Saturday, January 08, 2011

Right-wing lack of self-awareness version 9575+

This really is funny. The right-wing bible magazine National Review has actually published:
a piece from a money launderer (Ralph Reed) defending a money launderer (Tom DeLay) against money-laundering charges.
Apparently conservatives have not yet come to grips with the fact that money laundering with the intent to conceal the source of money can be a crime.

Look at this definition of money laundering from the International Economics Glossary:
The conversion of large amounts of money the source of which one wants to hide (e.g., from drug trafficking) into a form that appears to be legitimate. The process often involves multiple international transactions across currencies and financial institutions in order to obscure the source.
Here is a more detailed description of money laundering:
Money laundering is usually described as having three sequential elements - placement, layering and integration - as defined in a report by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2002,7):
The first stage in the process is placement. The placement stage involves the physical movement of currency or other funds derived from illegal activities to a place or into a form that is less suspicious to law enforcement authorities and more convenient to the criminal. The proceeds are introduced into traditional or nontraditional financial institutions or into the retail economy. The second stage is layering. The layering stage involves the separation of proceeds from their illegal source by using multiple complex financial transactions (e.g., wire transfers, monetary instruments) to obscure the audit trail and hide the proceeds. The third stage in the money laundering process is integration. During the integration stage, illegal proceeds are converted into apparently legitimate business earnings through normal financial or commercial operations.
Not all money-laundering transactions involve all three distinct phases, and some may indeed involve more (van Duyne2003).
Essentially, though, money laundering is a process of moving funds from a source to a destination in which such funds are not legal. The laundering process is a set of transactions conducted with the intent to conceal the original source and nature of the funds from those who ultimately receive those funds.

That fact that using funds that are illegal at the destination is a crime seems to have escaped the notice of the editors of the National Review.

{h/t to Steve Benen at Political Animal]

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