Some of our special stories in August followed the strange twists and turns of Campaign 2012, the prospects for war with Iran, and the role of government in improving lives and solving problems.
The Obama administration’s plan to remove a group of violent Iranian émigrés from the U.S. terror list suggests a readiness to pursue the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend strategy that put the United States on the side of Osama bin Laden and Islamic extremists in Afghanistan in the 1980s, says ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
The neocons – despite the disastrous Iraq War and other harm they have caused – remain influential in Official Washington, given time on talk shows and space on op-ed pages to expound on their latest dreams of American intervention in the Middle East. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar asks, why are they still listened…
Exclusive: The new conventional wisdom, in the wake of angry protests roiling the Middle East, is that Muslims are either way too sensitive or irrational. How else to explain the fury over an offensive anti-Islam video? But the video was just the spark that ignited a long-smoldering fire, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Simplistic journalism, especially about misunderstood parts of the world and complex conflicts, can do grave harm by reinforcing biases or deepening anger. The U.S. news media has demonstrated this point with its coverage of the current Middle East unrest, writes Erin Niemela.
Exclusive: The major U.S. news media continues its biased coverage of the Israel-Iran standoff, tilting consistently in favor of Israel, in part, by ignoring Israel’s actual nuclear arsenal and hyping Iran’s hypothetical one. Even a rare wrist-slap from the Washington Post’s ombudsman has had no effect, writes Robert Parry.
Exclusive: The Right’s imposing media/political machine is facing a tough test. Can it put an unappealing Republican in the White House by using false propaganda and by systematically suppressing the votes of minorities? The outcome may define the future of American democracy, says Robert Parry.
Fact-checking Campaign 2012 has become more than a fulltime job, but one danger is to apply false equivalence as fact-checkers protect their “credibility” by blaming both sides equally. That ignores the fact that some people lie more than others and some of the lies are bigger, notes William Boardman.
From the Archive: The death of Rev. Sun Myung Moon at 92 ends the long personal saga of a Korean theocrat whose life intertwined his bizarre religion with threads into organized crime and right-wing politics. Moon also showed how a fortune spent on media could change Washington’s political dynamic, as Robert Parry wrote in 2010.
Exclusive: A new book, Watergate: The Hidden History, suggests Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa and a Cuban report on attempts to kill Fidel Castro played major roles in the scandal, but author Lamar Waldron relies on dubious evidence, strange theories and sketchy sources, writes James DiEugenio.