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interview with filmmaker Laura Poitras

A nicely lengthy interview with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Poitras was one of the key figures involved in the revealing of Edward Snowden as the NSA whistleblower; she has a film (Citizenfour) opening this week. Poitras discusses her role as a documentary filmmaker, as well as her unique perspectives on the War on Terror, NSA surveillance, her status as a high-profile dissenter, and being on the receiving end of government harrassment.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Nov 11, 2014 - 19 comments

"What Does Joan Say?": The question that the president habitually asked

Joan Quigley has passed away on Tuesday at the age of 87. Brought on as an advisor in response to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, she had been in contact with the First Lady up to three times a day via private lines set up for her at the White House and Camp David. The President is said to have asked his wife "What does Joan say?" habitually. Donald Regan, Chief of Staff in the Reagan White House, wrote that "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House chief of staff was cleared in advance with (Quigley)". She was an astrologer.
posted by Flunkie on Oct 25, 2014 - 48 comments

“ 'Nothing of significance’ is what I was ordered to say,”

"The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West."

- The Secret Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Oct 15, 2014 - 59 comments

The people who take the bullet

The United States Secret Service finds itself deep in turmoil, with Director Julia Pierson resigning this week after an increasingly alarming series of security failures and oversights in the agency's role protecting the President of the United States. Pierson had been widely criticized for scaling back security around the White House, during international summits, and a recent visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She startled supervisors with her view that the Secret Service needed "to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting." (multiple WaPo links) [more inside]
posted by dry white toast on Oct 2, 2014 - 95 comments

This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For

US citizens petitioned the White House to "secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016" (previously). The White House (or, more specifically, Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget) responded.
posted by capricorn on Jan 11, 2013 - 66 comments

De-listing of the MEK

The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), or People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, is an Iranian dissident group that has been formally designated for the last 15 years by the US State Department as a "foreign terrorist organization". When the Bush administration sought to justify its attack on Iraq in 2003 by accusing Saddam Hussein of being a sponsor of "international terrorism", one of its prime examples was Iraq's "sheltering" of the MEK. Its inclusion on the terrorist list has meant that it is a felony to provide any "material support" to that group. Now, in the with the support of A-list American politicians who have been handsomely compensated for their efforts, the MEK are being delisted. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 24, 2012 - 41 comments

Know your enemy

The top 10 federal contractors related in a sociogram displaying the network of overlapping lobbyist hires.
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 8, 2011 - 38 comments

Area 51 'Uncensored'

Area 51 'Uncensored': Was It UFOs Or The USSR? With insider sources, LA Times journalist Annie Jacobson reveals more (see earlier 2009 story) about the deepest secrets of Area 51, including a shocking new explanation of " the little grey men". [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on May 17, 2011 - 130 comments

It's not the spectacles and pagaentry.....

The mayor of Washington DC has been arrested, along with 6 of the 12 members of its city council, during a protest today near a US Senate office building, objecting to the city's use as a bargaining chip while negotiating the 7th Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown last Friday. The bill prohibits the District of Columbia from locally funding abortion services, and imposes a locally-unpopular school voucher program. Had the government shutdown taken place, the DC government would have also had to suspend most of its operations including trash pickup. For those of you keeping track, Vince Gray is the 3rd (of 6) DC mayor to be arrested while in office. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Apr 11, 2011 - 93 comments

Have you eaten your pound of potatoes today?

Beans are bullets. Potatoes are powder. An exhibition of food posters from the National Agricultural Library.
posted by mudpuppie on Jul 29, 2010 - 13 comments

WhoRunsGov

WhoRunsGov (beta). A Washington Post project to profile political players. Public participation is planned. [more inside]
posted by phoque on Jan 27, 2009 - 29 comments

US to charge citizens for evacuation from Lebanon

US Citizen in Lebanon? The US State Department would like to remind its citizens that they do not provide no-cost transportation. Want to leave? Just sign this promissory note, and we'll be happy to fly you out on our gunship. We'll bill you at standard commercial rates, plus interest. We simply do not have the resources to pay for it ourselves.
posted by jeversol on Jul 17, 2006 - 249 comments

Murray Waas is the new Bob Woodward

Murray Waas is the new Bob Woodward. An opposing view. Wuh-duh-yuh-bet most Americans will be much more interested in this story?
posted by spock on Apr 10, 2006 - 28 comments

