From the Archive: Helen Thomas, a courageous trailblazer for women covering power politics, has died at the age of 92. Though recalled for her tough questioning of presidents, her career was unceremoniously ended when her media colleagues ostracized her over a clumsy remark about Israel, Robert Parry reported in 2010.
The safest way for any U.S. foreign policy nominee to win Senate confirmation is to pander to Israel’s interests and to bluster against its enemies. That was the route Samantha Power took in her bid to win confirmation as the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, reports Nima Shirazi.
Exclusive: After George Zimmerman was acquitted for murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, many Americans reacted with disgust. But others, like columnist Richard Cohen, blamed the slaying on a white person’s understandable fear of young black males, reports Robert Parry.
President Obama says he welcomes a vibrant debate on government secrecy and surveillance, but he then punishes the people who provide information that could make such a debate meaningful. The mainstream U.S. news media also shows little regard for these brave truth-tellers, says Lawrence Davidson.
Frustrated over negotiations for a stay-behind force of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, President Obama is now weighing the possibility of a faster withdrawal and a “zero option” on troops going forward. That may signal the belated recognition of twin American defeats in the Afghan and Iraq wars, says Beverly Bandler.
For decades the U.S. government has ladled billions upon billions in military assistance to countries that either don’t need it or use it to suppress popular uprisings. But all that money has bought very little in terms of genuine influence with the recipients, ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman writes.
President Obama seems more willing to alienate his base of young supporters who object to the growing Surveillance State than to offend the national security apparatchiks who run it. But Obama’s crackdown on leakers also has found apologists among MSNBC’s “liberal” talkers, as Jeff Cohen reports.
The Military Commissions for trying alleged al-Qaeda terrorists always had the risk of becoming Kafkaesque kangaroo courts with little credibility among people around the world, a danger that has become more and more acute as the process moves forward, Marjorie Cohn writes.
Attorney Lynne Stewart aggressively defended alleged terrorists, making her a target of President George W. Bush’s “war on terror.” After 9/11, she was prosecuted for violating special security rules for dealing with a client – and is now dying of cancer in federal prison, denied compassionate release, reports William Boardman.
In American politics and media, anyone who questions the concept of “American Exceptionalism” is banished to the margins of society. But this self-aggrandizing notion has always contained a large measure of self-deception, ignoring the suffering inflicted on other peoples and on U.S. soldiers, as Gary G. Kohls notes.