Human Rights


The Not So Land of the Free

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. (Photo credit: Steve Vance)

The United States may be the least self-aware nation on earth, condemning other countries for repressive policies and calling itself the “land of the free” while locking up citizens in staggering numbers often for minor, non-violent offenses, as anti-war activist Kathy Kelly sees while serving time in federal prison.

Guiding Obama into Global Make-Believe

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Exclusive: The Orwellian concept of “information warfare” holds that propaganda can break down enemies and decide geopolitical outcomes, a strategy that has taken hold of the U.S. government’s approach to international crises, especially the Ukraine showdown, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

In Venezuela, Who’s Threatening Whom?

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. (Photo credit: Valter Campanato/ABr)

In Official Washington, the land of scary make-believe, there is much snorting disbelief about Venezuela’s claim that the U.S. is encouraging a coup and much grave concern that Venezuela represents an “extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security, as President Obama says and Ted Snider analyzes.

LBJ’s ‘X’ File on Nixon’s ‘Treason’

National Security Adviser Walt Rostow shows President Lyndon Johnson a model of a battle near Khe Sanh in Vietnam. (U.S. Archive Photo)

From the Archive: The letter to Iran from 47 Republicans senators, seeking to kill President Obama’s talks on limiting Iran’s nuclear program, recalls other GOP sabotage of foreign policy by Democratic presidents, including Richard Nixon’s scheme to stop a Vietnam peace deal in 1968, as Robert Parry wrote in 2012.

How ‘Free Markets’ Defame ‘Democracy’

The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Exclusive: Venezuela seems to be following Ukraine on the neocon hit list for “regime change” as Washington punishes Caracas for acting against a perceived coup threat. But a broader problem is how the U.S. conflates “free markets” with “democracy,” giving “democracy” a bad name, writes Robert Parry.

Nuland’s Mastery of Ukraine Propaganda

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: In House testimony, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland blamed Russia and ethnic-Russian rebels for last summer’s shoot-down of MH-17 over Ukraine, but the U.S. government has not substantiated that charge. So, did Nuland mislead Congress or just play a propaganda game, asks Robert Parry.

Treading a Delicate Line on Israel

The Flag of Israel

A sensitive point in criticizing Israel over its persecution of the Palestinians is the need to separate the actions of that government from the Jewish people, many of whom also object to those repressive policies. One bungled case at UCLA raised accusations of anti-Semitism, as Lawrence Davidson describes.

The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism

Zacarias Moussaoui

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia, working mostly through Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, is trying to enlist the U.S. on the Sunni side of a regional war against Iran and the Shiites. But that alliance is complicated by Saudi princes who support al-Qaeda and other Sunni terrorists, as Daniel Lazare explains.

ACLU’s Strange Fight for ‘Redskin’ Trademark

Logo of the Washington Redskins football team.

The Washington Redskins football team makes millions of dollars on merchandise under the U.S. government’s trademark of the name, a revenue flow now threatened by a decision to revoke the protection on grounds of racism, an action that the ACLU has chosen to fight on First Amendment grounds, notes Nat Parry.

Equal Justice for Petraeus and Snowden?

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

The Justice Department’s decision to let ex-CIA Director Petraeus off with a hand slap for giving his mistress highly sensitive secrets raises questions about the harsh punishments meted out to lower-level leakers/truth-tellers — and the threat of a long prison term for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, writes Trevor Timm.