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Bush '05-'06

Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness
George W. Bush may have felt a thrill of vindication as he went to bed with visions of Saddam Hussein dangling at the end of a rope, but Bush achieved something more important for the Bush Family legacy. He silenced a unique witness who, if given the opportunity, could have testified about the roles of George H.W. Bush and other top U.S. officials in aiding and abetting Hussein's crimes against humanity. By making sure that Hussein never appeared before an international tribunal, Bush kept those Bush Family secrets safely tucked away. December 30, 2006

Troop 'Surge' Seen as Another Mistake
Official Washington missed the role that new Defense Secretary Robert Gates would likely play in helping George W. Bush sell an Iraq War escalation. Senate Democrats had hoped Gates instead would push for a military disengagement. In this guest essay, former U.S. intelligence analysts W. Patrick Lang and Ray McGovern describe how the Bush-Gates team manufactured the consent of skeptical generals. December 24, 2006

Congress, the Voters & a Peace Plan
When American voters overturned Republican majorities in the House and Senate, they sent a clear message that they wanted the Iraq War wound down. That view was reinforced a month later by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. But George W. Bush is signaling he still wants to escalate the war. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky suggests a course of action for political leaders who want peace. December 23, 2006

Bush's 'Global War on Radicals'
George W. Bush is laying the groundwork for a wider war in the Middle East by stretching the parameters of the "global war on terrorism" to add to his enemies list what he calls "radicals and extremists." The change makes the struggle so amorphous that Bush theoretically could strike at anyone he doesn't like whether there's a credible link to international terrorism or not. The word shift also portends an endless war between the United States and the world's one billion Muslims. December 23, 2006

A Very Dangerous New Year
Political pressures on George W. Bush make the first few months of 2007 a very dangerous time for an escalation of war in the Middle East. Intelligence sources say Bush -- along with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair -- are weighing the possibility of Israeli-led attacks on Syria and Iran, with the United States providing logistical back-up. In this view, the proposed "surge" of U.S. troops to Iraq and the dispatch of a second aircraft carrier task force to Iranian waters are part of the plan. December 21, 2006

No Military Hope, So Send More Troops
Rather than admit responsibility for one of the worst political/military blunders in U.S. history, George W. Bush is on the verge of committing more U.S. troops to the Iraq quagmire, a course reportedly opposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this guest essay, two former U.S. intelligence analysts -- W. Patrick Lang and Ray McGovern -- warn that this Surge could force the U.S. military to wage a bloody battle to reclaim Iraq while deepening the prospect of a strategic defeat. December 20, 2006

Top Ten Things Not to Do in Iraq
George W. Bush seems determined to "double down" his bet on the Iraq War despite overwhelming public opposition and the recommendations for a phased withdrawal from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. Bush is now toying with the idea of adding 15,000 to 30,000 more U.S. troops, a scheme called "The Surge." In this guest essay, Ivan Eland puts that plan at the top of his list of ten things not to do in Iraq. December 19, 2006

Robert Gates Lines Up with Bush
The appointment of Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary was widely viewed as a sign that George W. Bush was prepared to accept more realism on the Iraq War and possibly agree to a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops. That wishful thinking led Democrats to treat Gates as a closet ally and to support his nomination unanimously. But the new Defense Secretary now is signaling that he's onboard with Bush's determination to press ahead in Iraq until "victory." December 19, 2006

Iraq 'Defeat' Not Fault of U.S. Troops
George W. Bush, who famously hates to admit mistakes, seems headed toward a military escalation of the Iraq War, in part, he says so as not to betray the sacrifice of the American soldiers who already have fought and died in Iraq. In this guest essay, novelist Steve Hammons writes that whatever the outcome in Iraq, there should be no question about the courage and honor of the U.S. forces sent to fight a misbegotten war. December 16, 2006

A Way Forward, a Look Back
U.S. policy in the Middle East is staggering toward the abyss along a path marked in the past few days by the Saudi ambassador's abrupt resignation and George W. Bush's postponement of a major speech on the Iraq War. It's increasingly apparent that Bush has no intention of changing direction despite prospects for a region-wide conflict. As the crisis worsens, some hidden history is relevant as are thoughts on what a creative path forward might look like. December 13, 2006

Government Checks Naughty or Nice
Besides endless warfare abroad, the interminable "war on terror" requires the steady erosion of freedoms at home. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Bush administration claims the unchecked right to rate American travelers as possible security risks, as Ivan Eland observes in this guest essay. December 12, 2006

Pinochet's Death Spares Bush Family
The heart-attack death of notorious Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet means the Bush Family can breathe a little easier, knowing the criminal cases against Pinochet can no longer implicate his longtime friend and protector, George H.W. Bush. Pinochet also was protected from facing justice by George W. Bush, who sidetracked an FBI recommendation to indict Pinochet for the terrorist murder of a Chilean dissident and an American woman in Washington in 1976. December 12, 2006

Time for Bush to Go!
The American political system is hurtling toward a constitutional crisis because of George W. Bush's obstinance about changing course in the Iraq War or in his broader ideological approach toward the Middle East. Bush has made clear that not even Bush Family fixer James Baker will influence the actions of "The Decider." So, as U.S. policy in the oil-rich region spins out of control, the stark choice confronting the American people will be whether the country can stand two more years of this or whether it's time for Bush to go. December 8, 2006

Readers Comment on Bush, Gary Webb
Our readers comment about George W. Bush's political future and the meaning behind Gary Webb's life and death. December 11, 2006

Coming Clash Over Iraq Policy
Despite Washington's conventional wisdom that a major overhaul of the Iraq War policy is looming, the appointment of CIA Director Robert M. Gates to be Defense Secretary and President George W. Bush's recent remarks about achieving "victory" suggest that no significant change is likely. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland sees Bush willing to make little more than cosmetic adjustments. December 5, 2006

Readers Comment on Gates, Iraq, Law
Our readers offer views on the speedy confirmation of Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, the Iraq War and the Military Commissions Act of 2006. December 7, 2006

Robert Gates & Locking You Up Forever
The Senate is expected to quickly confirm former CIA Director Robert M. Gates as the new Defense Secretary, without reexamining some troubling chapters of Gates's past. But these lingering questions about his independence and integrity might be especially relevant given the fact that the next Defense Secretary will inherit sweeping new powers to lock up indefinitely not only "unlawful enemy combatants" but "any person" who is alleged to have aided them. December 1, 2006

Gates, Hadley: More of the Same
Even as the Democrats prepare to assume control of Congress, the Bush administration is pressing ahead on its Middle East war policies, just with a few new faces. In this guest essay, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern looks at early indications that Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates may become just the President's latest yes man. November 30, 2006

Why Trust Robert Gates on Iraq
Two decades ago, then-CIA deputy director for intelligence Robert M. Gates made wildly erroneous predictions about what would happen in Central America if the United States didn't bomb Nicaragua and overthrow its leftist government. Gates staked out a position considered too extreme even by the Reagan administration. But now, Official Washington is treating Gates as the returning Wise Man who will help guide the nation out of the Iraq debacle when he replaces Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary. November 27, 2006

Blackmail & Bobby Gates
Unresolved mysteries about former intelligence officer Robert Gates mean that his secret -- and possibly illegal -- activities in the 1980s could come back to haunt the United States if he is confirmed as Defense Secretary. Though Gates denies all wrongdoing, substantial evidence now exists that Gates engaged in controversial plans to arm the Iranians and the Iraqis, a past that conceivably could open him to pressure and even blackmail. November 15, 2006

Gates & the Iran-Contra Legacy
Official Washington quickly tired of the Iran-Contra scandal in the late 1980s, with its complex tales of money-laundering and arms smuggling. So, most Americans missed that Iran-Contra was a test run for an all-powerful Executive who could override the nation's laws and the U.S. Constitution. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland examines what it means for George W. Bush to pick Robert Gates, an Iran-Contra veteran, to be Defense Secretary. November 15, 2006

Robert Gates-Gate
The first test of the new Democratic majority's mettle may come during the lame-duck session of Congress with the Republicans still in control and George W. Bush determined to rush through the nomination of Robert Gates to be Defense Secretary, replacing Donald Rumsfeld. Gates is a longtime Bush Family loyalist who appears to have deceived Congress over the Iran-Contra and Iraqgate scandals. In this guest essay, former CIA officer Ray McGovern describes his 36-year experience with Robert Gates. November 14, 2006

Open Letter to Levin on Robert Gates
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern urges Sen. Carl Levin, ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, to take a serious look at the appointment of former CIA director Robert Gates to be the new Defense Secretary. Sent November 11, 2006

Bush's Belated Accountability Moment
Over the past six years, George W. Bush has rejected the idea of outside oversight of his administration. Two years ago, he asserted that Election 2004 was his "accountability moment," even though government secrecy was shielding many of his official actions from the view of American voters. Now, with the Democratic congressional victories, Bush may get a taste of what real oversight and meaningful accountability actually mean. November 12, 2006

Democrats, the Truth Still Matters!
Democrats, being Democrats, often put governance, such as enacting legislation and building coalitions, ahead of oversight, which can involve confrontation and hard feelings. Given that tendency, we are re-positing a story from last May that examined why President Bill Clinton and the last Democratic congressional majority (in 1993-94) shied away from a fight over scandals from the Reagan-Bush-I era -- and the high price they paid for the decision. November 12, 2006

The Secret World of Robert Gates
Replacing Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon with Robert Gates is a sign the Bush Family is circling the wagons around the embattled presidency of George W. Bush. Gates is a trusted hand of George H.W. Bush, but there remain troubling questions about whether Gates is a trustworthy government official. Since his last confirmation as CIA director in 1991, new evidence has surfaced suggesting that he may not have told the full truth. November 9, 2006

Readers React to Election, Gates
Comments from readers about the Democratic election victory and the appointment of Robert Gates to succeed Donald Rumsfeld. November 10, 2006

American Voters Just Say No
By throwing out the Republican majority in the House, the American voters just said no to George W. Bush -- and to his dark vision of endless war abroad and the end to the Republic at home. The stunning election results now set the stage for a historic battle over the U.S. constitutional system. Bush indicates he won't back down; the Democrats face some tough decisions on how to proceed. But the American people made clear they're sick and tired of Bush's claims to unlimited power. November 8, 2006

Disregarding Democracy
The Bush administration is hedging its bets on the Nov. 7 elections, saying a possible voter rebuff of Republican congressional candidates won't force George W. Bush to change course on the Iraq War. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland points out that this White House has long disregarded democracy -- at least when it doesn't match George W. Bush's interests. November 7, 2006

Readers React to Bush '06 Push
Comments from readers about our recent articles on George W. Bush's last-ditch campaign to save the Republican majorities in the House and Senate. November 5, 2006

America's Slide to Totalitarianism
With some last-minute polls showing a strong Republican comeback, Election 2006 may yet serve as a ratification of George W. Bush's dark vision of endless war abroad and an end to the American Republic at home. Though Americans may not understand the stakes, Bush will surely interpret a Republican victory as an endorsement of his assertion of "plenary" -- or unlimited -- powers and the effective elimination of the "unalienable" rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. November 6, 2006

Bush Will Say Anything
In the final days before the pivotal Nov. 7 elections, George W. Bush is rallying Republicans with stump speeches that are remarkable -- even by today's standards -- in their disdain for facts and logic. Bush's performance has added another question that may be answered in the voting -- have most of the American people lost the ability to differentiate between spin and reality? November 4, 2006

America's Point of No Return
George W. Bush has reframed the pivotal Nov. 7 elections around John Kerry's "botched joke" and the premise that a Democratic victory means "the terrorists win." Much less attention is getting paid to what continued Republican congressional majorities would mean for America's constitutional liberties and for a near-endless "World War III" against Muslim militants around the globe. November 2, 2006

How Neocon Favorites Duped U.S.
With the U.S. death toll in Iraq now over 2,800 and no end in sight, the Nov. 7 elections may be the last chance for voters to exact some accountability on the architects and enablers of the war. This "special report" explains how Washington's political/media system became a conveyor belt for disinformation from Iraqi "defectors" closely allied with George W. Bush's neoconservatives. November 1, 2006

Readers' Comments
Comments from readers about recent articles. November 3, 2006

Al-Qaeda Wants Republicans to Win
Despite George W. Bush's assertion that a Democratic victory on Nov. 7 would mean that "the terrorists win and America loses," the evidence actually points to a conclusion that a Republican victory would much better serve al-Qaeda's interests. As U.S. intelligence agencies know, Osama bin Laden has long understood that Bush's blunderbuss "war on terror" is al-Qaeda's best ally in spreading violent extremism throughout the Muslim world. October 31, 2006

All the President's Lies
Out on the stump for Republican candidates, George W. Bush is letting loose a crowd-pleasing stem-winder full of distortions and lies, remarkable even by his standards. As his crowds chant "USA, USA," Bush presents the Democrats as people who don't want to detain terrorists, won't question terrorists and oppose putting terrorists on trial. The speech shows that Bush remains confident in his ability to paint a false reality without paying a price. October 30, 2006

Winning the Spin Battle
Having jettisoned "stay the course," George W. Bush is redefining the Republican message for the Nov. 7 elections. It is that a Democratic victory means "the terrorists win and America loses," as the President said in a speech in Georgia. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland suggests that Americans who see the Iraq War as a disaster for the nation should get into this game of clever catch phrases. October 31, 2006

Why Conservatives Balk at GOP
George W. Bush says the U.S. government's highest duty is to protect the safety of Americans. But many traditional conservatives -- and other Americans -- disagree, saying the top priority must be defense of the Constitution and individual liberties. In this guest essay, William Frey explains why he and other conservatives believe the modern GOP has lost its way. October 26, 2006

