Constitution

Standing Up for Lessons of Dissent

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, a powerful example of how dissenters have addressed injustice in America and given meaning to democracy.

There is a general belief that Americans don’t care much about history, preferring to bask in self-reverential “exceptionalism” with U.S. behavior beyond criticism. But students outside Denver are taking to the streets to protest right-wing efforts to strip dissent from the history curriculum, writes Peter Dreier.

PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner

William Hamilton, developer of the PROMIS software, and his wife Nancy.

From the Archive: Richard L. Fricker, a courageous journalist and frequent writer at Consortiumnews, died on Sept. 12 from heart failure. Among Fricker’s important work was his investigation of the U.S. government’s PROMIS software which preceded the NSA’s Orwellian PRISM, as Fricker noted last July.

‘Money-in-Politics’ Amendment Ignored

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

A few right-wing pundits like George Will are livid over the prospect of curbing the power of billionaires to buy U.S. elections, but mostly the debate over a proposed constitutional amendment to allow regulation of money in politics is just being ignored, as Nat Parry notes.

Fleshing Out Nixon’s Vietnam ‘Treason’

Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States.

Exclusive: Out of the Watergate scandal came a favorite mainstream media saying: “the cover-up is always worse than the crime.” But the MSM didn’t understand what the real crime was or why President Nixon was so desperate, as James DiEugenio explains in reviewing Ken Hughes’s Chasing Shadows.

Bringing War Home to America

Michael Brown, the victim of a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

From the “war on drugs” to the “war on terror,” U.S. society has grown increasingly militarized with police now armed to the teeth with weapons of war to deploy against American citizens, a process that apes U.S. violence-oriented actions abroad, says Brian J. Trautman.

Is Police Brutality Color-Blind?

Attorney General Eric Holder meets with local residents and community leaders of Ferguson, Missouri at Drake’s Place Restaurant. (by Lonnie Taque, U.S. Department of Justice)

The Missouri police shooting death of Michael Brown has spotlighted police brutality toward blacks but many other Americans, including whites, are finding themselves the targets of harsher and harsher police tactics, notes Nat Parry.

Cracking Down on Truth-telling

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)

President Obama entered office vowing to run a transparent government. But instead he has clamped down on leaks, prosecuted whistleblowers and threatened truth-telling journalists with jail if they don’t reveal sources, as Marcy Wheeler recounts.

Still Tolerating Torture

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

President Obama admits that U.S. authorities engaged in torture during the “war on terror” but he has taken no action to hold the torturers accountable and even elevated one of its defenders, John Brennan, to chief of the CIA, notes William Blum.

The Unfinished Drama of Watergate

President Richard Nixon, speaking to the nation on Aug. 8, 1974, announcing his decision to resign.

Four decades ago, Richard Nixon resigned, making him the first U.S. president in history to quit the office, the result of two years of a spreading scandal known as Watergate. But many Watergate reforms aimed at limiting the power of money over politics were short-lived, as Michael Winship observes.

The Long Reach of Vietnam War Deceptions

Scene from the Vietnam War

America’s war in Vietnam, which was authorized by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution a half century ago, had lasting consequences for the nation, including deeper public distrust of government and government’s determination to restrict the people’s right to know, as retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce explains.