Day: September 23, 2020

Background Briefing: September 23, 2020

We Should Blame Politicians Who Accept Dirty Money More Than the Kleptocrats Who Bribe Them

We begin and go to the U.K. to discuss the fallout from the leaked FinCEN SARs, Suspicious Activities Reports implicating major banks in particular in the U.K. where British companies were named in the SARs reports made public by Buzzfeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists more than 3,000 times, more than any other country, describing the U.K. as “a higher risk jurisdiction” than notorious dirty money laundromats like Cyprus. We speak with Oliver Bullough, a journalist and author whose latest book is Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How to Take it Back. He joins us to discuss his article at, “Oligarchy, Special Edition: Blame politicians, not banks, for the FinCEN mess” and explain why financial investigators who process the SARs, Suspicious Activities Reports, are so overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of them, and given that the reports are sent in from the banks themselves who facilitate money-laundering, very few prosecutions result. Oliver does not blame Putin and those who bribe politicians with dirty money as much as the politicians themselves who accept kleptocratic money often stolen from the poorest countries.


A Flagrant Miscarriage of Justice in Kentucky

Then we look into the grand jury finding in Kentucky in the Breonna Taylor case in which a former Louisville detective was charged with shooting into white people’s apartments while the officers who killed an innocent black woman by shooting into her apartment got off without charges. Dr. Pete Kraska, a professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University and author of Militarizing the Criminal Justice System: The Changing Roles of the Armed Forces and Police joins us to discuss how Mitch McConnell’s handpicked black Republican Attorney General appears to have covered up a flagrant miscarriage of justice.


A Ruling in Pennsylvania Tosses 100,000 ballots in a Swing State Trump Won by 44,000

Then finally we speak with Dr. Terry Madonna, a professor of Public Affairs and the Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College where he directs the Franklin and Marshall College Poll and is a pollster for the Philadelphia Daily News. He joins us to discuss the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to reject so-called naked ballots which could mean that in November 100,000 mail-in ballots will be thrown out in a critical swing state Trump won in 2016 by only 44,000 votes.