Human Rights

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Israel Seeks to Criminalize Criticism

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014. The meeting was described as chilly, reflecting the strained relationship between the two leaders. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Facing growing condemnation for anti-Palestinian racism, Israel has gone from accusing its critics of anti-Semitism to exploring ways to criminalize a boycott movement intended to create a real democracy for Jews and Arabs, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Obama’s Stupid Propaganda Stuff

President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Just last month, President Obama dispatched Secretary of State Kerry to secure Russian President Putin’s help in addressing the Syrian crisis and other world hotspots – but despite Putin’s agreement, Obama has reversed himself and is back hurling insults at the Russians, a troubling development, writes Robert Parry.

The Demonization of Iran

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

Ever since Iran made it on to the neocon “regime change” list, its actions have been put through the special prism of demonization that is reserved for U.S. “enemies.” Now, those exaggerations and distortions are obstructing an agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Israel’s ‘Legitimacy’ War

Israeli military commander Moshe Dayan (center) and his chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin (right) walking through Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. (Israeli archival photo)

There are legitimate questions about the legitimacy of Israel’s endless repression of the Palestinian people, but Israel and its backers have now declared such questions illegitimate as they mount a new propaganda war against Israel’s “delegitimization,” says John V. Whitbeck.

Right-Wing Assault on the Constitution

U.S. Supreme Court

The right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court claims to believe in “originalism,” what the Constitution’s Framers intended. Yet, partisanship often trumps this supposed principle, including a case that could redefine “representation” to apply only to “voters,” as William John Cox explains.

On TV, the Enemy We’ve Met

The two lead characters in Showtime's original "Homeland" series, Nicholas Brody and Carrie Mathison.

Exclusive: Popular TV shows can reflect the public mood, especially when they address existing fears like the “War on Terror.” Attitudes evolved from the post-9/11 revenge fantasies of “24” to the more ambivalent narratives of “Homeland” and even historical spy series like “The Americans,” says Patrick Cribben.

Killing the Black Panthers

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In the 1960s, the U.S. government – as well as state and local authorities – waged a war against the Black Panthers and other militants who were challenging white racism. The repression included sabotage and outright murder, a grim reality recalled in a new documentary, writes David Finkelstein.

Obama’s Big Lie on Syria

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Despite the risk that Syria’s Christians, Alawites and Shiites will be slaughtered by Sunni extremists, the Obama administration is backing the Saudi-Israeli demand for “regime change” in Damascus, including tweeting bogus accusations linking Syria’s secular regime to ISIS, writes Daniel Lazare.

The Oversold ‘USA Freedom Act’

Photo of (left to right) Kirk Wiebe, Coleen Rowley, Raymond McGovern, Daniel Ellsberg, William Binney, Jesselyn Radack, and Thomas Drake by Kathleen McClellan (@McClellanKM) via Twitter

Some civil liberties groups praised the USA Freedom Act for its modest nips at the Surveillance State, but whistleblowers from inside the U.S. government were more skeptical about the law’s very slight accomplishments, writes Norman Solomon.

PBS Gets in Line on Syrian War

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PBS’s “Frontline” has long sought to position itself within the elite conventional wisdom – following the lead of liberal interventionists at the New Yorker and the New York Times – while also careful not to provoke the wrath of powerful politicians. So it marched in lockstep on Syria, as Rick Sterling explains.