Links, 8/12/11

The National Security State

While David Cameron has just been speaking hypothetically about shutting down social networks to stop riots, BART turned off cell phone coverage at San Francisco Civic Center station. Didn’t Egypt fine Hosni Mubarak for this kind of censorship?

Slate reports that Andres Breivik may have put a code in his manifesto, with GPS coordinates of locations across Europe.

The AP has profiles of many of the men who died in the helicopter downing over the weekend.

As Paul Pillar summarizes, at the same time as almost 1/6 of Congress goes to Israel on a junket, Israel continues to encourage illegal settlements, forcing the US to waste political capital on preventing Palestinians from getting justice via other means, like statehood. Meanwhile, Antiwar notes that AIPAC’s funding has gotten really fishy, presumably in response to the Steve Rosen defamation lawsuit against it.

In a “Six Questions” with Scott Horton, Harold Bloom draws parallels between the Presidents Bush and late Roman emperors and calls Obama a “pseudo-Aurelius” for the way he has continued W’s policies.

The Vice President of the Maersk Line limited thinks bad policies passed by Congress are worse than pirates. Of course, there’s a significant underlying bias here that says that shipping companies should not have to pay the external costs, so take what is otherwise a very intriguing essay with that grain of salt.

Our Dying Economy

Finally, someone in Congress has pointed out that one way to minimize chances of hacked circuits and chips is to make them in the United States.

The SEC is investigating the S&P’s downgrade.Not competently, I’m guessing.

I talked about how insane it is that people who produce (manufacture or farm) get such a small chunk of the money we spend on their products. This Grist article talks about how Farmers Markets support jobs.

64% of Americans don’t have enough cash to handle a $1000 emergency expense. Give stats on net worth, this should not be a surprise to anyone. Still bad news, but not a surprise.

Justice and Injustice

The Cash for Kids judge got sentenced to 28 years. Heck, I wouldn’t have minded if his sentence were longer.

On the same day Multiple Choice Mitt reminded us all that corporations are people, Exxon filed to have the full Circuit review an opinion holding that corporations, like individuals, could be held liable for torture and other human rights violations.


Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

18 replies
  1. Mary says:

    Of course corporations are people too. It’s just that some of them are illegal enemy combatant people. ;)

  2. TarheelDem says:

    Here’s a little mystery about the ACA.

    There was an explicit severability clause in both the House and Senate versions. Who took it out before it became law? And when?

  3. MadDog says:

    Shorter Rick Perry for President campaign announcement: “In a Crackerjack box, there’s always room for more nuts!”

  4. bmaz says:


    Holy shit. My day is done. I would like to welcome back one of the TNH faithful.

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. JGabriel. I have been wondering what happened to you. Please come back for good. As I said with Randiego, it is really starting to feel like home here. But that is not just us, it is you. Seriously.

  5. newz4all says:

    Central Intelligence Agency Disputed on Civilian Death Toll in Drone Strikes

    The civilian toll of the Central Intelligence Agency’s drone campaign, which is widely credited with disrupting Al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan’s tribal area, has been in bitter dispute since the strikes were accelerated in 2008.

    Accounts of strike after strike from official and unofficial sources are so at odds that they often seem to describe different events.

  6. CTuttle says:

    Aloha, Marcy and bmaz…! Any thoughts on this newly released report…?


    A quick synopsis…

    Expenditure cuts carry a significant risk of increasing the frequency of riots, anti-government demonstrations, general strikes, political assassinations, and attempts at revolutionary overthrow of the established order. While these are low- probability events in normal years, they become much more common as austerity measures are implemented. … We demonstrate that the general pattern of association between unrest and budget cuts holds in Europe for the period 1919-2009. It can be found in almost all sub-periods, and for all types of unrest. Strikingly, where we can trace the cause of each incident (during the period 1980-95), we can show that only austerity-inspired demonstrations respond to budget cuts in the time- series. Also, when we use recently-developed data that allows clean identification of policy-driven changes in the budget balance, our results hold.

    We’re so screwed if the Catfood Commission get’s it’s way…! 8-(

  7. thatvisionthing says:

    re the Exxon ruling — ianal — this is torts and you don’t go to jail for torts?

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit said in a ruling in July, Fryszman noted, that corporations are not exempt from liability under the Alien Tort Statute.

    So, as persons go… BFD… GE the person is still OK?

    Corporations do everything people do except breathe, die and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the Hudson River. — Stephen Colbert, Let Freedom Ka-Ching [GE: We Bring Bad Things To Fish]

  8. P J Evans says:

    On the same day Multiple Choice Mitt reminded us all that corporations are people, Exxon filed to have the full Circuit review an opinion holding that corporations, like individuals, could be held liable for torture and other human rights violations.

    If they have free speech like natural persons, then they can be held responsible for what they do. And should be. Personally, in the case of executives.

  9. thatvisionthing says:

    @P J Evans: Right, but it’s torts and that’s just money right? And they just hit Timmy G up for whatever money they want printed or entered in their spreadsheet. Nobody goes to jail. Nothing gets real. It’s fake people and fake money and fake accountability and fake justice. Probably in direct proportion to the real damage they do.

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