Corruption Touched CIA’s Covert Operations

dusty-foggo

Paramilitary agents for the CIA’s super-secret Special Activities Division, or SAD, perform raids, ambushes, abductions and other difficult chores overseas, including infiltrating countries to “light up” targets from the ground for air-to-ground missile strikes. This week the government acknowledged for the first time that some of SAD’s sensitive air operations were swept up in a [...]

Obama’s Policy on Civil Liberties: Bush Lite?

waterboarding

Barack Obama entered the presidency as one of the most rhetorically pro-civil liberties politicians in recent memory. And shortly after taking office, he drew applause from friends of liberty for promulgating executive orders closing Guantanamo and CIA secret prisons, ending CIA torture, suspending kangaroo proceedings at military tribunals, and pledging more openness than the secretive [...]

War Criminals, Including Their Lawyers, Must Be Prosecuted

world-torture

Since he took office, President Obama has instituted many changes that break with the policies of the Bush administration. The new president has ordered that no government agency will be allowed to torture, that the U.S. prison at Guantánamo will be shuttered, and that the CIA’s secret black sites will be closed down. But Obama [...]

Xe – The Great Pointed Archer

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Buried in the news about the Stimulus, private military security firm Blackwater Worldwide announced it was re-branding and changing its name to XE (Zee). Xe President Gary Jackson in a memo to employees said, “the new name reflects the change in company focus away from the business of providing private security.” Spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell added [...]

Misreading the Iraqi Election Results

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Now that their nemesis, George W. Bush, has left office, the mainstream media can be unbridled in their optimism about the future of Iraq. After 9/11, they chose to allow themselves to be duped by the Bush administration’s fairly lame reasons for the clearly unrelated U.S. invasion of Iraq and have been bitter about the [...]

Abandoning Torture But What About War?

warfare-trench

If we can move beyond torture, do we not have a responsibility also to think for a moment about the obvious fact that torture is not the cruelest thing we do? Torture offends us, in part, because the torturer is not at risk, but neither are most pilots dropping bombs. And how exactly does the [...]

Film: “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”

Anyone following attempts to hold George W. Bush and gang accountable knows about Vince Bugliosi’s best-selling book, which has finally just been mailed to all district prosecutors. Everything you can do to make a prosecution of Bush for murder happen is posted here. I just watched a still incomplete version of the forthcoming film of [...]

Guns and Butter (Again)

sinking-uncle-sam

When you stop to think about it, people measure how well their lives are going not by their absolute state of being but by their situation relative to their expectations. For example, a poor person in a developing country may be ecstatic about getting a pair of shoes for the first time; in contrast, a [...]

Time to Set Okinawa Free

Okinawans protest child rape by U.S. Marine

It’s way past time for the U.S. to get the hell out of Okinawa—and, for that matter, to take its Tokyo good buddies with it. Before Japanese warlords annexed the Ryuku islands in 1879, Okinawans enjoyed more freedom than they do today. Every liberty-loving American ought to be shouting: “Okinawa for the Okinawans!” Right now, [...]

“President Obama, Meet Citizen Bob, Who Answered Your Call”

Vincent Bugliosi

President Barack Obama of the Capitol of Washington, it is my most sincere honor to introduce you to Citizen Bob Alexander of the State of Washington, who by the standards you have set to ‘give our all’ has valiantly answered your call. In fact, Citizen Bob answered that call long before you were President. He [...]

Notes From The American Lunatic Asylum

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If America ever is going to stop making aggressive war, Americans will first have to get into contact with reality. That’s because U.S. administrations for the past century have periodically frightened the public out of their collective wits. And a frightened nation is a malleable nation, one whose people are susceptible to being led into [...]

Can the New Administration Keep Canada as an Ally in Afghanistan?

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As Barack Obama looks abroad for allies in the war in Afghanistan, he should move fast to put Canada at the top of his list. Thus far, however, the incoming administration’s message to Canadians has been disappointing. The principal problem is Obama’s use of Defense Secretary Robert Gates as his primary recruiter of Canadian support. [...]

Gaza, Until We Talk

injustice1

It’s ironic that the Israeli assault on Gaza started just as Defiance was opening in movie theaters around the country. Defiance is the fiction film version of a true story of a group of brothers who saved Jews and attacked Nazis (and sympathizers) in Eastern Europe during WW II. Defiance is just the latest in [...]

