Constitution

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.

GOP Madness Surfaces in Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry greeting voters during his ill-fated run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Tea Party extremism boiling from beneath the Republican Party bubbled to the top in the GOP’s Texas state platform revealing ugly bigotries and a frantic know-nothing-ism, writes Michael Winship.

Obama’s Failure to Rein in CIA and NSA

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser.

Despite Barack Obama’s promises during the 2008 campaign to reform the U.S. intelligence community, he has continued to tolerate its abuses, enable its excessive secrecy and indulge its bone-headedness, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman explains.

An All-Seeing, All-Knowing Being

The logo for the Information Awareness Office, which oversaw the Total Information Awareness project.

A decade ago, exposure of President George W. Bush’s Total Information Awareness scheme brought assurances that it had been shelved, but its Orwellian intent was only shifted to the NSA and it now gives the U.S. government nearly god-like powers, says Norman Solomon.

The Back Story of ‘Citizen Koch’

citizen-koch

Exclusive: The documentary, “Citizen Koch,” was deemed unfit for PBS as the network sidles up to David Koch’s wealth, but the film’s weakness actually is that it doesn’t focus enough on how the Koch brothers have corrupted the U.S. political process, writes Jim DiEugenio.

A Monte Python Circus of Money

British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The City of London is the UK’s Wall Street, not only in the sense that both are financial centers but they also serve as an intersection for money and politics, especially with the Conservative Party putting access to prominent politicians up for sale to the highest bidder, as Michael Winship recounts.

The U.S. Persecution of Sami Al-Arian

Sami Al-Arian and his two children. (Photo credit: Muslimmatters.org)

The neocon exploitation of the 9/11 attacks led to the disastrous Iraq War but  also unleashed anti-Muslim bigotry within the American political/media system and even within the U.S. courts, as the ugly persecution of Sami Al-Arian reveals, reports Lawrence Davidson.