Many Americans forget how intimidating it was a decade ago for any U.S. citizen to speak out against President George W. Bush’s rush to war with Iraq. For example, the Dixie Chicks got death threats and actor Sean Penn was denounced as “a stooge of Saddam,” as Norman Solomon recalls.
Exclusive: In the 1970s, Father Jorge Bergoglio faced a moment of truth: Would he stand up to Argentina’s military neo-Nazis “disappearing” thousands including priests, or keep his mouth shut and his career on track? Like many other Church leaders, Pope Francis took the safe route, Robert Parry reports.
From the Archive: Jorge Bergoglio’s election to be Pope Francis has revived troubling questions about the Catholic Church’s role in the Argentine “dirty war” and other right-wing repression in Latin America of the 1970s and ’80s. But the history goes back to ties to the Nazis, as the late Georg Hodel wrote in 1999.
Awash in evidence of U.S.-inflicted civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning chose action over silence, releasing thousands of documents via WikiLeaks to the public. In doing so, he violated the code of faceless bureaucratic complicity, writes Lawrence Davidson.
From the Archive: As Argentina’s Dirty War killed some 30,000 people, including 150 Catholic priests, dictator Jorge Rafael Videla kept up good relations with Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, who admits the Church should have done more given the horrors, as described by Marta Gurvich in 1998.
Exclusive: The U.S. “news” networks bubbled with excitement over the selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to be Pope Francis I. But there was silence on the obvious question that should be asked about any senior cleric from Argentina: What was Bergoglio doing during the “dirty war,” writes Robert Parry.
Like the Iraq War, the long U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is grinding toward an American loss, with little left behind in either country beyond resentment toward military excesses. Afghan anger is the best interpretation of President Karzai’s bizarre remarks, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
Official Washington had a good laugh at flamboyant basketball star Dennis Rodman for befriending North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and for suggesting the U.S. also has extensive prisons and commits human rights abuses. The media derision silenced Rodman, but his perspective deserved more respect, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Though the Voting Rights Act was overwhelming reauthorized by Congress in 2006, the five Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court may gut the law in the name of “states’ rights.” Justice Scalia led the way with provocative, offensive and even weird arguments, notes William Boardman.
The American Religious Right has been eager to tear down – or chip away – the wall that separates government from religion and thus declare the United States a “Christian nation.” But the principle of a secular state has served the country well, says retired Baptist Minister Howard Bess.