Marc Ambinder on Muck Rack

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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor, Defense One and Contributing Editor — The Atlantic, The Week Magazine, GQ, Defense One

Largely carbon. Contributing editor @theweek, @GQmagazine, @TheAtlantic.

Why the Sony hack changes everything — In 2009, back before Edward Snowden showed the world how the National Security Agency had conquered cyberspace, its former director, and his then-boss, retired Adm. Mike McConnell, appeared on 60 Minutes to urge Americans to prepare for a massive wave of increasingly damaging cyber-attacks by foreign governments and well-funded terrorist groups.

Why Obama was right to give Cuba a 'full bailout' — In 2004, then-State Sen. Barack Obama was asked about the half-century-old economic and political embargo of Cuba.

America isn't special because it apologizes — America is exceptional in many ways. Apologizing for our sins is not one of them. In the past week or so, how many times have you heard someone say that what makes America unique among other nations is that even though we are capable of heinous mistakes, we alone have the moral insight to recognize them, to provide an accounting of them, and to change because of them?

What the media gets wrong about Jeb Bush — Jeb Bush's unexpectedly early interest in the Republican nomination is a pundit's dream. It has already occasioned a thousand and one good tweets about his language: he will "actively explore" a bid, which, yes, haha, is funny, but it's also the phrase used by the Federal Election Commission to determine whether a candidate can raise money for the purpose of a presidential campaign.

George W. Bush 'ran the country like a cable network,' and other political insights from Chris Rock — The latest issue of Rolling Stone features an interview with the comedian and actor/director Chris Rock. And when the talk veered to politics, Rock had some pretty smart and subtle insights about the way American politics work. 1. There's a real distinction between knowing about current events and knowing about current events.

Why Americans agree with Dick Cheney on torture — Attention, those who have strong reservations about the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques: We're swimming against the tide. Half of the American public believes that the CIA's torture program was justified, even as nearly three quarters believe that water-boarding is torture. (Only 29 percent believe that it is not; the rest do not know.)

3 key insights about Obama from Chuck Todd's The Stranger — The image of himself on the cover of Chuck Todd's The Stranger might have seemed "lonely" to the president when he glanced across its cover at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington.

Torture apologists must live with this undeniable truth: Torture doesn't work — It would take you nearly a full day to read the full Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA's brutal interrogation programs, and then the response of the CIA, and then the responses of former CIA directors, and then the op-eds of the "enhanced interrogation technique" amen corner.

10 crucial details from the Senate's CIA torture report — Good summaries of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report are here, here, and here. Here's what I found most interesting and notable, beyond the flashier headlines about, say, rectal feeding. 1. Twenty-six people who were detained should not have been detained, the CIA acknowledges. That's 26 out of 119, or 22 percent.

Mark Wahlberg should not be pardoned — In April,1988, Mark Wahlberg, 16, set upon a Vietnamese immigrant named Thanh Lam, and, with a wooden stick, beat him so severely that Lam fell to the ground, unconscious. Later that night, according to contemporaneous accounts, Wahlberg found another Asian man, Hoa Trinh, and, calling him a "gook" and "slant-eye," smashed in the face.
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Dec 17, 2014

FOIAing the @CIA is like asking trying to have a casual conversation with a grammar dictator. If a period goes astray, they'll throw shade.

Dec 17, 2014

RT @MikeGrunwald: Miami ex-mayor, son of Castro prisoner --> @Manny_A_Diaz For 50 years we've tried it one way. The time has come for a dif…

Dec 17, 2014

North Korea's hackers are trained in China, incidentally. Not sure how that fits in with what the U.S. government will say tomorrow.

Dec 17, 2014

U says N Korea "centrally involved" in #SonyHack -That's not (in cyberspeak) the same thing as "directly responsible" or "originated from"

Dec 17, 2014

If the NSA was screening all incoming (foreign to domestic or transiting) data packets for known and predicted...

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