Obama Administration

Larding On More Iran Sanctions

Behind the scenes, Iran says it’s willing to offer more assurances that it really isn’t building a nuclear bomb, but Israel and many of its U.S. congressional allies keep pushing for a nasty showdown. The dynamic is now impeding President Obama’s ability to defuse the crisis, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Dubious Graph Feeds Iran Nuke Frenzy

Propaganda aimed at convincing Americans that Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb continues with more dubious evidence leaked to an ever-gullible U.S. press corps. An AP story highlighted a supposed Iranian computer model of a nuclear explosion but the graph may be forged, says Gareth Porter at Inter Press Service.

The Revolving Door on Healthcare

Washington is a place where behavior – friendly to the rich and powerful – is rewarded lavishly and other behavior – hostile to those interests – can make you a pariah. That reality is reinforced when public officials make trips through the revolving door, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

Growing Doubts About Susan Rice

Exclusive: Republicans have blasted U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice for her TV comments about the fatal attack in Benghazi, Libya, but her real unfitness to be Secretary of State rests in her excessive careerism and insufficient compassion, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Qatar’s Hypocrisy on Freedom

The U.S. government has used Qatar to support “democracy promotion” in the Middle East, including as a logistical base for the invasion of Iraq. But Qatar’s rulers don’t like threats to their own tyrannical powers, even jailing a poet for life for implicitly criticizing the ruling sheikh, William Boardman reports.

Susan Rice’s Revolving-Door Problem

Susan Rice’s possible promotion from U.S. Ambassador to the UN to Secretary of State continues to come under fire, now over her apparent conflicts of interest with African clients from her days as a private consultant, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hamas Speech Dampens Peace Hopes

Between Israel’s expansion of West Bank settlements and deepening Palestinian resentments, chances for a two-state solution continue to shrink. The fiery words of Hamas leader Khaled Meshal have only made prospects worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

US Nuke Test Draws Few Protests

The United States and Israel have threatened war against Iran if it crosses some “red line” in nuclear capability, yet these two nuclear-armed states are rarely criticized for their own nuke arsenals. A recent U.S. nuclear weapons test attracted almost no public attention, notes William Boardman.

Libyan Women Losing Rights

When rebels challenged Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the West and its media adopted a “good-guy/bad-guy” dichotomy, hyping dubious claims about Gaddafi and ignoring troubling extremism among the rebels. Now, the new Libya is clamping down on women’s rights, says Lawrence Davidson.

Who Bombed Ben-Menashe’s House?

Exclusive: Montreal police may hope to just nail the “torch,” the culprit who hurled a fire-bomb into the home of ex-Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe. But to solve the mystery, they may have to delve into Ben-Menashe’s complex intelligence ties, including his hostile relations with his old superiors in Israel, writes Robert Parry.