Open America: answer to the secrecy state

I’m joining my friend and former boss David Talbot in launching a new media platform called Open America, an aggressive effort to pierce the veil of secrecy around the national security agencies and corporate power. I hope you’ll let us know what you think.

For my part, I will be writing a blog on drones, with timely news and commentary on both the enormous potential of drones for business and society and their known hazards to civil liberties and international law. Open America will also support David’s book-in-progress on Allen Dulles and the JFK assassination, which promises to be sensational.

David and I envision the drone blog as a natural complement to JFK Facts — a deeply reported effort to shed new light on a complex story that people care about and want to understand. Open America will be home to independent journalists and journalism at a time when the challenges to an open society — and the need for investigative journalism — have never been greater.

Watch David’s video about why we are launching this effort now.


  1. photon says:

    It would appear that you are a little late.

    • Jonathan says:


      I agree. Jeffmorley writes:

      “Open America will also support David’s book-in-progress on Allen Dulles and the JFK assassination, which promises to be sensational.”

      I welcome this book. But it is a little late, as photon writes.

      Allen Dulles was clever from an intel standpoint. He pretended to be objective on the Warren Commission. In fact, he was a clever intel officer. Earl Warren understood Dulles’s comments.

  2. Jonathan says:

    In view of the disclosures re NSA’s PRISM program, I hope you and David Talbot will address privacy.

  3. John Kirsch says:

    I think this is a great effort. But from my perch down here in Mexico, I do not detect a great groundswell of public outrage over these latest revelations re: official spying. Maybe this effort can help raise public awareness.

  4. PBR says:

    A timely and urgently required endeavour. Much needed if the key Constitutional freedoms and checks on government power are not to be lost gradually to history. A malleable and unenlightened people are a prerequisite for the abuse of power. A free media and unfettered access for all to dissenting voices are powerful checks on the increasing power of the national security apparatus. Current revelations are a stark reminder of the slow erosion of freedoms in the name of the catchall, linguistic sleight of hand that is ‘national security’.

  5. John Kirsch says:

    The response of official Washington to these latest revelations basically boils down to, “trust us.” But our system of government isn’t based on trust. That’s why there are 3 separate and co-equal branches of government. The idea is that they will balance each other so that no one branch will gain too much power. And the fourth estate, the news media, is supposed to keep an eye on the whole thing. Notice I said “supposed to.” It’s also significant that our rights are WRITTEN DOWN. That is a way for citizens to hold those in power accountable. I hope this effort succeeds but I fear that Americans feel so beaten down by a government “frozen in icy indifference” (in FDR’s words) that they have lost the ability to fight back, or even the awareness that they CAN fight back. From my perch down here in Mexico, the United States, where I was born and raised and lived until a few years ago, is becoming a very dark place. How can Americans be made to realize that the coils of the National Security State are slowly closing around them? In 1944, Henry Wallace, an Iowan,I’m proud to say, warned that reactionary forces wanted to force ordinary Americans down into a state of “permanent subjugation.” How much do our rights mean when the country is effectively being ruled by corporations, not government officials who, at least ideally, are supposed to be accountable to the people? Who will ring the fire bell?

  6. Jim DiEugenio lists the factors that point towards Allen Dulles in the JFK assassination:

    • Jonathan says:


      Dulles was a consummate actor. It’s easy to gather this from reading the W.C. Executive Session transcripts. Except for the January 24 or 27, 164 session, in which Dulles freaks out about LHO’s being a certified intel agent for the FBI and wants that session’s transcript burned, he presents himself as the most low-key, reasonable, and unbiased of individuals.

      My favorite photo of Dulles is the famous photo of Warren together with the other Commissioners and Rankin, as Warren presents the Warren Report to LBJ. Rankin and all the Commissioners except Dulles are smiling and looking at Johnson. Dulles is looking evenly into the camera.

  7. EconWatcher says:

    Jeff, on the subject of new media, maybe I’m speaking out of turn. But it seems to me that you might be part of a dying breed of classical investigative journalists, with an instinctively skeptical and adversarial relationship to the powers of the status quo, and with (at least occasionally) enough institutional backing to find and expose some of their misdeeds.

    The new model of media seems to include some big institutions, mostly devoted to fluff and with not much incentive to do real in-depth investigations, and some bloggers, who may have plenty of skepticism but don’t really do gumshoe work or deep analysis of documents. There seems to be a big gap left.

    Do you see it that way?

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