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Speechwright

Speechwright

By William F. Gavin

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Tag: Security


Silvio Tanaka (CC-BY)

Web Inventor: Stop the British Snooping Bill

The British government’s plan to turn the Internet into a national intelligence cache that stores data on every U.K. Web surfer was frustrated Tuesday when Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, condemned such a move as a “destruction of human rights.”

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

First They Come for the Muslims

Another Muslim activist has gone to prison as a result of the government’s criminalization of what people say and believe.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012 READ MORE



Flickr/s_falkow (CC-BY)

From the Classroom to the Courtroom

In Texas, some students who show up late for class too many times, or just plain don’t show up, are being sent to courtrooms instead of principals’ offices, while other youngsters face heftier charges and fines for offenses that used to be handled by schools’ internal disciplinary officers and structures.

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

Someone You Love: Coming to a Gulag Near You

Our 16 national intelligence agencies and army of private contractors justify their existence by turning even the mundane into a potential threat. And by the time they finish, the nation will be a gulag.

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 READ MORE


Forget Fear of Flying, Fear Airport Screening

Just getting to your airplane these days may present a greater risk to your health than the actual flight.

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 READ MORE



AP / John Minchillo

The Polite Conference Rooms Where Liberties Are Saved and Lost

I spent four hours in a third-floor conference room at 86 Chambers St. in Manhattan on Friday as I underwent a government deposition.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 READ MORE


Paul Ryan’s Plan for American Decline

If the foreign adversaries and competitors of the United States imagined a future that would fulfill their most ambitious objectives, it might begin with a government crippled by the House Republican leadership’s “Ryan budget” released on Tuesday.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman David Carbajal

U.S. and NATO Make Afghanistan Plans Beyond 2014

Terminating the Afghanistan War and ending the global projection of American military power of which it is a part are indispensable steps to saving the nation.

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 READ MORE


What Are We Doing in Afghanistan?

For everyone who originally supported the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban, the question today is how what was once a righteous mission can end in anything but ruin.

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 READ MORE



AP / Patrick Semansky

Supreme Court Likely to Endorse Obama’s War on Whistle-Blowers

The Supreme Court is expected to uphold the use of the Espionage Act of 1917 to punish those who expose war crimes and state lies.

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

AIPAC Works for the 1 Percent

AIPAC does not speak for Jews or for Israel. It is a mouthpiece for right-wing ideologues and defense contractors.

Posted on Mar 4, 2012 READ MORE



Flickr / mar is sea Y (CC-BY-SA)

WikiLeaks vs. Stratfor: Pursue the Truth, Not Its Messenger

The White House is holding a gala dinner this week, honoring Iraq War veterans. Bradley Manning is an Iraq War vet who won’t be there.

Posted on Mar 1, 2012 READ MORE



DoD

Drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan: Recognition of Futility or Retreat From the Coming Storm?

No one yet in Washington seems fully to appreciate or acknowledge the failure, but failure it is.

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 READ MORE



AP / Evan Vucci

Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless

There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement.

Posted on Feb 13, 2012 READ MORE



State Department

State Department to Downsize Massive Baghdad Embassy

A $750 million, 104-acre complex that employs 16,000 people might have been George W. Bush’s concept of an embassy, but the people who run the country that happens to surround America’s fortress in Baghdad aren’t thrilled and the State Department has decided to scale back. (more)

Posted on Feb 8, 2012 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Brooks B. Patton Jr.

Europe Decides Not to Play America’s Game

Stephen Hadley, a former official in ex-Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, said in Munich that Europe must spend more if it wants to be a global player. The Europeans regard the George W. Bush administration record, and now the Obama administration’s, and see the disastrous results of “global playing.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

The Cancer in Occupy

The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on the streets in Oakland and other cities, are a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state.

Posted on Feb 6, 2012 READ MORE



AP / Ahmed Gomaa

Dispatches From Cairo: Game of Death

Oh, Egypt. Oh, Arab Spring. Another tailspin into the worst of expectations and reactions leaves us in a gray confusion of deception and distrust. Now, there is gore on stadium seats.

