Saturday, September 01, 2007

Hsu Goes There?

Captain Ed comments on the newly-begun Justice Department investigation into the Norman Hsu affair. The WSJ says, "the U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible campaign-finance violations by top Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, according to people familiar with the probe. On Friday, Mr. Hsu surrendered to California officials on an unrelated grand-theft charge dating to the early 1990s." Ed says:



According to the Wall Street Journal, Hsu fled to China after his fraud conviction. Records show him working for a Hong Kong exporter for the two years after jumping bail. If Hsu turns out to have gotten his funds from international sources hostile to the US, giving the money to charity will do little to restore reputations.

If the DoJ finds a foreign source for those funds, Hsu's sentencing will take a back seat to the sentence of the American people on those who took his money without checking him out. This could get very ugly for the Democrats.

Gateway Pundit goes over the old Clinton-China connections. One of the points he makes is that Norman Hsu has history going back to investigations into the Chinese spy ring allegations against Clinton. But if you follow the link, it's peripheral. The ping off Hsu is a transitory image of something just on the edge of the sensors, a link to Sioeng San Wong who was more in the focus. The question of just who Norman Hsu is, or represents, is still undefined.

But Doug Ross makes the more telling point that the spin is already starting. "The Politico's Ben Smith has transformed himself into a world-class dissembler with his latest defense of the Clintons". Ben Smith says the spinmasters are "attempting to revive the — never proven — allegations of a Chinese 'spy ring' buying its way into the 1996 Clinton campaign."

And that's exactly where the Norman Hsu affair will end up unless real investigative resources are thrown at it. Another one of those "unproven allegations" that China -- or someone -- was trying to influence the US Presidential campaign. Sometimes I think Hsu's incredible $2 million bail bond sends the signal that "here be dragons". Get mixed up in this and you will meet the big boys. Are you ready for that?

Sweetness and Light has an extensive quote from the Wall Street Journal's attempt to discover just who Hsu is. Yesterday, an NYT story said its reporters failed to find any concrete evidence of his garment businessness at their address. People vaguely remember seeing Hsu, but no one quite knows what he does. Even in the Wall Street Journal piece, Hsu comes across as a man smiling at the limit of a cocktail party circle.

“He was involved in the fashion business,” said Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska senator who is president of the New School in Manhattan, where Mr. Hsu resigned as a trustee yesterday. “I know that he designs and sells clothing.” ...

In 1990, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a group of Chinatown gang leaders had been arrested for kidnapping Mr. Hsu. The article said the alleged kidnappers were stopped after speeding through a red light, and Mr. Hsu took the opportunity to tell police he was being kidnapped. The article said he owned a restaurant and clothing businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mr. Hsu’s reputation in New York was far different from the one he left behind in California. In 2004, he began circulating among Democratic donors at fundraisers, and became a huge “bundler” — somebody who collects myriad checks from networks of friends, family and business acquaintances for political campaigns.

“I like him a lot,” Mr. Kerrey said. “He’s one of these guys in politics who gives and doesn’t ask for anything.” …

At the risk of straying into tinfoil hat territory, I am tempted to guess that much that is seemingly inexplicable about Washington politics can be explained by the struggle over the control of the Justice Department: the Clinton's mass firing of US Attorneys; Bush's attempts to install Gonzales and men loyal to him in it; the campaign against Gonzales. The vast struggle swirling around it may be because the Justice Department is strategic high ground when the name of the game is covering your tracks.

And with Gonzales out, the next Attorney General will have to be confirmed by the Senate. With Bush a lame duck and Hillary the front-runner, anyone charged with leading the investigation into Hsu must ask himself: what the heck is out there? And how much backup will I have when I run into it? Captain Ed's final comment is:

The LAT quotes "aides to Clinton" as saying that Hsu never asked any favors and just liked having his picture taken with politicians. Uh, riiiiiiiiiight. And he committed the latex-glove fraud because he likes shaking hands with doctors. I suspect the FBI may have more information on whether Hsu asked for a favor or two every hundred thousand dollars by the time they complete their investigation.

If they complete it.

9 Comments:

Blogger NahnCee said...

Is the FBI controlled by the Justice Department?

9/01/2007 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Isn’t it interesting that a main sub-message of the Left has become “Ignore the Strategic Context?” The case involving the theft of nuclear secrets was put down to racism against a Chinese-American. John Kerry’s statement that terrorism was a mere law enforcement problem had the same sub-message. The Clinton Admin bribery was traced right back to the People’s Liberation Army, but it was handled as merely another law enforcement problem, and virtually all of those identified remain at large. Bill Clinton gets a large donation from one of the Oil For Food funding operatives - one he had pardoned - but no linkage is noted. Now Hsu mysteriously funnels money into Democratic candidates – and once again no one is so impolite to ask the question as to why someone with a lot of money – likely the PRC – is again interested in a particular party gaining power in the U.S.

I have long assumed that the “Ignore the Strategic Context” attitude was generated by an acceptance on the part of the Democrats that they are just no damned good at the international stuff – so it has to be avoided. But now it appears that it is a case of “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…”

9/01/2007 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Actually, there's been something weird going on at DoJ for a long time. For example, Janet Reno's "we're doing it for the children" as her supposed subordinates massacred them, and bulldozed the evidence. No investigation ever.z

9/01/2007 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger AB said...

How can a man who jumped bail while awaiting sentancing be released on bail?

9/01/2007 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Here's an interesting link to a discussion on Hsu's ability to hide in plain sight: LAT: How Did Hillary Not Know About Hsu?.

