The NSA Helped Israel Blackmail Palestinians

Scores of former members of Israeli military intelligence's very secret and quite elite Unit 8200 have publicly refused to collect information that is "used for political persecution" or "driving parts of Palestinian society against itself." Courteous allies at the NSA, we now know, helped make that spying possible. » 9/18/14 3:47pm Thursday 3:47pm

Foreign Countries Sure Are Donating a Lot to America's Think Tanks

If this New York Times website is to be believed, foreign governments have found the generous funding of U.S. policy institutes to be a handy way of covertly lobbying in Washington. But: Could multimillion-dollar donations, sometimes with explicit contractual stipulations, actually sway these great thinkers? » 9/16/14 4:10pm Tuesday 4:10pm

The Patents Used to Prove Chemtrails Are Not What They Seem

For over fourteen years, a U.S. Navy patent, no. 3899144, has been used to suggest that the federal government is secretly dispersing a powdered chemical substance in the atmosphere, for reasons that are murky and contested. It's a leap in logic nearly as old as the chemtrail conspiracy theories themselves. » 9/15/14 2:07pm Monday 2:07pm

There was a piece in Slate last year about Google, that I kept thinking about with respect to this book, about how Google's internal culture and goals are bound up in Star Trek. For example: Amit Singhal, the head of Google's search rankings team, told the South by Southwest Interactive Festival that "The destiny of… » 9/15/14 12:04pm Monday 12:04pm

You Could Be Selling Drugs Anonymously on Instagram​ in a Couple Hours

Illicit drugs: They're not for winners at coin-op arcades, according to former FBI director William Sessions. Members of Instagram's still thriving drug trade should take note. Dealing drugs illegally is also frowned upon, but technology has never made it easier or safer than it does on Instagram right now. » 9/13/14 10:30pm 9/13/14 10:30pm

New Exemptions Will Let Some Old U.S. Government Secrets St​ay Secret

It wasn't clear when Obama signed Executive Order 13526 early in his presidency what "extraordinary cases" government agencies could propose to exempt documents from automatic declassification after 50 years. Well, turns out, dozens of agencies qualified, mostly the obvious ones, but also the U.S. Mint. » 9/12/14 3:49pm 9/12/14 3:49pm

A Russian Bank Hired These Two Ex-Senators to Help End Some Sanctions​

Nice dudes with nothing to hide, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former Senator John Breaux (D-La.), filed an LD-1 disclosure form with both houses of Congress on the Friday before Labor Day, declaring themselves as lobbyists for Russia's Gazprombank regarding "sanctions." Sounds good. » 9/10/14 4:52pm 9/10/14 4:52pm

FBI File: Televangelist Had Ties to Mobsters and the PLO, But Not God

Along with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and his wife, Jan, Paul Crouch founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network in 1973 with the simple goal of spreading Our Lord's message of mercy and love. Along with mobsters, Paul Crouch was involved in a "narcotics transfer of funds" according to a recently declassified FBI file. » 9/09/14 6:15pm 9/09/14 6:15pm

200 Years of Swiss Bank Secrecy Is Ending. So, Where's the Money?

A funny thing's happened in Finland. Scores of its monied elite have filed requests to correct their tax data this summer—suddenly recollecting that they'd stashed earnings away in Swiss banks. Truly, this is the end of an era, thanks entirely to a U.S.-led crackdown on tax evasion. It's also a strange new beginning. » 9/08/14 3:30pm 9/08/14 3:30pm

Hillary Clinton Didn't Create ISIS, But America Can Still Blame Itself

Wise Men of Foreign Affairs have jumped at the chance to debunk a wild rumor that Hillary Clinton bragged about creating ISIS in her new memoir—truly an easy layup in the annals of punditry. The rumor even got the name of Clinton's memoir wrong. But, that's OK: The remaining facts still allow America to feel guilty. » 9/05/14 3:33pm 9/05/14 3:33pm

Just a 400-Kilo Drug Bust at Paris Hilton's​ Family Ranch in Cañas

Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) confiscated roughly 400-kilos of cocaine and $1.5 million at a private airstrip on the Hilton family-owned Rancho Horizonte in the country's northern Cañas region. Three Nicaraguans were among the arrested, (realistically) because of leftover Iran-Contra bullshit. » 9/04/14 4:37pm 9/04/14 4:37pm