FAKERY….Remember those charges that North Korea was flooding the world with counterfeit U.S. bills laundered through a bank in Macau? A recent audit says it’s not true:
“From our investigations it is apparent that … the Bank did not introduce counterfeit U.S. currency notes into circulation,” the Ernst & Young audit said, noting that large cash deposits from North Korea were routinely screened for counterfeits by the Hong Kong branch of an unidentified bank with U.S. operations.
The audit’s conclusions about the laundering of counterfeit currency are significant because they cast doubt on Bush administration claims that North Korea has engaged in state-sponsored counterfeiting and introducing these fake bills via Banco Delta.
This is a big deal. On September 19, 2005, North Korea finally agreed in principle to abandon its nuclear weapons programs, prompting optimism that the six-party talks might finally be making progress. In a triumph of timing — maybe deliberate, maybe not — the very next day the Bush administration announced sanctions on the Macau bank, freezing its North Korean assets and causing the always prickly North Koreans to assume the U.S. was acting in bad faith. Shortly thereafter they walked out of the talks, and a year later announced that they had tested a nuclear weapon.
Now we find out that the charges were probably unfounded. Just like we found out in February that the original charges in 2002 that North Korea was pursuing uranium enrichment might not have been true either. Just another example of the Bush administration doing its best to bring our credibility down to the level of the most batshit insane regime on earth. Good job, guys.