Human Rights

What Country Do We Want to Keep?

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.

Would Jesus Join the Occupy Protests?

In the holiday season, many Christians take pride in helping the poor – by donating food and toys – but U.S. religious leaders have stayed in the background of challenges to an inequitable economic system, leaving that Jesus work to mostly secular young people of the Occupy movement, the Rev. Howard Bess observes.

The Real Thanksgiving Day

From the Archive: On Thanksgiving Day, the United States celebrates the tradition of Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down together in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 to celebrate each other as friendly neighbors. But the reality was not so pleasant, as historian William Loren Katz recalled.

The New Industry of High-Tech Spying

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.

OWS Shatters the Political Frame

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and right-wing talk-show hosts are whipping up their supporters against Occupy Wall Street, while some Democrats support  the OWS goals but fear the backlash. However, poet Phil Rockstroh says this movement transcends traditional politics.

The Trashing of the People’s Library

Facts and the written word have long been enemies of injustice, as they are now with critiques that the economic game is rigged to concentrate money and power at the top. So, it was no surprise when the New York police raid on Occupy Wall Street trashed the “People’s Library,” Danny Schechter reports.

Israeli Democracy Fades Toward Black

America’s Founders understood that creating a nation that favored one religion over others was a recipe for repression. Israel’s founders rejected that wisdom and sought a Jewish state with democratic ideals. But it is turning out that America’s Founders were right, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents

From the Archive: At the G20 summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy commiserated with President Barack Obama about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Sarkozy called a “liar,” prompting Obama to say: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day.” But struggling with Israeli leaders is not new, Morgan Strong reported.

Seattle Police Pepper-Spray Pastor

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.

Whistleblowers Honored on Nov. 21

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.