Thursday, 10 August 2017

When The Thief Has Stolen From a Thief : God (and Jack) Laughs

       
Little Jack  Warner
Sat in the corner,
Waiting to be extradited.
When he  won a judicial review,
He put on his shoe
And walked away quite excited.

Behind closed doors Jack Warner  is confident that he will not be extradited to the United States.
Even though buying time is his first line of defense, in just a few weeks the former FIFA Vice President who is wanted in the USA on 14 counts of  FIFA related racketeering and  corruption charges will know  whether a  loophole in local law will  delay his extradition to face the consequences of flipping the script  on the world power, for his role in turning over the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Jack Warner smiles as Cersi becomes unhinged and FIFA's Game of Thrones' plot intensifies.
There is excitement in his legal camp which one year ago claimed Round One when Justice James  Christopher Aboud dismissed an application by the United States to join  the proceedings in which Warner is  seeking a judicial review of the decision by Attorney General Faris al Rawi to sign off on  the  extradition request from the US  Department of Justice (DOJ) in September 2015,  just after the General Elections which swept the People’s National Movement (PNM) into power.
It was a proverbial slap in the face when the  judge ordered the US to pay costs for Warner’s attorneys.  The US wanted in, contending that the  issue before the court had never been argued before and was bound to have an impact  on all  other extradition matters between both countries.  But  Justice Aboud said differently.
Even now, among the 14 persons charged in the FIFA sweep Warner is the only man who has challenged his extradition.
Given  how slowly the wheels of justice turn in Trinidad and Tobago it is more than likely  his strategy of buying time will work in his favor.
Warner’s second  line of defense, it appears, was  to  bank on the People’s National Movement (PNM) not signing off the extradition request given the pivotal role he played in the run up to the 2015 General Elections  keeping voters in intrigue after he threatened to  drop bombshells after an acrimonious fall out with the  People’s Partnership (PP) in which he served as a member of Cabinet  and which  ended with him spending a night in jail before he walked out on TT$2.5 million dollars bail, having surrendered his passport.
He promised  to deliver fire like  Khaleesi on her dragons (#GOT) but  barely created a spark, though his stories damaged the  credibility of former Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar for whom he was once a right hand man.
Under the circumstances of his on going  extradition matter  Warner declined an interview last week, politely stating that he  is being careful about what he says, via his newspaper, in the lead up to a decision which Justice  Aboud  has deferred  from July 31st to September. No specific date was given.
Warner is just one  casualty of American aggression  which intensified after Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup, and is often personified in  an oft quoted newspaper report of Bill Clinton (Honorary  chairman of the  US Bid committee ) smashing a mirror  in Swiss Savoy Baur en Ville hotel in Zurich in December 2010 after hearing the news.
Bill Clinton (Photo Rex)

