So damned much goes uncovered now. But some papers didn’t cover this stuff even when they had plenty of staffers. Pulitzer sniffers, a lot of them. Covering a police beat was beneath them.

But that’s how you learn. Really. And it was infuriating, fun, horrifying and uplifting. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Family Band

As I’ve mentioned, I just love musical documentaries, and tonight I’m watching “Family Band: The Cowsills” on Showtime. God, what a talented bunch they are — and what obstacles they’ve overcome. Whew!

The plot thickens

Remember the Jonathan Pollard spy case? Read this from

Now, documents that the CIA has been fighting to withhold for years, released to relatively little public notice in recent months, show that Pollard’s advocates may have been right. The documents were obtained and released by the nonprofit, private, National Security Archive. A federal panel agreed with the Archive that the CIA had no basis for continuing to withhold its 1987 Damage Assessment.

The whole idea behind Pollard’s conviction and life sentence was that he was harming the United States by spying on it for Israel. But one recently-released CIA document, a “damage assessment” of the case from 1987, suggests that the crux of what he was collecting for Israel was not about the United States at all.

The CIA document shows that Pollard’s Israeli handlers were particularly keen on getting information that they believed vital to Israel’s defense, including material on Egyptian missile programs, Syrian unmanned planes, and Soviet air defenses. They were especially interested in what Soviet advisers were talking to their Syrian clients about.

The new revelations are important because they cast a more nuanced light on a hot-button issue—and give credence to the notion that even allies constantly seek to obtain information from each other that they believe essential to their own security—regardless of how they obtain it.


It’s been snowing since I got up, so I’m in a good mood.

It’s not “real” snow. It’s the kind that only lays on cars and lawns, but it’s daytime and I get to see it, which always makes me happy. But I’m worried that this year’s snowfall here is less than two inches. This means a long hot summer with more drought. Thanks, oil companies and politicians!

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