Lost History

Unjust Aftermath: Post-Noriega Panama

As an example of a U.S.-trained military officer gone bad, Gen. Manuel Noriega is escorted onto a U.S. Air Force aircraft by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency after his arrest on Jan. 1, 1990. (U.S. military photo)

Special Report: Twenty-four years ago, the United States invaded Panama to capture Gen. Manuel Noriega on drug charges. Operation Just Cause promised the country a new day free of dictatorship and drug-tainted corruption, but it didn’t work out that way, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

Behind Colin Powell’s Legend: Panama War

U.S. Army Rangers assault La Comandancia, headquarters of the Panamanian Defense Force, in the El Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City during the invasion of Panama,  December 1989. (U.S. military photo)

From the Archive: Though largely forgotten, the brief U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 established key precedents that would reappear in later conflicts – from the Persian Gulf and Kosovo to Afghanistan and Iraq – policies shaped, in part, by Gen. Colin Powell, as Robert Parry and Norman Solomon wrote in 1996.

Contras, Dirty Money and CIA

Vice President George H.W. Bush meeting with Panamanian Gen. Manuel Noriega in the mid-1980s.

From the Archive: On Dec. 20, 1989, President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama to arrest Gen. Manuel Noriega on drug charges. The U.S. news media viewed the assault as a case of Bush seeking justice, but there was a darker back story of U.S. guilt, as Robert Parry reported in 1997.

If You Believe the Government, ‘You’re Stupid’

Longtime CBS News correspondent Morley Safer.

Americans are taught the myth that their democracy is safeguarded by an independent press. But the government and other powerful entities have long mastered the art of manipulating the major media, even to the point of bluntly telling reporters the facts of life, as Jon Schwarz recalls.

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

The Blacklisting of Noam Chomsky

Author Noam Chomsky.

An odd aspect of modern American life is that even with 24-hour news and its roster of blathering pundits, many creative thinkers with valuable insights are blacklisted from mainstream media, perhaps most notably Noam Chomsky who turned 85 on Dec. 7, as Jeff Cohen reflects.

What Mandela Did and Didn’t Do

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013. (White House photo)

While an inspiring tale of resilience and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela’s saga also marked a failure of black South Africans to transform their hard-won political power into economic equality, as domestic and foreign whites retained the reins of money, as Danny Schechter writes.

The 2nd Amendment and Killing Kids

President James Madison, an architect of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but also a Virginia slave owner.

From the Archive: The comedy team Key and Peele cut through the Right’s Second Amendment madness best in a bit in which Peele travels back in time with Uzis to confront its authors over their careless wording. But there is nothing funny about piles of dead kids, victims of bad history, as Robert Parry wrote…

Fresh Doubts about Syria’s Sarin Guilt

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Exclusive: A new analysis, buried in a UN report, reveals that one of the two missiles at the center of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, which nearly led to a U.S. military attack, showed no evidence of Sarin, further undermining Official Washington’s certainty that the Syrian government was to blame, reports Robert Parry.

Racism Through Rose-Colored Glasses

President Theodore Roosevelt

Many Americans tend to whitewash their country’s ugly history of racism – all the better to feel good about “exceptionalism” – but even sophisticated writers can ignore this grim reality when praising their favored presidents, as William Loren Katz explains.