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 READ MORE



The Internet Fights Back

To protest two pieces of legislation that threaten the free and open Internet as we know it, thousands of websites, including Wikipedia, are taking themselves offline. Others, including Google, are asking users to take action. (more)

Posted on Jan 17, 2012 READ MORE



AP / Brennan Linsley

A Decade of Guantanamo

The indefinite detention center that has undermined American justice since the first prisoners arrived from Afghanistan 10 years ago Wednesday is still open for business in Cuba. (more)

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 READ MORE



AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

There Goes the Republic

What’s alarming is the ease with which an otherwise deadlocked Congress that can’t manage minimal funding for job creation passes a bill that threatens the foundations of our republican form of government.

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 READ MORE



Asian Development Bank (CC-BY)

Pentagon Spends Millions Protecting Uzbekistan Dictator

Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov is notorious for heading one of the world’s most oppressive regimes, and millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being given to a for-profit military contractor turned propaganda machine to make sure he remains a faithful and able ally in the global war on terror.

Posted on Nov 26, 2011 READ MORE



zio Paolino (CC-BY)

‘Go. Leave. You Can’t Be Here’

Neither Brookfield Properties nor the NYPD wants journalists asking questions about an unmarked truck that has been pointing a surveillance camera at protesters in Zuccotti Park for the past few weeks. So much so that a police officer declared journalist Nick Turse’s note-taking at the site to be illegal and ordered him to leave.

Posted on Nov 19, 2011 READ MORE



AP

Dispatches From Cairo: Torture in Post-Mubarak Egypt

Essam Atta died Thursday at Qasr El-Eini hospital in Cairo after prison guards allegedly tortured him by sodomization.

Posted on Oct 30, 2011 READ MORE



Dennis Jarvis (CC-BY-SA)

China Fears Are Misplaced

The preoccupation of American think tanks and policymakers with China’s growing military and economic power is unrealistic.

Posted on Oct 11, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Louis Lanzano

The Best Among Us

Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope.

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Tara Todras-Whitehill

How to Save the United States and Israel From Themselves

Most Americans would likely agree that the main shock delivered to Americans and the American government by the 9/11 attacks was that of vulnerability. Another such shock is impending.

Posted on Sep 13, 2011 READ MORE



AP Photo

Dispatches From Cairo: Manipulating the Mob

Egypt’s massive youth movement—clueless, courageous and as easily provoked as a crowd of edgy football fans—has been played.

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Brennan Linsley

How Little We Know About the Origins of 9/11

For a decade, the main questions about 9/11 have gone unanswered while the alleged perpetrators who survived the attacks have never been publicly cross-examined as to their methods and motives.

Posted on Sep 8, 2011 READ MORE



vegatripy (CC-BY-ND)

Homeland Security Office Creates ‘Intelligence Spam,’ Insiders Say

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security was envisioned as the center of gravity in a new era of domestic security, but it has done little to improve the accuracy and quality of the nation’s intelligence data.

Posted on Sep 6, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Sergey Ponomarev

Libya: Here We Go Again

I know enough of Libya, a country I covered for many years as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, to assure you that the chaos and bloodletting have only begun.

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

The Election March of the Trolls

The trolls have gamed the system. There is no economic, political or environmental reform that can be implemented to impede the march of the corporate state.

Posted on Aug 28, 2011 READ MORE



Paul Keller (CC-BY)

Taking the Justice Out of the Justice System

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the unexpected extent of the damage Americans have done to themselves and their institutions is coming into better focus.

Posted on Aug 21, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Isaac A. Graham

Assassination as Foreign Policy

Global domination is a political policy that cannot possibly succeed. The world is not open to domination by a single state. The effort to establish it will destroy the United States itself.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 READ MORE



Jon Rawlinson (CC-BY)

God Bless Cantankerous Old Men

When Michael Jackson died a few years ago, my father, who is 72, called me to complain. “What the hell is this Max Jackoff business?”

