Constitution

Negotiating with Hostage-Takers

One enduring lesson of the Reagan administration is that it makes no sense to negotiate with hostage-takers; they only take more hostages. That is a lesson that President Barack Obama and the Democrats must learn in dealing with the today’s right-wing  Republicans, writes Michael Winship.

Ray McGovern to Gov. Brown on Prisons

In recent weeks, prisoners in California’s over-crowded prison system have been on hunger strikes demanding more humane treatment. This crisis has prompted Jesuit-schooled, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern to write an open letter – an appeal for justice – to California Gov. Jerry Brown, who also received Jesuit training.

Anti-Torture Strike in California Prisons

Many Americans were shocked by how the Bush administration treated “war on terror” detainees and others were startled when the Obama administration abused suspected WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning in a military brig. But the larger scandal may be how common such prison cruelty is in the United States, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

The Rise of Pro-Democracy Journalism

The old idea of journalism – arming the people with facts they need for democracy to work – has been betrayed by major U.S. news outlets, like the New York Times and Washington Post, which have instead aligned themselves with national power under the guise of “objectivity.” But Nozomi Hayase sees the Internet as a more…

The Real Scandal of US Justice

Right-wing judges now dominate the American legal system, from the state level where corporate donations help elect them to the U.S. Supreme Court where ideologues tip the scales in favor of big business. To Michael Winship, that’s the true scandal in the administration of justice, not a few high-profile instances where juries make unpopular rulings.

Putting Torturers Above the Law

In another example of how Democrats deal timidly with Republican crimes, the Obama administration has closed the book on the vast majority of George W. Bush’s torture scandals, including high-level approval of waterboarding and other forms of physical coercion. Only two homicide investigations will go forward, as Marjorie Cohn notes. 

Robert Parry’s July Fourth Appeal

For several decades now, the American Republic has been under a new form of assault, one that takes aim at what the Founders recognized as both the great strength and the great vulnerability of democracy, an informed electorate.

A July Fourth Shame on the Founders

Exclusive: A group of American humanitarians and activists are still trying to make their way to Gaza in protest of the harsh Israeli embargo on the 1.6 million Palestinians confined there. However, an attempt to set sail from Athens on Friday was stopped by the Greek Coast Guard, apparently at the behest of Washington and…

Drug War’s March of Folly

Exclusive: Four decades ago, President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs,” setting in motion one of the most destructive exercises in prohibition in American history. Legal rights of citizens were trampled, countless billions of dollars were expended, violence spread and the prisons filled, but little progress was made. And, Richard L. Fricker notes that…

Today’s Pentagon Papers Warning

The U.S. government has finally released the full Pentagon Papers describing how the American people were misled into the Vietnam War. The declassification comes four decades after most of the document was leaked by Pentagon insider Daniel Ellsberg, who today says similar deceptions are enabling wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere.