Media

Hectoring Obama Over Syria

President Barack Obama raises his glass in a toast with President François Hollande of France during the State Dinner at the White House, Feb. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

The U.S. punditocracy is pushing President Obama to intervene in the Syrian civil war and judging his diplomatic efforts a “failure” because little progress has been made. But the underlying assumption that U.S. military action can fix everything is dangerous, 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.

A Half Century of the Beatles

The Beatles on the "Ed Sullivan Show."

The Beatles – introduced to Americans a half century ago – became a marker for Baby Boomers as they emerged from the shock of JFK’s death, faced the Vietnam War, grieved over the murder of prophets, including John Lennon, and confronted life’s endless complexities, as Michael Winship reflects.

Putin Takes an Olympics Pounding

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Putin, who gained some international stature by helping President Obama avert military strikes on Iran and Syria, is now taking a media pounding over Olympics spending and Russia’s repressive policies on gays and dissent, as Danny Schechter writes.

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.

How Reagan Promoted Genocide

President Ronald Reagan meeting with Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt.

From the Archive: Both Republicans and Democrats fawn over the legacy of Ronald Reagan, who was born 103 years ago on Feb. 6, but the reality of his bloodstained presidency is much different from the pleasing memories. Reagan even promoted Guatemala’s genocide, Robert Parry reported in 2013.

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

gareth-porter-cover

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.