Constitution

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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.

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.