Any encouragement that torture opponents may take from an initial step toward releasing part of a long Senate report on CIA abuses during the Bush-43 years is tempered by the fact that the declassification process may be glacially slow and still leave much hidden, writes Nat Parry.
In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection and analysis before 9/11, covered up the mistakes, and violated the constitutional rights of the American people, all while wasting billions of dollars and misleading the public.
After 9/11, the excuse for missing clues was too much data – trying to sip from a fire hose – but with the priority now excusing NSA spying, the metaphor is for more data – you can’t find a needle in a haystack without a haystack – a shift ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley dissects.
The Obama administration’s aggressive campaign against whistleblowers, including the court martial of Bradley Manning and the pursuit of Edward Snowden, has stirred strong passions among many Americans who are tired of endless war and the resulting sacrifice of freedom, as this letter from David Finkelstein reflects.
The mainstream media’s assault on Edward Snowden’s character has begun, with columns in outlets like the Washington Post and The New Yorker calling him “narcissistic” and reckless. But his brave disclosures highlight how out of control the U.S. surveillance state is and how it threatens democracy, says Christopher H. Pyle.
The U.S. Postal Service, which has bound the nation together since its founding, is under intense pressure to privatize, especially from business rivals and libertarians. But Post Offices represent some of America’s finest examples of public space and common purpose, scholar Gray Brechin tells Dennis J. Bernstein.