Some special stories pulled from Consortiumnews.com’s Archive:
A decade ago, as U.S. troops gained control of Iraq, there were many false alarms about finding WMD, leading to President Bush declaring the discovery of mobile biological weapons labs. Robert Parry led the way in challenging that bogus claim in this analysis of America’s false reality.
Not only have George W. Bush and the Iraq War architects skated away from meaningful accountability, but so too have the media figures who provided the propaganda framework for the illegal invasion, a break with a principle sternly enforced at Nuremberg, Peter Dyer wrote in 2008.
Jorge Bergoglio’s election to be Pope Francis has revived troubling questions about the Catholic Church’s role in the Argentine “dirty war” and other right-wing repression in Latin America of the 1970s and ’80s. But the history goes back to ties to the Nazis, as the late Georg Hodel wrote in 1999.
As Argentina’s Dirty War killed some 30,000 people, including 150 Catholic priests, dictator Jorge Rafael Videla kept up good relations with Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, who admits the Church should have done more given the horrors, as described by Marta Gurvich in 1998.
In 1987, amid the Iran-Contra inquiry, investigators found that the scandal fit within a larger Republican scheme for manipulating American public opinion through CIA-style disinformation. But GOP senators blocked inclusion of the chapter in the final report, Robert Parry wrote in 2008.
During the late-Nineteenth-Century struggles against America’s Robber Barons and the Ku Klux Klan, Lucy Gonzales Parsons was a brave fighter for human rights. In recognition of International Women’s Day, we are re-posting William Loren Katz’s account of her remarkable life.
The saying goes: “truth is the first casualty of war.” But it’s also true that war-time truth-tellers often end up as “collateral damage.” A new book, Inappropriate Conduct, tells the story of a World War II correspondent whose career was crushed by the intrigue he uncovered, as Don North reported in 2010.
“Zero Dark Thirty,” the big-screen chronicling of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, won critical acclaim for its taut storytelling, but the Oscar-nominated film ignored the complex history between the CIA and its terrorist target, wrote Jim DiEugenio.
The hunt-for-bin-Laden film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” portrays torture as a key element in that search. But the filmmakers distorted the facts and ignored the reality that torture is illegal, immoral and dangerously ineffective, wrote Marjorie Cohn.
Two Oscar favorites – “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” – purport to tell real-life stories about America’s troubles in the Middle East, one an escape-from-Iran thriller and the other a get-bin-Laden film. But neither confronts some hard realities, wrote Winslow Myers.
An Oscar frontrunner for best picture is “Argo,” depicting a little-known chapter of the U.S-Iran hostage standoff in 1979-81. Yet, while focusing on this story of six hostages escaping, “Argo” missed bigger dramas, before and after, as David Swanson explained.
The strange saga of how Israel “disappeared” Australian-born Ben Zygier into a high-security jail as “Prisoner X” and how he died under suspicious circumstances sheds new light on Israel’s efforts to silence ex-intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe in the 1990s, as Marshall Wilson reported in 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication ends the career of a Catholic intellectual who understood the need for Church reform but joined with John Paul II and other conservatives to protect an autocratic system that failed to stop pedophile priests or meet the needs of the faithful, wrote Catholic theologian Paul Surlis in 2012.
Sen. John McCain and other Republicans cited Chuck Hagel’s opposition to the Iraq War “surge” as their chief attack line to block his nomination to be Defense Secretary, but Hagel refused to accept their distortion of history, defying a cherished myth of Official Washington, which Robert Parry described.
The New York Times reports UN nuclear monitoring chief Yukiya Amano is dampening hopes for new nuclear talks with Iran by demanding access to its Parchin military base. But the press still ignores evidence Amano is no honest broker, but part of the U.S./Israel camp, as Robert Parry reported in 2011.
On domestic politics, MSNBC has provided some balance to the hard-right bent of Fox News, but the liberal-oriented network won’t diverge much from Washington’s hawkish foreign policy orthodoxy, especially on the Middle East, a reality that Marquette professor Daniel C. Maguire observed in 2011.
With Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s death on Thursday – and the declining health of ex-President George H.W. Bush – an era of war and intrigue is coming to an end, a time of resurgent U.S. imperialism that saw this warrior seeking peace and the politician wanting war, as Robert Parry wrote in 2011.
A State Department inquiry found serious lapses in security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died in an assault last Sept. 11. But the CIA’s connection is still downplayed, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman noted last month.
As the United States wrestles with the latest gun massacre – this time aimed at Connecticut kindergarteners – the real question is the character of American adults, many of whom punish gun-control advocates at the polls. Is America a nation of wildebeest, as Robert Parry asked after an earlier massacre.
