Tag Archive for Global War on Terror

Washington’s Latest War Fever

obama-cameron

War fever is running high again in Official Washington with pols and pundits demanding that President Obama order a major military intervention in Iraq and Syria to stop the violent jihadists of ISIS, a group that got its start with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, as ex-CIA analyst Paul Pillar recalls.

Bringing War Home to America

Michael Brown, the victim of a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

From the “war on drugs” to the “war on terror,” U.S. society has grown increasingly militarized with police now armed to the teeth with weapons of war to deploy against American citizens, a process that apes U.S. violence-oriented actions abroad, says Brian J. Trautman.

The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture

John Rizzo, who was acting General Counsel at the CIA during the first nine years of the "war on terror."

Official U.S. policy is to decry torture – at least when done by adversaries – but ambiguities abound when U.S. operatives do the torturing. Then, torture becomes debatable and its defenders go on TV talk shows and even get honors from universities, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

Still Tolerating Torture

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

President Obama admits that U.S. authorities engaged in torture during the “war on terror” but he has taken no action to hold the torturers accountable and even elevated one of its defenders, John Brennan, to chief of the CIA, notes William Blum.

Obama’s Failure to Rein in CIA and NSA

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser.

Despite Barack Obama’s promises during the 2008 campaign to reform the U.S. intelligence community, he has continued to tolerate its abuses, enable its excessive secrecy and indulge its bone-headedness, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman explains.

An All-Seeing, All-Knowing Being

The logo for the Information Awareness Office, which oversaw the Total Information Awareness project.

A decade ago, exposure of President George W. Bush’s Total Information Awareness scheme brought assurances that it had been shelved, but its Orwellian intent was only shifted to the NSA and it now gives the U.S. government nearly god-like powers, says Norman Solomon.

The U.S. Persecution of Sami Al-Arian

Sami Al-Arian and his two children. (Photo credit: Muslimmatters.org)

The neocon exploitation of the 9/11 attacks led to the disastrous Iraq War but  also unleashed anti-Muslim bigotry within the American political/media system and even within the U.S. courts, as the ugly persecution of Sami Al-Arian reveals, reports Lawrence Davidson.

Confronting Terrorism with Peace

A U.S. Army soldier provides security at a school in Farah City, Afghanistan, on Aug. 1, 2012. (Photo credit: U.S. Navy Lt. Benjamin Addison)

Violent counterterrorism rides the wave of public outrage over the cruel behavior of terrorists, which is often exactly what the terrorists want, a downward spiral into more killing and mayhem. Some experts see the need for a more constructive approach, says Erin Niemela.

Hillary Clinton’s Hawkish Legacy

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

To the surprise of some, the U.S. State Department has emerged as the Obama administration’s most hawkish branch, out-toughing the Pentagon which has urged restraint at times as State pushes for war. This shift dates back to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary, reports JP Sottile.

‘War on Terror’ and the Bergdahl Swap

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from Taliban captivity in a swap for five former Taliban leaders.

After the 9/11 attacks, narrow “counterterrorism” operations gave way to the blunderbuss “war on terror,” opening the way to more traditional practices of war including prisoner exchanges, like the one for Sgt. Bergdahl, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.