Human Rights

A Political Edge from Guantanamo

Though many of today’s domestic and international crises date back to George W. Bush’s presidency, Republicans see a political edge in frustrating President Obama’s efforts to solve them, reveling in a new narrative about Obama’s “weakness.” The Guantanamo mess is a case in point, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Blindness to Blowback

After a terrorist attack, if anyone dares suggest that the killings represent blowback from U.S. military violence abroad, that person can expect furious denunciations even though the point is almost surely true, a paradox that William Blum confronts in this article from Anti-Empire Report.

Gun Madness v. Gun Sanity

As the gun carnage continues across the United States, the Right won’t stop peddling its bogus historical claims about the Second Amendment and rallying its gullible supporters to fight even modest safety laws. But victims of gun violence are finally fighting back, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

Howard Kurtz’s Belated Comeuppance

Exclusive: Media critic Howard Kurtz has lost his job as Washington bureau chief for Newsweek/Daily Beast after a blog post in which he falsely accused basketball player Jason Collins of hiding his past engagement to a woman while coming out as gay. But Kurtz’s journalistic abuses have a much longer history, writes Robert Parry.

An Excuse for Syrian ‘Regime Change’?

Across Official Washington – including the neocon Washington Post and “liberal” MSNBC – pundits are demanding U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war. But the furor over alleged use of chemical weapons represents just the latest dubious argument for regime change, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hypocrisy Over Iran’s Nuclear Program

In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.

The Long Shadow of Auschwitz

Before his execution by hanging in 1947, Auschwitz commander Rudolf Hoess confessed to his role in the industrialized slaughter of millions of Jews and other “enemies” of Hitler’s Third Reich. But Hoess’s guilt – while extraordinary in its numbers – extends to all leaders who carelessly choose war, Gary G. Kohls observes.

Pursuing Truth about Israel/Palestine

Many journalists are confronted with a choice in their careers: pursue a difficult truth by taking on powerful interests or protect their livelihoods by going with the flow. While readers may think the choice is obvious – pursue the truth – it often comes with a high price, as journalist Alan Hart learned.

Ray McGovern on Consortiumnews

Ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern has been crisscrossing the United States, with an occasional detour to Europe, speaking to groups concerned about U.S. foreign policy, but he took time to send in this letter urging readers to help Consortiumnews meet its spring fundraising goal.

The Boston Marathon Over-Reaction

The intense response to the Boston Marathon bombings – including a government shutdown of metropolitan Boston and hysterical national news coverage – sent troubling messages, both on civil liberties and the U.S. susceptibility to terrorist-inspired disruptions, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.