Obama Administration

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The Upside-Down Policy on Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Despite the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects, the Obama administration continues the fiction that any Palestinian appeal to the UN somehow threatens those non-existent talks, while Republicans vow to sync U.S. policies even more in line with Israeli demands, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

In Defense of a CIA Whistleblower

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

The mainstream U.S. news media sometimes rallies to the defense of a reporter who is pressured to reveal a source but not so much for the brave whistleblower who is the target of government retaliation. Such is the case for ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, writes Norman Solomon.

The Political Imperative to Be Reckless

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The overarching “strategic” ideology in Official Washington is “tough-guy-ism,” with politicians fearful of being called “weak,” a public-relations threat that drives even cautious leaders into reckless military actions, as occurred with President Obama in the war on the Islamic State, as Gareth Porter explains.

Rebuilding the Obama-Putin Trust

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Exclusive: Heading into the last quarter of his presidency, Barack Obama must decide whether he will let the neocons keep pulling his strings or finally break loose and pursue a realistic foreign policy seeking practical solutions to world problems, including the crisis with Russia over Ukraine, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Bush’s Enduring Theories of Martial Law

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

The failure to hold anyone accountable for torture derives from extraordinary post-9/11 legal theories that made the President all-powerful during “wartime” and established what amounted to martial law in the United States, a condition that continues to this day, writes retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

A Disappointing ‘Selma’ Film

selma-movie

Exclusive: At a moment when voting and other civil rights are under attack in America, a new movie “Selma” recounts the struggle, led by Martin Luther King Jr., to secure the African-American right to vote. But the film falls short in both telling key facts and conveying the drama, says James DiEugenio.

The Oil-Crash Diplomatic Mirage

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Rome, Italy, on Dec. 14, 2014. (State Department photo)

Official Washington’s latest “group think” is that the drop in oil prices will bring Russia and Iran to their knees ready to do whatever the U.S. demands. But this analysis is a miscalculation that could cause President Obama to miss diplomatic opportunities to resolve disputes, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A ‘Cordial Rivalry’ for US and Iran?

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

America’s neocons remain dug in against normalizing U.S. relations with Iran — as Israel’s hardline leadership still places Iran at the top of its enemies list — but Iranian leaders appear willing to transform decades of anti-U.S. hostility into a “cordial rivalry,” writes Trita Parsi.

A Special Look-back at 2014

A New Year's scene over Sydney, Australia

At Consortiumnews, we combine reporting on current events with the historical context that gives those events meaning, a context that is often lacking in the mainstream media. So a selection of our stories from 2014 offers an intriguing way to look back – and to understand – the pivotal events of the year just ended.

The Islamic State Stumbles

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative, known as Jihadi John and identified as Mohammed Emwazi, the target of a drone attack that the Pentagon announced on Thursday.

Last summer, there was widespread hysteria across Official Washington over the seemingly unstoppable expansion of the brutal Islamic State – and handwringing over President Obama’s limited military response – but the jihadist momentum now shows signs of stalling, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.