The US backed the invasion of East Timor

Newly declassified US documents show that the US government knew well in advance about the invasion plans of Indonesia into East Timor. Once in East Timor, Indonesian forces committed a mass genocide of the local population - anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 people, which was only 600,000 to begin with according to Wikipedia. As the first link shows, The US government actively suppressed news stories from getting out about the genocide. This isn't exactly news to Those who followed the invasion, But most people are unaware of the US government's support, perhaps the number of Newspapers covering the story according to GoogleNews can go some way to explain why many are unaware of this fact.
posted by JokingClown on Dec 4, 2005 - 30 comments

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government We have a larger govt now (people working for the govt) than we have ever had. We have now the Patriot Act, overseeing much of our activities. We have intelligence agencies doing lord knows what domestically, and security checks etc. Now we learn that Big govt is back? Where had it been before the storm?
posted by Postroad on Sep 15, 2005 - 43 comments

Intresting.

The Nuclear Option has been avoided. A handfull of senators have reached an agreement killing the nuclear option, and limiting the future Filibuster to "extraordinary circumstances".
posted by delmoi on May 24, 2005 - 79 comments

Talabangilists have taken over the GOP

Republicans; defending the rights of rapists to sue since 2005. Did you just impregnate your 13 year old daughter? Never fear, the GOP is here! They'll defend your right to keep your "little secret" from crossing state lines.
posted by EmoChild on Apr 27, 2005 - 54 comments

National Security Archive

George Washington University's National Security Archive carries a collection of declassified US documents and articles on Saddam Hussein; Mexico, Cuba and other Latin American countries; Nixon's meeting with Elvis; the CIA and Nazi war criminals; etc.
posted by plep on Feb 10, 2005 - 8 comments

Know What Your Representatives Are Doing

GovTrack.US ... Using the Technorati API these folks track not only the votes and speeches of members of the US Congress, but also what's being said about them in the blogosphere. You can track them both with e-mail alerts and RSS feeds. There's even a way to embed info from GovTrack on your site if you are focusing on particular legislation.
posted by nathanrudy on Jan 8, 2005 - 11 comments

Congressman Matsui (D-CA) Dies of Rare Disease

Congressman dies of rare disease Congressman Bob Matsui, who was recently elected to a 14th term in Congress, has died due to a rare stem cell disease. Matsui, who was one of the leading opponents of President Bush's plan to eliminate Social Security, was the ranking Democrat on the Congressional subcommittee on Social Security.
posted by expriest on Jan 2, 2005 - 26 comments

Fine Print: Contract is Void if US Military Say So

Soldiers Challenge Enlistment Extensions
You sign a contract for a specific period of service, when that service is up you're supposed to be done but that doesn't happen if its a contract with the US government. Soldiers are now suing to try and get out of their extended duties.

Yes, there is the Pentagon's "Stop Loss" program but "The lawsuit contends the policy [stop loss] is a breach of the service contract because it extends the length of service without a soldier's consent. It also alleges the contracts were misleading because they make no reference to the policy, said Staughton Lynd, an attorney for the soldiers."
posted by fenriq on Dec 6, 2004 - 41 comments

The Money Shot... at least according to Tom DeLay's photo album...

The Money Shot... at least according to Tom DeLay's photo album.
posted by ph00dz on Oct 7, 2004 - 31 comments

Nope, no weapons over there...maybe under here?

Iraq's WMD capability was essentially destroyed in 1991, according to the report by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq.
posted by kirkaracha on Oct 6, 2004 - 28 comments

Fastlight

Operation Fastlight: Piracy Crackdown [2][3] [4] Let the international war on Piracy begin. DOJ rules for computer seizures. Targetted Groups: Fairlight, Kalisto, Echelon, Class, Project X and APC. Overview of the warez scene. Previous anti-warez operation - buccaneer.
posted by srboisvert on Apr 22, 2004 - 31 comments

Racism, alive and well

Corrine Brown shows us racism is alive and well in the US government.
posted by Plunge on Feb 26, 2004 - 49 comments

You're either with us...or against us

Feds win one in the war on anti-war activists A federal judge has ordered a university to turn over records about a gathering of anti-war activists. In addition to records about who attended the forum, the university has been ordered to divulge all records relating to the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a New York-based legal activist organization that sponsored the forum. Subpoenas were also served on activists who attended the forum at the school.
posted by dejah420 on Feb 7, 2004 - 43 comments

Examining Bush's stem cell policy, two years later.

