This week The Dissenter has reason to celebrate as Jeff Kaye, who regularly writes and publishes to this blog, had his Truthout story on the various types of water torture the US military has employed featured on “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann. The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill came on to provide analysis of the story. Unfortunately, Kaye was not named but Olbermann did note Truthout broke the story. Watch the segment here.
Along with a story on the Bush administration use of water torture, Kaye also wrote a well-written and researched story on General David Petraeus. He examined Petraeus’ likely connections to FRAGO 242, an order instructing US forces “not to investigate any breach of the laws of armed conflict, such as the abuse of detainees, unless it directly involves members of the coalition.” The order was reported on by The Guardian when WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs.
Charlie Savage of the New York Times added the blog to his RSS feed after reading my reaction to the Justice Department’s successful busting of a sophisticated child porn network. I argued this showed there is no need for a data retention bill that would clearly violate citizens’ right to privacy. We went back and forth. I learned a little bit about the bust that I didn’t know…
It’s an honor to know that The Dissenter is on Savage’s radar. [If you haven’t, read his latest story on a judge, who wrongly claimed in her opinion on the Jeffrey Sterling case that someone could be charged with a felony for receiving classified information.]
The ACLU enjoyed a tiny victory in court this week when a judge sanctioned the CIA for the destruction of “torture tapes.” The judge acknowledged the ACLU had done a service by forcing the government to release details on the torture program that had been in place. However, it was a major loss has the culture of impunity was reinforced by the decision. The judge refused to charge the CIA or any individual officials with contempt.
A number of readers referenced a “secret law” that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) thinks the NSA is using to spy on Americans. The Dissenter mentioned this story in coverage of the ACLU’s new massive effort to uncover how law enforcement agencies in America are using location tracking for cases.
It’s a #longread but given the recent developments in Syria—the State Department recently issued this warning after Syria placed severe constraints on US diplomats—you may want to read the detailed post I put together on what US State Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal on US efforts to destabilize the Bashar al-Assad regime throughout the past five years.
There will be no “This Week in WikiLeaks” podcast this week. There may be another piece of entertainment in lieu of the podcast. So, if you missed last week’s episode, which was Part 2 of an interview with Joshua E.S. Phillips on his story on the Detainee Abuse Task Force and the obstacles he faced when trying to get information for his story from the military through Freedom of Information Act requests, here’s the link.
Thank you to everyone who visited the blog this past week. If you aren’t a Firedoglake member, you should join and participate in some of the discussions we have in the comments threads. The@FDLDissenter Twitter account currently has just over 120 followers. If you aren’t following the blog’s account yet, you should.