Adam L Silverman
I thought I'd start today's roundup with some Baltimore related news, since I posted on it last night and got so many thoughtful comments.
- Last September The Baltimore Sun published an in depth piece of reporting on how Baltimore's Police Department interacts with Baltimore's citizenry, especially its African American, Hispanic, and ethnic minority citizenry. Months before the death of Freddie Gray, the Sun's reported had dug out and made public what is the real drivers of the discontent, protests, demonstrations, and, unfortunately, riots we are witnessing now. It will also likely go down the memory hole as the attempt is made to make what is going on in Baltimore all about the violence and not about the root causes of the discontent.
- You may also want to take a look at a discussion of the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights as detailed in The Washington Post. I used to teach criminal and criminal justice - to cops! - and I had no idea this was a thing. I'm a big fan of civil servant protections to protect the civil servant from the politicians, but these seem to exist to just protect law enforcement from accountability.
- Since we're on policing, and its current discontents, one of the problems we've seen which came to light in Ferguson, MO is that the police were basically turned into tax collectors for the city. As we all know this has not worked out well... The original piece of long form investigative reporting on this was Radley Balko's article, also from last September. A new article in The Atlantic goes into just why Ferguson decided that the best use of its police force was to generate revenue. (h/t to Zandar)
Middle East/Middle East related:
- Last week Spiegel Online published an interesting piece about the creation of al Qaeda in Iraq, which is now doing business as ISIS. While I'm pretty sure it got mentioned here at SST somewhere, I missed it here, so figured I'd put it back up just to be thorough. The BLUF is that former Iraqi military intelligence officers decided to set up AQI/ISIS using religion as a front and motivator. That shouldn't be too surprising, but its well worth a read as it reinforces that the fight in Iraq, like Syria, and everywhere else is really about control of resources overlaid with religion.
- The UN's inquiry into the 2014 Israeli war in Gaza has begun to turn up some interesting findings. The Israelis are trying to get ahead of the UN on this.
- And in case you missed it the second part of the Sheldon Adelson Primary for GOP nominees interested in becoming Israel's Deputy Prime Minister for American Administration was last weekend. Good times...