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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Smile Of The Day: CIA "Busted"

Shoe Phone
"Missed it by this much!"

Judge Orders Government to Immediately Suspend Secret Censor’s Ability to Interrupt Military Commission:
It was later revealed by the government that the third party monitoring the hearings who was responsible for the interruption during Nevin's discussion about the secret overseas prisons where Mohammed was detained was the "original classification authority," likely a reference to the CIA.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pre-9/11 CIA Obstruction: Mere Infighting?

Spy vs. Spy
From Ché (What You Call Your) Pasa
(Good blog, BTW)

My interest is peaked, and my sensibilities tweaked, by this recent article posted at by Paul Church and Ray Nowosielski, Ex-Army Officer Accuses CIA of Obstructing Pre-9/11 Intelligence-Gathering. Peaked:
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer joins a growing list of government officials accusing former CIA director George Tenet of misleading federal bodies and sharing some degree of blame for the attacks. Shaffer also adds to a picture emerging of the CIA's Bin Laden unit as having actively prevented other areas of intelligence, law enforcement and defense from properly carrying out their counterterrorism functions in the run-up to September 2001...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alex Jones, Piers'd Off And Scared

Jones - A paranoid rant?

After Alex Jones appeared on Piers Morgan's joint to delight voyeurs of unhinged polemic everywhere, he posted the above video to document his narrow escape from the "Bloomberg mafia." Compelling, yes. Is it nutty, though, or consciously mendacious? Is there really a cadre of scary elitists who are sufficiently threatened by this "truth-teller" to have unleashed their thugs on him? Or is what Jones is reporting here merely a credibly expected reaction from law-enforcement to a man who just went on CNN and spouted, with spittle-flecked force, the nouveau-revolutionary rhetoric of Tea Party discontent? I say perhaps understandably, since the context of this "conversation" revolves around the sanctity of keeping said discontents armed with semi-automatic weapons.

What the hell is going on with this guy?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Zero Dark Thirty" - A Review

Zero Dark Thirty is a ripping good yarn. And that's the problem with it.

A word about the torture sequences that begin the saga: I've noticed a somewhat lively debate over whether or not the film "condones" torture, and I find it a silly argument in this case. This film does not present torture to exploit the fantasies of reptilian machismo in the repetitive and adolescent way of Fox's mostly Bush-era 24 (and as, frankly, most cinematic and televised drama cartoons it.) It simply presents it to the viewer.

I would say that critics on both sides of this "debate" are merely projecting their own feelings on the matter. Reality, once again, as Rorschach inkblot. I was repelled by what I saw, and I felt as much sympathy for the haplessness and moral ambiguity of the torturers as I did for their victim. But I see no reason to indict the filmmakers for reaching for the steady gaze of realism (perhaps they did not adequately present the extent of such brutality, but I ask: Is that even possible? In a film? I think we sometimes ask too much of the silver screen.)

(Contains spoilers.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Be Vigilant For Your Civil Liberties, But Remember That You've Always Lived Under Dictatorship


A friend of mine was just eliminated for consideration of employment because her background credit-check wasn't up to the requirements of the potential employer.

In America, the freedom-lovin' democracy, you must have a job in order to live. Oh, there are ways around that dictum, but these have their own consequences. One can suffer the contempt of family and friends - who are, after all, deep-steeped in the propaganda of our meritocracy themselves, and often are left to bear the burden of feeding and housing you. If you are of sterner stuff (or if desperation is your only companion), you can hit the streets and become a member of the "underground economy entrepreneurs guild," but most variations of that career choice will invite the tender mercies of our prison-industrial complex - even if your gravest crime is blocking a sidewalk. There is, of course, the "opportunity" of disability, but this does not wholly protect you from the pariah-status of "freeloader" from many of your fellow citizens, and frankly it is all-too-often a wearying task to remain jake with the bureaucracies set up to provide you with the stuff of life.