Last week District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced pursuit of a bank allegedly involved in Iranian assets transfer. The ninety year old Manhattan District Attorney already prosecuted Lloyds TSB over the transfer of $300 million in Iranian cash. Morgenthau’s tight coordination with a secretive new US Treasury unit led by Stuart Levey follows a pattern of highly selective Israel lobby tag team law enforcement that began back in the 1940s.
Zionism is a long running current of New York’s Morgenthau family. Robert’s father Henry Morgenthau Jr. was Secretary of Treasury during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. His grandfather Henry Morgenthau Sr. was US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Henry Jr. thought nothing of supporting Irgun terrorists with US government resources as he fought an intense and vicious bureaucratic battle to wrest policy over Displaced Persons from the US State Department during WWII. When President Roosevelt dragged his feet over policy takeover demands, Henry Morgenthau Jr. threatened to turn the State Department into an election year scandal. Anti-Semitism at State, he threatened, was a charge that “will require little more in the way of proof for this suspicion to explode into a nasty scandal.”
After the war the city of New York became the headquarters of a vast national smuggling network funneling millions in stolen American surplus military gear slated for decommissioning as scrap to Jewish fighters in Palestine. Tons of machine guns stolen from under watch of US marine guards, thousands of pounds of high explosive and Remington plant ammunition manufacturing equipment obtained for pennies on the dollar, and modern warplanes illicitly flowed through front companies manned by Haganah and a plethora of Zionist front groups. Even when crates of military high explosive bound for Palestine spilled onto the quays of New York shippers, local district attorneys and federal law enforcement simply looked the other way. Prosecuting the leaders of sophisticated Israel lobby networks bending US foreign policy outside the institutions of advice and consent governance gradually became politically unfeasible.
Illicit fundraising for Jewish fighters in Palestine operated alongside above board US Jewish relief agencies and fraternal organizations, sometimes with the same leadership and donors. Only a handful of low level operatives ever faced criminal penalties for violating US arms export controls. None of the big behind the scenes financiers ever faced the serious prospect of criminal prosecution. In later decades a culture of impunity steadily fueled nuclear technology smuggling, election fraud and massive commercial espionage. Crimes for Israel became all but immune from US prosecution under the steady and relentless politicization of the US Department of Justice, Treasury and local District Attorneys.
Today the US Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence claims to doggedly pursue criminal international money launderers. The office, created in 2004 by executive order under intense pressure of the Israel lobby, has delivered many of its briefings to the AIPAC think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where it also sources contract employees. But as Morgenthau and Levey lay sophisticated tripwires for US military confrontation with Israel’s nemesis Iran, neither will tackle the oldest, largest and most destabilizing nexus of money laundering in the entire Middle East—$50-60 billion laundered from the US into the illegal colonization of Palestinian lands. Morganthau and Levey’s selective law enforcement presents a new, yet very old challenge to a president’s struggle to contain illegal settlements in the American interest for Middle East peace.