Misreading al-Qaeda on Iraq
An emerging argument for keeping the U.S. military in Iraq is that to leave would give Osama bin Laden an important political and strategic victory. Terrorism expert Peter Bergen made this point in a New York Times article echoing George W. Bush's stump speeches. But Bergen and other advocates of a prolonged U.S. occupation appear to have missed a recent intercept of an internal al-Qaeda message that welcomed the idea of "prolonging" the Iraq War. October 27, 2006

How Democrats Might Blow It, Again
As the Democrats read the polls and stock up on champagne, they are losing focus on what would happen if the Republicans engineer an upset victory in Election 2006. George W. Bush would surely interpret another GOP win as a broad mandate for waging "World War III" against his Muslim enemies and for eliminating many of the nation's precious constitutional rights, as he puts in place an increasingly authoritarian state under an imperial President. October 24, 2006

Readers React on Bush's Power
Comments from readers about stories on George W. Bush's expanding powers and the manipulation of intelligence. October 23, 2006

U.S. Arrogance in Iraq
Facing the prospects of Republican losses in the Nov. 7 election, George W. Bush has jettisoned his "stay the course" mantra and is looking for a new sales pitch to give the voters some hope that he has a workable plan for Iraq. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland argues that election-year gimmicks -- and badgering the Iraqi government to do what it can't do -- won't be enough to solve the intractable problems in Iraq. October 24, 2006

Giving Osama What He Really Wants
The Republican National Committee and George W. Bush are claiming that what Osama bin Laden really wants is a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq -- and that U.S. voters should deny him that wish. But recent U.S. intelligence actually reveals the opposite, that al-Qaeda realizes that "prolonging" the U.S. occupation serves its interests by creating thousands of new jihadists. October 21, 2006

Bush's Absolute Power Grab
Many Americans don't want to believe a totalitarian structure could be put in place in their own country. They don't want to view the various pieces of George W. Bush's "anti-terror" system in that dark a light. But -- as Carla Binion argues in this guest essay -- America already has traveled far down that scary road. October 21, 2006

Who Is 'Any Person' in Tribunal Law?
The New York Times lead editorial assures American citizens that they won't disappear into George W. Bush's new draconian legal system outside the protection of the U.S. Constitution. But is that comforting message true? The law actually contains a number of provisions that apply to "any person" who is viewed by the Bush administration as aiding America's enemies. Indeed, some references make clear that the "any person" can be a U.S. citizen who could be denied constitutional rights. October 19, 2006

Shame on Us All
October 17, 2006, should go down in history as the antithesis of July 4, 1776. On that glorious day, the American Founders proclaimed that all people possessed "unalienable rights," including the crucial legal right of habeas corpus. Some 230 years later on a dreary fall day in Washington, George W. Bush signed a law repealing America's founding principles and establishing a parallel system for prosecuting enemies of the state, including U.S. citizens. October 18, 2006

Readers React on Tribunal Law
Comments from readers about our stories on the Military Commissions Act of 2006. October 20, 2006

Republican v. Democrat on Security
National security again stands as a major issue in the U.S. national elections. But unlike 2002 and 2004, polls show it is not the Republican strong suit it once was. That's in part because the American people know more of George W. Bush's real record. In this guest essay, national security expert Burt Hall compares how the two parties have dealt with terrorism. October 20, 2006

Iraq Deaths: Politics vs. Science
The cost of the Iraq War in blood and money keeps rising. Yet, perhaps the most shocking recent news was the medical study estimating that the war has killed more than 600,000 Iraqis. In this guest essay, Dr. Curren Warf examines the science behind the study and the political attacks on the numbers. October 18, 2006

Is U.S. Worsening Iraq Civil War?
One of the internal contradictions in George W. Bush's Iraq War policy has been the risk that arming and training a Shiite-dominated military would encourage it to violently subjugate the rival Sunni minority, a development that could end up looking a lot like genocide. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland argues that it may be time for the U.S. to back away from Shiite-run security forces. October 18, 2006

N. Korea Bomb Tied to Bush Fiasco
U.S. intelligence has determined that North Korea's Oct. 9 nuclear bomb came from plutonium supplies that were unfrozen in 2003 in Pyongyang's response to George W. Bush's "axis of evil" threats. The plutonium had been kept under lock and key through an agreement negotiated by the Clinton administration, a deal that Bush first disparaged and then swept aside. October 17, 2006

Foley 'October Surprise' Claim Flops
Immediately after Rep. Mark Foley resigned over a page-sex scandal, senior Republicans and the right-wing news media began spreading a conspiracy theory claiming Foley was done in by a Democratic dirty trick. The "October Surprise" allegation spread quickly despite a lack of evidence, but -- now with more known about the story's back story -- the GOP theory has collapsed. October 16, 2006

Canada's New Bush-Style Politics
For decades, Canada has been known as America's pleasant neighbor to the North, with a political process more focused on practical solutions than ideological combat. But that may be changing as Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper adapts lessons from America's Republicans to the goal of building the same kind of right-wing powerhouse in Canada that George W. Bush relies on in the United States. October 14, 2006

Bush & His Dangerous Delusions
So what happens if an American President loses touch with reality and no one around him has the courage to intervene? Though this might sound like the plot of a political thriller, it appears increasingly as if that is the reality the United States is now facing, as George W. Bush drifts deeper and deeper into a made-up world where facts and logic are not tolerated. October 12, 2006

More Readers on Bush's 'Delusions'
Comments from readers about whether George W. Bush suffers from "delusions" or just plain lies. October 15, 2006

Bush's Tough-Talkin' Korean Bungle
Even before 9/11, George W. Bush was talking tough to North Korea, letting the communist dictatorship know it was near the top of his list for regime change. But Bush's harsh rhetoric and threatening actions -- especially in the context of the 2003 invasion of Iraq -- sent North Korea off in a hasty pursuit of nuclear weapons, an unintended consequence that is provoking a new crisis. October 10, 2006

Moon, North Korea & the Bushes
U.S. intelligence documents reveal that Washington Times founder Sun Myung Moon gave millions of dollars to North Korea's communist leaders in the early 1990s as they were scrambling for resources to develop nuclear weapons and other sophisticated military hardware. But Moon also put large sums of money into Bush family pockets -- and has escaped legal complications. October 11, 2006

Moon Backer Responds on N. Korea
Comments from a supporter of Rev. Sun Myung Moon about his business dealings with North Korea. October 13, 2006

A Way Out of Iraq?
The worsening political disintegration of Iraq -- combined with George W. Bush's refusal to admit that his 2003 invasion was a mistake -- has led some analysts to look for creative approaches for resolving the crisis. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland argues that partitioning Iraq may be the only way to avert disaster. October 10, 2006

Bush's Failed Policy of Kill, Kill, Kill
George W. Bush's strategy of killing his way to victory over Islamic extremism is dooming the United States to a bloody defeat in Iraq and a broader failure against Muslim radicals around the globe. This troubling message has been written on the wall for several years now, though Official Washington is only just beginning to read it. But what can be done? October 6, 2006

Al-Qaeda's Fragile Foothold
In a newly disclosed internal communique, an al-Qaeda leader frets that the terrorist organization has alienated key Iraqi insurgent groups -- and says an extended U.S. occupation is needed to give al-Qaeda time to mend fences. "Prolonging the war is in our interest," said one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants in a letter intercepted by the U.S. military. October 4, 2006

Kissinger's Bad Advice on Iraq
As the situation worsens in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has emerged as a White House adviser, urging George W. Bush to resist calls for withdrawing U.S. troops. But is Kissinger charting the same disastrous course for a prolonged war in Iraq as he did in Vietnam? In this guest essay, Ivan Eland examines whether Kissinger is the right man to be giving advice at this dangerous moment. October 3, 2006

Readers React to Latest News
Comments from readers about the latest news. October 3, 2006

Why Capitol Pages Fear Retaliation
Capitol Hill pages kept quiet about Rep. Mark Foley's suggestive e-mails for years out of fear that they would be blacklisted from future political jobs in the Republican-controlled U.S. government. This fear of retaliation was one of the lessons that the pages learned from watching how the adults behaved in today's Washington. October 2, 2006

Dereliction of Duty
President Bush is continuing to pound away at those who doubt his judgment about the war in Iraq, and a majority in Congress is staying in line. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky accuses the Washington Establishment of a dereliction of duty that has put comfortable careers back home ahead of the welfare of U.S. troops abroad. October 1, 2006


Bush Throws Down the Gauntlet
Gone suddenly is the Republican strategy for trying to "localize" the Nov. 7 congressional elections and stop Democrats district by district. George W. Bush has thrown down the gauntlet to Democrats for a "nationalized" referendum on his handling of the "war on terror" and the Iraq War. The big question now is whether the American people will view Bush's "World War III" as a necessity or as a mad rush to destruction. September 29, 2006

How to Avoid World War III
The neoconservatives surrounding George W. Bush are eager to take the United States into "World War III" against many of the one billion Muslims on the planet. But before this wholesale carnage begins -- with the inevitable political repression at home -- peace-loving people around the globe might want to look at some alternatives. September 28, 2006

Readers React to World War III
Some comments from readers  about the prospect of following George W. Bush into World War III and other topics. September 28, 2006

Still, Never Having to Say 'Sorry'
Two-and-a-half years ago, we published an article about the Bush administration's strange refusal to admit to even one second thought about what it might have done to prevent 9/11. Now, with the Right assembling a counter-history that pins the blame on former President Bill Clinton, we have dug back into our archives to republish that story. September 27, 2006

Negroponte Muddies NIE Waters
When George W. Bush found himself on the defensive over a U.S. intelligence estimate that recognized the obvious -- that the Iraq War had enflamed anti-Americanism and made the terrorist threat worse -- his intelligence czar John Negroponte tried to soften the political impact. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks behind the battle over the NIE, 
September 27, 2006

Losing a War, Winning a Police State
The U.S. intelligence community has reached a consensus on the obvious -- that George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq has worsened the global terrorist threat and made Americans less secure. But losing ground in the "war on terror" has side benefits for Bush. More terrorism strengthens the rationale for expanding his presidential powers, for lining the pockets of friendly corporations and for stripping away constitutional rights of the American people. September 26. 2006

Bush's 'Dirty War' Amnesty Law
The United States is following a troubling path marked by previous "dirty war" governments -- granting amnesty to human rights violators, in this case apparently up to and including President George W. Bush. Yet the debate about the compromise legislation on the treatment of "war on terror" detainees has virtually ignored Bush's demand for amnesty, which has been slipped into the bill without using the word "amnesty" or even explaining what Bush has done that needs protection from future prosecution. September 23. 2006

'Devil' in the Eye of the Beholder
The U.S. pundit class, which cheered when George W. Bush used his 2002 United Nations speech to effectively announce an unprovoked invasion of Iraq, has reacted in horror and fury over Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez giving a speech to the U.N. that referred to Bush as "El Diablo." In this guest essay, media critic Jeff Cohen looks at when some of the same outraged pundits thought it was fine to toss around the d-word and other epithets. September 23. 2006

Readers React to Recent Bush Stories
Some comments from readers  about the Bush Family's secret history of dealing with international terrorists and then concealing the facts. September 22, 2006

Bush Shields Dad on Chile Terrorism
George W. Bush is following in his father's footsteps in protecting former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for his alleged role in a terrorist assassination attack in Washington, D.C., three decades ago. At the time, George H.W. Bush was CIA director and he appears to have tolerated and then covered up Pinochet's connection to the double homicide. But the younger George Bush may now be protecting the Bush Family legacy as well. September 22. 2006

Bush's Empty Words to the U.N.
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, George W. Bush invoked the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and said its principles are "as true today as they were when they were written." The only problem is that Bush is violating about one-third of those human rights tenets, including bans on arbitrary arrests, unfair trials and mistreatment of detainees. September 20. 2006

What to Do About Iran's Nukes
In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at the quandary that George W. Bush faces -- and helped create -- in dealing with Iran's nuclear program.
September 20, 2006

Bush's Way or the Highway
George W. Bush's threat to stop interrogating terror suspects unless Congress rewrites the Geneva Conventions to his liking marks the reemergence of the petulant President of before 9/11, who would threaten to "go back to Crawford" if he didn't get his way on legislation. Like then, Bush is facing political resistance to his policies -- and he doesn't like it. September 18. 2006

More Readers React to Bush Tirade
Some comments from readers and from MSNBC's Keith Olbermann about George W. Bush's recent tirade about torture. September 20, 2006

New Clues in the Plame Mystery
Washington's new "conventional wisdom" -- that Karl Rove and the Bush administration got a bum rap on the "outing" of CIA officer Valerie Plame -- has been destroyed by new evidence that Rove and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage were much closer than most pundits understood. Right-wing columnist Robert Novak also has blown big holes in the notion of Bush administration innocence. September 15. 2006

Readers React to Plame Stories
Some comments from readers about the investigation into how the Bush administration leaked the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame, including our reporting on the Rove-Armitage connection. September 17, 2006

U.S. Press Bigwigs Screw Up, Again
For the past two weeks, Washington's "conventional wisdom" crowd has been chastising anyone who ever thought that the Bush administration had willfully leaked the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame to punish her husband for criticizing the Iraq War. That "conspiracy theory" had supposedly been disproved by the admission of former State Department official Richard Armitage, who said he inadvertently blurted out the name as gossip. But now columnist Robert Novak discloses that Armitage's account was "deceptive," meaning that the U.S. press bigwigs have screwed up again. September 14. 2006

