For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Tor...

A new movie and a visit to the 9/11 memorial remind us what’s at stake when America doesn’t live up to its ideals. On a Saturday buffeted by a cold December wind, thousands strolled with somber step through one of New York City’s two historic cathedrals. Outside, hundreds more waited patiently in a long line to enter; once inside, their v...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

For The Daily Beast: Human Moments at the Eri...

The story of a mother, her son, the police who protected them, and the peaceful protest that brought them all together. Alice Domingues came through the big crowd gathered last Wednesday night at New York City’s Columbus Circle, a container of Starbuck’s hot chocolate in her right hand as she held her son Micah’s hand even more firmly wit...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

For The Daily Beast: Freedom From Fear for Dr...

Meet the children at a small Catholic school in Massachusetts who will directly benefit from President Obama’s executive order. So here they were, some of the people Barack Obama was telling the country about Thursday night, seated, smiling, clearly happy, and outfitted splendidly in the first-grade classroom at Lawrence Catholic Academy,...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

For The Atlantic: Postcard From New Hampshire...

Riding around Manchester with Lou D’Allesandro as he rounds up votes and frets over Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s chances against Scott Brown MANCHESTER, N.H.—Here he is in his campaign headquarters, the front seat of his Toyota Camry, driving along downtown Elm Street, past banks reluctant to lend, storefronts somewhat empty, and ...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

‘The Glove’ narrated by Robert Re...

Inspired by an essay by Mike Barnicle. Produced by his sons Nick Barnicle, Colin Barnicle and colleague Jeff Siegel. Narrated by Robert Redford. A winning combination to commemorate the 4th of July holiday only on ESPN.
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

IN A SPECIAL MORNING JOE PROGRAM ON D-DAY: A ...

In a special Morning Joe program on D-Day: A Celebration of Heroes, Mike speaks with 94-year-old veteran Lawrence Brannon from Morristown, TN, whose days have been forever shaped by what happened in Normandy seven decades ago. “It was…hell,” says Brannon. “I lived 1,000 years that day.” Adds Mike: “Those who died in Europe ser...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

MIKE JOINED ESPN RADIO’S THE SPORTING LIFE TO...

Mike joined ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life to reflect upon the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. “There are going to be a lot of poignant moments at the conclusion of this year’s Marathon. Obviously many people will be thinking about those who died…but more specifically [about] the youngest…of the victims. Martin...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

A Year After Bombings, Boston Comes Back R...

> This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I’m Scott Simon. Boston Strong has become an American phrase over the past year after bombs exploded at the finish line of last year’s Boston Marathon. Three people were killed – Krystle Marie Campbell, who was 29, Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China, and Martin William Richa...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

The Timeless Beauty of Baseball

Put on a glove, watch a game, and the years fall away, time stands still, and the joy of baseball reminds you again of life’s eternal sweetness. It could be in a bottom bureau drawer beneath some old tee shirts, sweat pants that no longer fit or laundered dress shirts purchased during the first Reagan administration and not worn since the...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

BARNICLE BROTHERS’ ONE FUND CHARITY VID...

By Jason Mastrodonato / MLB.com BOSTON — Brothers Colin and Nick Barnicle have long been in the field of video production, where they’ve found plenty of success and gratification, including “Down the Line,” a behind-the-scenes documentary on Boston’s Fenway Park released in 2011. So when the tragic bombings t...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

IRAQ WAR AT 10

Early Wednesday, the day after the nation paused to remember a war that began exactly a decade ago, the grass and ground in Arlington National Cemetery was still soft as a sponge from the rain that fell Monday evening. As always, it was quiet as a cathedral with the only noise billowing from passenger jets that leaned into the cloudless s...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

A PROMISE TO THE CHILDREN OF NEWTOWN

Now we witness a regiment of the wounded, the survivors, burying a whole company of the young dead in a small New England town filled with a grief that simply cannot be measured. Monday’s dead babies were Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner, both 6 years old. Tuesday’s funerals saw James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos, again, only 6, their small coffi...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

ONE DEATH IN AFGHANISTAN: BEN SKLAVER’S STORY...

Last week, Laura and Gary Sklaver buried their oldest boy, Ben, who was 32 when killed by a suicide bomber in the remote village of Murcheh in the distant land of Afghanistan. Ben was a captain in the U.S. Army. Now he has become one of 804 Americans, 37 from Connecticut, to lose their lives in an expanding war that belongs mostly to the ...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

Tito and Theo – Grantland

Tito Francona is tired. He is sitting at his desk in the manager’s office located at the far end of a small locker room in a ballpark — Fenway Park — approaching its 100th birthday. He is wearing white uniform pants, a red hot-top and black spike-less athletic shoes, a Red Sox cap on his hairless head. And he is staring at a cluster...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

The Afghan War Through a Marine Mother’s Eyes...

