Obama Administration

Syrian Rebels Balk at Peace Talks

Russia and the Obama administration have made some moves toward seeking a peace settlement in Syria, even as Russia bolsters its support for Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime. But an obstacle has emerged as the deeply divided Syrian rebels balk at meeting with Assad’s representatives, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Stuck in a Job at the End of the World

Very little sympathy is felt for Air Force personnel assigned to fire nuclear missiles that could end all life on the planet. But their grim, boring and existentially absurd job has eroded staff morale so much that their collapsing competence has added to the world’s risk, explains John LaForge.

What a Real Cover-up Looks Like

Exclusive: Republicans won’t let go of their conspiracy theory about some nefarious “cover-up” in “talking points” for Ambassador Susan Rice’s TV interviews on the Benghazi attack. But they should at least have better skills for detecting a real cover-up, since they’ve had direct experience, as Robert Parry documents.

The Delicate Balance of Leaking

Without doubt, the U.S. government over-classifies national security information, hiding not just genuine secrets but policy debates and mistakes. This creates tensions for whistleblowers and journalists over what should be public. But there are legitimate concerns about leaking, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Scandal of Lax Government

For decades now, it’s been fashionable to demonize government. After all, that’s what billions of dollars invested in right-wing think tanks and media outlets will buy you. There also are genuine abuses by bureaucrats. But lax government oversight can be a scandal, too, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

Does Woodward Know Watergate?

Exclusive: Republicans are hyping the flap over Benghazi talking points by calling it “worse than Watergate,” a false narrative that Bob Woodward has helped along by ignoring new evidence connecting Richard Nixon’s sabotage of Vietnam War peace talks in 1968 to his political spying in 1971-72, writes Robert Parry.

Justice at a Guatemalan Crossroads

The genocide conviction of Guatemala’s ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt has put respect for human rights at a crossroads, with one option to reverse the judgment and another to expand the investigation to Rios Montt’s accomplices in Guatemala and the U.S., journalist Allan Nairn tells Dennis J. Bernstein.

Racism and the American Right

Exclusive: From the start of the Republic to today’s Republican ranting against Barack Obama, racism has been a central element of the American Right. But this ugly feature of U.S. history has often come concealed behind words praising traditions, liberty and states’ rights, Robert Parry reports.

Failing Fitzgerald’s Masterpiece

Exclusive: As an author, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a master of subtlety in his characterizations and his style, not exactly the strengths of modern Hollywood, as is painfully apparent in the latest big-budget, 3-D adaptation of The Great Gatsby, as Jim DiEugenio explains.

Reagan and Argentina’s Dirty War

Exclusive: The 87-year-old ex-Argentine dictator Jorge Videla died Friday in prison where he was serving sentences for grotesque human rights crimes in the 1970s and 1980s. But one of Videla’s key backers, the late President Ronald Reagan, continues to be honored by Americans, writes Robert Parry.