The Bush-43 Administration

Obama’s Not-So-Terrible Year

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington is giving a big thumb down to President Obama’s performance in 2013. But his diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East and even some of his troubles with Obamacare and the NSA could ultimately make the year a historic turning point, says Robert Parry.

A History of False Fear

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s.

It’s always hard to get someone to speak honestly when his or her livelihood depends on not telling the truth. With the military-industrial-surveillance complex, that reality is multiplied by the billions of dollars and the many careers at stake, Joe Lauria writes.

Truman’s True Warning on the CIA

President Harry S. Truman.

Exclusive: National security secrecy and a benighted sense of “what’s good for the country” can be a dangerous mix for democracy, empowering self-interested or misguided officials to supplant the people’s will, as President Truman warned and ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Snowden’s Leaks Doom NSA’s Snooping

President Barack Obama talks about the National Security Agency's surveillance policies at a press conference on Dec. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

After long claiming to welcome a robust debate on NSA surveillance, President Obama found the debate more robust – and more substantive – than he expected, especially after the leaks by Edward Snowden, as Danny Schechter explains.

NYT Replays Its Iraq Fiasco in Syria

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: Much like the Iraq WMD fiasco in 2002-03, the New York Times has taken sides in the conflict in Syria and is ignoring evidence that undercuts its indictment of the Assad regime as the guilty party in the Aug. 21 Sarin attack outside Damascus, reports Robert Parry.

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

Latin America Finds Its Footing

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner.

Exclusive: While the U.S. and Spain have wallowed in the Great Recession swamp, Latin America has begun breaking free of the old order that bogged down progress. Now, the region is restructuring relations with its old international masters, as Andrés Cala explains.

Wisdom in Restraint on Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

The neocons are still beating the drums for U.S. military intervention in Syria, now supposedly for humanitarian reasons. But – as horrific as the Syrian violence is – it’s clear that President Obama’s restraint last summer averted making the mess even worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Urged to Fire DNI Clapper

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Last March – before Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s sweeping collection of phone and other data – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said no such operation existed. Now, a group of ex-national security officials urge President Obama to fire Clapper.

Itching for Confrontation with Iran

Columnist and pundit George F. Will

The neocons – along with their allies in Congress and on the Washington Post’s op-ed page – remain determined to sabotage a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran, demanding that its leaders be confronted, not engaged, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.