Intelligence

In Defense of a CIA Whistleblower

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

The mainstream U.S. news media sometimes rallies to the defense of a reporter who is pressured to reveal a source but not so much for the brave whistleblower who is the target of government retaliation. Such is the case for ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, writes Norman Solomon.

Bush’s Enduring Theories of Martial Law

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

The failure to hold anyone accountable for torture derives from extraordinary post-9/11 legal theories that made the President all-powerful during “wartime” and established what amounted to martial law in the United States, a condition that continues to this day, writes retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

A Special Look-back at 2014

A New Year's scene over Sydney, Australia

At Consortiumnews, we combine reporting on current events with the historical context that gives those events meaning, a context that is often lacking in the mainstream media. So a selection of our stories from 2014 offers an intriguing way to look back – and to understand – the pivotal events of the year just ended.

Murdoch, Scaife and CIA Propaganda

President Reagan meets with publisher Rupert Murdoch, U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick, lawyers Roy Cohn and Thomas Bolan in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)

Special Report: The rapid expansion of America’s right-wing media began in the 1980s as the Reagan administration coordinated foreign policy initiatives with conservative media executives, including Rupert Murdoch, and then cleared away regulatory hurdles, reports Robert Parry.

Udall Urged to Disclose Full Torture Report

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado.

Sen. Mark Udall has called for the full release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture. However, as a still-sitting member of Congress, he has a constitutional protection to read most of the still-secret report on the Senate floor — and a group of intelligence veterans urges him to do just that.

The Victory of ‘Perception Management’

President Ronald Reagan meeting with media magnate Rupert Murdoch in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983, with Charles Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency, the the background. (Credit: Reagan presidential library)

Special Report: In the 1980s, the Reagan administration pioneered “perception management” to get the American people to “kick the Vietnam Syndrome” and accept more U.S. interventionism, but that propaganda structure continues to this day getting the public to buy into endless war, writes Robert Parry.

‘Terrorism’ Hysteria over Sony Hack

A poster from Sony's "The Interview" starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

Some U.S. moviegoers say they are standing up to North Korean “cyber-terrorism” by going to see Sony’s “The Interview,” a comedy that makes light of assassinating real-life leader Kim Jong-un. But the furor over a retaliatory hack of Sony has the look of just the latest U.S. hysteria, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Dividing the CIA in Two

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

When created in 1947, the CIA was meant to coordinate objective intelligence and thus avert some future Pearl Harbor attack, but its secondary role – engaging in covert operations – came to corrupt its independence, a problem that must now be addressed, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

NSA’s Binney Honored for Integrity

Former National Security Agency official William Binney sitting in the offices of Democracy Now! in New York City. (Photo credit: Jacob Appelbaum)

Retired National Security Agency official William Binney, who challenged decisions to ignore the Fourth Amendment in the government’s massive — and wasteful — collection of electronic data, faced career and legal repercussions. Because of his courage, he is being honored by former intelligence officials.

The ‘Exceptionalism’ of US Torture

George W. Bush taking the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001. (White House photo)

Americans like to think of themselves as the ultimate “good guys” and anyone who gets in their way as a “bad guy.” Under this theory of U.S. “exceptionalism,” whatever “we” do must be moral or at least morally defensible, from sponsoring coups around the world to torture, as William Blum describes.