By Far the Worst Thing Trump Did Was Flirt With Nuclear War With North Korea

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speak after meeting in the Demilitarized Zone on June 30, 2019. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images Just before noon Wednesday, when President Joe Biden took the oath of office, the nuclear codes in the briefcase carried by a military aide to Donald Trump became invalid. The United States and the world survived the four … Continue reading “By Far the Worst Thing Trump Did Was Flirt With Nuclear War With North Korea”

Midterm Curse Awaits Joe Biden, but He Has Had 50 Years to Prepare

No president in American history has had more personal experience with the importance of midterm elections than Joe Biden will, upon his inauguration today. And that familiarity may make the difference in his presidency. Biden knows that he is swimming against historical currents and that he has little room for error. Every president since Harry … Continue reading “Midterm Curse Awaits Joe Biden, but He Has Had 50 Years to Prepare”

Joe Biden Is President, but Donald Trump’s Legacy of Violence Looms

Now that Donald Trump is gone from office, what’s next? This week on Intercepted: There are a slew of unanswered questions about the siege of the Capitol. Americans are being asked to believe that the national security apparatus — the same one that charged nearly 200 people en masse, including journalists and observers, with felony … Continue reading “Joe Biden Is President, but Donald Trump’s Legacy of Violence Looms”

America’s Occupied Capital Awaits a President’s Inauguration

The capital is a city of soldiers. They are in the different states of alertness that soldiers inhabit depending on what’s happening around them. They are patrolling, they are on guard, they are sleeping — and they are gawking like tourists at the statues of a nation that has been stunned into a mixture of … Continue reading “America’s Occupied Capital Awaits a President’s Inauguration”

Federal Prison Took Nine Months to Investigate Reality Winner’s Abuse Claim

On New Year’s Eve, Billie Winner-Davis, the mother of National Security Agency whistleblower Reality Winner, received a panicked call from the Fort Worth, Texas, prison where her daughter is serving a more than five-year sentence. Winner revealed to her mother that she had filed a sexual assault complaint in March under the Prison Rape Elimination … Continue reading “Federal Prison Took Nine Months to Investigate Reality Winner’s Abuse Claim”

With No Allegation to Investigate, UMass Creepily Probes Alex Morse’s Romantic Life Instead

A recently released report by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has added new evidence of the state Democratic Party’s involvement in the public attack on Alex Morse just ahead of his primary against Rep. Richard Neal. It also found that Morse, formerly an adjunct professor at the school, did not violate university policies, yet the report … Continue reading “With No Allegation to Investigate, UMass Creepily Probes Alex Morse’s Romantic Life Instead”

Big Tech Critics Alarmed at Direction of Biden Antitrust Personnel

A last-minute campaign by a coalition of groups working to check monopoly is being launched to stave off what they worry could be a series of calamitous antitrust appointments by President-elect Joe Biden. The move follows reports on Friday from the American Prospect and The Intercept, confirmed and expanded on Sunday by Reuters, that Biden … Continue reading “Big Tech Critics Alarmed at Direction of Biden Antitrust Personnel”

What You Should Know Before Leaking a Zoom Meeting

As more and more meetings take place over the videoconferencing service Zoom, it stands to reason that journalists will receive more and more audiovisual material leaked from such gatherings. This new leak medium poses unique challenges, requiring care to avoid exposing sources through digital watermarks or images of the user interface. At least one Zoom … Continue reading “What You Should Know Before Leaking a Zoom Meeting”

As Fed Chair, Janet Yellen Discounted Economic Desperation. The Pandemic Will Likely Force a Different Approach.

Joe Biden pledged that his nominee for treasury secretary would be “someone who I think will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party … progressive to the moderate coalitions.” In many respects, that is true. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement that “[Janet] Yellen is the right choice for all working … Continue reading “As Fed Chair, Janet Yellen Discounted Economic Desperation. The Pandemic Will Likely Force a Different Approach.”