Modern U.S. history is more complete because journalist Gary Webb had the courage to revive the dark story of the Reagan administration’s protection of Nicaraguan Contra cocaine traffickers in the 1980s. But Webb ultimately paid a terrible price, as Robert Parry reports.
The U.S. political/media world often operates without justice. Truth-tellers get punished and the well-connected get off. On this eighth anniversary of journalist Gary Webb’s suicide, we are re-posting one of the stories that Webb’s brave work forced out, albeit without a satisfying ending.
In the month-long (or even longer) “Christmas season,” there is much faux outrage from Fox News and the Right about a “war on Christmas,” even as public places are adorned with Christmas decorations and Christmas music fills the air, as Robert Parry noted in 2005.
As Israel again “mows the grass” in Gaza – taking revenge on Palestinians for firing crude missiles into Israeli territory – the myth upon which the Jewish government stakes its claim to the land is front and center. But the myth faces challenges even inside Israel, as Morgan Strong reported in 2009.
Just days after President Obama’s reelection, Israel launched a punishing bombing campaign against Palestinians in Gaza – much as Israel did shortly after his election in 2008. Obama again is put in a tight spot, but other U.S. presidents faced similar challenges, as Morgan Strong reported in 2010.
War with Iran is on the Nov. 6 ballot with President Obama on the verge of a peace deal and Mitt Romney favoring confrontation. The choice is like 1968 when many on the Left distrusted President Johnson’s Vietnam peace promises and enabled Richard Nixon to extend the war four years, Robert Parry noted last June.
Christian conservatives are cheering Mitt Romney’s attack on a 14-year-old comment by Barack Obama endorsing a limited “redistribution” of wealth, but they ignore that Jesus called for a far more radical wealth redistribution – and it may have led to his crucifixion, as Rev. Howard Bess wrote in 2011.
The assault by radical Islamists on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three of his aides, underscores the under-reported risk of the U.S.-backed military campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, as Robert Parry noted in 2011.
The death of Rev. Sun Myung Moon at 92 ends the long personal saga of a Korean theocrat whose life intertwined his bizarre religion with threads into organized crime and right-wing politics. Moon also showed how a fortune spent on media could change Washington’s political dynamic, as Robert Parry wrote in 2010.
An Israeli court has ruled that Rachel Corrie “put herself in danger” and thus Israel bears no blame for the 23-year-old American being crushed by an Israeli bulldozer as it leveled Palestinian homes in Gaza in 2003. Last March, the ninth anniversary of her death, her parents recalled her sacrifice.
As Republicans and the Tea Party seek to dismantle the New Deal’s social contract, one of their heroes, Dick Cheney, concedes that his personal success traces back to the federal government’s intervention against the depredations inflicted on Americans by “free-market” capitalism, writes Robert Parry.
One year ago, 30 U.S. soldiers – many from SEAL Team 6 – died when a helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, deaths that ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern said, tragically, were in vain. Though the war has faded from view, the killing goes on, 46 U.S. dead in July, eight more last week.
From the Archive: July 14 is a French holiday celebrating the 1789 liberation of the Bastille prison in Paris, leading to the overthrow of the monarchy. But there were less auspicious events connected to that date in 2003, during the autocratic presidency of George W. Bush, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote in 2007.
From the Archive: In 2009, when Scotland released Libyan Ali al-Megrahi after his prostate cancer was deemed terminal, U.S. and UK pols and pundits thundered against freeing the “Lockerbie bomber,” an outrage reprised this week after his death. But Megrahi’s odd conviction was not questioned, as Lisa Pease noted.
From the Archive: With the death of Ali al-Megrahi over the weekend, the Western press was again filled with references to him as the “Lockerbie bomber,” even though the New York Times finally conceded how dubious his conviction was. At Consortiumnews.com, William Blum made that point in real time.
From the Archive: The urgent question facing the advanced capitalistic societies of Europe and the United States is: can “free markets” still meet the people’s needs or will those needs be sacrificed to the market’s demand for “austerity” — and if so, what does that mean for democracy — as Robert Parry asked in 2009.
From the Archive: Robert Draper’s new book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do, describes Newt Gingrich and other Republicans plotting on Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day how to sink his presidency. But that plot has been obvious for years in GOP obstruction of Obama’s recovery plans, as Robert Parry noted in 2010.
From the Archive: One year ago, President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden, ending a near-decade-long manhunt. Amid U.S. celebrations, it was largely forgotten that the delay in getting the terrorist leader resulted from blunders by George W. Bush and his neocon advisers, Robert Parry wrote in 2011.
