Category: Human Rights

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Was Turkey Behind Syria Sarin Attack?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

From the Archive: As Washington pundits again demand Syrian President Assad’s ouster, a top talking point is that he “gassed his own people” in a Sarin attack in 2013. But that rush to judgment was picked apart by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh and others,…

Solitary Confinement Under Attack

The nine justices of U.S. Supreme Court before Antonin Scalia's death. The court is still awaiting Scalia's replacement.

One of the cruelest aspects of American prisons is the excessive use of solitary confinement, especially in “supermax” facilities, leaving inmates without normal human contact for years and even decades, a form of cruel punishment now under challenge in the…

The Crisis of ‘Regime Change Refugees’

Afghan commandos demonstrate their skills for U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Camp Morehead, Afghanistan, April 23, 2012. (Defense Department photo by D. Myles Cullen)

The West’s dominant prescription toward the crisis of war-torn regions and the destabilizing refugee flow that has followed is to have more “regime change,” particularly in Syria. But the reality is that the West’s fondness for violent “regime change” is…

Are Neocons an Existential Threat?

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post.

Exclusive: Despite a record of unprecedented error, American neocons remain the dominant foreign policy force in Official Washington, demanding more “regime change” in the Middle East and a new Cold War that could heat up and end all life on the…

How Russia Can Help in Syria

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on Sept. 13, 2013. (Photo credit: Press TV)

Despite Official Washington’s annoyance, the Russian involvement in Syria could work in favor of U.S. national interests by adding forces experienced in dealing with Islamic extremists and capable of restoring some stability, a prerequisite for a political settlement, writes ex-CIA…

US Confusion over the Syrian War

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Official Washington is in a tizzy over Russia’s decision to join the fight in Syria to defeat Al Qaeda and ISIS, though one might have thought the U.S. would welcome Moscow’s help. But there are other factors, including the wishes…

Donald Trump’s Nativist Impulse

President-elect Donald Trump

The anti-immigrant focus of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reminds historian Bernard A. Weisberger of shameful past eras that conflict with America’s self-image as a place of refuge for people from many lands.

US Intel Vets Decry CIA’s Use of Torture

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Torture defenders are back on the offensive publishing a book by ex-CIA leaders rebutting a Senate report that denounced the brutal tactics as illegal, inhumane and ineffective. Now, in a memo to President Obama, other U.S. intelligence veterans are siding with the Senate findings…

Who’s to Blame for Syria Mess? Putin!

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s new “group think” is to blame Russia’s President Putin for the Syrian crisis, although it was the neocons and President George W. Bush who started the current Mideast mess by invading Iraq, the Saudis who funded Al Qaeda,…

US War Theories Target Dissenters

Some of the original detainees jailed at the Guantanamo Bay prison, as put on display by the U.S. military.

Exclusive: In the Orwellian world of Official Washington, the U.S. government is now wedded to the theory of “information warfare,” meaning that Americans who challenge national security policy may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents” under the new Law of War doctrine, retired…