Foreign Policy

The Belated Wisdom of Ex-Leaders

Departing political leaders offer two kinds of reflections: self-serving rationalizations by those still protecting their reputations and blunt truth-telling by people who realize they should have done more when they had the chance. Both are galling, though in different ways, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Bird-Dogging Torturers in NYC

Exclusive: As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 nears, many ex-Bush administration officials who approved torture in the “war on terror” and botched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are back in the spotlight taking bows from appreciative audiences in tightly controlled settings. But Ray McGovern was part of a different reaction in New York City.

Bush’s ‘October Surprise’ File in Dispute

Exclusive: The enduring October Surprise mystery – whether Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign sabotaged President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to free 52 American hostages in Iran – has reached a possible turning point, whether details of George H.W. Bush’s activities on a key day will be released, reports Robert Parry.

A 9/11 ‘What If?’

From the Archive: In recognition of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we will be publishing some past stories about the consequences of that momentous day. On Sept. 11, 2008, the seventh anniversary, Peter Dyer reflected on “what if” the United States had responded with demands for justice, not wars of conquest.

Resetting the American Narrative

Exclusive: The U.S. political climate might change if Americans understood how much the federal government did to create the infrastructure behind many business fortunes, including the Internet and computer technology. That narrative would justify higher taxes on the rich to repay the nation and allow for future R&D, writes Robert Parry.

The Absurd US Bases in Japan

Anticipating a return to power after Republicans win in 2012, the neocons are now in a delaying game to stop any serious cuts in the U.S. military budget, including in the global network of bases, even in countries like Japan where – as Robert Higgs notes – the national security rationale has long since disappeared.

Nuke Plant Battle in Kansas City

A dispute in Kansas City over a new plant for modernizing U.S. nuclear weapons has drawn local opposition and international attention as political and religious leaders question the Obama administration’s commitment to a nuke-free world, Lawrence S. Wittner writes.

Petraeus’s New ‘Killing Machine’

The CIA is now “one hell of a killing machine,” said one CIA insider, as lethal drones hunt down “bad guys” selected for death by a ramped-up force of CIA target analysts. This shift in emphasis has transformed the spy agency that new director, retired Gen. David Petraeus, inherits, writes Gareth Porter.

9/11: Incompetence and Dishonesty

At the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there will be much commentary about lessons learned. To former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who tried to ring the alarm before the attacks, one enduring realization is the incompetence, hubris and dishonesty that pervades all levels of government.

Turkey Stands Up to Israel

Often in the application of international law, it’s not what a country did but who its friends – and who its enemies – are that count. In that light, Israel, a close U.S. friend, got the blessings of a UN report for its attacks against Gaza-bound civilian ships on the high seas, a stamp of…