Constitution

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.

A History of False Fear

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s.

It’s always hard to get someone to speak honestly when his or her livelihood depends on not telling the truth. With the military-industrial-surveillance complex, that reality is multiplied by the billions of dollars and the many careers at stake, Joe Lauria writes.

Snowden’s Leaks Doom NSA’s Snooping

President Barack Obama talks about the National Security Agency's surveillance policies at a press conference on Dec. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

After long claiming to welcome a robust debate on NSA surveillance, President Obama found the debate more robust – and more substantive – than he expected, especially after the leaks by Edward Snowden, as Danny Schechter explains.

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 2nd Amendment and Killing Kids

President James Madison, an architect of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but also a Virginia slave owner.

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.

The Bigger Risk: Private v. Public Spying

nationalsecurityagency

The fear of NSA’s metadata collection is as much in the potential for Big Brother government as in the present – or as Edward Snowden says a “turnkey tyranny” all ready to go – but private-sector abuses are another worry, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

Racism Through Rose-Colored Glasses

President Theodore Roosevelt

Many Americans tend to whitewash their country’s ugly history of racism – all the better to feel good about “exceptionalism” – but even sophisticated writers can ignore this grim reality when praising their favored presidents, as William Loren Katz explains.

Obama Urged to Fire DNI Clapper

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Last March – before Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s sweeping collection of phone and other data – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said no such operation existed. Now, a group of ex-national security officials urge President Obama to fire Clapper.