The US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was established in 1961 and has grown into one of the US government’s largest intelligence organizations. It employs 17,000 people, including thousands stationed overseas, and its 2013 fiscal year budget request was for $3.15 billion. Yet, the DIA is also one of the more secretive agencies in the U.S. intelligence community, regularly denying access to basic information about its structure, functions and activities. On November 20, the National Security Archive posted a new sourcebook of over 50 declassified documents that help to illuminate the DIA’s five-decades-long history. [more inside]
MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
Jesse A. Myerson described five economic reforms millenials should be fighting for in Rolling Stone. Conservatives were generally aghast at the suggestions. Dylan Matthews at Wonkblog wrote a response, "Five conservative reforms millenials should be fighting for". Liberals disapproved. Both articles argued for I. Employer of Last Resort II. Basic Income III. Land Value Tax IV. Sovereign Wealth Fund V. Public Bank. Ezra Klein discusses the trolling.
Where a journalist tries to identify TheIneffableSwede, an online commenter on the Guardian website and elsewhere online. A journalist from the Guardian adds more context.
Chris Hedges on Journalism, truth, and why he was fired from the New York Times: "Great reporters care about truth more than they do about news".
TruthTeller is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible." The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog. More on the project from TechCrunch and Poynter.
"The business of recycling dead humans into medical implants is a little-known yet lucrative trade. But its practices have roused concerns about how tissues are obtained and how well grieving families and transplant patients are informed about the realities and the risks." After an eight month international investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has published an extensive four-part exposé into the black market for cadavers and human tissue: Skin and Bone: The Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts (Via) [more inside]
Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought. [more inside]
"First Kill is a war documentary that explores the dark side of man and the psychology of soldiers at war. Vietnam veterans are interviewed about their experiences and what war does to the human mind and soul." [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8]
A year ago this August, 72 migrant workers -- 58 men and 14 women -- 'were on their way to the US border when they were murdered by a drug gang at a ranch in northern Mexico, in circumstances that remain unexplained. Since then, a group of Mexican journalists and writers have created' a "Day of the Dead-style Virtual Altar" Spanish-language website, 72migrantes.com, to commemorate each of the victims, some of whom have never been identified. The New York Review of Books has English translations of five of their profiles. [more inside]
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have been carrying out research into the extent of drone missile strikes carried out by the CIA. Today they published findings. See also: facts and figures, a timeline, and their Twitter feed where updates are ongoing.
"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller
As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
"The symbiotic relationship between the press and the power elite worked for nearly a century. It worked as long as our power elite, no matter how ruthless or insensitive, was competent. But once our power elite became incompetent and morally bankrupt, the press, along with the power elite, lost its final vestige of credibility." "The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News" by Chris Hedges.
The NYT reports that GE has brokered a deal between MSNBC and Fox News to "reconcile" Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly, preventing further criticism of each other or GE. The deal went into effect June 1, the very same day Olbermann declared he was "quarantining" Fox, avoiding discussion of the channel in the future. Mr. Olbermann, who is on vacation, said by e-mail message, “I am party to no deal.” Glenn Greenwald breaks down the political consequences of the deal.
"Together they panhandled with Nam Vet Needs Help signs at the highway entrance, converted their proceeds into Icehouse beer and Rich & Rare whiskey, and shared their nights in the perpetual dusk beneath the elevated highway, taking turns seeking the full sleep that never came, so loud was the traffic above, so naked were they below, in addled vulnerability.
Every Sunday Dan Barry writes about America in his This Land column for the New York Times.
Every Sunday Dan Barry writes about America in his This Land column for the New York Times.
"Everything is foggy. Everything is not clear. He was alive when we got to the other side. And now I have brought him back dead. Whatever hopes we had, that's where they ended." The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman (BugMeNot)
Newsfilter: Washington Post columnist/blogger Dan Froomkin writes the "White House Briefing," an online "daily anthology of works by other journalists and bloggers," which is often critical of the administration. This past Sunday, the new Post ombudsman wrote that the paper's White House correspondents worried that Froomkin's column creates an appearance of bias at the Post. Froomkin responsed, and hundreds of commentors offered their support. Then Post national politics editor John Harris weighed in, to somewhat less acclaim from commentors. Harris expanded on his views in this interview. The whole affair raises issues about allegations of a subservient, stenographic press, how the media deals with charges of liberal bias, the perceived vindictiveness of the Bush administration, and the relationship between in-house bloggers and the traditional media.
Don't Bomb Us. In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar (discussed here and here on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues, firsthand accounts of US attacks on their offices, links to relevant reports on the controversy, Flickr photosets of protests calling for an official investigation, and al Jazeera's code of ethics. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments.
Fake news. How is it legal to present a commercial as real news, without any indication that it is a commercial? And when did it become legal to use government money (i.e. *my taxes*) to push partisan issues, as well as try to influence election politics?
Bush orders officials to stop the leaks. News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately. And speaking of leaks, two U.S. officials are the primary sources of information about Israel's Harpoon cruise missiles which may or may not be used to attack Iran.
"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."
"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda." This quote, captured in a USA Today article, came from Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti in response to allegations that CNN "was intimidated" by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship."
The founders of Metafilter and Kuro5hin plan to launch an independent news site this fall to track the 2004 presidential campaign. Matt Haughey and Rusty Foster, the programmers behind those two collaborative media sites, will create a "smart mob-style site" to provide a place for independent reporting about next year's election.[more inside]
Is the US targeting al-Jazeera? In defense of al-Jazeera, they have interviewed Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration. They have also been critical of Arab dictatorships. In October of last year, Colin Powell tried to gag Al-Jazeera. Al-Jazeera's response? They did a story on the attempted censorship. Six weeks later, the al-Jazeera office in Kabul was demolished by a pair of 500 lb. bombs. Sami al-Haj, a cameraman for al-Jazeera, has been illegally imprisoned without charges by the US for nine months. His wife -- the mother of Sami's three-year old son -- assumed that he had been killed until she received a letter from him in April. Can we really say that their approach to journalism is biased and disrepectful, but ours is not?
Another interview with Greg Palast. This is a follow-up to the previously discussed interview with the self-imposed exile journalist.
CNN & FOX: Birds of a feather? In an effort to improve his network's image with conservative leaders, new CNN chief Walter Isaacson huddled with House and Senate GOP leaders last week to seek advice on how to attract more right-leaning viewers to the sagging network.
Americans less supportive of 1st amendment. Roughly four in 10 people (41%) said the media have too much freedom. Four in 10 respondents (39%) believed the First Amendment goes too far in guaranteeing rights. 71% said it was "very" or "somewhat" important for the government to hold the media in check.
The official newspapers of staples.com gets huffy about integrity. Back in 1999 the L.A. Times produced a special section praising the Staples center and sort of forgot to mention that they were splitting the ad revenue with Staples. At the time their management was pretty upfront about tearing down the wall between news and advertistisement. Now they've decided to act like journalists again. However, I'm not so sure that what this guy did was all that unethical. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.