Dennis Rodman May Have Broken Global Sanctions While on North Korea Trip

Dennis Rodman gestures as he has a drink while checking in for his flight to North Korea at Beijing's international airport on Jan. 6. The former NBA basketball player might have violated global sanctions against Pyongyang by giving lavish gifts to leader Kim Jong Un while on the trip.
National Journal
Alexander Abad Santos
See more stories about...
Alexander Abad-Santos
Jan. 24, 2014, 6:58 a.m.

Den­nis Rod­man can’t catch a break. 

On top of an abysmal trip to North Korea which ended with him tak­ing a dir­ect flight to re­hab, Den­nis Rod­man is now the sub­ject of a U.S. Treas­ury De­part­ment in­vest­ig­a­tion be­cause of gifts he gave to Kim Jong Un.

Shower­ing a North Korean dic­tat­or with gifts not only looks bad pa­per, it’s pos­sibly against the law, as it could be a vi­ol­a­tion of Amer­ic­an and United Na­tions sanc­tions against the na­tion and its people. Rod­man re­portedly brought many gifts with him in hon­or of Kim’s 31st birth­day ran­ging from suits, to a fur coat, to bottles of Jameson, to an ex­pens­ive hand­bag. Those gifts al­legedly costs up­wards of $10,000 and ex­perts be­lieve those gifts could be seen as vi­ol­a­tions of U.N. sanc­tions.

What’s per­haps more press­ing for an Amer­ic­an like Rod­man is that these gifts ac­tu­ally vi­ol­ate U.S. law.

The Daily Beast re­ports: “Rod­man may have vi­ol­ated an Amer­ic­an law called the In­ter­na­tion­al Emer­gency Eco­nom­ic Powers Act … which makes it a vi­ol­a­tion of U.S. law for any per­son de­term­ined by the Treas­ury and State De­part­ments ‘to have, dir­ectly or in­dir­ectly, im­por­ted, ex­por­ted, or re­ex­por­ted lux­ury goods to or in­to North Korea.’”

Gath­er­ing in­form­a­tion from an un­named U.S. of­fi­cial, the Daily Beast is re­port­ing that the Treas­ury De­part­ment is ac­tu­ally in­vest­ig­at­ing if Rod­man broke that lux­ury good law. The State De­part­ment earli­er had voiced their dis­pleas­ure with Rod­man’s vis­it, call­ing it “mar­gin­ally un­help­ful.”

The Beast also seems to think the feds have a pretty good case.”Rod­man could have ap­plied for an ex­port li­cense for the goods, al­though ex­port li­censes for North Korea must meet strict cri­ter­ia and lux­ury goods are spe­cific­ally ex­cluded from the list of items that could re­ceive li­censes, ac­cord­ing to fed­er­al reg­u­la­tions.”

De­pend­ing on what, if any­thing, Rod­man brought over (and how much the gov­ern­ment wants to smack him down), he could face up to $250,000 in fines or up to 20 years in jail if con­victed. 

Re­prin­ted with per­mis­sion from The Wire. The ori­gin­al story can be found here.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×