Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses the CIA double-agent at the center of the latest underwear bomb plot; Saudi Arabia’s role in infiltrating AQAP and providing the US with intelligence inside Yemen; why alleged bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri hasn’t been captured or killed yet, despite having his high-profile plots foiled three times already; Congressman Peter King’s investigation of media coverage on the CIA’s double-agent – since honest journalism “may jeopardize the war on terror;” the Yemeni government’s incentive to inflate the threat of Al-Qaeda terrorism; why the Saudi government might be pretending to fight AQAP while surreptitiously pursuing a private agenda that has nothing to do with US security; and how out-of-control US government secrecy makes investigative journalism very difficult.
MP3 here. (22:11)
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.