David Cole

David Cole, The Nation's legal affairs correspondent, is the author, most recently, of The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (New Press).

Articles by this author

A "drone shadow" created for the Istanbul Design Biennial. (Photo: STML/ Creative Commons/ Flickr) Views
Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 8:45am
‘We Kill People Based on Metadata’
Supporters of the National Security Agency inevitably defend its sweeping collection of phone and Internet records on the ground that it is only collecting so-called “metadata”—who you call, when you call, how long you talk. Since this does not include the actual content of the communications, the...
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The wreckage of a car destroyed by a US drone strike in Azan, Yemen, February 2013. (Photo: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters/Corbis) Views
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 6:45am
How Many Have We Killed?
On Monday, The New York Times reported that “the Senate has quietly stripped a provision from an intelligence bill that would have required President Obama to make public each year the number of people killed or injured in targeted killing operations in Pakistan and other countries where the United...
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(Image: NYRB / David Levine) Views
Monday, April 7, 2014 - 1:45pm
'One Dollar, One Vote' (and the End of Democracy)
As Senator Mitch McConnell, an outspoken opponent of regulating campaign spending, has conceded, trying to put limits on political donations is not easy. In McConnell’s words, it’s “like putting a rock on Jell-O. It oozes out some other place.” But if it was difficult before the Supreme Court’s...
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 9:37am
The CIA’s Poisonous Tree
The old Washington adage that the cover-up is worse than the crime may not apply when it comes to the revelations this week that the Central Intelligence Agency interfered with a Senate torture investigation. It’s not that the cover-up isn’t serious.
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Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 7:38am
The NSA on Trial
Ever since Edward Snowden’s revelation that the National Security Agency was collecting and storing data on every phone call every American makes and every text every American sends, the Obama administration has maintained that the program is fully lawful, and that it has been approved repeatedly by all three branches of government. This defense has always been misleading.
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Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 11:53am
How (and How Not) to Uphold Racial Injustice
Achieving justice for racial discrimination has long been fraught with obstacles. During the civil rights era, it was Southern governors and school boards who blatantly obstructed court orders to desegregate schools.
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Friday, June 7, 2013 - 12:05pm
Secret NSA Program Gives the Agency Unprecedented Access to Private Internet Communications
What you don’t know can hurt you, it turns out. In back-to-back revelations this week, Americans learned that their electronic communications are subject to massive monitoring by the National Security Agency, without any individualized basis for suspicion.
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Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 1:39pm
It’s Worse Than You Thought: NSA Spying and the Patriot Act
“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.” Never has Joseph Heller’s observation from Catch-22 been more apt than today, as news spreads that the National Security Agency has been using the USA PATRIOT Act to sweep up phone call data on every Verizon Business Network customer in the nation—and presumably on residential and cell
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 4:00pm
Responding to Terror
The April 15 bombing of the finish line at the Boston Marathon has triggered—and will continue to trigger—a series of state responses.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 1:27pm
The Roberts Court vs. Voting Rights
What happens when a Supreme Court ostensibly committed to judicial restraint confronts a long-standing civil rights statute that offends its conservative majority’s sense that law should be colorblind, even if the world is not? That question will be front and center when the Court
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