News debate on Russian “hacking” allegations

On 9 January RT hosted a live streamed debate on its news show about the US intelligence report that attempted to prove that Russia had “hacked” the US election.

Also in the debate were former CIA Director, James Woolsey, and former CIA intelligence officer, Larry Johnson.

Here it is:

RT Debate about Intelligence Report into alleged ‘Russian hacking’ (Streamed Live) from Annie Machon on Vimeo.

Oxford Union Society Debate

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a debate at the Oxford Union Society.  I spoke to the proposition that “this house believes Edward Snowden is a hero”, along with US journalist Chris Hedges, NSA whistleblower Bill Binney, and former UK government minister Chris Huhne.

The chamber was full and I am happy to report that we won the debate by 212 votes to 171, and that Oxford students do indeed see Edward Snowden as a hero.  Here is my speech:


Oxford Union Society Debate from Annie Machon on Vimeo.

Frontline Club/New Statesman (FCNS) whistleblower debate with Julian Assange

"This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place."

I was honoured to be asked to say a few words at the recent debate about the value of whistleblowers in London on 9th April 2011.

The Frontline Club and the left-wing New Statesman magazine jointly hosted the event, which starred Julian Assange, editor in chief of Wikileaks.  Here is the debate in full:



Needless to say, the opposition had an uphill battle arguing not only against logic, the fair application of law, and the meaning of a vibrant and informed democracy, but also against the new realities in the worlds of journalism and technology. 

The first more diplomatically-minded oppositionist adopted a policy of appeasement towards the audience, but the last two had to fall back on the stale and puerile tactics of name-calling and ad hominem attacks.  So good to see that expensive educations are never a waste….

The proposition was supported enthusiatically by the sell-out crowd, a resounding vote of confidence in the democratic notions of accountability and transparency.

Here's a snippet of my (brief) contribution to a fantastic afternoon: