A principal argument brought forward for financial curbs when the PATRIOT Act was hastily adopted was that the 9-11 terrorist attackers had used secretive offshore tax havens as means to fund their evil activities. This blatant lie was proven to be false, but truth rarely catches up with such sensational claims.
A recently published report from the US Treasury confirms this by establishing that offshore low-tax nations are not terrorist cash havens, nor are they the major source of money laundering. The epicenter of “dirty” cash is the US, UK and other major financial centers, places where most of the trillions moving daily across the world are routed. And instead of tax havens being the villains, eastern European nations are.
The anti-tax haven witch hunt began when the PATRIOT Act was hijacked by left-wing members of the US Senate, and the Bush administration allowed it to happen. In 2001 Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John Kerry (D-MA) had introduced “anti-money laundering” bills which would significantly curb basic financial privacy and banking rights that Americans then enjoyed.
Well before the 9/11 attacks Kerry and Levin (both ultra liberal senators) had already advocated radical proposals aimed at extending US laws on an extraterritorial basis. Their proposals would have greatly reduced legitimate financial privacy, opening Americans to treatment as presumed guilty criminals. The 9-11 terror attacks provided the senators with the ammunition in pursuing their anti-offshore agenda with the emotional claim of ‘fighting terrorism.’
Behind a smokescreen of investigating every possible option to punish the guilty and deter future terror attacks, Senators Kerry and Levin led the charge, not only against terrorism, but against established offshore financial centers. Their argument was that this approach would enhance the government’s ability to “follow the money” that financed the attacks.
These highly restrictive laws still remain in place and pose a serious threat to law abiding US citizens, a major source of “busy work” for both the bureaucrats and the FBI, but so far has proven to be a major deterrent to determined terrorists.
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