Constitution

New Risks from 9/11 War Act

Presidents have been stretching their commander-in-chief powers since Thomas Jefferson dispatched the Navy to make war on the Barbary pirates. But Congress risks a perpetual war of presidential choice if it carelessly rewrites the 9/11 force-authorization act, warns Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Doubting Obama’s Resolve to Do Right

Exclusive: In his counterterrorism speech, President Obama ruminated about the moral and legal dilemma of balancing the safety of the American people against the use of targeted killings abroad. But Obama’s handwringing did not sit well with some critics including ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Source of Anti-Government Extremism

Exclusive: The Right’s hostility to “guv-mint” is not new. It traces back to the South’s fears that any activism by the national government, whether building roads or providing disaster relief, would risk federal intervention against slavery and later against segregation, perhaps even the end of white supremacy, reports Robert Parry.

Charting a New Course on Terrorism

President Obama offered a comprehensive review of U.S. counterterrorism policies since 9/11, while vowing to ratchet down the violence and acknowledging harm done to America’s principles and image. Still, many details of his plans remain fuzzy and follow-through far from certain, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Distorts ‘Just War’ Principles

In assessing the consequences of the decade-plus “war on terror,” President Obama sought to place his continued — albeit more targeted — use of violence within the context of just-war principles, stressing self-defense and proportionality, a point that religious ethicist Daniel C. Maguire disputes.

The Delicate Balance of Leaking

Without doubt, the U.S. government over-classifies national security information, hiding not just genuine secrets but policy debates and mistakes. This creates tensions for whistleblowers and journalists over what should be public. But there are legitimate concerns about leaking, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Racism and the American Right

Exclusive: From the start of the Republic to today’s Republican ranting against Barack Obama, racism has been a central element of the American Right. But this ugly feature of U.S. history has often come concealed behind words praising traditions, liberty and states’ rights, Robert Parry reports.

The Right’s ‘Scandal’ Funhouse Mirror

Exclusive: Official Washington is captivated by the image of Obama “scandals,” including Benghazi talking points and extra IRS questions posed to Tea Party groups, but journalists are peering into the Right’s funhouse mirror which for decades has made big scandals small and small scandals big, says Robert Parry.

Bearing Witness to Justice

Jesus’s social teachings and America’s founding ideals had common threads, particularly rejection of tyrannical rulers and promotion of the general welfare. But the Israelite society of Jesus’s day, like America today, had lost connection to its ethical roots, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

The Lure of Violent Revolution

It’s become trendy in some circles – mostly on the Right since the election of the first African-American president but also a bit on the Left – to talk breezily of armed revolution. But bloodshed is wrongheaded and reckless when political space remains for democratic change, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.