Afternoon Reads

-Gareth Porter, writing for Truthout, details how General Petraeus managed “the war of perceptions” in Afghanistan after taking over there in July 2010. Porter’s report includes details about how the General cited a controversial IED statistic and an outright false number of Taliban leaders captured by American troops.

Salon’s David Sitora commends Sens. McCain, Feinstein, and Levin for openly criticizing Sony Pictures for falsely portraying torture in “Zero Dark Thirty.” However, he says they should have also publicly blasted the military and the CIA “which cooperated with the production of the movie — ostensibly with full knowledge that the story was wrong.”

-The House GOP continues to waste everybody’s time by claiming it has the votes to pass “Plan B” — their so-called plan for avoiding the fiscal cliff. But Harry Reid has called Speaker Boehner’s plans “non-starters” and President Obama has threatened to veto “Plan B” — to “‘Plan B’ ‘Plan B’,” to use a clumsy emergency contraceptive metaphor.

-Meanwhile, stock prices rose today — supposedly because Boehner said he’d continue to work with Obama on avoiding the fiscal cliff. Of course, there’s still time for the market to decline before the closing bell.

-Vladimir Putin insists that Russia cares more about stability in Syriathan about the fate of Bashar Al-Assad.

The Atlantic Wire has compiled a list of The 50 Worst Columns of 2012. Proceed with caution.

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Samuel Knight

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.