Islands In The Clickstream

Ferg’s Law (reprised)

May 1, 2009

This is how the Internet works: Somebody in Kentucky finds one of my columns and asks to reprint it in a newsletter. Our email exchange begins a dialogue – in this case, on Buddhism, on-line spirituality, and how the world works – and in one of her exchanges, my email pal says, “I have a […]

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Thanksgiving 2006

November 28, 2006

By Richard Thieme Thanksgiving 2006 Part One This final Islands in the Clickstream is an attempt to arrive at an expression of thanksgiving (a holiday in America last week) by a most orthogonal route. First of all, I am keenly aware of gratitude toward people who manage some online lists in which I am allowed […]

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An Interview with David MacMichael

April 19, 2006

David MacMichael is a former CIA Analyst, US Marine and historian. He was a senior estimates officer with special responsibility for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the CIA’s National Intelligence Council from 1981 to 1983. He resigned from the CIA rather than falsify reports for political reasons and testified at the World Court on the illegalities […]

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A Quiet Betrayal

January 26, 2006

I was speaking recently with a historian at one of our intelligence agencies. I asked if there was a period of time we could discuss openly and he said he would talk about anything that happened up to the Second World War. Since I was born in 1944, he was saying, in effect, that if […]

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The Torture-endangered Society

January 18, 2006

Steven Miles is a professor of medicine and bioethics at the University of Minnesota. His forthcoming book, which has the working title Oath Betrayed: Military Medicine and the War on Terror, stemmed from his attempt to learn why the U.S. medical staff in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay did not report or intervene to stop […]

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High Time for Torture

December 20, 2005

Torture is all the rage these days, getting plenty of ink in the liberal press, as if it’s something new. It’s not. We have been torturing one another for centuries. Our intelligence professionals have perfected the means and the methods and have created opportunities for learning how to do it right. Torture, from beating, lacerating, […]

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An Old Hand Reflects on More Than Judith Miller

July 14, 2005

So this morning we are told they could not find a bunk for Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter jailed for keeping her sources confidential, and she had to sleep on the floor of her cell. Meanwhile Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth Corporation returned to luxurious surroundings after being acquitted on all counts in his […]

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Booting Up

April 27, 2005

Sharon Begley’s science column on Fridays in the Wall Street Journal is a constant delight. She frequently illuminates research that has profound implications for the future of human identity and behavior, often derived from biology or physics. Biology, of course, is displacing computer technology as the sexy domain for mind-boggling inquiry. Several years ago I […]

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I Was a Victim of the KGB

March 16, 2005

S. Eugene Poteat, President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) is no fool. A senior CIA official for thirty years, now retired, Poteat was a scientific intelligence officer and program manager for special reconnaissance systems for the U-2, SR-71, and other reconnaissance vehicles. He received the CIA’s Medal of Merit and the NRO’s […]

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The Meaning of Sacrifice

December 20, 2004

Words are used frequently today to mean exactly the opposite of what they mean. So maybe we need to remind ourselves that sacrifice means … sacrifice. To make a sacrifice means being willing to sacrifice ourselves. It means giving up our time, our energy, even our lives. It doesn’t have to be splashy. It can […]

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