Obama Administration

Exploiting the Benghazi Attack

The Romney campaign thinks it has an opening with the Obama administration’s shifting explanations about the lethal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But the reality is that diplomatic service is never risk free and facts about a complex event are never immediately clear, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The ‘Citizens United’ Tsunami

The five right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court downplayed how distorting their Citizens United decision would be to American politics. But the tidal wave of campaign cash is now inundating U.S. voters with unchecked factual claims, says Michael Winship.

When Debate ‘Zingers’ Backfired

Exclusive: Zingers are often the most memorable moments in presidential debates, but they are rarely spontaneous. In 1992, aides to President George H.W. Bush prepped him with insults intended to question Bill Clinton’s patriotism but the script went awry, reports Robert Parry.

Silence of the Drones

Exclusive: Even as the United States has withdrawn from Iraq and has begun to wind down the Afghan War, the lethal reach of the U.S. military has been extended into other countries through Predator drones. What is less known is the full human and political costs, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Iran Signals New Tone

If President Obama wins a second term, Iran is signaling it would be ready for improved relations with the United States and the West. One sign of that shift in attitude was the toned-down speech by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad at the UN, notes Danny Schechter.

The Burden of Pentagon Spending

The last decade’s surge in military spending has added to America’s debt while having a dubious impact on U.S. security. The upcoming elections now pit President Obama, who is calling for reductions, against Mitt Romney, who is calling for more increases, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

Method to Netanyahu’s Wackiness?

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s gimmick of hoisting a crude drawing of a bomb to illustrate the alleged Iranian nuclear threat has prompted derision and has distracted from his claims about existential threats. But perhaps he was more interested in another kind of distraction, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Israel’s Strategic ‘Dead End’

The expectation at the annual UN General Assembly has been for Iran’s President Ahmadinejad to come across as wacky while the U.S. media lauds Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu for his seriousness, except that the script went differently this year, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett note at RaceForIran.com.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in August followed the strange twists and turns of Campaign 2012, the prospects for war with Iran, and the role of government in improving lives and solving problems.

Netanyahu Backs Off on Iran

Exclusive: While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was belligerent in tone at the UN, he signaled a retreat on substance, postponing his threatened attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. That suggests he is reading the U.S. polls and thinks he may have to deal with President Obama in a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.