To The Point

Welcome to To The Point's Tumblr. Warren Olney's To The Point is following the stories beyond the soundbites. Keep checking back here for curated news and shows.

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Yes, the F.B.I. could have stopped 9/11. It had a warrant to establish surveillance of everyone connected to Al Qaeda in America. It could follow them, tap their phones, clone their computers, read their e-mails, and subpoena their medical, bank, and credit-card records.

What we’re reading today: 2 stories about torture and “Zero Dark Thirty”

Zero Dark Thirty opens next week. In today’s New York Times, Scott Shane explores how the film is reopening the debate on torture, waterboarding and the capture of Osama Bin Laden. 

From the article:

"What has already divided the critics, journalists and activists who have watched early screenings is a more subtle issue: the suggestion that the calculated infliction of pain and fear, graphically shown in the first 45 minutes of the film, may have produced useful early clues in the quest to find the terrorist leader, who was killed in May 2011."

This Salon piece on feminism and torture is also interesting. From the article:

"Personally, I find the symbolic significance of this agonizing and confrontational scene more alluring. Bigelow, the first and only female director to win an Oscar, knows something about being a woman in a macho environment."

While we don’t know the investigators’ other methods, the FBI has an impressive arsenal of tools to track Broadwell’s digital footprints — all without a warrant.

The latest figure caught up in the Petraeus scandal is General John Allen, current Commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The Pentagon says he exchanged tens of thousands of pages of e-mail with one of the women caught up in the FBI’s Petraeus investigation. (Jill Kelley, a socialite friend of David and Holly Petraeus, told the FBI she’d been getting threatening emails. The FBI traced them to Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell and discovered that she and Petraeus had an affair. Petraeus resigned as Director of the CIA.) Have national security or military effectiveness been compromised?  Is there a cover-up of the CIA’s role in Benghazi, or are routine cases of high-level hanky-panky being magnified by the politics of exposure?

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