Human Rights

FBI Snooping on the CIA’s Petraeus

The U.S. news media pretends to shy away from sex scandals but actually looks for any excuse to cover them. A case in point has been the ouster of CIA Director David Petraeus, but the press may have missed the bigger story of FBI snooping, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

Corrupting US Democracy

The United States tends to view itself as the gold standard for democracy and bristles at international criticism of its electoral flaws. But recent corrosion of democratic principles, caused mostly by Republicans, has lowered the quality of U.S. democracy, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents

From the Archive: Just days after President Obama’s reelection, Israel launched a punishing bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza – much as Israel did shortly after his election in 2008. Obama again is put in a tight spot, but other U.S. presidents faced similar challenges, as Morgan Strong reported in 2010.

Israeli Scholar Disputes Founding Myth

From the Archive: As Israel again “mows the grass” in Gaza – taking revenge on Palestinians for firing crude missiles into Israeli territory – the myth upon which the Jewish government stakes its claim to the land is front and center. But the myth faces challenges even inside Israel, as Morgan Strong reported in 2009.

Challenging Israel’s Myths

A carefully cultivated mythology sustains Israel’s territorial claims to Palestine and rationalizes Israel’s ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinians from the land. Challenges to those myths are typically met with fierce counterattacks, as Lawrence Davidson discovered.

Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass

Exclusive: Israeli hardliners joke about the periodic need to decimate each new generation of Palestinian militants as “mowing the grass,” a process underway again in new bombardments of Gaza. This ugly metaphor has also penetrated the think-tank world of Official Washington, as ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray learned.

Death Knell for a Failing Paradigm

The death and destruction from Super Storm Sandy – this time inflicted near the U.S. power center of New York City – are warnings of what’s in store if the global-warming deniers continue to obstruct action. Future devastation will shatter the creaky framework of modern civilization, says Phil Rockstroh.

A Closer Look at New Gaza Conflict

The new round of violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza is receiving the typical U.S. media treatment, blaming Hamas and absolving Israel. But the origins of the latest clashes are much more complex than that simplistic and one-sided version, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Mistress Helped Petraeus

A back story to the sex scandal that ended David Petraeus’s 14 months as director of the CIA is that his mistress, Paula Broadwell, was an apologist for abusive actions by the U.S. command in Afghanistan. She defended the leveling of an Afghan village deemed uncooperative, Gareth Porter says at Inter Press Service.

Separating War from the Vets

On Veterans Day, Americans make a point of thanking men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. But this appreciation has the effect of shielding today’s perpetual warfare from the critical examination it deserves, writes former Marine Matthew Hoh.