What we’re reading: BP’s past spills; safe from cyber attack?; CIA in Iraq

October 28, 2010 by Andrew Clevenger

Here’s another batch of reporting we admired this week.

In a joint investigation with PBS’ Frontline, ProPublica.org concluded that even before the explosion and massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP had a significantly worse record than others in the industry on safety and spills. “Current and former workers and executives said the company repeatedly cut corners, let alarm and safety systems languish and skipped essential maintenance that could have prevented a number of explosions and spills. Internal BP documents support these claims,” ProPublica noted. More information on the Frontline broadcast can be found here.

How safe is America from a cyber attack by a foreign hackers? This eye-opening piece in The New Yorker takes a look at the growing military-cyber complex, noting that some experts believe that America is increasingly vulnerable via cyberspace. Other experts suggest that there is a big difference between cyber espionage, which targets military and business intelligence, and cyber war, in which likely targets include American infrastructure, such as the power grid.

After another massive release of documents on the war in Iraq by Wikileaks, reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, Wired Magazine focused on what the new information reveals about the Central Intelligence Agency’s presence in Iraq. “The documents show an active ‘OGA’ (an acronym for ‘Other Government Agency,’ usually a reference to the CIA) acting as a paramilitary force — raiding insurgent hideouts, hunting for mysterious militants and getting caught up in roadside shootouts. The Agency even appeared to have its own base, near the town of Ramadi,” the article states.

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