Corrupt Politicians and Tools of the Gulen Movement

Corrupt Politicians and Tools of the Gulen Movement
Disclaimer: if some videos are disabled this is the work of the Gulen censorship which has filed fake copyright infringement complaints to UTUBE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Digging deeper into the Azerbaijan bribes by the Gulen Movement spotlight on Representative Danny Davis Illinois

The Tribune Misses The Gulen Story, Naturally     From Tim Furman's post

[There's an interesting update to this story at the end of this post.] As predicted, the Trib got the Danny Davis/Gulen Movement story mostly wrong. But at least they covered it. Mind you, I don't care much about what junkets Danny Davis goes on; it really seems to me like he doesn't even do basic research on who's sending him where, and it further seems to me that he probably isn't aware of the relationship between the trip and the loopholing of the Iran sanctions that resulted from it. He's a great guy; he's got impenetrable teflon on these things, and nobody cares. Danny Davis is untouchable, and that's fine with me. It's the Gulen connection that interests me because, well, it's so interesting. Here's the story in a nutshell: This horrific Azerbaijani government, and its energy company, SOCAR, needed some changes made in the US sanctions on Iran in order to keep the gas flowing. What am I talking about? Azerbaijan is sitting on a vast quantity of natural gas. Everyone and his uncle is interested in getting natural gas from Azerbaijan rather than Russia because it throws Russia off balance a little. Still, those sanctions were in place as part of this whole Iranian nuclear negotiation. Suffice it to say that trinkets needed to be distributed to some Danny Davis-types in Congress in order for mysterious, untraceable loopholes to appear in US law. So how did SOCAR achieve that? They called up the Gulen Movement, because everyone in the Caucasus knows that the Gulen Movement has American policymakers on speed dial. There was a time when I thought the Gulen Movement's vast junket-the-policymaker operation existed to prop up the charter schools they run. But now I see it more clearly: the charter schools are the economic engine that props up the influence-seeking racket, which serves the larger purpose: building the power, influence, and political/financial capital of the Gulen Movement in these energy-rich emerging power centers, back closer to home. This whole thing runs on lining the pockets of little men. Let's look at some names. Danny Davis got his trip paid for by one of these groups operating out of 501 Midway Drive in Mt. Prospect. (By my count, there are at least five interrelated entities located there, including Niagara Education Services, Inc. --the parent firm of the Niagara Foundation, the Gulen Movement's public face in Chicago, and one of the two big junket sponsors). Davis's Azerbaijan-junket funder, the recently renamed Turkish American Federation of the Midwest, is run by a guy named Suleyman Turhanogullari. Here's what the Trib reports: Suleyman Turhanogullari, president of the federation, was on the trip, Davis said. Reached by telephone, Turhanogullari asked the Tribune for emailed questions. The questions were emailed, but he did not respond. When you first start attempting to connect the dots, it's easy to get lost in all the different group names. That's by design. These separate junketing groups are all the same thing, with different shell names. [In a tedious but telling sidebar, you will find Mr. Turhanogullari's name listed as one of Joe Moore's contributors in February of 2015. As you know, if you've been paying attention, one of the Gulen-linked charter schools, the Chicago Math and Science Academy, is in Joe Moore's ward, and Joe and his spouse were junketed to Turkey at least once. So that's why Joe's getting $500 from a guy in Mt. Prospect. It's a tip. Those charter schools; they serve a purpose for the Movement, and $500 is the equivalent of nothing to them.] So, Danny Davis got his Baku trip and his Turkish rug, or whatever, paid for by the local Gulenist group, which was only doing what it does best: lining up American policymakers with the most corrupt, repressive people imaginable, who happen to have an unending supply of natural gas. That's not even the interesting part. The story in the Washington Post doesn't even mention the Mt. Prospect groups, but if you watch carefully, you'll see that all of these groups are interconnected: they're all part of one big highly organized operation.The Trib sums it up this way: The Post said the travel expenses for Davis, other members of Congress and several staffers were paid for by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic. The Post said the oil company allegedly funneled $750,000 through U.S.-based nonprofits to conceal funding for the conference. Its story names other nonprofit groups, but not the Turkish group Davis identified. The Office of Congressional Ethics has examined the trip and written a 70-page report about it, the newspaper said. The new information in the Post's story is that the state energy company basically defrayed the costs incurred by the Gulenist groups who schlepped these incurious Americans over to Baku for the party and baubles. And that payment from Baku probably made the trip illegal. But who were these other nonprofit groups? Well, they're shell foundations set up by someone you should probably know by now: Kemal Oksuz, formerly of Niagara Education Services in-- you guessed it-- Mt. Prospect. He's in Texas now, apparently in charge of setting up fake cultural foundations that are really just travel agencies/party planners for Azerbaijani energy interests. Get this: A month before the conference, the nonprofit AFAZ was set up in Houston, home to some of the world’s largest energy companies. “Evidence revealed that SOCAR founded AFAZ in the month prior to the Convention and transferred $750,000 to an AFAZ bank account prior to the Convention,” the OCE report said. AFAZ was created as an “educational, cultural, business, congressional advocacy and charitable organization” with the mission of building “bridges between the United States and Azerbaijan,” according to the nonprofit’s Web site. The investigators for the Office of Congressional