Obama Administration

The Scandal of Scandals

President Richard Nixon, speaking to the nation on Aug. 8, 1974, announcing his decision to resign.

The term “scandal” used to mean something, a serious abuse of power or some truly outrageous conduct – Watergate, Iran-Contra, lying a nation into war – but the word has grown almost meaningless, just one more partisan insult, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Kerry’s Saudi-Israeli Appeasement Tour

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a greeting from President Barack Obama during a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Exclusive: Secretary of State Kerry is scurrying from capital to capital across the Mideast in what looks like an apology tour, seeking to soothe the hurt feelings of Saudi Arabia and Israel, but the appeasement may encourage more resistance to U.S. policies, writes Robert Parry.

Guns But No Butter

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin

The Right’s war on the poor rages on, driven in part by the belief that racial and ethnic minorities are getting much of the help. Yet, as food stamps are slashed, Congress lavishes money on military projects that are judged wasteful or useless, John LaForge writes.

US Distorts Iranian Nuclear Rights

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference in Iran. (Official Iranian photo)

The U.S. government and Israel – itself a rogue nuclear-armed state – insist that the Non-Proliferation Treaty doesn’t give Iran the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. But the words of the treaty clearly say otherwise, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett note.

Gunning Down a Boy with a Toy Gun

Andy Lopez, who was slain on Oct. 22, 2013, by a sheriff's deputy in Santa Rosa, California.

Exclusive: The Trayvon Martin case, in which a community watch volunteer killed an unarmed black teen-ager in a hoodie, roiled the U.S. last year. Now, a California deputy has gunned down a Latino boy carrying a toy AK-47, raising other troubling questions, as Dennis J Bernstein reports.

Taxing the Movement of Money

The symbol of the Internal Revenue Service.

If U.S. budget gridlock had not ground rational thought to a standstill, creative options for revising the tax code might be possible, such as a tax on stock transactions to raise money and discourage micro-second trades. Another option would be a toll tax on money movement, as ex-prosecutor William John Cox suggests.

Trying to Derail Iran Talks

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, waving to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)

Neocons won’t give up on involving the U.S. in more Mideast wars and are hard at work derailing negotiations on Syria and Iran’s nuclear program. Right now, the chief target is President Obama’s bid to reduce tensions with Iran, drawing resistance from hardliners on both sides, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Clarifying Snowden’s ‘Freedom’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

A common angle from the mainstream U.S. media is that NSA leaker Edward Snowden will regret his asylum in Russia (rather than life in prison in the U.S.). A quote from ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was used in support of that theme, but he has asked the New York Times to clarify it.

Blaming the Poor for Poverty

A classic photo of a poor mother and children in Elm Grove, California, during the Great Depression. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

Unrestrained free markets destroy the middle class, push working people down the economic ladder and concentrate wealth at the top. But promoters of this hyper-capitalism, who dominate the U.S. media debate, simply blame the poor for poverty, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

NYTimes Mentions Israeli Nukes

Exclusive: The U.S. press is very tolerant of Israeli cross-border attacks inside Syria, like the latest one against a military target in Latakia. Israel’s nuclear arsenal usually goes unmentioned, too. But the New York Times surprisingly deviated from that pattern, notes Robert Parry.