Obama Administration

The Dark Side of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

From the Archive: The hunt-for-bin-Laden film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” portrays torture as a key element in that search. But the filmmakers distorted the facts and ignored the reality that torture is illegal, immoral and dangerously ineffective, wrote Marjorie Cohn.

Hit Movies Miss Mideast Realities

From the Archive: Two Oscar favorites – “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” – purport to tell real-life stories about America’s troubles in the Middle East, one an escape-from-Iran thriller and the other a get-bin-Laden film. But neither confronts some hard realities, wrote Winslow Myers.

Waking Up to Iran’s Real History

From the Archive: An Oscar frontrunner for best picture is “Argo,” depicting a little-known chapter of the U.S-Iran hostage standoff in 1979-81. Yet, while focusing on this story of six hostages escaping, “Argo” missed bigger dramas, before and after, as David Swanson explained.

Honoring a Heroic Slavery-Fighter

The movie “Lincoln” was a dramatic depiction of the political fight to end American slavery with the 13th Amendment – and presented a rare sympathetic portrayal of anti-slavery Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones. This offered a belated chance to reconsider this courageous fighter for freedom, says William Loren Katz.

Brennan’s Loose Talk on Iran Nukes

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing on John Brennan to head the CIA focused on lethal drones, but Brennan’s loose talk lumping Iran with North Korea as nuclear threats could be even more worrisome, recalling Iraq WMD exaggerations, as Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity warn Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Retrofitting War to Global Warming

The U.S. government spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year to fight – or prepare to fight – wars against supposed security threats around the world. But far less money is invested in what many experts believe will be the greatest security threat, global warming, as John M. Repp explains.

The Geopolitics of Pistachios

The two top producers of pistachios are the United States and Iran, which have squared off over grievances for more than three decades. Now, there’s news that Israel has a preference for the Iranian variety and Prime Minister Netanyahu has a special budget item for pistachio ice cream, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Get Parry’s Bush Trilogy for Only $34

As the bright new Republican stars flame out – the likes of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul – the presidential focus for 2016 will shift back to Jeb Bush as a choice broadly acceptable to the GOP, and you will need to know the Bush family’s real history.

The Almost Vanunu

From the Archive: The strange saga of how Israel “disappeared” Australian-born Ben Zygier into a high-security jail as “Prisoner X” and how he died under suspicious circumstances sheds new light on Israel’s efforts to silence ex-intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe in the 1990s, as Marshall Wilson reported in 2012.

Drone Danger: Making War Too Easy

The lethal-drone debate’s focus on the legality of killing Americans in al-Qaeda obscures the larger problem of waging war indiscriminately and thus creating new enemies. In that view, President Obama has stretched his legal authority past the breaking point, says Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.