Links, 8/29/11

Mr. EW took this picture this weekend of a teeny frog living in a hole in a picnic table (that’s his index finger in the picture, giving you a sense of how small this fella was).

While he doesn’t use the word “lie” (he lists “reasons to doubt Cheney’s version” and says it’s difficult to see how his claims could be true), Barton Gellman catches Cheney in one he told about his illegal wiretap program. I think there are a few more reasons to support the case Cheney is lying here (which I’ll lay out once I’ve read the book).

The AP confirms what appeared likely when Der Spiegel and David Ignatius first reported that a close associate of Mullah Omar, Tayyab Aga, had been brokering a peace deal: Hamid Karzai leaked news of the peace discussions to ensure he remained a part of any peace discussions.

The CIA is redacting chunks of publicly known details about their interrogation practices from Ali Soufan’s book. They’re not just doing this with Soufan’s book: his testimony to the 9/11 Commission has been pending release at the National Archives since I did some work there in spring 2009.

Jonathan Hafetz has a post summarizing the various Bivens suits suing the government for torture (we’ve talked about most of these–Vance, the two Padilla suits, and Doe v. Rumsfeld–here). It helps to explain why one of all of these is likely to be heard by SCOTUS.

CAP has done an excellent report on the systematic attempt to get Americans to fear creeping sharia law and other Muslim culture. It describes the funders, the “scholars,” and the press that has fostered Islamophobia in this country. I hope to write more on the report, but until then, read it for yourself.

It turns out Wobbly songwriter Joe Hill was shot by a rival for his sweetheart’s attention and not the son of the grocer he was wrongly executed for killing.

The people providing material support to a terrorist organization lobbying to delist MEK from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations are being paid big money to do so. Add Patrick Kennedy to that list of people.

I joked last week that if Apple didn’t take over this country, then people might turn to churches, neighborhoods, and small businesses as they grow increasingly disgusted with government. But Gallup also shows that people like the computer industry a whole lot. I was most interested in how well food companies–the restaurant, farming, and grocery industries did in this Gallup poll.

Washington Monthly has developed its own set of college and university rankings to measure how institutes of higher learning are serving society. They’ve done so to drive better higher ed decisions. While Berea College (unsurprisingly and deservedly) leads the list, I’m proud to say both my alma maters–Amherst and University of Michigan–are in the top 10 in their respective categories.


21 replies
  1. rosalind says:

    Harvard ranked #6 behind five California schools?


    (hey, you grow up on the West Coast where all media is filtered through East Coast-colored glasses, ya earn the right to gloat)

  2. William Ockham says:

    The computer industry is the opposite of the federal government. People hate Congress, but love their congressman. People love the computer industry, but hate their computer.

  3. newz4all says:

    British officials and representatives of Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry met Thursday to discuss voluntary ways to limit or restrict the use of social media to combat crime and periods of civil unrest, while trying to dodge charges of hypocrisy and censorship that trailed Prime Minister David Cameron’s call to restrict use of the networks after this month’s riots.

    The government’s home minister, Theresa May, according to one account of the meeting, said that the aim was not to “discuss restricting Internet services,” but to instead “crack down on the networks being used for criminal behavior.” A spokeswoman for Ms. May said the government “would not be seeking any additional powers.”

    But the discussion, according to those present, was still aimed at reeling in social media and strengthening the hand of law enforcement in gathering information from those networks. In the wake of revolutions that have seen widespread calls for freedom and democracy, free-speech advocates have said, the British government is considering similar policies to those it has criticized in totalitarian and one-party states.

    “You do not want to be on a list with the countries that have cracked down on social media during the Arab Spring,” said Jo Glanville, the editor of Index on Censorship, a magazine that campaigns for freedom of expression, noting that such actions could “undermine democracy.”

    hilarious. instead of addressing the issues that CAUSED the riots ( unemployment, austerity, income inequality, lack of opportunity, etc etc etc the PTB / MOTU are gonna crack down on the social media. and when this effort blows up in their faces all of the pundits and experts will say “totally unexpected” “hoocoodanode”. geeebus

  4. lakeeffectsnow says:

    after reading the Barton Gellman post at Swampland re: cheney trying to rewrite history / lying yet again (BIG Surprise – not), am still amazed that addington is not in prison or at least thoroughly disgraced. that is why look forward not backward did such a grave disservice to this country and its citizens.

