Lost History

‘Group-Thinking’ the World into a New War

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

Exclusive: The armchair warriors of Official Washington are eager for a new war, this time with Russia over Ukraine, and they are operating from the same sort of mindless “group think” and hostility to dissent that proved so disastrous in Iraq, reports Robert Parry.

Why FDR Matters Now More Than Ever

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a press conference.

On the 133rd anniversary of his birth, Franklin Roosevelt remains a relevant figure for America, the president who gave meaning to the Constitution’s mandate to “provide for the … general Welfare” — and who is still a target for those who made “free markets” their god and “guv-mint” their devil, writes Beverly Bandler.

How Roy Cohn Helped Rupert Murdoch

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: Through Fox News and a vast media empire, Rupert Murdoch wields enormous political clout in the United States, but his entrée into the world of Washington power came from the notorious McCarthyite Roy Cohn who opened the door into Ronald Reagan’s Oval Office, reports Robert Parry.

NYT Is Lost in Its Ukraine Propaganda

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: One danger of lying is that you must then incorporate the falsehood into the longer narrative, somehow making the lies fit. The same is true of propaganda as the New York Times is learning as it continues to falsify the narrative of the Ukraine crisis, writes Robert Parry.

CIA Wants Its Reputation Back

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

The CIA doesn’t like to be portrayed as the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, so it has been using the leak trial of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling to insist that it really can shoot straight and indeed is brilliantly protecting America’s national security, writes Norman Solomon.

Jesus as Whistleblower

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Christian churches typically present the religious mythology about Jesus, as the supernatural Son of God who was sacrificed on the cross as atonement for man’s sins. But there is a more historical Jesus who instructed the poor about the injustices they faced and died for it, writes Rev. Howard Bess.

The West’s Help to Islamic Jihadists

In Afghanistan, U.S. Army Pfc. Sean Serritelli provides security outside Combat Outpost Charkh on Aug. 23, 2012. (Photo credit: Spc. Alexandra Campo)

Though Western leaders now lock arms in disgust over Islamic fundamentalism, the West’s actions – from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama – have often promoted the interests of jihadists from Afghanistan in the 1980s to Iraq in the 2000s to Libya and Syria in the 2010s, as William Blum recalls.

The CIA’s Prosecutorial Defense

Jose Rodriguez, former director of operations for the Central Intelligence Agency.

In the trial of alleged CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, the U.S. government appears more intent on burnishing the CIA’s tarnished reputation than proving Sterling’s guilt. The defendant almost looks to be collateral damage in this PR process, as Norman Solomon observes.

How Propaganda Conquers Democracy

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

In recent decades, the U.S. propaganda system has grown more and more sophisticated in the art of “perception management,” now enlisting not only government PR specialists but careerist journalists and aspiring bloggers to push deceptions on the public, a crisis in democracy that Nicolas J S Davies explores.

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, a powerful example of how dissenters have addressed injustice in America and given meaning to democracy.

From the Archive: Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect – even if only briefly – on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over his message is intense, pitting a bland conventional view against a radical call for profound change,…