iOS app Android app

Dan Froomkin
Dan Froomkin is senior writer for The Intercept, a publication of First Look Media. He is a former senior Washington correspondent for the Huffington Post, and former deputy editor of Nieman Watchdog. He wrote the White House Watch column for the Washington Post website from 2004 to 2009, and was the editor of that site from 2000 to 2003. Dan welcomes your email and can be reached at

Entries by Dan Froomkin

For CIA, Truth About Torture Was an Existential Threat

(46) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 2:46 PM

For the CIA officials involved in torture, one thing was clear from the very beginning: The only way they would be forgiven for what they did was if they could show it had saved lives.

It was the heart of their rationale. It was vital to public acceptance. It was how...

Read Post

12 Things to Keep in Mind When You Read the Torture Report

(81) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 1:22 PM photo of Bush, Cheney

The Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report will be released "in a matter of days," a committee staffer tells me. The report, a review of brutal CIA interrogation methods during the presidency of George W. Bush, has been the subject...

Read Post

Obama Makes Bushism the New Normal

(81) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 4:39 PM

In a lot of ways, we're worse off today than we were under George W. Bush.

Back then, Bush's extremist assault on civil liberties, human rights and other core American values in the name of fighting terror felt like an aberration.

The expectation was that those policies would be quickly...

Read Post

Government Shutdown Coverage Discounts Unprecedented Extremism

(184) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 10:35 AM

The day-in day-out coverage of the possible government shutdown next week has been focused almost entirely on the politics, polls and procedural minutiae, creating the distinct possibility that readers aren't grasping just how extreme a position the House Republicans are taking here in the first place.

But that context is...

Read Post

Writing a Neutral Story About Something So Heartless As the Food Stamp Vote Is Not Good Journalism

(513) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 2:31 PM

The Republican-led House yesterday voted to make deep cuts to the food stamps program that has kept millions of American families from going hungry since the recession hit, saying its response to growing need was instead a sign of bloat and abuse.

The New York Times editorial board this morning...

Read Post

It's Time for the Press to Fight Back Against Secrecy

(48) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 2:32 PM

Despite the recent blockbuster leaks about spying on the phone records of millions of Americans, and President Obama's stated willingness to discuss the issues they raise, a front-page New York Times article on June 10 asserted that "legal and political obstacles" make a vigorous public debate about surveillance...

Read Post

Truth Over Truthiness Is Job One for Watchdog Journalists

(19) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 4:38 PM

The way South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley tells it, what her state needs is more tax cuts and what it doesn't need is the "public policy nightmare and fiscal disaster that is ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion."

But to Charleston Post and Courier reporter Doug Pardue, who has spent more...

Read Post

New Torture Report Blames Obama and the Media for Not Confronting the Truth

(318) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 9:18 AM

By this point, there really should be no doubt in anyone's mind that torture was widely used during the last administration -- and that nothing like that should ever happen again.

The new, comprehensive report out today from an august, bipartisan commission goes a long way toward making that abundantly,...

Read Post

Careening Toward Telecom Dystopia (But Can We Stop It?)

(38) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 4:03 PM

Consider two possible American futures. In both, because one cannot imagine it any other way, ubiquitous high-speed connectivity to the Internet is essential in order to fully engage in society, the economy, and the public sphere.

In one possible future -- call it utopian -- such access is available to...

Read Post

Commuting John Kiriakou's Sentence Would Be a Step in the Right Direction for Obama

(63) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 9:54 AM

Contrary to popular belief, President Barack Obama didn't stop the United States from torturing. He just stopped it from torturing on his watch.

Yes, Obama issued an executive order on his second full day as president that defined acceptable interrogation techniques going forward -- definitively breaking with the...

Read Post

How Many Dead and Wounded Soldiers Ago Did Obama Give Up on Afghanistan?

(298) Comments | Posted January 12, 2013 | 12:35 PM

Fred Kaplan writes for Slate that President Obama has called it quits in Afghanistan, to which I say darn right and about time.

But how many dead and wounded soldiers ago did he realize it was hopeless?

In the spring of 2009, Obama announced his decision to send...

Read Post

Zero Dark Thirty and Why It's So Important to Rebut Claims That Torture Works

(246) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 5:06 PM

For several weeks now, like a lot of people who care about torture, I have been expressing my unhappiness that the plot of the movie Zero Dark Thirty shows information elicited through torture playing an essential role in the tracking down of Osama bin Laden.

People often ask me...

Read Post

Zero Dark Thirty Is a Despicable Movie, Even if Bigelow and Boal Didn't Intend It That Way

(1314) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 11:25 AM

I finally saw Zero Dark Thirty last night, which according to my film critic friends means that only now am I actually allowed to opine on it. (I don't agree, having Tweeted up a storm about its evidently pro-torture ethos already.)

Since a lot has been said by now, here...

Read Post

How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign

(4186) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 12:36 PM

Post-mortems of contemporary election coverage typically include regrets about horserace journalism, he-said-she-said stenography, and the lack of enlightening stories about the issues.

But according to longtime political observers Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, campaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing...

Read Post

Rule of Law index: U.S. Ranks Low In Access To Justice Compared To Other Wealthy Nations

(192) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 11:01 PM

Access to justice is a core American value. But a new survey of the rule of law across the globe finds that the U.S. ranks surprisingly low relative to its high-income peers in terms of access to legal counsel in civil disputes and equal protection under criminal law.

The "Rule...

Read Post

With Geithner's Replacement The Treasury May Get A Woman's Touch

(1868) Comments | Posted November 24, 2012 | 11:07 PM

WASHINGTON -- The best way to make sure that the next secretary of the Treasury is not overly beholden to Wall Street might be to hire a woman.

There are several female candidates in the running to take over the job expected to be vacated fairly soon by Tim Geithner....

Read Post

Tonight, Obama Meets Lincoln -- But Will He Listen?

(71) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 12:50 PM

President Obama will be sitting down for a private screening of the extraordinary new movie Lincoln on Thursday night, and he will undoubtedly be mesmerized. But whether he internalizes its lesson is another story, and one yet to be written.

The movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel...

Read Post

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Guide Issued By Justice Department, Securities Commission

(38) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 11:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- Federal prosecutors and financial regulators on Wednesday reasserted their intention to enforce the law that bans the bribery of foreign officials by U.S. companies, despite a clamorous campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to relax the rules.

The chamber had argued...

Read Post

Fiscal Cliff? Obama Urged Not To Panic

(2274) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 5:32 PM

WASHINGTON -- Republicans and deficit hawks are raising unnecessary alarm over the so-called "fiscal cliff" to pressure President Barack Obama into a "grand bargain" he shouldn't make, progressive economists and scholars said Tuesday at a symposium.

"My professional and personal message at this moment is: Don’t panic,"...

Read Post

Voter ID: The More You Know, The Less You Like It

(501) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 8:21 AM

On first hearing, voter ID laws sound like an obvious and innocent idea. After all, don't you need ID for everything else these days? So it's not surprising that 80 percent of Minnesotans polled last year said they favored a proposed state ballot measure that would have required...

Read Post