Here’s a sort of bewildering, looking glass sort of story that illustrates just how deep the secrecy goes in the entire intel process. As part of the on-going Snowden story we were preparing a piece on the intelligence oversight process itself - particularly the mechanics of just how the congressional oversight committees work. Observers and critics have long argued that classified briefings are so circumscribed and controlled - often with members unable to bring their more technically knowledgable staffers along - that the process of oversight becomes more nominal than real. We spoke to a number of sources for the story and one was a former General Counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. And in the process of this reporting the Intel Committee forbade her from describing how the classified briefings are run. Mind you, not any actual classified material or information. Just the procedures of the classified briefings themselves, stuff like what members are allowed to ask and stuff like that. Here’s the story.
Earlier I posted a link to this incredible slideshow of the tunnels and caverns being excavated out of the bedrock under New York City for a new subway line and how they looked like moonscapes or the lunar excavations from 2001. TPM Reader TT explains for us just why they look that way …
The pictures of the 2nd Avenue Subway excavation are indeed impressive, and to someone like me, who has worked on mass excavation public works projects, they are nearly equivalent to porn (ok, maybe the sports section, or Car & Driver).Read More →
However, there’s a very specific reason why the walls and ceilings of the tunnels and stations look like “moonscapes”. That is not Manhattan Island bedrock, but rather the concrete which will cover it in perpetuity once those tunnels and stations are completed.
These are some of the most incredible pictures I’ve seen in some time. The New York City transit department is building an entirely new subway system on the east side of Manhattan. These are pictures of the tunnels and caverns they’re currently building right into the bedrock. Again, not terribly surprising. I know they don’t build these things in the top soil. But when you actually see them they look more like the lunar excavations from 2001. Just give these a look. They’re amazing.
70% of Americans oppose arming Syrian rebels.
I think we’ve found the photo that captures the modern GOP.
Passenger stands up on flight from Tokyo to Newark, says he’s poisoned everyone on the plane.
The flight is scheduled to arrive at 2 PM.
For all the back and forth about Phoenixes and what exactly he expected a spy organization to do, the one interesting and significant thing to come out of this Snowden live chat is his focus on what is technically possible within the NSA vs whatever policy restrictions are in place to protect privacy, constitutional protections for US citizens and so forth. It’s not even totally clear, reading these answers, how much Snowden and his nemeses within the Intel Community are even disagreeing about how things work.
I have to say Snowden loses a little credibility each time he suggests the US government might try to take him out with a hit squad. And now, al Awlaki really isn’t good evidence to the contrary.
Snowden explains why he didn’t just go to Iceland if that’s where he wanted asylum.
Montreal Mayor arrested on corruption charges.
There’s little doubt the mix of scandals and non-scandals are taking a toll on President Obama’s standing. Here’s the chart of his approval going back to Spring of last year …Read More →
Pope Francis blesses thousands of bikers and their Harleys.
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