Nov. Election Is Next Gulf of Tonkin
In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky warns that the upcoming congressional elections will be a referendum that will either commit the United States to fight "World War III" or will reassert a two-party system that could put the brakes on this new rush to war. He says the key will be an emergency investment in honest media to explain the consequences to the American people.  What do you think? September 13. 2006

Review of 'Case for Impeachment'
Peter Dyer reviews "The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office."
September 13, 2006

9/11's Dark Window to the Future
The fifth anniversary of 9/11 recalls that tragic day but also has become a reminder of America's continuing march toward a new-age totalitarianism in which political and ideological forces shape reality. As George W. Bush seeks to revive the sentimental unity that followed the attacks, his supporters are busy using the event as cover for consolidating right-wing political power and enshrining a bogus history. September 11. 2006

Shareholder Letter to Disney
A Disney shareholder demands accountability for deceptive "docu-drama" on 9/11. September 12, 2006

Who Benefits from 9/11 Angst?
In this guest essay, Ivan Eland explains how excessive 9/11 commemorations help al-Qaeda terrorists spread more fear and let a few American politicians boost their poll numbers.
September 12, 2006

Bush Exploited, Shamed 9/11
Rarely has history witnessed the contrast between how a united people rallied in the face of tragedy as occurred on 9/11 and how that country's leadership then exploited that unity for ideological and partisan goals. In this heartfelt guest essay on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, political analyst Brent Budowsky looks back at that tragic day and its equally tragic exploitation by President George W. Bush and his political followers.  September 10. 2006

Readers React on 9/11 Exploitation
Some comments from readers about the Right's political exploitation of 9/11, now including a prime-time network "docu-drama." September 10, 2006

ABC's 9/11 'Docu-fraud' Must Go!
Should ABC-TV air a docu-drama on a historical event as searing as the 9/11 attacks with dialogue and scenes invented by screenwriters with an apparent ideological bias against the people whose words are being made up? In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky says minor touch-ups are not enough, the whole project must go. What do you think? September 9. 2006

Election 2006 & World War III
George W. Bush has raised the stakes for Election 2006, making it a referendum on whether the American people want to follow him and his neoconservative advisers into what they call "World War III," a virtually endless conflict against Muslim extremism. In a Sept. 5 speech to military officers, Bush also made clear that Americans should be prepared to sacrifice some of their most precious liberties and watch the end of the democratic Republic. September 7, 2006

More Readers' Comments on Bush/Terror
Some comments from readers about George W. Bush and the "war on terror." September 8, 2006

What If Bush Debated Ahmadinejad?
In this guest essay, Ivan Eland speculates how the debate between George W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might have played out if the White House hadn't summarily rejected it.
September 7, 2006

Al-Qaeda's 'Simon Says'
One of George W. Bush's pro-Iraq War argument is that Americans must listen to al-Qaeda's calls for driving U.S. forces out of Iraq and thus recommit to keep U.S. troops there. But Bush may be playing into al-Qaeda's hands through a kind of a reverse "Simon Says," in which al-Qaeda tells Americans what to do when it really wants the opposite.  Behind the scenes, al-Qaeda sees its success tied to Bush's clumsy "war on terror" spreading hatred in the Middle East. September 6, 2006

How Obtuse Is the U.S. Press?
The Washington press corps is swinging into full backlash mode, whipping anyone who challenged how the White House handled the smearing of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and the outing of his CIA wife. Seizing on a new disclosure putting blame on a senior State Department official, the Washington Post and the New York Times have rallied to George W. Bush's defense -- despite reams of evidence that Bush and his aides were behind the anti-Wilson operation. Which raises the old "Shawshank Redemption" question: "How can you be so obtuse?" September 3, 2006

More Readers' Comments
Some comments from readers about our stories, "Smearing Joe Wilson, Again" and "How Obtuse Is the U.S. Press?" September 3, 2006

Smearing Joe Wilson, Again
The Washington Post's editorial page is at it again, smearing someone who dared expose the Bush administration's Iraq War deceptions. The whipping boy this time is former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who had the audacity to challenge George W. Bush's false claims about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Africa. In an upside-down editorial, the Post is now blaming Wilson for the administration's exposure of his CIA wife's identity. September 1, 2006

Missing the Point on CIA Leak Case
Conservative pundits are claiming that the White House was vindicated by the disclosure that former State Department official Richard Armitage may have been the first official to tell a reporter about Valerie Plame's CIA identity. But that doesn't change the relevant fact that White House aides willfully peddled Plame's covert identity to some half dozen reporters. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky calls the Armitage story a meaningless diversion from the treachery committed by top aides to George W. Bush. August 31, 2006

Double Standards on War Crimes
Saddam Hussein's war-crime defense -- that Iraq was aiming at pro-Iranian forces when it killed Kurdish civilians -- raises questions of double standards, since the Bush administration supported Israel when its bombs killed about 1,000 Lebanese civilians while going after Hezbollah fighters. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland compares the two arguments. August 30, 2006

Bush, Katrina & Trent Lott's House
Returning to the devastated Gulf Coast for a 13th time since Hurricane Katrina, George W. Bush was mourning again the destruction of Sen. Trent Lott's "fantastic" house which overlooked the water. In doing so, Bush revealed that his deepest sympathies go to people of his privileged class, while he strains to project concern for average folk, especially the black ones. August 29, 2006

Bush's Disdainful Presidency
George W. Bush's crude behavior as President, including insults about people's personal looks, is usually dismissed by the U.S. news media as simply his "inner frat boy" coming out. But a U.S. News report that Bush intentionally farts while greeting new White House staffers suggests that Bush enjoys exerting his power over subordinates in ways reminiscent of how ancient royalty treated lowly subjects. August 26, 2006

More Readers' Comments
Some more comments from readers about our story, "Bush's Disdainful Presidency." August 29, 2006

Aero's Cloaks and Daggers
In a mystery reaching from the countryside of North Carolina to dank prisons on the other side of the world, anti-torture activists are investigating a charter airline company, Aero Contractors, over suspicions that it's flying CIA prisoners from the "war on terror" to countries that practice torture. August 26, 2006

Does More War Require a Draft?
The Bush administration is forcing 3,500 Marines, who had served their country and had returned to private life, to go back into military service as a way to fill the ranks thinned by the long war in Iraq. Now, with neoconservatives salivating about waging wars against other Middle East adversaries, the question -- posed in this guest essay by political analyst Brent Budowsky -- is whether some form of military draft is just around the corner for young Americans. August 24, 2006

The Cult of the Offensive
U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appear to be in denial about strategic disasters they have encountered in Iraq and Lebanon, respectively. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at what lessons the two reversals hold for the future. August 24, 2006

Is Bush a Clear & Present Danger?
As George W. Bush digs in his heels on keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely and points toward future conflicts with other Middle Eastern nations, the question arises whether his bombastic foreign policy -- and his refusal to admit mistakes -- make him "a clear and present danger" to U.S. national security. There's also the troubling fact that Bush's unpopularity around the world has made him a perfect foil for Islamic extremists. August 23, 2006

An American Turning Point
Official Washington has grudgingly come to agree that George W. Bush's Iraq War was a military and political disaster. But the pundit class still won't recognize that there is no practical way to recover from the blunder as long as Bush and his team remain in power. In this guest essay, Peter Dyer says the United States must go even further and put Bush on trial as a war criminal. August 20, 2006

Bush Makes New Enemies Daily
By adopting neoconservative phrasing like "Islamic fascists," George W. Bush is signaling that he shares the extremist neocon vision that the United States is engaged in "World War III" against militants living among the world's one billion Muslims. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland argues that Bush is expanding his enemies list beyond all control. August 17, 2006

Israeli Leaders Fault Bush on War
As more Israelis criticize Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his handling of the botched invasion of Lebanon, some Israeli leaders are privately faulting U.S. President George W. Bush for egging Olmert into his fateful decision. Sources say Bush gave Olmert a green light for the attacks in May and then bought Olmert time in July for the Israeli bombardments to succeed. Only recognition of Israel's failure led to U.S. support for a cease-fire. August 13, 2006

The Bush-Bin Laden Symbiosis
George W. Bush used the latest terrorism scare to remind Americans that he is their protector in a long war against "Islamic fascists." But the history of the past five years is that Bush and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden have enjoyed a strangely symbiotic relationship that included bin Laden's "October Surprise" videotape that may have put Bush over the top in Election 2004. The new fears about mid-air explosions are sure to boost Republican political prospects again. August 11, 2006

Lieberman's Loser 'Bipartisanship'
Beyond the Iraq War, a key reason Sen. Joe Lieberman lost Connecticut's Democratic primary was the distaste many rank-and-file Democrats felt toward his hunger to be liked by Washington's insider class -- including by Fox News -- rather than to fight for principles that Democrats hold dear. Lieberman's view of partisanship also was to tolerate it when displayed by Republicans but to object when it was demonstrated by Democrats. August 9, 2006

A 'Pretext' War in Lebanon
The American people have been sold the notion that Israel's bombardment of Lebanon was justified by an unprovoked "kidnapping" of two Israeli soldiers on July 12. The reality now appears to be quite different: that U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signed off on the war almost two months earlier and then sought a pretext. August 9, 2006

9/11 Commission Downplayed Israeli Link
Like Social Security in domestic policy, Israel can be the fatal "third rail" for politicians who dare to touch it.  In this guest essay, Ivan Eland notes that even the 9/11 Commission downplayed the Israeli motive in al-Qaeda's reasoning behind the terrorist attacks on the United States. August 9, 2006

Bush Wants Wider War
George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers saw the Israel-Hezbollah conflict as a chance to get the Israelis to spread the war to Syria and achieve the long-sought goal of "regime change" in Damascus. But sources say the Israeli government torpedoed the scheme, deciding instead to concentrate on rooting Hezbollah guerrillas out of southern Lebanon. August 3, 2006

Bush's Iran-Friendly Foreign Policy
George W. Bush remains wedded to the use of military violence -- both by the United States and Israel -- to create a "new Middle East" that is more compliant to the wishes of Washington and Tel Aviv. But beyond the questions of morality and war crimes, there are doubts that the strategy will work. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland argues that the chief beneficiary of Bush's bloody follies will be the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran. August 2, 2006

Who Is Israel's Friend?
Some U.S. politicians and pundits present themselves as Israel's friend, abhorring any criticism of Israeli government policy and positioning themselves for expected political advantage. But sometimes real friends are the ones who tell you that you're making a mistake and need to go in a different direction, even when you don't want to hear it and even when they'll take heat for saying what needs to be said. August 1, 2006

War in the Age of 'Poodle-ism'
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has earned the nickname, the Poodle, as George W. Bush's lapdog. But in this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky argues that Blair is not alone, that timidity in the face of today's neoconservative bullies is so pervasive in U.S. politics and journalism that the phenomenon deserves its own label, "poodle-ism." July 30, 2006

Biblical Pacifism to the Crusades
Though the Crusades date back almost a millennium, they continue to color events in today's Middle East, as many Muslims view U.S. intervention through that ancient prism. But the Crusades also marked a shift in Christianity away from the pacifism taught by Jesus to the self-righteous use of violence espoused by George W. Bush and many modern Christians. July 29, 2006

Whose 'Moral Clarity'?
"Moral clarity" is again the watchword for George W. Bush as he signals a green light to Israel to use whatever military force is necessary to crush the Lebanese "terrorist" organization, Hezbollah. But the morality behind the endless Middle East conflicts is not so clear -- and Bush's routine resort to violence, therefore, may be doing more harm than good. July 27, 2006

Review of 'The One Percent Doctrine'
Ron Suskind's new book lays bare the Bush administration's contempt for fact, even when the lives of U.S. soldiers and national security are at stake. But "The One Percent Doctrine" goes only so far in addressing the motives behind Bush's obsessions, as this review by historian Peter Dale Scott reveals. July 27, 2006

Israel Wins Battles, Not War
The Bush administration, now working through Israel, appears determined to rely again on violence to mid-wife a new Middle East. But the broad application of force runs dangerous risks and can bring about disastrous results, as Iraq has shown since 2003. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at what might lie ahead for Israel in its new wars against Hezbollah and Hamas. July 26, 2006

A 'New' Mideast? W's or Osama's
George W. Bush's belligerent reaction to the bloody chaos roiling Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and the larger Middle East underscores why Osama bin-Laden took the chance of releasing an "October Surprise" videotape before Election 2004. The CIA determined that bin-Laden knew that by denouncing Bush, the al-Qaeda leader could help Bush to a second term. Bin-Laden saw Bush's warlike tendencies as an asset in creating a radical "new" Middle East. July 24, 2006

Stain of Guantanamo
After World War II, American leaders espoused principles of universal law that applied to all nations, prohibiting aggression and demanding civilized treatment of enemy captives. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky looks at how the stain of Guantanamo shows how the current generation of American leaders has failed to uphold those principles. July 22, 2006

A New War Frenzy
In a replay of the emotional war frenzy that preceded the Iraq invasion, the Bush administration and other Middle East war hawks are prepping the American people for an even bigger conflagration. Like the run-up to the Iraq War four years ago, the propagandists are depicting the confrontation in Lebanon in black-and-white terms, at times crossing over into anti-Arab bigotry. July 20, 2006

Terrorism on Both Sides
The word "terrorism" is often thrown around carelessly -- and subjectively -- applied to enemies but not to friends. Yet, a more evenhanded use of the word might avert human catastrophes like the one playing out in Lebanon. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at evidence of terrorism on both sides. July 19, 2006

