That's bade, but what's worse is who was behind that speech.
From the Wall Street Journal--paid registration required:
Specifically, Mr. Hagel's Rutgers speech was co-sponsored by the university's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, chaired at the time by an Iranian-American academic named Hooshang Amirahmadi. The Middle Eastern Studies department was, in turn, generously funded by the New York-based Alavi Foundation, whose nominal purpose is to promote the teaching of Islamic culture and Persian civilization.It's easy to understand why the Journal is calling for the Republicans to filibuster Hagel.
But Alavi was something else entirely. In December 2009, Farshid Jahedi, its president, pleaded guilty to a count of obstructing justice by destroying documents, after the feds charged the foundation with being a front group for the Iranian government and seized foundation assets in the U.S. worth about $500 million.
"For two decades," charged U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, "the Alavi Foundation's affairs have been directed by various Iranian officials, including Iranian ambassadors to the United Nations, in violation of a series of American laws."
The charges arose from a grand jury subpoena concerning Alavi's relationship to Iran's Bank Melli, which is under U.S., U.K. and EU sanctions. Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies describes Bank Melli as "one of Iran's most critical access points to the global financial system, enabling Tehran's world-wide network of money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation-related transactions."
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