Intelligence

Reining in the Drones

Done "pilots" launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military photo)

Key aspects of George W. Bush’s post-9/11 “war on terror” are finally winding down: U.S. troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan, but the troubling issue of lethal drones remains – and it is time for Congress to set new limits, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Amazon, the CIA and Assassinations

Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

The entangling threads connecting technology, media and the surveillance state have snarled so completely that it’s next to impossible to untie them, exemplified by Amazon, the Washington Post, and the CIA’s pending assassination of a suspected American terrorist, as Norman Solomon explains.

Learning the Wrong Mideast Lessons

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Feb. 11 marks two important anniversaries in the Middle East: the ouster of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But the question remains whether the U.S. has learned the right lessons from these events, writes Hillary Mann Leverett.

The High Cost of a ‘War on Terror’

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Despite the declining threat that international terrorism poses to the U.S. homeland, the U.S. government continues to pour countless billions of dollars into counter-terrorism while impinging on constitutional liberties and misleading the public, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland notes.

Obama Ignores Key Afghan Warning

Gen. David Petraeus, as commander of allied forces in Afghanistan in 2010.

From the Archive:  As the 12-year Afghan War grinds to what many Americans see as failure, ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other hawks won’t admit their counterinsurgency “surge” in 2009 was a waste of lives and money – or that U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry was right when he warned President Obama, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote in…

When the CIA’s Empire Struck Back

Rep. Otis Pike, D-New York.

Exclusive: In the mid-1970s, Rep. Otis Pike led a brave inquiry to rein in the excesses of the national security state. But the CIA and its defenders accused Pike of recklessness and vowed retaliation, assigning him to a political obscurity that continued to his recent death, as Lisa Pease recounts.

A Rare Indictment of US Atrocities

Playwright Harold Pinter. (Photo credit: Huntington Theatre Company)

Since World War II, the U.S. government has routinely sidestepped blame for the slaughters that have accompanied American foreign policy. One of the few high-profile condemnations occurred when playwright Harold Pinter accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, as Gary G. Kohls recalls.

Ronald Reagan: Worst President Ever?

Ronald Reagan photographed in a cowboy hat at Rancho Del Cielo in 1976.

From the Archive: Ronald Reagan, who was born on Feb. 6, 1911, ranks among the most honored U.S. presidents of modern times with his name etched into public buildings across the country. Even Democrats shy from criticizing his legacy. But is this Reagan worship deserved, Robert Parry asked in 2009.

How Misread Cables Fed Iran Hysteria

David Albright, former weapons inspector and founder of the Institute for Science and International Security.

Official Washington saw how bad intelligence led to the disastrous Iraq War, but U.S. analysts and “experts” like David Albright charged down the same path on Iran’s alleged nuclear program. Again, key ”evidence” collapsed under scrutiny, Gareth Porter wrote for Inter Press Service.

Where the Real ‘Iran Threat’ Lies

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The endless double standards demonstrated by U.S. pols and pundits toward U.S. “friends” vs. “enemies” have created a wildly distorted frame for a public trying to distinguish between genuine threats and propaganda themes, as Lawrence Davidson found regarding Iran.