The Abyss Beckons
The Israel-Lebanon conflict has opened up new options for George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers to resume their violent reshaping of the Middle East. Though stymied by the quagmire in Iraq and resistance from U.S. commanders to more adventures, Bush's neocons can now repackage their strategy as a defensive struggle to protect Israel. July 18, 2006

War of the Worlds
Americans sometimes forget what made their nation the beacon of liberty and reason for the world. They hear politicians say they must sacrifice constitutional freedoms for personal safety. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky recalls the wise principles that have guided the nation. July 17, 2006

Bush Agrees Bin-Laden Helped in '04
George W. Bush recognized after Election 2004 that he had gotten a political boost from a videotape released by Osama bin-Laden only four days before Americans went to the polls. Privately, the CIA concluded that bin-Laden's goal was to ensure a second term for Bush and the continuation of his clumsy "war on terror." July 14, 2006

What's Rove Got to Do With It?
Columnist Robert Novak's confirmation that White House political guru Karl Rove was one of the sources peddling the secret identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame raises another troubling question: Why did George W. Bush bring Rove in on such a sensitive, discrete secret? It appears that Bush put his political desire to punish a critic ahead of his responsibility to protect national security secrets. July 13, 2006

The Enduring Logic of Withdrawal
The U.S. military continues to sink deeper into the quicksand of Iraq, not only with a lengthening death toll but with damage to its reputation from alleged atrocities like the rape-murder of a 14-year-old girl and the slaying of her family in Mahmudiya. The logic of withdrawal holds that an American pullout can protect the U.S. military from further damage and stand as good a chance as any to limit the spread of Iraqi violence -- and encourage the Iraqis to send al-Qaeda and other foreign jihadists packing. July 10, 2006

Was Bob Woodward Slam-Dunked?
New evidence undercuts Bob Woodward's famous account that CIA director George Tenet misled George W. Bush about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction with the assurance that it was a "slam-dunk" case. U.S. intelligence insiders gave a different version of that meeting to author Ron Suskind -- and leaked documents challenge Woodward's depiction of Bush as a leader who wanted to make sure "no one stretches to make our case." July 7, 2006

Endless War on Terror (Phase Two)
With virtually no public debate, the Bush administration has redefined what victory means in the "war on terror."  Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush said the goal was to crush al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups with "global reach." Now, the war's mission creep has come to include destruction of potential "homegrown terrorism" -- with dramatic implications for the future of America's democratic Republic. July 6, 2006

CIA: Osama Helped Bush in '04
CIA analysts concluded that Osama bin-Laden's release of a videotape four days before Election 2004 was a covert attempt by the terrorist leader to influence American voters to give George W. Bush a second term. The troubling CIA assessment was disclosed in a little-notice passage of Ron Suskind's new book. But it also fits with other evidence of a long-term symbiotic relationship between the Bushes and the bin-Ladens. July 4, 2006

A July Fourth Call to Arms
George W. Bush has spurred Republican congressmen and his right-media allies into an ugly assault on the New York Times and other news outlets for not obeying Bush's edicts on what information can be released about the "war on terror." In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky comments on how those accusations of treason and espionage are an affront to the principles of a free press that the Founders established as a bedrock of democracy. July 3, 2006

The '06 Stakes Just Got Raised
The U.S. Supreme Court's rebuff of George W. Bush over his military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay marks a historic repudiation of Bush's self-image as an all-powerful "war president." But the fragility of what amounts to a one-vote margin on the high court also highlights the enormous stakes now on the table for the congressional elections in November 2006. June 30, 2006

The Neocon Battle for Media
The harsh right-wing attacks on the New York Times for publishing articles about the Bush administration's secret monitoring of phone calls and financial transactions mark a new phase in the long neoconservative battle to intimidate and dominate the U.S. news media. But the struggle has dangerous implications as well for the future of the American Republic. June 29, 2006

One Percent Madness
According to author Ron Suskind, the Bush administration's War on Terror is guided by Dick Cheney's "one percent doctrine," that if a terrorist threat is just one percent possible, the United States must act like it's a certainty. But this strategy has a touch of madness, leaving the nation trapped in a dark world of dangerous, unintended consequences. June 27, 2006

Terrorists in Miami, Oh My!
The Bush administration's high-profile round-up of seven young black men in Miami for what amounts to "aspirational" terrorism stands in marked contrast to the see-no-evil approach taken toward right-wing Cuban terrorists who have been protected by the Bush family for three decades. Though the Cubans have engaged in actual terrorism, including the mid-air bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane, they are shielded from ever facing justice for their crimes. June 24, 2006

Win One for Gipper Khameini
By pursuing Dick Cheney's "one percent doctrine" -- that the U.S. must react to any one percent terror threat -- the U.S. government is setting off a chain of unintended consequences around the world. It's like a geopolitical version of the old lady who swallowed a fly. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at what happened with Iran because George W. Bush swallowed Iraq. June 22, 2006

Wash Post Smears War Critics, Again
As the U.S. death toll in the Iraq War passes 2,500, the Washington Post continues its longstanding campaign to disparage Democratic war critics, this time by calling them people who try to "exploit bad news without appearing to rejoice in it." These ugly charges have been part of the Post's pattern of de-legitimizing dissent against George W. Bush's war policies since 2002. June 21, 2006

The Hariri Mirage: Lessons Unlearned
In October 2005, a drumbeat began about Syria's presumed guilt for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. From President Bush to the New York Times editorial page, almost everyone agreed that Syrian security forces must have been responsible, though there was some debate about whether "regime change" was called for. However, with little notice in the past half year, the initial Hariri investigation has crumbled. Still, the American people have heard almost nothing about this changed situation. June 16, 2006

Haditha, Vietnam & War Crimes
Memories of the My Lai massacre hover over the U.S. slaughter of 24 civilians at Haditha, Iraq. The recollections are especially poignant for Lawrence Colburn, one of the few Americans who tried to stop the killing at My Lai,  and to Colin Powell, an Army major in Vietnam who botched an early My Lai investigation and then helped sell the case for war with Iraq 35 years later. June 13, 2006

Zarqawi's Death May Aid Insurgency
Since the first days of the Iraq War, the Bush administration has expected that eliminating key enemy leaders would be the magic bullet for winning the war. The reality, however, has turned out very differently. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at the possibility that the killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will become the latest false turning point. June 13, 2006

The Trumpet Summons Us Again
In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky examines the prospects for profound political change in this election year. June 10, 2006

Overselling Terror
George W. Bush can expect a political boost from the killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the recent arrest of 17 alleged terror plotters in Canada. But those developments obscure a very different reality: new intelligence discoveries suggest that Bush has long been exaggerating the danger from al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism. June 9, 2006

Why Democrats Lose
The defeat of Democrat Francine Busby in a special congressional election outside San Diego was a case study in why Democrats lose. With conservatives dominating the media and with Busby running a "safe" consultant-driven campaign, the Republicans pounced on a minor verbal slip-up by Busby in the final days and propelled Brian Bilbray to victory. The question now is: what can the Democrats do to ever break out of their cycle of losing? June 7, 2006

Readers React to 'Why Dems Lose'


Iran Nukes: U.S. Denial of Reality
The disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq has limited Washington's options in dealing with Iran's nuclear experimentation. First, Iran saw what happened to Iraq when it agreed to United Nations weapons inspections; the invasion came anyway. Plus, the 135,000 U.S. troops  in Iraq are now almost hostages to possible Shiite retaliation if the United States does attack Iran. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland examines the Bush administration's dwindling choices on Iran. June 7, 2006

Haditha, Bush & Nuremberg's Laws
As the U.S. military wraps up its investigation of the alleged U.S. Marine massacre of Iraqi civilians in Haditha, George W. Bush says he expects any Marines implicated in the murder to be brought to justice. But Bush -- and the U.S. news media -- miss the point that under the Nuremberg Principles established by U.S. and allied jurists after World War II, the architects of aggressive war -- in this case, including Bush -- are culpable for the crimes of their subordinates. In this guest essay, Peter Dyer reminds us of these legal standards. June 6, 2006

Vote 2006: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Will Election 2006 be just another round of consultant-driven politics or will it stand as a transcendent political moment when U.S. voters repudiate what they have seen happen to the American Republic over the past six years? In this passionate guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky sees the November balloting as a potential turning point for a revived patriotism and a reborn democracy. June 5, 2006

Washington's Orwellian Consensus
Disclosures of spying on Americans and George W. Bush's sinking poll numbers have surprisingly not changed the political dynamic in Washington, as Bush continues to fend off serious oversight while consolidating his imperial presidency. Bush's ultimate trump card in gaining this Orwellian consensus has turned out to be his control of government secrets, with only the November elections looming as a potential obstacle in his path. June 2, 2006

Colombia's 'Narco-Presidente'
The re-election of Colombia's president Alvaro Uribe marked a rare victory for George W. Bush in South American elections. Uribe gives Bush one regional ally whose country can serve as a base for challenging Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez. But Uribe also carries with him baggage as a political leader who tolerates political violence and narco-trafficking by his allies. June 1, 2006

Honoring the Dead, Questioning War
The admonition to "support the troops" has often been used to stifle debate about the wisdom of George W. Bush's war policies. But the mounting U.S. death toll is proof that the greatest failure to "support the troops" may have been the political cowardice that ducked a full debate before American soldiers were committed to battle. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at how fuzzy "patriotism" can be the greatest betrayal of the troops. May 31, 2006

Bush's My Lai
The latest war-crimes scandal in Iraq -- the alleged murder of two dozen Iraqis in Haditha at the hands of U.S. Marines -- is drawing comparisons to the Vietnam War's My Lai massacre. But the bigger issue is whether George W. Bush should be held accountable since he misled both the American public and U.S. troops into believing that the invasion of Iraq was a way to avenge the 9/11 attacks -- a lie that created the conditions for atrocities. May 30, 2006

Bush's Enron Lies
When Ken Lay's Enron Corp. collapsed in fall 2001, George W. Bush's defenders said the President proved his ethical mettle by rebuffing pleas to bail out Lay, one of Bush's top political donors. But that story wasn't true. Behind the scenes, Bush pushed several plans to put hundreds of millions of dollars in Enron's coffers. One scheme was run by the National Security Council in summer 2001, while it was ignoring warnings about an impending al-Qaeda attack. May 26, 2006

Government Secrecy Is a Farce
The Bush administration has exploited the "war on terror" to wrap many of its most controversial policies in tight secrecy, such as spying on Americans and torturing detainees. Then, when the secrets are revealed, the White House exaggerates the real harm to national security and threatens prosecution of leakers and journalists. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland examines the fictitious nature of many "secrets" and their harmful effect on democracy. May 25, 2006

Bush's Garroting of Democracy
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales warned U.S. news organizations that they face prosecution for revealing government "secrets" while his Justice Department conducted an extraordinary raid on a congressman's Capitol Hill office, prompting a protest from House Speaker Dennis Hastert. The Bush administration seems to be signaling that its steady garroting of the institutions -- and the principles -- of American democracy will continue. May 24, 2006

Liberty Over Safety
After more than two centuries of Americans sacrificing safety for liberty -- from the Lexington Green to the Normandy beaches -- the Bush administration is telling Americans that they now must swap their liberties for a bit more safety. The historical shift can be seen by comparing Patrick Henry's revolutionary vow of "give me liberty or give me death" to Sen. Pat Roberts's self-centered observation that "you have no civil liberties if you're dead." May 19, 2006

Bush: 'Alpha Male on the Cruise Ship'
At a press conference with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, George W. Bush asserted his primal dominance by poking fun at Howard's bald head and homely appearance. Bush's put-down humor has long made him the ultimate caricature of the wise-cracking guy that many Americans have encountered on vacation: the alpha male on the cruise ship. May 18, 2006

Readers React to Bush/Alpha Story

Stopping Hayden & the NSA
The Bush administration's internal debates about how far to go in encroaching on constitutional freedoms turned to splitting hairs about what could be done politically rather than what the law allowed. In that sense, the supposed "moderates," like National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, sacrificed principle for expediency. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland argues that the violations were egregious enough to justify closing down both Hayden's nomination to be CIA director and the NSA. May 17, 2006

Dixie Chicks, Valerie Plame & Bush
More than any recent President, George W. Bush has demonstrated an almost pathological hostility toward dissent. Two cases illustrate Bush's techniques for punishing critics -- the use of surrogates to damage the careers of dissenters like the Dixie Chicks, who have faced three years of boycotts for criticizing Bush, and a more hands-on approach, as happened with the exposure of CIA officer Valerie Plame after her husband criticized Bush's Iraq evidence. May 16, 2006

Iran, Bush & Nuremberg
George W. Bush often lectures the American people and other nations on the need to respect the rule of law. But a consistent inconsistency of his administration has been Bush's own flouting of rules that get in his way, especially international laws against the use of force against other countries. In this guest essay, Peter Dyer looks at how Bush continues to turn his back on well-established principles of civilized behavior. May 15, 2006

Bush's 'Big Brother' Blunder
Some Americans are so afraid of terrorism that they're willing to trade off their "unalienable rights" for a small measure of additional security. But George W. Bush's massive investment in a "Big Brother-style" data base of phone calls made by some 200 million Americans may not only intrude on constitutional rights but lessen the nation's safety by diverting money better spent on more practical strategies, like hiring translators and inspecting cargo. May 13, 2006

This Time, It Really Is Orwellian
Over the past several years, the word "Orwellian" has sometimes been overused in describing George W. Bush's authoritarian policies. But a newly disclosed government operation to electronically warehouse the phone records of 200 million Americans over their lifetimes does truly capture the essence of George Orwell's Big Brother nightmare. May 12, 2006

