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The Nuclear Jihadist

The Nuclear Jihadist

By Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins

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Tag: Corruption

Magic Bomb Wand Would Be Funny if It Didn’t Kill People

What’s wrong with a $60,000 wand that can detect explosives and truffles from up to a kilometer away? Nothing, if it works. The U.S. military, technicians, journalists and people with eyes have been trying to get Iraqi officials to see reason, but that doesn’t bother one Gen. Jabiri, who says ... (Continued)

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 READ MORE


Square, Category Page

AP / Anja Niedringhaus

Karzai Told to Fight Corruption; Abdullah Supporters Told to Keep It Civil

In the aftermath of Afghanistan’s scuttled presidential runoff, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, urged President Hamid Karzai to go after the corruption within his ranks. Meanwhile, Karzai’s former challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, advised his supporters to contain their discontent and avoid violence.

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 READ MORE

AP / J. Scott Applewhite

The Best Justice That Money Can Buy

It is somewhat late in the day to lament the politicization of the judiciary, a condition that has always existed, but extravagant campaign contributions have now perilously altered the landscape.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE

Hamid Karzai
Wikimedia Commons / Tapand

Without an Opponent, Karzai Declared Winner

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission has declared President Hamid Karzai the winner of a second five-year term after his rival Abdullah Abdullah dropped out of the race. Abdullah said the runoff would be just as corrupt as the original election and withdrew in protest. (continued)

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Opium, Rape and the American Way

The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE

Obama Will Deal With Karzai

The president’s top political adviser, David Axelrod, told CBS News that Abdullah Abdullah’s withdrawal from the Afghan runoff election was a “political decision” and that the White House would “deal with the government that is.”

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Afghan Poppy Trade Blurs All the Lines

The opium poppy was introduced to Afghanistan more than 2,300 years ago by the armies of Alexander the Great. His forces were eventually driven out, like those of every would-be conqueror since. The poppy has proved more tenacious.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Geithner’s Fed Made AIG Pay Banks to the Max

That Timothy Geithner must love the big banks he spends all day talking to. Back when he was in charge of things, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York forced AIG to pay off Wall Street tycoons for all those toxic bets, even though the mega-insurer was busy trying to negotiate a better deal.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE

Daffy Ducks Peck at Corrupt Politicians

By far the best thing to come out of Britain’s expenses scandal is this video series of ducks lampooning the shenanigans of elected officials. It’s part of a campaign to bring an open primary to the U.K., but forget the politics and enjoy the poultry.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Purple Finger

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 ENLARGE    


Political Crisis Brews in Afghanistan

Afghanistan may be nearing yet another political crisis as officials fear that President Hamid Karzai will not accept results of an investigation outlining massive fraud in the country’s presidential elections two months ago. The inquiry is expected to drop Karzai’s vote total to under 50 percent, requiring a runoff election.

Posted on Oct 17, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bribe, Vote, Repeat

The votes of lawmakers are so routinely purchased by corporations that it takes a scandal of unusual proportions to generate news coverage.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE

U.N. Official Sees ‘Widespread Fraud’ in Afghan Election

After facing allegations of a cover-up, Kai Eide, the most senior U.N. representative in Afghanistan, acknowledged that “widespread fraud” has tainted the country’s presidential election but denied that he tried to hide evidence of cheating.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE

Rangel’s Portrait of Corruption

The House Democrats who took a majority away from a “culture of corruption” had better start taking the ethics allegations against Rep. Charlie Rangel seriously.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE

When They Call, Geithner Answers

It’s unsurprising to say the least: A Freedom of Information Act request has discovered that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is in daily two-way communication with a small group of Wall Street CEOs—at Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs—while lawmakers like Rep. Xavier Becerra are forced to leave messages for him.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

‘Viva Berlusconi’? Not So Much

Italy’s colorful prime minister is in a heap of legal trouble now that the country’s high court has stripped him of immunity. Despite facing charges of corruption, bribery, tax evasion and fraud, Silvio Berlusconi stayed in character, saying, “The trials against me are a farce. Viva Italia and Viva Berlusconi!”

