When describing threats to American national security, the go-to word for U.S. officials is “imminent.” The definition behind that term of art isn’t a standard one, though. And it often amounts to a license to kill.
Venezeula’s ascendancy to the UN Security Council is prompting a fusillade of criticism from the U.S. That’s predictable enough. But the media coverage of Venezuela’s human rights record reveals an interesting aspect of America—selective national blindness about the very same record at home.
FBI Director James Comey, with a straight face, is arguing that the encryption in new iPhones and other mobile devices is so powerful that it’s hindering crime-fighting. He’s even given this latest purported public safety threat a menacing new name: “Going Dark.” Your selfies may never be safe again.
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson’s resignation—really a firing—is unusual in the star-crossed history of the agency assigned to protect the president. But it isn’t that way for the reason you think. Glass ceilings aside, Pierson will be remembered for a big and unintended reform at the top of the agency: actually paying the price for failure.
If you’d invested a trillion dollars in something, you’d definitely want a positive return. Yet the latest iteration of the military industrial complex, exemplified by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, seems only to have produced more war, more terrorism, more surveillance and more presidential protection blunders. You can blame it on 9/11, but the blueprints were already there.
A referendum asking New York City voters to approve a new investigation into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 won’t make it to the November ballot after all. The High-Rise Safety Initiative has decided not to appeal a New York Supreme Court judge’s ruling dismissing its petition. But the group hasn’t given up its push to shed more light on the building’s fate despite the odds.
The Ferguson riots fast-tracked the debate over whether police should be forced to wear cameras, to protect citizens from abuse and cops from false accusations. Yet officers in Ferguson and elsewhere have demonstrated rogue behavior when they’re being filmed, and few are being reined in. Are more cameras the answer to deeper problems underlying police accountability?
Author Peter Dale Scott, considered the father of Deep Politics, explains the influential role of the government’s highest-level emergency planning group in four of the biggest events in the last half-century of American history. Here’s how personnel from the “Doomsday Project,” as the Continuity of Government group is known, tie together JFK’s assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11.
Witness intimidation, a tactic normally associated with the mafia or drug cartels, continues to be an underreported aspect of the Boston Bombing trial. Recent court documents reveal a troubling pattern of harassment and surveillance against potential defense witnesses by the FBI.
The Secret Service of patriotic lore—an army of agents ready to take a bullet for the president—is quickly losing its legendary luster. Two White House breaches this month are even more troubling in light of new details about how the Secret Service botched the response to a 2011 incident. In that case, a bullet hit a White House window—and the Secret Service didn’t know it for four days.