Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously). [more inside]
Writing In The Gray Areas - "Are some acts so revolting that the people who commit them do not deserve a hearing?" [more inside]
Glenn Greenwald's partner was detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours, his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles confiscated. Glenn Greenwald calls it a failed attempt at intimidation. "...to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members..."
Last year, Wired reported that 'The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”' (previously) The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded. After the President ordered a review, the FBI 'purged' the documents from training materials. Earlier this year Wired reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside]
Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
Anthrax Redux. Wired's gripping account of the FBI's investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks.
The Toronto 18. "The [Toronto] Star was the first to break the news, just over four years ago, that an al-Qaeda inspired homegrown terror cell had been busted in Toronto. ... Numerous publication bans have kept the full story from the public. Now, with the case over, we can present the complete narrative of the Toronto 18: Who they are, how they met, what they did." This is a great example of how to present long-form journalism online.
A farewell to Yasser. The Times of London's driver of seven years in Baghdad was killed in a bombing this week. This was his story. [more inside]
The Terrorist Within is an in-depth look at the story of Ahmed Ressam. There's an interesting look at the lives of Ressam and other would-be jihadis and the way the authorities dealt with the information obtained about Ressam's activities.
We don't not make deals with terrorists. Yesterday, the Guardian reported: "Kidnappers threatened to kill the abducted US journalist Jill Carroll unless the Bush administration ordered the release of Iraqi women prisoners within 72 hours, according to a report on al-Jazeera television yesterday." Today, the BBC reports "Iraq's ministry of justice has told the BBC that six of the eight women being held by coalition forces in Iraq have been released early. The six were freed because there was insufficient evidence to charge them, a justice ministry spokesman said." Cause, meet effect. Effect, this is cause.
Danny pearl, did the wall street journal endanger their own reporter. The handing over of a laptop to the C.I.A and the department of Defense may hve led to the singling out of a Journal employee.
Enough Already With The Journalists - What Do The Finest Political Philosophers Think About Terrorism?
Enough Already With The Journalists - What Do The Finest Political Philosophers Think About Terrorism? There aren't many of them. On the liberal side of things, apart from John Rawls, Michael Walzer [here's a fascinating interview with him]is probably the most original and intelligent pluralist alive. In the above-linked article in Dissent he sets out the questions that we should be asking ourselves right now about terrorism. Something tells me we should be paying attention. But what would our answers be? Or are we too caught up with the banality of columnists and pundits to actually face up to the thoughts of a real political thinker?
Bravo Bill Moyers! Once in awhile there comes a personality that can bridge ideological gaps. Granted these "gaps" are left, center left and moderate right. At that, Moyers is quite the ace. In this keynote address, Moyers speaks of patriotism, unity, heartbreak, renewable energy, "it could have been worse" scenarios, further terrorist attacks and who's side We the People should be on.
"Placing The Blame For Attacks On Muslims Is Wrong" This editorial appeared yesterday in the Ventura County Star, it was written by Roufeda Ebrahim of Ventura, a Muslim. The 18-year-old graduate of St. Bonaventure High School is a freshman at Ventura College, where she is studying journalism and English.
The Washington Post calls it "An Attack on the World." In addition, the London Times has a graphic of a world map that shows the number of people killed in last week's attacks from other countries.