The real Patriots Day – not the Monday holiday observed in Massachusetts – falls on April 19, honoring the Minutemen who rallied against a British strike at Lexington and Concord in 1775. The British were thwarted, in large part, because of a little known patriot, as Robert Parry recalled in 2011.
Nordic/Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik admitted killing 77 people last summer but claimed “self-defense,” protecting Christian culture from Muslims and “multiculturalists.” His writings show he was inspired by anti-Muslim bigotry spread by U.S. “experts,” Robert Parry explained in 2011.
Celebrating Easter in 2009, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern saw progress toward ending the Iraq War and hope that George W. Bush and other U.S. war criminals might finally face justice. Three years later, however, many of those dreams of accountability remain unfulfilled.
Three years ago, President Obama ignored warnings about an Afghan quagmire and followed the advice of Bush administration holdovers into a series of troop “surges” that have cost many lives but not turned around the war, a result that ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern foresaw at the time.
As Americans watch HBO’s “Game Change” about Election 2008 – and reflect on the madcap Republican presidential race of 2012 – they confront again the GOP’s modern tendency to promote patently unfit individuals for high office, as Robert Parry observed in 2009 when Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska’s governor.
HBO’s “Game Change” shows John McCain’s presidential campaign recklessly picking Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate and then learning she lacked basic knowledge about the world. However, as Robert Parry reported in 2008, the campaign still went for the jugular against Barack Obama.
As the International Atomic Energy Agency clashes with Iran over access to a military site, the U.S. government and mainstream news media are denouncing Iran. But no one recalls the WikiLeaks documents that exposed the bias of the new IAEA leaders, as Robert Parry reported in 2011.
In 2008, Rick Santorum declared, “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.” Though sounding odd to many, Santorum’s Satan talk is common among right-wing Christians who have intervened in U.S. politics before, like President Clinton’s impeachment, as Frederick Clarkson noted in this 1998 article.
On Presidents’ Day, opinion polls rate the greatest U.S. presidents, with Ronald Reagan now typically scoring at or near the top — and George W. Bush at or near the bottom. Though the Bush rating is hard to dispute, Robert Parry argued in 2009 that Reagan deserved a similar placement.
A year ago, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern protested a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by standing in protest, before being assaulted by security guards and arrested. McGovern’s non-violent act became part of a year of protest against powerful forces ignoring the people’s will.
From the Archive: Last week’s decision by a U.S. military court to give no jail time to the sergeant in charge of troops at the Haditha massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqis means no serious penalties for anyone associated with what, in 2006, Robert Parry called “Bush’s My Lai.”
From the Archive: Though it remains risky in U.S. media and political circles to criticize Israel, there is a growing alarm even at the New York Times about the extremist trends of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox who are demanding segregation by sex, ethnicity and religious practices, as Robert Parry noted in this 2010 article.
From the Archive: As the West’s confrontation with Iran grows more dangerous – and major U.S. news outlets blame Iran – it may be worth recalling the documents that revealed how the U.S. and its allies showed bad faith in talks with Iran about its nuclear program, as Robert Parry reported in 2010.
From the Archive: After 9/11, President George W. Bush expanded his powers to act unilaterally abroad and encroach on constitutional rights at home, a process that Congress continues in the just-approved National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Nearly a decade ago, Nat Parry examined Bush’s grim vision.
From the Archive: Congress keeps expanding government powers in the “war on terror” even when President Obama doesn’t ask for them, unlike President George W. Bush who proudly signed the Military Commissions Act, a precursor to the indefinite detention in today’s National Defense Authorization Act, as described by Robert Parry in 2006.
From the Archive: In the pre-Civil War years of the United States, Abolitionists and other social reformers transformed Christmas into a season for addressing the abuses of slavery and mistreatment of children, creating symbols and traditions that endured, writes William Loren Katz.
From the Archive: This week, House Republicans fancied themselves reliving Braveheart’s Battle of Stirling as they blocked a compromise to extend a tax cut for 160 million working Americans – after having protected tax breaks for the rich – a misguided metaphor from the Scottish patriot’s real history that Robert Parry researched in 2005.
From the Archive: It’s Christmastime again, so just as families pull their tree ornaments and lawn decorations out of storage, Fox News and other right-wing media outlets dust off their annual outrage over the so-called “war on Christmas,” which is just as phony now as it was when Robert Parry addressed the topic in 2005.
