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WikiLeaks has created a firestorm by giving 92,000 secret documents to three influential newspapers before releasing them on the Internet.  Do they contain anything new?  Will they alter public perceptions of the war in Afghanistan or change public policy.  Also, massive losses for BP in the oily wake of the Gulf spill, and the filibuster has gone from a tactic of last resort in the US Senate to a routine strategy for obstructing majority rule.  Is that what the Framers intended?

Banner image: Australian founder of whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, holds up a copy of yesterday's Guardian newspaper during a press conference in London on July 26, 2010. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

What Are Journalists For?

Professor Jay Rosen

Making News Massive Loss for BP in Oily Wake of Gulf Spill 7 MIN, 27 SEC

BP has announced a record loss of $17 billion, set aside $32 billion to pay for costs related to the Gulf oil spill and replaced CEO Tony Hayward with Robert Dudley, the first American to had Britain’s largest oil company. Julia Werdigier reports from London for the New York Times.

Julia Werdigier, New York Times

Main Topic WikiLeaks and the War in Afghanistan 32 MIN, 28 SEC

The White House, the Pentagon, national security think-tanks and some reporters say all those formerly secret documents released by WikiLeaks don’t contain anything new. But civilian casualties, Afghan corruption and Pakistan’s mixed loyalties are not what the American people have heard about from two presidents and their military commanders. Will public perceptions be changed? Will Congress start backing away? Will 92,000 raw reports from the battlefield provide new understanding of America’s longest war or more confusion than ever?  

Jay Rosen, New York University (@jayrosen_nyu)
Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast (@attackerman)
James Corum, US Army Reserve
Thomas Johnson, Naval Postgraduate School

Bad Strategies

James S. Corum PhD

Reporter's Notebook Filibuster Overkill 10 MIN, 42 SEC

The filibuster once was a tool of last resort in the US Senate, when a minority felt it was subject to tyranny by the majority. In the 1970’s there were less than two cloture motions a month, rising to three in the 1990’s.  Now it’s become a routine device to delay, and even obstruct, majority rule, according to Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in recent testimony before the Senate Committee on Rules.

Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute / Atlantic (@NormOrnstein)

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