Lost History

PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner

Using a powerful computer program known as PRISM, the U.S. government has been downloading vast amounts of communications data and mining it for counterterrorism purposes. But these capabilities began more than three decades ago with the controversial PROMIS software, Richard L. Fricker reports.

Bringing Back Jim Crow

Exclusive: Many U.S. historians have soft spots for Thomas Jefferson, despite his gross hypocrisy on slavery, and for the Confederates and their supposed gallantry in their fight to preserve slavery. But apologizing for historical racists only invites more racism, warns Robert Parry.

Who’s to Blame for Egypt’s Chaos?

Many U.S. pundits are blaming the Egyptian coup on the clumsy political actions of elected Islamist President Morsi. But the collapse of Egypt’s one-year democratic experiment resulted, too, from the rigid opposition of the secularists who entered an alliance with the old power structure, writes Lawrence Davidson.

The Right’s Made-up ‘Constitution’

For Tea Partiers and libertarians, it is an article of faith that the Constitution tightly constrained the federal government and gave broad powers to the states. But that is bogus history — mere propaganda — and suggests that the Right’s rank-and-file has never read or understood the document, says historian Jada Thacker.

Rethinking Thomas Jefferson

Exclusive: Americans are proud that their Declaration of Independence was also a declaration of universal rights. But the hard truth is that, in 1776, the words were mere propaganda cloaking the fact that a third of the signers were slaveholders, including the famous author, Thomas Jefferson, as Robert Parry recalls.

Flag-Waving to Death

In American politics and media, anyone who questions the concept of “American Exceptionalism” is banished to the margins of society. But this self-aggrandizing notion has always contained a large measure of self-deception, ignoring the suffering inflicted on other peoples and on U.S. soldiers, as Gary G. Kohls notes.

Sanitizing Nelson Mandela

When Nelson Mandela was a dedicated freedom-fighter against white-ruled South Africa, he was almost as much a “non-person” in the U.S. media as he was in South Africa’s press. Only after Mandela pulled back from demands about redistributing wealth was he embraced as a mass media icon, Danny Schechter reports.

Ignoring the Palestinian Plight

Holocaust expert Elie Wiesel has urged audiences around the world to reject apathy and to resist injustice. But Wiesel and many other Zionists fall silent when the victims of oppression are the Palestinians, as Lawrence Davidson writes.

The Marriage of Libertarians and Racists

Exclusive: The modern Republican Party and its chic libertarians have dallied with white supremacists as a political necessity, because blacks and other minorities have rallied to the Democrats due to their better civil rights record. But the Right’s dancing with the racist devil is not new. It’s as old as the Founding, writes Robert Parry.

The Painful Truths Told by Phil Agee

Truly objective journalism would value facts and accuracy above all else, but the mainstream U.S. press – while pretending to be “objective” – treasures faux patriotism much more, as is evident with recent whistleblowers as it was with the hostility toward the late Phil Agee who exposed CIA crimes, as William Blum recalls.