The New Face of Big Brother?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Here’s an ominous development that is likely to pass almost unnoticed: a congressman requesting that the federal government identify to him everyone who has made a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The requester is Darrell Issa, the new head of the House Oversight Committee. He of course paints his initiative in benign terms—he Read More

From the “Hell in a Handbasket” Department: Domestic Drones and Tainted Milk?

Reading Time: 3 minutes So have you heard? Any day, there will be these mini-drones, little unmanned planes, following you around. And no, you won’t have to be a member of the Taliban. Just an American who is suspected of something or other.  When you aren’t panicked about this new, inevitable expansion of the police state, you can at Read More

WikiYou: Who’s Watching Who?

Reading Time: 1 minute Here’s an intriguing interview with the founder of the first “Leaks” site, Cryptome. (Click “Read the Rest” To See Video) A few excerpts: “Beware of the Internet, which is a large-scale spying machine” “Secrecy is the enemy of democracy; it’s way overdone.” “Sites like ours…are left in place to watch who comes there….The reason we Read More

Supremely Courting Disaster

Reading Time: 2 minutes Only infrequently does the New York Times really go for the jugular and spell out for us the extent to which the system is rigged against ordinary people and their interests. One such rare example is a recent article by the Times’ thoughtful legal writer, Adam Liptak, based on new academic research out of Chicago. Read More

A Drive for Unrestricted Executive Power

Reading Time: 2 minutes The New York Times comes out with a strong editorial, calling for an investigation into Bush administration security abuses, now that it is clear that the practices were not necessary to protect the national interest. We’ve known for years that the Bush administration ignored and broke the law repeatedly in the name of national security. Read More

Questions about Developing C.I.A. Story

Reading Time: 2 minutes An official story is forming about the secret program that the C.I.A. hid from Congress: the agency planned to organize assassination squads to target Al Qaeda terrorists around the world, according to a lead article in today’s New York Times. Although this account has gained widespread acceptance, there’s reason to be skeptical. As I noted Read More

CIA Lies to Congress

Reading Time: 2 minutes [Update below—Ed.] During last spring’s controversy over whether congressional leaders were briefed by the CIA over its use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” Russ called for an investigation into the congressional briefing process. It is now all the more clear that such an investigation is a must. Yesterday, CQPolitics reported that CIA Director Leon Panetta admitted Read More

Jihad Leak

Reading Time: 2 minutes A leaked Pentagon study claims one in seven Guantánamo detainees returned to jihad upon their release. A New York Times reporter says that the assertion could be used to argue against closing down Guantánamo. But…. -If the numbers are correct, that’s a pretty low recidivism rate. It could either argue for the effectiveness of incarceration Read More

Has the CIA lied to Congress?

Reading Time: 1 minute Russ recently suggested that we need an investigation of the congressional briefing process. As we continue to follow the political fight between Congress and the CIA, let us not forget the story of Mary McCarthy. A senior CIA official, meeting with Senate staff in a secure room of the Capitol last June, promised repeatedly that Read More

Tortured Rationalizations

Reading Time: 2 minutes In an opinion piece, the Wall Street Journal convincingly argues that top Democrats in Congress have been speaking out of both sides of their mouths in criticizing Bush Administration policy on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs), also known as torture. These days, Speaker Pelosi insists she heard and saw no evil. “We were not — I Read More

Piling On

Reading Time: 3 minutes Last Saturday, the Washington Post ran an article on Jay Bybee, a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and former assistant attorney general in the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel.  In his role as the Justice Department’s issuer of legal opinions, Bybee was responsible for the various “torture memoranda” and signed perhaps Read More

Truth or Reconciliation?

Reading Time: 3 minutes They are really coming. Official investigations of the George W. Bush administration are on the way. Karl Rove and Harriet Miers have just agreed to limited testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, which is looking into the seemingly politically-motivated firings of seven U.S. Attorneys. Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Patrick Leahy, his senate counterpart, Read More

Preventive Reporting

Reading Time: 1 minute Because I spend most of my waking hours reporting and writing about wrongful convictions across the United States, I am acutely aware when another one becomes public knowledge. Almost every day, I learn about yet another instance of an individual convicted of a crime he or she did not commit, and an eventual exoneration. Frequently, Read More

Smartphone, Dumb Us

Reading Time: 2 minutes Anyone who owns a Smartphone might wonder just who is being outsmarted. As the New York Times notes: The millions of people who use their cellphones daily to play games, download applications and browse the Web may not realize that they have an unseen companion: advertisers that can track their interests, their habits and even Read More