Illinois Will End Cash Bail — and Limit Use of High-Tech Incarceration

Some organizers in Illinois recall getting “laughed out of the room” for supporting the abolition of money bail five years ago. But on January 13, Robert Peters, a longtime advocate for ending cash bail and now a state senator from Chicago, saw his legislative proposal to end money bail pass the General Assembly, along with … Continue reading “Illinois Will End Cash Bail — and Limit Use of High-Tech Incarceration”

Oil Industry Reconsiders Donations to Election Deniers — but Has Its Own Big Lie

A parade of oil and gas companies nobly announced this week that they will review their political donations in the wake of last week’s riot in Washington, D.C. — an attempt to distance themselves from the spectacle of election fraud conspiracists and white supremacists attacking the Capitol building and temporarily halting the election certification process. … Continue reading “Oil Industry Reconsiders Donations to Election Deniers — but Has Its Own Big Lie”

Watchdog Report on “Zero Tolerance” Leads to Calls for Prosecutions, Reparations

When faced with the heart-wrenching accounts of children systematically separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump administration officials routinely relied on the same defense: that the enforcement of their so-called zero tolerance policy did not aim to break up families. If those separations did happen, they often said, it was no different than what … Continue reading “Watchdog Report on “Zero Tolerance” Leads to Calls for Prosecutions, Reparations”

Capitol Mob Has Roots in Anti-Lockdown Protests

Stuck at home last spring, newly furloughed or just newly bored, tens of thousands of Americans joined anti-lockdown groups on Facebook. Largely comfortable, mainly white people living in states from Oregon to Florida, the anti-lockdown converts initially railed against masks and restaurant closures, trading videos from demonstrations they attended at state capitols. After Minneapolis police … Continue reading “Capitol Mob Has Roots in Anti-Lockdown Protests”

Capitol Mob Has Roots in Anti-Lockdown Protests

Stuck at home last spring, newly furloughed or just newly bored, tens of thousands of Americans joined anti-lockdown groups on Facebook. Largely comfortable, mainly white people living in states from Oregon to Florida, the anti-lockdown converts initially railed against masks and restaurant closures, trading videos from demonstrations they attended at state capitols. After Minneapolis police … Continue reading “Capitol Mob Has Roots in Anti-Lockdown Protests”

“There Was a Very Real Fear That We Would Not Make It Out”: Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Her Escape From the Capitol Riot

  When a mob attacked the Capitol building on January 6th in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, found herself like many other lawmakers forced to flee the chamber and take cover. While congress was locked down, several Republicans refused … Continue reading ““There Was a Very Real Fear That We Would Not Make It Out”: Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Her Escape From the Capitol Riot”

The DOJ’s Promised Probe Into Capitol Riot Raises Alarm About Prosecutorial Overreach

At least 170 people are currently under investigation in connection to the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, and officials expect that number to “grow to the hundreds in the next coming weeks” — a criminal probe that the top federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., has described as “unprecedented, not only in FBI history, but … Continue reading “The DOJ’s Promised Probe Into Capitol Riot Raises Alarm About Prosecutorial Overreach”

Maryland Democrats Rethink Planned Domestic Terror Bill After Criticism

The day after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Maryland state legislators said that they planned to introduce a bill that would create a new domestic terrorism law to address “issues that arose in our nation’s capital yesterday” as well as a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October. … Continue reading “Maryland Democrats Rethink Planned Domestic Terror Bill After Criticism”

Arizona GOP Chair Urged Violence at the Capitol. The Mercers Spent $1.5 Million Supporting Her.

The storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 has brought to the fore a host of activists on the extreme right whose violent rhetoric helped to create the conditions for an assault that left five dead. One of the most prominent of those activists is Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward. On December 19, Ward … Continue reading “Arizona GOP Chair Urged Violence at the Capitol. The Mercers Spent $1.5 Million Supporting Her.”

Doctor Who Joined Capitol Attacks Leads a Far-Right Campaign Against Covid-19 Vaccine

The day before she entered the Capitol with the throngs of insurrectionists, Dr. Simone Gold gave a speech in which she urged people not to get the coronavirus vaccine. “You must not comply if you do not want to take an experimental biological agent deceptively named a vaccine; you must not allow yourself to be coerced,” … Continue reading “Doctor Who Joined Capitol Attacks Leads a Far-Right Campaign Against Covid-19 Vaccine”

Dustin Higgs, the Last Man to Be Executed in Terre Haute, Maintains His Innocence

