Human Rights

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Obama at a Crossroad of War or Peace

President Barack Obama uncomfortably accepting the Nobel Peace Prize from Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009. (White House photo)

Exclusive: The dramatic spread of Sunni extremism into the heart of Iraq may force President Obama to finally make a choice between simply extending a slightly less violent Bush Doctrine and charting his own innovative course in the name of peace, Robert Parry writes.

Treating Snowden as a ‘Personality’

Vanity Fair graphic accompanying its profile of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The mainstream U.S. media prefers personalities over substance, so it was perhaps not a surprise that its focus at the first anniversary of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks was on his alleged peculiarities, not the frightening prospect of a Big Brother state, says ex-State Department official William R. Polk.

Learning No Lessons About War

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

Americans like to think of themselves as a peace-loving people but their record has been one of war-making with the pace of interventions picking up in recent decades as the U.S. military and intelligence services are dispatched around the world, notes ex-State Department official William R. Polk.

America’s Dangerous Mideast Illusions

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (with First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush) walk to a White House event on May 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

America’s neocon-driven interventions in the Middle East have combined to create what is shaping up as a geopolitical disaster, with U.S.-backed “regime changes” contributing to victories by Saudi-funded Sunni extremists, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.

Why Take the Neocons Seriously?

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The Sunni extremist offensive into central Iraq appears to have stalled, but the political battle rages in Washington where neocons see an opening to pressure President Obama into recommitting the U.S. military in support of neocon goals in the Middle East, writes Robert Parry.

Overreacting to the Iraq Crisis

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica J. Wilkes)

The new hysteria gripping Official Washington is over the collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of an offensive by Islamic militants. But the threat is not as extreme as some opinion leaders are describing, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How NSA Can Secretly Aid Criminal Cases

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Though the NSA says its mass surveillance of Americans targets only “terrorists,” the spying may turn up evidence of other illegal acts that can get passed on to law enforcement which hides the secret source through a ruse called “parallel construction,” writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Blaming Obama for Iraq’s Chaos

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, in the Oval Office, Sept. 13, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: As Islamic militants gain ground in Iraq, Official Washington’s neocons and the mainstream media are blaming President Obama for ending the U.S. military occupation, but they ignore their own role in destabilizing Iraq with the 2003 invasion, Robert Parry reports.

Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

Daniel Ellsberg on the cover of Time after leaking the Pentagon Papers

The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. history but not as many people may think. In defeat, the national security state changed the narrative into one that made American soldiers the victims and made anti-war activists into traitors who spat on returning soldiers, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

An Ignored Pre-9/11 Warning on Spying

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One year after NSA contractor Edward Snowden began exposing the U.S. government’s surveillance capabilities, Europe and other targets are still reeling from the revelations. But a little-noticed report in summer 2001 offered an early warning, says Dutch IT expert Arjen Kamphuis.