Human Rights

Walking the Jerusalem Plank

In reversing the decision of the Democratic platform committee to omit a plank declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, President Obama may have intended to deny the Republicans another attack line, but he also added to the disenchantment of some progressives, says Lawrence Davidson.

When Rule of Law Meets Politics

Holding national security officials accountable for torture and other crimes against humanity may seem like the right thing to do when it’s someone else’s country. But U.S. politicians keep finding excuses when the abusers are American, observes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Romney’s Audacious Corporate Raid

Exclusive: Wall Street’s audacity in pushing one of its own, Mitt Romney, to be President has the look of a classic corporate takeover, targeting a struggling U.S. and plotting to install new management for restructuring. But that usually means the big boys get the profits and everyone else the sacrifice, says Robert Parry.

How Sanctions Become Baggage

American politicians like to show how tough they are by citing some disagreeable behavior by a disdained government and sponsoring sanctions legislation to punish that country. However, politics also make such laws hard to repeal even as circumstances change, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

‘Mushroom Cloud’ Sales Pitch Is Back

Exclusive: A decade ago, George W. Bush’s administration, citing the specter of “mushroom clouds,” launched a PR campaign to rally the American people behind an invasion of Iraq. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is undertaking a similar effort against Iran, writes Peter Dyer.

Narrowing ‘Love Thy Neighbor’

Many Christians claim a personal relationship with Jesus but show little regard for his commandments to serve the poor and love thy neighbor. Some conceal these contradictions by narrowing the definition of “neighbor,” as Rev. Howard Bess explains.

Obama Ruling Shields Torturers

Exclusive: Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute CIA torturers in two high-profile homicides bows to the political difficulty of going after field agents while sparing superiors, including ex-President George W. Bush. But the all-clear on torture sends a dangerous message, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Whitewashing Rachel Corrie’s Death

Two recent rulings, one in Israel blaming American Rachel Corrie for her own death while obstructing the demolition of Palestinian homes and another in America absolving torturers in the murder of detainees, suggest that national security trumps justice and international law is easily brushed aside, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Trouble from the US ‘Terrorism List’

Over the years, the U.S. “terrorism list” has become less an objective assessment of groups that use violence against civilians than an ideological battlefield littered with blatant hypocrisies and outdated hatreds. The list has even complicated strategies for reducing political violence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

An All-Clear for Bush’s Torturers

Even as Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu urges a war-crimes trial for George Bush and Tony Blair for invading Iraq, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives an all-clear to Bush’s subordinates for homicides that resulted from torture in Afghanistan and Iraq, a repudiation of U.S. law and principles, says Marjorie Cohn.