Obama Administration

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Treating Snowden as a ‘Personality’

Vanity Fair graphic accompanying its profile of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The mainstream U.S. media prefers personalities over substance, so it was perhaps not a surprise that its focus at the first anniversary of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks was on his alleged peculiarities, not the frightening prospect of a Big Brother state, says ex-State Department official William R. Polk.

How Iran Could Help on Iraq

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference in Iran. (Official Iranian photo)

If Official Washington were a place where sanity prevailed and true American national interests were protected, there would be calls for cooperation with Iran to address the crisis in Iraq, but that would upset a big part of the neocon agenda, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Learning No Lessons About War

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

Americans like to think of themselves as a peace-loving people but their record has been one of war-making with the pace of interventions picking up in recent decades as the U.S. military and intelligence services are dispatched around the world, notes ex-State Department official William R. Polk.

America’s Dangerous Mideast Illusions

President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush (with First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush) walk to a White House event on May 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

America’s neocon-driven interventions in the Middle East have combined to create what is shaping up as a geopolitical disaster, with U.S.-backed “regime changes” contributing to victories by Saudi-funded Sunni extremists, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.

Why Take the Neocons Seriously?

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: The Sunni extremist offensive into central Iraq appears to have stalled, but the political battle rages in Washington where neocons see an opening to pressure President Obama into recommitting the U.S. military in support of neocon goals in the Middle East, writes Robert Parry.

Iran Offers Scaled-Back Nuke Program

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

To seal a deal with world powers, Iran has agreed to structure its nuclear enrichment in ways only useful for generating electricity, but that still might not satisfy U.S. negotiators, writes Gareth Porter from Tehran for Inter Press Service.

Neocons Double-Down on Iraq/Syria

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

America’s neocons won’t let go of their Middle East delusions, now trying to leverage the worsening crisis in Iraq into an excuse to return U.S. forces to that tragic country while also escalating military involvement in Syria, a compounding of misjudgments, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Overreacting to the Iraq Crisis

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica J. Wilkes)

The new hysteria gripping Official Washington is over the collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of an offensive by Islamic militants. But the threat is not as extreme as some opinion leaders are describing, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How NSA Can Secretly Aid Criminal Cases

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Though the NSA says its mass surveillance of Americans targets only “terrorists,” the spying may turn up evidence of other illegal acts that can get passed on to law enforcement which hides the secret source through a ruse called “parallel construction,” writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

GOP Descent into Mindless Meanness

President Richard Nixon.

Since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” – a crass appeal to angry pro-segregationist whites – the Republican Party has descended into a political nastiness that has corroded the foundations of American democracy, a problem that Lawrence Davidson examines.