Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Russian-Saudi Showdown at Sochi

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Exclusive: Last summer, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar reportedly offered Russian President Putin a deal: if Russia abandons Syria, Saudi Arabia would protect the Sochi Olympics from Islamic terrorists. Putin is said to have angrily rebuffed the offer. Now, with two terrorist attacks, it’s Putin’s move, writes Robert Parry.

Last Call for Consortiumnews’ Fund Drive

From Editor Robert Parry: How much money we can raise in our year-end fund drive goes a long way to determining how much investigative journalism we can do in the New Year. My hope is that we can expand on our highly successful 2013 as highlighted in our year-end review.

A 2013 Lookback at Consortiumnews

The year 2013 saw the United States bogged down in ideological conflicts and veering close to new wars in the Middle East, but reporting at Consortiumnews.com contributed to a fuller understanding of the facts domestically and internationally as the fever of partisanship and warfare showed signs of breaking.

The More Complex Truth of Benghazi

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honor the four victims of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on Sept. 14, 2012. [State Department photo)

The single-minded Republican drive to exploit the deaths of four U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 – and use the tragedy to embarrass President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – has obscured the more complex reality of what happened, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis

Secretary of State John Kerry (center) testifies on the Syrian crisis before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sept. 3, 2013. At the left of the photo is Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. and on the right is Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. No senior U.S. intelligence official joined in the testimony. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: For months, the “slam-dunk” evidence “proving” Syrian government guilt in the Aug. 21 Sarin attack near Damascus was a “vector analysis” pushed by the New York Times showing where the rockets supposedly were launched. But the Times now grudgingly admits its analysis was flawed, reports Robert Parry.

Gen. Michael ‘No Probable Cause’ Hayden

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the NSA.

Exclusive: Ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden, who once declared that “probable cause” is not part of the Fourth Amendment, is sure to hurl more stones at NSA leaker Edward Snowden, especially after a New York judge endorsed the NSA’s “metadata” as legal, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Year of the ‘Leaker’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

Exclusive: Critics of “leakers” Manning and Snowden claim that unauthorized disclosures risk lives, but a stronger case can be made that many more lives have been lost due to government deceptions on issues of war or peace, lies that secrecy made possible, writes Robert Parry.

Did Manning Help Avert War in Iran?

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, standing up for Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.

From the Archive: President Obama’s diplomatic breakthrough with Iran on its nuclear program still faces strong resistance, but the historic opening might have been disrupted if not for the leaks of Pvt. Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, who got a 35-year prison sentence as “thanks,” as Robert Parry reported last summer.

Obama’s Not-So-Terrible Year

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington is giving a big thumb down to President Obama’s performance in 2013. But his diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East and even some of his troubles with Obamacare and the NSA could ultimately make the year a historic turning point, says Robert Parry.

US-Turkey Diplomatic Strains

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey’s moderate Islamist government has charted a foreign policy path that has both coincided with and diverged from the Obama administration’s strategies, especially on the Syrian conflict and the Egyptian military coup, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.