Paris Trumps Boston, Wall Street Attacks & Solar Grows: Jan. 14, 2015


Why “Je Suis Charlie” May Be Clouding the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial by Lara Turner
“Je Suis Charlie” and “Boston Strong” are a little too close for comfort for the lawyers defending Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They want a delay in his trial to let passions reignited in Boston by the Paris attacks cool off before they finish selecting a jury.


In New Congress, Wall St. Pushes to Undermine Reform
Not content with its success in weakening Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed after the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street is preparing to further gut the law. It’s pushing “technically complicated” legislation through the new GOP-controlled Congress. To wit, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon started making the case today when he said “overlapping efforts” by various regulators have placed banks “under assault.” Although JPMorgan’s profits have sagged under the weight of its legal woes, the overall profitability of the financial sector is high. The evidence? Wall Street and other financial groups spent $1.2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions between January and Nov. 16, 2014.


The Inside Information That Could Have Stopped 9/11
Newsweek examines the strange case of Former F.B.I. Agent Mark Rossini. He is at the center of a key, yet still unanswered question: “Why the CIA refused to share information with the FBI (or any other agency) about the arrival of at least two well-known Al-Qaeda operatives in the United States in 2000, even though the spy agency had been tracking them closely for years.” To this day, Rossini blames himself for not disobeying an order by a CIA manager to hold off on notifying FBI headquarters of the impending arrival of future hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar. He held “multi-entry visas on a Saudi passport to enter the United States.” Still more questions remain regarding the CIA’s Alec Station, which was charged with monitoring Osama bin Laden, but was seemingly—and strangely—loath to tell anyone in domestic law enforcement about the plotters they were tracking.

America Failed at Building Up the Iraqi Army Back in the ’50s
Notable military affairs blog War Is Boring unpacks the heretofore forgotten history of U.S. attempts to build up the Iraqi military during the Eisenhower Administration. Recently declassified transcripts reveal a strikingly similar problems faced by U.S. advisers. Anyone here remember what it was Santayana said about learning from history?

What Makes a Whistleblower?
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi writes in The American Conservative about the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, its surprisingly broad definition of a whistleblower and how it applies to both Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Although Snowden has expressed a willingness to return to the U.S. to face trial if it’s both quick and open—much like that given to famous whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg—it is unrealistic, according to Giraldi. Snowden should expect little more than a show trial, despite the fact that “the genie is out of the bottle” and “an increasing number of Americans now believe that the federal government cannot be relied upon to tell the truth.”


Utilities Push Back As Solar Industry Booms In Japan
Speaking of genies escaping bottles … Japan’s utilities may be fighting a losing battle against solar power. In 2014, nuclear-addled Japan added nearly 8 gigawatts of photovoltaic (PV) capacity and “more than 75% of Japan’s solar PV systems are installed in the residential sector,” according to Forbes. Unlike the U.S. and Europe, where solar capacity is concentrated in the commercial sector, over “900,000 of the 27 million households in Japan have installed solar PV systems.”

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