"To be clear about the rules that apply: extortion is illegal everywhere, except when it is construed as taxation; the payment of extortion, however, is legal, unless it is construed as bribery."
This is from an article on the Somali pirates here. I've become a big fan of Vanity Fair. Their articles are brilliant—both in terms of style of writing and in the amount of information they convey.
Some other interesting ones:
1. Bernie Madoff and his victims.
2. Christopher Hitchens and waterboarding.
There are tons more, if you have the time that is.