Don't forget: Rupert Murdoch contaminated Britain's media and political culture before he founded Fox News in America. The most ironic/iconic reminder is from Dennis Potter, the playwright who memorably scalloped Murdoch in his last interview in 1994.
The interview -- Potter had been diagnosed with terminal cancer -- is incredible to watch, a quarter century later. To keep going, Potter had to sip liquid morphine from a flask unscrewed by his host, Melvyn Bragg, who offered to take a break. "It's better to go on," Potter said.
"As a writer, you will know that one of the favorite fantasy plots of a writer is--a character is told you've got three months to live, which is what I was told, and who would you kill? I call my cancer, the main one, the pancreas one, I call it Rupert, so I can get close to it."
Fox News has poisoned, with its far-right conspiracy theories, far more Americans than Breitbart, Gab, 4chan, Alex Jones, etc. But Rupert Murdoch and his heirs -- who control Fox -- have not been held responsible. My latest story is about them. theintercept.com/2018/11/04/fox…
Fox isn’t watched by everyone but for those who watch, Fox is everything. It's possible to imagine the attacks of the last weeks even if Hillary Clinton was president -- but impossible to imagine them without years of Fox News spreading white nationalism. theintercept.com/2018/10/30/fox…
The U.S. editor of the Financial Times has proposed an advertiser boycott of Fox News. That's a good idea though it won't solve the problem, because Fox gets more revenue from cable subscribers than advertisers.
In 2007, Lt. Col. Paul Yingling shocked the Army by writing an article, "A Failure in Generalship," that accused generals of dereliction in Iraq. Yingling, now a civilian, has a new article calling on soldiers to morally resist unlawful orders from Trump to deploy to the border.
Yingling is perhaps the most respected military dissenter of his generation, so his new article is notable. He calls Trump's deployment a political stunt that puts junior officers "in a morally hazardous position which will only grow worse with time." taskandpurpose.com/advice-troops-…
Yingling warns junior officers that "court protections for military personnel refusing to follow unlawful orders is more theoretical than practical," adding that senior leaders will be "squeaky clean" in public but will pressure soldiers to engage in these illegal activities:
More than a quarter century ago, I covered the war in Bosnia for the Washington Post and wrote a book about it. I saw a once-stable country torn apart by a violent consortium of nationalists, bigots, and opportunists. What I learned is unfortunately relevant to America now.
I hoped my book's epilogue would never resonate as it does for America these days. "I am now more aware of the fragility of human relations, and more aware of what being a Jew can mean," I wrote ages ago. "I learned this from the Muslims of Bosnia, who made two fatal mistakes."
"They thought that being a minority group no longer mattered in civilized Europe, and they thought the wild beast had been tamed. They failed to realize that although a person might attach little importance to his religion, other people might take notice one day."
False flag claims don't go away. Nearly 25 years ago, a Serb shell killed 68 Bosnians in a Sarajevo marketplace. To this day, many Serbs contend the bombing was faked -- dummies instead of bodies -- or Bosnians bombed themselves to increase global condemnation of Serbs.
I mention this in the context of false flag claims about the parcel bombs mailed to Obama, Clinton, CNN and others. The folks who create and share these claims are bringing to life a narrative that can poison minds for decades to come. Some of these things do not die.
False flag claims succeed without convincing people by just making them pause, providing an excuse to not take sides. It was a bonus if people believed Serb lies about blood-smeared dummies (that era's crisis actors). Here's what I wrote about Karadzic's aims in my Bosnia book:
The Saudi regime's abuses go back a long ways -- the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen are the latest examples. More than a decade ago, I visited Saudi Arabia and talked with a human rights activist virtually running for his life. I'll never forget the conversation.
I was working on a book about oil and secured a two-week visa for Saudi Arabia. Ibrahim al-Mugaiteeb, who led Human Rights First, was frequently interrogated and jailed. He was parking his car at his home in Dhahran when I called his cellphone.
The following description of our conversation is drawn from my book, "Crude World," which was published in 2009.
Life is too short to fact-check @MaxBoot but this shouldn't take long. His description -- of the genocide against Bosnia's Muslims -- as a tit-for-tat "cycle of violence" between Serbs and Bosnians is dead wrong, a stunning rewriting of ethnic cleansing.
I covered the Bosnia war for the Washington Post and wrote a book on it. There's no question among historians -- there was a planned Serb attack on Bosnia that didn't have any military provocation. Bosnian massacres as a trigger & justification for what Serbs did? It's absurd.