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Jae C. Hong

The Missing Health Care Debate

One way to give people a good deal on their health care is the so-called public option. A better way is the kind of strong regulation that isn’t even being discussed.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE

World Resources Institute / Jonathan Talbot

Carbon Market Begs to Be Robbed

The U.N. is pioneering a carbon market that would allow rich countries to pay poor countries not to cut down forests. It’s just the kind of feel-good program that could save the planet—or make loggers and organized criminals filthy rich.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

Obama Pressures Senate on Public Option

Like a reluctant Sisyphus, the president is still pushing the public option up Capitol Hill. According to a report in the L.A. Times, Obama has been trying to sell moderate Democrats on the idea. That’s no easy task, as many have taken gobs of money from the private health industry and coincidentally oppose meaningful reform.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Ken Denny

Ex-U.N. Official Slams Afghan Elections

A former U.N. diplomat has attacked the process and results of the recent Afghan elections, claiming that almost one in three votes cast for incumbent President Hamid Karzai was fraudulent and that the elections seriously weakened the democratic process in the eyes of the Afghan people. As a consequence, the Taliban is stronger, says Peter Galbraith, who was fired in a dispute over the voting.

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE


Fujimori Is Found Guilty, Again

While serving time in a Peruvian clink, Ex-President Alberto Fujimori found time in his schedule to be convicted of corruption. The sentence handed down in his fourth and final trial on charges of illegal activity in office calls for extending his jail stay by six years.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE

Too Big to Jail

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 ENLARGE

Ehud Olmert

Olmert’s Corruption Trial Opens in Israel

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is being tried on charges of corruption that allegedly occurred while he was Jerusalem’s mayor and later a Cabinet member. Olmert maintains his innocence, claiming a three-year smear campaign forced him to resign as prime minister a year ago.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Susan Walsh

Shady Deal Showered Top Blue Dog With Cash

Rep. Mike Ross has been one of the leading opponents of health care reform in Congress. Guess who coincidentally sold property to a pharmacy chain for hundreds of thousands more than it was worth? Ka-ching!

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE

Baucus Bill Lands With a Whimper

Sen. Max Baucus bent over backward to please Republicans with his insurance-friendly vision of health care reform, which forces everyone to buy private insurance and has no public option, but the very Republicans he negotiated with now won’t have anything to do with the bill.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi Accused of Censorship

Everyone’s favorite world leader/womanizer is in the news again after a film director accused the Italian prime minister of censorship. Italian state television has refused to show a film trailer that accuses Silvio Berlusconi of creating a “frivolous media culture,” and many think the PM’s incredible influence over the media has something to do with it.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE

Who Is Obama Playing Ball With?

It looked like it was business as usual for President Barack Obama on the first day of his vacation, as he spent five hours golfing with a top executive from UBS, a bank that sheltered wealthy tax dodgers while hardworking U.S. taxpayers were bailing it out.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan election
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Afghan Election Dogged by Fraud Claims

Corruption rumors and threats of violence preceded last week’s Afghan presidential election, so it’s not surprising that similar concerns are cropping up after the fact.

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 READ MORE

Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE

Hippocratic Oaf

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 ENLARGE    

Afghan election
AP / Rahmat Gul

Report: Pre-Election Corruption Crops Up in Afghanistan

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan may not be the cleanest polling event, if the BBC’s findings about corruption and voting fraud are indicative of larger trends. The British news outlet reported Tuesday that bribery and bids to buy voting cards, combined with threats of violence from militant groups, could muck up the works come Thursday.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Ron Edmonds

New E-Mails Detail Rove’s Role in Attorney Firings

Internal e-mails released Tuesday show that Karl Rove and other senior Bush aides played an “earlier and more active role” in the 2006 U.S. attorney firing scandal than previously revealed. The messages detail a concerted, two-year effort by Rove and staff to dismiss attorneys for political reasons.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE

