Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses her article “FBI Conducts Threat Assessment on Antiwar.Com Journalists for Linking to Publicly Available Document;” the convoluted chain of events that led the FBI to investigate Antiwar.com; how the file ended up in a FOIA request for the “Israeli Movers” sidebar to the 9/11 attacks; the few barriers to intrusive government investigation into the lives and businesses of private US citizens, thanks in part to the PATRIOT Act; and why the FBI viewed Justin Raimondo’s column, book and link to a list of terrorist suspects as possible evidence of spying on behalf of a foreign power.
MP3 here. (22:36)
Blogger Marcy Wheeler, a.k.a. emptywheel, grew up bi-coastally, starting with every town in New York with an IBM. Then she moved to Poway, California, home of several participants in the Duke Cunningham scandal. Since then, she has lived in Western Massachusetts, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor, and — just recently — Western Michigan.
She got a BA from Amherst College, where she spent much of her time on the rugby pitch. A PhD program in Comparative Literature brought her to Michigan; she got the PhD but decided academics was not her thing. Her research, though, was on a cool journalistic form called the “feuilleton” — a kind of conversational essay that was important to the expansion of modern newspapers in much of the rest of the world. It was pretty good preparation to become a blogger, if a PhD can ever be considered training for blogging.
After leaving academics, Marcy consulted for the auto industry, much of it in Asia. But her contract moved to Asia, along with most of Michigan’s jobs, so she did what anyone else would do. Write a book, and keep blogging. (Oh, and I hear Amazon still has the book for sale.)
Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.
Marcy met her husband Mr. emptywheel playing Ultimate Frisbee, though she retired from the sport several years ago. Marcy, Mr. EW and their dog — McCaffrey the MilleniaLab — live in a loft in a lovely urban hellhole.