Constitution

A Vague War Declaration on ISIS

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

President Obama has tossed Congress a draft resolution on using force against Islamic State militants but the vague language is something of a hot potato that neither the White House nor Congress is comfortable with, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Lynching and Jeff Davis Highway

A Civil War-era African-American soldier and his family. (Photo credit: Encyclopedia Virginia)

Exclusive: Many parts of the South, including Arlington, Virginia, just outside the U.S. capital, still honor Confederate President Jefferson Davis by attaching his name to important roadways. But a recent study on lynching puts the motive for honoring that white supremacist in a sickening new light, writes Robert Parry.

‘Christianists’ Howl at Obama’s Truth-telling

President Barack Obama addresses the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Though founded by a pacifist who spoke for the oppressed, Christianity has contributed to more wars, injustices and genocides – in all corners of the world – than any other religion. But President Obama’s glancing reference to this reality prompted howls of protests, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

A Peace Activist in Federal Prison

The aging federal facilities in Lexington, Kentucky, which include a prison for women. (Photo: Bureau of Prisons)

The U.S. incarcerates its people at the highest rates in the world and many times what other developed nations do, including citizens who engage in non-violent protests against America’s war policies, as Kathy Kelly experienced both in her youth and now as she returned to the same aging prison in Kentucky.

Finding Creative Ways to Torture

George W. Bush taking the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001. (White House photo)

After World War II, Americans led the way in establishing landmark human rights principles, including a repudiation of torture. But more recent U.S. leaders have chosen to disgrace those ideals by devising euphemisms and end-runs to continue the barbaric practices, as Peter Costantini describes.

When Silencing Dissent Isn’t News

Ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern crying out in pain while being arrested on Oct. 30, 2014, in New York City. (A screenshot via The Dissenter at firedoglake.com)

Exclusive: The criminal case against ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern for “resisting arrest” when he was denied entry to a public speech by retired Gen. David Petraeus appears to be nearly over, but the image of police brutally shielding the mighty from a citizen’s question remains troubling, writes Robert Parry.

Convicting Sterling to Chill Whistleblowing

Courtroom sketch of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling by Debra Van Poolen (http://www.debvanpoolen.com/)

In the cause of protecting government secrets, the CIA and Justice Department made an example of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling by convicting him of exposing a dubious covert operation without presenting clear-cut evidence that he did, a chilling message to others, notes Norman Solomon.

Examining the Stasi, Seeing the NSA

The Stasi museum in Berlin. (Photo credit: Prof. Quatermass)

Exclusive: For many years, the East German Stasi was viewed as the most totalitarian of intelligence services, relentlessly spying on its citizens during the Cold War. But the Stasi’s capabilities pale in comparison to what the NSA can now do, notes former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

Entangling the US in a War with Iran

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since the early days of the Republic, foreign countries have sought to entangle the United States in their wars with some Americans collaborating in those efforts. Today, that country is Israel as it works with Republicans to expand hostilities toward Iran, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Why FDR Matters Now More Than Ever

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a press conference.

On the 133rd anniversary of his birth, Franklin Roosevelt remains a relevant figure for America, the president who gave meaning to the Constitution’s mandate to “provide for the … general Welfare” — and who is still a target for those who made “free markets” their god and “guv-mint” their devil, writes Beverly Bandler.