Monday, October 29, 2018

Thinking about organized crime and Khashoggi

Ohio's Black Hand Syndicate: The Birth of Organized Crime in America

When the news came out about the death, torture and mutilation of Jamal Khashoggi, the NYT Muslim reporter killed by his own countrymen, our media were horrified because he was one of their own. The story was even used to club Trump--but then everything is. Obviously, he'd done something to offend his "tribe" or "family."

I was reading "Ohio's Black Hand Syndicate; the Birth of Organized Crime in America" by David Meyers and his daughter Elise Meyers Walker at the time. (It happened in Ohio.) The Appendix contains the By-laws of the organization. Article 1: "The person who tries to reveal the secrets of this society will be punished with death." The articles go on to describe what other offences will be covered by Article 1 and includes offending someone, or harming another branch of the group or family. And the articles include using a knife to mark the offender, and stabbing. In fact, having one's body marked with a knife or being stabbed is also the punishment if a member has received an insult but didn't report it! And a member can be marked with a knife, stabbed, or branded if he fails to use the knife on someone else when ordered (perhaps the Saudis had the same rule?).

This crime syndicate was born in a fruit store in Marion, Ohio, and terrorized immigrant communities. All this was late 19th and early 20th century organized.  Evil is global and not confined to one ethnic, religious or national group.

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