Human Rights

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Finding a Way to Execute

A gurney used for  executions by lethal injection.

In a Red State like Oklahoma, the death penalty is politically popular, especially among Republican politicians looking over their shoulders at possible Tea Party challengers. So the state government is taking no chances that a couple of inmates escape execution, writes Richard L. Fricker.

The Danger of False Narrative

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: Like a decade ago with Iraq, Official Washington’s pundits and pols are locked shoulder-to-shoulder in a phalanx of misguided consensus on Ukraine, presenting a false narrative that is taking U.S. policy into dangerous directions, writes Robert Parry.

Sheldon Adelson’s Own GOP Primary

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Part of Ukraine’s crisis stems from the political power of 10 “oligarchs,” billionaires in a society with vast income inequality. It is a future that Americans seem headed toward, as one U.S. “oligarch,” Sheldon Adelson, picks his Republican presidential favorite, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Tolerating Saudi Arabia’s Intolerance

King Abdullah, the ailing monarch of Saudi Arabia whose country is playing a power game with its oil.

The U.S. government insists that it abides by principles of international law, democracy and respect for national sovereignty, but its actions often belie its words, with the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s monarchy a stark example of the hypocrisy, writes Lawrence Davidson.

The Pampered, Delusional Rich

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

America’s rich, who are consolidating more and more of the nation’s wealth in their own hands and giving less and less back, see themselves as “victims” of class envy, and some billionaires even liken their plight to the Holocaust, a stunning deviation from reality, notes Michael Winship.

Obama Ensnared in Bush’s Abuses

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)

President Obama’s fateful decision – after winning the 2008 election to seek “continuity” rather than “change” and “to look forward, not backward” – has trapped him in a web of constitutional abuses that began in the Bush-43 presidency and extended into his own, as Coleen Rowley describes.

Israel’s War Against ‘BDS’ Movement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2014.

The boycott aimed at Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands emerged as a peaceful way to challenge Israel’s abuse of Palestinians, replacing violent acts that killed civilians. But Israel’s lobby has now made the so-called BDS movement a target of its political muscle, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

Changing Israel from Without

Israeli author and academic Ilan Pappe.

For decades, one-sided support for Israel distorted U.S. perceptions and policies in the Middle East. Only recently has the pro-Zionist narrative faced significant challenge, including protests against the abuse of Palestinians from Israeli dissidents like Ilan Pappe, who spoke with Dennis J Bernstein.

Russia’s Countermove in Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani talks by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 18, 2013, discussing developments in the talks between Tehran and the world powers as well as ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. (Iranian government photo)

Neocons hoped the Ukraine-Crimea crisis, which they encouraged, would drive a spike into the Obama-Putin collaboration and restore neocon dreams of a U.S. military attack on Iran. But the scheme could instead push Russia and Iran closer together, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Debating Secrecy vs. a Free Press

New York Times national security reporter James Risen, author of the new book, Pay Any Price.

The U.S. government’s campaign against “leakers” has pushed together some odd media bedfellows, with representatives of the mainstream news media joining with more active players who help disseminate government secrets in a conference on the dangers now facing a free press, as Danny Schechter observed.