Ethics found that AFAZ and the other Houston-based nonprofit, TCAE, concealed the true source of the funding for travel and other expenses for the U.S. officials. “The OCE found that the disclosed nonprofit sponsors contributed virtually no money towards congressional travel to Azerbaijan and played a very limited role in organizing the Convention,” the report said. On April 16, 2013, Kemal Oksuz, an executive in charge of the nonprofits, wrote to the president of SOCAR, requesting $750,000 to underwrite the conference, according to the report. In return, Oksuz pledged that SOCAR’s “logo will be used on all printed materials, banners and website, and that SOCAR will be recognized as the Main Sponsor of the Convention.” Sketchy dude, no? Let me summarize so far: A bunch of American lawmakers took an illegal trip paid for by a foreign government, which funneled the money through a couple of fake Texas foundations run by the Gulen Movement, particularly a prominent Gulen-linked fellow who used to work at Niagara Education Services, which is the same thing as Niagara foundation in Chicago. These groups have other foundations based in a facility in Mt. Prospect, and from there they run a junket program, including the one that paid for Danny Davis to tag along in Azerbaijan, where he got a rug, and the Azerbaijanis got some changes in American law. Want to see an interesting picture?
I'm sourcing that picture to 2012. Who are those guys? From the left, facing the camera: 1. Rep. Jack Franks (a junketeer) 2. Kemal Oksuz, arranger of fake cultural institutions 3. Asim Mollazade, member of Azerbaijani parliament 4. Mevlut "Hilmi" Cinar, of the Niagara Foundation, junket-provider-in-chief. 5. Mike Madigan, multiple junketeer. Mr. Mollazade visits a lot, representing his young country and putting it in the best light possible. Azerbaijan in reality has a ton of cash and has devolved into a near-totalitarian state: From the NYT "In addition to the dozens of journalists and activists behind bars, many other critics have fled the country or gone into hiding, fearing persecution. The government has shuttered dozens of nongovernmental organizations and media outlets and virtually eliminated all possibilities for independent groups critical of the government to secure foreign financing." [Check out this, from Azerbaijan. It's odd how misery attends these large sporting event everywhere you go. Do what you can to help the imprisoned journalists.] But it's all about the gas, and who better to make introductions to Mike Madigan than the local Gulen guys? It's what they do. They send American policymakers on vacations, they make introductions, and they keep the Azeri gas flowing. They topple militaries. It really doesn't cost much to do these things; hell, the money flowing through the charter schools probably covers it all. If only there was some way to audit those darned things. But that's kooky-talk, I know. Update: Almost certainly as a result of his grooming by the Gulenists, Speaker Madigan in 2013 wrote a strange Happy Birthday message to the Azerbaijani president, who had just won "re-election." Mind you, the Azerbaijani elections are a sad joke; they have nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with propping up what is essentially a dictatorship. I will not waste my time scouring the records for a Happy Birthday message from Speaker Madigan to Khadija Ismayilova, one of many journalists languishing in an Azerbaijani prison. Apparently a whole bunch of Gulen-groomed public officials sent Happy Birthday messages to the dictator. I've asked my research department to figure out who got junketed when. (My pretend research department. I'll do it myself.) So, there you have it. The tedious part of the story is that Danny Davis took an illegal trip and got a rug, which he still hasn't taken out of his basement. The slightly more interesting part is that US laws got mysteriously, profitably tweaked as a result of this trip. That level of corruption seems more like a baseline than an outlier, I regret to say. The truly fascinating part is that the people who arranged it all are all working together, they're deeply entrenched in Illinois politics, and they're connected to this highly secretive transnational social/religious/political movement. On the state level, they've got a boatload of audit-proof public funding through their charter school operations and the revenue opportunities those schools open up. And it's almost taboo to talk about any of these things. It certainly is at the Tribune, as I've discussed and on more than one occasion. The Tribune is so under-the-spell that they can't even see what they're looking at. Or maybe it's just off-limits to ask certain questions. Like I say, it's fascinating. Is there anything else even remotely like this? I can't think of any other lobbying/interest group with a profile or scale similar to the Gulen Movement's. It isn't clear to me that the Baku bacchanalia could play out in the same way as today, given that in 2014 the Azerbaijan government read the tea leaves and decided to take sides in the feud between the autocratic Turkish President Erdogan and the Gulen Movement. Who can really know what's going on over there? (Khadija Ismayilova probably knows, but she's in prison.) But if I had to make a summary evaluation of the strength and health of the Gulen Movement around the world, I would say that while they may be on the ropes back home, they're doing fine here, particularly in Springfield. Update: What I've done here is critique a Chicago Tribune story about a Washington Post story that has a few leak-based updates on Houston Chronicle story from July of 2014. There's even more information over at the CASILIPS site, where they were watching this Baku extravaganza in real time, including some better detail on Kemal Oskuz, and his connections to Niagara and Concept. There is nobody with more comprehensive knowledge of the Gulen Movement than CASILIPS. It also appears to me from that article that the scale of the Baku thing was much larger than what has come out so far. Check it out. All of these guys probably got junketed, and most of the junkets probably got funded by the Azerbaijani government, and all of those trips were probably illegal.

another good article

No comments:

Post a Comment