Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s arrest for the Boston Marathon bombing prompted calls from Sen. John McCain and three other Republican lawmakers to declare the 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen an enemy combatant, a reminder of how the politics of terrorism has distorted American principles, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Congress seems poised again to ratchet up tensions with Iran by acting on a resolution that, in effect, gives a green light for Israel to attack Iran with promises of U.S. military support. This “back-door-to-war” resolution shows how the Israel lobby can dominate U.S. policymaking, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
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.
Some of our special stories in March focused on dark questions about the new Pope, the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, fresh insights into Watergate and Iran-Contra, and the Right’s gross distortion of the Second Amendment.
As Israel changes “the facts on the ground” through settlement of Palestinian land, the prospects of a two-state solution fade from unlikely to impossible. That has made the Palestinian Authority into a “stooge” organization and helps explain the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In 2002-03, the Bush administration coordinated with retired military officers who were acting as policy experts on CNN and elsewhere to whip up the Iraq War frenzy. Such military commentary can have a significant – and dangerous – impact on U.S. public opinion, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
The mainstream U.S. news media is blaming Iran for the impasse over nuclear talks, but many stumbling blocks – like refusal to accept Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program – are the fault of Western negotiators, raising Iran’s concerns about what is actually afoot, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
A key argument of the American Right is that treaties are an affront to U.S. “sovereignty” and “constitutional governance,” even though the Founders embraced treaties with other nations. Today’s anti-treaty bias threatens to undermine U.S. influence in the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The neoconservative Washington Post wants people to forget about how it and other Iraq War boosters got pretty much everything wrong about that disaster. Amnesia is especially important now as the Post and the neocons begin a new push for U.S. military intervention in Syria, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on Iran – that it is building a nuclear weapon though the U.S. intelligence community says it isn’t – is spilling into the results of public opinion polls. The false assumption about Iran’s nuke program affects both the questions and the answers, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.