Examining Bush's stem cell policy, two years later. Kinsley: Put it all together, and the stem cells that can squeeze through Bush's loopholes are far less promising than they seemed two years ago, while the general promise of embryonic stem cells burns brighter than ever. If you claim to have made an anguished moral decision, and the factual basis for that decision turns out to be faulty, you ought to reconsider or your claim to moral anguish looks phony. But Bush's moral anguish was suspect from the beginning, because the policy it produced makes no sense.
posted by skallas on Oct 25, 2003 - 1 comment

Is Syria next?

Is Syria next? Or understanding the Syria Accountability Act. Interesting criticisms by Rep. David E. Price, who voted for it but with certain reservations here.
posted by skallas on Oct 20, 2003 - 17 comments

Mi verso es un ciervo herido, que en el bosque busca amparo

Guantanamo is growing
... and a Halliburton subsidiary lands yet another no-bid contract. Its total bill for the U.S. government last year: 1.3 billion. Maybe more
posted by magullo on Aug 28, 2003 - 13 comments

Mister, that sure is one big baby...

Drowning the government in a bathtub - "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Thus spoke Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform. "The lunatics are now in charge of the asylum", quipped the conservative UK Financial Times. Hardly, says Paul Krugman. The strategy?: "Instead of challenging popular liberal programs directly, the Republicans are creating fiscal conditions that make those programs unsustainable." [lead post, Am. Prospect]. In other words, the 400 billion dollar deficit, coupled with the Bush tax cuts, is designed to shift the obligations of the Fed onto the States and, later, to cause a fiscal train wreck after Bush is out of office.
posted by troutfishing on Jun 12, 2003 - 58 comments

The Southern Danger

The Government is acting quickly. Quickly, to stem the deluge of Mexican terrorists.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Apr 29, 2003 - 16 comments

Raytheon missile identified

BINCS is an online database of suppliers and identification numbers maintained by the Defense Logistics Information Service. It was used to look up the CAGE code on a fragment of the missile which allegedly hit a Baghdad vegetable market. This confirmed that the fragment was from a missile built by Raytheon Company, and was probably either a HARM or a Paveway. I wonder if the system will remain available online after this. Investors can rest assured that this incident will not affect Raytheon's standing in the Perpetual War Portfolio in any way.
posted by homunculus on Apr 2, 2003 - 8 comments

Speaking of gassing one's own people

Speaking of gassing one's own people: US Government admits it tested nerve gas (sarin and VX) on its own sailors (Project SHAD). This is in addition to the testing of LSD on civilians (MK Ultra), syphilis on 399 black Alabama men (Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment), radioactivity on American GI's (Operation Crossroads), and the secret testing of germ warfare tactics on American cities. It's really no surprise the US government rejected an international ban on biological weapons, and yet we personalize this imminent war with Iraq and claim the justification as the forced disarming of dangerous 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.
posted by letterneversent on Mar 17, 2003 - 53 comments

White House Briefing

Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, had a difficult end to his press briefing [Real]. Skip forward to 29 minutes.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Feb 28, 2003 - 80 comments

DEA fails White House budget review

DEA fails White House budget review. (PDF) Busy raiding the homes of disabled medical marijuana users, the DEA has been, in the words of the White House Office of Management and Budget, "unable to demonstrate its progress in reducing the availability of illegal drugs in the U.S." [via MPP]
posted by botono9 on Feb 12, 2003 - 7 comments

A New Constitutional Convention? Well, as we are all aware it's election days. Time to reshape our government as we see fit. And we have an remarkably robust blueprint for our government, one that has stood the test of time. But is it time to change? What would your suggestions be if you were present at a new creation? I know these links have a lefty feel, there what I could find. But I'm interested in reasoned perspectives from left and right. Is this process necessary or desirable? What Would You Do?
posted by pjgulliver on Nov 5, 2002 - 39 comments

"We're very sorry, but the DEA has asked us to arrest you."

"We're very sorry, but the DEA has asked us to arrest you." A Canadian citizen, on a connecting flight between Canada and Ireland, is pinched in the Netherlands at the request of the US government. To prevent him from testifying in a Canadian drug trial?
posted by kablam on Nov 2, 2002 - 14 comments

Michael Rivero,

Michael Rivero, formerly an digital effects worker for Final Fantasy and Coneheads has walked onto the scene and stood out when it comes to the conspiracy genre, with his site WhatReallyHappened.com. He has been claiming that 9/11 was the work of the Israelis and the US government to cause a war for Oil in the Middle East, while also making other comments on the War on Terror.

While he seems to boast that his site's Alexa rating is higher than Newsweek's as affirmation that he is popular, no matter how flawed Alexa may be.

