In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection and analysis before 9/11, covered up the mistakes, and violated the constitutional rights of the American people, all while wasting billions of dollars and misleading the public.
Over the past dozen years, the “war on terror” has taken a profound toll on U.S. constitutional protections and democratic principles, a process that continues despite President Obama’s promise last May that “this war like all wars must end,” as Lawrence Davidson explains.
Some of our special stories in June, focusing on the dangers of truth-telling (from Gary Webb and Daniel Ellsberg to Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning), a major turn in the 1980 October Surprise case, and the Right’s dark history of racism.
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.
President Obama has alienated much of his liberal base by coming across increasingly as a toady to the Establishment, with his defense of drone strikes, his embrace of the surveillance state and his prosecution of anti-secrecy whistleblowers, as Lawrence Davidson explains.
After 9/11, the principal “liberty” that many Americans seemed to prize most was the “freedom” to go to the shopping mall without having to fear “terrorists.” That attitude gave impetus to the construction of a police-state framework that could crush all the other liberties and freedoms, Daniel Ellsberg warns.
Exclusive: Edward Snowden, the person who disclosed top-secret documents on the U.S. government’s massive surveillance programs, is reportedly in Hong Kong and seeking asylum from countries that value openness and freedom, conditions seen as slipping away at home, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.
As the Iraq War’s architects and boosters remain respected figures in Official Washington, whistleblower Bradley Manning faces possible life in prison. To counter this injustice, media critic Jeff Cohen thinks Manning should get the Nobel Peace Prize, as he explained to Dennis J. Bernstein.
The Republican Party that emerged from Vietnam and Watergate was determined to obliterate the lessons learned, and the Democrats veered between timidity and complicity as those lessons were unlearned. Now, the key lessons are more reminiscence than real, as Michael Winship laments.