Giving the Torturers a Pass

President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003, when he made a fraudulent case for invading Iraq. Seated behind him are Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (White House photo)

During Watergate, senior U.S. officials went to jail for lying and obstructing justice. Many politicians have gone to prison for taking bribes and for corruption. But it’s somehow unthinkable to prosecute Bush administration officials implicated in torture and murder, an attitude that Marjorie Cohn rejects.

Clashing Face-to-Face on Torture

Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (left) argues with ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern about the Senate torture report on CCTV's "The Heat" on Dec. 11, 2014. (Screenshot from program)

Exclusive: It’s rare on TV when you see two former senior U.S. officials clashing angrily over something as significant as torture. Usually decorum prevails. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wasn’t going to let the ex-House intelligence oversight chief get away with a bland defense of torture, as McGovern recounts.

The CIA’s Bureaucracy of Torture

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

Bureaucratic inertia – the CIA’s desire for bigger budgets and then its fear of negative consequences – helped drive the torture program from its frantic start to its belated finish, as Gareth Porter explains.

How ‘Awesome’ Is America?

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros.

Exclusive: America has an extraordinary capacity to submerge unpleasant truths about its past and present, from African-American slavery and Native-American genocide to bloodbaths in Vietnam and Iraq. Now faced with clear evidence of torture, one cheerleader simply says the U.S. is “awesome,” as Robert Parry reports.

Obama and the Truth Agenda

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The euphemism, “enhanced interrogations,” is finally fading amid truth-telling that President George W. Bush authorized — and the CIA engaged in — torture of “war on terror” detainees. The lack of a backlash to the stomach-turning new details also suggests that Americans are ready for a truth agenda, writes Robert Parry.

Facing Realities of Race

Eric Garner, suspected of selling "loose cigarettes" who died when New York police placed him a chokehold and sat on his chest.

Many white Americans think that racism is a problem of the past and that troubling realities – like mass incarceration and murder rates for black and brown men as well as inferior government services in racially diverse communities – have other explanations. But recent events have shaken that certainty, as Tony Jenkins explains.

Torture Report Exposes Sadism and Lies

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

The stunning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and other sadistic treatment meted out to “war on terror” detainees has shredded the credibility of CIA apologists who claimed the “enhance interrogations” were carefully calibrated and humane, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman explains.

Stifling Dissent on the Upper East Side

Exclusive: Modern U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine doesn’t just target people in faraway lands where the U.S. military is battling some uprising. It also takes aim at Americans whose dissent might undermine those wars, possibly explaining the strange arrest of Ray McGovern, writes retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

Legacy of Whites Killing Black ‘Demons’

The autopsy drawing of Michael Brown's body after the 18-year-o;d was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The police officer who killed Michael Brown convinced a St. Louis grand jury not to indict by likening the unarmed 18-year-old black man to “a demon” who looked “mad that I’m shooting at him” – language reminiscent of an earlier era when whites saw blacks as frightening sub-humans, writes William Loren Katz.

Obama, the People and the Facts

President Barack Obama discusses Ukraine during a meeting with members of his National Security Staff in the Oval Office, Feb. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The political crisis facing President Obama and the Democratic Party results from a profound loss of faith in the U.S. government, made worse by Obama’s obsessive secrecy. But he could address both problems by opening the books on some key hidden chapters relevant to today, writes Robert Parry.