There was no "cycle of violence" between Serb & Bosnian fighters as the war began. Serb paramilitary groups swept through Muslim parts of Bosnia in 1992 and killed wantonly. This photo by Ron Haviv shows the most notorious group, the Tigers, as they killed civilians in Bijeljina.
Here's a new piece of the "beach week" puzzle of Brett Kavanaugh's high school era. His senior beach week (a summertime blast for private school students from the Washington D.C. area) was in June 1983. A month later, Landon School issued a warning about the celebrations.
In a letter about beach week, Landon said the "tone seems to be one of over-indulgence, of going beyond the usual limits, and of ignored or rejected inhibitions ... it does seem at this point that it is getting out of hand in that independence is being equated with license."
The letter was quoted in this April 22, 1988 article in The Discus, the student newspaper at National Cathedral School. The article noted that "most of the activity, including an extremely large amount of alcohol consumption, seems to take place in unchaperoned houses."
A supreme lie, in three takes. Take one: Mark Judge writes, in his memoir about his time at Brett Kavanaugh's high school, about a "Bart O'Kavanaugh" vomiting and passing out from booze during "beach week" on the Maryland coastline.
Take two: In Brett Kavanaugh's nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy asks if he is the "Bart O'Kavanaugh" described in Judge's book. "You'd have to ask him," Kavanaugh says, referring to Judge.
And now, the third and final act, in which the New York Times publishes a 1983 letter about beach week that Brett Kavanaugh wrote to his friends, signing it "Bart" (which was his nickname).
It's been noted that the July 1 entry on Brett Kavanaugh's calendar shows an outing that fits the description of the party where Christine Blasey Ford says she was assaulted. People whom she says were at the party are mentioned on the July 1 entry.
Kavanaugh was asked about the names. He said two of those names are Mark Judge and PJ Smyth -- both of whom Ford said were at the party where she was assaulted. Kavanaugh said "Timmy" is Timothy Gaudette, whose house they were going to that evening.
The yearbook for Kavanaugh's class has a page for Gaudette that lists his 1983 home address in Vienna, Va. That's across the Potomac River from where Kavanaugh and Judge lived and from where Ford says the attack happened (near the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.).
I can't forget this passage from Mark Judge's book. It's about a party at his house in 1982, and it speaks to the terrible fate of girls who attended these gatherings. Remember, Judge is a good friend of Brett Kavanaugh's, by all accounts they drank and partied together.
The passage starts on page 69, when Judge is preparing his home for the party (his parents were away). "We hid all of my parents' china and silverware in the attic. We moved all the good furniture into my father's den and locked the door."
A steady stream of kids came to the house. Cars were lined up and down the street. "By midnight," Judge wrote, "I was completely hammered." Someone had kicked a hole in a ceiling from the house's attic. He told everyone to leave. He got in a fight with a kid who delayed.
The culture of "house parties," where Brett Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted girls in high school, was described in a memoir by Mark Judge, one of Kavanaugh's best friends at Georgetown Prep. The memoir is called "Wasted," and the following are passages from it, chronologically.
The first significant reference to high school drinking and girls comes on page 34, where Judge describes drinking as "one of the major forms of recreation at Prep."
Later on that same page, Judge writes that seniors would go straight from class to a bar (the drinking age was 18 at the time).
Surveillance is a culture not just a technology. That's a core idea behind my latest story for @theintercept, which examines a somewhat disgruntled NSA staffer who described himself as the "curmudgeon" of signals intelligence. theintercept.com/2018/08/15/nsa…
Rahe Clancy, who worked for the NSA for more than three decades, wrote a series of articles for the agency's in-house newsletter. The articles, published by @theintercept today, are from the cache leaked by Edward Snowden. Clancy believed the NSA had become too corporate.
The agency, Clancy believed, was drowning in corporate jargon and losing sight of its mission. In his last article before retiring, he wrote about a meeting in which he could barely understand what was being said; the "corp-speak" was nearly unintelligible.
Should news organizations publish videos that show executions by terror groups or state forces? The Intercept today is publishing a horrifying video from Cameroon that other news outlets have refrained from sharing. Here's why we're doing it. theintercept.com/2018/07/26/cam…
It's a hard call and what we decided is not a criticism of others. I'm writing this thread to explain our reasoning, and to draw attention to what happened. The executions were apparently carried out by military forces from a key U.S. ally, Cameroon.
Three factors coalesced for us: the horrifying execution of women and children, its connection to the United States, and the fact that an authenticated and translated version of the full video was not available to the public.