Mélida Arredondo, of Roslindale, Mass., center, holds boots worn by her son, Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, as she joins demonstrators in Boston Dec. 2 in opposition to President Obama’s plan to commit an additional 30,000 troops to the war in Afghanistan. Josh Reynolds / AP Nearly everyth...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

Barnicle on Kennedy: Of Memory and the Sea – ...

Here was Ted Kennedy, 74-year-old son, brother, father, husband, Senator, living history, American legend. He was sitting on a wicker chair on the front porch of the seaside home that held so much of his life within its walls. He was wearing a dark blue blazer and a pale blue shirt. He was tieless and tanned on a spectacular October morni...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

Boston getting used to idea of beating New Yo...

How did this happen? Was there a specific date, a single event that erased the burden of history and allowed the weight of municipal inferiority to be lifted from the shoulders of every fan in New England who has been witness to decades of humiliation delivered by New York teams? Think about it. Saturday, the Patriots play the Giants at e...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

When murder’s not enough; Grim details just w...

  This time, homicide came to a quiet cul-de-sac in a peaceful suburb, apparently driven by a growing wave of debt built on delusion that collapsed into a despair so deranged that the only escape route Neil Entwistle could allegedly think of was to grab a gun and kill his wife and 9-month-old daughter as both slept in a rented home o...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

A Bit of Humor Goes A Long Way – Boston Globe...

BELFAST — It is a balmy, lemon-yellow evening and I am standing outside a large glass and cement structure called Waterfront Hall, completed last year along the River Lagan in Belfast where people have the capacity to loathe a stranger based solely on beliefs or a baptism. Community input here means a funeral or a fire, yet it occurs to m...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

Getting a fix on the real thing – Boston Glob...

  Like most major American cities, Boston is like a layer cake. Some elements are as obvious to the eye as frosting while others remain obscured by simple geography. Yesterday, for example, a gray Monday, if you walked from the Public Garden to Kenmore Square and back along Newbury Street you could easily think the city was filled by...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

Silent Dreams Coming True – Boston Globe

  Hong’s incredible journey began on the day 11 years ago when he sat confined to the dust of his fishing village near Can Tho in Vietnam and suddenly heard someone mention America. Of course, Hong did not actually hear what the person was saying because he has been deaf since birth. But he sure did understand the primitive sign lang...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

Firefighters’ heroic effort in blaze that cla...

“I was driving the chief,” Walter Cobe was saying. “We got there just as Engine 48 pulled up. It was maybe three or four minutes after the alarm was sounded. I jumped out of the car and one of the people standing outside said there was kids still inside so I went right up the ladder.”     Walter Cobe is 5...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

A HERO IS FOREVER

When the old man swung the imaginary bat through the fresh air of a clear, sunlit afternoon, the weight and dust of all the years fell away like marbles toppling off the edge of a three-legged table. Adults clapped. Little kids hung from the rail and sat atop a parent’s shoulder. Some men and women, of a certain age, and with a cert...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

We died for the 4th of July – Boston Globe

  It’s the Fourth of July weekend. A time when much of America marches and sings and stops to do all sorts of different things for all kinds of reasons. Where are you today? At the beach? On the front step? Down the Cape? Up in Vermont? Just sitting around the house hoping the sun will clear that clutter of clouds and provide you wit...
For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

The clock takes a holiday at Fenway – Boston ...

  Baseball is a game of memory, and it returns tomorrow to a place where grass has not yet given way to a carpet. It comes home to a green haven filled with reminders of both heartbreak and happiness, a ballyard called Fenway Park where the cargo of past athletic time refuses to yield to sports’ current themes of greed and arrogance....
 
 
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For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creep...

A new movie and a visit to the 9/11 memorial remind us what’s at stake when America doesn’t live up to its ideals.

Dick Cheney’s Creepy Torture Bravado

On a Saturday buffeted by a cold December wind, thousands strolled with somber step through one of New York City’s two historic cathedrals. Outside, hundreds more waited patiently in a long line to enter; once inside, their voices were muted and the very young, holding a parent’s hand, would be told about a brilliant, cloudless September morning when America changed forever.

This was the National September 11 Memorial Museum over the weekend, a place that documents our vulnerability as well as the nobility of so many among the dead. It is miles from St. Patrick’s, and Saturday the distance between the two sites was quite congested, with about 25,000 marching along Sixth Avenue in orderly protest over the recent deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two events that have also altered the country.

This was also the week when the United States Senate Intelligence Committee released an indictment that declared beyond doubt that the CIA tortured some captured during the war that began on that horrific September day 14 years ago. In all three locations—the museum, the Fifth Avenue cathedral, the streets and sidewalks of the world’s most famous city—prayers for the souls of the departed resonated.

