Special Report: From the start of the Republic, some U.S. presidents favored government activism to address the nation’s problems, while others let the states do what they wanted and business tycoons have their way, a distinction that Robert Parry says can define the best and worst.
Exclusive: In the mid-1970s, Rep. Otis Pike led a brave inquiry to rein in the excesses of the national security state. But the CIA and its defenders accused Pike of recklessness and vowed retaliation, assigning him to a political obscurity that continued to his recent death, as Lisa Pease recounts.
Exclusive: A half-century ago, religious clashes in Vietnam — leading to a dramatic photo of a Buddhist priest burning himself alive — shocked the U.S. government and drove it deeper into the morass of the Vietnam War, a confluence of religion and politics that remains relevant today, as war correspondent Beverly Deepe Keever explains.
Though the United States has a tradition of separating church and state, the 2012 presidential campaign may test the limits of that tolerance. Not only do some Republicans continue to question Barack Obama’s Christianity, but GOP front-runner Mitt Romney is a Mormon and other contenders, such as Sarah Palin, are Christian fundamentalists, as the Rev.…