Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "Throughout this year I've devoted substantial attention to WikiLeaks, particularly in the last four weeks as calls for its destruction intensified. To understand why I've done so, and to see what motivates the increasing devotion of the U.S. Government and those influenced by it to destroying that organization, it's well worth reviewing exactly what WikiLeaks exposed to the world just in the last year: the breadth of the corruption, deceit, brutality and criminality on the part of the world's most powerful factions."
Keeping State Secrets
Shay Toten reports for Seven Days: "You’ve probably heard of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Maybe even Bradley Manning, the Army private and former intelligence officer who allegedly turned over thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks. But chances are you don’t know the name Thomas Drake, a former Vermonter charged under the Espionage Act for mishandling classified information. His alleged crime? Drake blew the whistle on a wasteful surveillance program within the National Security Agency."
Top 5 Overlooked Stories of 2010
Photo: Christian Science Monitor
The Year in Trumped-Up Pseudo-Scandals
Free Trade Won't Cure Unemployment
Paul Krugman writes for Krugman and Co. via Truthout: "Now that there seems to be no hope of using reasonable fiscal policy to fix the United States's economy, I've been hearing a different idea lately: that trade can be a driver of economic recovery. Namely, the suggestion that the trade proposal South Korea and the United States recently agreed on can serve as a form of macroeconomic policy. Um, no. The problem in the United States is insufficient spending on American-produced goods and services - that is, a lack of demand."
Corporate America's Plan to Loot Our Pensions Is the Latest Battle in Decades-Long Assault on the Middle Class
SEC Describes Possible Criminal Activity in Unprosecuted Hedge Fund Case
Adam Zagorin and Michael Smallberg report for the Project on Government Oversight: "The Obama administration has stated it will aggressively go after Wall Street criminals, but is the government letting two defendants off easy? But what [the Obama administration has not] highlighted is a major case involving Pequot Capital Management, once the world’s largest hedge fund, and alleged insider trading in shares of Microsoft."
Where Things Stand: Foreclosure Paperwork Scandal
Marian Wang reports for ProPublica: "Some struggling homeowners are currently getting a temporary reprieve from foreclosure sales and evictions during the holiday season, but that doesn't mean all foreclosure cases have stopped moving through the courts -- and it doesn't mean we're done covering the developments in the foreclosure scandal either. Here's where things stand..."
Book Review: The Great American Stickup, by Robert Scheer
The Great American Stickup” maybe they would have been better prepared. Scheer’s book is a fairly detailed history of how the “financial services” industry – finance capital – integrated itself with the federal government. Reagan and then Bush Sr. had popularized the idea of deregulation, but it wasn’t until the 90s, first under President Clinton, that finance capital really came into its own in terms of political control. The main blow in this realm was the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act. This Depression-era law established certain limits on what banks could do. The main limitation was the separation of banks into commercial and investment banks. Only the former held accounts from customers that were insured by the federal government. In return, they were forbidden from certain of the more risky investment practices that investment banks could engage in."
Social Security's Future at Risk With New Tax Deal
Beyond WikiLeaks: The Privatization of War
Jose L. Gomez de Prado reports for UN Working Group on Mercenaries via Truthout: "Human rights violations perpetrated by private military and security companies are indications of the threat posed to the foundations of democracy when inherently public functions - such as the monopoly on the legitimate use of force - become privatized."
$385 Million TSA Program Fails to Detect Terrorists
Image: Troy Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: phunkstarr, Travelin' Librarian, Joshua Davis
Nearly One In Nine Federal Judgeships Are Now Vacant
Ian Millhiser reports for Think Progress: "The Senate adjourned earlier this week, even though it confirmed only half of the 38 judicial nominees awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. And the overwhelming majority of the blocked nominees cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee without a single negative vote."
EPA Presents Plan on Greenhouse Gases. Can Next Congress Stop It?
Mark Clayton reports for the Christian Science Monitor: "Setting the stage for a New Year battle royale between Congress and the White House over greenhouse gas emissions, the US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday laid out a timetable for the nation's largest carbon emitters – power plants and refineries – to begin curbing those pollutants."
Help Stop Destruction of the Free Internet Now
Photo: AP / Matt Rourke
The Art Of “Kicking The Can”—Uncertainty Rules When It Comes To Net Neutrality
Tim Wu writes for TechCrunch: "The new Net Neutrality rules put off most of the hard questions—but who does that help and hurt? When government faces a tough decision, it has three options: “Aye,” “Nay,” or “Kay”—“Kick the Can.” Postponement is attractive, and the Obama administration’s 2010 Net Neutrality rule has transformed can-kicking, the traditional domain of small children, into an art form. In its rule the FCC has successfully put off almost all of the hard Net Neutrality questions that have been buzzing around since 2000 or so. It is a remarkable feat to write a rule that actually creates more uncertainty than no rule, but by golly, the agency has done it."
Is This the Beginning of the End for the Open Internet?
John Naughton comments for The Guardian: "Readers with long memories will recall the celebrated Schleswig-Holstein question. This referred to a bundle of thorny diplomatic and other issues arising from the relations of two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein, to the Danish crown and to the German Confederation. It was the bane of diplomats' lives in the late 19th century, but we remember it nowadays mainly because of Lord Palmerston's famous wisecrack about it. 'The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated,' he said, 'that only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.'"
New Report Exposes Media Love Affair with Right-Wingers and the Fox News Worldview: 'Reporters Can't Get Enough'
Joshua Holland reports for AltertNet: "Forget about fake moon landings and Obama's birth certificate. The most enduring unfounded conspiracy theory in America is that our institutions of knowledge – the media, the academy and even science -- are biased in favor of liberals. The national media is based in large urban centers, so it should come as no surprise that conservatives would rarely see their views on strictly social issues well represented. But on matters of substance, we are talking about a corporate-owned media that pushes relentlessly for "free trade" deals, foreign wars and fiscal "austerity."