On the night Lisa Montgomery was executed by the Trump administration, Alexa Cave Wingate arrived at the Springhill Suites in Terre Haute, Indiana, at 9 p.m. The hotel sits at the intersection of U.S. Highway 41 and Interstate 70. The interstate leads all the way to Baltimore, where Wingate’s brother, Dustin Higgs, had been sentenced … Continue reading “Dustin Higgs, the Last Man to Be Executed in Terre Haute, Maintains His Innocence”

Schumer’s Insurrectionist No-Fly List Is a Civil Liberties Nightmare

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for the FBI, Transportation Security Administration, and Department of Homeland Security to put rioters who stormed the Capitol on a no-fly list, barring them from airline travel in the U.S. “Any of those who were inside the Capitol should not be able to fly and should be … Continue reading “Schumer’s Insurrectionist No-Fly List Is a Civil Liberties Nightmare”

Defense Department Anticipated Election-Related Unrest Before Capitol Riot

Following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters who believed that the presidential election had been stolen, the Pentagon was quick to distance itself from the security failure, saying that it was not privy to any intelligence indicating that National Guard support would be needed. But the U.S. military had its own intelligence that … Continue reading “Defense Department Anticipated Election-Related Unrest Before Capitol Riot”

Behind Big Tech’s Crackdown on the Right Is a Fight Over Biden Antitrust Policy

Big Tech, staring down the barrel of the one gun it has always feared — federal antitrust enforcement — pinned its hopes throughout 2020 on the possibility a new administration would take a gentler approach. Early signs were good, like when Democratic nominee Joe Biden named Apple’s top lobbyist to his four-person committee in charge … Continue reading “Behind Big Tech’s Crackdown on the Right Is a Fight Over Biden Antitrust Policy”

Here Are the Donors to Tea Party Group That Helped Organize Pre-Riot Rally

Donors to the Tea Party Patriots Foundation, one of the groups that helped organize the January 6 rally preceding the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, include the Jewish Community Federation and late billionaire Republican donor Sanford Diller, according to a 990 form submitted to the IRS by the tax-exempt nonprofit in 2019. The right-wing … Continue reading “Here Are the Donors to Tea Party Group That Helped Organize Pre-Riot Rally”

Thousands of U.S. Public Housing Residents Live in the Country’s Most Polluted Places

In some ways, they couldn’t be more different. Gerica Cammack is a Black woman from Alabama; Floyd Kimball is a white man from rural Idaho. Yet they’re facing a similar ordeal. They’re both single parents, forced by difficult circumstances to live in government-subsidized housing surrounded by pollution that is, or could be, poisoning their children. … Continue reading “Thousands of U.S. Public Housing Residents Live in the Country’s Most Polluted Places”

On Telegram, the Paramilitary Far Right Looks to Radicalize New Recruits Ahead of Inauguration Day

In the wake of last week’s deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol Building, a publicly accessible chat group devoted to sparking a civil war is telling its thousands of subscribers that the moment they have all been waiting for is here. Since the events last week, “Boogaloo Intel Drop,” a channel on the Telegram messaging … Continue reading “On Telegram, the Paramilitary Far Right Looks to Radicalize New Recruits Ahead of Inauguration Day”

In Wake of Capitol Riot, GOP Legislatures “Rebrand” Old Anti-BLM Protest Laws

Within one day of last week’s attack on the Capitol, at least three states introduced legislation to criminalize protest. The bills, advanced by Republican lawmakers in Florida, Mississippi, and Indiana, do not represent new strategies designed specifically to prevent future right-wing insurrections. Rather, they draw from a set of policies that numerous state legislators introduced … Continue reading “In Wake of Capitol Riot, GOP Legislatures “Rebrand” Old Anti-BLM Protest Laws”

In Wake of Capitol Riot, GOP Legislatures “Rebrand” Old Anti-BLM Protest Laws

Within one day of last week’s attack on the Capitol, at least three states introduced legislation to criminalize protest. The bills, advanced by Republican lawmakers in Florida, Mississippi, and Indiana, do not represent new strategies designed specifically to prevent future right-wing insurrections. Rather, they draw from a set of policies that numerous state legislators introduced … Continue reading “In Wake of Capitol Riot, GOP Legislatures “Rebrand” Old Anti-BLM Protest Laws”

Sheldon Adelson’s Fortune Helped Turn the GOP Into the Party of Israeli Apartheid

