Secrecy

Spies, Diplomacy and Double Standards

Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in the photo from his U.S. Naval Intelligence ID.

While Israel demands that the U.S. release spy Jonathan Pollard, it continues to persecute Mordechai Vanunu for exposing the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, raising questions about secrecy, double standards and diplomacy, an issue addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

Exclusive: Defenders of the old conventional wisdom blaming the Syrian government for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack are going after investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who implicates Syrian jihadists and Turkish intelligence. But the defenders are relying on long-discredited claims, says Robert Parry.

Was Turkey Behind Syrian Sarin Attack?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

Exclusive: Journalist Seymour Hersh has unearthed information implicating Turkish intelligence in last summer’s Sarin attack near Damascus that almost pushed President Obama into a war to topple Syria’s government and open a path for an al-Qaeda victory, writes Robert Parry.

The Torture Report’s Long, Winding Road

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right).

Any encouragement that torture opponents may take from an initial step toward releasing part of a long Senate report on CIA abuses during the Bush-43 years is tempered by the fact that the declassification process may be glacially slow and still leave much hidden, writes Nat Parry.

The Perception Management Priority

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Since the Reagan era, Republicans have pushed “perception management” to manage how Americans perceive the world. A key element is right-wing talk radio, which has now lured Rep. Mike Rogers from his powerful intelligence post to a seat behind a microphone, as JP Sottile explains.

Misguided Honor for Condi Rice

Ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

U.S. officials lecture others about respecting international law and punishing human rights crimes, but those principles are ignored when the violators are U.S. officials. Offenders like ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice even get honors, as Coleen Rowley and Todd E. Pierce note.

‘We’re All Cheneyites Now’

Vice President Dick Cheney.

In late 2008, when President Obama opted more for “continuity” than “change” — and ceded control over much of his foreign policy to hawkish “rivals” — he locked in many of Dick Cheney’s neocon theories that trampled constitutional principles, as retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce explains.

A Poison Pill for Iran Nuke Talks

Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat and director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israel and its hardline U.S. backers have tried to manipulate the UN’s IAEA to ensure failure of negotiations aimed at constraining but not eliminating Iran’s nuclear program. The new ploy is to sink the talks with a demand for an Iranian “confession,” as Gareth Porter wrote for Inter Press Service.

Did Manning Help Avert War in Iran?

U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.

From the Archive: Many of the world’s crises, like those in Syria and Ukraine, can be better understood by factoring in Israel’s maneuvers to involve the U.S. in bombing Iran. Documents leaked by Pvt. Manning exposed how one such scheme might have played out, as Robert Parry wrote in 2013.

Finding a Way to Execute

A gurney used for  executions by lethal injection.

In a Red State like Oklahoma, the death penalty is politically popular, especially among Republican politicians looking over their shoulders at possible Tea Party challengers. So the state government is taking no chances that a couple of inmates escape execution, writes Richard L. Fricker.