We Can No Longer Afford the Empire

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Somebody is going to have to whisper in President-elect Obama’s ear that the unipolar moment has passed and that the United States can no longer afford its informal worldwide empire. Even though the looming economic meltdown will likely be serious—and maybe even cataclysmic—the foreign policy chattering classes of both parties are on autopilot and have [...]

Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi Captures the Moment

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Jailed Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi has thrust himself into history and become an international overnight celebrity. Thousands protest for his release. A Saudi businessman offers $10 million for one of his shoes. Libya nominates him for a medal. Why? Because al-Zaidi threw his shoes at President Bush, capturing a moment for which millions have yearned. [...]

Goodbye Condi

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Of all the outrageous statements coming out of the Bush Administration over the course of its eight year reign, perhaps the most odious came from the Secretary of State. It was the summer of 2006. Israel troops had entered Lebanon to wage war against the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and the Israeli Air Force was raining [...]

Unlawful Assembly

marchofdead

As the 111th Congress was being sworn in on Tuesday, a seemingly endless line of figures dressed all in black with stark white masks slowly marched single-file around Capitol Hill. Each wore a placard bearing the name of someone who had died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, their age, and the date [...]

Is Israeli Policy Crazy?

gaza-egypt-copy

by Ivan Eland – The “Israeli model” has long been held up by hawks in the United States as the gold standard for dealing with adversarial nation-states, guerrillas, and terrorists. The storyline goes that Israel is a small country surrounded by aggressive enemies that use unfair measures (including terrorism) to try to wipe it off [...]

Casualties of War: Shared Truth and Empathy

eye4eye

by Gene Rothman – If you do not feel genuine empathy for both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, especially civilians on both sides, I invite you to stop reading now. This is not for the politicians, the “freedom fighter/terrorist” on either side, or the mainstream media commentators. It is for the Palestinian mother in Gaza, [...]

President-Elect Obama, You Must NOT Be Silent on Gaza!

gaza-bomb

I don’t believe in god. I never have. I don’t believe in religions. I study them, but I don’t practice them. I try to understand them to be sensitive to the beliefs and traditions of others, and to attempt to appreciate the motivations behind religious thought and deed. But they are irrelevant to living my [...]

Bring Cuba In From The Cold

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by Charley James – At the end of the state funeral for Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on October 3, 2000, official mourners were milling about in front of Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica. Cuban president Fidel Castro stepped over to Jimmy Carter to ask a serious political question: What did Carter think of using the [...]

A Big ‘Hoorah!’ to the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins

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In a devastatingly critical examination of the narco-state formerly known as Afghanistan, the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins today documents case after case of widespread corruption on a massive scale in the Afghan government, including officials ranging from low-level, local bureaucrats right up to the brother of President Hamid Karzai. Filkins shows the difficult situation [...]

To Succeed Where Clinton Failed, Obama Needs a History Lesson

mark-levine

The renewed Israel-Hamas war in Gaza presents the incoming Obama Administration with its most difficult immediate foreign policy challenge. Yet it also offers Obama a well-timed opportunity to act on his promise to return to the aggressive Mideast diplomacy that characterized the final years of the Clinton Administration.

Breaking the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse: Obama’s Agenda

gaza

It’s been going on for sixty years. Or a century. Or a millennium. Or more. It depends on how you look at it, but the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation defiantly resists resolution, yielding an unending harvest of blood. Decades of inconclusive conflict have made clear that neither side can achieve its goals by purely military means.

Remembering Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter–Is Our Conscience Dead?

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by Ann Wright – On the news today of the death of Harold Pinter, the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, I remembered hearing his Nobel Laureate lecture/acceptable speech. I was in London in December 2005 speaking at the annual “Stop the War” conference when Pinter delivered his speech—not in Oslo, as Pinter [...]

Brinks or Blackwater: My Frightening Encounter With A Combat-Mode Guard & His Gun

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For years since the United States invaded Iraq, I’ve witnessed countless photo and video images of innocent civilians – men, women, teens and children – being rudely and aggressively threatened by hired uniformed militants (mostly men), wielding guns

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