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Lenco BearCat Armored police carrier used in Nashville. Photo credit: Wikimedia Foundation.

RadioWhoWhatWhy: Police Becoming Sixth Branch of US Military?

May 22, 2015 by

Is President Obama’s recently announced order seeking to reverse the dramatic over-arming of police forces nationwide too little, too late? We all saw—in Baltimore, in Ferguson, in Boston—how civilian law enforcement has turned into a virtual sixth branch of the military. Where is this going? Our guest, author of a new book on the topic, shares his research.

FBI interview reports were used in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial instead of witness testimony. Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death. Photo credit: FBI.GOV
Boston Bombing Investigation

Tsarnaev Case Judge: FBI Interview Reports Are Unreliable—And Cast in Stone

May 20, 2015 by

In allowing FBI interview reports to be read in court in lieu of witness testimony, US District Court Judge George O’Toole inadvertently highlighted an insidious tactic used by the FBI to manipulate witness statements. Anyone who gets a knock at the door from an FBI agent would be well advised to invite an attorney over before opening the door—or your mouth.

BearCat in Boston lockdown.
Police State

Classic WhoWhatWhy: Police State Gears Up

May 19, 2015 by

On May 18, 2015, President Obama made a surprising announcement: he ordered the federal government to reverse its standing practice of providing American police departments with surplus weapons and vehicles from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Given declining confidence in police after a seemingly constant recent stream of fatalities involving black suspects, this newfound caution with heavy provisioning is understandable. But questions about the wisdom of militarizing police are not new. WhoWhatWhy first wrote about the issue in February, 2014.


Outside the Box Video Series: The Power of Nightmares

May 16, 2015 by

The major decision for the jury that sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death was whether he was a lone terrorist waging jihad or a gullible teen misled by his radicalized brother. On the seeming other end of the political spectrum, neo-cons are pulling out the gloves to gear up for 2016. What do they have in common? According to this 2004 documentary series, there are parallels between the rise of radical Islam and the rise of the neo-conservative movement that are worth taking a look.