Lost History

Warnings from the Cuban Missile Crisis

Special Report: Amid the trivia of American politics, voters can forget that they are entrusting the winning candidate for President with the nuclear codes, the power to annihilate all life on the planet, a reality that reporter Don North witnessed up close a half century ago in the Cuban missile crisis.

When ‘Lesser-Evil’ Misses the Point

The American Left is engaged in its quadrennial debate, whether to vote for “the lesser evil” Democrat or maintain political purity and either boycott the election or cast a ballot for a minor-party candidate. A similar argument in 1968 helped change the course of U.S. history, Ted Lieverman recalls.

Bill O’Reilly’s Outdated ‘Killing Kennedy’

Exclusive: Fox News’  Bill O’Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard are hoping for another financial “killing” with their Killing Kennedy. But the new book may have a bigger agenda, solidifying popular history behind the Warren Report on JFK’s murder and tearing down his character, writes Jim DiEugenio.

How to Save the Middle Class

Many Americans don’t know where the Great Middle Class came from. They see it as a natural outgrowth of “free-market capitalism” when it was really the product of conscious government policies, starting with the New Deal. That confusion must be addressed in this political season, says Beverly Bandler.

Iraq War’s ‘Trifecta of Failure’

Official Washington likes to pretend that the neocon-driven Iraq War “surge” secured a “victory,” rather than face the evidence of a multi-faceted failure. But the news of an Iraqi arms deal with Moscow underscores the scope of the U.S. policy disaster, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Romney Tests the Limits on Lying

Americans may see themselves as worldly cynics when it comes to political lying, observing that all politicians do it. But Mitt Romney is testing the limits with his ever-shifting positions and outright lies, notes Lawrence Davidson.

How Petraeus’s Afghan ‘Surge’ Failed

In 2009, Gen. David Petraeus insisted on a troop “surge” in Afghanistan like the one he had overseen in Iraq. Yet, despite the positive PR for Petraeus and his “surges,” little was accomplished beyond putting more U.S. GIs within range of devastating IEDs, as Gareth Porter wrote for Inter Press Service.

Ryan’s Distortion of America’s Founding

Rep. Paul Ryan wraps his Ayn Randian philosophy of unrestrained selfishness in phrasing selectively lifted from the Founders, but the Republican vice presidential nominee misses the role of democracy and self-government in establishing human rights, says historian Jada Thacker.

When Debate ‘Zingers’ Backfired

Exclusive: Zingers are often the most memorable moments in presidential debates, but they are rarely spontaneous. In 1992, aides to President George H.W. Bush prepped him with insults intended to question Bill Clinton’s patriotism but the script went awry, reports Robert Parry.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in August followed the strange twists and turns of Campaign 2012, the prospects for war with Iran, and the role of government in improving lives and solving problems.