How to Indefinitely Detain Jamie Dimon

Kagro X and I were engaging in a little thought experiment on Twitter to show how easy it would be to solve our dangerous bankster problem by indefinitely detaining them.

It turned out to be pretty easy to do. Here’s how.

First, before you indefinitely detain a bankster, you need to show either that he is,

A person who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or who has supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

Or, you need to show he has supported (using the Iraq AUMF that we’re keeping around to make sure the President’s authority isn’t limited to just al Qaeda),

another international terrorist group that the President has determined both (a) is in armed conflict with the United States and (b) poses a threat of hostile actions within the United States;

Now, making that case with Jamie Dimon is very easy to do, because his company, JP Morgan Chase, has materially helped Iran. We have several pieces of proof it has done so. First, there’s the Treasury Report showing that JPMC:

  • Gave a $2.9 million loan on December 22, 2009 to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which the Office of Foreign Assets Control has found to be involved in WMD proliferation
  • Advised and confirmed a $2,707,432 letter of credit on April 24, 2009, in which the underlying transaction involved a vessel identified by OFAC as blocked due to its affiliation with the same Iranian shipping line
  • Processed nine wire transfers between April 27, 2006 and November 28, 2008, which totaled $609,308, some of which involved sanctioned Iranian and terrorist entities
  • Transferred 32,000 ounces of gold bullion valued at approximately $20,560,000 to benefit a sanctioned Iranian bank on May 24, 2006

We need no further proof that JPMC has done these things. Not only has JPMC admitted to them, but as Janice Rogers Brown has made clear, we cannot question the Executive Branch’s intelligence reports, so all of OFAC’s claims must be accepted as true for the purposes of indefinite detention. And all of that illegal support for Iran happened while Jamie Dimon was President of JPMC.

But there may even be proof–enough, anyway, to satisfy Rogers Brown–that JPMC materially supported an attempt to deploy a WMD in a terrorist attack on American soil. As I have shown, the bank account to which Manssor Arbabsiar transferred almost $100,000 as downpayment for the alleged Quds Force plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir was probably a Chase account. And that affidavit should be enough. The FBI, after all, is an intelligence agency. And Janice Rogers Brown does not find redactions–even much more extensive ones–to in any way impair the reliability of Administration claims to justify indefinite detention.

In other words, the Administration has provided sufficient proof that JPMC materially supported Iran to the tune of at least $23 million in illegal financial transactions.

Now, if Chase is indeed the bank that accepted the downpayment for the Scary Iran Plot, we need no further basis to indefinitely detain Jamie Dimon. After all, the government’s Amended Complaint (from the FBI, an intelligence agency whose reports we cannot question) asserts that Abdul Reza Shahlai was the mastermind behind the Scary Iran Plot, and at the time of the plot, he had already been sanctioned as a supporter of the insurgency in Iraq. That was based on a questionable intelligence report, admittedly, but Janice Rogers Brown says we cannot consider such problems. So if Chase did, indeed, play a role in the Scary Iran Plot, then that’s all we need to indefinitely detain Jamie Dimon as head of the entity that materially supported that terrorist attack.

But even if Chase wasn’t involved in the Scary Iran Plot, the Executive Branch can still indefinitely detain Jamie Dimon. After all, the Executive Branch has been claiming that Iran was harboring al Qaeda since 2003. In addition, an official Executive Branch report–a September 12, 2009 diplomatic cable–includes the following hearsay claim, made by Saudi Arabia’s then Minister of the Interior, now the Crown Prince, Nayif bin Abdulaziz:

Iran has hosted Saudis (all Sunnis) — including Osama bin Laden’s son Ibrahim — who had contacts with terrorists and worked against [Saudi Arabia]

And Janice Rogers Brown has said that so long as it appears in an official government document, any hearsay problem is overcome. And as recent reporting makes clear, there’s even some evidence that Iran was at least aware of, and in some ways facilitated, the 9/11 plot itself. That assertion is based on NSA reports which, as official government documents, would meet Rogers Brown’s standard for claims supporting indefinite detention.

All of which would seem to reach the bar of making Iran a force associated with al Qaeda. I don’t necessarily buy these reports, mind you, but again, it’s not for me to question these official government records. And helping such an associated force access $23 million of funding sure seems to qualify as “substantial support.”

