Obama Administration


US Confusion over the Syrian War

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Official Washington is in a tizzy over Russia’s decision to join the fight in Syria to defeat Al Qaeda and ISIS, though one might have thought the U.S. would welcome Moscow’s help. But there are other factors, including the wishes of Israel and Saudi Arabia, complicating matters, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Donald Trump’s Nativist Impulse

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The anti-immigrant focus of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reminds historian Bernard A. Weisberger of shameful past eras that conflict with America’s self-image as a place of refuge for people from many lands.

US Intel Vets Decry CIA’s Use of Torture

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Torture defenders are back on the offensive publishing a book by ex-CIA leaders rebutting a Senate report that denounced the brutal tactics as illegal, inhumane and ineffective. Now, in a memo to President Obama, other U.S. intelligence veterans are siding with the Senate findings and repudiating the torture apologists.

A Challenge to Neoliberal Orthodoxy

Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Great Britain's Labour Party.

Conventional thinkers say Jeremy Corbyn’s election to head Britain’s opposition Labour Party and Bernie Sanders’s surge against Hillary Clinton are passing fancies that will fade as the summer ends, but Nicolas J S Davies sees the hope for an inspiring new politics.

Who’s to Blame for Syria Mess? Putin!

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s new “group think” is to blame Russia’s President Putin for the Syrian crisis, although it was the neocons and President George W. Bush who started the current Mideast mess by invading Iraq, the Saudis who funded Al Qaeda, and the Israelis who plotted “regime change,” says Robert Parry.

US War Theories Target Dissenters

Some of the original detainees jailed at the Guantanamo Bay prison, as put on display by the U.S. military.

Exclusive: In the Orwellian world of Official Washington, the U.S. government is now wedded to the theory of “information warfare,” meaning that Americans who challenge national security policy may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents” under the new Law of War doctrine, retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce writes.

Ellsberg Seeks Justice for Vanunu

A photograph of a control room at Israel's Dimona nuclear weapons plant in the 1980s. (Photograph taken by nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who was later kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel as punishment for revealing its secret nuclear arsenal.)

Famed Defense Department whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says Israel should cease its nearly three-decade-old persecution of Mordechai Vanunu, the former nuclear technician who exposed the existence of Israel’s clandestine nuclear program in 1986 and was jailed for 18 years.

‘Regime Change’ Strategy Spreads Chaos

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

Official Washington’s “regime change” strategy for governments that have somehow gotten on the “enemies list” is now threatening to destabilize not just the Mideast and Africa but Europe as well, yet there is little indication that these policies will change, as Nat Parry describes.

On Syria, Incoherence Squared

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama's State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: In the up-is-down world of Official Washington, everyone condemns Russia for aiding Syria’s internationally recognized government but stays mum on Saudi Arabia and other U.S. “allies” arming Al Qaeda and various terrorists fighting the Syrian government, an incoherence examined by Daniel Lazare.

Neocons Blame Obama for Syria

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Neocons are so obsessed with their dream of Syrian “regime change” that they are castigating President Obama for not sharing their hallucination of nearly invisible “moderates” taking power when the near-certain result would be a victory for Sunni terrorists, as Jonathan Marshall explains.