Because freedom can't protect itself
So after they get the right to vote back are they still required to pay the debts they owe? The child support one really sends me off the deep end.
Rep. Jeannie Darneille, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles you don't say what party they are affiliated with do you register all parties?
"John's" story is really believable. I bet he is just sitting home collecting those welfare checks for those grandkids he is raising. Amazing!
I think your version of Wordpress has been compromised, because I'm seeing spam for your feed in GReader.
Here's a thread on how to kill it.
Surely the case outlined below is a clear injustice which deserves your attention.
Stop the Extradition of Sean Garland
A request for the extradition of Sean Garland, former president of the Workers Party, was
made last November by the outgoing Bush Administration. They allege that Sean Garland was
part of a North Korean conspiracy to forge US $100 bills. These allegations have been
circulating for over 15 years and to date no evidence has been offered. Sean Garland has
consistently denied all these allegations.
Sean Garland is 75 years of age and is in poor health. An insulin dependent diabetic, he
suffers from angina and has recently undergone an operation and chemotherapy for bowel
cancer and is presently being monitored for prostate cancer.
The extradition request was signed by Condolezza Rice who was Secretary of State in the
discredited Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld regime. It is a vindictive act by a regime which has
brought terror, destruction and death to many parts of the world.
Chronicle of Events
On May 19th, 2005, a US District Court in Washington DC filed a warrant for the arrest of
Sean Garland after a Federal Grand Jury indicted him in for allegedly trading in forged $100
bills. The hearing took place in camera without the knowledge of the accused and the warrant
was obtained just before the statute of limitation for the alleged crimes, which dated back
to 1998 to 2000, would have run out.
The Grand Jury system is a throwback to feudal England. The procedure has been abandoned by
many US states and condemned in its present form by the US National Association of Criminal
Defence Lawyers. Jurors only hear the prosecution case and it is left to the prosecutor’s
discretion as to how much, if any, of the defendant’s case should be presented. As a former
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, Sol Wachtler, put it, ‘a prosecutor could
persuade a Grand Jury to convict a ham sandwich’.
In this case the jurors were told that an investigation by the US Secret Service had
evidence that Sean Garland was flooding Britain and Ireland with fake $100 notes that were
technically so good they were dubbed ‘super duds’, or ‘super dollars’. His activities were
supposed to be part of a conspiracy directed by North Korean leader Kim Il Jong to
destabilise the US economy. The jurors were also told that Sean Garland had visited North
Korea on a number of occasions, was a former Chief of Staff of the Official IRA and was now
President of the Workers Party.
The prosecution produced no actual evidence that North Korea had produced these notes or
that Sean Garland had ever handled them. But the case was presented in the ‘state of siege’
atmosphere that pervaded the United States in the wake of 9/11, when President George W Bush
portrayed North Korea as part of an ‘axis of evil’ plotting the imminent destruction of
The decision of the Grand Jury was kept secret at the request of the US Government Attorney
for the District of Columbia, Ken Wainstein. Sean Garland ‘is a national and a resident of
the Republic of Ireland and as it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to obtain
his extradition from Ireland, it is of critical importance that the Indictment not be
unsealed as long as he is planning to travel outside Ireland’, he said.
Wainstein went on to be appointed Homeland Security Adviser to President George W Bush in
2008. This was despite opposition from Democrat members of Congress over Wainstein’s
involvement in the denial of legal rights to suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
The arrest warrant for Sean Garland was not activated until he attended a well publicised
Workers Party Ard Fheis in Belfast on October 7th, 2005. It was executed by the Police
Service of Northern Ireland on the basis of a controversial new extradition treaty agreed
between the United States and the UK governments in 2003. Unlike the 1972 extradition treaty
that it superseded, the new agreement did not require the US authorities to present a prima
facie case in a UK court in order to have a warrant executed. It was widely criticised at
the time by British Government backbenchers, the National Council for Civil Liberties and
other bodies because of its lack of protection for the rights of the accused.
On September 15th, 2005, just three weeks before Sean Garland’s arrest in Belfast, the
United States Government had announced it was freezing assets held by the Macau based Banco
Delta Asia in the US under the Patriot Act, because of its links with North Korea . This was
in retaliation for North Korea’s alleged campaign to flood the international markets with
forged dollar bills. The Macau bank is quite small and only held $25 million in North Korean
funds at the time but the move had the required effect of making other banks shed Korean
funds they were holding and boycott the regime. It also fed into the strategy of hawks
within the Bush administration who wanted to isolate countries such as North Korea and Iran
as rogue states.
All of this was happening as difficult negotiations were taking place between North and
South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan aimed at persuading the North
Koreans to abandon their nuclear programme in return for access to heating oil and food. The
North Koreans withdrew from the negotiations and from a new joint agreement with the other
states on September 19th in protest at the unilateral actions of the US Government.
