President Obama’s choice of Sen. John Kerry to be Secretary of State puts a former Vietnam veteran who spoke out against the war in a key U.S. foreign policy position. Kerry’s long career also suggests Obama wants the world to know that he will emphasize diplomacy in his second term, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Zero Dark Thirty, the big-screen chronicling of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, has been hailed by some critics for its taut storytelling, but it fails to confront the larger questions about 9/11, including the complex history between the CIA and its target, writes Jim DiEugenio.
Exclusive: The neocons — stung by their loss of Washington influence – are trying to reestablish their clout by disqualifying former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the new Defense Secretary. But their haste in charging off after Hagel’s scalp may lead the neocons into a dangerous last stand, writes Robert Parry.
From the Archive: A State Department inquiry found serious lapses in security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died in an assault last Sept. 11. But the CIA’s connection is still downplayed, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman noted last month.
Former Sen. Chuck Hagel and his possible nomination to be Secretary of Defense are under fierce attack from Washington’s neocons and the Israel Lobby. But the tawdriness of the smears creates a chance for President Obama to stand up to this public intimidation, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Gen. David Petraeus was so cozy with neocon think-tankers that he ensconced two of them in his Afghan War command and granted them top-secret access to U.S. military policy. One later leveraged Petraeus’s friendship to impress military contractors for funding support, writes Robert Parry.
Repercussions from the disastrous Iraq War continue to reverberate through the Middle East, now with battle-hardened jihadists crossing into Syria and taking a key role in that civil war. A U.S. attempt to isolate them with a terrorist designation is likely to fail, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Israel and its apologists react in fury when anyone likens the oppression of Palestinians to South Africa’s white supremacist system of apartheid toward blacks, but the comparison is growing harder and harder to dispute, a disturbing reality that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar examines.
It may appear that Japanese voters have opted for a “back-to-the-future” election, reinstalling Shinzo Abe and his once-dominant Liberal Democratic Party to power. But the move reflects a desire to move forward out of Japan’s economic rut, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Behind the scenes, Iran says it’s willing to offer more assurances that it really isn’t building a nuclear bomb, but Israel and many of its U.S. congressional allies keep pushing for a nasty showdown. The dynamic is now impeding President Obama’s ability to defuse the crisis, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.