From government eavesdropping on private citizens to revelatory details about Russian interference in the 2016 election to Washington’s draconian efforts to track and punish whistleblowers and journalists, surveillance and spying have been recurring themes this year. Influence-peddling has been rampant, with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies cozying up to the Trump administration in exchange for insider information, freedom to silence dissidents, and crucial assistance for their brutal war in Yemen. The U.S. government, meanwhile, has been up to its old tricks, honoring war criminals and promoting a notorious overseer of torture to lead the CIA, while pursuing Muslims at home and harming civilians in distant conflict zones.

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The Intercept