President Bush's Patriotism:
Never ending wars on drugs & tobacco, and money laundering

Nipawin - Monday, April 22, 2002 - by: Mario deSantis


It was yesterday that we pictorially described how US money from smuggled Colombian drugs was being laundered with the purchase of (smuggled) American cigarettes and other goods in Colombia.




This afternoon, I woke up after a short nap and all of a sudden the "Tobacco Traffic" documentary by NOW with Bill Moyers was being aired.






What I was surprised to know is that Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and British American Tobacco were being sued by the governments of Colombia and other European countries for the recovery of tax revenues circumvented for the smuggling of cigarettes in these countries. The tobacco companies contended that in accordance with the Revenue Rule, an 18th century common law, the US courts have no jurisdiction over the collection of foreign taxes.

The Patriot Act, passed in October 2001, was supposed to tighten the financial opportunities for money laundering

Michael Oxley

and its draft contained a section which included money laundering as
"fraud or any scheme to defraud against a foreign government."

However, in presenting the money laundering act, GOP Representative Michael Oxley removed the above mentioned section at the order of the White House and GOP whip Tom DeLay, under pressure from the tobacco companies. As a consequence, on February 19, a US District Court judge dismissed the European and Colombian lawsuits on the grounds of the Revenue Rule.

Tom DeLay

  Is Smuggling a Patriotic Act? by Mark Schapiro, The Nation, May 6, 2002