Blogging History: LOVEINT for NSA stalkers; Highlights from the IG's torture report; Appreciating typewriters

One year

LOVEINT: NSA spooks illegally stalking their romantic interests: LOVEINT is the NSA practice of stalking people you are romantically interested in, using the enormous, illegal spy apparatus that captures huge amounts of Americans' (and foreigners') Internet traffic. It is so widespread that it has its own slangy spook-name.

Five years

Highlights of the Inspector General's torture report: These are the atrocities whose architects and perpetrators Obama has refused to prosecute: threatening to murder a suspect's wife and children, threatening to rape a detainee's female relatives in front of him, beating prisoners, simulated execution, threats of execution, hanging suspects by their arms until interrogators believed their shoulders had dislocated, stepping on ankle-shackles to cause severe pain and injury. The IG reports that these detainees came into custody on the basis of "assessments that were unsupported by credible intelligence" (e.g., random accusations from untrustworthy sources, such as grudge-bearing neighbors who turned them in for cash bounties), and the Obama administration has announced that it will continue the CIA's program of "extraordinary rendition" (kidnapping suspects and sending abroad to be tortured in other countries).

Ten years

Appreciation for a forgotten typewriter: Examining my Olympia again, I'm struck by how powerfully its form and image embody and express the idea of writing, as does almost any typewriter.