Hey, Democrats, the Truth Matters!
"Centrist" Democrats are urging the party to forego investigations of the Bush administration if Democrats win control of one or more houses of Congress in November. But the idea of helping Republicans sweep scandals under the rug was tried before, by President Bill Clinton, and it didn't work out very well, either for the American people or the Democrats. May 11, 2006

Failed Intelligence Reorganization
The sudden ouster of CIA Director Porter Goss highlights yet another failure by the Bush administration to address bureaucratic problems that endanger the United States. As occurred with the Department of Homeland Security -- during the Katrina crisis -- politics and cronyism were again allowed to trump efficient government. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland examines why the administration's intelligence reorganization failed. May 10, 2006

The CIA, a Bush Family Fiefdom
The latest CIA shakeup promises again to fix the glaring problems that have made the United States more vulnerable to security threats, like 9/11, and to strategic blunders, like Iraq. But the core problem is still being missed. It is the political corruption of the intelligence analysis that has grown worse because George W. Bush sees the spy agency as a Bush family fiefdom. May 9, 2006

Rummy Logic & Enduring Lies
Facing hecklers over Iraq War lies, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appealed for renewed faith in George W. Bush's honesty. But Rumsfeld then resumed the Bush administration's long pattern of deceiving the American people with what might be called "Rummy logic." Yet, even as the public catches on, the mainstream news media continues to act the fool. May 8, 2006

Colbert & the Courtier Press
The outrage sweeping Washington journalism circles over comedian Stephen Colbert's lampooning of George W. Bush is just the latest sign of a national news media that puts coziness with insiders ahead of its responsibility to hold the Bush administration accountable. The American people are discovering that one of the biggest threats to the future of the Republic is the courtier press. May 5, 2006

Bush, Iran & the WMD Boomerang
Another downside of the Iraq War is that it has become an object lesson to other nations, like Iran and North Korea, about what happens to a country and its leaders if they comply with international demands and scrap their weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations can't protect them from a devastating military attack ordered by George W. Bush. In other words, the Iraq invasion appears to have had a boomerang effect, spurring rather than stopping the spread of WMD. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at this dilemma. May 4, 2006

A Reverse Thousand Days
Americans who want to restore traditional concepts of a limited Executive and "unalienable rights" for all citizens have less than 1,000 days left in George W. Bush's presidential terms to do so, roughly the same length of time that John F. Kennedy served in a presidency cut short by assassination. Now, the goal of undoing Bush's concept of himself as the all-powerful Commander in Chief faces what might be called "a reverse thousand days." May 2, 2006

Target: Negroponte & Iran
Neoconservatives are getting annoyed with Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte because he is supporting a more tempered analysis of Iran's potential nuclear threat -- viewing it as unlikely anytime this decade. This assessment from U.S. analysts is disrupting plans for an early confrontation with Iran as favored by George W. Bush and many of his advisers. April 29, 2006

Bush's Hypocrisy: Cuban Terrorists
George W. Bush always gets applause when he recites his old line about anyone who harbors a terrorist is equally guilty as the terrorist. But the moral clarity on harboring grows hazy when it's Bush and his family doing the harboring of right-wing Cuban terrorists. April 26, 2006

Bush Brandishes Jail Time at Critics
Beset with shrinking poll numbers and growing evidence of wrongdoing, George W. Bush and his supporters are brandishing threats of criminal prosecutions against critics. But the list of troublemakers keeps expanding, now including U.S. generals, CIA officers and investigative journalists from mainstream newspapers that previously had done Bush's bidding. April 23, 2006

Shame on the Post's Editorial Page
As one of the most influential newspapers in the nation's capital, the Washington Post -- and especially its editorial section -- must bear a large share of the blame for the truncated debate that preceded the Iraq invasion. But even worse, despite all the disclosures of George W. Bush's Iraq War lies, Post editorials continue to smear the President's critics. April 20, 2006

Should Ex-Generals Speak Out?
Almost on cue, Iraq War defenders are questioning the loyalty of more than a half dozen former U.S. generals who have criticized the Bush administration's casual misuse of the American military. Though the ex-generals held their tongues until they left government, George W. Bush's defenders are accusing them of violating the principle of civilian control of the military. April 18, 2006

'Jack Bauer,' Bush & Rummy
This season's TV drama "24" features an in-over-his-head U.S. President who sets in motion a dangerous plot that he can't handle, forcing counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer into a position of having to "take down" the President. Meanwhile, in real life, the United States faces a parallel crisis, a reckless President George W. Bush taking actions that have spiraled out of control.  April 15, 2006

George Bush IS a Liar
The White House is back to its argument that George W. Bush was just a victim of bad intelligence when he rushed the nation to war with Iraq in 2003. But the evidence is now overwhelming that Bush is a liar who apparently believes he can get away with saying whatever he wants to the American people without fear of accountability. April 14, 2006

America's Matrix, Revisited
Almost three years ago, George W. Bush cited discovery of two Iraqi trailers as proof that he was right about a secret biological weapons program. At the time, we challenged the Bush administration's analysis of the evidence, calling it part of a phony reality similar to the fake world in the Matrix movies. Now, the Washington Post has reported that Pentagon experts had debunked Bush's claim -- two days before it was made. April 12, 2006

Military Worship & the Republic
America's Founders wanted a nation that wasn't dominated by the militarism that was then prevalent in European monarchies. Jefferson, Washington and Madison understood how large standing armies and imperial temptations could erode the foundations of a democratic Republic. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at how today's military worship has changed America. April 12, 2006

A Gore-Zinni Unity Ticket?
Few of the early favorites in the Republican and Democratic presidential sweepstakes showed the foresight and the courage to stand up to George W. Bush's rush to war in Iraq. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky suggests why the American voters might want to consider a possible unity ticket of two leaders who dared to go against the grain, former Vice President Al Gore and retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni. April 10, 2006

Did Bush Lie to Fitzgerald?
Lewis Libby's testimony naming George W. Bush as the top official orchestrating intelligence leaks on Iraq raises the touchy question of whether Bush told the truth to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald when the President consented to an interview in June 2004. There's also a question about why Fitzgerald visited Bush's criminal attorney on a busy day last October. April 7, 2006

Bush, Wiretaps & Watergate
Both George W. Bush's critics and defenders are citing Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal as either why Bush's warrantless wiretaps of Americans should be feared or why his spying doesn't represent a threat to civil liberties. But neither side has the history exactly right -- nor is there reason to believe that Bush is somehow immune from the temptation to abuse secret power. April 6, 2006

Wanted: Freer Market in U.S. Politics
Even as the American people turn against George W. Bush's imperial presidency, Democrats are hesitant to go on the political offensive, still fearing the pain that can be inflicted by the Republican Right. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at other disincentives for diversity in the U.S. political market. April 5, 2006

A 'Humbled' News Media?
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen says he and other pro-war pundits have been "humbled" by their miscalculations in supporting George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. But Cohen sees the error as one of trusting too much in Bush's competence, not as a question of whether Bush and his top aides were wrong to attack a country that wasn't threatening the United States. April 4, 2006

Condi, War Crimes & the Press
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has shifted her rationale for the Iraq War from her bogus "mushroom cloud" warning to her assertion that the Bush administration has the right to invade a country to eradicate an "ideology of hatred." Her claim puts her in violation of the Nuremberg Principle against aggressive war, but the U.S. press seems more impressed with her stylish clothing and her political ambitions. April 3, 2006

Bush's Top 10 'Vietnam' Mistakes
The Bush administration has insisted that there are few if any parallels between the Iraq War and the Vietnam War. But as the Iraq conflict drags on with no end in sight, it's clear that George W. Bush has made some of the same mistakes that bedeviled his Vietnam-era predecessors, as Ivan Eland observes in this guest essay. March 30, 2006

Weinberger, Bushes & Iran-Contra
The death of Caspar Weinberger is prompting warm eulogies for Ronald Reagan's former Defense Secretary. But more significant to U.S. history was the lost opportunity to learn the secrets of Reagan-Bush arms shipments to Iran and Iraq in the 1980s that might have been revealed if Weinberger had faced trial for Iran-Contra crimes in 1993. March 29, 2006

Time to Talk War Crimes
The Nuremberg trials after World War II established universal rules against aggressive wars, principles that George W. Bush willfully violated by invading Iraq. A newly disclosed memo from January 2003 reveals Bush's contempt for these fundamental rules of international behavior as well as his plans to trick the public into accepting his actions. March 29, 2006

Big Government Solution for Iraq?
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein was "part of the old Middle East," which inspired the hatred behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Yet, even as the Bush administration refines its rationale for invading Iraq, Americans are more interested in how to get out. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland offers insights on an exit strategy. March 27, 2006

9/11 & Bush's Negligence
The U.S. government's pursuit of the death penalty against al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui has inadvertently shown that even a mildly competent George W. Bush could have headed off the attack that killed almost 3,000 people and sent the nation off on a dangerous mission of revenge. March 24, 2006

State after State Repudiates Bush
The collapse in public support for George W. Bush is extending across the United States, even reaching into staunchly Republican areas, according to new state-by-state polls. Bush is now viewed unfavorably in 43 out of 50 states, including double-digit net negatives in South Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee and his home state of Texas. March 23, 2006

Those Lies, Again
At a televised news conference, George W. Bush was at it again -- lying about how Saddam Hussein supposedly blocked United Nations weapons inspectors in 2003, leaving Bush no choice but to invade Iraq. And the U.S. press corps played its role, too, failing to challenge the President on his favorite canards that were again presented to the American people as undisputed facts. March 22, 2006

Our Web Site & Three Years of War
As the Iraq War enters its fourth year, we are publishing a retrospective that looks back over our coverage as the tragic war unfolded. From the early days of "shock and awe" to the current drift toward "civil war," we described  a very different conflict than the one presented by George W. Bush and by much of the U.S. news media. Hyperlinks let you see the stories as they were posted, so you can judge who was more accurate. March 21, 2006

Iraq -- U.S. News Media's Waterloo
For three decades, the Washington press corps has been living off its Watergate reputation as spunky defenders of the public's right to know and the U.S. Constitution. On this third anniversary of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, it's now clear that the bloody conflict -- started amid a war fever fueled by false press reports on Iraq's WMD -- was the Waterloo, a crushing defeat, for the media's beloved Watergate myth. March 20, 2006

Three Options for America's Future
Every great nation eventually reaches a crossroads where it can proceed down an easy path that leads to catastrophe or it can show courage and creativity in finding another route that protects the future. The United States is at such a juncture with national leadership that has demonstrated an incapacity to solve the nation's problems.. March 17, 2006

Iraq & the Nuremberg Precedent
As the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion approaches, most analysis is focusing on the Bush administration's "incompetence" in carrying out the war plan. Few commentators want to face the moral and legal dimension of what George W. Bush did in 2003, when he invaded a country that wasn't threatening the United States and thus violated the Nuremberg precedent against aggressive war. March 16, 2006

Feingold, Kerry & the 'Strategists'
Often the biggest obstacles to Democrats showing courage are the party "strategists" who fail to understand that many voters actually want politicians to demonstrate principles. Sometimes the "strategists" convince a brave politician to trim his sails as happened to John Kerry after he conducted some courageous investigations in his early Senate years. March 15, 2006

Bush's Foreign Policy Metamorphosis
George W. Bush is hurling a new accusation at critics of his Iraq invasion: they're "isolationists." In this guest essay, Ivan Eland explores the metamorphosis of Bush's "humble" foreign policy to endless preemptive wars. March 14, 2006

Bush Still Ignores Iraq Reality
With more than 2,300 U.S. soldiers dead along with tens of thousands of Iraqis, George W. Bush is celebrating the third anniversary of his Iraq invasion by continuing to spin the intelligence to the American people. March 12, 2006

Oversight by Capitulation
By setting up a toothless review process for warrantless wiretaps of Americans, the Republican-controlled Congress is handing George W. Bush another major victory in his consolidation of virtually unlimited executive power. March 10, 2006

Fighting Terror or Pushing Bigotry?
By almost everyone's estimation, winning the War on Terror will require winning the "war of ideas" within the world's Islamic community. But that outcome is made more unlikely when Islam is almost equated with terrorism at a major Washington conference and top U.S. officials stay mum. March 8, 2006

Nuclear India: A Future Menace?
George W. Bush is playing a high-stakes game of nuclear-roulette as he embraces India's rogue nuclear weapons program -- and tolerates nuclear bombs in Pakistan and Israel -- even as he rallies international pressure to stop Iran from advancing its nuclear ambitions. March 8, 2006

Democrats Need Strong Message
Election 2006 -- and voter dissatisfaction with the Republicans -- offer hope for the Democrats to reclaim one or both houses of Congress. But Democratic leaders have shown little understanding of the potential for a powerful national message that targets George W. Bush's trampling of constitutional principles that Americans hold dear. March 7, 2006

America Anesthetized
For more than four years, the American people have been anesthetized by a steady flow of propaganda that has influenced the public to believe "facts" that aren't facts and to ignore ugly realities that would otherwise shame the nation's conscience. March 5, 2006

Bush Flummoxes Kafka, Orwell
George W. Bush's latest mind-bending rationalizations about torturing detainees from the Iraq War and the War on Terror might have left Kafka and Orwell scratching their heads. March 3, 2006

'Torture Boy' Signals More Spying
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales retracted misleading testimony that he presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee three weeks ago, but his careful revision suggests that George W. Bush's domestic spying was broader than previously admitted.. March 2, 2006

