America’s Surge Toward Oligarchy

Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)

Exclusive: With the rapid concentration of wealth in a few well-manicured hands and the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court declaring money to be speech, the American surge toward oligarchy has gained what looks like an unstoppable momentum, as JP Sottile explains.

NYT Retracts Russian-Photo Scoop

Photograph published by the New York Times purportedly taken in Russia of Russian soldiers who later appeared in eastern Ukraine. However, the photographer has since stated that the photo was actually taken in Ukraine, and the U.S. State Department has acknowledged the error.

Exclusive: After starting a propaganda stampede – with a lead story about photos of Russian troops purportedly in Ukraine – the New York Times admits the pictures really don’t prove much, and one photo was labeled as snapped in Russia when it was really taken in Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

Foreign Entangling Sanctions

President Thomas Jefferson in a portrait by Rembrandt Peale.

The U.S. government prefers economic sanctions as the opening move in any international chess match with adversaries, but sanctions on Iran – and threatened ones against Russia – could disrupt energy supplies and hurt the West as much as the targets, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

Prepping for a Ukrainian Massacre

Arsen Avakov, Ukraine's interim interior minister.

Exclusive: As the rhetoric rages out of control, worsening violence in Ukraine grows more likely. Official Washington is readying the American people to view the slaughter of eastern Ukrainians as justified because they are “terrorists” and linked to the hated Russians, Robert Parry reports.

Hope for an Israeli-Palestinian State

Journalist and author Ali Abunimah.

For years, Israel condemned Palestinians for terrorism, but now Israel seems equally upset over non-violent resistance from a boycott movement aimed at ending more than six decades of repression against Palestinians, a reaction that shows progress, author Ali Abunimah tells Dennis J Bernstein.

Why the US Obsession over Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. government acts like it has a vital interest in separating Ukraine from Russia, even if that sparks a civil war among Ukrainians and disrupts Europe’s economic recovery. A slightly varied history might have given a different perspective, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

America’s Mad Dash to Oligarchy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Since Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” tax cuts for the rich – followed by other giveaways like eliminating the “death tax” so billionaires can pass on their fortunes to lucky heirs – the United States has been on a mad dash to oligarchy, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

Another NYT-Michael Gordon Special?

From the New York Times graphic package of photos in support of its article accusing Russia of sending special forces soldiers into eastern Ukraine

Exclusive: The New York Times is at it again with a lead story citing grainy photos from the post-putsch regime in Kiev as proving that Russian special forces are behind the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine, another slanted story coauthored by Michael Gordon, as Robert Parry reports.

Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance

President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomes President Barack Obama to the G20 Summit at Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The trust between President Obama and President Putin helped avert a U.S. war on Syria and got Iran to agree to limit its nuclear program, but the neocon-driven crisis in Ukraine has dashed hopes of building on that success for a more peaceful world, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Imperative

New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. news media is flooding the American people with one-sided propaganda on Ukraine, rewriting the narrative to leave out the key role of neo-Nazis and insisting on a “group think” that exceeds even the misguided consensus on Iraq’s WMD, reports Robert Parry.

Marijuana as a Wedge Issue

A marijuana plant.

Given the damage to so many lives from enforcement of the prohibition on marijuana use, liberalization of those laws is emerging as a movement with bipartisan appeal, even reaching into Red States like Oklahoma, as Richard L. Fricker reports.

Telling the Truth about Easter

Depiction of Jesus's Crucifixion by 16th Century artist Mathis Gothart-Nithart.

Jesus, a radical preacher who advocated for the poor, was crucified for turning over money tables at the Temple and other insurrectionary acts. His body was likely left to wild animals, but his chroniclers sought to glorify his ending with myths about a resurrection, as Rev. Howard Bess explains.

The Dangerous Neocon-R2P Alliance

Secretary of State John Kerry attending a four-way diplomatic conference in Geneva, involving the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: After U.S. neocons helped stir up a crisis in Ukraine—with a big assist from the biased American press corps – the Obama administration looked for a diplomatic off-ramp, but this pattern of hyped outrage and belated reconciliation is a risky way to make foreign policy, says Robert Parry.

The Corruption of Mainstream Media

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

America’s mainstream media still pretends it is the custodian of “serious journalism,” but that claim continues to erode as the corporate press shies away from its duty to challenge propaganda emanating from various parts of the U.S. government, as Danny Schechter describes.

Fight Against MSM’s ‘Group Think’

From Editor Robert Parry: Whenever Official Washington rushes to embrace some misguided “group think,” Consortiumnews.com has been there to ask the tough questions and challenge the “conventional wisdom.” We have been doing this for 18-plus years, but we need your help to continue.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories from March focused on the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. hypocrisy over international law, and what the neocons hope to accomplish from more regime change.

Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass

Ukrainian Secretary for National Security Andriy Parubiy.

