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RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week

RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week
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RealClearInvestigations' Picks of the Week
September 5 to September 11, 2021

Featured Investigation:
Introducing RealClearInvestigations'
Jan. 6-BLM Riots Dataset

The Editors, RCI

Many in the political and media establishment have cast the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as one of the darkest episodes in American history, comparing an episode in which one person was slain -- a protester shot by police -- to 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Civil War, and the British sacking of Washington in 1814. Others claim that the protests launched in response to a white police officer's murder last May of George Floyd, a black man, posed a greater danger.

In keeping with its mission to fill gaps in press coverage, RealClearInvestigations is launching a running compendium of data, with hyperlinked sourcing, comparing the damage done on Jan. 6, and the subsequent treatment of those accused of perpetrating it, with two other recent events: the summer 2020 riots and – in some ways a closer analogy – the all-but-forgotten riot in Washington on Inauguration Day 2017, as protesters challenged Donald Trump’s election and legitimacy much as Jan. 6 rioters challenged Joe Biden's.

RCI has found that:

  • The summer 2020 riots resulted in some 15 times more injured police officers, 30 times as many arrests, and estimated damages in dollar terms up to 1,300 times more costly than those of the Capitol riot.
  • George Floyd rioters were found to have used more sophisticated and dangerous tactics than did the Capitol rioters, and in some cases weapons of greater lethality.
  • Authorities have pursued the largely Trump-supporting Capitol rioters with substantially more vigor than suspected wrongdoers in the earlier two cases.
  • With authorities applying lenient prosecutorial standards in many major cities torn by the summer riots, the vast majority of charges last year were dismissed, as were charges in the Inauguration 2017 unrest. Charges have to date been dropped in only a single Capitol riot case.

Biden, Trump and the Beltway: 9/11 Edition

9/11 Triggered an Enduring Homeland-Security Industry 
Wall Street Journal
In the decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, military spending more than doubled in absolute terms to $700 billion, or about 20% of total government spending. Much of the money flowed to the private sector as commercial firms won huge new contracts to develop the next generation of security capabilities. This article notes that while the supply chain for the U.S. defense industrial base stretches across the country and globe, the greatest concentration of economic gains were in and around the capital – particularly in northern Virginia, where contractors could find cheap office space and quick commutes to the Pentagon or downtown Washington. In a separate article, the Washington Post reports that the eight generals who commanded American forces in Afghanistan have thrived in the private sector since leaving the military, amassing influence within businesses, at universities and in think tanks. Quote:

Last year, retired Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who commanded American forces in Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014, joined the board of Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s biggest defense contractor. Retired Gen. John R. Allen, who preceded him in Afghanistan, is president of the Brookings Institution, which has received as much as $1.5 million over the last three years from Northrop Grumman, another defense giant. David H. Petraeus, who preceded Allen and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for providing classified materials to a former mistress and biographer, is a partner at KKR, a private equity firm, and director of its Global Institute.

Convicted FBI Man: Why I Leaked War on Terror Secrets 
New York Times
In the weeks after 9/11, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller told President George W. Bush that Al Qaeda had 331 potential “sleeper” operatives inside the United States. Soon, this article reports, intelligence officials were estimating that anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 terrorists might be hiding in Muslim communities across the United States. Virtually all of the suspects turned out to be nonentities – “ghost leads,” as they were called. In the years that followed, one FBI agent became so disillusioned with what he considered the FBI’s overly aggressive efforts to surveil and make cases against Muslim-Americans that he began leaking classified information to the press. That agent, Terry Albury, was eventually given a 52-month prison sentence for endangering national security. This long article details past FBI abuses – though it barely touches the bureau’s mishandling of the false Trump/Russia collusion narrative. “As a public servant, my oath is to serve the interest of society, not the F.B.I.,” Albury says in his defense. “My logic was centered on the fact that the public I served had a right to know what the F.B.I. was doing in their name.”

