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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 1-10 of 159

The American Who Says He’s Been the Target of Five Air Strikes

June 18, 2018 He was born Darrell Lamont Phelps. He grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, moved down to the city, tried his hand at comedy, and later converted to Islam, adopting the name of Bilal Abdul Kareem. Now 46 years old, he lives in the Middle East, where he has a...

Congress May Declare the Forever War

June 13, 2018 A rising generation of Americans has never known peace. Very soon, in Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria or Somalia or Libya or perhaps elsewhere, an 18-year-old man or woman will be deployed by the United States military to risk his or her life in a War on Terror that began...

Rick Perry Should Not Be Allowed to Pick Nuclear Weapons

June 7, 2018 A generation ago, the House of Representatives debated a matter of huge civilizational consequence: whether building a neutron bomb would help deter conflict with the U.S.S.R. or make an apocalyptic catastrophe more likely by lowering the threshold for nuclear war. A republic demands that the people’s representatives decide such matters....

Barack Obama Reflects on Leaving the Presidency

December 30, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What was President Obama thinking in the moments just before he handed off power to Donald Trump? It’s a question that millions must have wondered about last January. Now they have an answer. In Obama’s first major interview as a private citizen, he told Prince Harry of Wales, the British...

A Police Killing Without a Hint of Racism

December 3, 2017 On January 18, 2016, Daniel Shaver, a traveling pest-control worker, was in between shifts at his motel, a La Quinta Inn and Suites in Mesa, Arizona. In the elevator, he met a man and woman who’d just finished their own workdays, the two later testified in court. Did they want...

The Disappearing Right to Earn a Living

November 17, 2017 In most states, a person who desires to install home-entertainment systems for a living, or as a part-time gig for extra cash, faces relatively few barriers to entry. This is work teenagers routinely do for grandparents after they make a technology purchase. But in Connecticut, a home-entertainment installer is required...

What the New JFK Papers Will Reveal About Excessive Secrecy

October 26, 2017 On Thursday, the United States government is scheduled to release as many as 100,000 pages of heretofore secret documents pertaining to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “The documents have either never been disclosed or been made public only in redacted form, and are due to be released...

Analysis: Giving the Deep State More Leeway to Kill With Drones

September 22, 2017 The Trump administration believes that the targeted-killing policy of its predecessor is too restrictive, and officials intend to give what some call “the administrative state” and others call “the deep state” the ability to use lethal force with less oversight. Expect more secretive killings by the CIA. Former President Barack...

How Venice Beach Became a Neighborhood for the Wealthy

July 25, 2017 Just over a week ago, The Wall Street Journal called the neighborhood where I rent, Venice Beach, California, the toughest place in the United States to build new housing, pointing to it as an extreme example of what is happening in a lot of wealthy urban enclaves. “Apartment developers have...

Parents Share How They Protect Their Kids Online

June 30, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Earlier this week, I asked parents to share their approach to protecting the privacy of their children as they begin to use devices with Internet access and social networks. The inquiry was inspired by an Aspen Ideas Festival talk where Julia Angwin and Manoush Zomorodi revealed how their reporting on...