Russian troops are massing on the border with Ukraine, set to invade–so say corporate media, relying on unnamed intelligence sources. Plus straight-talking Chris Christie apologizes for straight talk, and the Washington Post's scoop on CIA torture can't say the word "torture."
One of the most incendiary revelations from the documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden suggests that the NSA's mass collection of phone records isn't confined to the United States. Reports in Le Monde (10/21/13) and El Mundo (10/28/13) say the NSA is involved in collecting such data in France and Spain, too–millions of phone records in a one-month period from December 2012 to January 2013. Those revelations sparked outrage across Europe. But then another storyline emerged: According to anonymous sources, those reports were wrong, the result of Snowden and/or the journalists writing the stories misunderstanding the documents. According to this […]
Today the Washington Post (10/1/13) has a piece about how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not pleased with the thaw in US/Iran relations. That's not surprising. But I was a little surprised that reporters David Nakamura and William Booth allowed this: Israeli leaders fear that the international community, and the United States in particular, is in danger of being duped by the Iranians. One official compared the Americans to tourists wandering into a Middle East bazaar. "The Persians have been using these tactics for thousands of years, before America came to be," said a senior Israeli official, who spoke […]
Some days the Newspaper of Record says a lot–not always in ways you might expect. Today (3/21/13) a story by Mark Landler and Rick Gladstone about allegations of chemical weapons in Syria includes something you see often–anonymous government sources. That can often be a bad thing; but today it's pretty useful: Two senior Israeli officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, said that Israel was sure that chemicals were used, but did not have details about what type of weapons were used, where they came from, when they were deployed, or by whom. […]