Analysis of events provided in a report by the US government funded Congressional Research
Service subsequently pointed out that the cranking up of the campaign linking North Korea
with the dollar counterfeiting operation suited the hawks within the administration such as
Vice President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who were opposed to ending
the isolation of the regime. The report, compiled by Raphel F Perl and Dick K Nanto,
specialists in the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division of the CRS, stated that,
‘Some observers surmise that the financial action against Banco Delta Asia announced on
September 15th, 2005, fell too close to the September 19th joint agreement by the
…Participants in the Six Party Talks to be a coincidence’.
The counterfeiting allegations could even provide a basis for going to war. David Asher,
the former Coordinator for the North Korea Working Group in the US State Department, who has
since joined the neo-liberal Heritage Foundation think-tank, has described the
counterfeiting indictment against Sean Garland as evidence of a hostile act by North Korea
against the United States. ‘Under International Law’, Asher says, ‘counterfeiting another
nation's currency is an act of casus belli, an act of economic war. No other government has
engaged in this act against another government since the Nazis under Hitler’. (David L.
Asher, ‘The North Korean Criminal State, its Ties to Organized Crime, and the Possibility of
WMD Proliferation’, Policy Forum Online 05-92A: November 15th, 2005.)
Meanwhile Sean Garland was granted bail in Northern Ireland and allowed to travel to Dublin
where, as a doctor’s report to the Belfast Court stated, it was imperative that he receive
medical treatment. In Dublin he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and traces of cancer of the
prostate. Garland, who is 75 years old, also suffers from angina and is an insulin dependent
He decided not to return to Northern Ireland to face the extradition proceedings because of
his serious health problems and because he feared he would not be given a fair trial in the
United States, to which he believed his extradition from Northern Ireland was inevitable
under the 2003 extradition treaty. After deciding to remain in the Republic his solicitor
wrote to the Garda in Navan, where Sean Garland lives, stating that he would make himself
available for arrest if either the US or UK authorities sought his extradition. A similar
assurance was given in an affidavit to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in
2007. In that affidavit Sean Garland stated that, ‘I believe that had I not returned to this
jurisdiction I would quite likely be dead at this stage.’
He continued to go about his political activities quite openly in the Republic. However he
resigned as President of the Workers Party in May 2008 because of his poor health.
On January 30th, 2009, he was arrested outside the Workers Party head office in Dublin by
the Garda on foot of the US extradition warrant, which had now been presented to the Irish
authorities. It arrived in Ireland under the seal of the then US Secretary of State Dr
Condoleeza Rice. It had been approved on November 20th, 2008, the same day that an Egyptian
brokered truce between Israel and Hamas expired and it might be thought the attention of
senior members of the outgoing Bush administration would be concentrated elsewhere. The
warrant was presented to the Department of Foreign Affairs on December 1st and referred to
the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform on December 2nd. The new President of the
United States, Barack Obama, would not be inaugurated until January 20th.
After his arrest Sean Garland was remanded to Cloverhill prison. He was subsequently granted
bail on extremely onerous terms. These included surrendering the deeds of the family home,
lodging €100,000 with the court and finding four independent sureties of €50,000 each. He
has to sign on at Navan Garda station every day and give at least eight days notice of any
travel plans within the state. He is not allowed to leave the jurisdiction. He was only able
to meet the financial conditions set for the bail because of the widespread respect and
support he enjoys within the wider community.
Again, the issuing of the warrant and Sean Garland’s arrest followed the collapse of renewed
talks between the two Koreas, China, Russia and the United States in December 2008. These
talks had resumed in 2007 and had progressed to the point where the US had removed North
Korea from the list of nations covered by sanctions under the Trading with the Enemy Act. US
experts had also begun helping their North Korean counterparts to remove 8,000 fuel rods
from the nuclear facility at Youngbyon. However co-operation broke down when the Bush
administration refused to honour a commitment to remove North Korea from its list of State
Sponsors of Terrorism. Relations have continued to deteriorate since with North Korea firing
a long range missile in April 2009. It claimed the launch was part of a programme to launch
a broadcasting satellite but the United States Government pointed out that it was also
capable of carrying a warhead.
The extradition hearings against Sean Garland may well provide a platform from which the US
authorities may wish to launch a renewed propaganda campaign against North Korea but it will
do nothing to serve the cause of justice.
