The Bush-43 Administration

Red-State Blues: Trouble in Oklahoma

Republican political operative Karl Rove.

Exclusive: The Right has locked down political control of a number of states like Oklahoma, making them laboratories for far-right legislation. But some legal experiments are so extreme that they are causing unintended reactions that may hurt the Right’s cause, writes Oklahoman Richard L. Fricker.

An Afghan War for Drones?

A Predator drone firing a missile.

Amid the Afghan government’s growing resistance to an extended U.S. military stay, the Obama administration is trying out a new rationale: the need for a launching pad for drones. But it may be a case of a weapons system causing more trouble than it’s worth, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

No Tears for the Real Robert Gates

gates-duty

Exclusive: In Official Washington, the gap between image and reality can be wide, but there is a virtual canyon separating the mainstream’s awestruck regard for Robert Gates as a “wise man” and his record as a deceitful opportunist known to his former colleagues, like ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Neocons Take Aim at Syrian Peace Talks

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

Exclusive: Syrian peace talks have finally begun, but many powerful interests – including U.S. neocons – are determined to see the talks fail. The Washington Post’s neocon editorial page is urging President Obama to give up on “feckless diplomacy” and threaten war, writes Robert Parry.

Bob Gates’s Mean, Misguided Memoir

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Like many Washington memoirs, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s Duty seeks to settle scores and spin a legacy. But Gates also penned a book filled with contradictions and showing little regard for the U.S. principle of civilian control over the military, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

When Protesting Bush’s Wars Was a Crime

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Photo by David Shankbone)

In 2004, at the height – or depths – of George W. Bush’s presidency, the very idea of protesting his “war on terror” or invasion of Iraq was deemed worthy of repressing, the backdrop for mass arrests outside the Republican National Convention in New York City, as Nat Parry recalls.

US Intel Veterans Honor Pvt. Manning

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

A group of former U.S. national security officials will bestow its annual award for integrity in intelligence on U.S. Army Pvt. Manning, honoring the imprisoned whistleblower’s release of evidence showing the human consequences of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

NSA’s Preference for Metadata

A slide from material leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, showing what happens when an NSA analyst "tasks" the PRISM system for information about a new surveillance target.

Exclusive: The hidden ball in the debate over the NSA’s collection of phone and e-mail metadata (vs. tapping into actual conversations with a court order) is that the NSA actually prefers the metadata approach because it strips away privacy more efficiently, says ex-NSA analyst Kirk Wiebe.

‘Gaming’ Obama on Afghan War

Gen. David Petraeus, as commander of allied forces in Afghanistan in 2010.

As President Obama grappled with the Afghan War in 2009-10, he faced insubordination from Gen. Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates, a reality that Gates leaves out of his new memoir, as Gareth Porter writes for Inter Press Service.

Robert Gates’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

A core myth about Robert Gates was that he was an “adult” who would bring wisdom and order to the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But the reality was always different as his score-settling memoir reveals, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.