Category: Intelligence

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Attack Syria First, Get Facts Later

Secretary of State John Kerry delivering remarks on the crisis in Syria. (State Department photo)

Secretary of State Kerry’s move to shut down or preempt a UN probe of alleged chemical weapons attacks inside Syria suggests that the U.S. doesn’t want facts to undermine its case for launching a retaliatory strike, an attitude reminiscent of George…

US Hypocrisy on Laws of War

A Tomahawk cruise missile launches from the USS Shiloh against air defense targets in Iraq on Sept. 3, 1996, as part of Operation Desert Strike, a limited U.S. military engagement against Iraqi government forces similar to what is now contemplated for Syria. (DOD photo)

U.S. government officials concede that a barrage of cruise missiles against Syria could result in collateral civilian deaths, possibly exceeding the numbers allegedly killed by chemical weapons. Such an assault also would violate international law and risk widening the Syrian…

The Broader Stakes of Syrian Crisis

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Exclusive: Though some intelligence analysts still doubt that the Syrian government launched a chemical attack, the political momentum for a U.S. retaliatory strike may be unstoppable. But the broader framework of the crisis involves the Israeli-Iranian dispute and the future of…

A CIA Hand in an American ‘Coup’?

President Jimmy Carter.

Special Report: The U.S. government decries leaks, but the other side of the story is that key chapters of American history are hidden from the public for decades and maybe forever. The CIA has just admitted its 1953 Iran coup…

How Truth Can Save Lives

U.S. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning

From the Archive: A vengeful U.S. military has sentenced Pvt. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for disclosing unpleasant truths about the Afghan and Iraq wars and other government deceits. Manning’s bravery inspired ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern in 2010…

Making the World the ‘Enemy’

Former President George W. Bush

After 9/11, President George W. Bush turned to Civil War precedents to create military tribunals for trying alleged “terrorists.” But in applying those draconian rules to a worldwide battlefield, he created the nightmarish potential for a global totalitarianism, as retired…

Did Manning Help Avert War in Iran?

Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Exclusive: Government prosecutors are seeking 60 years in prison for Pvt. Bradley Manning as punishment for his release of classified documents. But little attention is being paid to the benefits from those disclosures, including how he may have helped prevent…

How Congress Overlooked NSA Spying

Edward Snowden, who revealed himself as the leaker of top-secret documents related to the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance. (Photo credit: the UK Guardian)

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…

Who Benefits from the Various ‘Wars’?

President Barack Obama addresses issues of government surveillance at a press conference in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 9, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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…

How US Hubris Baited Afghan Trap

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 1, 2011, watching developments in the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Neither played a particularly prominent role in the operation. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

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…