  5. Jeff Kaye says:

    Scott Shane’s NYT article on the Soufan imbroglio over CIA censorship of his book is really crappy.

    His notation of the censorship over the story of Khalid al-Midhar and the passport “photo” is misleading in the extreme. He never mentions that it was the visa to the U.S., the knowledge of which the CIA withheld from the FBI three times, not a passport photo that was at issue.

    Meanwhile, Soufan asked CIA three times about the Kuala Lumpur conference where al-Mihdar and another accomplice were in Jan. 2000, before decamping to the U.S. (to stay in the home of an FBI Saudi informant), and each time the CIA told him they didn’t know anything about a Kuala Lumpur conference.

    I wonder if that will be in Soufan’s book, or whether they censored that, too, even though the info appears in Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Looming Tower.

    Discovered, too, btw, Shane had the Iron Man IG report and even mentioned it in a story. He dismissed the latter as having few details. Did he bother to look? Does the man actually do reporting?

  6. Morris Minor says:

    @nomolos: Apple is a fashion house, not a computer company. Microsoft is the Borg past its prime.

    Linux is a permanent refugee camp. You gave an anti-Windows sentiment rather than a pro-Apple sentiment, thus you’re in the shanty town that is Linux. It’s like District 9 there; somebody has magic technology that will fly you to the mothership (rather Nation of Islam there!) and meanwhile you beg each other for cat food.

    Why, yes, I do run a Linux IT shop. Why do you ask?

  7. Morris Minor says:

    Can a book with redactions refer to the redactions in any way? Is it legal to add a marker to some redactions? “This is in the public record”.

    Just print them in an outline instead of a box and don’t say why. Word will get around.

  8. host says:


    Have you looked into the ties between Amherst associated people and the CIA? For a smallish school, doesn’t Amherst have an interesting number of former Directors of Central Intelligence? Francis and his son, George Plimpton have been described by several sources as CIA agents or assets. Francis Plimpton’s law partner, Eli Whitney DeBevoise was the son of John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s lswyer, Thomas DeBevoise. his son, eli Whitney was another Rockefeller lawyer, John McCloy’s, counsel when McCloy “served” as HICOG in Germany and let Krupp et al out of prison. Eli Whitney Debevoise then became McCloy’s deputy HICOG.
    This is the background of McCloy, as head of the Amherst trustees, appointing Francis Plimpton’s brother, Dr. Calvin Plimpton as president of Amherst. Francis Plimpton was on Houghton’s board at the Met Mus. of Art when the CIA funding OP which also implicated Robert G. Story, Jr., of Bush Harken/Harvard “fame”, with the Houghton/CIA OP.:
    CIA and the National Student Association
    Paul F. Hellmuth, a well-known Boston attorney and a member of Hale and Dorr, and David B. Stone, a Boston

  9. emptywheel says:

    @Morris Minor: Yes. That’s what Glenn Carle did with a bunch of the redactions in his book–added footnotes saying things like, “in this redaction I talked about…”

  10. Peterr says:

    @emptywheel: Well, to be fair, Joe Hill *was* killed, but by the state of Utah (on behalf of mine owners) and not a rival for his sweetheart. The latter only wounded him, but Utah’s execution team didn’t miss.

  11. Kathleen says:

    Great to hear about Berea college making that list. An amazing institution. In the late 60’s I had the great learning experience becoming and working with other Vista volunteers who were helping form art and craft co-ops in the Berea region. Several of those co-ops are still there. Beautiful local arts and crafts in teh region for sale in Berea. Great area.

  12. Bob Schacht says:

    I was first introduced to Joe Hill long before Joan Baez because it was published in the Fireside Book of Folk Songs (1947), which I grew up with in the 1950s, when the book had already gone through 18 printings, making it an American Classic. My Dad, before he abandoned popular music in favor of classical music, used to play songs from this book on the piano for us to sing along with when I was growing up. He did this often enough so that I can still recite or sing from memory at least the chorus of at least a dozen songs from this book, including the one about Joe Hill (copyrighted in 1938 by Bob Miller, Inc.) So this song is almost part of my DNA.

    Bob in AZ

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