The Boston Marathon bombings have dominated U.S. news for the past week, prompting fresh calls for ignoring constitutional protections in the face of “Islamic terrorism.” But the reality is that politically motivated violence has declined in America over recent years, notes Lawrence Davidson.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s arrest for the Boston Marathon bombing prompted calls from Sen. John McCain and three other Republican lawmakers to declare the 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen an enemy combatant, a reminder of how the politics of terrorism has distorted American principles, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: A major bipartisan study confirms that George W. Bush’s administration tortured detainees behind of a facade of legal excuses. The report recommends truth-telling and reforms. But the failure to hold Bush and his advisers accountable invites a replay of their criminal acts, writes Robert Parry.
The revelation that the family of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings was from Chechnya prompted new speculation about the attack as Islamic terrorism. Less discussed was the history of U.S. neocons supporting Chechen terrorists as a strategy to weaken Russia, as ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley recalls.
Congress seems poised again to ratchet up tensions with Iran by acting on a resolution that, in effect, gives a green light for Israel to attack Iran with promises of U.S. military support. This “back-door-to-war” resolution shows how the Israel lobby can dominate U.S. policymaking, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: The defeat of a modest gun-safety bill in the Senate is further vindication of Orwell’s cynical observation that “who controls the past controls the future” since the American Right has persuaded millions of Americans that a false narrative about the Second Amendment is true, says Robert Parry.
Just when it seemed the U.S. news media had learned some lessons from earlier “terrorism” misreporting, CNN rushed out – and then retracted – a report about the arrest of a “dark-skinned” suspect. But a related problem is the compulsion to draw broad conclusions about a rare event, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With a reasonable compromise within reach on Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration pulled back, apparently fearing domestic political fallout. The result means a likely painful stalemate for the foreseeable future, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett describe.
Exclusive: Three people died and scores were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, part of the annual celebration of the Patriots who drove the British back from Lexington and Concord in 1775. For once, the U.S. news media didn’t rush to judgment about who did it, Robert Parry says.
The U.S. government’s military spending excess — when compared with the rest of the world — is down somewhat due mostly to troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan but still accounts for 39 percent of the global total, according to a new international study, examined by Lawrence S. Wittner.