Obama Administration

The IRS Non-Scandal ‘Scandal’

The IRS “scandal” stampeded Official Washington, including much of the mainstream press which portrayed the Tea Party as the “victim” of partisan abuse. But the dust has finally cleared and it appears there never was a “scandal,” just a clunky attempt to achieve bureaucratic consistency, Beverly Bandler reports.

The Right’s Dubious Claim to Madison

Special Report: James Madison, so-called “father of the Constitution” and fourth U.S. president, is at the center of a historical debate over what the original intent of the Framers was and whether a strong federal government fits with those principles. The dispute revolves around Madison’s shifting alliances, says Robert Parry.

Bush/Cheney Pulled Torture Strings

From the Archive: James Comey, President Obama’s nominee to be FBI director, was a conservative Republican lawyer when he went to work for George W. Bush’s administration and witnessed how the White House pulled the Justice Department’s strings to get clearance for torture, as Robert Parry reported in 2010.

Parallel Protests in Turkey and Brazil

Turkey and Brazil are two fast-developing regional powers that have begun to take their places on the global stage. But both are now dealing with popular unrest directed against government actions that have struck some protesters as arrogant and insensitive, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Bush’s Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme

More than a decade ago, President George W. Bush enlisted the National Security Agency in a blackmail scheme to dig up dirt to coerce UN Security Council members to approve his aggressive war against Iraq. But the plot was foiled by a brave British intelligence officer, Katharine Gun, as Dennis J Bernstein reports.

The Tea Party’s Legacy of Racism

Exclusive: The American Right demeans racial minorities for playing the victim’s role, but today’s Tea Party is draped in “victimhood,” claiming to be the target of an African-American president and feeling threatened by the nation’s demographic shift. But racist fears have always had a home on the Right, says Robert Parry.

Hard Lessons from the Afghan War

For years, the Afghan Taliban have said they would negotiate with the U.S. once it was clear the Americans were committed to leaving, making their sudden commitment to talk less “surprising.” But Official Washington could learn other important lessons from the long Afghan War, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

US Vets Join Gitmo Hunger Strike

Of the 166 detainees still at the Guantanamo Bay prison, 104 are on a hunger strike that has lasted over four months as they protest indefinite detentions without trial or even charges. They have now been joined by several U.S. war veterans, including former Army medic Diane Wilson who spoke with Dennis J Bernstein.

How to Thwart Internet Spying

Many are beginning to wonder if the Internet was America’s great “Trojan horse” gift to the world, a clever way to get past barriers and into everyone’s private information. The recent PRISM spying disclosures have especially riled Europeans. But there are techniques for fighting back, says Dutch technology expert Arjen Kamphuis.

The Need for National Security Leaks

The attack line against whistleblowers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden – that they should have gone through “proper channels” – ignores that those oversight channels have been badly corrupted over the past several decades. That has left Americans dependent on out-of-channel leaks, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.