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Why Russia Matters to the Boston Bombing Suspect’s Defense by James Henry
One unanswered question about the Boston Marathon bombing persists: What did Russia tell the U.S. about the Tsarnaev brothers, and when? Here’s why Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team is chipping away at the secrecy surrounding that story.
The Triumph of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex
The state of the union between Congress and the military-industrial complex is strong—that’s according to a trenchant analysis by Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen and longtime military analyst and national security expert Winslow Wheeler. In fact, they make a case for viewing the relationship as something of an Iron Triangle. This time, it is uniting the military, defense contractors and the legislative branch into a new complex that is “now deeply embedded in the fiber of the American political system, academia, the civilian leadership of the Defense Department and—increasingly—the White House itself.”
Tech Eyes Cuban Payday
If you were wondering why now—after decades of intransigence and chest-thumping—the United States is removing one of the last vestiges of the Cold War, look no further than the corporations lining up in preparation for the mad dash into Cuba’s nearly pristine telecommunications market. To wit, “communications technology was one of the few industry sectors that Obama singled out last month for expansion into Cuba.”
Jeb’s Invisible Man Strategy
If there is an “Invisible Man’s primary race” for the GOP nomination, Jeb Bush is the frontrunner. Since a preliminary campaign announcement, Jeb has “largely receded from public view, instead putting an acute focus on raising money and building what his growing team of aides describe as a ‘shock and awe’ campaign operation.” Jeb passed on Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit, essentially deferring the GOP’s hard right to a growing cast of usual presidential suspects. Instead, he went to San Francisco and doubled down on immigration. In the speech, Bush challenged his party by saying: “We need to find a path to legalized status for those who have come here and have languished in the shadows.” According to CNN, Bush’s mission now is to keep his head down and raise as much money as possible to muscle out his closest Republican rivals and build a high-octane campaign apparatus that can go the distance against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
An American Show Trial
The London Review of Books examines the trial and re-trial of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) on charges it provided material support to a terrorist organization—via $56 million given to Palestinian charity efforts from 1992-2001. In December 2001 “the US Treasury Department decreed the HLF a ‘specially designated global terrorist.’” The next day, the FBI closed its offices before the organization was informed of the designation. “Five staff members and the HLF itself were charged in 2004 with a variety of terrorism offences, on the basis that the money the organisation raised was ultimately going to fund Hamas.” According to Francis FitzGibbon, what followed was a “show trial” rife with mishandled evidence, over-reliance on the testimony of a shadowy witness named Avi, the use of documents produced by the Israeli Defense Force. All of that led to 65-year sentences for the accused.
How a Hard-Charging General Became an Environmental Crusader
Mother Jones examines the transformation of Lt. General Russel L. Honoré from cigar-chomping military star into a zealous crusader for the environment. Why has he has shifted his focus from national security to environmental protection? Because of his firsthand experience running relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, which hit his home state in 2005. That sparked Honore’s “almost religious awakening” to the ways big corporate interests are carving up Louisiana at the expense of the environment and the poor.
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