Exclusive: As the post-coup regime in Ukraine sends troops and paramilitaries to crack down on ethnic Russian protesters in the east, the U.S. news media continues to feed the American public a steady dose of anti-Russian propaganda, often wrapped in accusations of “Russian propaganda,” Robert Parry reports.

Rigging the Game Against Palestinians

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post.

Official Washington’s neocons are busy spinning the latest U.S. failure to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace as an excuse to extend the Israeli occupation indefinitely by insisting that the Palestinians first pass some ever-receding test of quality self-governance, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Mistake in Shutting Down a US News Source

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.

Exclusive: U.S. intelligence, best known for collecting information about people including Americans, did have one agency that gave the public access to its translations of foreign news articles – until this year when the sharing was shut down, as ex-intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray explains.

What Venezuelan ‘Regime Change’ Could Mean

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. (Photo credit: Valter Campanato/ABr)

Exclusive: Venezuela’s socialist government may be next on Official Washington’s list for destabilizing sanctions as violent protests sweep across the oil-rich country. But “regime change” in Caracas also could undermine the entire region’s independence, as Andrés Cala explains.

The Risk of Not Worrying about the Bomb

The U.S. explosion of a nuclear bomb over Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9, 1945.

The nuclear sword of Damocles has been dangling over humanity for so many years that it’s taken for granted, even amid the U.S. State Department’s juvenile jousting over Ukraine. But carelessness could make it more likely to fall with unspeakable consequences, as Lawrence S. Wittner notes.

What’s the Matter with John Kerry?

Secretary of State John Kerry.

Special Report: As a young warrior and senator, John Kerry stood up to politicians who spread propaganda that misled the public and got people killed. Now, as a 70-year-old Secretary of State, he has become what he once challenged, reports Robert Parry.

Making Money the Measure of Politics

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts.

U.S. pundits decry countries like Iran as undemocratic for having a screening process for candidates to high office. But U.S. politicians must pass muster with wealthy donors to be considered serious candidates, a system that the Supreme Court just made worse, says Lawrence Davidson.

Making Iran’s UN Envoy a Wedge Issue

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Hamid Aboutalebi.

America’s neocons and their allies want an escalating confrontation with Iran, not a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue. So they seek out hot buttons to anger Iran and make President Obama’s job harder, such as blocking Iran’s choice of UN ambassador, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution

Jesus, driving the money-changers from the Temple, in a painting by El Greco.

From the Archive: Over the centuries as Christianity bent to the interests of the rich and powerful, the story of Jesus’s fateful week in Jerusalem was reshaped to minimize its pivotal event, overturning the Temple’s money tables, a challenge to religious and political power, says Rev. Howard Bess.

Playing Word Games on Iran and Nukes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference in Iran. (Official Iranian photo)

In the U.S. propaganda war against Iran, a recurring tactic is to play games with words, conflating a nuclear program with a weapons program despite the longstanding judgment of  U.S. intelligence that Iran is not working on a bomb, as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

South Africa’s Murder Trial Distraction

ParaOlympics runner Oscar Pistorius. (Photo credit: Parasport Images via OscarPistorius.com)

Despite South Africa’s transition into a multiracial democracy, profound economic inequality remains, a backdrop to both the high-profile murder trial of athlete Oscar Pistorius and the splintering of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, as Danny Schechter notes.

A Blind Eye to LBJ’s ‘X-File’

National Security Adviser Walt Rostow shows President Lyndon Johnson a model of a battle near Khe Sanh in Vietnam. (U.S. Archive Photo)

Exclusive: President Lyndon Johnson’s legacy is in the news – whether his many domestic achievements should outweigh his disastrous escalation of the Vietnam War – but no attention is being paid to evidence that LBJ might have ended the war if not for Richard Nixon’s sabotage, writes Robert Parry.

‘War-Wise’ Skepticism Prevailed on Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

Though nearly going to war with Syria last year over a chemical attack, the Obama administration has still not presented a shred of verifiable proof against the Syrian government. And, interest is waning now that suspicions have shifted to Syrian rebels aided by U.S. allies, Nat Parry reports.

A Peace Ship’s Challenge to Nukes

Albert Bigelow, right, captained the Golden Rule on her mission to disrupt atmospheric nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. (Photo credit: Albert Bigelow Papers, Swarthmore College Peace Collection)

In the 1950s, as the United States obliterated Pacific islands to test hydrogen bombs, anti-nuclear activists challenged this devastation by trying to sail a ship, The Golden Rule, into the test zone, a protest that helped create political pressure for a nuclear test ban, as Lawrence S. Wittner recalls.

Greasing Skids for the Comcast Deal

comcast-logo

Americans often complain about their cable bills which always seem to be going up. Part of that money, however, goes not for entertainment but to curry favor with Congress and other officials who will judge the Comcast-Time Warner merger, as Michael Winship notes.