Bush's War on History
Six years ago, the Clinton-Gore administration was pressing to declassify documents from the Cold War that were deemed essential for the American people to understand their recent history. More records from the Reagan-Bush era were slated for release on Jan. 20, 2001. But the Inauguration of George W. Bush changed all that. March 1, 2006

U.S. Disconnect on Bush Abuses
The Washington Post and other leading U.S. news outlets are having trouble bridging the widening chasm between the American self-image as the world's beacon for human rights and the new reality under George W. Bush of the United States as a country that practices torture, assassination and "disappearances." February 28, 2006

Time to Renew Democracy
Two key factors explain how the Bush administration has managed to push the United States so far toward surrendering its historic concepts of democracy and freedom. One is the control of information; the other the manipulation of fear.  February 27, 2006

Bush, Rats & a Sinking Ship
Conservative legend William F. Buckley Jr. and neoconservative icon Francis Fukuyama have joined the swelling ranks of Americans who judge George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq as a failure. February 25, 2006

Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'
George W. Bush's steady expansion of his own power has bred deep suspicions among Americans about how far he and his neoconservative administration intend to go down the path of authoritarianism. February 21, 2006

America Abandoned
With the rush of daily scandals, it's easy to concentrate on each complicated tree and miss the full scariness of the forest. This guest essay from longtime reader Alex Sabbeth turns a wide lens on the panorama of what George W. Bush has wrought. February 16, 2006

Democratic Leaders 'Betray' Hackett
In an ideal world, leaders would try to do both what's right and what's smart, what's honorable and what works with voters. But in modern-day America, Republicans focus on the "smart" part and Democratic leaders often go oh-for-two. February 15, 2006

Restoring Constitutional Government
Today's dominant U.S. political dynamic is a combination of authoritarianism and a cult of personality built around George W. Bush.  For many leading politicians and commentators, it seems, respect for civil liberties has become just a sign of weakness. February 14, 2006

Why U.S. Intelligence Failed, Redux
In a scathing critique of the Bush administration's manipulation of Iraq War intelligence, former senior U.S. intelligence analyst Paul Pillar confirms the assertions of the "Downing Street Memo," which alleged that the facts were being "fixed" around the policy. February 13, 2006

Yet Another Bush Lie
George W. Bush tells Americans that they have nothing to fear from his warrantless wiretapping because the program has been reviewed and approved by lots of lawyers and other professionals. What he doesn't say is what happens to those administration officials who object to his assertion of unfettered presidential power. February 8, 2006

More Defense Dollars, Less Security
The Bush administration says it enhances national security through aggressive military operations abroad and expanded presidential powers at home. The tradeoffs are fewer liberties for Americans, greater sacrifice from U.S. troops and a bigger military budget. February 7, 2006

Talkin' 'Texan' Means Lyin' Big
George W. Bush told an audience at the Grand Ole Opry that he would explain his warrantless wiretap program in "Texan," presumably straight-shootin' talk. He then proceeded to give a fictional account of how his special spying program only targets Americans who are calling al-Qaeda operatives. The reality is much different, with vast amounts of data from Americans being mined for leads that almost invariably turn out to be worthless. February 5, 2006

Osama's Briar Patch
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden is almost baiting the United States to leave Iraq, offering a "truce" to cover the U.S. retreat. But he surely knows that whatever he says he wants done the American people will reflexively do the opposite. Indeed, there's evidence that bin-Laden is playing a double game, the old strategy of Brer Rabbit who begged not to be thrown into the briar patch when that was exactly where he wanted to go. If that's bin-Laden's ploy, it seems to be working. George W. Bush has already cited bin-Laden's desire for U.S. troops to leave Iraq as reason for them to stay. February 2, 2006

Scheuer on Bin-Laden's 'Truce' Tape
Former CIA counter-terrorism expert Michael Scheuer says Osama bin-Laden's offer of a "truce" was a gesture to fellow Muslims who favor giving an enemy an opportunity to withdraw before attacking. February 3, 2006

Bush & the Bullfight
Instead of the donkey, the Democrats may want to adopt the fighting spirit demonstrated by a bull named Pajarito when he disrupted a Mexico City bullfight by jumping into the stands and scattering the spectators in the highest-priced seats. Pajarito was still killed but at least he gave his tormentors some uncomfortable moments. In facing George W. Bush, many national Democrats act more like a bull that thinks it can survive by cooperating with the matador. February 1, 2006

Political Earthquake in Palestine
George W. Bush has assured the American people that his forcible export of "democracy" to the Middle East will lead to solutions for the region's political problems. But the Hamas victory in Palestine is another case of reality intruding into Bush's world of propaganda and wishful thinking. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland examines the subterranean effects of the Hamas victory. January 31, 2006

Alito Filibuster & Word Games
The Democratic base is in an uproar over the hesitancy of Senate Democratic leaders to seriously fight  Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination. Rank-and-file Democrats also aren't buying the tough language that Senate Democrats have used to cloak the reality of political surrender. What exactly does a "strategic" vote mean -- and are "Red States" Democrats "voting their conscience" when they side with Republicans to gain some political cover? January 29, 2006

When Republicans Loved a Filibuster
Supporters of George W. Bush are furious that some Democrats might filibuster Samuel Alito's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. But 15 years ago, the Republicans mounted a crucial filibuster of their own to block an investigation that might have destroyed the legacy of the Reagan-Bush era -- and ended the political viability of the Bush Family. January 27, 2006

Alito & the Media Mess
As the U.S. Senate moves toward a historic vote on Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination, the mainstream news media is presenting the dispute as just another case of the Democrats playing politics. Left out of stories in major news outlets is the concern expressed by many rank-and-file Americans over Alito's radical views on the "unitary executive" and other theories that threaten the future of the U.S. democratic Republic. January 25, 2006

Military Action Against Iran?
In 2003, Iraq tried to show that it had no weapons of mass destruction, even letting United Nations inspectors search any site of their choosing. But George W. Bush ordered the bloody invasion anyway, killing tens of thousands of Iraqis and imprisoning the country's former leaders. Iraq's bitter lesson was not lost on Iran and other so-called "rogue" states, which now see little reason to disarm and cooperate with the international community. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at the looming confrontation with Iran. January 25, 2006

The End of 'Unalienable Rights'
George W. Bush's extraordinary assertion of unlimited Executive power signals a monumental change in the structure of American democracy. As Bush's legal analysts tout the "zenith" of his presidential authority, the impact on traditional American liberties is profound. It means an end to the concept of "unalienable rights" as envisioned by the Founding Fathers 230 years ago. The new reality is that all American rights are at the forbearance of the President. January 24, 2006

Alito Filibuster: It Only Takes One
If confirmed, Samuel Alito and his theory of a near-dictatorial "unitary executive" could doom the American democratic Republic and make George W. Bush a strongman with no meaningful checks and balances. With the fate of the U.S. Constitution in the balance, it's hard to believe that no senator is prepared to filibuster Alito's nomination. But even if there's only one senator brave enough to grab the floor and explain the stakes to the American people, one might be enough to start a national political rebirth. January 22, 2006

The Imperium's Quarter Century
The origins of George W. Bush's imperial-style government can be traced back to the extraordinary moment a quarter century ago when Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President and 52 Americans hostages were simultaneously freed in Iran. Americans were swept up in a surge of patriotism and many bought into the idea that Reagan's tough-guy image had scared Iran's fundamentalist Islamic government. The reality of that fateful day now appears to have been quite different, but the cover-up of a Republican scheme that bordered on treason remains an important state secret even 25 years later. January 20, 2006

'War on Terror' Creates Terrorists
The latest U.S. air raid on a remote Pakistani village may have killed several senior al-Qaeda operatives, but the deaths of some 18 civilians, including children, have sparked outrage across the country and put pressure on its pro-U.S. government. This guest essay by Ivan Eland looks at the costs and benefits. January 19, 2006

Is Bush Stupid -- Or Is America?
Last week, in Louisville, Kentucky, a group of Americans got to listen up close as George W. Bush explained his Iraq War policies. But what they -- and the television audience -- heard was a manipulative collection of feel-good distortions and outright lies, served up in Bush's folksy style. The fact that Bush continues to make such presentations, virtually unchallenged, raises the painful question, "is Bush stupid or is America?" January 18, 2006

Bush & the Limits of Debate
George W. Bush, who sees himself as America's all-powerful "unitary executive," has begun pronouncing limits on "responsible" debate about his Iraq War policies, putting outside the bounds questions on his ulterior motives and false pre-war claims. But it looks like Rep. John Murtha, who advocates a prompt withdrawal from Iraq, can expect some harsh treatment, too, as conservatives dredge up allegations that he exaggerated his war wounds in Vietnam. January 16, 2006

Politics of Preemption (Revisited)
On Martin Luther King Day 2006, former Vice President Al Gore warned against the authoritarianism of George W. Bush's administration and called on Americans to rally to protect their constitutional freedoms. In reaction, the Republican National Committee mocked Gore as a showboat. The exchange reminded us of a story we wrote in 2002 when Gore warned against a "preemptive" invasion of Iraq and was ridiculed. First published October 8, 2002

Alito Hearings: Democrats' 'Katrina'
Samuel Alito's confirmation hearings revealed Democratic senators who looked as befuddled by the challenge they faced as FEMA director Michael Brown did when Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans. Rather than use the hearings to explain to the American people the constitutional crisis that now confronts them, the Democrats acted as if George W. Bush's choice of another right-wing ideologue to the U.S. Supreme Court was a great surprise. But the failure also reveals deeper problems of the American Left. January 14, 2006

Alito & the Ken Lay Factor
Confirmation of Samuel Alito would put the right wing of the U.S. Supreme Court within reach of imposing the radical theory of the "unitary executive," which cedes to the President extraordinary powers over national security and federal regulations. Agencies -- like the Securities and Exchange Commission -- would be stripped of their independence, leaving open the question of how George W. Bush might deal with a future Enron case when a big donor like Kenneth Lay is facing ruin if an accounting investigation digs too deep. January 12, 2006

Alito & the Point of No Return
If Samuel Alito wins confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, George W. Bush may have secured a majority to endorse his view of unlimited presidential powers for the duration of the War on Terror. While much focus is on Alito providing the swing vote to eliminate abortion rights, his elevation to the High Court also might mark the point of no return toward a United States dominated by an autocratic Executive with the power to cast aside the Constitution. January 9, 2006

An Imperial President on Constitutional Quicksand
An oddity about modern American "conservatism" is that it favors centralizing power in an Executive who can ride roughshod over the Legislature and the Judiciary -- at least when an ally is in the White House. But this theory amounts to constitutional revisionism since the Founding Fathers feared most of all a king-like President and thus created a complex system of checks and balances. This guest essay by Ivan Eland looks at this "conservative" conundrum. January 10, 2006

Bush's Long War with the Truth
George W. Bush does not appear to have made a New Year's resolution to start telling the truth. His first comments to the press corps in 2006 tried to refute questions about his honesty by making at least two misleading assertions. New disclosures also make clear that the White House duped the New York Times in 2004 to stop the newspaper from disclosing Bush's warrantless wiretaps -- and possibly derailing his campaign for a second term. January 2, 2006

What's Best for the Country?
The New Year is shaping up as a crucial one in the history of American democracy. George W. Bush has made clear he intends to turn the United States into a nation governed by an authoritarian Executive with almost no checks and balances. This extraordinary assertion of power is a challenge to supporters of a traditional democratic Republic where no man is above the law. A showdown is looming in 2006 over what's best for the country. December 30, 2005

Editor Parry's Year-End Letter
As 2005 comes to a close, the American people have a much clearer view of what the Bush administration has done to the nation's democratic institutions. Now, the New Year -- 2006 -- beckons with both extraordinary challenges and opportunities. The nation faces either its consolidation as a modern authoritarian state or its reemergence as a traditional Republic with accountability enforced on corrupt and dishonest politicians. Editor Robert Parry discusses the role that this Web site has played and could play in the future. December 26, 2005

Holidays, Lobbyists & Murder
A murder case in Florida is dampening holiday spirits in Washington, as some associates of Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff face the unpleasant prospect of testimony in messy fraud and murder trials surrounding the 2000 sale of the SunCruz casino line. The former owner, who was in a business dispute with an Abramoff group, was gunned down mob-style in 2001 -- and two alleged hit men had ties to Abramoff's partner. December 23, 2005

Democracy's Battle Joined, Again
The long-simmering war over the Imperial Presidency is boiling again. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have turned up the heat by asserting unlimited powers for the Executive as long as the War on Terror continues, a direct challenge to Americans who believe in the Founders' concept of a democratic republic based on the rule of law. Though the White House legions now have the upper hand, their tattered opponents may still put up a fight. December 22, 2005

The New Madness of King George
A fidgety George W. Bush used his prime-time speech to reprise many of his false or exaggerated claims about the Iraq War and the War on Terror. Yet, as Bush asserts virtually unlimited powers for himself, the question arises -- is Bush a new version of King George III, who lost his sanity in the years after the American Revolution, or is he a modern-day Machiavelli? December 19, 2005

A Plan for a Cease-Fire in Iraq
Is there a way to stop the killing in Iraq while avoiding recriminations about “defeat” or unrealistic notions of “victory”? To help spark a debate about whether a cease-fire is possible, we're publishing a guest essay from former Democratic congressional staffer Brent Budowsky. December 18, 2005

Spying & the Public's Right to Know
The New York Times has revealed that George W. Bush secretly overrode legal protections for Americans that require a court warrant before the government can intercept their international communications. But another surprise was the Times admission that it had held the story for a year, raising questions about whether the Times could have informed the American people about Bush 's action before Election 2004. December 17, 2005

