May 21, 2015
“In short, the USA Freedom Act does fundamentally very little in terms of significantly constraining the ability of the National Security Agency to perform bulk collection of data about anyone, U.S. citizen or otherwise. The tragedy of the matter lies in the fact that the government — including the legislative and executive branches of government, aided and abetted by an unchallenged FISA Court, is working in collusion to mislead the American public about the ability of the legislation to truly do what most Americans want — a Constitutional process that a) actually catches bad guys, and b) respects and enforces privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment. Both are ‘do-able’ and there is no balance — we can have both.”
May 20, 2015
“Per usual, the media would retell the narrative based entirely on Pentagon and White House action movie prose. Just as with the bin Laden raid narrative — that later turned out to be mostly false — this tale involved some unbelievably compelling details: ‘rescuing a Yazidi slave,’ ‘hand-to-hand combat,’ ‘women and children as human shields,’ ‘precise fire’ (that, of course, avoided these women and children), and a body count, ’40 extremists,’ that would make Jack Bauer blush.
This routine problem, however, is not the real journalistic crime here. The real issue is that the White House just admitted it has American ground troops engaged in combat missions in Syria — and no one seemed to notice, much less care.”
May 19, 2015
“The bravery of Plowshares activists, risking their freedom to bring public attention to the need to finally get rid of the massive U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons, is a cause to reflect on the current UN meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This 45-year-old treaty, which since 1995 reviews the progress of the nuclear weapons states every five years to ‘pursue negotiation in good faith’ for nuclear disarmament will end its four week session this Friday and the nuclear powers are continuing to object to any meaningful progress to eliminate their nuclear weapons.”
May 18, 2015 by journalist ·
Police militarization is a 25 year long trend that has only grown in momentum over time. The restrictions on militaristic gear directed by the White House while important symbolically, will certainly not substantively impact this trend in and of itself. Police militarization at this point is as much a cultural problem as it is a material one, and reversing the cultural trend toward police militarization will require more far reaching efforts.
May 12, 2015 by journalist ·
“‘The federal courtroom in northern Virginia where Holly and Jeffrey Sterling returned for the sentencing on May 11 was the scene of a disturbing, though scantly reported, simulation of justice in late January. At the outset, covering the trial, I noted that ‘prospective jurors made routine references to ‘three-letter agencies’ and alphabet-soup categories of security clearances.’ Steeped in a local atmosphere of deference to mega-employers like the CIA and Pentagon along with numerous big contracting firms nearby, ‘the jury pool was bound to please the prosecution.’”
May 12, 2015 by journalist ·
“The most shocking element of this story it that Jeffrey Sterling seems to be punished because he ‘pulled on Superman’s cape’ first with a racial discrimination suit they were able to squash and then by reporting what he considered a dangerous CIA operation to the proper government channels for hearing such a concern.”