Marcy Wheeler


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; 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.

9 thoughts on “Marcy Wheeler”

  1. Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge on the missiles in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland: "Whether they are on ships or land, they are still a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike." To take out the Russian second strike force, i.e. the missiles surviving First Strike with Minuteman-3 and Trident-2. Both have an accuracy of less than 30 meters, enough to destroy a missile silo. The US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously according to Bob Aldridge. The missiles in the three countries lead to Launch On Warning, probably by 2014.

  2. The world will never know if the Arab spring may have inspired an overthrow or weakening of the Saddam Hussen regime. Because Bush/Cheney and Rumsfeld led our citizens to yet another war with no clear purpose (other than future oil stocks), no plan of occupation or existing.
    The planning and execution process used by the American government and military post-invasion could one day be a case study in what not to do when subjugating a populace. The result has been the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children; and the death of almost 5,000 Americans and tens of thousands of injured US soldiers and their families. The one sure thing was the lives of the average Iraqi was never given a though.
    And for Americans, most of whom never felt a single effect – there is no need to demand accountability for the will full actions of our leaders nor our own silent culpability. We distantly remember the deceptive "WMD's" which was replaced with the nonsensical "defending our freedom". How strange after all this effort, resources and lives paid to protect us we not only have fewer freedoms but also have no expectation of accountability – least of all for the leaders directly involved in this crime.
    We are left with dead and injured fellow Americans and a financially poorer nation. Lest we learn something through discourse our preference is to put the experience behind. All this while our leaders write self assured memoirs and retire on their war profits.
    The walk away for every American from this disastrous war is that where big moneyed politics are involved – there is no crime committed in the public name that cannot project huge wealth upon its instigators; and there is no lie too big to be told if one has the public trust. The rot starts at the top.
    As with most wars the immediate accountability falls to the scores scores of dead American youth who joined the military. Such betrayal over the longer term will serve to dilute the ideals of, and weaken, our democracy.

  3. So far Khaddafi has not been captured nor his sons or any of his top military commanders. To me this is dejà vu of Kabul ten year's ago and Baghdad eight years ago with the same kind of triumphalisme from the media and the foreign policy elites in and out of government that pushed for this war and we see the joy of the 'liberated people's' on CNN, BBC etc. But if Iraq and Afghanistan is anything to go by it's going to be a heck of a mess. Europe's Vietnam ?

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