From the Archive: The declared end of the Iraq War leaves behind not only scars from eight-plus years of violence but questions about how the American people got lured into the disaster, a question that Robert Parry addressed only a month after President George W. Bush celebrated “Mission Accomplished.”
From the Archive: Unrepentant Iraq War hawks accuse President Obama of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by completing the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces. But the terrible arc of George W. Bush’s invasion was apparent to some military analysts from the war’s first days, as Robert Parry reported just 11 days into the conflict.
From the Archive: Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich seems to be laying the groundwork for ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Greater Israel, calling them “an invented people” who “had a chance to go many places.” But an Israeli scholar offered a contrary view, as Morgan Strong reported.
From the Archive: While preparing the Dec. 9 article on Gary Webb, we pulled up a 1998 article that helps explain how inconvenient facts from recent U.S. history sometimes get “found” and then “lost” again. That summer, a CIA report exposing Nicaraguan Contra drug trafficking forced the New York Times to admit the point, but it soon forgot.
From the Archive: The U.S. political/media world often operates without justice. Truth-tellers get punished and the well-connected get off. On this seventh anniversary of journalist Gary Webb’s suicide, we are re-posting one of the stories that Webb’s brave work forced out, albeit without a satisfying ending.
From the Archive: On Thanksgiving Day, the United States celebrates the tradition of Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down together in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 to celebrate each other as friendly neighbors. But the reality was not so pleasant, as historian William Loren Katz recalled.
From the Archive: At the G20 summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy commiserated with President Barack Obama about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Sarkozy called a “liar,” prompting Obama to say: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day.” But struggling with Israeli leaders is not new, Morgan Strong reported.
From the Archive: A 9-foot-high bronze statue honoring President Ronald Reagan has been unveiled at National Airport, continuing the deification of the right-wing icon. Left out of the celebration was anything about Reagan’s dark side, as Robert Parry recounted in this article from 1999.
From the Archive: As U.S. policymakers and pundits celebrate the brutal murder of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, his torture and execution are being justified by glib references to his purported role in the Pan Am 103 bombing in 1988. But William Blum found a different reality in the records.
From the Archive: U.S. officials are congratulating themselves after NATO aircraft bombed a convoy fleeing the Libyan town of Sirte, leading to the capture and murder of Muammar Gaddafi – the grisly affair justified by Gaddafi’s supposed role in the bombing of Pan Am 103. But the evidence goes in a different direction, Robert Parry wrote.
From the Archive: In Argentina, a case of a 35-year-old woman may finally prove that military officers in the Dirty War of the 1970s had a systemic scheme for stealing babies from female dissidents who were murdered. In this 1997 article, Argentine journalist Marta Gurvich examined one of these shocking cases.
From the Archive: At the 10th anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, we are re-publishing two articles by Washington insiders, CIA analyst Peter W. Dickson and lobbyist Bruce P. Cameron. Both issued unheeded warnings about the looming catastrophe – Dickson while at the CIA in the 1980s, alarmed by Pakistan’s progress toward a nuclear bomb.
From the Archive: A mythology has long surrounded why America got into its 10-year-long Afghan war, based on the false premise that Washington’s big mistake was abandoning Afghanistan after the Soviets departed in 1989. The reality was quite different, as foreign policy expert Bruce P. Cameron explained.
From the Archive: Stan Goff, the ex-U.S. Special Forces soldier who helped Pat Tillman’s family expose the Army’s cover-up of the former NFL star’s friendly fire death in Afghanistan, wrote this story about his own military experience. It was published at Consortiumnews.com on Dec. 22, 1999.
From the Archive: The terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, sent the United States into a 10-year downward spiral, not because of the attacks themselves but because of disastrous political judgments that followed. In recognition of the tenth anniversary, we have compiled six articles by Robert Parry, chronicling this decade of descent, starting just two weeks after 9/11.
From the Archive: As the 1999 air war on Serbia becomes a model for Libya today, a reminder of what that civilian toll was. By Don North
Heeding George Kennan’s Sage Advice
From the Archive: The Vietnam War advice of legendary Foreign Service officer George Kennan applies to the Afghan War, too. By Ray McGovern
How Two Elections Changed America
From the Archive: Henry Kissinger’s shadowy machinations influenced the outcomes of two key U.S. elections, 1968 and 1980. By Robert Parry
Bush’s Interrogators Stressed Nudity
From the Archive: Pvt. Bradley Manning’s forced nudity recalls how the Bush administration broke down suspected terrorists. By Robert Parry
Reagan’s Bargain/Charlie Wilson’s War
From the Archive: Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, now totaling 100 or so bombs, is another part of Ronald Reagan’s legacy. By Peter W. Dickson
Argentina’s Dapper State Terrorist
From the Archive: Argentina has finally brought ex-dictator Rafael Videla to justice, but America still honors his protector, Ronald Reagan.
