The Fight Against Corruption Needs Economists
Combating corruption and kleptocracy has traditionally been an afterthought in U.S. foreign policy: a goal that most policymakers considered laudable but hardly a priority. That attitude is no longer acceptable. In recent years, countries such as China and Russia have “weaponized” corruption, as Philip Zelikow, Eric Edelman, Kristofer Harrison, and Celeste Ward Gventer argued in these pages last year. For the ruling regimes in those countries, they wrote, bribery and graft have “become core instruments of national strategy” through which authoritarian rulers seek to exploit “the relative openness and freedom of democratic countries [that] make them particularly vulnerable to this kind of malign influence.”
Strikingly, one particular form of financial aggression—covert foreign money funneled directly into the political processes of democracies—has increased by a factor of ten since 2014.
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The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions
With US political leaders Democrat and Republican alike rushing to embrace the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and an eager media receiving the Commission’s 567-page report as the whole story, the history we can stand upon forevermore, everyone who cares about the fate of American democracy will want to know something about what those pages actually say. <P>The Commission’s account, by popular reckoning, has made an impression with its heft, its footnotes, its portrayal of the confusion of that sobering day, its detail, its narrative finesse.
Yet under the magnifying glass of David Ray Griffin, eminent theologian and author of The New Pearl Harbor (a book that explores questions that reporters, eyewitnesses, and political observers have raised about the 9/11 attacks), the report appears much shabbier. In fact, there are holes in the places where detail ought to be thickest: Is it possible that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has given three different stories of what he was doing the morning of September 11, and that the Commission combines two of them and ignores eyewitness reports to the contrary?