The Phony ‘Bad Intel’ Defense on Iraq

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)

Exclusive: Jeb Bush’s stumbling start to his presidential bid has refocused attention on Official Washington’s favorite excuse for the illegal, aggressive and disastrous war in Iraq – that it was just a case of “bad intelligence.” But that isn’t what the real history shows, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern recalls.

The Cruel Punishment of Jeffrey Sterling

Courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Sterling trial by Debra Van Poolen (

The Obama administration’s cruel war on whistleblowers won another round, getting a 42-month sentence meted out to ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling even as the prosecutors were glum that he wasn’t given an even more draconian prison term, as Norman Solomon explains.

The Bin Laden Murder Mystery

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

Seymour Hersh, a great journalist with superb sources and the courage to challenge conventional wisdom, has presented a counter-narrative of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but Hersh’s story – compelling in many respects, even to the New York Times – has some elements that stretch credulity, says John Gardner.

Punishing Another Whistleblower

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling.

Exclusive: Just weeks after ex-CIA Director David Petraeus got a no-jail-time wrist-slap for divulging secrets to his biographer/lover, ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling got 42 months in prison for allegedly alerting a U.S. journalist to a dubious covert op, a double standard of justice, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Failing to Hide Israel-Iran-Iraq Secrets

President Ronald Reagan with Secretary of State Alexander Haig and National Security Advisor Richard Allen during a meeting with Interagency Working Committee on Terrorism in the Cabinet Room on Jan. 26, 1981. (Photo from Reagan Library archives)

Exclusive: Many Americans think secret U.S. documents become public after, say, 30 years, but many are hidden indefinitely to conceal inconvenient truths that could enlighten public debate, as Robert Parry discovered in getting a redacted version of a “top secret” paper from 1981 that he had already found in unredacted form.

Saddam’s Green Light

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

From the Archive: An article from the first investigative series published at Consortiumnews in early 1996 revealed top-secret “talking points” used by Secretary of State Haig in 1981 to brief President Reagan about the Middle East, including an alleged U.S. “green light” for Iraq to invade Iran. Journalist Robert Parry found the document in old congressional files.

Papering Over Extra-Judicial Killings

A Predator drone firing a missile.

The Obama administration, like its predecessor, holds that the “exceptional” U.S. has the right to enter other countries to kill “terrorists,” but it would never tolerate, say, Cuba targeting CIA-trained terrorists harbored in Miami, one of many double standards posing as international law, as Coleen Rowley notes.

Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda

King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama is tolerating the smuggling of high-tech U.S. weapons to a Syrian rebel coalition led by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, as these Islamists — supported by the Saudis and other U.S. allies — mount a new offensive to topple the secular government in Damascus, as Daniel Lazare explains.

The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

Scene from the Vietnam War

Exclusive: Many reflections on America’s final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn’t the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects.

How Many Islamic State Fighters Are There?

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From the Archive: The mainstream U.S. media is marking the Vietnam War’s end 40 years ago with superficial remembrances that downplay the horror that the U.S. military inflicted on the Vietnamese. That prevents the real Vietnam lessons from illuminating today’s conflicts, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern noted in 2014.