From the Archive: American rightists and many Republicans continue to treat President Obama with a personal disrespect that reeks of racism: hoisting signs about his “Kenyan birth,” laughing at him as a rodeo clown, wishing for his impeachment – hostility that recalls the reaction to other African-American “firsts,” Robert Parry wrote last May.
Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs might have been avoided if more members of Congress had done their duty to stay informed about these classified activities, rather than get distracted by the fluff of politics, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
P.R. experts are skilled at framing policy debates in favorable though misleading ways, like the “war on terror” or the “war on drugs.” What gets shielded by this packaging are the unstated goals, interests and outcomes that would draw popular opposition if known, writes Arjen Kamphuis.
A common refrain in Official Washington is that President Obama should have intervened militarily in Syria’s civil war and that somehow that would have solved the problem. But there’s no reason to think that U.S. meddling would do much good, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Exclusive: Normally, peace negotiators end a conflict first and then examine the war crimes later. But the long-running civil war in Colombia has such a secretive and brutal history that efforts to cease the fighting began with an investigation of the slaughter, writes Andrés Cala.
Exclusive: Today’s crises – endless war, environmental catastrophe, desperate poverty and more – can seem so daunting that they paralyze action rather than inspire activism. But the imperative to do something in the face of injustice defines one’s moral place in the universe, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.
Official Washington often lectures other countries on the need for accountability, especially when governments have engaged in war crimes. Yet, one of the clearest cases of a U.S. war crime – the mass spraying of Vietnam with Agent Orange – has escaped any reckoning, note Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer.
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.
From the Archive: Even today – more than two decades after the Soviet Union disappeared – the Washington press corps views U.S.-Russian disputes through a one-way Cold War lens, with Moscow always at fault. But the reality is more complicated, as Robert Parry explained about Afghanistan in 2012.
Though it’s summer, Official Washington’s factionalism never takes a vacation. The neocons are in workaholic mode, claiming the precautionary closure of some U.S. embassies proves al-Qaeda remains a major threat, despite the fact that no terror attack has actually happened, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.