Is this what really happened? or merely the posted viewpoints collected by a person who distrusts the Government?
posted by RobbieFal on Aug 29, 2002 - 36 comments

Pat Buchanan the voice of reason?

Pat Buchanan the voice of reason? in times of insane government decree's of "with us or against us" and "shoot first ask questions later." Its amusing that wackos like Buchanan's viewpoints start making sense. So what is the price of the american empire?
posted by vincentmeanie on Jun 5, 2002 - 36 comments

HR-2357.

HR-2357. "The U.S.A. prides itself as being one of the most pluralistic societies on earth, with a stunning variety of houses of worship in many communities. But the right to engage in civic activities, and especially to engage in political speech, is severely curtailed among many faith groups because of the perception that the house of worship will lose its charitable status if 'politics' is discussed." That may be about to change...
posted by aaronshaf on May 21, 2002 - 20 comments

"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately."

"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately." (NYT link) 12 Michigan (natch) nutcases shout the same four questions over and over during their fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion trial. Seems they believe the four questions shield them from government authority. They also believe the U.S. Constitution was invalidated when FDR took us off the gold standard, and the federal government has no power over them. I wonder if they'll come to feel differently after a few years in the federal penitentiary?
posted by pardonyou? on Dec 13, 2001 - 43 comments

Been to a USGS site today?

Been to a USGS site today? What about your favorite national park site? Probably not, since all are part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, whose external network connections have been severed due to electronic security concerns raised by the court in the case Cobell v. Norton (formerly Cobell v. Babbitt).

With no external email or access to the Internet could you do your job? How dependent is your workplace on electronic information access? (Since all their websites are down, I have no direct link to post. A copy of the memo was sent to the members by the admin of a USGS email distribution list.)
posted by carobe on Dec 7, 2001 - 16 comments

We can all breathe a little easier now,

We can all breathe a little easier now, but it comes at a hefty price - $428 million. That's a boatload of money for a security blanket we may not even need. It's times like this, though, that make me happy (not necessarily proud) to be an American. What do you think?
posted by catatonic on Nov 28, 2001 - 11 comments

July 17th - The Day That Counts.

July 17th - The Day That Counts. These people have a plan to make their feelings known on the issue of public money being diverted to religious organizations. I had no idea that the atheists were so organized! Is this sort of thing a tremendous waste of time, or do you think it can, or will affect policy discussions?
posted by kristin on Jul 13, 2001 - 11 comments

FEMA for kids! Let Herman the spokescrab guide you through the catalog of potentially civilization ending disasters.

FEMA for kids! Let Herman the spokescrab guide you through the catalog of potentially civilization ending disasters. Education is great. Entertaining your kids on cabin fevered summer days is better. I have friends that when they bring their young buck over send him to my computer to play the kiddie offerings at nick.com (sorry dead link this time o' night it seems). But I can just hear the sunburned Minnesota five year old who's been overly femafied asking mommy after her bedtime story, "August is hurricane season. Is it windy now because we're going to have a hurricane?" Mom strokes child's hair, "No, here we're only prone to devastating thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, kidcicle causing cold and blizzards. Now you have sweet dreams and quit worrying about ridiculous things like that. 'Night." Like of course, a kid that age would really find the FEMA website riveting to begin with. . .
posted by crasspastor on Jul 1, 2001 - 9 comments

History of the (U.S.) Federal Judiciary

History of the (U.S.) Federal Judiciary A fascinating resource for those interested in judges, landmark cases, historical photographs of federal buildings, and other things federal.
posted by frykitty on Jun 11, 2001 - 2 comments

Rep. Bob Barr (Georgia) in full support of Spam

Rep. Bob Barr (Georgia) in full support of Spam The title says it all. But read his reasoning. He would rid us of Clinton but protect the right of business to annoy us with spam.
posted by Postroad on May 11, 2001 - 25 comments

Vouchers are dead.

Vouchers are dead. Every once in a while something good happens in Washington... and then we move on to more insanity.
posted by owillis on May 2, 2001 - 42 comments

Want stats?

Want stats? Income, food consumption, the common cold...Fedstats, the "gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal Agencies", is a treasure trove for info junkies.
posted by frykitty on Apr 27, 2001 - 3 comments

Palm Beach Butterfly Ballot Reportedly Cost Gore

Palm Beach Butterfly Ballot Reportedly Cost Gore "The newspaper said the ballot confusion also hurt President George W. Bush; 1,631 people voted for both Bush and Buchanan, whose hole was directly under that of Bush"
posted by owillis on Mar 11, 2001 - 34 comments

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