Though many of today’s domestic and international crises date back to George W. Bush’s presidency, Republicans see a political edge in frustrating President Obama’s efforts to solve them, reveling in a new narrative about Obama’s “weakness.” The Guantanamo mess is a case in point, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: President Obama has nominated Hyatt Hotels heiress Penny Pritzker to be the next Commerce Secretary. Pritzker, also a major fundraiser for Obama’s two presidential campaigns, faced controversy because of her role in the sub-prime mortgage disaster, as Dennis J. Bernstein reported in 2008.
Exclusive: Black flags of Islamic extremism are flying over “liberated” zones in Syria as hard-line fundamentalists take control of the uprising. Yet, Official Washington continues to demand the overthrow of the secular Assad regime, rather than consider a power-sharing compromise, Robert Parry reports.
American foreign policy remains locked in a cycle of violence, with the Obama administration failing to escape the neocon insistence on a swaggering “tough-guy-ism” abroad. That reliance on military intervention also comes with the cost of “blowback,” as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes.
Exclusive: The defeat of a modest gun-safety bill in the Senate is further vindication of Orwell’s cynical observation that “who controls the past controls the future” since the American Right has persuaded millions of Americans that a false narrative about the Second Amendment is true, says Robert Parry.
Just when it seemed the U.S. news media had learned some lessons from earlier “terrorism” misreporting, CNN rushed out – and then retracted – a report about the arrest of a “dark-skinned” suspect. But a related problem is the compulsion to draw broad conclusions about a rare event, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Three people died and scores were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, part of the annual celebration of the Patriots who drove the British back from Lexington and Concord in 1775. For once, the U.S. news media didn’t rush to judgment about who did it, Robert Parry says.
Exclusive: Washington and Moscow exchanged lists imposing sanctions on each other’s officials accused of human rights crimes. But America’s benefit of the doubt no longer applies, as the Russians named John Yoo and David Addington, Bush-era legal advisers who twisted the law on torture, Robert Parry reports.
While the U.S. media has some spirited debate over politics and social issues – i.e. Fox News vs. MSNBC – there remains a broad consensus about foreign adversaries whose behavior is almost always cast in the harshest light, a reality that colors how America reacts to the world, as Jeff Cohen writes.
U.S. propagandists and the mainstream media present foreign crises, like the current one with North Korea, as black-and-white morality plays with Official Washington behaving wisely and the adversaries as crazy. But the reality is always more complex, as Christine Hong told Dennis J. Bernstein.