Constitution

Official Washington’s Delusions on Delusions

Big Brother poster illustrating George Orwell's novel about modern propaganda, 1984.

Exclusive: Official Washington operates in its own bubble of self-delusion in which the stars of U.S. politics, policy and media don’t realize how the rest of the world sees their sociopathic behavior. This craziness is now reaching a crisis point on Iran and Russia, reports Robert Parry.

US Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s CIA Plan

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

The original idea of the CIA was to have independent-minded experts assessing both short- and longer-term threats to U.S. national security. Mixing with operations and politics was always a danger, which is now highlighted by CIA Director Brennan’s reorganization, opposed by a group of U.S. intelligence veterans.

ACLU’s Strange Fight for ‘Redskin’ Trademark

Logo of the Washington Redskins football team.

The Washington Redskins football team makes millions of dollars on merchandise under the U.S. government’s trademark of the name, a revenue flow now threatened by a decision to revoke the protection on grounds of racism, an action that the ACLU has chosen to fight on First Amendment grounds, notes Nat Parry.

Seeing the Stasi Through NSA Eyes

Former National Security Agency official William Binney (foreground) and other veteran intelligence professionals watching a video feed from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. (Photo credit: Silkie Carlo)

In January when former Western intelligence officials, including from the U.S. National Security Agency, toured the old offices of East Germany’s Stasi, it was a look back into a dystopian past but also a chilling reminder of how far modern surveillance has come in the past quarter century, writes Silkie Carlo.

Curbs on Surveillance State Urged

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

In the post 9/11 era, the U.S. government vastly expanded its surveillance of nearly everyone on earth, even U.S. citizens, brushing aside constitutional protections in the name of security. A group of intelligence veterans urges reform of those practices to protect privacy and to stop the waste of resources. 

The Mystery of the Civil War’s Camp Casey

A U.S. Colored Troop soldier in the Civil War.

Special Report: During the Civil War’s final years, a Union base in Northern Virginia trained hundreds of African-American soldiers to fight to end slavery, one of only a few such bases inside a Confederate state. But Camp Casey has nearly disappeared from history, a mystery examined by Chelsea Gilmour.

Giving Obama Even More War Powers

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As much as Republicans hate President Obama, their love of war seems to be winning out as they ratchet up his request for powers to attack the Islamic State, another sign that the Founders’ vision of restraining armed conflicts is being lost, as Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland notes.

Shocked over Senate’s Gitmo Rhetoric

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation."

A citizen who attended a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about Guantanamo Bay was so shocked by the ugly rhetoric from some senators that she spoke up and was arrested. Now in an open letter, Helen Schietinger is asking Sen. McCain to use his chairmanship to finally close the prison.

President Gollum’s ‘Precious’ Secrets

Gollum, a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings fantasy novels.

Exclusive: Despite promises of “openness,” President Obama has treated information that could inform American democracy like Tolkien’s character Gollum coveted his “precious” ring. Obama is keeping for himself analyses that could change how the public sees the crises in Syria and Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

How a Classic Movie Fueled US Racism

A scene from "The Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith's 1915, silent movie classic, depicting the "renegade Negro," Gus, played by white actor Walter Long in blackface, in the hands of the Klan. (Photo credit: Museum of Modern Art, Film Stills Archive.)

A century ago, there was a surge in lynching and other white racist violence against blacks across the American South, combined with a burst in Confederate pride, actions and attitudes fueled by the widely proclaimed movie, “The Birth of a Nation,” as William Loren Katz recalls.