Obama Administration

Politics, Money and Propaganda

One of Washington’s thriving industries is the business of destroying political opponents (sometimes called “oppo”) while making allies look good (under the rubric of “perception management”). These techniques (and the flood of money) are changing U.S. politics, says Danny Schechter.

Barack Obama: Drone Warrior

President Obama has taken personal command over lethal drone strikes against alleged al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen and other countries. To some, this is an inappropriate use of presidential power. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees some benefit in Obama accepting direct responsibility.

Pity the Poor Billionaires

Billionaires, who are in the process of buying elections across the United States, want to carry out these “investments” in secret. They bristle at demands for disclosure and say listing their names and business interests may open them to public criticism, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship report.

Showing that Hostage-Taking Works

Exclusive: The U.S. news media has been quick to cite the lousy May jobs report as proof that President Obama’s economic stimulus has failed and that Mitt Romney’s odds of winning have improved. But the real winner is the Republican strategy to make the U.S. economy “scream,” writes Robert Parry.

GOP’s Strategy of Deception

Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, two veteran centrists who disdain partisan labels, finally said what nearly everyone knows to be true. In April, they penned a Washington Post article entitled, “Let’s just say it, the Republicans are the problem.” Yet, the GOP “problem” goes even deeper, says Beverly Bandler.

In Iran Talks, Who’s Intransigent?

The Washington Post and other neocon outlets are demanding an ever harder line against Iran in negotiations over its nuclear program. Yet, so far, the West has offered little in exchange for Iran’s concessions, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Double Standards on Civilian Deaths

Whenever U.S. forces inflict massive civilian casualties, it’s a “mistake” or the fault of the targets because they were “hiding” in populated areas. Yet, when civilian deaths occur in the country of a “designated enemy,” all ambiguity is swept aside and no excuses are accepted, a double standard addressed by John LaForge.

The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

Exclusive: Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has been called President Obama’s “priest” as they wrestle with the moral dilemma of assembling a “kill list” of “bad guys,” a role that recalls how established religions have justified slaughters over the centuries, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Pope Paul VI’s Error on Birth Control

After conservative U.S. Catholic Bishops sued the Obama administration over its health-insurance requirement for contraceptives, many assumed the Bishops were upholding settled doctrine. But Catholic theologian Paul Surlis says Pope Paul VI incorrectly removed the issue from the Second Vatican Council in 1965.

New Voice for Jailing Bank Execs

In a new book, Predator Nation, Charles Ferguson (who directed the Oscar-winning film “Inside Job”) says banking executives implicated in the fraud that devastated the economy in 2008 should go to jail, a position applauded by Danny Schechter, who has long advocated the same.