Now let me be clear. I don’t advocate indefinitely detaining Jamie Dimon–or anyone else either, particularly not American citizens, no matter how loathsome or dangerous to the United States. But given that our country maintains it is more important to “incapacitate” terrorists and those who support them than to punish those who did trillions of dollars of damage to our economy, we may well have to treat Jamie Dimon as a material supporter of terrorism to get some justice.

And Jamie? If I were you I would report to an Embassy or some other official government office right away, as the government claims Anwar al-Awlaki should have. Because while Obama seems uninterested in indefinitely detaining American citizens, he has been known to kill those he claimed were particularly dangerous.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

21 replies
  1. allan says:

    Brilliant.

    But, given the recent operational difficulties, Predators over Midtown Manhattan might not be a good idea.

  2. rosalind says:

    my my, our gov’t minders don’t seem to have a sense of humor. or grasp on the real-world implications of the legislation they so quickly embrace.

    pls. stop crashing ew’s site and go do something productive.

    (ew: might want to put up a fundraiser thermometer for a preemptive stockpile of bail money)

  3. William Ockham says:

    Don’t forget that we could also detain Newt Gingrich (and pretty much anyone else in Congress during the 1980’s who voted in favor of the CIA’s budget) for their support of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-i-Islami. We must be at war with them since we killed one of Hekmatyar’s guys at the Salt Pit in Afghanistan in 2002 (Gul Rahman).

  4. Mel Dekker says:

    John Cornyn’s office just referred me to the latest version of this bill (SB 1867, section 1031) and said language has now been added to exempt US citizens from this horrible bill. Is that true?

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    And all that is before you get to the banksters’ extensive money laundering facilities. At least the portion not done in connection with laundering CIA drug money would seem actionable.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I also suggest that Mr. Dimon should not assume that those objects hovering silently over his skyscraper and homes are not balloons, though they may be birds of prey.

  7. EH says:

    YES!! These are the kinds of ideas I’ve been waiting for, and I don’t mean “crazy.” Hack the system. I bet of all the FBI agents with arrest powers on Mr. Dimon, you could find one low enough to go for it. Just maybe leave the name secret until the end. “He’s very important, I can’t risk an FBI agent leaking this conversation.”

  8. Kris says:

    i think it is easier than that! they never define what “support” means…

    if america was not in an economic recession it would be substantially
    easier to fight AlQaeda
    if the economic recession was even remotely caused by banker A than Banker A has substantially supported these terrorist groups.

    done! indefinite detention for bankers!!!

    but wait those bankers were put into positions of power substantially by de-regultion in congress!!\

    Indefiniate dentention for all members or previous members of congress!!

    but wait those congress members were substantially assisted into congress by VOTERS!!!!

    Indefinite detention for all American Citizens!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!

  9. joanneleon says:

    @Susan, sorry I should have put a snark tag on that. I was just joking. When bills like this get passed, I can tend to get a little punchy.

  10. Acharn says:

    @joanneleon: Ah, but whose suspicion? If you aren’t an anonymous minion of the President’s secret committee your suspicions don’t count. It doesn’t matter who presents whatever evidence, if the NSC doesn’t sign off on it it doesn’t count. See also, “prosecutorial discretion.” Like the current DOJ refusal to investigate war crimes.

  11. Mel Dekker says:

    @emptywheel: Marcy, I trust you MUCH more than any government agent or Senator (Cornyn), but here is the language in the bill. Does this now mean the law exempts US citizens and legal aliens?

    SB 1867, Sec 1031(e) Authorities- Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    Sec 1032 (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-

    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.

  12. emptywheel says:

    @Mel Dekker: Not in the least.

    First, the existing law (Hamdi, among other things) has upheld the Admin’s authority to detain an American citizen. So by upholding existing law, the law upholds Hamdi (and in some ways make it stronger).

    The second clause does no more than say that the Exec is not obligated to hold US citizens captured as part of a terrorist attack in military detention. It does not prohibit it at all, though. And it also clearly allows for the Exec to hold American citizens indefinitely in civil custody.

  13. Rashid Patch says:

    JPMC, because of it’s material aid to Iran and also materially supported an attempt to deploy a WMD in a terrorist attack on American soil.

    Therefore, JPMC is a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization.

    Under the RICO Act, all of JPMC’s assets are immediately forfeit, as well as the personal assets of all its officers, managers, employees, and assigns.

    Under RICO, they have to prove their innocence before getting any of the assets back.

    Any local jurisdiction could initiate the case – and the police agency prosecuting the case gets all the assets.

    Know a municipality that could use some cash?

Comments are closed.