Human Rights

Puttin’ the Pressure on Putin

Exclusive: The Obama administration continues to compound the diplomatic mess around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The latest blunder was announcing that the U.S. wouldn’t torture or execute Snowden, a reminder to the world how far Official Washington has strayed from civilized behavior, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Brushing Aside the Rule of Law

President George W. Bush famously mocked questions about international law with fake horror and the response, “I better call my lawyer!” But the rule of law is under broader assault within the U.S. government, now centered on whether to call Egypt’s military coup a coup, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

Chilling the First Amendment

President Obama has overseen an unprecedented legal campaign against leaks of classified information with New York Times journalist James Risen now facing possible jail for refusing to testify in the trial of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for a leak published in Risen’s book, State of War, a topic that First Amendment attorney James Goodale discusses…

UK Spy Warns of Iraq War Disclosures

Exclusive: For more than a decade since the Iraq invasion, President Bush, Prime Minister Blair and their senior aides have stuck to the story of innocent intelligence mistakes and evaded accountability. But the code of silence may crack if top British spy Richard Dearlove tells his story, says ex-UK intelligence officer Annie Machon.

US, China Contend with Resentment

Americans like to be liked and are often perplexed why so many people around the world “hate us.” Some of that comes from specific policies like support for Israel and  drone strikes, but there’s also the resentment toward big-power arrogance, a problem that is arising for China, too, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Racist Roots of GOP War on Obama

Exclusive: Right-wing Republicans in Congress are plotting to cripple the U.S. government if Barack Obama, the first African-American president, doesn’t submit to their demands. The battle pretends to be over the size of government but it echoes the whips, chains and epithets of America’s racist past, writes Robert Parry.

Contrasting Views on US Nobility

Official Washington’s pundit class has renewed its op-ed barrage for a more robust U.S. intervention in Syria, citing the need to protect human rights. But many people around the world don’t share that view of noble American motives, including the Afghans who have some experience, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Fallout from Nuclear Secrecy

During the Cold War’s early years, the U.S. government detonated dozens of nuclear explosions on Pacific atolls, spreading nuclear fallout around the globe and making some areas uninhabitable, a grim legacy captured in secret documents finally being shared with the Marshall Islands’ government, reports Beverly Deepe Keever.

How Israel Lobby Trained a Diplomat

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador-designate to the UN, once dared to suggest deploying a peace-keeping force to Israel to protect the lives on both sides, an idea that infuriated the Israel Lobby and taught Power a lesson in how she must temper her views on human rights, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Squeezing Labor Costs Everywhere

The prevalence of low-wage jobs in the private sector and the scarcity of well-organized unions are among the explanations for America’s collapsing middle class. But the exploitation of cheap labor also extends into government jobs, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship report.