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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 151-160 of 165

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...

Video Blogger Grills Obama on Transparency

February 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A video blogger named Kira Davis, a stay-at-home mom in Orange County, California, impressed me Thursday in a Google Plus interview with President Obama by respectfully posing a tougher question than award-winning broadcaster Steve Kroft has ever managed on 60 Minutes . "You ran on a platform of really trying...

We're about to learn who was right about Obamacare

January 28, 2013 The passage of President Obama's health care bill and the Supreme Court's stamp of approval caused many conservatives to treat Election 2012 as their last chance to stop the legislation. Democrats celebrated their victory at the ballot box in part because the entirety of the Affordable Care Act will now...

The guilty conscience of a drone pilot who killed a child

December 19, 2012 This isn't an argument against drone strikes -- it is a critique of the way that they're presently carried out. It begins with a tragedy. The German newspaper Der Spiegel has published a moving profile of an American drone pilot who flew armed, remotely piloted missions over Afghanistan, one country...