After a terrorist attack – like Benghazi or the Boston Marathon – the press, pols and much of the public decry the failure to prevent the violence, but the mood shifts amid disclosures of intrusive means to counter threats. This ambivalence can put government officials in an impossible spot, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Republicans and their Tea Party allies are plotting one more frenzied assault on the Affordable Care Act by disrupting congressional townhall meetings and possibly holding the full-faith-and-credit of the United States hostage. But the madness may just expose how crazy the GOP has become, writes Beverly Bandler.
Though Israeli leaders and U.S. neocons still beat the drum for war on Iran, new evidence suggests top Iranian officials did not sanction nuclear weapons research a decade ago but rather the work originated from scientists who resisted the will of political leaders to shut it down, Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.
The choice of the next Fed chairman will have a big impact on the U.S. and world economies. But President Obama appears tempted to pick a safe retread like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers though some progressives hope his choice will be less beholden to Wall Street, as William Greider told Dennis J Bernstein.
Getting Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table may be a diplomatic accomplishment but it can’t be an end in itself. And while no one has lost money betting against an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, there are some reasons that the odds are better this time, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Tough-guy-ism is still a powerful ideology in the U.S. Congress, where House members just voted to ratchet up sanctions on Iran even as its new leadership is eager to reach an accommodation with the West on its nuclear program. This behavior raises questions in Iran about America’s real goal, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Anti-government extremists of the American Right continue to insist that concern about global warming is some sort of “statist” plot as they block policies to address the worsening crisis and slash funds needed to respond to its effects like deadly wildfires, as Michael Winship explains.
Secretary of State John Kerry got an agreement for renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks, but Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel not only keep much of the Occupied Territories but be formally recognized as a Jewish state precludes a just resolution for the Arab people of Palestine and promises continued resistance, as Lawrence Davidson explains.
Exclusive: The Obama administration continues to compound the diplomatic mess around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The latest blunder was announcing that the U.S. wouldn’t torture or execute Snowden, a reminder to the world how far Official Washington has strayed from civilized behavior, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
President George W. Bush famously mocked questions about international law with fake horror and the response, “I better call my lawyer!” But the rule of law is under broader assault within the U.S. government, now centered on whether to call Egypt’s military coup a coup, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.