U.S. Does Democracy Demotion in Iran

"The United States has begun a $75-million program to promote democracy by supporting Iranian NGO's [non-governmental organizations]," write Haleh Esfandiari and Robert Litwak. "That program, coupled with loose talk about regime change ...


Employee of the Month, Even Before He Started

"Three months prior to the announcement that Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Jeffery S. Merrifield would be joining the Shaw Group Inc. as Vice President of its Power Group, Mr. Merrifield vigorously championed several major policy initiatives that directly benefited his future employer," states the watchdog group Project on Governmental Oversight (POGO) in a press release.


"Wiki the Vote" Project on Congresspedia Profiles Congressional Candidates in the 2008 Election

On Tuesday, the Center for Media and Democracy and the Sunlight Foundation launched a new collaborative, citizen-driven project on Congresspedia to build profiles on the hundreds of challengers for congressional seats, which will compliment the existing profiles on every member of Congress. The project is non-partisan and, in true open-source fashion, is free for anyone to participate -- even the candidates themselves.

Even for official party nominees, information on challengers is usually woefully inadequate and information on primary challengers is often nearly non-existent. The explosion of citizen blogging in the last few years has created a wealth of individual opinions and perspectives, but what has been lacking is a central repository of collaboratively produced, in-depth and accurate information. The Wiki the Vote project, due to its easily editable wiki format, will be just that.

"Just in Time" Censorship

It isn't just Burmese pro-democracy activists who have been denied Internet access by heavy-handed government censors. "OpenNet Initiative, which tracks Internet censorship, has documented signs that in recent years several governments -- including those of former Soviet republics Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan -- have closed off Internet access, or at least opposition Web sites, during periods preceding elections or times of intense protests.


U.S. Spin Pros Influence Ukrainian Politics

The influence of U.S. political advisors was evident in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections that took place this past weekend. Current President Viktor Yushenko has benefited from the services of a variety of U.S. political advisors, including Stan Greenberg, former pollster for Bill Clinton; Stephen E.


Nuclear Industry "Constructs" Its Own Reality

Indian Point nuclear power plantIn its bid to build new nuclear power plants, the nuclear power industry has "found a way around a long-standing regulatory policy they say added a year or more to construction times for nuclear plants." The U.S.


Burmese Citizen Journalists Defy Military Junta to Tell Story of Protests

Photos of injured Burmese monks taken by a citizen journalistDespite the danger of defying a military junta that is determined to quash the current wave of protests, and Internet penetration of only 1%, Burmese citizen journalists, activists, and former professional journalists have shared news and images with the r


Playing Spin the Real ID

ID Check"As controversy rages over forthcoming federal Real ID requirements, state officials should be plotting public relations strategies to counteract the well-publicized rebellion," suggested speakers at the Government ID Technology Summit in Washington DC.


Australian Government Lays Information Smokescreen

Faced with opposition to increasing government secrecy by Australia's Right to Know, a coalition of Australian media companies and the journalists' union, the Australian Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, has announced a review of the



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