Clinton , you could say, became unhinged like Cersi (#GOT) .The tables were turned on not just the US bid , but his  most treasured  philanthropic  Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) even though there is only a hint in the report by "Independent" investigator Michael Garcia that the CGI may have benefitted  remotely. There is no hint of what favors ,if any, were traded.
The  Department of Justice (DOJ) with its self described FIFA Slayer Loretta Lynch’s  first foray in sharing out corruption charges literally  beheaded the FIFA executive committee with the intention of  rebuilding  one that is reputed to be free from  corruption, but reflects  US ultimate supremacy in the  geopolitics of world football.
It was Warner, ironically, who with Chuck Blazer, engineered  the  ascendancy of the  United States in international football ensuring their qualification for the  1990 World Cup  28 years ago  when in 1989   he set the stage for Trinidad and Tobago to be denied its place, by any means necessary , in a 1-0 historic loss at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Jack Warner  engages the late Chuck Blazer
The US, without  a top national league at the time, had, one year earlier won the bid to host the 1994  World Cup  in nine cities.
 And though he declared that he voted for  the US bid , his relationship with Qatar's Mohammed bin Hammam  who travelled to Trinidad allegedly with suitcases of money, led to CONCACAF’s voting power  going   behind Qatar 2022.
 Surely he sees the gathering storm  because he flipped the script on the US, even though he maintains that he voted  for the US bid for 2022.
 Operation Strip Qatar -not the official name-moved into overdrive in  May 2017, even though well placed sources suggest the plan was hatched in 2011, when the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) stepped in with a mandate to, under no circumstances, allow Qatar to host the World Cup.
 Former US government officials, who may have benefitted  from the bid process are using all their diplomatic strength and other influences to make it happen.
 AIPAC after all is the  most powerful  force  in shaping US politics in the Middle East .
 The Saudi Arabia led coalition which includes the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt  with the blessing of the United States created not just a diplomatic crisis with a blockade on Qatar, ostensibly to punish the  richest country in the world for funding terrorism.
 Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani  and President Donald Trump
It is meant to starve Qatar of all that is necessary to move ahead with plans  for  the IAAF World Championships  in it’s capital Doha in 2019 and the Confederation Cup in 2021 a forerunner to the 2022 World Cup.
And so, in the process, they can bleed Qatar dry as costs will escalate. The consequences are far reaching, way beyond what is now disguised as a spat over World Cup hosting rights.
In all the  ensuing international intrigue arises one allegation that Israel whose  first and only appearance in a World Cup final was  in 1970 was promised a berth  in 2022 in the US,  as the powers that be would have been in a position, as they have done previously, to gerrymander the draw to make it possible.
 Honestly speaking, where else would have Israel been able to play safely and without a boycott because of its involvement?
Just as it was in 2006 when Trinidad and Tobago made it to Germany with a little bit of help from fixed fixtures  to validate the only black man from  a small Caribbean island who ascended to the post of  Senior Vice President of FIFA.
Was Germany 2006,  a justification for  Warner’s rise to fame and a way of giving back to the country that he sacrificed on the altar of ambition to facilitate his rise  in  CONCACAF, after the  1989 heartbreak?
In Trinidad and Tobago we would rather give all credit to our football talent.
Given the tsunami of  activity at the DOJ to round up the 14 persons, including Jack Warner, what has slowed down the FIFA slayers?
Former US AG Loretta Lynch
Speculation is that the information which the US  has used to dethrone a few  will be released after Russia 2018, as part of the  Strip Qatar movement which is gaining momentum.
There’s a confluence of activities.
For example, along with the blockade of Qatar is the publication of the report by US investigator  Michael Garcia, released at the end of June 2017 which found that either Qatar had not broken any rules or there was not a sufficiently well established link but listed instances of FIFA Exco members  benefitting financially.
 Somewhere  in  the report  however it was noted that the  “US Bid  committee reimbursed some travel expenses for a FIFA ex co member when he attended a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2010 that was not related to the bid effort”. Garcia's 349 page report.
  “That reimbursement was an area of concern that warranted further investigation,” the report stated.  Whether there will be a follow up, is yet to be seen.’ 
 One week ago came news  that Former French  President Nicholas Sarkozy could become  the subject  of a criminal investigation  into Qatar’s World Cup  because he is alleged to have profited from multi-million dollar business deals that includes the sale of Paris Saint-Germain to a Qatari investment firm.
 Add that to the  Swiss  investigations and the US indictments and it’s like all guns aiming at Qatar, again.
 And then there was the fake news story last month  which FIFA was forced to deny, after it was reported that  all  the Arab countries  wrote to FIFA with a formal request  for   Qatar  to be stripped of the 2022 World Cup, because it was a “base of terrorism.” A natural follow up to the  blockade.
Jack Warner’s troubles may  pale by comparison. And he has a ringside seat with an insider  scoop. The  plot unfolds  as Cersi  is unhinged.
 Is it  to his benefit that Trinidad’s wheels of justice will continue to turn  laboriously slow or does Warner  have  a bombshell  to trade  which leaves him, behind closed doors, smiling from ear to ear?