Bring on the Drones

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Clifford “Felonius Ax” Tasner: The predator drones represent a great opportunity for our Aerospace companies. We are making a killing killing, for goodness sake!

An Apology to President Barack Obama

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Sherwood Ross: I think you can take satisfaction knowing that you outperformed the Nixon regime, whose Henry Kissinger once said, “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little bit longer.”

U.S. Debate on Haqqani: Military or Political Solution?

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Gareth Porter: The military, the Pentagon and the CIA have been pushing aggressively since late 2010 to get the administration to force the Pakistani military leadership to carry out a major offensive against the Haqqani leadership.

Assassination of Al Qaeda Leaders Keep Americans in the Dark

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Sherwood Ross: It is hardly surprising that President Obama ordered the assassinations of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki since the last thing he wants is to bring any leader of al-Qaeda to trial.

The Terrorism Issue That Wasn’t Discussed

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Gareth Porter: Absent from the torrent of opinion and analysis was any mention of how the U.S. military occupation of Muslim lands and wars that continue to kill Muslim civilians fuel jihadist sentiment that will keep the threat of terrorism high for many years to come.

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CIA’s Push for Drone War Driven by Internal Needs

Gareth Porter: When David Petraeus walks into the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday, he will be taking over an organisation whose mission has changed in recent years from gathering and analysing intelligence to waging military campaigns through drone strikes in Pakistan, as well as in Yemen and Somalia.

Agent Orange, Gas Attacks: The Iran-Vietnam Connection

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James Rhodes: During America’s support of Saddam Hussein, over 3,000 tons of chemical agents were used against Iranian military and civilian forces, exposing over one million people, killing over 7,000 outright, and creating over 100,000 severe disabilities.

Why Pakistani Military Demands a Veto on Drone Strikes

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Gareth Porter: The new Pakistani demand for equal say over drone strikes marks the culmination of a long evolution in the Pakistani military’s attitude toward the drone war. Initially supportive of strikes that were targeting Al-Qaeda leaders, senior Pakistani military leaders soon came to realize that the drone war carried serious risks for Pakistan’s war against the Pakistani Taliban.

How Not to Make Friends in the Greater Middle East

Automated Biometric Information System

Tom Englehart: the U.S. military has gathered biometric data—“digital scans of eyes, photographs of the face, and fingerprints”—on 2.2 million Iraqis and 1.5 million Afghans, with an emphasis on men of an age to become insurgents.

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CIA: Business As Usual Under Petraeus

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Sherwood Ross: By now substantial majorities the American public, like their European cousins, want all their troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, yet their elected officials betray the sound instincts of their citizenry.

“Victory” Is the Verbal Equivalent of a Yeti

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Tom Engelhardt: If you haven’t joined the all-volunteer military, any of our seventeen intelligence outfits, the Pentagon, the weapons companies and hire-a-gun corporations associated with it, or some other part of the National Security Complex, America’s distant wars go on largely without you (at least until the bills come due).

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Secret CIA Wars Cost Billions

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Sherwood Ross: It’s been estimated the Iraq war, besides making that country pretty much unlivable, will flush $3 trillion in U.S. taxpayer dollars down the Pentagon drain.

The Wow Factor: Evolution of Joint Operations Special Command

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Elizabeth Knipe: I am all for having the special operations forces take over from the Army. We have a huge investment in JSOC. Let’s put it to good use, and save our military.

Malcolm X Was “Gay-for-Pay”

Rev. Irene Monroe: While it can be argued that Malcolm’s same-sex encounters were not solely financially motivated, let us also not dismiss that the only evidence we do have is the context in which he was.

Former CIA Spook Calls for “Covert” Action Against Assange

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Sherwood Ross: It is no surprise that two writers closely tied to U.S. spy agencies appear to be advocating covert action against Assange, but it is a bit of a shock that the Miami Herald would publish this seeming call for blood.

WikiLeaks and Freedom of the Press

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Anthony Samad: Government agencies (particularly the FBI and CIA) use leaks to discredit those they don’t like or who they see as threats to the public disclosures of government betrayal. Why should the press not be able to do the same when it becomes obvious that government has not been forthcoming in its dealing and has violated the public trust? That’s what the WikiLeaks debate is really about.

More Torture, Please

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Steve Hendricks: I derive immense comfort, for example, from the similarity between the pro-torture 70 percent and the 68 percent of Americans who believe “angels and demons are active in the world.” Surely many of my pro-torture countrymen just need a little more education about torture. Well, a lot more.

The Possible Prosecution of WikiLeaks

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Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.

Intelligence Reform Fails

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Ivan Eland: The sacking of Dennis Blair, the third director of national intelligence in the position’s short five-year history, is one important indicator that the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004 has failed. That act was effective neither in achieving real reform of the sprawling intelligence bureaucracies nor in preventing terrorist attacks.

Tourists Urged to Boycott Morocco

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Sherwood Ross: Morocco has shown its disrespect for international law by illegally occupying the western Sahara and also by forging a pact with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to receive kidnapped terror suspects upon whom Morocco’s secret police inflict grotesque tortures. If Rabat will accept a prisoner kidnapped from another country without a prior legal hearing, how safe are you going to be?

Obama Speaks (Some) Truth From Power

Peace-Prize

President Obama’s Nobel lecture might have showed us that the United States has reached a turning point: either the national security monster we’ve created is going to eat us alive by bankrupting the country or we’re going to have to shift course. We must begin to spin off the 700 or so military bases and installations around the world and focus on building a better life for our own people here at home.

Obama, the Karzai Brothers and the Ghost of Najibullah

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In any case, the proper path for the U.S. must not involve continuing to bed down with the feudal warlords and the likes of the Karzai brothers. That puts us on the wrong side of history and decency.

“We’re Going to Kill Your Children”: The CIA Inspector General’s Report

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But this report shows that when Cheney and other Bush administration officials talked about “working the dark side” — Wow! — they really meant it. Someone has got to go to jail for this.

CIA Crucified Captive in Abu Ghraib Prison

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The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine. “A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s [...]

Obama Offers Iran “A Promise of a New Day”

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President Barack Obama has taken the first step toward reversing United States policies and actions aimed at Iran that have failed both countries for the past 56 years. “My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran, and [...]

Families of U.S.S. Cole Sailors Unhappy with Delayed Justice Aren’t the Only Sufferers

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Truer words were rarely spoken than those uttered by Retired Navy Comdr. Kirk Lippold, the defense advisor to Military Families United, when he said the relatives of the sailors killed and wounded in the attack on the destroyer U.S.S. Cole in Yemen have been waiting eight years for the accused to be tried and that [...]

Obama to Ignore CIA’s War Crimes

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If President-elect Barack Obama is reassuring the intelligence community “that his complaints are with the Bush administration, not them,” as AP’s Pamela Hess reported January 10th, his campaign slogan “change we can believe in” is headed for an early grave. Obama’s remarks are a literal signal to CIA officials and other unindicted war criminals that [...]

Poor Leon Panetta Won’t Know What Hit Him When He Hits The CIA

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by Charley James Talk about setting up a bright, highly competent, loyal, nice guy for failure. When Barack Obama named former Clinton chief of staff Leon Panetta to run the Central Intelligence Agency yesterday, he picked a man whose biggest plus is having loudly protested the agency’s use of torture including waterboarding and other “enhanced [...]

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