The case against Sean Garland
The case against Sean Garland is based almost entirely on the hearsay evidence of members of
a group of criminals based in Birmingham who were investigated by the British National Crime
Squad (NCS) after one of them came to its attention because of an attempt to pass
counterfeit $100 bills at a bureau de change in 1998. An intensive surveillance operation
followed and several members of the gang were arrested and subsequently convicted on
counterfeiting charges in 2002. During the surveillance operation there were references by
three gang members in conversations taped by the NCS to an IRA man named ‘Sean’ as the
person in charge of distributing the counterfeit dollars. The three members of the gang
concerned were Terence Silcock, Hugh Todd and Christopher Corcoran. Silcock is a Birmingham
career criminal. Corcoran was born in Dublin and Todd also lived there for a time and holds
Irish and South African citizenship. All three men appear to have believed the
counterfeiting operation was being run by the ‘KGB’ and ‘old style IRA’ and clearly enjoyed
the ‘status’ they felt this gave them. Corcoran liked to pose as a member of the IRA when
dealing with other criminals. Sean Garland is on record, in a letter to the Irish Times on
November 17th, 2005, stating that, ‘I have no associate named Corcoran nor have I any
associates in jail in Britain’.
None of the members of the Birmingham gang was aware of any North Korean dimension to the
operation. Again the evidence of Korean involvement is based on hearsay, in this case
hearsay supplied to various journalists and media organisations by the NCS, the US and the
Russian security services. However, despite these assertions that Sean Garland was at the
centre of the conspiracy at no stage was any attempt made by any of these law enforcement
agencies to interview him, let alone execute an arrest.
Only three ‘overt acts’ of contact are alleged to have taken place between Sean Garland and
his alleged accomplices by the US Authorities. However all of these contacts were supposed
to have taken place before the NCS investigation began. Unabashed at the lack of any hard
evidence linking Sean Garland with the counterfeiting operation, the US authorities have
cited this as conclusive proof of the sophistication of the criminal conspiracy he had set
The ‘super dollars’
There are also serious forensic problems confronting the US authorities in linking Sean
Garland or even North Korea with the counterfeiting operation. Much of the case stems from
the fact that in the mid-1970s, over 30 years ago, the North Koreans bought an Itaglio press
from the Swiss company Giori similar to one used by the US Treasury. However Klaus Bender,
author of The Mystery of the Supernotes (Dusseldorfer Institut fur Aussen und
Sicherheitspolitik, 2007) points out that the machine purchased by the North Koreans lacked
the auxiliary equipment needed to achieve the quality of the counterfeit dollars and that
Giori had stopped supplying spare parts to North Korea decades ago, after the regime
defaulted on payments.
Then there is the paper used to print dollar bills. This is made from a special mix of
cotton and linen pulp fibres. It is produced on a unique Fourdrinier machine in Georgia,
USA. Microfibres in the paper bear the mark ‘USA 100’. The counterfeit notes are made from
exactly the same paper as the US Treasury notes and include the ‘USA 100’ mark.
It is estimated that it would cost at least $100 million to build a plant capable of
producing these notes and only $45 million worth of counterfeit dollars have been found in
circulation since they were first detected in 1989. This is an average of $2.8 million a
year. The value of genuine US dollars in circulation last year, before the current economic
crisis saw a major increase in output, was $760 billion. Producing counterfeit $100 bills on
the scale of the counterfeiters to subvert world capitalism makes little sense, even
assuming a virtually bankrupt state such as North Korea could raise the funds and acquire
the necessary materials and expertise to do so.
Another problem is that Optically Variable Ink (OVI) is needed to print the notes. The only
manufacturer is another Swiss firm, Societie Industriel et Commerciale de Produits Amon
(SICPA). OVI changes colour when the bank note is turned. Again only one plant mixes the ink
for the US Treasury and it is located in Virginia. SICPA did supply inks to North Korea up
until 2001 but they were green and magenta in colour, while those used in Virginia are
bronze green and black. The ink used in the counterfeit bills is an exact match for that
mixed at the Virginia plant.
Whoever is producing the counterfeit notes has access to the same paper, the same ink and
exactly the same type of Giori Intaglio printing press as the US Treasury. The best efforts
of the US authorities over many years have failed to produce any evidence that North Korea
has obtained access to any of these.
According to Bender the counterfeits are actually of better quality than the $100 bills
printed by the US Treasury of Bureau of Engraving and Printing, hence the soubriquet ‘super
duds’ or ‘super dollars’. The key difference is that the ‘super dollars’ do not have
embedded in them vital magnetic and infra-red security measures that would allow them to
pass undetected by security machines in US banks. In other words whoever is producing the
notes does not want them to circulate in the USA or damage the American economy.
As it happens most of the genuine $100 bills in circulation do so outside the United States.
