The best investigative reporting, jihadist videos, corruption in sportsthese are some of the Bad Guys blog's favorite links in '06. Here's a rundown:
IRE's Extra Extra and Jon Marshall's News Gems: When I get depressed over the state of the U.S. news media (which is often), I turn to these websites. Here are daily looks at journalism at its best. Reminds me why I got into this biz.
Transparency in Sport: The irrepressible Andrew Jennings is one of my favorite journalists. The U.K.-based Jennings has exposed corruption inside the International Olympics Committee and soccer's World Cup organization. Here's his site, with a blog soon to follow.
No Quarter: This blog, by the fire-breathing Larry Johnson, is aptly named. Johnson is a former CIA analyst and State Department deputy counterterrorism director who doesn't suffer fools very well. Love him or hate him, Johnson is always worth a read.
Secrecy News: Steve Aftergood's E-newsletter on secrecy and intelligence is required reading for national security reporters here in Washington. Great stuff from a freedom fighter for the First Amendment.
SpyTalk: More first-rate stuff on the intel community by veteran Washington journalist Jeff Stein. Lately, he's driven national security officials nuts by revealing they don't know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite. A former Army intelligence officer in Vietnam, Stein is now Congressional Quarterly's national security editor.
Counterterrorism Blog: There are lots of instant experts in counterterrorism, but here's the real deal: some two dozen analysts, scholars, and investigators who have tracked terrorism around the world for years.
Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review: Essential reading for anyone who cares about the war of ideas against radical Islam. John Brown spent 22 years with the U.S. Foreign Service before resigning in protest over the Iraq war in 2003.
The MEMRI Blog: MEMRIthe Middle East Media Research Institutedoes translations of media from the Muslim world, focused on jihadist propaganda and efforts by reformists. The group's new MEMRI Blog serves up news stories, videos, and postings from 60 leading Islamist websites. Hey, where else can you get headlines like "Mega-Evil Zionist Queen Stars in Iranian Sci-Fi Movie"?
Worst Site of the Year: The booby prize goes to WhosaRat.com, which bills itself as the "largest online database of informants and agents." These people seem to have made it their mission to expose anyone who helps cops or blows the whistle on corruption. I can't believe this outfit is still in business ...
That's it for '06 from the Bad Guys blog. We're looking forward to another year of murder, mayhem, and the criminal mind. As bad guy Hedley Lamarr put it so well in Blazing Saddles: "I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglars, horse thieves..."
Many thanks to all our readers and best wishes for a great 2007.