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Forgetting Why Al-Qaeda Spread

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Exclusive: Al-Qaeda extremism is resurgent across the Middle East with its affiliates seizing territory in western Iraq and in neighboring Syria. But the neocons are whitewashing their role in spreading this extremism via George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, reports Robert Parry.

Happy ‘News Year’: Decline of the ‘News’

new-year-fireworks

If presenting reality is the goal of news, the U.S. mainstream media strayed farther off course in 2013, lost in a self-defeating spiral of maintaining “credibility” by not challenging the powers-that-be – and thus losing the trust of the public, as Danny Schechter explains.

NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis

Secretary of State John Kerry (center) testifies on the Syrian crisis before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sept. 3, 2013. At the left of the photo is Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. and on the right is Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. No senior U.S. intelligence official joined in the testimony. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: For months, the “slam-dunk” evidence “proving” Syrian government guilt in the Aug. 21 Sarin attack near Damascus was a “vector analysis” pushed by the New York Times showing where the rockets supposedly were launched. But the Times now grudgingly admits its analysis was flawed, reports Robert Parry.

Gen. Michael ‘No Probable Cause’ Hayden

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the NSA.

Exclusive: Ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden, who once declared that “probable cause” is not part of the Fourth Amendment, is sure to hurl more stones at NSA leaker Edward Snowden, especially after a New York judge endorsed the NSA’s “metadata” as legal, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Did Manning Help Avert War in Iran?

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, standing up for Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.

From the Archive: President Obama’s diplomatic breakthrough with Iran on its nuclear program still faces strong resistance, but the historic opening might have been disrupted if not for the leaks of Pvt. Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, who got a 35-year prison sentence as “thanks,” as Robert Parry reported last summer.

Obama’s Not-So-Terrible Year

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington is giving a big thumb down to President Obama’s performance in 2013. But his diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East and even some of his troubles with Obamacare and the NSA could ultimately make the year a historic turning point, says Robert Parry.

The World Unites Behind Mandela

Nelson Mandela as a young African tribal leader.

President Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service got the most attention, but the worldwide praise for the revolutionary leader who fought South Africa’s white supremacy was more significant, says Danny Schechter.

Big-Money Politics Gains Ground

Anti-government crusader Grover Norquist.

The Right’s “war on government” – or perhaps put more accurately, its “war for unbridled corporate power” – continues to rack up victories, routing reformers who have tried to block big-money dominance of democracy, writes Michael Winship.

UN Investigator Undercuts NYT on Syria

Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, chief of the United Nations mission to inspect chemical weapons use in Syria, stands next to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon chemical weapons investiaSecretary-General speaks to correspondents before his meeting with Ǻke Sellström

Exclusive: Amid last summer’s rush to judgment on the Aug. 21 Sarin attack in Syria, the New York Times joined the stampede blaming the Assad regime by pushing a “vector analysis” showing where the rockets supposedly were launched, but now that certainty has collapsed, reports Robert Parry.

A History of False Fear

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s.

It’s always hard to get someone to speak honestly when his or her livelihood depends on not telling the truth. With the military-industrial-surveillance complex, that reality is multiplied by the billions of dollars and the many careers at stake, Joe Lauria writes.