Intelligence

Barack Obama: Drone Warrior

President Obama has taken personal command over lethal drone strikes against alleged al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen and other countries. To some, this is an inappropriate use of presidential power. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees some benefit in Obama accepting direct responsibility.

The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

Exclusive: Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has been called President Obama’s “priest” as they wrestle with the moral dilemma of assembling a “kill list” of “bad guys,” a role that recalls how established religions have justified slaughters over the centuries, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

How al-Qaeda Exploits Palestine Cause

Exclusive: When U.S. Special Forces raided Osama bin Laden’s compound last year, they grabbed al-Qaeda documents describing internal debates, including how the terror group should continue exploiting Israel’s abuse of Palestinians as a crucial recruitment pitch, reports Robert Parry.

Honoring Troops with the Truth

America is awash in media detailing the lives of celebrities and the latest turns in political polls, but rarely addressing the painful questions about the dark side of U.S. foreign policy, a topic that Bill Moyers and Michael Winship say should be confronted this Memorial Day.

Lockerbie Doubts

From the Archive: In 2009, when Scotland released Libyan Ali al-Megrahi after his prostate cancer was deemed terminal, U.S. and UK pols and pundits thundered against freeing the “Lockerbie bomber,” an outrage reprised this week after his death. But Megrahi’s odd conviction was not questioned, as Lisa Pease noted.

The Enduring Secrets of Watergate

Special Report: Forty years ago, burglars working for President Nixon planted bugs in the Democrats’ Watergate headquarters. Then, a month later, a follow-up break-in went awry, touching off America’s most notorious political scandal. But few understand what really happened, writes Robert Parry.

How the US Press Lost Its Way

Exclusive: People often wonder what happened to the American press after it distinguished itself in the 1970s by exposing the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. How did the U.S. news media lose its way over the past four decades, a question addressed by Robert Parry at a conference on information and secrecy.

How US Hubris Baited Afghan Trap

Exclusive: Despite what Official Washington thinks it knows, the real error on Afghan policy after the Soviets left in 1989 was not the abrupt cutoff of U.S. aid but nearly the opposite, continued CIA support for the Islamist mujahedeen and rejection of peace overtures from Moscow, writes Robert Parry.

The Secret in the US-Afghan Deal

The secret of President Obama’s strategic agreement with Afghan President Karzai is that U.S. Special Forces will continue raids to kill Taliban leaders who won’t make peace — even as the new accord is sold to the American public as an end game to the long war, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

Not Explaining the Why of Terrorism

Exclusive: President Obama signed a U.S.-Afghan strategic agreement on May 1, committing U.S. combat forces to withdraw by the end of 2014 while leaving behind U.S. counter-terrorism teams for another decade. But Obama and his aides still duck a full debate over the causes of terrorism, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.