Is Bush Leveling With America?
The U.S. news media is hailing George W. Bush's latest speeches on Iraq for their supposed realism. But the speeches contain few concessions to the real world, continuing many of Bush's discredited arguments and phony rationalizations, such as his odd notion that democracies are intrinsically peaceful. The bottom line is that Bush is still not leveling with the American people. December 16, 2005

Making the World Safe for Theocracy
George W. Bush is looking for a boost from this week's Iraqi elections. But the voting is not likely to resolve one of the key flaws in the U.S. strategy -- that once the majority Shiites and their Kurdish allies gained control of the government and the nation's oil riches, they were likely to share with the rival Sunni minority. The big winners from Bush's invasion are still likely to be Iran's Shiite theocracy, which has close ties to Iraq's Shiite political leaders. December 14, 2005

Ex-CIA Officer on 'War on Terror'
Michael Scheuer, who tracked Osama bin-Laden for the CIA, says the Bush administration misrepresents  al-Qaeda's motivation by claiming that Islamic militants are driven by a hatred of America's freedoms, rather than a resentment of U.S. policies in the Middle East. While framing the issue around "freedom" may help rally support inside the United States, it creates more opportunities for al-Qaeda in the Muslim world, Scheuer warns. December 13, 2005

Will the Lying Ever Stop?
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has now joined her predecessor Colin Powell in the dock of infamy as transparent liars. Rice's denial about U.S. participation in torture has destroyed her international credibility much the way Powell's Iraq War speech to the United Nations became a "blot" on his record. But the bigger question is: What damage has this lying done to America's ability to gain the world's cooperation on vital issues? December 7, 2005

TSA's Treats for Holiday Travelers
As Americans prepare for Christmas holiday travel, many will find an unpleasant surprise at the airport -- an embarrassing public search, which can include unbuttoning pants and a physical pat down, because something about their travel plans raised a red flag. But are these tactics of the Transportation Security Administration really protecting passengers from terrorism or do these procedures amount to make-work pseudo-security? December 6, 2005

A Twist in the Rove-Plame Mystery
A new disclosure that a Time magazine reporter told Karl Rove's lawyer that Rove leaked the identity of a CIA officer to another Time reporter is cited by Rove's defenders as support for his claim that he suffered a faulty memory when he denied his leak role before a federal grand jury. But the chronology of events actually seems to bolster the case against the deputy White House chief of staff; it doesn't  exonerate him. December 4, 2005

Bush in Iraq, Slouching Toward Genocide
George W. Bush's insistence on "complete victory" in Iraq could become an invitation to the Shiites, who dominate the government, to exploit U.S. military might to wage genocide against their historic enemies, the Sunnis. In his Nov. 30 speech, Bush singled out the Sunnis as the heart of the stubborn Iraqi insurgency and made clear their only option now was to accept the loss of their ruling-class status to the Shiites. December 1, 2005

2006 -- Bush's Accountability Year
Suddenly, the congressional elections of 2006 are shaping up as a chance for the American people to repudiate the actions of George W. Bush and his neoconservative allies. But the key to the looming showdown is whether emerging media outlets can grow fast enough to counter the powerful conservative message machine and its echo chamber in the mainstream press. November 21, 2005

Confessions of a Repentant Republican
As George W. Bush and Dick Cheney ratchet up the "you're with us or you're with the terrorists" rhetoric, they're hoping to silence politicians and citizens who have begun questioning the course the nation is on. But the bullying is also encountering resistance from more Americans -- both Republicans and Democrats -- who won't back down in a fight over American democratic principles. This essay is from one such dissenter. November 17, 2005

Bush's Rewriting of History
The powerful Bush family has long treated average Americans as a pretty dim-witted bunch who need to be manipulated for their own good. But George W. Bush is now facing a political crisis because tens of millions of Americans are demanding to know whether Bush tricked the nation into a disastrous war in Iraq. Bush's latest response has been to accuse his enemies of trying to "rewrite the history," a tactic he knows quite well. November 16, 2005

State Power & Conservative Ideology
George W. Bush is facing growing opposition from traditional conservatives who are starting to recognize that his neocon administration rejects many of the precepts of individual freedom and limited government that have historically defined conservatism. Does this rift have the potential of opening into a chasm that could affect the American political dynamic?  November 13, 2005

Surveillance Society
If the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were an anomaly -- a sucker punch from some marginal extremists taking advantage of a novice president who had let the nation's guard down -- then the U.S. reaction both at home and abroad may be an unwise over-reaction. Is the government stripping U.S. citizens of too many of the freedoms that George W. Bush claims the terrorists hate? November 9, 2005

So Iraq Was About the Oil
In justifying the Iraq War to the American people, the Bush administration has always denied that the invasion was a case of "blood for oil." But recent comments by the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell leave little doubt that oil was an important part of George W. Bush's calculus for invading Iraq -- and for staying there indefinitely. November 8, 2005

Libby & Nuclear Secrets to China
Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's indicted ex-aide, gained insights into how intelligence can be manipulated for political gain as a key adviser to a 1999 investigation into the loss of U.S. nuclear secrets to China. Although the evidence pointed to security breaches during the Reagan-Bush years, the probe focused blame on Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. November 4, 2005

Bush's Rule of Law
When it comes to the indictment of Dick Cheney's top aide, Lewis Libby, George W. Bush reminds Americans that everyone is innocent until proven guilty after receiving due process and a fair trial. But Bush forgot to mention that his "rule of law" applies differently to people he deems "terrorists" or "bad guys." For them, there's a presumption of guilt, no due process and indefinite imprisonment without trial. November 2, 2005

Worst U.S. War Criminals Escape Justice
The narrow indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis Libby for perjury and obstructing justice has left some Americans wondering whether a broader case is still possible about the Bush administration's lying the country into war in Iraq. There is also an argument that the United States is violating the principles that it espoused at the Nuremburg Trials and in the United Nations Charter. November 2, 2005

Is Impeachment the Answer?
While Washington pundits are advising George W. Bush how to "restart" his presidency, many Americans are more interested in how to "terminate" his presidency. But is impeachment the answer? Or is it a pipe dream that would distract from more attainable political goals? November 1, 2005

Letting the White House Walk?
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicted White House aide Lewis Libby only on narrow charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, raising concerns among some Iraq War critics and U.S. intelligence veterans that Fitzgerald missed the broader conspiracy of leaking a CIA officer's identity to punish her husband. Did Fitzgerald give the White House a walk? October 30, 2005

'Plame-gate' & Myth of the Renegade Aide
Whatever special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald concludes about crimes committed in the leaking of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity, he's certain to face fierce resistance if he tries to track the evidence back up the chain of command to Vice President Dick Cheney or President George W. Bush. The history of Watergate and Iran-Contra tells us that official Washington almost always favors the myth of the renegade aide. October 27, 2005

Iraq War Critics Emerge Too Late
As the United States mourns the 2,000th American death in the Iraq War, more and more politicians and pundits who supported the invasion are having second thoughts. But should those doubts have been expressed earlier, when public opposition might have helped the nation avoid a disastrous war? Have these "repositionists" really learned any lessons? October 26, 2005

The Dangerously Incomplete Hariri Report
George W. Bush is citing a new United Nations report implicating Syria in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri as one more reason to demand regime change in Damascus. Yet, while the report may have profound consequences, it fails to follow up key leads, like how the bomb-carrying vehicle made its way from a Japanese city to its destiny with history four months later in Beirut. October 23, 2005

Bush's Latest Iraq War Lies
Recent intelligence assessments on the Iraq War -- and a letter purportedly written by al-Qaeda's second-in-command -- suggest that George W. Bush is back to his old tricks, exaggerating threats in the Middle East. To justify staying in Iraq until "complete victory," Bush is painting the scariest pictures he can and ignoring possible routes to a more limited success. October 16, 2005

Bush Feared 'Looking Weak' on Iraq
A newly disclosed British document shows George W. Bush fretting less than two months before the invasion of Iraq that the U.N. weapons inspectors might get full cooperation from Saddam Hussein. According to notes on a phone call between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the U.S. president was most concerned that he might end up "looking weak." October 15, 2005

'Al-Qaeda Letter' Belies Bush's Iraq Claims
U.S. intelligence claims it has obtained a letter from Osama bin-Laden's top deputy to al-Qaeda forces in Iraq. But the problem for George W. Bush is that the letter undercuts his latest claim that Islamic terrorists are poised to establish a global empire and isolate the United States. The letter makes Bush's warnings sound like another attempt to stampede the American people with fear. October 14, 2005

Bush's Terrifying Terror Speech
Trying to rebuild support for the Iraq War, George W. Bush gave a speech brimming with Churchillian rhetoric and charting a future of seemingly endless violence. The War on Terror speech terrified so many Americans that we've drafted a second speech -- that Bush surely won't give -- to respond to their worries. October 10, 2005

Making Sense of the Miers Nomination
George W. Bush's nomination of his personal lawyer, Harriet Miers, to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court is causing conservatives as well as liberals to scratch their heads. But the choice might make sense if Bush's primary goal is protecting his administration from criminal and other legal liabilities, rather than changing constitutional law on social issues like abortion. October 7, 2005

How Rotten Are These Guys?
A gangland killing in Florida is the latest scandal implicating business associates of powerhouse Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- and embarrassing the GOP hierarchy in Washington. The murder also is a reminder of the Bush family's long association with underworld characters who have plied the murky world between organized crime and power politics. October 5, 2005

Can Bush Be Ousted?
George W. Bush has blundered again and again -- in Iraq, with Hurricane Katrina, with the budget deficit and in managing the economy, including soaring gas prices. But the conventional wisdom -- even among many of our readers -- remains that there's nothing the American voters can do. Or is there? October 1, 2005

'Frog-Marching' Bush to the Hague
Private Lynndie England is the latest low-ranking American soldier to be shackled and "frog-marched" off to prison for committing abuses in Iraq. Yet, the U.S. news media and political leadership shun any suggestion that George W. Bush and other war architects should be held accountable for the bloody fiasco. It remains unthinkable that Bush might deserve to be "frog-marched" to the Hague.  September 29, 2005

What to Do About the Bush Problem
As more and more crises flood in on the United States -- from the Iraq War to the budget deficit to the Katrina debacle -- the nation must confront a hard question: Can the country afford to drift along through an additional three-plus years of George W. Bush's presidency? If not, is impeachment or some forced resignation a realistic alternative? September 23, 2005

Bush & Media: Normalizing the Abnormal
For five years, the U.S. press corps has acted as if its principal duty was to protect George W. Bush's image and legitimacy, rather than to inform the American people as fully as possible. Bush's Katrina catastrophe breached those protective barriers much as the hurricane's flood waters overwhelmed New Orleans' levees. September 21, 2005

After Katrina, America's Political Crisis
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast, but -- like the Iraq War -- the storm also exposed the incompetence and cronyism of George W. Bush's administration. Now, the political crisis facing America is whether the nation still has time to head off long-held conservative plans for consolidating control of the federal government. September 9, 2005

Roberts & the 'Apex of Presidential Power'
The prospect of a John Roberts Court puts the United States at another difficult crossroads, with one direction leading toward a future where the President holds near total authority over the liberty of people both foreign and domestic. Judge Roberts -- now George W. Bush's choice to head the U.S. Supreme Court -- has made clear in his previous positions and judicial action that he sees nothing wrong with an Imperial President. September 6, 2005

Bush Family's Terrorism Test
For three decades -- since George H.W. Bush was running the CIA -- the Bush Family has been protecting right-wing Cuban extremists like Luis Posada Carriles. But now those years of loyalty could be put to the test if a federal immigration judge orders Posada deported to Venezuela to stand trial for blowing up a civilian Cubana airliner that killed 73 people back in 1976. August 31, 2005

Mirage After Mirage After Mirage
America's bloody trek through the Iraqi desert could be described as the pursuit of one mirage after another. George W. Bush's latest illusion of success is the proposed Iraqi constitution, which only deepens that nation's sectarian divisions. Now, many of the same U.S. politicians and pundits who recommended this death march in the first place say there's no turning back and are pointing the way toward what looks like another oasis. August 30, 2005

Is Bush al-Qaeda's 'Useful Idiot'?
In the 1980s, American neoconservatives liked to call peace activists "useful idiots" whose actions unwittingly helped communists and other U.S.enemies. But today, George W. Bush's stubborn insistence on "staying the course" in Iraq is arguably swelling the ranks of al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups, raising the question: Who's the "useful idiot" now? August 26, 2005

Explaining the Bush Cocoon
As Americans try to make sense of the disastrous Iraq War, they must come to grips with the shoddy performance of the national press corps and why it built a media cocoon around George W. Bush since Election 2000. Rather than hold Bush accountable like other politicians, major news personalities chose to protect him -- and to protect themselves. August 24, 2005

Judge Roberts's Slap at Women
How men reacted to the movement for women's rights in the 1970s and 1980s was a test of character, whether they supported changes in the work place that addressed historical injustices. When U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts had a chance to shape policy on equal pay for women from inside Ronald Reagan's White House, he likened an equal-pay strategy to communism, with the quip -- "to each according to her gender." August 18, 2005

Iraq & the Logic of Withdrawal
Washington policymakers and pundits -- almost across the political spectrum -- are in agreement that a prompt military withdrawal from Iraq is a terrible idea. But there is a strong and logical case to be made that pulling out U.S. troops would be the best course for the Iraqis and the Americans -- and possibly spell doom for Islamic extremists who have infiltrated into Iraq under the cover of waging holy war against the Western infidels. August 17, 2005

