Obama Administration

Samantha Power Boosts Israel’s Cause

The safest way for any U.S. foreign policy nominee to win Senate confirmation is to pander to Israel’s interests and to bluster against its enemies. That was the route Samantha Power took in her bid to win confirmation as the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, reports Nima Shirazi.

A Foot Soldier Throws Down His Gun

Brandon Toy, an Iraq War veteran and a mid-level project manager at General Dynamics, concluded that what he had done and was doing went against the best principles of the United States – and so resigned with a declaration that if “every foot soldier threw down his rifle,” things might change, Dennis J Bernstein reports.

Rand Paul’s Neo-Confederate Aide

Exclusive: Throughout U.S. history, anti-government libertarianism has been intertwined with slavery and racism, from the movement’s early icons – including many slaveholders – to today’s hero, Sen. Rand Paul, who hired a senior staff aide who has espoused extreme neo-Confederate views, reports Robert Parry.

Brandon Toy’s Act of Conscience

Exclusive: Courage, like cowardice, often comes in individual, incremental pieces building toward something great and honorable, or small and dishonorable. The resignation of Brandon Toy from General Dynamics fits into the former category and is so honored by an organization of former intelligence officials.

Laughing at Snowden’s Asylum Requests

The mainstream U.S. news media has been chuckling over the “irony” of NSA leaker Edward Snowden asking asylum from Latin American countries purported to suppress press freedom. But the smugness misses both the complex realities abroad and the U.S. government’s own assaults on information, says a group of scholars.

Rushing to an Arab Spring Judgment

The Western media likes its stories neat and tidy, enough time for correspondents to parachute in, do some stand-up reports and depart as quickly as the public’s attention span shifts. But a true understanding of events as complex as the Arab Spring may take years or decades to develop, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

NSA Facebook Post, No Laughing Matter

Though her Christian Democratic Union remains favored in upcoming German elections, Chancellor Angela Merkel is on the defensive over the “surveillance state” disclosures of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. One quirky turn came when a young German joked about visiting a U.S. spy base, Frank S. Grevil writes.

High Court Curbs Indian Parental Rights

A Supreme Court decision written by right-wing  Justice Samuel Alito denied a Cherokee father parental rights to his daughter despite a 1978 law designed to prevent the use of adoptions to weaken Native American families, a controversial ruling discussed by Indian activist Bill Means in an interview with Dennis J Bernstein.

WPost’s Cohen Fears the Hoodie

Exclusive: After George Zimmerman was acquitted for murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, many Americans reacted with disgust. But others, like columnist Richard Cohen, blamed the slaying on a white person’s understandable fear of young black males, reports Robert Parry.

The Right’s Racism Is Showing

Exclusive: The House Republicans dumping the food stamp program, the continuing GOP assaults on voting rights and the celebrating among some right-wing commentators over the Trayvon Martin murder verdict are indications that white racism is alive and well in the United States, reports Robert Parry.