Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs might have been avoided if more members of Congress had done their duty to stay informed about these classified activities, rather than get distracted by the fluff of politics, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
P.R. experts are skilled at framing policy debates in favorable though misleading ways, like the “war on terror” or the “war on drugs.” What gets shielded by this packaging are the unstated goals, interests and outcomes that would draw popular opposition if known, writes Arjen Kamphuis.
From the Archive: Even today – more than two decades after the Soviet Union disappeared – the Washington press corps views U.S.-Russian disputes through a one-way Cold War lens, with Moscow always at fault. But the reality is more complicated, as Robert Parry explained about Afghanistan in 2012.
Though it’s summer, Official Washington’s factionalism never takes a vacation. The neocons are in workaholic mode, claiming the precautionary closure of some U.S. embassies proves al-Qaeda remains a major threat, despite the fact that no terror attack has actually happened, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
“Defectors” are among the most unreliable intelligence sources since they have an obvious motive for discrediting their former governments, but still have been allowed outsized roles in whipping up hysteria against Iraq in 2003 and now against Iran, as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.
From the Archive: For years, “defectors” from “enemy” states have supplied the U.S. government and media with propaganda that is eagerly repeated to justify economic, diplomatic or even military retaliation. That was the case with Iraq in 2003 and now with Iran, as Robert Parry reported in 2012.
After a terrorist attack – like Benghazi or the Boston Marathon – the press, pols and much of the public decry the failure to prevent the violence, but the mood shifts amid disclosures of intrusive means to counter threats. This ambivalence can put government officials in an impossible spot, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Though Israeli leaders and U.S. neocons still beat the drum for war on Iran, new evidence suggests top Iranian officials did not sanction nuclear weapons research a decade ago but rather the work originated from scientists who resisted the will of political leaders to shut it down, Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.
Exclusive: During her seven years covering the Vietnam War, Beverly Deepe Keever broke through the male-dominated world of war reporting and nearly changed history with her discovery that Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign was sabotaging the Paris peace talks, notes Don North in his review of her memoir.
Exclusive: The Obama administration continues to compound the diplomatic mess around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The latest blunder was announcing that the U.S. wouldn’t torture or execute Snowden, a reminder to the world how far Official Washington has strayed from civilized behavior, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.