From the Archive: With the death of Ali al-Megrahi over the weekend, the Western press was again filled with references to him as the “Lockerbie bomber,” even though the New York Times finally conceded how dubious his conviction was. At Consortiumnews.com, William Blum made that point in real time.
With politicians wanting to look tough – and the public putting security over freedom – the “war on terror” has become an excuse to erode civil liberties, such as the freedom of association and the right to a fair trial. Yet, in the U.S. and Israel, pushback against repression won modest victories, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Exclusive: Even in death, Libyan Ali al-Megrahi is dubbed “the Lockerbie bomber,” a depiction that proved useful last year in rallying public support for “regime change” in Libya. But the New York Times now concedes, belatedly, that the case against him was riddled with errors and false testimony, as Robert Parry reports.
America’s founding myths are often wielded like clubs to batter political rivals, especially today by well-funded Libertarians. One such myth treats the Founders as “free market” ideologues, while another portrays them as militarily non-aggressive and anti-imperialist, a pleasing but false narrative, says historian Jada Thacker.
Israel has subjected thousands of Palestinians to detention without trial, a tactic that finally provoked a hunger strike and at least modest concessions from Israeli authorities regarding prison conditions, as described by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Perhaps the Right’s biggest advantage in U.S. politics is its advanced media infrastructure – built over several decades and designed to reach the entire country on a variety of levels – especially when it’s compared to the Left’s general neglect of a messaging system, an imbalance that Danny Schechter addresses.
The urgent question facing the planet is whether today’s late-capitalist era, possessed of unbridled greed at the top, can be turned to meet the needs of the world’s people or will hurtle onward to a global abyss, disrupting age-old patterns of life and bringing mass destruction, a crisis pondered by Phil Rockstroh.
Israeli hardliners continue to block the compromises for a two-state solution with the Palestinians, while Jewish settlements keep expanding into land that would be part of a possible deal. Thus, the prospect for a meaningful two-state solution is dying, with dire consequences for both Arabs and Jews, writes Lawrence Davidson.
By definition, “terrorism” applies to attacks on civilians for political ends. But the U.S. government has revised the term to cover any attack on Americans, including soldiers fighting anywhere in the world, a misuse of the concept that is hampering a deal to free a U.S. POW, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
As a privileged preppy, Mitt Romney enjoyed humiliating suspected gays and other vulnerable people. But his bullying didn’t stop when he grew older. Instead, he applied similar tactics to make a fortune as a corporate raider, writes Marjorie Cohn.