The American Bear


When the call comes for him to fire a missile and kill a militant — and only, Colonel Brenton said, when the women and children are not around — the hair on the back of his neck stands up, just as it did when he used to line up targets in his F-16 fighter jet. Afterward, just like the old days, he compartmentalizes. ‘I feel no emotional attachment to the enemy,’ he said. ‘I have a duty, and I execute the duty.’ “Drone Pilots, Waiting for a Kill Shot 7,000 Miles Away” | (via nickturse)

I thought I’d add some snark here, but I’m speechless. What do the sane say to something like this?

(via nickturse)

If the secretive and powerful have become more secretive in response to exposure, the response of a serious journalist should be to make sure the secrecy is investigated even more closely. It most emphatically should not be to shower scorn and ridicule on those who took risks in trying to expose the powerful…[Far] more offensive is the simpleminded acceptance of the government’s position: if you dare expose us, we’ll become even more secretive. Keller is pushing back at the wrong forces in this debate. In doing that, he is merely the latest depressing example of the incestuous embrace of the political and media establishments in this nation. Bill Keller Needs to Drop the Snark and Do Serious Journalism | Samir Chopra

[Keller] concludes his column with this: ‘The most palpable legacy of the WikiLeaks campaign for transparency is that the U.S. government is more secretive than ever.’ Wrong. The real legacy is that hundreds of millions of citizens in dozens of countries, including our own, know a good deal more about bad (and in some cases good) deeds carried out by their own governments, including torture, corruption, and killing of civilians in war. Greg Mitchell | Bill Keller With New Blast at Julian Assange

The New York Times is Hella Tired of NYPD Blocking Its Photographers


New York Police officers continue to interfere with photographers and reporters trying to cover news, and a New York Times photographer who was prevented from shooting an arrest at an Occupy Wall Street rally last weekend said police had reason to hide their actions from the press.

The department’s treatment of reporters in the field has been so bad, media outlets say, that 13 news organizations signed a second letter to the New York Police Department from a New York Times lawyer on Wednesday, demanding responses and follow-up after their first scathing criticism of the department’s handling of the press. The new complaint to police comes after two officers prevented Times freelance photographer Robert Stolarik from photographing a protester’s arrest at Sunday’s rally in support of Occupy Oakland, the letter says. The letter, which Capital New York posted in full, cites a Times storythat reported “officers blocked the lens of a newspaper photographer attempting to document the arrests.” 

The police’s interference with the press extends past Occupy protests, the organizations say. An inspector threatened New York Daily News photographer David Handschuh at last year’s Macy’s Day parade, theNational Press Photographers Association writes, and another Daily News reporter had his press credentials pulled while covering a fire in December, Capital New York reported.

We’ve reached out to the New York Police Department for comment, and will update this account when they respond.

Update: The department responded to The Times lawyers with a letter of its own, explaining the scope and nature of its updated media training. Scroll to the bottom of this post for more.

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(via occupyonline)