With the death of 87-year-old billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the Republican Party has lost its biggest benefactor. Adelson’s legacy, however, will live on for generations, not only in his Israeli-born wife Miriam, who is expected to continue giving millions of dollars to the Republican Party, but in the shape of the U.S.-Israel relationship, Adelson’s … Continue reading “Sheldon Adelson’s Fortune Helped Turn the GOP Into the Party of Israeli Apartheid”

The Trump Precedent: No President Should Be Above the Law Again

The halls of the U.S. Capitol are thundering with demands for President Donald Trump to be held directly responsible, alongside his foot soldiers, for the siege of Congress on January 6. There have already been a couple dozen arrests, and many more are certain to come. There is an active federal investigation of the murder … Continue reading “The Trump Precedent: No President Should Be Above the Law Again”

Dispatches From Trump’s Killing Spree

One of three people facing the federal death penalty this week has won a stay of execution in two separate federal appeals courts. Lisa Montgomery’s attorneys argue that she is not competent to face execution and has serious mental illness and brain damage stemming from “a lifetime of sexual torture she suffered at the hands of caretakers.” Days before President Donald … Continue reading “Dispatches From Trump’s Killing Spree”

Capitol Mob May Say Trump Made Them Do It. But That Hasn’t Always Worked as a Defense.

Carrying Confederate flags and white supremacist symbols, an unruly mob of mostly white men invaded the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Broadcast by television news cameras outside and cellphones within, the violent and unsuccessful insurrection ended in the death of five people and, in the following days, dozens of arrests. There was Adam Johnson, dressed … Continue reading “Capitol Mob May Say Trump Made Them Do It. But That Hasn’t Always Worked as a Defense.”

Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs Helped Plan January 6 Event, Lead Organizer Says

The head of the House Freedom Caucus, Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, helped plan the January 6 event that culminated in a storming of the Capitol, according to Ali Alexander, a lead organizer of the gathering. Alexander, a pro-Trump personality, was an early founder of the “Stop the Steal” movement, and helped bring together … Continue reading “Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs Helped Plan January 6 Event, Lead Organizer Says”

Pelosi Quietly Thanks Democrats Pushing to Expel Members of Congress

A slew of rank-and-file Democrats made headlines over the weekend calling for the investigation and possible expulsion of fellow members of Congress who backed President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. But few took note as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quietly seemed to bless those efforts in a letter to Hill Democrats. … Continue reading “Pelosi Quietly Thanks Democrats Pushing to Expel Members of Congress”

As the Revolving Door Spins, Lobbyists Hired for Top Jobs in Congress Yet Again

Beyond the headlines around the unprecedented storming of Capitol Hill by rampagers and violent extremists, a more mundane group of Washington, D.C., insiders is trickling into the halls of government. The newly elected Congress is hiring a wave of corporate lobbyists to fill key staff roles. The embrace of lobbyists makes Congress a welcoming environment for … Continue reading “As the Revolving Door Spins, Lobbyists Hired for Top Jobs in Congress Yet Again”

Sticking Point in Afghan Peace Talks: Two Forever Prisoners at Guantánamo

After close to two decades of fighting, the U.S. war in Afghanistan might be close to an end. Against long odds, the Afghan Taliban seems not only to have survived its conflict with the United States but is today negotiating terms in Qatar-based talks about its future role in Afghan politics. One of the remaining issues … Continue reading “Sticking Point in Afghan Peace Talks: Two Forever Prisoners at Guantánamo”

A Mob Attacked the Capitol for Trump. Now What?

Pro-Trump protesters gathered during the “Million MAGA March” from Freedom Plaza to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12, 2020. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images I spent the last year talking with people from militant groups on the American right and always driving toward the same question: And then what? You’re … Continue reading “A Mob Attacked the Capitol for Trump. Now What?”

Capitol Hill Assault Revives Calls for Domestic Terrorism Law, but Civil Liberties Groups Are Wary

Since Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, evidence has piled up showing that many had violent intentions. Photos of nooses and zip-tie handcuffs and videos of assailants trying to smash their way through barricaded doors have highlighted how much danger members of Congress were in before they were evacuated to safety. The … Continue reading “Capitol Hill Assault Revives Calls for Domestic Terrorism Law, but Civil Liberties Groups Are Wary”

Trump’s Execution Spree Is Not About Him. It’s About Us.

