Background Briefing: July 11, 2021


Were the Colombian Mercenaries Fall Guys Hired in an Inside Job to Assassinate Moise?

We begin with the latest twist and turn in the assassination of Haiti’s President Moise which local officials have blamed on Colombian mercenaries but since none of Moise’s bodyguards were injured in the attack, it is beginning to look like the Colombians were the fall guys hired by those involved in what’s beginning to look like an inside job. Since much of the reporting that has poked holes in the narrative coming out of Haiti is emerging from Colombia, we are joined by Toby Miller, a Professor Invitado at the Escuela de Communication at the Universidad del Norte in Colombia and author of The Persistence of Violence which is about Colombia. We examine the reporting from The Guardian’s Bogota correspondent Joe Parkin Daniels and from the Colombian magazine Semana which revealed that the head of Moise’s palace guard, Dimitri Herard recently travelled to Colombia and might have recruited the Colombian mercenaries who were hired through a Florida-based company CTU Security in Doral. The question remains who ordered the hit on Moise and why, and the answer is likely found in those jockeying for power in Haiti and the Haitian oligarchs behind the scenes who are pulling the strings.


Biden’s Plan to Crack Down on Big Tech and Protect Workers

Then we assess the sweeping executive order issued by President Biden on Friday which included 72 actions and recommendations tasking 10 government agencies aimed at reigning in big tech for buying up competitors and using their market power to crush small businesses. There are also limits placed on the use of “non-compete agreements” that unfairly tie workers to their employers making it harder to change jobs while holding down wages. Stacy Mitchell, the Co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and author of The Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, joins us to discuss her article at The New York Times, “There’s a New Duo That Could Help Rein in Amazon” which explores the alliance between labor unions and small business.


QAnon as a Terrorist Movement

Then finally we look into the rise of QAnon and its growing influence in the Republican Party and speak with an expert on terrorism to discuss whether this bizarre phenomenon, which has emerged at Trump rallies and among the insurgents who stormed the Capitol, is in fact a terrorist movement. Mia Bloom, the International Security Fellow at New America and a member of the Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group, and co-author of the new book, just out, Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon, joins us to discuss the movement’s corrosive effect on society and how to bring its followers out of the rabbit hole and back into the light.