Bush Justice Department Implements Kidnapping of Korean National in
A blast from the past, Tongsun Park was the
businessman that figured prominently in "Koreagate" of the 1970s -- an
alleged plot by that country to buy influence in America. He surfaces,
of all places, in a New York Court, accused of taking money from Saddam
Hussein's government in connection with the United Nations' oil for
food program that helped the Iraqi leader get needed cash to run his
Apparently, as best I can piece together the story from two New York Times articles (1/11/06 p.
A12 "Lawyer says Korean was originally seized in Mexico," by Simon
Romero and Julia Preston; 1/12/06 p. A17, "Oil-for-Food Suspect,
Ailing, Faces Arraignment in New York" by Simon Romero), Park was taken
into custody by Mexican officials on the basis of an Interpol notice.
Apparently, the notice would authorize his deportation to Park's
domicile country, Korea, but he was somehow scurried to Houston and
arrested by the FBI.
"Essentially, he's kidnapped and brought to
Houston," The Times quoted
Park's lawyer, Randy Schaffer, as saying. What possible jurisdiction
the United States has over the food-for-oil program is anybody's guess,
but the actual charges against Park are that he acted as an
"unregistered foreign agent for Iraq and received at least $2 million
in cash from Hussein's government to influence the establishment and
management of the $64 billion program," The Times reported.
One really wonders why the Bush henchmen should be
so concerned with a program for which not a dime was taken from
American taxpayers, but that was so completely funded by Iraqi oil
sales. It appears that the Bush Administration feels it can arrest
anybody on the street, no matter what country they are in, settle old
scores, and basically act like the Mob. The Times seems to be on top of
this one. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Later articles in The
Times indicated that Park might be allowed to go free, pending a
hearing later this month. Stand by.