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 […]
What are David Gregory and Andrew Ross Sorkin really trying to say about Glenn Greenwald? Unnamed government officials are telling media outlets that Edward Snowden's NSA whistleblowing is helping terrorists. Plus, Time's Jon Meacham has some odd nostalgia for the Bush years.
Crack open USA Today (11/28/12) and you saw this headline: Diagram Suggests Iran Working on Bomb The story was short–short enough for a careful reader to see that it in no way lived up to that alarmist headline. But the piece still tried really hard to frighten people. Here's the lead: Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by the Associated Press. The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program […]
For the second time this week, the New York Times has published a revealing report on a secret, legally questionable Obama administration program, but failed to include independent legal analysis of the controversial program. Tuesday's Times report on the White House's drone assassination program included no critical analysis of the thorny legal issues raised by the program. Surely independent legal experts would have something to say about the program at large, but particularly about such details as the White House's bizarre definition that counts any military-aged male found in the vicinity of a bombing target as a combatant, and thus […]
Jeremy Scahill's piece at the Nation website ("Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?," 3/13/12) about imprisoned Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye is riveting and deeply reported. But to Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum, the story doesn't quite add up…because Barack Obama seems like a decent guy. As Scahill reports, Shaye has "risked his life to travel to areas controlled by Al-Qaeda and to interview its leaders." He argues that this reporting has not exactly won him friends in the U.S. or Yemeni governments: His collision course with the U.S. government appears to have been set […]