Max Blumenthal

Recent Articles

Data Debase

Steven Spielberg's 2002 film Minority Report depicted a futuristic dystopia in which a "Department of Pre-Crime" jails people for acts they haven't yet committed. In an apparent case of life imitating art, Spielberg's Shoah Foundation -- a nonprofit the film director established in 1994 to videotape and preserve the testimonies of Holocaust survivors -- has handed over the words of 51,000 Holocaust survivors to aid a team of government-funded researchers in developing a revolutionary technology inspired by elements of the Pentagon's scuttled domestic-surveillance program, Total Information Awareness (TIA). TIA, which was blocked by Congress, was to have been a mix of high-tech voice-recognition and data-mining programs that would have made up the largest domestic-surveillance system in the United States. Using TIA, intelligence analysts and law-enforcement officials would have been able to trawl through Americans' private records -- including banking transactions, e-mail accounts and...

California Confidential

"It's a victory. A total victory!" Howard Kaloogian exclaimed on the right-wing after hearing that the petition to recall the election of California's embattled Gov. Gray Davis had gained enough signatures to qualify as a ballot question. Kaloogian, a former Republican California legislator, had plenty of reason to cheer. Because while the media have presented Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the wealthy car-alarm magnate, as the man who drove the recall, he's actually been little more than a useful idiot for a stealthy group of GOP operatives who laid the groundwork. Months before the recall was even a blip on the media radar, this consultant cabal began manipulating California's idiosyncratic electoral system, creating a muscular funding mechanism and exploiting it for its members' own ends. The cabal includes Kaloogian, who was a right-wing backbencher in the state Assembly, Sal Russo, who handled banker Bill Simon's hapless 2002 gubernatorial campaign, and David Gilliard...