Other 9/11 Investigations

General Failure: How U.S. Military Lied About 9/11 Wars Intercept
The Mystery of 9/11 and Dementia Washington Post
Through the U.S.'s Dark Prison System to Gitmo Foreign Policy
4 Gitmo Inmates Traded for Bergdahl Now in Taliban Regime Fox News

Other Noteworthy Articles and Series

Democrats' Cradle-to-Grave Aims for $3.5 Trillion
New York Times
This article details the ambition of the multi-trillion-dollar spending plan Democrats hope to pass by a hair’s breadth party-line vote, “a cradle-to-grave reweaving of a social safety net”:

When congressional committees meet this week to begin formally drafting Democrats’ ambitious social policy plan, they will be undertaking the most significant expansion of the nation’s safety net since the war on poverty in the 1960s, devising legislation that would touch virtually every American’s life, from conception to aged infirmity. … Democrats say they will finance their spending with proposed tax increases on corporations — which has already incited a multifaceted, big-budget effort by business groups working to kill the idea — and by possibly taxing wealth in ways that the United States has never tried before. “We’re talking about free or affordable child care where no one pays more than 7 percent of their income; we’re talking about universal pre-K programs with two years of formal instruction; we’re talking about two years of postsecondary education,” said Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York, a former teacher and principal who is vice chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. “This is how you build a strong nation.”

Can the Left Be Convinced Genetics Matters?
New Yorker
Charles Murray isn’t the only scholar willing to publicize the long established fact that genes help determine a whole range of human behaviors and skills, including intelligence. This article profiles a “progressive” behavioral geneticist named Kathryn Paige Harden who has faced backlash from those on the left who find that the science conflicts with their politics. The piece includes this quote from Harden’s forthcoming book:

Yes, the genetic differences between any two people are tiny when compared to the long stretches of DNA coiled in every human cell. But these differences loom large when trying to understand why, for example, one child has autism and another doesn’t; why one is deaf and another hearing; and – as I will describe in this book—why one child will struggle with school and another will not. Genetic differences between us matter for our lives. They cause differences in things we care about. Building a commitment to egalitarianism on our genetic uniformity is building a house on sand.

Prince Charles Implicated in Cash-for-Honors Scandal
Daily Beast
A former British government minister alleges that Prince Charles and his top aide arranged for an honor to be awarded to a Saudi businessman who had donated more than $2 million to the Prince’s pet causes. The honor  awarded to Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz -- Commander of the British Empire -- bestows no special privileges. It is, however, a sought-after sign of official establishment appreciation. Documents suggest there was a quid pro quo. Prince Charles says he knew nothing about it. Critics say that is highly unlikely.

Woke Nonprofits Behind CDC’s ‘Inclusive’ Word Salad
Washington Free Beacon
It is “dehumanizing” to refer to people as “diabetics” or “the homeless,” according to a new guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because “health equity is intersectional.” The guide compiles a list of "preferred terms for select population groups," as well as a list of proscribed terms deemed insufficiently inclusive. "Assigned male/female at birth" is preferable to "biologically male/female," "people with undocumented status" is preferable to "illegal immigrants," and "people who are incarcerated" is preferable to "inmates," according to the guide – which also stresses that public health officials should "avoid jargon and use straightforward, easy to understand language." The article also reports:

The guide is the latest illustration of how progressive nonprofits capture public health agencies through a kind of technocratic activism, burrowing their ideology into medical language by framing social controversies as settled scientific fact. Government officials, like those at the CDC, then cite those activists alongside professional health associations, many of which have gone woke themselves. That boosts the activists’ credibility while undermining the government’s own: The CDC may be insulated from certain kinds of political pressure, but it is hardly immune to the ideological contagion of medical nonprofits.

Coronavirus Investigations

Details Emerge About Coronavirus Research at Chinese Lab
The Intercept
A trove of documents offers evidence that Dr. Anthony Fauci has been less than honest about presiding over  American taxpayer support for work in a Chinese lab suspected of creating COVID-19. This article reports:

The Wuhan Institute of Virology and the nearby Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment, along with their collaborator, the U.S.-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, have engaged in what the U.S. government defines as “gain-of-function research of concern,” intentionally making viruses more pathogenic or transmissible in order to study them, despite stipulations from a U.S. funding agency that the money not be used for that purpose. Grant money for the controversial experiment came from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is headed by Anthony Fauci.

In what appears to be a textbook case of the fox guarding the henhouse, this article also reports, the principal investigator on the grant is EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, who has been a key voice in denying that the covid could have originated in a lab.

Other Coronavirus Investigations

Automation Boom: A Robot 'Doesn't Get Corona' Associated Press
One Covid Upside: Better Cottage Food Laws Reason
Why a Covid Vaccine for Children Is Taking So Long Wall Street Journal

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