On Nov. 21, former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake was honored for his courage in blowing the whistle on the U.S. government’s abuse of its secrecy powers. In his acceptance speech, Drake explained the larger and more frightening context – the loss of American liberty.
The post 9/11 spending splurge by the U.S. national security state has given rise to a new industry devoted to developing technology for spying on almost everyone. These gizmos now represent a threat to what’s left of personal privacy, writes Lawrence Davidson.
U.S. authorities and major news media are quick to condemn leaders of foreign nations when they unleash police to rough up and intimidate protesting citizens, but a different standard applies inside the United States, as Rev. Rich Lang discovered when he walked with an Occupy protest in Seattle.
In recent decades, information – the lifeblood of democracy — has often been cut off from the American body politic on “national security” grounds or because insiders feel it wouldn’t be “good for the country.” To counter that benighted view, a group of ex-U.S. intelligence officials honors brave whistleblowers, this year Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack.
A new movie about the life and times of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reminds America how the Republic veered so far off course in the last century, as claims of “national security” enabled a corrupt political establishment to take hold, as Michael Winship recalls.
In the Republican race, the hottest “religious issue” is the Mormonism of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, which many commentators have ruled out of bounds. But there are broader issues of religion and politics that should be part of the presidential debate, says Rev. Howard Bess.
Exclusive: The appointment of federal judges is a key power of the U.S. president. It can reward partisan allies for past services and ensure favorable rulings in the future. Both factors were in play for District Judge Richard Leon who just struck down new cigarette warnings, writes Robert Parry.
After the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush’s administration pulled off the shelf dozens of internal security provisions that the Right had long wanted to implement. They were passed as the Patriot Act and have become part of America’s police-state culture, writes Anthony Gregory.
America’s decade-long hysteria since 9/11 has taken on some characteristics of the European witch hunts of 500 years ago, with incineration of targets after a sham “due process,” albeit now with Hellfire missiles from the air not stake-burnings on the ground, as Mary Beaudoin explains.
For years now, U.S. “public broadcasting” has run scared from right-wing attacks and Republican funding cuts. So, NPR and PBS lard on more right-wing pundits, while purging any sign of liberal dissent as just happened with a producer of an opera show who joined “Occupy DC” protests, David Swanson reports.