Obama’s Treasury Department: Our Sanctions Regime Is SEKRIT

Screen shot 2013-02-20 at 12.48.34 PMTreasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Controljust sent out its invite for a symposium helping the Financial Industry learn about how to comply with sanctions. The symposium will include the following:

The Financial Symposium will feature a Keynote Address by OFAC Director Adam Szubin and presentations by key OFAC personnel on topics such as:

  • Changes to the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, NDAA and CISADA
  • Enforcement guidelines and enforcement actions
  • SDN List updates and information on the designation process
  • Securities and Insurance
  • Licensing procedures and guidance
  • Compliance with U.S. economic and trade sanctions

In addition to formal presentations, OFAC staff will be available throughout the day for individual questions and ad hoc roundtable discussion on issues unique to the financial industry.

It’s actually fairly important that the sanctions regime be well-publicized. Not only does it help ensure compliance from any entity that might be considered liable. But that’s what gives it legitimacy: not just the fact that sanctions and their rationale appear well thought out (if you believe Iranians should have no access to medical devices and dental equipment, that is), but also that sanctions are somewhat fairly applied (which they’re not).

Apparently, Obama’s Treasury Department doesn’t see it this way.

 The event is closed to press.

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.

7 replies
  1. TarheelDem says:

    The magic words.

    The event is closed to press.

    Limited to two representatives per institution. “We’ll get back to you” on email. Limitations of space.

    Very interesting. I’ll bet if you are the Community Bank of Podunk, they’ve run out of space. An insiders meeting in plain sight.

  2. peasantparty says:

    @TarheelDem: Heh. Just like the House and Senate Approprations Committees.

    This Secret Government just keeps on going.

    BTW, on the other place I saw where you responded to me later. All the answers can be found if you review the USS Liberty.

  3. allan says:

    ” … ad hoc roundtable discussion on issues unique to the financial industry … ”

    This is when the Treasury guys audition for their next jobs.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A common rationale for excluding the press and public is that their presence would inhibit the free flow of information. It’s not a convincing argument and perhaps isn’t meant to be. No banker or lawyer with an IQ above room temperature would ask about or disclose information within a drone’s flight of being questionable, let alone illegal.

    One wonders whether this sort of “training” resembles the torture training handed out to our military, intel and “contractor” boys. Ostensibly about what “not” to do in handling adversaries, it readily becomes a lesson plan in how to torture and to what effect. By analogy, is this training meant to keep US financial ops on the clean side of the law, or about how not to get caught by the USG when doing what has to be done to become the world’s greatest launderer of dirty money or doing business with the enemy du jour?

  5. Peterr says:

    Marcy, have you submitted your request as the CEO of Emptywheel Industries? Maybe your also have your Corporate General Counsel, bmaz, attend as well.

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