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December 11, 2017

The CIA and Me: How I Learned Not to Love Big Brother

Photo by Andrea Yori | CC BY 2.0 In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Washington pursued its elusive enemies across the landscapes of Asia and Africa, thanks in part to a massive expansion of its intelligence infrastructure, particularly of the emerging technologies for digital surveillance, agile drones, and biometric identification. In 2010, almost a decade into this secret war with its voracious appetite for information, the Washington Post reported that the national security

The Predictable Casualities of Counterterrorism

Photo by Kevin Krejci | CC BY 2.0 Julian Cadman, the 7-year old Australian killed in last weeks’ terror attack in Barcelona, was a predictable casuality. Western political leaders can rise above the cycles of violence that produce such attacks anytime they like, but choose not to, essentially guaranteeing an endless stream of victims. Such victims are then used to justify further military and counterterrorist responses of the kind that produce more terrorists and more

The Breakthrough: Behind the Scenes of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Bid for President

by Jessica Huseman We watched on election night as dejected Hillary Clinton supporters poured out of New York City’s Javits Center, but we didn’t see her campaign team wrestling with how and when to concede. And in the months leading up to that moment, we watched Clinton give long, disjointed speeches, but we didn’t see the internal campaign drama that went into writing them. Then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in February 2016 (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) That’s

Failure to Set Cost of Carbon Hampers Trump’s Effort to Expand Use of Fossil Fuels

by Andrew Revkin President Donald Trump’s efforts to boost fossil fuel extraction face a courtroom hurdle of his own making. His March 28 executive order “promoting energy independence and economic growth” rescinded the Obama administration’s calculation of the “social cost of carbon” — a metric that had been central to the process of crafting and justifying government rules addressing human-driven climate change. All government regulations are subject to cost/benefit analysis. The “social cost of carbon”

Is Anybody Home at HUD?

by Alec MacGillis This story was co-published with New York magazine. In mid-May, Steve Preston, who served as the secretary of housing and urban development in the final two years of the George W. Bush administration, organized a dinner at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, D.C., for the new chief of that department, Ben Carson, and five other former secretaries whose joint tenure stretched all the way back to Gerald Ford. It was an event

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