The Islamophobe Cheryl Benard (pictured) and her Afghan-born Americanized husband Zalmay Khalilzad, member of the neo-con cabal, have had their Austrian bank account frozen. There are suspicions of money laundering. Will the notorious couple face jail time?
Tuesday September 09, 2014, 09:04 DST
The Austrian prosecutor’s office has frozen the bank accounts of Cheryl Benard, a well-known Islamophobe, and her neo-con husband, Zalmay Khalilzad.
Benard has dual American and Austrian citizenship. This had always raised questions since together with her neo-con husband, the pair had made it to the inner sanctum of the American establishment.
A novelist, Benard gained notoriety for her RAND corporation paper of 2003 (updated 2007) titled: Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies, in which she advised western governments how to promote secular Muslims as “leaders” of Muslim communities in the west.
That project has been hugely successful. People with Muslim names that spout venom against Islam and Muslims and eagerly promote western policies against Muslims are given much air time on television and column space in newspapers. They are projected as “leaders” of Muslims.
Benard’s notorious husband, the Afghan-born naturalized American, neo-con Zalmay Khalilzad and she are suspected money-laundering schemes.
Khalilzad had served as US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations. The Austrian authorities have frozen the bank accounts of both they hold in Austria.
Khalilzad is the founder of a global consulting group that is being investigated for suspected money laundering related to business activities in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
When serving as ambassador to Afghanistan, Khalilzad acted as viceroy issuing orders to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Such one-upmanship comes naturally to people from that part of the world.
Khalilzad claimed the mantle of the ‘house slave’ while he considered Karzai as the ‘field slave’ although the latter was trying hard to ingratiate himself to the Americans to be accepted as ‘house slave’.
The money laundering activities of the couple came to light when a blogger found documents while rummaging through a garbage can used by the state prosecutor's office in Vienna.
Crooks, beware, Garbage cans yield important information and cause, at the very least some embarrassment even if the pair escape jail term!
In May 2013, the US Justice Department (DOJ) had asked the Austrian authorities for records regarding the Viennese bank accounts of Ms. Benard.
The DOJ wanted to know the source of $1.5 million transferred to their account in Vienna. Under US law, and indeed any other government’s law, it is illegal to earn income abroad and not pay tax on it.
Why was the neo-con couple maintaining accounts in Vienna and transferring funds into it?
According to a statement by Khalilzad's US lawyer, Robert B Buehler, the Austrian authorities over-reacted and froze the accounts of both.
The Austrian state prosecutor, Thomas Vecsey has confirmed the blogger's report in the Austrian weekly Profil. His September 8 statement said the inquiry centered on the transfer of $1.5 million to an account belonging to Benard.
Khalilzad’s lawyer Buehler is trying to put a positive spin on it claiming: “The DOJ request for information did not seek the seizure of assets belonging to Ms Benard or Ambassador Khalilzad, nor did the DOJ ask Austrian authorities to seize any of their accounts.”
Perhaps, but the fact that the US Justice Department sought information from the Austrian authorities about Benard maintaining a bank account into which $1.5 million was transferred is no small matter.
What was the money for, where did it come from and who transferred it there?
While the US DOJ request may not have contained any information pertaining to money laundering as Buehler claims, the fact that a request was sent to the Austrian authorities seeking information about the account indicates all was not kosher.
In such cases, the DOJ would first seek preliminary information before proceeding further. The fact that the Austrian prosecutor’s office felt compelled to freeze the account meant that it was sufficiently concerned about improper activity.