Palm Springs Picks Shorts & More
Shaikh Abdul Taw'ala Ibn Ali Alishtari of GlobalProtector.net founded the festival. CROWDS HIT CANADA: The Toronto International Film Festival officially ...