It’s that time again, once every four years, when nations from around the globe gather…
… to ponder why Americans don’t like soccer.* None of the typical explanations are compelling. Thus I rant, first in a series, in part because it will tweak eric, tongue firmly in cheek, and you may talk about games that you’re watching in comments if you like, or you may rant back:
A friend pointed me to this, I’d missed it—it’s Kathy Olmsted on the British radio program(me) “Little Atoms” back in July, talking about how, as the host says, “once upon a time Americans would be concerned about the Catholics or the Jews, but there’s a distinct point where the government became the focus” of conspiracy theory—and other insights from this book, which, as you know, you should buy if you can.
The daily editors of 3 Quarks Daily will now pick the top six entries from these, and after possibly adding up to three “wildcard” entries, will send that list of finalists to Professor Dan Dennett on September 11. We will also post the list of finalists here on that date.
The contest works like this: first, the Internet gets to vote for their top 20 favorites, and then philosopher Daniel Dennett gets to pick three winners.
So, if you’d like to vote for me, go here. Since you can only vote once, and my series is split up into three entries, I ask that if you’re voting for me, vote for the first post (and maybe we can ask them nicely to read the other two, if it makes it to the next round.)
It is shameless to post, but it’s the only way I will get Ari to vote for me.
Plus, I think if I win, I can probably convince Eric to let me pimp the blog. Maybe with little racing flames or a giant…
Chris Hayes has the cover story in this week’s Nation with a case why we need a new Church Committee to investigate CIA abuses. Or rather, we need something even better than the Church Committee.
As historian Kathy Olmsted argues in her book Challenging the Secret Government, Church was never quite able to part with this conception of good Democrats/bad Republicans. Confronted with misdeeds under Kennedy and Johnson, he chose to view the CIA as a rogue agency, as opposed to one executing the president’s wishes. This characterization became the fulcrum of debate within the committee. At one point Church referred to the CIA as a “rogue elephant,” causing a media firestorm. But the final committee report shows that to the degree the agency and other parts of the secret government were operating with limited control from the White House, it was by design. Walter Mondale came around to the…
So, this is a Fox News video called “Under Attack Again”, which says the CIA is suffering much as it did during the Church Committee era, and a bunch of stuff you should cock a skeptical eye at. But wait — who’s that strikingly expert voice we hear in the middle?
In fairness, they did go to someone who knew what she was talking about. But I bet she had more to say than we heard. I think if you want to know some of that you should probably buy this book. Which I’m sure you have, but maybe you need an extra one or two or three, to give to your friends. Buy some for your conservative friends and tell them you saw the author on Fox News. Go on, it’ll help the economy.
Which is to say, it’s a bad sign that “despite Obama’s campaign promises, his approach to secrecy on issues of national security will likely not depart significantly from that of George Bush”. But you don’t want to take my word for it—read further down and look whose expert opinion TPM Muckraker leans on:
Kathryn Olmsted, a professor of history at UC Davis who has written extensively about the CIA’s track record of secrecy, agreed with Aftergood about the significance of the administration’s position on the interrogation tapes material.
“It’s a bad sign that they’re not going to break as much with the Bush administration as they had said they were going to,” Olmsted told TPMmuckraker. “I really want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they certainly seem to be going down that path.”
Olmsted described the CIA’s position on the issue as more egregious than Obama’s decision to …
As Abraham Lincoln would say. And it’s with Lincoln, on the highly honorable cover, that you’ll find Ari in this week’s TLS.
Even after winning the presidency, Barack Obama continues to channel Abraham Lincoln. Obama arrived in Washington via the same train route that Lincoln did in 1861. He swore the oath of office on Lincoln’s bible. He chose the same lunch that Lincoln ate on his inauguration day. And with the nation mired in a dizzying array of crises, Obama says that he looks to Lincoln for inspiration. Ron Paul, meanwhile, did not secure the Republican nomination, despite the passion of his supporters. Nevertheless, he, too, continues to use Lincoln for political purposes. On April 15, Paul and hundreds of thousands of limited-government activists took to the streets to rail about the long reach of federal authority. In addition to claiming that income tax is unconstitutional…
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This blog is a blog about history, Yiddishkeit, and the Muppets, neither exclusively nor necessarily in that order. And as William Gibson said about this very blog (no, really), “History can save your ass.” Yiddishkeit and the Muppets are just extras.
is the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and a senior lecturer at Cornell University. He teaches courses on European history, modern military history, guerrilla war, and the role of popular will in waging war.
is an associate professor of history at UC Davis. He is the author of A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, which won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize in 2004, and his new book, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, will be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2012.
is a professor of history at UC Davis. She is the author of Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 (Oxford, 2009); Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley (North Carolina, 2002); and Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (North Carolina, 1996).