MONDAY MORNING SKEPTIC: Is Snowden the Criminal—or is it the System?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Somehow, the leaks of NSA documents on the fragility of democracy have been turned around into public criticism of the leaker. The conservative press wants us to focus on Edward Snowden’s girlfriend. Ok, fine. Here’s that picture. Happy? Now can we move on to what’s really happening in this country—and why it’s so hard to speak the truth about it?

Oil Tax Breaks

What They Don’t Tell You About Oil Industry Tax Breaks

Reading Time: 11 minutes Wonder why the Senate couldn’t bring itself to clamp down on oil industry freebies? Because the “black gold” outfits can be one scary bunch. How scary? You have no idea….

Democracy=Corruption And Eggshells?

Reading Time: 2 minutes A recent Washington Post article reported on the not-so-coincidental timing of campaign contributions from corporate interests with votes on legislation affecting those interests. As thoughtful folks might say, “well DUH.” Who can be surprised by this? Certainly, the daily corruption of Congress must be covered, and I’m glad to see the Post writing: Numerous times Read More

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A Number That’s Nobody’s Business

Reading Time: 2 minutes Here’s an odd thing: the muscular US Chamber of Commerce, long a force for extreme big-business values, fighting off universal health insurance, minimum wage increases, global warming action and the like, is actually much smaller than it makes itself out to be. According to Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson, the Chamber, aided and abetted by news Read More

Lack of Mercury Reporting is Fishy

Reading Time: 2 minutes On August 20, while scanning the New York Times the old-fashioned way, i.e. on paper, I stopped to look at a small article, no bigger than a long paragraph, tucked away in a column full of short items called “National Briefing.” The headline read: “Mercury Found in Every Fish Tested, Scientists Say”. I stopped to 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

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

Interrogating Congress

Reading Time: 1 minute Recently, I raised some questions about the reports that Democratic members of Congress had been aware of CIA interrogation methods. Now, members of Congress themselves are suggesting that the CIA put out the information about the briefings in order to pass the buck. There are crucial questions we should be asking about the CIA, about 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