AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Conor Friedersdorf

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.
Results 61-70 of 78

How to Prevent the IRS From Abusing Its Power Again

May 17, 2013 Almost everyone agrees that the IRS behaved badly when it singled out conservative activist groups for extra scrutiny. As Ezra Klein put it, "because the Internal Revenue Service holds so much private data, and because it can make people's lives absolutely miserable, it is of paramount importance in our political ...

How Can We Understand Benghazi Without Probing the CIA's Role?

May 13, 2013 After catching up on coverage of the Benghazi attack over the weekend, there's something that has me very confused: why are so many journalists ignoring the fact that the Americans there were mostly CIA? Here's how The New York Times began a Benghazi story published online Sunday: "A House committee ...

Analysis: The CIA Shouldn't Get to Vet the Torture Report

May 8, 2013 Remember the report on Bush-era torture that Senate staffers spent so much time researching and writing? The one that would give Americans their best yet opportunity to be informed about and assess the morality and effectiveness of interrogation techniques employed in our names? "The CIA is assembling what former officials ...

Analysis: Should We Trust Government?

May 8, 2013 In President Obama's address at Ohio State University on Sunday, he began byexhorting the graduates to be conscientious, active citizens throughout their lives. Then he pivoted. "You've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all ...

Analysis: Remember the Charges Before You Reassess W.'s Legacy

April 26, 2013 With the Bush Administration's legacy being revisited, it's worth taking another look at a story that surfaced a couple of years ago and was, for reasons I don't understand, immediately forgotten. Retired Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, who served the Bush Administration as a senior official in the State Department with ...

Analysis: Calling Out President Obama on Guantanamo Bay

April 16, 2013 There is a 35-year-old man who has been held prisoner by the United States for 11 years. The charge filed against him? None. He has never been charged. His defense at trial? He was never tried either. The threat he poses to the United States? He isn't thought to pose ...

In a Secret Drone War, Immoral Kill Deals Will Always Tempt Us

April 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Critics of America's drone war have long insisted that the secrecy surrounding it all but guarantees abuses. How could it be otherwise? CIA agents are permitted to operate as international assassins, killing without any transparent standards, their actions kept secret even after the fact. The Obama Administration has taken pains ...

Commentary: Let's Make Drone Strikes Safe, Legal, and Rare

March 27, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Plenty of pundits on the left and right still support targeted killing, as do voters, military brass, think-tank fellows, and Congressional majorities. It is nevertheless worth giving the issue another look, because the Obama Administration's apologists seldom acknowledge the strongest arguments against our particular drone policy. Their rhetoric, however effective, ...

Senator Graham: America Has Killed 4,700 People With Drones

February 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Strange things happen when a country kills people but refuses to give even a rough estimate of how many. Have American drone strikes killed 2,000 humans? 3,000 humans? 4,000 humans? 5,000 humans? 6,000 humans? No one knows for sure. President Obama avers that citizens are right to debate the killings. ...

Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet

February 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Science writer John Horgan's feature on the many ways drones will be used in coming years is interesting throughout, and terrifying in the passage where he describes an effort to build micro-drones that are, as the U.S. Air Force describes them, "Unobtrusive, pervasive, and lethal." Air Force officials declined a ...