Americans prefer credit cards to cash to pay for large purchases. The counterfeit notes have
a tendency to turn up in politically volatile areas of the world such as Africa and the
Middle East. In 1996, when ‘super dollars’ made one of their rare appearances in the USA, it
was through the agency of the Pakistani Military Attache in Washington. When discovered,
Brigadier Khalid Maqbool claimed he obtained the notes in Afghanistan. He was not charged,
The only real evidence against North Korea that is was involved in master minding this
international counterfeiting operation to bring about the collapse of capitalism has come
from a number of defectors such as Kim Dong Shik. He fled to South Korea almost nine years
ago. He claimed to have a PhD in chemistry and to have been the chief designer of the forged
notes. However he was subsequently described as mentally unstable and disowned by human
rights activists who had initially helped him. One said that Kim Dong Shik could not even
remember whose head appears on the $100 dollar bills or the building on the reverse. Free
North Korea Radio, which broadcasts from the South Korean capital of Seoul and is part
funded by the US Government, has reported that he fabricated the ‘super dollar’ conspiracy
In July 2006, when Ronald K Noble, the head of Interpol, organised a conference of
counterfeiting experts in Lyon, France, the US authorities could provide no hard evidence of
North Korea’s involvement in the manufacture and distribution of ‘super dollars’. Instead
intelligence sources were cited that could not be revealed for security reasons. Noble is a
former US Secret Service agent. He served as the United States Department of Treasury’s
first Undersecretary for Enforcement from 1993 to 1996.
Sean Garland and North Korea
Sean Garland has visited North Korea on a number of occasions between 1983 and 2002. He did
so initially at the invitation of the North Korean ambassador to Denmark, Li Chol Sin. The
visits were usually part of an itinerary that included Russia and China. While the primary
purpose of the visits was to develop a political dialogue, Sean Garland also carried out
some consultancy work in North Korea and China in conjunction with Enel, Italy’s largest
energy company, on the development of coal-fired power stations in both countries. He also
promoted cultural relations between Ireland and North Korea. This resulted in North Korea
sending a folk troupe to participate in a Fleadh Nua in Ennis and an All-Ireland Fleadh
Ceoil in Clonmel. The Korean artists were entertained en route at the Irish embassy in
Moscow and Comhaltas Ceoiltoiri Eaireann was in turn invited to the following International
Spring Festival in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. RTE sent a television crew to
cover the event.
All of the information available, including the forensic evidence, begs more questions than
it answers about the origins of these notes. It also provides fertile ground for conspiracy
theorists, but there is nothing connecting Sean Garland or North Korea to the production and
distribution of ‘super dollars’. In fact some of the evidence would strongly indicate that
North Korea is unlikely to be involved.
The case against Sean Garland is based on the following:
• He visited North Korea on several occasions between 1983 and 2002
• He was a former senior figure in the IRA
• There were references to an IRA man called ‘Sean’ in taped conversations between
members of a counterfeiting gang based in Birmingham during intensive surveillance by the
British National Crime Squad between 1998 and 2000.
It is doubtful if a Grand Jury would have indicted him if it had been presented with the
actual facts or been told they were part of a political exercise to justify another foreign
military adventure. It says something about the mindset of hawks within the Bush
administration that they would grasp at such flimsy straws to concoct a pretext for going to
war, but it would not be the first time that this has happened.
Sean Garland provided a convenient vehicle for this strategy because he had visited North
Korea on a number of occasions in the past, as he has other countries as a committed
socialist and internationalist.
Who is Sean Garland?
He is a life long republican socialist. As a young man he took a leading part in the IRA
border campaign of the 1950s. Reflecting on his experiences then he became a strong advocate
of the primacy of politics in tackling Ireland’s problems and helped establish the Northern
Ireland Civil Rights Association in the late 1960s. He was instrumental in achieving the
Official IRA Ceasefire in 1972 and later served as General Secretary and then President of
the Workers Party. He was also very active in the Peace Movement within Ireland and
internationally. He has been a trenchant critic of US foreign policy, especially that of the
George W Bush administration.
You can sign the Stop the Extradition of Sean Garland Petition at www.seangarland.org. Our
campaign urgently needs funds to be effective. Please send what you can to Defend Sean
Garland Fund, Apartment 7, 12 Montjoy Square, Dublin 1 or Account No. 14534210 Bank Sort
Code 99-06-58, Permanent TSB, 12/13 Lower O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.
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|Geoff Lee to gkennedy
show details 11:35 (23 hours ago) Reply
Dear G. Kennedy,
Please find below the Sean Garland story which I am sure will be of interest to Irish Americans
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I would prefer that the right to vote NEVER be restricted or taken away. Even in jail, one is still a citizen of the USA.
Hi King Rat. Thanks for the link! We're looking into it.
I would like the right to vote for dead people, and myself multiple times like acorn does. How can I register dead people and can you come pick me up in a school bus and drive me around so I can vote in multiple precincts? Thanks.
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