Human Rights

The NRA’s War on America

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

From the Archive: One year ago, 20 first-graders went off to school in Newtown, Connecticut, some surely thinking about the upcoming Christmas holidays. But they never came home, becoming – along with six of their educators – collateral damage in the NRA’s big-dollar war to boost gun sales, as Beverly Bandler noted last March.

Israel and the Bedouins

Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, a British intelligence officer who recruited Bedouin tribesmen during World War I.

Israel’s Right suddenly finds itself in a strange new world where it can’t do whatever it wants to Arabs under its control without encountering international resistance, like the recent plan to forcibly relocate Bedouins in the Negev, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Fresh Doubts about Syria’s Sarin Guilt

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Exclusive: A new analysis, buried in a UN report, reveals that one of the two missiles at the center of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, which nearly led to a U.S. military attack, showed no evidence of Sarin, further undermining Official Washington’s certainty that the Syrian government was to blame, reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s Syria Strategy at a Crossroads

President Barack Obama speaks by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jan. 12, 2012. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The Islamic Front’s capture of a U.S.-stocked supply depot in northern Syria prompted a suspension of those shipments to “moderate” Syrian rebels. The incident also drove home how Islamists are gaining ground — and why President Obama may shift U.S. strategy, writes Robert Parry.

The Bigger Risk: Private v. Public Spying

nationalsecurityagency

The fear of NSA’s metadata collection is as much in the potential for Big Brother government as in the present – or as Edward Snowden says a “turnkey tyranny” all ready to go – but private-sector abuses are another worry, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

Racism Through Rose-Colored Glasses

President Theodore Roosevelt

Many Americans tend to whitewash their country’s ugly history of racism – all the better to feel good about “exceptionalism” – but even sophisticated writers can ignore this grim reality when praising their favored presidents, as William Loren Katz explains.

Obama Urged to Fire DNI Clapper

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Last March – before Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s sweeping collection of phone and other data – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said no such operation existed. Now, a group of ex-national security officials urge President Obama to fire Clapper.

Embracing Israel’s Atrocities

Israeli author and columnist Ari Shavit.

The mainstream U.S. media is in love with a new book by Ari Shavit that acknowledges Israel’s massacre of Palestinians but embraces the atrocities as necessary for the Zionist state’s existence, a moral contradiction that Lawrence Davidson dissects.

Does Christmas Obscure Jesus?

Jesus of Nazareth delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted by artist Carl Bloch.

The Christmas season celebrates the regal myth of Jesus – his supposedly miraculous birth and royal lineage as a king of kings – but that loses sight of the historical Jesus and his revolutionary message of justice for the poor and powerless, as Rev. Howard Bess reflects.

Honoring Mandela, Not Reagan

South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela.

Exclusive: The U.S. government’s relationship with Nelson Mandela was often strained, from the CIA’s hand in his imprisonment to Ronald Reagan’s veto of a sanctions bill aimed at getting him freed, lost history that must now be reconciled, writes Robert Parry.