Obama Administration

Planning for an Asteroid Threat

It sounds like a script from a science-fiction movie, a giant asteroid on a collision course with earth, threatening all life on the planet. But the existence of this existential threat is not entirely fiction and last week’s near misses suggest governments should pay more attention, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hezbollah Link to Bombing Doubted

In assessing murky terrorism cases in the Middle East, one must take into account the political pressures on investigators and journalists to push the conclusion in a favored direction. That truism has surfaced again in a bombing at the Bulgarian resort of Burgas, says Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Locking In the Abuses of War

After the 9/11 attacks, the smart response might well have been to denounce the killings as a monstrous crime and treat al-Qaeda as outlaws to be brought to justice. But President Bush’s tough-guy response was to declare the crime a “war” and ensnare the U.S. in a conflict with no end, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

The SEC’s Golden Revolving Door

Many Americans are still shocked that Wall Street bankers who ruined the economy escaped any serious punishment from government regulators. But one problem is that many of those regulators, including the new choice to head the SEC, have been rotating through the golden revolving door, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

How Neocons Messed Up the Mideast

Special Report: Newly available documents reveal how Ronald Reagan’s neocon aides cleared the way for Israeli arms sales to Iran in 1981, shortly after Iran freed 52 U.S. hostages whose captivity doomed Jimmy Carter’s reelection. The move also planted the seeds of the Iran-Contra scandal, reports Robert Parry.

Weighing a Possible War on Iran

As neocons mount a last-ditch offensive to stop Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary – partly because he isn’t hawkish enough on Iran – the war drums are beating again across Official Washington, drowning out any thoughtful cost-benefit analysis, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Hyping Iran Nukes, Again

Exclusive: Despite signs that Iran is ready to accept new limits on its nuclear program, the neocon lobby in Washington is still trying to gin up support for a U.S.-Israeli military strike that could plunge the world into another crisis, with some of the usual suspects back at work, Robert Parry reports.

Israel’s Growing Intolerance

The central contradiction in the cozy U.S. relationship with Israel is that the American system rejects religious and ethnic preferences and Israel embraces them. This intolerance is growing as ultra-Orthodox Jews direct discrimination against women, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Punishing Anti-Nuke Protesters

A twisted part of modern America is that harsh punishments are given to people who stand for truth and justice, while torturers and war criminals go free. That’s the case for Bradley Manning who released secrets and anti-nuclear protesters who tied “crime scene” tape to a nuke site, as John LaForge says.

Egypt at Another Crossroads

Egypt, arguably the most important Arab state, again finds itself at a crossroads, with growing public unrest challenging the increasingly authoritarian rule of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi. Even some observers who had hopes for Morsi are alarmed, as Adil E. Shamoo notes.