Alas, at their World Cup celebration in Zagreb, the players of Croatia invited a far-right singer onto the stage, Marko Perkovic, who is nicknamed after the machine gun (Thompson) he used in the Balkan wars. ft.com/content/73b55b…
Perkovic is regarded as a supporter of Croatia's fascist World War II regime, the Ustase. At his concerts, Ustase slogans are shouted out. A few years ago, he sang at a concert to support Croat generals convicted of war crimes in Bosnia. balkaninsight.com/en/article/fas…
During the World Cup, I tweeted that while Croatia itself should not be portrayed as a plucky fairy tale, its players, most of whom weren't alive during the Balkan wars, should not be held responsible for what happened back then. I spoke too soon.
Tearing down or defacing monuments/murals/signs is not graffiti, strictly speaking, but it is an act of aesthetic destruction and creation (in the sense of creating a new monument by altering the original).
Kudos to Croatia but please, @FranklinFoer and other sports writers, don't turn its complex role in the Balkan wars into a fairy tale. Franjo Tudjman, Croatia's president back then, would have faced war crimes charges if he hadn't died first. theatlantic.com/international/…
In 2013, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ruled that Tudjman was part of a "joint criminal enterprise" that led to the rape and killing of Muslims and Serbs in Bosnia in 1992 and 1993. nytimes.com/2013/05/30/wor…
I covered the Balkan wars and reported on the Croatian militia controlled by Tudjman, the HVO, as it seized control of a swathe of Bosnia. In 1999, I wrote this op-ed about Tudjman for the Times. nytimes.com/1999/05/31/opi…
With the leaders of the two Koreas meeting today, it seems a good moment to post this photo from 1988, the year of the Summer Olympics in Seoul, when I carried the Olympic flame for a mile during its relay around the south. This was outside Kwangju, and yes, it was a spectacle.
Backstory: I was one of the few foreign journalists living in South Korea at the time, and the Olympic committee thought it would be good publicity for some of us to run with the flame. Athletic ability, how you looked in vintage shorts -- it did not matter, obviously ;)
The white uniform was obligatory, including the headband and gloves.
1) My reaction too. When Michael Anton was named to the NSC, I reported on an array of anti-Muslim and anti-diversity comments he had made over the years. My story got a lot of attention and feedback from readers, but virtually none from political reporters in DC.
2) About Islam, he wrote on an obscure bulletin board (styleforum.net) that "“I look at the world and I see a whole movement of people who want to kill me, destroy my country, and end my civilization."
1) The Trump news in James Comey's book is important but has overshadowed a number of startling and problematic passages the former FBI director wrote on law enforcement. I published a story today about the errors and biases in the @Comey memoir. theintercept.com/2018/04/18/jam…
2) Comey wants Americans to live in what he plainly describes as real fear of the machinery of law enforcement. Here's how he describes it on page 62, in the context of his long-ago prosecution of Martha Stewart.
3) The title of his book, "A Higher Loyalty," refers to what he portrays as an altruistic devotion to the rule of law. But it's a type of devotion that veers into ruthlessness. Here's what I wrote on that:
184) Everything that was doomed, tragic, wrong about the U.S. invasion of Iraq became apparent in the days before the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Firdos Square. On April 6, 2003, the Marines who would tear down the statue arrived at the Diyala Canal outside Baghdad.
185) More than two weeks ago, I tweeted a photo that I took of an Iraqi corpse on a bridge, and said I would tell its story. The story begins today.
186) The bridge at the Diyala Canal was about 9 miles from the center of Baghdad. When McCoy's battalion approached the bridge, Iraqi soldiers shot at the Americans with RPGs and small weapons. I got into an open-backed Humvee that drove toward the fighting.
1) I'm not sure how to make people remember or care that 15 years ago the United States invaded Iraq, setting off a war that continues to this day, with several hundred thousand Iraqis dead, millions turned into refugees. I covered the invasion for the New York Times Magazine.
2) Though I'm a writer, I shot photos during the invasion as I drove a rented Hyundai SUV from Kuwait into Iraq via Safwan, then up the spine of the country to Nasiriya, Diwaniya, Hilla, Kut and finally Baghdad. Here's the Hyundai on March 19, 2003. It's clean--that will change
3) The photographer I worked with, Laurent vander Stockt, drove his own SUV. After several failed attempts to get into Iraq, one time turned back at gunpoint by U.S. soldiers, we finally got through, via what we guessed was a minefield (I followed Lauren tracks). Here's Laurent.