Obama Administration

Egypt’s Pluralist Politics

Though U.S. observers tend to view Egypt’s politics through a secular-vs.-Islamist lens, a clearer way of seeing what’s happening in that important Arab country is to examine other issues, like the economy, that are motivating Egyptians, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Doubting Obama’s Words on Diplomacy

In his two Inaugural Addresses, President Obama has called for diplomacy to replace military bluster, but his failure to rein in U.S. imperial impulses during his first term has made the world dubious of his rhetoric as he enters his second, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at GoingToTehran.com.

What to Make of Barack Obama?

Exclusive: In his Second Inaugural Address, President Obama offered a powerful rejoinder to the Right by arguing that progressive reform fits firmly within the Founders’ vision of a strong country advancing the “general Welfare” and securing “Blessings of Liberty.” But does his rhetoric reflect the real Obama, asks Robert Parry.

Making ‘Lethal Drones’ Routine

Seeking consistent standards for using lethal drones, the Obama administration is drafting a manual to govern when such attacks can be unleashed. But the secret guidelines carry other risks, including the acceptance of assassination as a routine part of U.S. foreign policy, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

New Hope for a Second Term

President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address surprised some pundits with his strong messages on climate change, immigration reform, gun safety and other social issues. But whether real action follows will depend on a shift in public consciousness, says Robert F. Dodge.

The Troubling Message of Inaugurals

Pundits talk about presidential Inaugurals as celebrations of democracy, but the pomp and circumstance – attended by Marine guards and punctuated by cannon fire – carry an implicit message of intimidation that is closer to monarchy than a people’s government, writes Joe Lauria.

The Second Amendment’s History

In his Second Inaugural Address, President Obama reaffirmed his intent to seek gun safety laws in the wake of the Newtown massacre, but the Right insists the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to own assault rifles. What is the real history of the “right to bear arms,” asks Beverly Bandler.

The Moral Torment of Leon Panetta

Exclusive: Leon Panetta returned to government in 2009 amid hopes he could cleanse the CIA where torture and politicized intelligence had brought the U.S. to new lows in world respect. Yet, after four years at CIA and Defense, it is Panetta who departs morally compromised, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Roe v. Wade Turns 40

The 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling granting women the right to abort unwanted or dangerous pregnancies, will be observed by opponents and proponents alike. Among its backers will be NOW president Terry O’Neill, who was interviewed by Dennis J. Bernstein.

The Right’s Dangerously Bad History

Exclusive: Reacting to President Obama’s modest executive orders on gun safety and his proposed legislation to Congress, the Right is engaging in hysterical rhetoric about “tyranny” and riling up angry whites to arm themselves. But key Republicans can’t even get their historical facts straight, notes Robert Parry.