Monthly Archives: December 2013

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

Playing Deadly Games with ‘Gun Rights’

Noah Pozner, 6, one of 20 children murdered on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Pro-gun extremists routinely edit out of the Second Amendment its stated purpose of having “a well-regulated militia” maintain state “security.” The tampering lets them pretend the Founders would be okay with slaughters like the Newtown massacre, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship reflect.

The Blacklisting of Noam Chomsky

Author Noam Chomsky.

An odd aspect of modern American life is that even with 24-hour news and its roster of blathering pundits, many creative thinkers with valuable insights are blacklisted from mainstream media, perhaps most notably Noam Chomsky who turned 85 on Dec. 7, as Jeff Cohen reflects.

Latin America Finds Its Footing

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner.

Exclusive: While the U.S. and Spain have wallowed in the Great Recession swamp, Latin America has begun breaking free of the old order that bogged down progress. Now, the region is restructuring relations with its old international masters, as Andrés Cala explains.

Wisdom in Restraint on Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

The neocons are still beating the drums for U.S. military intervention in Syria, now supposedly for humanitarian reasons. But – as horrific as the Syrian violence is – it’s clear that President Obama’s restraint last summer averted making the mess even worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

What Mandela Did and Didn’t Do

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013. (White House photo)

While an inspiring tale of resilience and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela’s saga also marked a failure of black South Africans to transform their hard-won political power into economic equality, as domestic and foreign whites retained the reins of money, as Danny Schechter writes.

The Real Existential Threat

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

Most people on Earth – everyone born after World War II – have lived their entire lives under the threat of nuclear annihilation. But just because an existential threat has always been there doesn’t mean it won’t be activated, as Ira Helfand and Robert F. Dodge reflect.

An Open Door to Leave Afghanistan

President Barack Obama and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan participate in a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama has promised to end America’s combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 but is haggling with Afghan President Karzai over how to keep soldiers there for another decade, a dispute that Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland says is a good excuse to leave.

The 2nd Amendment and Killing Kids

President James Madison, a principal author of the Bill of Rights..

From the Archive: The comedy team Key and Peele cut through the Right’s Second Amendment madness best in a bit in which Peele travels back in time with Uzis to confront its authors over their careless wording. But there is nothing funny about piles of dead kids, victims of bad history, as Robert Parry wrote…

The NRA’s War on America

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

From the Archive: One year ago, 20 first-graders went off to school in Newtown, Connecticut, some surely thinking about the upcoming Christmas holidays. But they never came home, becoming – along with six of their educators – collateral damage in the NRA’s big-dollar war to boost gun sales, as Beverly Bandler noted last March.