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 READ MORE



Kevin Dooley (CC-BY)

Why China Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank

A downgrading of U.S. Treasury securities will mean enormous and completely unnecessary increases in our interest payments to the nation’s largest creditor—and our most important competitor in the international arena.

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 READ MORE



Martin Abegglen (CC-BY-SA)

The Terrorist Threat We’re Ignoring

For decades, trade-related reporting has mostly focused on jobs. Left almost completely unmentioned are other concerns that free-trade critics have raised—concerns about the environment, human rights and, yes, national security.

Posted on Jul 21, 2011 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

America’s Disappeared

Torture, prolonged detention without trial, sexual humiliation, rape, disappearance, extortion, looting, random murder and abuse have become, as in Argentina during the Dirty War, part of our own subterranean world of detention sites and torture centers.

Posted on Jul 18, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

Why Does the War Go On?

The many contradictions in President Obama’s speech about Afghanistan Wednesday night were perhaps intended to obscure the bottom line: Tens of thousands of American troops will remain for at least three more years, some of them will be maimed or killed, and Obama offered no good reason why.

Posted on Jun 23, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.

Declare Victory—and Leave

Slender threads of hope are nice but do not constitute a plan. Nor do they justify continuing to pour American lives and resources into the bottomless pit of Afghanistan.

Posted on Jun 9, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Reflections on Israel: From Idealism to Ethnic Cleansing

When I was a youngster learning Jewish history in Jerusalem’s schools, the story was clear and even simple. “A land without people for a people without land.” Well, there are several striking problems with this aphorism.

Posted on Jun 8, 2011 READ MORE



Kenny Louie (CC-BY)

Hack Us and We’ll Bomb You

The Pentagon has decided to treat Internet-borne attacks on the United States as acts of war. The change is motivated in part by a brewing leet arms race with China and Russia. Essentially the U.S. is playing catch-up in what someone from the 1990s would call “cyberspace” and the military is buying time by creating, it hopes, a deterrent. (more)

Posted on May 31, 2011 READ MORE



Libyan Intervention Exposes European Disunity

The European intervention in Libya has provided a needed practical demonstration of the European states’ ability to influence world affairs, while at the same time discrediting the expectation that the European Union itself can or will conduct a united foreign and security policy.

Posted on May 24, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Speech Obama Should Have Given to AIPAC

Former “60 Minutes” producer Barry Lando imagines what the president might have said to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Posted on May 22, 2011 READ MORE


Time for Peace Is Running Out, Obama Tells Israel Lobby

Speaking to the AIPAC conference on Sunday, the president said “The status quo is unsustainable” and “Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve.” He also softened his call in a Thursday speech for a return to the 1967 borders, which didn’t go over well with Israel’s hard-liners—like the prime minister.

Posted on May 22, 2011 READ MORE



Stewart Butterfield (CC-BY)

Turning the Camera on the Police

What’s good for the police apparently isn’t good for the people—or so the law enforcement community would have us believe when it comes to surveillance.

Posted on May 19, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Reset: Arab Spring or Same Old Thing?

If you follow the words, one Middle East comes into view; if you follow the weapons, quite another.

Posted on May 17, 2011 READ MORE



NASA / Bill Ingalls

Queen to Visit the One That Got Away

The queen of England is headed to Ireland despite a bomb threat and other security concerns. She’ll be the first British monarch to visit the republic in 100 years, the first since the Irish—most of them, anyway—cast off British rule.

Posted on May 16, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Kyle D. Gahlau

SEALs, Grandma Obama Getting ‘Pumped Up’ Security

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says, “We are looking at what measures can be taken to pump up the security” of the mysterious Navy SEAL team that shot Osama bin Laden, after said SEALs expressed concerns. Over in Kenya, the government says it will inspect all visitors to the Obama compound.

Posted on May 12, 2011 READ MORE


Obama’s Luke Skywalker Moment

The first GOP presidential debate transpired last week with relatively little notice. For Republicans, that’s the good news.

Posted on May 9, 2011 READ MORE


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