One week before her client was scheduled to die in the federal execution chamber, capital defense attorney Kelley Henry shared a photograph with reporters assembled on a Zoom call. It showed an old trailer in a grassy field in Osage, Oklahoma. This was the spot where her client Lisa Montgomery was repeatedly raped as a … Continue reading “Trump’s Execution Spree Is Not About Him. It’s About Us.”

Speculative “Blank Check” Companies Surround Tony Blinken, Biden Administration

There is a likely apocryphal company from the 1720 South Sea financial bubble, a long-forgotten stock market craze in England caused by the rapid appreciation and collapse in the stock of a proposed slave-trading company. Companies were created left and right, many with unclear purposes, including one venture: “For carrying-on an undertaking of great advantage but … Continue reading “Speculative “Blank Check” Companies Surround Tony Blinken, Biden Administration”

Montana Tribes Hard-Hit by Covid-19 Brace for Republican Takeover

When Montana’s Legislature met at the end of December to vote on whether visitors to the state capitol building should have to wear masks, one lawmaker gave an impassioned plea. “I have no stomach to talk about this abstractly; my community has been hit hard,” said Sharon Stewart Peregoy, a Democratic state representative and member … Continue reading “Montana Tribes Hard-Hit by Covid-19 Brace for Republican Takeover”

America Is Not Exceptional. Its History of Violence Cannot Be Denied.

A broken window in the aftermath of the pro-Trump violence at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 7, 2021. Photo: Sputnik via AP Images I am intimately familiar with violence, the kind that destroys everything, including your country. The kind of violence stemming from nationalist rhetoric that powerful people push in order to cling … Continue reading “America Is Not Exceptional. Its History of Violence Cannot Be Denied.”

After Pelosi Threatens Impeachment Unless Trump Resigns, Biden Says He Supports “What the Congress Decides”

Joe Biden has told people close to him that he supports impeaching President Donald Trump, Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., has told members of Congress, according to congressional sources with knowledge of those conversations. Richmond is a senior adviser to Biden and was co-chair of the president-elect’s campaign. He plans to resign later this month from … Continue reading “After Pelosi Threatens Impeachment Unless Trump Resigns, Biden Says He Supports “What the Congress Decides””

Rep. Cori Bush on Republicans Who Fueled Attack on Capitol: “That Blood Is on All of Their Hands”

Rep. Cori Bush’s first resolution in Congress calls to investigate and potentially expel Republican members who upheld Donald Trump’s lies disputing the results of the presidential election, inciting a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday that left five people dead. The freshman member from St. Louis — who was a leader of the 2014 protests … Continue reading “Rep. Cori Bush on Republicans Who Fueled Attack on Capitol: “That Blood Is on All of Their Hands””

Donald Trump Unleashed His Cult on American Democracy

Trump supporters wave American and Confederate flags at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Shannon Stapleton/ReutersIt happened here. Donald Trump unleashed his cult on American democracy on Wednesday. QAnon conspiracy theorists, far-right Proud Boys, … Continue reading “Donald Trump Unleashed His Cult on American Democracy”

New York’s Prison Transfers Increased Covid-19 Risk for Sick, Elderly Men

Months after New York had become a global epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, state officials began quietly moving dozens of elderly men with underlying health conditions from prisons across the state to a facility close to the Canadian border. The transfers, which began in June 2020, after the virus had spread widely and caused several deaths … Continue reading “New York’s Prison Transfers Increased Covid-19 Risk for Sick, Elderly Men”

Republican Congressman Legitimizes Violence as Response to Election Dispute

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., one of the most outspoken lawmakers in support of Donald Trump’s false claim that the presidential election was stolen, floated the possibility of violence as a reasonable form of political resistance while speaking on local Alabama talk radio today. On Wednesday, Brooks was one of the opening speakers at the “Save … Continue reading “Republican Congressman Legitimizes Violence as Response to Election Dispute”

Some U.S. Allies Expressed Concern About the Capitol Insurrection — and Others Did Not

You find out who your real friends are when a crisis hits. The old adage has rarely been truer than it is today in the United States. America’s quasi-religious image of itself as a beacon of democracy to the world, however flawed, was traumatically undermined Wednesday by the sacking of the U.S. Capitol building. Vandals … Continue reading “Some U.S. Allies Expressed Concern About the Capitol Insurrection — and Others Did Not”