Obama Administration

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.

Israel’s War Talk on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is pounding the war drums on Iran again, drawing support from the usual suspects in Washington’s think tank community and the media. The goal seems to be to derail prospects for negotiations with Iran and on the Palestinian dispute, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Truth Requires Truth-Tellers

President Obama says he welcomes a vibrant debate on government secrecy and surveillance, but he then punishes the people who provide information that could make such a debate meaningful. The mainstream U.S. news media also shows little regard for these brave truth-tellers, says Lawrence Davidson.