Surrounding all of these places and hundreds of others you could see the season’s lights brightening store windows and you could see the mobs of tourists pushing against each other to take pictures of the enormous tree standing in splendor above the ice rink at Rockefeller Center. Here, in the middle of the warped excess that is the heart of Fifth Avenue windows, there seemed to be no sadness and little memory of the defining event of our century.

At the memorial museum, it is the eyes of those taken by terror that speak softly, silently, to visitors. Portraits of most of the 2,977 victims on September 11 are displayed on the walls. They died for simply going to work that morning, killed by religious fanatics, homicide victims all.

The eyes of people like Thomas Patrick Cullen III, firefighter, Squad 41, husband, father, 31 years old. The eyes of Welles Crowther, the man in the red bandana, Boston College graduate, equities trader at Sandler O’Neill. The eyes of Betty Ong, a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, dead at 45, and the eyes of Amy Sweeney, another flight attendant on Flight 11, wife, mother of two, gone at 35. And so many more.

We have been at war for a long time and the fight promises to continue well into the future. We are a huge, complex, diverse country still offering freedom, opportunity and hope. Nobody is knocking on the door of places like China, Egypt, India, Poland, Mexico—you can keep going—for a shot, a chance, to start a new life. For millions on the outside looking in, this is where they want to live, America.

And that’s why the semantics, twisted logic and debate over what is and what isn’t torture is so disturbing. We can concoct all the false rationales available. We can construct excuses based on the evil that occurred September 11th. We can go back and forth about the unknowable: Was torture effective? And we can listen to the pathetic, creepy bravado of a former vice president, wrong on nearly every decision he made. But all of it cannot erase the fact that our country is a 250-year-old testament to ideals that became blasphemy in the hands of a few while the nation reeled in a fear ignited on a single morning in September.

And if you want proof of what the country is really all about, just walk through the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Here it is, in the faces of the victims, in the stories of bravery, in the souls and memory of the survivors, the next of kin. The honored dead came from all over the world, from different lands, spoke different languages. They were rich, poor, black, white, brown, Asian, Hispanic, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant. They were waiters, millionaires, stock brokers and salespeople, secretaries, firefighters, cops, young, old, their hopes, dreams, frustrations and futures incinerated by those who were and are twisted in their desire to destroy what all of us hold and too often take for granted.

During the week I happened to see a movie, Unbroken. It’s the film version of an incredible life splendidly captured in Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller about the staggering story of Louie Zamperini.

He was a young Army Air Force lieutenant whose plane crashed in the Pacific in May 1943. He spent 47 days on a raft and survived only to be captured by the Japanese. He then spent two and a half years in various prison camps in Japan. And he was tortured repeatedly, brutally, and mercilessly by his captors. And he survived again, returning from the barbarism of war and the obscenity administered by others to rebuild and live a life once shattered by the horrific reality of what human beings are capable of doing to each other.

A couple of summers ago I sat with Zamperini at a ballgame at Fenway Park. He was a little guy, small in stature, but that was not who he really was because his heart, his being, his experiences, and the light in his eyes made you know he was actually the best of us: a believer in redemption, the future, the idea that we are all bit actors in the great American story where the strength of the country is stronger than any opposing force.

Zamperini died July 2. He was 97 years old. He lived through World War II, lived across all the decades in between, a time when we seemed to be constantly at war; the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, generations of battle.

Too bad he is not still with us. I would have liked to hear what Louie Zamperini had to say in response to Dick Cheney’s declaration that torture was OK with him, a vice president of the United States of America.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/15/dick-cheney-s-creepy-torture-bravado.html

Mike and U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. on Morning Joe

How can police departments be diversified and improve community relations, Mike asks of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D – MI). “We want more resources… and I see these tragedies as an opportunity for a national discussion the depth of which we’ve never had before,” answers Rep. Conyers on Morning Joe, where he appeared with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) to discuss their call for federal hearings on police practices.

Mike and Sen. Dick Durbin

Mike asks Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) whether he supports calling for the resignation of CIA director John O. Brennan in light of the release of the 500-page CIA torture report. Listen in on the conversation here.

Mike and the Morning Joe team respond to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) protest ...

Mike and the Morning Joe team respond to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) protest of provisions in a must-pass spending bill that would roll back gains of the Dodd-Frank Act. “She is giving us a preview of what’s going to happen every day in the next Congress… which is the Republican majority favoring things Elizabeth Warren has been fighting against her entire career,” says Mike. Hear the discussion here.

Mike makes a guest appearance on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect

Mike makes a guest appearance on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, where they talked about a recent poll on the popularity of football in America. The poll highlights the discrepancy between football’s ongoing popularity among viewers and an increasing hesitance among parents to let their kids play the game. “The violence is an aphrodisiac for the telecasters. They love it. They want more of it. They show more of it. And it’s scary,” says Mike of player collisions shown during televised games. Watch the full segment here.