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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:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”