Establishment foreign policy writers Vali Nasr and David Ignatius have criticized President Obama for not listening more to supposed experts on world affairs — and concentrating decision-making in the White House – but some of those experts have suffered from their own groupthink, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Some neocons hope they softened up new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his bruising confirmation fight. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern suggests in these proposed “talking points” that Hagel stick to his principled reputation as someone who tells it like it is, regardless of political pressures.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski and other defenders of CIA Director-nominee John Brennan say they are reassured by his Jesuit education at Fordham that he must be well-grounded in moral philosophy. But two Fordham alumni, Scott McDonald and Ray McGovern, disagree in this open letter to Mikulski.
Exclusive: A half century ago, President Eisenhower warned the American people about the “unwarranted influence” of a Military-Industrial Complex, but that influence still managed to pervade U.S. politics and policies. In a new book, ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman takes stock of those changes, Robert Parry reports.
A decade ago, with neocons at the policy controls, the U.S. government was hell-bent on invading Iraq and few Washington power figures were brave enough to get in the way. A direct appeal to FBI Director Robert Mueller was one example of a warning falling on deaf ears, as ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley recalls.
From the Archive: The saying goes: “truth is the first casualty of war.” But it’s also true that war-time truth-tellers often end up as “collateral damage.” A new book, Inappropriate Conduct, tells the story of a World War II correspondent whose career was crushed by the intrigue he uncovered, as Don North reported in 2010.
Modest but real progress appears to have been made at the latest round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program, but that didn’t stop congressional war hawks in thrall to the Israel Lobby from seeking more sanctions and proposing a green light for an Israeli attack on Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
With the Iraq invasion’s tenth anniversary just days away, one of its darkest legacies is how the perpetrators escaped accountability and how the innocent and the truth-tellers suffered punishment, including Pfc. Bradley Manning who acknowledges trying to expose war crimes, writes Marjorie Cohn.
Israeli repression of the Palestinians and Palestinian resistance toward the Israelis have laid the groundwork for another possible outbreak of disorder, a new intifada, which would present challenges to both sides and to the Obama administration, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In the 1980s, the U.S. and its Saudi allies teamed up to funnel money and weapons to Afghan Islamists whose bloody “victory” set the stage for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Now, the same team is heading back to work supporting Sunni rebels in Syria, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland explains.