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 84

Analysis: Some Leaks Are More Illegal Than Others

June 13, 2013 As critics of Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, vilify him for breaking the law and his promise to never reveal classified information, the press critic Jack Shafer adds vital and astonishingly unremarked upon context: the Obama Administration leaks highly classified information all the time. So did the Bush Administration. Does ...

Secrecy Undermines the Ability of Congress to Function as the Framers Intended

June 7, 2013 In an item at Wonkblog, Ezra Klein reflects on the legislature's role in the surveillance programs revealed over the last 48 hours. "We don't know how much Congress has been told about these programs, though it seems they have known at least some details for quite a long time," he ...

Commentary: President Obama Doesn't Welcome Debate, He Actively Thwarts It

June 7, 2013 Look at what White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest kept tellingreporters about the NSA's seizure of Verizon customer records. "The president welcomes a discussion of the tradeoffs between security and civil liberties," he said as he finished reading a prepared statement. In the question-and-answer session with the press that ...

Analysis: Your Tax Dollars at Work: The DEA Renovates Its Propaganda Museum

May 30, 2013 Starting Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Agency is temporarily closing the two main exhibit galleries in its Washington, D.C., museum -- yes, it runs an actual museum -- for a "major renovation and update." Its website details what we can expect: "new interactive content, an expanded history timeline, iPad stations with ...

Analysis: Is It Too Hard to Fire Misbehaving Feds?

May 23, 2013 Under the headline, "Yes, heads should roll at the IRS," Ezra Klein points out that, at the very least, "A number of IRS employees developed criteria that was politically biased both in appearance and in effect. They were reined in once by their superiors, and then they changed the criteria ...

Analysis: The Audacity of Eric Holder Admitting Team Obama Killed 4 Americans

May 23, 2013 Attorney General Eric Holder has just sent a truly incredible letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In it, he acknowledges that the U.S. has killed four of its own citizens in drone strikes. Casual news consumers may find that confusing. Hasn't there already been an extremely public debate about the ...

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 ...