Terrorist Financing is Boring

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The New York Times gets wind of a soon-to-be-released GAO report on the Bush administration’s efforts to crack down on terrorist financing:

More than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, “the U.S. government lacks an integrated strategy” to train foreign countries and provide them with technical assistance to shore up their financial and law enforcement systems against terrorist financing, according to the report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress.

That’s comforting. Most of the problems seem to stem from infighting among the State and Treasury departments, who can’t even agree on who’s in charge. But Douglas Farah suggests there’s a larger problem here:

While the report focuses on the U.S. efforts to train other countries in ways to combat terror finance, it confirms a larger problem within the administration, as described to me by people in government and those who served there for many years. There is simply little interest on following up on issues raised on terror finance, and almost no leadership provided by those who sit in the principals’ meeting in funding, attacking or seriously focusing on the issue. The CIA, according to one source, still has noone dedicated to tracing terror finance issues, never mind a special unit.

And the Bush administration isn’t the only one getting bored by the issue:

This lack of interest in the administration is dangerously coupled with a steep drop in the quality and quantity of the work of the UN committee tasked with following the finances of al Qaeda and the Taliban. The panel has been downgraded, the staff cut and the quality of the work is considerably diminished, as is the importance it is given within the UN Secretary General’s office.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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