William Jefferson
Wikimedia Commons /

From the Freezer to the Cooler

Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, who memorably repurposed his freezer to accommodate an illicit stash of $90,000 in cash, was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday and could be looking at 20 years in the slammer.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE

Pre-Existing Condition

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 ENLARGE

AP / Mel Evans

American Plutocracy: Corruption Is In the Eye of the Beholder

To many observers, the recent New Jersey corruption sting, which resulted in the arrests of three mayors, two state assemblymen and five rabbis, seems rather surreal for the American social and political fabric.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

Senate Votes Down Military Boondoggle

One politician’s jobs program is another’s “inexcusable waste of money.” Luckily for the taxpayer, that’s how Barack Obama feels about the F-22 strike fighter, a plane Congress has been pushing over the military’s objections. After Obama threatened a veto, the Senate voted not to fund the jet, which was designed to fight the Soviets.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE

Soul Mate

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 ENLARGE

John McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Suddenly, a Trillion Dollars Is Too Expensive?

The senators who now claim we cannot afford to spend a trillion dollars to make long overdue changes in health care know exactly what that amount can buy. They know because they have spent it, year after year, on military misadventures and subsidies to big banks and corporations.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE

Collage from Fox and James Montgomery Flagg

Public Option or Bust

Health care reform is shaping up as astronomically expensive, but that’s only if private insurers and Big Pharma get their way, writes Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Without competition from the government—a public option—the health care industry will continue to gouge and Americans will still be in the weeds, a trillion dollars poorer.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Foreclosure Fiasco

The Bush-Obama strategy of throwing trillions at the banks to solve the mortgage crisis is a huge bust. The financial moguls, while tickled pink to have $1.25 trillion in toxic assets covered by the feds, along with hundreds of billions in direct handouts, are not using that money to turn around the free fall in housing foreclosures.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE

Obama ‘Strongly Condemns’ Iran Crackdown

The president opened his Tuesday press conference by saying, “The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions… .”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Flickr / @@:@@

Iran Election Watchdog Stands by Results

Iran’s Guardian Council has found “no major fraud or breach in the election” and will not annul the vote, a spokesman announced Tuesday. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, jumped into the fray, calling on the Iranian government to “respect fundamental civil and political rights.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Friendly Advice

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 ENLARGE

Obama’s Iran Dilemma

The president’s initial caution served the interests of freedom by making clear that the revolt against Iran’s flawed election is homegrown. As the struggle continues, we cannot pretend that we are indifferent to its outcome.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE

Max Baucus

Health Care Fail

By one estimate, Sen. Max Baucus gets about $1,500 a day from the health industry. Who put this man in charge of health care reform? The senator’s latest innovation in compromise is to slash proposed insurance subsidies in a bid to get Republicans on board. And forget about a government-run insurance program.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Erica J. Knight

Congress Funds Wars With Billions to Spare

After the president signs a $106 billion emergency supplemental, the U.S. will have shelled out about $1 trillion in “emergency” funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not including the Pentagon’s obscene annual budget, exponentially expanding health care costs for wounded troops, and the interest on all that debt. True to form, lawmakers threw in $2.7 billion worth of cargo planes no one asked for.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

Congre$$, Heal Thyself

As the Obama administration pushes for a vote on health care reform before Congress recesses in August, has health industry money too thoroughly polluted the process for anything good to come of it?

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE

The Justice Business

The appearance of extreme political impropriety is sometimes just too extreme, according to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in a case that shines a brutal light on the spiral of campaign contributions that threaten to compromise too many state courts.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / ivanx

An Army of Fun

Here we go again. The Center for Public Integrity crunched the numbers and found that between 1998 and 2007, Defense Department personnel enjoyed “more than 22,000 trips worth at least $26 million, sponsored by an array of foreign governments, private companies and other groups which have business with the Pentagon.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE

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