Exclusive: Though voicing “serious reservations” about encroachments on civil liberties in a military authorization bill, President Obama signed the law anyway to avoid a nasty veto fight with Congress. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says courage, not timidity, is what’s needed at such moments.
America’s still-influential neocons are pounding President Obama for failing to negotiate a longer U.S. military occupation of Iraq, blaming him for the country’s latest political crisis. But the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland says the U.S. pullback was part of a necessary reordering of U.S. priorities.
As competition for oil, water and other resources intensify, global power relationships are shifting, providing backdrops for a string of conflicts from Iraq to Libya. Brazilian-born journalist Pepe Escobar, one of the most perceptive analysts of these trends, was interviewed by German Lars Schall.
From the Archive: Congress keeps expanding government powers in the “war on terror” even when President Obama doesn’t ask for them, unlike President George W. Bush who proudly signed the Military Commissions Act, a precursor to the indefinite detention in today’s National Defense Authorization Act, as described by Robert Parry in 2006.
Congress has sent to President Obama a military spending bill that expands the government’s powers to fight the Long War on terrorism, including the ability to imprison alleged “terrorists” and accomplices indefinitely, even if Americans on U.S. soil, warns ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
U.S. intelligence says the terror threat from al-Qaeda is receding, but Congress keeps on expanding the scope of this “war” so as not to look “weak on terror,” now adding new military powers that could be used against American citizens, writes ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
After the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush’s administration pulled off the shelf dozens of internal security provisions that the Right had long wanted to implement. They were passed as the Patriot Act and have become part of America’s police-state culture, writes Anthony Gregory.
America’s decade-long hysteria since 9/11 has taken on some characteristics of the European witch hunts of 500 years ago, with incineration of targets after a sham “due process,” albeit now with Hellfire missiles from the air not stake-burnings on the ground, as Mary Beaudoin explains.
For a decade now, the American people have been told that only a “long war” against Islamist extremism can keep them safe from terrorism, even at the cost of trillions of dollars and loss of their liberties. Not even the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden changed the tune, says Ivan Eland.
By the late 1970s, there was a serious national debate about the blood-soaked Vietnam War, but then came Ronald Reagan rebranding it a “noble cause” and right-wing accusations against critics who “blame America first,” followed by the panicked retreat of everyone wanting to be part of the mainstream, as Phil Rockstroh observes.