Obama Administration

Nuke Sludge Leaking at Hanford

The U.S. rush to build a giant arsenal of nuclear weapons during the Cold War created an environmental disaster at Hanford in Washington State along the Columbia River. Clean-up costs are staggering and radioactive sludge threatens to contaminate the region’s water supply, writes nuclear watchdog John LaForge.

‘October Surprise’ and ‘Argo’

Exclusive: Iran’s ex-President Bani-Sadr, in criticizing inaccurate history in “Argo,” says most Iranian officials wanted a quick end to the 1980 U.S.-Iranian hostage crisis, but Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign struck a deal with Ayatollah Khomeini to delay the hostages’ release, reports Robert Parry.

Recalling the Fight for Indian Rights

The genocide against Native Americans remains one of the worst blots on the collective U.S. conscience, but the crime was widely ignored until four decades ago when a movement of Indian activists returned to the historic massacre site at Wounded Knee, as Bill Means recounted to Dennis J. Bernstein.

Can Christians Turn Away from War?

Despite originating in Jesus’s messages of peace, Christianity has been arguably the world’s most violent religion with its adherents committing genocide on all continents except unpopulated Antarctica. Again and again, Christian churches have blessed warfare, but a new generation is objecting, says Rev. Howard Bess.

Risky Wishful Thinking on Iran

Even as the Obama administration inches toward a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program, U.S. officials keep up the tough talk to appease Official Washington’s hardliners. But wishful thinking about Iran’s vulnerabilities could raise the risk of conflict, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Dangerous ‘State Sovereignty’ Myth

Exclusive: In the U.S. system, the “supreme law” of the land is set by the Constitution and the federal government, though states, counties and cities have wide discretion over local matters. But problems arise when right-wingers start espousing the notion of “state sovereignty,” says Robert Parry.

Breeding Anti-US Suspicions

When U.S. policymakers throw their weight around internationally, they may think their actions are justified – and perhaps in a narrow sense some are – but the U.S. also building up a reservoir of resentment and suspicion that hurts American interests in the long term, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Establishment Foreign Policy Complaints

Establishment foreign policy writers Vali Nasr and David Ignatius have criticized President Obama for not listening more to supposed experts on world affairs — and concentrating decision-making in the White House – but some of those experts have suffered from their own groupthink, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

‘Talking Points’ for Hagel on Iran

Some neocons hope they softened up new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his bruising confirmation fight. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern suggests in these proposed “talking points” that Hagel stick to his principled reputation as someone who tells it like it is, regardless of political pressures.

Inviting a Return to Jim Crow Racism

After the Civil War, Reconstruction tried to suppress white racism but was aborted prematurely leading to a near century of Jim Crow segregation in the South. Now, five right-wingers on the U.S. Supreme Court are contemplating a replay by stabbing at the heart of the Voting Rights Act, writes Lawrence Davidson.