Human Rights

The Corruption of Human Rights Watch

Tom Malinowski, longtime director of Human Rights Watch's Washington office, was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on April 3, 2014.

Over the years, U.S. “public diplomacy” has pulled reputable NGOs into the U.S. propaganda orbit, sometimes via funding, sometimes by creating a revolving door to government jobs, as a letter from over 100 scholars suggests happened to Human Rights Watch. Followed by HRW’s response to the criticism.

Ukraine’s Dueling Elections

A pile of "yes" votes at a Donetsk polling place favoring secession in the referendum on May 11, 2014.

Exclusive: Voters in two eastern Ukrainian provinces showed strong support for secession from the coup regime in Kiev, but the U.S. State Department and other regime supporters reject the outcome and vow to press ahead with a special presidential vote on May 25, Robert Parry reports.

Burning Ukraine’s Protesters Alive

Ukrainian Secretary for National Security Andriy Parubiy.

Exclusive: For the second time in a week, Ukrainian anti-regime protesters holed up in a building were killed by fires set by pro-regime attackers with ties to newly formed neo-Nazi security forces, reports Robert Parry.

Putting the Ukraine Crisis in Context

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

When the Ukraine crisis began, the mainstream U.S. media cast aside any pretense of objectivity and joined in the service of State Department propaganda. But – given the emergence of the Internet – a far more honest and nuanced story is possible to detect, as William Blum describes at Anti-Empire Report.

How the US Propaganda System Works

broadcast-networks

Americans are told that other governments practice censorship and propaganda, but not their own. Yet, the reality is quite different with many reasonable viewpoints marginalized and deceptive spin put on much that comes from officialdom, writes Lawrence Davidson.

The Inconvenient Truth about Jesus

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

There is much religiosity in the U.S., with the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority even approving Christian prayers at the start of government business. But there is little appreciation of the radical political and economic message at the center of Jesus’s teachings, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

The Commandment to Save the Planet

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

America’s right-wingers are so hostile to the federal government – and to the Constitution’s commandment to ”promote the general Welfare” – that they reject action even when needed to save the planet. A resistance that continues whatever the evidence, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

The Death Penalty’s Grotesque Reality

Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who pressed for Clayton Lockett's execution despite doubts over the drug cocktail to be used.

On April 29, Oklahoma authorities strapped convicted murderer Clayton Lockett to a gurney and began pumping in drugs to kill him. But the process went awry as Lockett writhed in pain for 43 minutes, raising moral questions discussed by Dennis J Bernstein with death-penalty opponent Michael Kroll.

UN Syria-Sarin Investigator Voices Doubts

Ake Sellstrom, who led the United Nations' investigation into the Aug. 21, 2013 Sarin gas attack in Syria.

More doubts about last August’s Sarin attack in Syria are being raised by the U.N.’s lead investigator who questions the number of people actually exposed to the poison gas, suggesting the incident was much more limited than claimed, writes Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

What Obama Can Do to Save Ukraine

President Barack Obama uncomfortably accepting the Nobel Peace Prize from Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009. (White House photo)

Exclusive: The fate of Ukraine – whether it descends into civil war or finds a path back from the brink – may rest with President Obama and whether he can work with Russian President Putin while recognizing the legitimate concerns of both eastern and western Ukrainians, writes Robert Parry.