In theory, pretty much everyone claims to like investigative journalism, even government officials. But the reaction is different when reporters expose troubling facts, especially if they make a favored country or politician look bad. Yet, that is what’s needed, says Norman Solomon.
President Obama declares his love of “transparency,” but has an odd way of showing it, meting out harsh punishments to people who give the public a glimpse into the vast darkness of U.S. secrets, including revoking Edward Snowden’s passport to stop him from seeking asylum, an action addressed by Norman Solomon.
Google and other tech giants have reportedly teamed up with the pro-corporate ALEC to draft model legislation on technology issues. This puts Google in bed with an outfit infamous for crafting “stand-your-ground,” voter ID and other right-wing bills that are then pushed through state legislatures, as Norman Solomon reports.
When the U.S. government readies for war, there is a well-worn script. A “bad” guy is defined; some act of perfidy is alleged despite murky evidence; politicians and journalists express righteous outrage; a confused public is dragged along. Except that the war on Syria may be veering off-script, says Norman Solomon.
Facing decades in prison, Pvt. Bradley Manning explained that patriotism drove his decision to reveal crimes hidden in classified documents. Now, it’s up to President Obama to decide if he will pardon Manning or continue a strategy of making his punishment an example to others, as Norman Solomon notes in this open letter.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden explained his decision to leak top-secret documents as a response to America letting a ragtag group of terrorists scare the country into accepting a near-Orwellian surveillance state, a choice that can be challenged, says Norman Solomon.
Because democracy is dependent on an informed electorate, political control in advanced societies like the United States has focused on selective dissemination of information and ideological spin. A whistleblower like Pvt. Bradley Manning disrupts that process, says Norman Solomon.
Many Americans forget how intimidating it was a decade ago for any U.S. citizen to speak out against President George W. Bush’s rush to war with Iraq. For example, the Dixie Chicks got death threats and actor Sean Penn was denounced as “a stooge of Saddam,” as Norman Solomon recalls.
Over several decades, as the Right built a powerful political/media infrastructure and effectively took over the Republican Party, the Left squandered its advantage in holding many positions that mesh with popular sentiment by too often insisting on political “purity” and refusing to work within the Democratic Party, writes Jeff Cohen.