Every time Norman Hsu's name comes up, another name springs to mind. Mark Jimenez, AKA Mario Crespo, another one of the Clinton campaign contributors who wound up being wanted by the law. While a fugitive from US Justice, Jimenez returned to the Philippines and successfully ran for public office. He had the ability to switch his nationality at will. Crespo was then extradited during GWB's term, served a term in a Florida jail, the perfect poster boy for a certain type of campaign contributor who seems all too common. Most recently, Mark Jimenez, AKA Mario Crespo has gone certifiably bonkers and now hears voices.

MJ came home to the Philippines in 2005. His long-time partner Carol says she immediately noticed a change in him, his mental instability becoming worse with the “voices” in his head growing louder. He would eventually found the Hulog ng Langit [dropped from heaven] Foundation. He was only obeying the “voices,” he would tell his family, and even warned Carol that “if the voices tell me to kill you, I will kill you!”

As his mental state deteriorated, relates Ilie (and Carol, in an earlier interview), MJ began haranguing his family and visitors, once even performing an “exorcism” on Carol, for whom this was apparently the last straw. Carol herself, says Ilie, only found the courage to go public when her youngest child pleaded with her: “I’m just a child, mom, you’re the adult here! You have to protect me from him!”


That's good old Mark Jimenez, one-time DNC operative, for you. Here's a less sympathetic backgrounder on Jimenez. Doesn't it remind you of recent events?

Associated Press 6/18/99 "…The Philippine president will not interfere in a U.S. request for the extradition of one of his friends, who allegedly made illegal campaign contributions to President Clinton, his spokesman said today. The U.S. Embassy asked the Philippine government on Thursday to arrest and extradite Filipino businessman Mark Jimenez on charges of tax evasion, wire fraud, conspiracy, giving false statements and campaign financing charges. An indictment issued September in Washington accused Jimenez of illegally giving nearly $40,000 to Democratic Party candidates. Those charges were incorporated into an indictment in April that also accuses him of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud. Jimenez fled the United States in December. He returned to the Philippines, helped broker several large business deals and became a friend and adviser to President Joseph Estrada…."

I leave it to the reader to speculate on why Jimenez/Crespo should go nuts at this stage in his life. Here's a backgrounder on Mark Jimenez's career as a "business consultant" to Latin America, Paraguay in particular. Let's just say he led an interesting life, and the shadows are closing in, both awake and asleep. The link also mentions Marc Rich, that other blast from the past.

There is a striking similarity between the careers of Mark Jimenez and his tocayo Marc Rich, foreign-born American billionaire racketeer who was indicted in 1983 for tax evasion, wire fraud and racketeering, who also became a fugitive from the FBI.

Like Jimenez, Rich had changed his name (from Reich to Rich); like Jimenez, he set up dummy companies in Latin America (Panama); and, like Jimenez, he made contributions to the campaign kitty of Bill Clinton. Rich is said to have given $250,000; his now-ex-wife Denise gave $400,000 to the Clinton Library. In exchange, Marc Rich was granted a presidential pardon two hours before Clinton vacated the White House in January 2001.


But it's all smoke. Nothing that will stand up as evidence in a court of law. But it really makes you wonder what exactly people mean when they say that politics is a dirty business.

9/01/2007 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Wretchard,

When you say:

Sometimes I think Hsu's incredible $2 million bail bond sends the signal that "here be dragons".

Who are you saying is sendng the signal - the judge in setting at $2M or Hsu putting up the bail?

9/01/2007 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Hsu putting up the bail. He's letting people know, consciously or not, that he's the tip of an iceberg whose bottom half you don't want to meet.

9/01/2007 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

RWE said...

I have long assumed that the “Ignore the Strategic Context” attitude was generated by an acceptance on the part of the Democrats that they are just no damned good at the international stuff – so it has to be avoided. But now it appears that it is a case of “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…”
.............................
No it begins with McCarthy era. Stalin was about to exterminate russia's jews in the doctor's plot. He would have -- had he not died in 1953. Knowledgable american communists attributed to the american right what stalin was about to do to Russia's jews. McCarthy trial was seen by american communists as a show trial soviet style and the execution of Rosenbergs was seen as the beginning of a pogrom american style. never mind that the rosenbergs were spies. never mind that a pogrom was never in the cards. the venona cables showed (and were later confirmed by opened kgb files during the 90's) that there were --as McCarthy asserted --hundreds of russian spies in the US government during fdr's & early truman years (his exact numbers were off) until about 1948 when most stepped out of government--with the first revelations about russian spying. Among these were the founders of russia's silicon valley during the 60's.

However, McCarthy is uncredited for the fact that his work shook out most russian spies from the US for nearly two decades until the 1970's when russian spying began again in earnest. By this time americans who spied for them came for money and not for ideology.

Every country around the world will have a free hand in the USA spying business until the McCarthy story is told rightly and propagated rightly in the public schools and in movies.

Right now its all lies. They used to be gross lies. Now the recent movies on the McCarthy era are just cute or stupid lies like "A Beautiful Mind" or "Good Night & Good Luck."

Right now the US government is handcuffed by a historical narrative which guts the US ability to act in its own interests.

9/01/2007 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wretchard,

So Mr. Hsu (the Chinese Mr. Smith, eh) donated a bit to the Clintons.

A bit here, a bit there, a bit to other Democrats and their issue points.

My question is this:

How much more did he have to donate before he received a Clinton Era pardon?

Does a politically troubling ‘Pardon de Clinton’ cost $500,000, $750,000, or $1,000,000+? Should we adjust that to inflation? Can we now be certain that the market value for a Mark Rich type of pardon really is $750,000? That was the ‘above the table’ value. What about the hidden costs – the guiding hand? This chap just dropped two thousand thousand greenbacks. Where did that casholla come from?

A mill here, a mill there…

Are we actually talking about real money yet?

9/02/2007 08:22:00 AM  

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