Category: Human Rights

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The CIA’s Bureaucracy of Torture

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

Bureaucratic inertia the CIA’s desire for bigger budgets and then its fear of negative consequences helped drive the torture program from its frantic start to its belated finish, as Gareth Porter explains.

The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga

Journalist Gary Webb holding a copy of his Contra-cocaine article in the San Jose Mercury-News.

From the Archive: It’s been a decade since the big U.S. newspapers hounded journalist Gary Webb to suicide because he exposed their failure to stop one of Ronald Reagan’s worst crimes: drug trafficking by the Nicaraguan Contras. The sordid saga finally was told…

How Reagan Enforced US Hypocrisy

President Ronald Reagan.

From the Archive: To understand why many right-wingers are so defensive about offensive U.S. acts, even waterboarding and anal rape, you must look back to the Reagan years when “moral equivalence” became an accusation against applying universal standards to the U.S.,…

How ‘Awesome’ Is America?

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros.

Exclusive: America has an extraordinary capacity to submerge unpleasant truths about its past and present, from African-American slavery and Native-American genocide to bloodbaths in Vietnam and Iraq. Now faced with clear evidence of torture, one cheerleader simply says the U.S. is…

What’s the Next Step to Stop Torture?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Exclusive: The grim details about the CIA’s torture techniques from waterboarding to “rectal rehydration” have overwhelmed the final defenses of the torture apologists. Now the question is what to do with this evidence and how to make sure this behavior…

Obama and the Truth Agenda

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The euphemism, “enhanced interrogations,” is finally fading amid truth-telling that President George W. Bush authorized — and the CIA engaged in — torture of “war on terror” detainees. The lack of a backlash to the stomach-turning new details also suggests that Americans…

Facing Realities of Race

Eric Garner, suspected of selling “loose cigarettes” who died when New York police placed him a chokehold and sat on his chest. (Image from Youtube)

Many white Americans think that racism is a problem of the past and that troubling realities like mass incarceration and murder rates for black and brown men as well as inferior government services in racially diverse communities have other explanations. But recent events…

Torture Report Exposes Sadism and Lies

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

The stunning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and other sadistic treatment meted out to “war on terror” detainees has shredded the credibility of CIA apologists who claimed the “enhance interrogations” were carefully calibrated and humane, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A.…

Rescuing Diplomacy in an Age of Demagogy

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

“Information warfare” is a new centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy, with demonizing an “enemy” the predictable first step sometimes toward actual war, as we’ve seen with Russian President Putin over Ukraine. But this propagandistic approach raises troubling philosophical questions about…

The New Republic’s Ugly Reality

Former New Republic owner Martin Peretz.

Exclusive: Mainstream pundits are outraged over a Silicon Valley barbarian riding in and defacing The New Republic, a temple to all that is wonderful about deep-thinking policymaking and long-form journalism. But the truth about the Washington-based magazine is much less honorable,…