Exclusive: President Obama says he welcomes the debate on post-9/11 surveillance of Americans and the world, but that debate was only made meaningful by the disclosures of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was then indicted and sought asylum in Russia, where he just met with some ex-U.S. intelligence officials, including Ray McGovern.
World attention has moved to the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, but the evidence on the Aug. 21 attack near Damascus remains hidden and in dispute, causing a group of former U.S. intelligence professionals to ask Moscow and Washington to present what they have.
Exclusive: The leading Syrian rebel groups have declared their intent to transform Syria into a Taliban-style state that would collaborate with al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in the heart of the Middle East. This lifting of the veil presents President Obama with an even trickier policy dilemma, reports Robert Parry.
Exclusive: Saudi Arabia – confident in its leverage over energy and finance and emboldened by a de facto regional alliance with Israel – is throwing its weight around with threats against Russia. But this muscle-flexing is drawing a tough reaction from President Putin, reports Robert Parry.
In recent weeks, international attention has focused on the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria. But nuclear weapons represent an even greater threat to human life, and the countries possessing these fearsome weapons continue to press ahead in modernizing them, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.
Exclusive: What looked like another U.S. march to war in the Mideast has turned toward a peaceful accord that carries hope of getting Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons and achieving a cease-fire, maybe even an end to the civil war. But some want to resume the drive toward a U.S. attack, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says.
Exclusive: Ironically, the biggest threat to plans for destroying the Syrian government’s chemical weapons may come from Syrian rebels if they balk at a ceasefire and target UN inspectors removing poison gas canisters, a possibility that the rebels may hope would put a U.S. military strike back on the table, says Robert Parry.
Not only has the Obama administration presented no hard evidence to support its charge that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, President Obama’s plan to retaliate with cruise missiles in violation of international law suggests a Mideast strategy in disarray, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
President Obama and the mainstream U.S. press are blaming Russian President Putin for the breakdown in bilateral relations, but this simplistic view ignores the many U.S. government actions over the past two decades that have offended Moscow, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman describes.
Exclusive: The U.S. threw its diplomatic weight around getting several European countries to block a plane carrying Bolivia’s President Evo Morales – thinking NSA leaker Edward Snowden might be a stowaway – but the clumsy affair only spotlighted declining U.S. influence in Latin America, writes Andrés Cala.