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The U.S. military’s Missile Defense Agency signed a $97 million contract with a Kremlin-connected nonprofit, to help secure Russia’s aid in anti-missile projects. Pentagon higher-ups ultimately quashed the deal between the agency and International Exchange Group, or IEG, for “facilitating” Russian “cooperation” on target missiles and early-warning radars. But the 2004 agreement shows the strength of the connections between the Defense Department, IEG and former Congressman Curt Weldon, now under investigation by the FBI.
Here’s one thing that’s curious about the whole Weldon investigation, though: the wife of Russell Caso, the congressman’s former chief of staff, reportedly received a small amount of money from the IEG for work she performed. Caso pleaded guilty late last year for failing to report the payments on disclosure forms.
So Caso gets hit, and yet he joined Weldon’s staff in early 2004, which post-dates the origins of everything that’s apparently being investigated, from the IEG to the rich lobbying contracts won by Weldon’s daughter.
Which in turn suggests that Caso, the only person charged thus far in the Weldon case, is not necessarily a major figure in this whole affair. As I said, curious.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Number of free condoms handed out by the Brazilian government in advance of Carnival this year:
The best way to measure happiness is simply to ask people how happy they are.
Following three weeks of clashes between protesters and government forces that killed at least 17 people, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro announced a two-day extension of Carnival. “Happiness will conquer the embittered,” he said during an appearance at a recreation center.
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”