John Brennan, Dianne Feinstein, and the Soon-to-be-Released (?) Torture Report

By: Saturday September 13, 2014 9:20 am

CIA Director John “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Overseers” Brennan and Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (i.e., the aforementioned “Stinkin’ Overseers”) have been having a nasty little spat, revolving around both the CIA’s use of torture as an interrogation technique, and also the CIA’s spying on SSCI staffers who are trying to investigate and report on the CIA’s use of torture as an interrogation technique. This past week has given us a few new developments, with Feinstein saying that the report will be out by the end of the month.

Lucy’s holding the football again, but will Charlie Brown finally get to kick it? There’s reason to hope that he just might . . .

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book

By: Saturday June 21, 2014 1:59 pm

Today’s guests, Peter Finn and Petra Couvee, discuss their book on the golden age of CIA influence campaigns, The Zhivago Affair.

Within a larger narrative about the life and Russia’s persecution of poet and novelist Boris Pasternak, Finn and Couvee describe CIA’s successful efforts to publish and distribute Pasternak’s Nobel Prize-winning novel, Dr. Zhivago. Somehow, MI6 got a copy of the manuscript and shared it with the CIA, which had it published in Russian by a Dutch publisher and distributed at the Vatican’s exhibit at the 1958 Brussels World Fair. Russian efforts to suppress the book and its coercion of Pasternak to publicly disclaim the publication and the Nobel prize brought international criticism. The operation was — Finn and Couvee describe CIA concluding — “a successful stunt.”

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Julia Angwin, Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

By: Sunday April 13, 2014 1:59 pm

Back in July 2012, long before Edward Snowden’s leaks heightened the general public’s concern about online privacy, then Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Angwin set off on a picaresque quest to find some kind of online privacy. The chronicle of that quest, Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Surveillance, serves as a kind of user’s guide for our new dragnet world.

Marcy Wheeler’s New Big Adventure!

By: Thursday February 6, 2014 3:29 pm

Our friend emptywheel’s joining up with First Look, Pierre Omyidar’s new online publishing venture.

CNBC Misses Penny Pritzker-NSA Scoop at Davos

By: Saturday January 25, 2014 8:59 am

CNBC has been hanging out all week with all the cool kids at Davos. I happened to see bits and pieces of their coverage, and found like much like watching the E! network reporting on the Golden Globes, albeit without Joan Rivers. Even the CNBC folks cop to this comparison, given the headline to their roundup of links to a bunch of their interviews.

But if a scoop falls in your lap and no one notices, does it make a sound?

Snowden, Merkel, Obama, and King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

By: Monday January 20, 2014 3:21 pm

President Obama has said that Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a favorite of his, but again and again, he seems not to understand what King was saying.

Edward Snowden and Angela Merkel are giving him an opportunity to reread it and try once more to get the point.

October: Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By: Sunday October 6, 2013 8:40 am

October is a busy month. Schools have settled into the day-to-day routines. The sports world is busy with the MLB Play-offs; NFL, college, and high school football seasons are in the mix; the NHL has started its season; and NBA basketball training camps have started. College basketball has started having “midnight madness.” The news and weather shows are providing fall foliage reports.

October is also the “awareness” month for two causes that I support very strongly – Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness. I

As Edward Snowden Wings to Moscow (and Beyond?) American Hubris, Criminality and Arrogance Are Challenged on Several Fronts – Updated

By: Sunday June 23, 2013 3:46 am

Whether it is the government of Hong Kong, a back-bencher in the Dáil Éireann, an Ecuadorean government resentful of past travesties we have inflicted upon their sovereignty, a Russian government upset about brazen American espionage, or an entire world community disturbed about implications of what Snowden and others have recently revealed about how fully we break treaties and conventions with them by the way we surveil and target their citizens, corporations, leaders and people, we may be about to witness a tsunami rise against our empire.

Late Night: No one asked me but…

By: Saturday February 16, 2013 8:00 pm

Every day we see a new outrage of some form or another. And it really makes no difference what side of a topic you are on – the outrage is there for all. Of course, one person/side’s outrage may be the other sides’ well deserved schadenfreude.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Trevor Aaronson, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism

By: Saturday January 12, 2013 1:59 pm

In the days before Thursday’s start to the trial for alleged Portland Christmas Tree bomber Mohamed Osman Mohamud, pre-trial hearings revealed two new details. First, the government failed to reveal to the defense an effort to “pitch” Mohamud on October 27, 2009, 13 months before they arrested him in an FBI-created plot. This comes on top of earlier revelations about a key meeting the FBI failed to tape, another failure to reveal FBI contacts, and Abu Zubaydah’s brother’s claim that, as an FBI informant, he was asked to track the then-16 year old Mohamud as early as 2008.

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