As 2011 draws to a close, the year has seen clear progress for gay rights, with the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and New York State’s acceptance of same-sex marriages, changes that Rev. Howard Bess regrets some organized religions have opposed.
U.S.-Pakistani relations continue to go from bad to worse as Pakistan’s government retaliates for a deadly American attack on two border posts by closing down Pakistani routes for trucks supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan, while President Barack Obama resists a formal apology, writes Gareth Porter.
After the savings-and-loan debacle of the 1980s and the Internet bust a decade ago, hundreds of financial culprits were “perp-walked” to jail. But the big bankers who tanked today’s economy have escaped punishment, an omission that Danny Schechter says must change.
U.S. intelligence says the terror threat from al-Qaeda is receding, but Congress keeps on expanding the scope of this “war” so as not to look “weak on terror,” now adding new military powers that could be used against American citizens, writes ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
The war on WikiLeaks continues with the U.S. government clamping down on the Web site’s funding sources and with its founder, Julian Assange, still in England battling extradition to Sweden. Sadly, the larger problem of a credulous news media parroting government propaganda also remains unchanged, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Exclusive: Though the 9/11 attacks occurred more than a decade ago, Congress continues to exploit them to pass evermore draconian laws on “terrorism,” with the Senate now empowering the military to arrest people on U.S. soil and hold them without trial, a serious threat to American liberties, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
As the American/Israeli war drums beat more loudly over Iran, the U.S. public is being told that this time the warnings about nuclear weapons are right, that no one should listen to Iranian denials, that ratcheting up tensions toward war is the only way. But William Blum recalls the similar false certainty about Iraq.
Exclusive: As local governments shut down more Occupy encampments, the movement for the “99 percent” is at a crossroads. Some supporters advocate more civil disobedience; others urge a shift toward media outreach; and still others want a move into politics. But Robert Parry notes that all three approaches may be required.
The tense relations between the United States and Pakistan have sunk to a new low over an American aerial assault along the Afghan-Pakistan border that left two dozen Pakistani soldiers dead and the country in an uproar. The U.S. military also is having trouble sorting out exactly what happened, writes Gareth Porter.
Special Report: A quarter century ago with the breaking of the Iran-Contra scandal, the United States had a chance to step back from its march toward Empire and to demand accountability for White House crimes. But instead a powerful cover-up prevailed, reports Robert Parry.