Intelligence

Cracking Down on Truth-telling

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)

President Obama entered office vowing to run a transparent government. But instead he has clamped down on leaks, prosecuted whistleblowers and threatened truth-telling journalists with jail if they don’t reveal sources, as Marcy Wheeler recounts.

A USS Liberty’s Hero’s Passing

USS Liberty (AGTR-5) receives assistance from units of the Sixth Fleet, after she was attacked and seriously damaged by Israeli forces off the Sinai Peninsula on June 8, 1967.  (US Navy photo)

Exclusive:  Silver Star winner Terry Halbardier, the hero who got off the SOS that saved the USS Liberty from Israeli destruction in 1967, died last week in California, prompting ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern to recall the murderous attack and the cowardly cover-up that followed.

The Berlin Wall and Missed Opportunities

A portion of the Berlin Wall as photographed in 1975, toward the east. (Photo credit: Edward Valachovic)

Exclusive: The U.S. State Department’s obsession with “information warfare” as a strategic weapon has made U.S. credibility one more casualty of the Ukraine crisis, along with any remaining trust in the mainstream U.S. media. It was not always thus, laments ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture

John Rizzo, who was acting General Counsel at the CIA during the first nine years of the "war on terror."

Official U.S. policy is to decry torture – at least when done by adversaries – but ambiguities abound when U.S. operatives do the torturing. Then, torture becomes debatable and its defenders go on TV talk shows and even get honors from universities, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

Still Tolerating Torture

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

President Obama admits that U.S. authorities engaged in torture during the “war on terror” but he has taken no action to hold the torturers accountable and even elevated one of its defenders, John Brennan, to chief of the CIA, notes William Blum.

Was Putin Targeted for Mid-Air Assassination?

A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.

Exclusive: Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down blames Russian President Putin, but some U.S. intelligence analysts think Putin, whose plane was flying nearby, may have been the target of Ukrainian hardliners who hit the wrong plane, writes Robert Parry.

The Long Reach of Vietnam War Deceptions

Scene from the Vietnam War

America’s war in Vietnam, which was authorized by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution a half century ago, had lasting consequences for the nation, including deeper public distrust of government and government’s determination to restrict the people’s right to know, as retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce explains.

How LBJ Was Deceived on Gulf of Tonkin

Dean Rusk, Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert McNamara in Cabinet Room meeting February 1968. (Photo credit: Yoichi R. Okamoto, White House Press Office)

As war hawks today push President Obama into more and more confrontations, there is an echo from a half century ago when Vietnam War hawks manipulated President Johnson into a bombing campaign in retaliation for the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident, as Gareth Porter recalls.

Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Exclusive: From magazine covers to pronouncements by top politicians, Official Washington jumped to the conclusion that Ukrainian rebels and Russia were guilty in the shoot-down of a Malaysian passenger plane. But some U.S. intelligence analysts may see the evidence differently, writes Robert Parry.

Obama Should Release Ukraine Evidence

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters on July 23, 2014, in Ramallah, West Bank. (U.S. government photo)

With the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine turning a local civil war into a U.S. confrontation with Russia, U.S. intelligence veterans urge President Obama to release what evidence he has about the tragedy and silence the hyperbole.