Constitution

Can the Surveillance State Be Stopped?

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

Despite the public furor over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. government surveillance, the process rolls on unabated with few prospects of significant reform, writes Danny Schechter.

Death to the Death Penalty

A gurney used for  executions by lethal injection.

Oklahoma’s ghoulish killing of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett on April 29 has brought new attention to America’s continued use of the death penalty, a politically popular issue in some states but a practice that has many reasons justifying its abolition, writes Marjorie Cohn.

How the US Propaganda System Works

broadcast-networks

Americans are told that other governments practice censorship and propaganda, but not their own. Yet, the reality is quite different with many reasonable viewpoints marginalized and deceptive spin put on much that comes from officialdom, writes Lawrence Davidson.

The Death Penalty’s Grotesque Reality

Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who pressed for Clayton Lockett's execution despite doubts over the drug cocktail to be used.

On April 29, Oklahoma authorities strapped convicted murderer Clayton Lockett to a gurney and began pumping in drugs to kill him. But the process went awry as Lockett writhed in pain for 43 minutes, raising moral questions discussed by Dennis J Bernstein with death-penalty opponent Michael Kroll.

Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?

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)

From the Archive: During the Cold War, two presidents delivered honest warnings to Americans, Eisenhower on the “military-industrial complex” and Kennedy on how “we all inhabit this small planet.” Now Ukraine presents a challenge to President Obama to speak out for peace, as Robert Parry wrote in March.

Behind Oklahoma’s Ghoulish Execution

Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett.

Oklahoma’s Gov. Fallin, who pushed for Tuesday’s execution of Clayton Lockett, is promising an “independent” review of the ghoulish process that left him writhing in pain as panicked officials pulled the shades on witnesses and later said he died of a heart attack, reports Richard L. Fricker.

Finding a Way to Execute

A gurney used for  executions by lethal injection.

From the Archive:  After getting a judge’s stay reversed, Oklahoma officials pressed ahead with Clayton Lockett’s lethal injection, only to have the botched execution leave him writhing in pain before finally dying of an apparent heart attack. In March, Richard L. Fricker sketched the case’s grim background.

The Iron Law of Oligarchy Returns

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-first Century."

America likes to think of itself as a land of the Great Middle Class with a government “of, by and for the people.” But that reality has changed drastically over the past several decades, as money and power have created a dominant American Oligarchy, writes Danny Schechter.

America’s Surge Toward Oligarchy

Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)

Exclusive: With the rapid concentration of wealth in a few well-manicured hands and the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court declaring money to be speech, the American surge toward oligarchy has gained what looks like an unstoppable momentum, as JP Sottile explains.

America’s Mad Dash to Oligarchy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Since Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” tax cuts for the rich – followed by other giveaways like eliminating the “death tax” so billionaires can pass on their fortunes to lucky heirs – the United States has been on a mad dash to oligarchy, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.