Congress finally banned its members and other federal officials from stock trading based on insider government information, but not before the law was watered down in two key respects, as Michael Winship reports.
The slaying of unarmed teen-ager Trayvon Martin has shed light on the shadowy American Legislative Exchange Council, which dreams up pro-corporate legislation to peddle to the states and – as with the gun-toting “Stand Your Ground” law – can inflict suffering and death on innocent people, Bill Berkowitz reports.
The U.S. press corps has embraced the integrity of the International Atomic Energy Agency as central to the case for bombing Iran. But WikiLeaks documents revealed how the IAEA’s new leader is a pawn of the West, and Gareth Porter explains at Inter Press Service how the IAEA has escalated the confrontation with Iran.
A suspected Israeli-sponsored assassination campaign has claimed the lives of five Iranian scientists supposedly linked to the country’s nuclear program. But the evidence implicating some scientists in nuclear research may be as murky as the suspicions that a weapons program even exists, writes Gareth Porter at Truthout.
U.S. officials are expressing outrage and regret over the slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, allegedly by a deranged U.S. staff sergeant. But the terrible rampage was not an isolated atrocity in the decade-long war in Afghanistan, as Nat Parry notes.
Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell cited satellite photos allegedly revealing WMD stockpiles, but the proof proved bogus. Now, similar claims are justifying a war with Iran, but the “evidence” again is speculative at best, Gareth Porter writes for the Inter Press Service.
For many American politicians and pundits, the smart career play again is to clamber on the bandwagon for war with Iran, just as they did for war with Iraq. But the recycled neocon tough talk and the renewed pandering to Israeli leaders could take the world down another catastrophic path, Lawrence Davidson writes.
The Obama administration has offered more information about its targeting of al-Qaeda-related figures, including U.S. citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki, for drone strikes and other lethal attacks. But the assurances of “due process” still lack the detailed explanation that the gravity of the policy demands, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: The Right’s attack machine, which these days questions President Obama’s birthplace and smears Georgetown student Sandra Fluke over contraceptives, arose in the wake of the Vietnam War and Watergate with young conservatives thinking they were the real victims, thus justifying whatever they did, reports Robert Parry.
Exclusive: In facing down Iran as U.S. president, Mitt Romney says he would be guided by the experience of Ronald Reagan threatening Iran with a military strike if it didn’t free 52 Americans held hostage during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. But Romney’s historical precedent is a fantasy, writes Robert Parry.