The Christian Myth of Jesus’s Birth
From the Archive: As Christianity again gives cover for war, even pleasant myths about Jesus’s birth demand a more skeptical examination.
Time to Apologize to Plame/Wilson
From the Archive: Official Washington’s “Fair Game” abuse of CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson went beyond the White House.
Did Rove’s Protégé Puff-up Resumé?
From the Archive: Arkansas GOP congressional candidate Tim Griffin attacks our past reporting about his lack of courtroom experience.
Our Unheeded Warnings to Obama
From the Archive: After Barack Obama won the White House, Robert Parry issued three warnings that were ignored about dangers ahead.
Hung Out to Dry
From the Archive: Journalist Georg Hodel, who died June 20, described the betrayal of himself and Gary Webb in the contra-cocaine scandal.
Evita, the Swiss and the Nazis
From the Archive: The late journalist Georg Hodel traced the post-WWII trail of Eva Peron to Switzerland in aiding the Nazi exodus to Argentina.
El Salvador: Ghosts at the Polls
From the Archive: Three decades ago today, El Salvador’s Archbishop Romero was slain, sending shock waves across the ages. By Don North
Bay of Pigs Meets Black Hawk Down
From the Archive: Newsweek declares “victory at last” in Iraq, but there is a case that the U.S. “loss” dated from the first weeks. By Robert Parry
Al Haig & a ‘Green Light’ to Chaos
From the Archive: In 1981, Secretary of State Al Haig wrote a ‘top secret’ memo on a ‘green light’ to chaos. By Robert Parry
Why Afghanistan Really Fell Apart
From the Archive: Contrary to conventional wisdom, the U.S. didn’t abandon the Afghan rebels once the Soviets left. By Bruce P. Cameron
Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness
From the Archive: Iraq’s hanging of “Chemical Ali” — like Saddam Hussein in 2006 — means one less witness on Bush Family crimes. By Robert Parry
George W. Bush’s Sci-Fi Disaster
From the Archive: At the first anniversary of the Obama presidency, a look-back at the scene of George W. Bush’s departure. By Robert Parry
How Not to Counter Terrorism
From the Archive: Ex-FBI Agent Coleen Rowley warned of flooding the counter-terror analysts with too much data. January 14, 2010
Pinochet’s Mad Scientist
From the Archive: Chile’s Pinochet dictatorship stands accused of killing a rival with poisons, a mystery with deep roots. By Samuel Blixen.
Israeli Scholar Disputes Founding Myth
From the Archive: In a new book, Israeli scholar Shlomo Sand argues that the Roman-era Diaspora was a historical myth. By Morgan Strong.
Colin Powell’s My Lai Connection
From the Archive: The Afghan War escalation recalls Colin Powell’s tie to an earlier war and its war crimes. By Robert Parry and Norman Solomon.
Rev. Moon’s Troubled Generation Next
From the Archive: The right-wing Washington Times is caught in a messy succession for Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s empire. By Robert Parry.
Ronald Reagan’s Bloody ‘Apocalypto’
From the Archive: An irony of Columbus Day is that crimes of the early conquerors are better known than more recent atrocities. By Robert Parry
PanAm 103 Verdict: Justice or Politics?
From the Archive: The Obama administration won’t question the weak evidence in the PanAm 103 bombing conviction. By William Blum
CIA: Osama Helped Bush in ’04
From the Archive: Osama bin Laden’s pre-election video in 2004 was viewed at the CIA as a bid to boost George W. Bush. By Robert Parry
Bush’s Conspiracy to Riot
From the Archive: Today’s right-wing disruptions of health-care “town halls” harken back to George W. Bush’s riot in 2000. By Robert Parry
The Left’s Media Miscalculation
From the Archive: A lookback at that how the American Left squandered its media advantage and aided the Right’s ascendancy. By Robert Parry
GOP & KAL007: ‘The Key Is to Lie First’
From the Archive: A case study of how Ronald Reagan and the Republicans mastered the Big Lie a quarter century ago. By Robert Parry
From the Archive: An explanation of why Dick Cheney would be so audacious to hide a covert action from Congress. By Robert Parry
From the Archive: A look-back at how we exposed George W. Bush’s deceptions at the start of the Iraq War. By Robert Parry
Rev. Moon, North Korea & the Bushes
From the Archive: A look-back on the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s secret financial ties to North Korean and U.S. leaders. By Robert Parry