Fifty people were killed and at least fifty-three more were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. According to ABC news, "The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, an American-born citizen with Afghani parents." Mateen had previously been considered a person of interest by the FBI in 2013 and 2014. Mateen was shot and killed by police. [more inside]
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel isn't Wild, Taboo or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer. It's Doomsday Preppers, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
'Homeland,' Obama’s Show. The award winning TV show does little to alleviate the myths and misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims, writes Joseph Massad, a scholar at Columbia University. "The racist representation of Arabs is so exponential, even for American television [..] that one does not know where to begin." [more inside]
Guardian/Greenwald: US drones are coming back after initial attacks to target first-responder rescuers.
Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video have come forward to tell their story. [more inside]
Illusions of Victory: How the United States Did Not Reinvent War… But Thought It Did. Is Perpetual War Our Future? Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Bush Era. Two excerpts from The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, the new book by Andrew Bacevich (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4).
2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone, Wired and The Village Voice. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
9/11 in comics, including the black-covered The Amazing Spider-Man #36 in its entirety.
Loose change A one hour analysis of 9/11 and how it is more likely than not that the government was actually behind the attacks. A documentary analyzing the footage and presenting an alternative view to the official version.
A surprise from Al Gore: I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions. How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"? I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.
The next terrorist attack on America may be perpetrated by Europeans. Radical Islam is spreading across Europe among descendants of Muslim immigrants. Disenfranchised and disillusioned by the failure of integration, some European Muslims have taken up jihad against the West. They are dangerous and committed -- and can enter the United States without a visa.
How We Are Fighting the War on Terrorism: IDs and the illusion of security IDs and the illusion of security Bruce Schneier at sfgate.com writes about why ID checks are ineffective.
On PBS last week, Senator Bob Graham said that there is "evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States," but that "It will become public at some point when it's turned over to the archives, but that's 20 or 30 years from now. And, we need to have this information now because it's relevant to the threat that the people of the United States are facing today." Do you trust the government to keep the right informatin classified, or do we need to know?
Welcome to Amerika? Tom Ridge (with the blessing of George W.) thinks it's time to re-examine the Posse Comitatus Act with an eye toward giving the Armed Forces more power to act in a domestic law enforcement capacity. After having the National Guard here during the Winter Olympics, I'm not so keen on seeing armed soldiers patrolling the streets again.
Are we blaming the victim? William Saleten argues that talk about what the USA has done to provoke terrorist attack is like a battered wife wondering what she's done to deserve a beating. It risks legitimizing these indefensible acts, and gives us a false sense of control: i.e. that we could prevent such attacks if we'd only behave.
The only "war" I can think of in U.S. history anything like the present situation is the U.S. Navy's war on Caribbean piracy (1814-1825). Stateless, decentralized foe, no defined fields of battle, no "high-value targets"...Again, 1814-1825: eleven years. Any U.S. history majors out there?
The positive impact of America can be overlooked in the chatter of how bin Laden is the bastard offspring of our malicious foreign policy, so the flip side should be highlighted. How about a Nobel peace prize winner who has saved literally millions of lives worldwide, but even 99% of Americans would fail to recognize? What will we reap from his sowing?