January 16, 2008

Well, I Didn't See THAT Coming

UH, SO IT TURNS OUT a former Congressman -- who once represented Michigan's 6th Congressional District, where I grew up -- has been charged with helping an "Islamic charity" funnel money to al-Qaeda in Pakistan. No, really. That's what the Detroit Free Press says:

A former Republican congressman from west Michigan was indicted today on federal charges of money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a scheme to assist a U.S.-based Islamic charity organization funnel money to Al Qaeda and Taliban-linked terrorists in Pakistan.

Mark Siljander, 56, also a former state legislator from St. Joseph County, was hired by the Islamic American Relief Agency in 2004 to assist in having the group removed from a U.S. Senate list of terrorist-linked charities, according to a statement released by the Department of Justice, then helping the group launder stolen federal funds with which to pay for his services. ...

Siljander served five years in Congress beginning in 1981 when he was elected to replace David Stockman, who had been hired as President Ronald Reagan’s budget chief. He was defeated in a re-election bid in 1986 by U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Kalamazoo, following a well-publicized incident in which Siljander sent an audio tape to church pastors in the district urging them to fast and pray for his re-election to “break the back of Satan.” Today’s indictment describes Siljander as the owner of a company called Global Strategies Inc., based in the Washington D.C., area.

OK, the whole "re-elect me and I can carry out my delusional messianic ambitions" bit? As someone who grew up in western Michigan during the Eighties, this does not surprise me. The "help fund America's enemies for one's own tawdry personal gain" bit -- well, that does.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at January 16, 2008 11:19 PM | TrackBack
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