The legal authority for the Department of Treasury to designate a person or organization as a Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) (or freeze assets "pending investigation") is based on laws providing for economic sanctions against foreign nations, going back to the Trading With the Enemy Act in 1917 and ending with the Patriot Act.
Below are excerpts from comments written by a diverse range of nonprofits and experts in response to two Federal Register announcements inviting comment on the burdens USAID’s Partner Vetting System (PVS) would impose on its grant applicants; one from the Department of State (Oct. 2011) and USAID (Dec. 2011). PVS would require NGOs receiving USAID funds to collect personal information on local partners for submission to the U.S. government. If implemented, the proposed PVS pilot would create hazards for aid workers and undermine program effectiveness. It will prevent some potential grantees from applying for funds, and will hamper the efforts of others to deliver services and programs that serve the best interests of the United States.
The report is an update to the OMB Watch March 2006 report, Muslim Charities and the War on Terror: Top Ten Concerns and Status Update. The update summarizes action by the U.S. government to shut down American Muslim charities since 2006, and gives updates on the status of litigation and other efforts by charities. It also details the unwarranted government investigation and surveillance of Muslim communities and charities. The report concludes by examining how the American Muslim charitable sector has addressed government scrutiny by implementing rigorous due diligence procedures, and educating politicians and the public to combat Islamophobia.
A recent episode of the “The Good Wife” explored some of the problems created by the U.S. government's harsh restrictions on lawyers representing groups and individuals designated a terrorist under Executive Order 13224. These restrictions deny basic due process and are a means of discouraging lawyers from representing those who have been put on the terrorist list, making defense of their claims in court more difficult.
Mediating between warring parties has never been an easy task. History shows that the odds are stacked against such efforts. Academics who study the field of conflict resolution argue about whether more conflicts are ended by military victory or non-violent negotiation (the record is mixed), but the prevalence of prolonged violent conflict across our globe demonstrates that successful peace efforts are still too few in number. Read more....
On Sept. 1, 2011, an archive of 251, 287 unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables became available on the internet. The range of issues covered is extensive, ranging from Citibank’s hijacked $7 million in Sudan to Hamas’ liability for a Gaza tunnel ponzi scheme. The Charity & Security Network searched through the cables for subjects affecting U.S. charitable activities and found lots of information about OFAC licensing delays, countering violent extremism strategies, the UN counterterrorism regime, and more. Read more...
On Sept. 1, 2011, a searchable archive of over 250,000 unredacted U.S. State Department cables became available on the internet. The publication of the cables expanded a window on American diplomacy that first opened in November 2010 when Wikileaks and several international news organizations started publishing selected cables. The Charity & Security Network has scanned though thousands of the cables for any discussion about issues affecting U.S. charitable activities. Excerpts from cables pertaining to the following topics are below.