Looking nervously toward the November elections, members of Congress ducked the issue of authorizing U.S. military attacks on targets in Iraq and Syria, but that evasion of responsibility is not what the Founders had in mind, writes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
The Obama administration has refused to release its supposed evidence implicating the Syrian government in the alleged chemical weapons attack of Aug. 21, and it now appears the “classified briefings” to Congress have been more a sales job than a dispassionate review of facts, a danger cited by activist John M. Repp.
Even the hyper-partisan Newt Gingrich has chastised his fellow Republicans for endless negativity and lack of positive ideas. Still, as the wheels of government grind to a standstill, business lobbyists continue to grease them with lots of money, notes Michael Winship.
Special interests with lots of money continue to be heard in Congress; the average citizen not so much. Thus, corporate tax breaks are protected while programs to help people and build the country are cut, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.
Congressional “tough-guy-ism” – blocking President Obama’s plan to shutter the Guantanamo Bay prison and insisting on military tribunals for 9/11 terrorism suspects – is making the prosecutions harder than if they had been transferred to civilian courts, an irony addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
America’s Founders saw press freedom as a key check on government dishonesty, but today’s media has become a powerful ally of official lies by funneling sophisticated propaganda especially in support of war, as Lawrence Davidson notes about the hysteria over Iran.
More than a decade after the 9/11 attacks – even after Osama bin Laden’s death and U.S. intelligence assessments that al-Qaeda is collapsing – Congress keeps on chipping away at U.S. constitutional rights in the name of fighting terrorism, and President Obama is ready to go along, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Public opinion polls for Congress have sunk into the single digits and some observers are wondering why the ratings aren’t even lower. The latest area of abuse is the alleged use of insider information on Capitol Hill for lucrative stock trades, reports Michael Winship.