Iraq War's Two Constants
As the U.S. death toll in Iraq surges, the Bush administration has returned to the two constants that have guided the war from the start -- deception and wishful thinking. New false arguments for staying the course have joined tantalizing suggestions of troop withdrawals just around the corner. But the bigger question is what can the American people do now? August 13, 2005

'Braveheart,' Edward I & George W. Bush
King Edward I's brutal execution of Scottish hero William Wallace 700 years ago this month was meant to send a message to rebellious Scots, but instead it has become a reminder to politicians of every age that violence can't solve all problems. Instead it can create hatreds that resonate for centuries, a fact that  Scots will recall as some retrace the route in London where the legendary "Braveheart" was dragged to his death. August 10, 2005

Rove's Backers Use 'CounterSpy Defense'
Karl Rove's defenders are pulling out all stops to defend the White House aide against accusations he leaked a CIA officer's identity. They're even using an argument that parallels a rationale cited by leftists who defended CounterSpy after a CIA officer exposed by the magazine in 1975 was gunned down in Greece. The argument was that  the cover for the agents had already been blown and that the CIA didn't do enough to protect the identities. July 26, 2005

Bush's Grimmer Vision
Three years ago, we published an article entitled "Bush's Grim Vision," which described how George W. Bush was turning the United States toward a future of endless warfare and curtailed civil liberties. At the time, some readers thought we were being alarmist, but the reality has turned out worse than the expectations -- and Bush's vision has only gotten grimmer. July 21, 2005

Rove-Bush Conspiracy Noose Tightens
New evidence implicates George W. Bush's political guru Karl Rove in a White House conspiracy that may have crossed the line into criminality in its haste to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who challenged Bush's use of intelligence on Iraq. While the Republican National Committee and right-wing pundits continue to proclaim Rove's innocence, the noose of evidence is tightening around Bush's deputy chief of staff and other senior administration officials who joined the operation. July 19, 2005

Bush Family Tradition: Ducking Scandal
The next test of George W. Bush as president is whether he can match his father and grandfather in making damaging political scandals go away. The younger George Bush and his allies are busy fending off a criminal investigation about the disclosure of a covert CIA officer, drawing on old family skills that George Bush Sr. displayed during the Iran-Contra Affair and Iraqgate -- and that Prescott Bush showed when brushing aside evidence of Nazi business dealings before World War II. July 15, 2005

Rove's Leak Points to Bush Conspiracy
The key to the mystery of who in the Bush administration leaked the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame may rest on a fact no longer in dispute -- that White House political adviser Karl Rove discussed Plame's CIA activities with a journalist. Though Rove's lawyer insists his client didn't mention her name, the bigger question facing George W. Bush is why his chief political operative would have been given such a sensitive secret -- and whether Rove's role suggests a wider Bush conspiracy. July 11, 2005

Lessons of the London Bombing
Investigative reporter Robert Parry was rushing to the London subway on the morning of July 7, heading to Heathrow Airport for a flight to Washington. In his first-hand account of the confusion that followed the terrorist attacks, Parry cites lessons that can be learned from the London bombings and what the events could mean for George W. Bush's War on Terror. July 9, 2005

War or Impeachment
The American people are facing a difficult choice as George W. Bush lays out his case for "staying the course" in Iraq. Either they must keep  sending their young soldiers into this death trap for years to come -- or start seriously considering impeaching Bush and other top leaders who tricked the nation into war. June 28, 2005

Bush's Alternative Speech
If George W. Bush really wanted to level with the American people about the Iraq War, he might start with frank admissions about his motives and his deceptions. But this proposed draft would never make it past the first White House speechwriters. June 28, 2005

Baiting, Not Debating
George W. Bush and his top political adviser Karl Rove are signaling what the next phase of the Iraq War debate will look like. Just like the pre-war discussions, the "stay the course" pitch will be more about baiting than debating, with dissenters accused of endangering American troops and sympathizing with the enemy. Pundits who expect Bush to "level" with the American people either aren't paying attention or not telling the truth. June 27, 2005

President Self-Centered
For George W. Bush, it seems like almost everything that's happened in the world -- especially since Sept. 11, 2001 -- is all about him. As Americans mourn the mounting death toll in Iraq, Bush wanted the public to know he shares in the sacrifice. "I think about Iraq every day, every single day," he said. Posted June 23, 2005

Mocking the Downing Street Memo
When liberals and Democrats held a hearing to bring attention to the Downing Street Memo and other evidence of Iraq War deceptions, they became the object of ridicule in Washington's dominant newspaper. The experience should serve as a hard lesson showing the need for a strong media infrastructure that can reach the American people outside the judgments of the mainstream and conservative news medias. June 18, 2005

LMSM, the 'Lying Mainstream Media'
The Washington Post is lashing out at American citizens who have accused major U.S. news outlets of covering up the leaked British memos on the deceptions behind the Iraq War. A Post editorial deems the memos an old story that doesn't deserve much attention, but many Americans are coming to see the MSM,  the mainstream media , as the LMSM, the lying mainstream media. June 17, 2005

Bush's 'Happy Thoughts' Death Trap
A macabre "Peter Pan" syndrome has driven the Iraq War from the start, with George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers acting as if happy thoughts about an easy victory and some pixie dust of propaganda would let them soar over the realities on the ground. This wishful thinking has turned Iraq into a death trap for American troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis. June 13, 2005

Bush's SEC Choice Hyped 'Chinagate'
George W. Bush's nominee to oversee Wall Street played fast and loose with the evidence of Chinese nuclear spying in a 1999 congressional report. Rep. Christopher Cox protected the Reagan-Bush administration from evidence that it had opened the floodgates of sensitive secrets to China, and Cox shifted the blame to Bill Clinton. Now, Cox is in line to become the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. June 9, 2005

President Bush, With the Candlestick...
For anyone but the most dimwitted player of the mystery game, "Clue," the solution would be obvious: George W. Bush is the culprit, the one who systematically lied to the American people about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. The latest clue -- if another one was needed -- was published in an Associated Press dispatch about the Bush administration's removal of a UN official whose offense was trying to get arms inspectors back into Iraq a full year before the U.S. invasion. June 7, 2005

The Answer Is Fear
Many Americans are pondering what went wrong with their democratic institutions -- and why the U.S. news media and the intelligence community performed so poorly in the run-up to George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. While there are many potential answers, one stands out as the simplest -- yet most complete -- explanation for these failures: fear. May 26, 2005

Bush's Dangerous Wishful Thinking
American soldiers and the Iraqi people are paying a deadly price for George W. Bush's penchant for tough talk and wishful thinking. But the U.S. political establishment seems incapable of reevaluating the Bush Doctrine's reliance on pre-emptive war as a means to combat modern-day security threats. That void has prompted the Europeans to step forward with their own plan, albeit one that faces obstacles from both Bush's belligerence and the intransigence of Iran and North Korea. May 23, 2005

For Bush, Iraq Lies Are Fundamental
The hostile White House reaction to a leaked British memo has put George W. Bush's credibility on the Iraq War to a new test. Bush's spokesman claims the Downing Street memo is wrong in portraying Bush as determined to invade Iraq eight months before the war began. But the evidence supports a conclusion that Bush is lying about the circumstances that have led to the deaths of 1,600 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis. May 22, 2005

Bush's Troubling FDR 'Apology'
George W. Bush, who almost never apologizes for his own presidential mistakes, issued an apology for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's supposed sellout of Eastern Europe at Yalta. In his comments, Bush revived a favorite right-wing smear of FDR and took sides with the most extreme anticommunists who favored attacking the Soviet Union after World War II regardless of the death toll. Bush's historical musings suggest that he is headed toward more risky actions in the future. May 12, 2005

Bush, Posada & Terrorism Hypocrisy
George W. Bush has insisted on "moral clarity" in the War on Terror, but he and his brother Jeb have ignored the principle against harboring terrorists -- at least when the fugitive is Luis Posada Carriles, a violent Cuban exile with strong political support in the powerful Cuban-American community of South Florida. The American news media also is helping out by mostly treating Posada as a non-story, even though the New York Times did finally put the Posada question on Page One. May 10, 2005

The Bush Family's Favorite Terrorist
Showing that old Cold War habits die hard, the Bush administration is tolerating the presence of right-wing Cuban terrorist Luis Posada in the United States. Though Posada crossed the Mexican border illegally and is now hiding in the Miami area, neither President George W. Bush nor Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered a manhunt. That may seem to contradict the "moral clarity" of the War on Terror, but actually makes sense because Posada has long been the Bush family's favorite terrorist. April 25, 2005

John Bolton & the Battle for Reality
Undersecretary of State John Bolton has been called a "kiss up, kick down kind of guy" for pressuring mid-level U.S. intelligence analysts to embrace administration conclusions. But Bolton's abrasive style is not simply a personality flaw; it's a strategy that's been prevalent since the Reagan years for ensuring that the American people get a slanted perception of reality. April 19, 2005

Negroponte's 'Friendly Eye'
John Negroponte assures the Senate that he will tell "truth to power" as director of national intelligence, but his record is better summed up by his use of Shakespearean dialogue in 1983 to suggest that "a friendly eye" be cast toward abuses by the Honduran government. April 13, 2005

Bush's Kiss of Death
George W. Bush's rush to claim credit for political reform movements in the Middle East has complicated the task of those seeking democratic change in the region. Though the U.S. press corps is brimming with adulation for the president's strategies, his smooch on the cheek of protesters in Lebanon is threatening to become a political kiss of death. March 11, 2005

Bush's Neocons Unbridled
With the U.S. news media hailing George W. Bush as the inspiration for democratic developments in the Middle East, his neoconservative advisers are letting loose with even more aggressive plans for reshaping the region. But is Washington's conventional wisdom about Bush's hard-headed wisdom right -- or is it a prelude to a new round of disasters? March 9, 2005

Neocon Amorality
The Bush administration's powerful neoconservatives are claiming that recent political stirrings in the Middle East have vindicated their Iraq War strategy. The major news media is cheering, too, but there are alternative explanations that suggest the neocons should get little credit and that, nevertheless, they have a weak moral case when arguing that the ends justify the means. March 3, 2005

The Hypocrisy Taboo
George W. Bush gets a pass on his hypocrisy when he lectures Russia and other countries about democratic freedoms. Off the table is Bush's long record of autocratic tendencies, including his history of suppressing votes for his rivals that otherwise might have meant his defeat. February 26, 2005

Bush's 'Elmer Gantry' Politics
Newly released tape recordings reveal then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush rehearsing how to pitch himself to Christian conservatives and using his religious conversion to fend off questions about drug use and other indiscretions. With Bush now  accepted by some Christian fundamentalists as a messenger from God, a question arises whether Bush is a true believer or just a political Elmer Gantry. February 21, 2005

Negroponte's Blind Spots
The record of John Negroponte -- George W.  Bush's choice for the nation's first intelligence czar -- does little to inspire confidence that major problems at American spy agencies will be addressed. While ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s, Negroponte either presided over an intelligence operation that was breathtakingly incompetent or was complicit in protecting human rights abuses and cocaine trafficking. February 19, 2005

Bush & the Rise of 'Managed-Democracy'
The U.S. political system is undergoing a transformation that could spell the beginning of a new kind of one-party state, what might be called "managed democracy" where elections are still held but power is not seriously at stake. Conservatives now see George W. Bush's  second term as this historic opportunity to lock in near-permanent control for the Republican Party, while Democrats and liberals have been slow to sense the danger. February 12, 2005

Sinking in Deeper
U.S. politicians and the national press corps are hailing the Iraqi election as a turning point in the Iraq War and vindication for George W. Bush's aggressive Middle East policies. But there is a potential dark side, as U.S. troops may find the election outcome dragging them deeper into the long and bloody history of sectarian violence between Iraq's Shiite majority and the Sunni minority. February 3, 2005

Freedom from Reality
Taking George W. Bush's Inaugural "freedom speech" at face value, Washington commentators are avoiding tough questions about whether Bush even remotely meant what he said. Bush's professed love for freedom, liberty and democracy contrasts with his own and his family's long record of siding with dictators abroad and waging dirty political campaigns at home. There also are new examples of his allies cracking down against dissent in the U.S. January 26, 2005

The Freedom to Follow
In his second Inaugural Address, George W. Bush wrapped his controversial policies -- including his war in Iraq, his assertion of nearly unlimited presidential powers in the War on Terror, and his plan for privatizing Social Security  -- in the cloak of "freedom." But for many Americans, there may have been a troubling subtext: that their greatest remaining freedom is the freedom to follow George W. Bush. January 21, 2005

Bush's Unaccountability Moment
George W. Bush is citing his electoral victory as his "accountability moment," justification for what he's done in Iraq and what he may do in the future to carry out his war policies. But how honest was that "accountability moment" and what do the election results mean for the future of American democracy? January 20, 2005

The Bush Rule of Journalism
Four CBS producers, fired over disputed memos about George W. Bush's National Guard service, are the latest U.S. journalists to learn the hard lesson that any misstep in doing a critical piece about the Bush family can be a career killer. By contrast to this Bush Rule of Journalism, reporters find they have much more leeway when taking shots at less privileged politicians. January 17, 2005

Bush's 'Death Squads'
As the Iraq War spins out of control, George W. Bush is considering applying brutal tactics refined in suppressing leftist insurgencies in Central America in the 1980s. The key to that policy was to turn loose right-wing "death squads" to slaughter both insurgents and their civilian supporters. But Iraq presents a different set of challenges -- and implementing such  atrocities could open the United States to new accusations of war crimes. January 11, 2005

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