Robert Gates’s Narcissistic ‘Duty’


The Inside-the-Beltway acclaim bestowed on Robert Gates is perhaps the clearest evidence of the failure of Washington’s media/political elite to recognize reality and impose accountability on incompetent or corrupt government officials, a point addressed by ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

Robert Gates Double-Crosses Obama

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 1, 2011, watching developments in the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Neither played a particularly prominent role in the operation. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is slamming President Obama in a new memoir, accusing him of lacking enthusiasm for the Afghan War. But perhaps Obama’s bigger mistake was trusting Gates, a Bush Family operative with a history of dirty dealing, writes Robert Parry.

The War on Poverty at 50

President Lyndon Johnson

The Right has long cited President Johnson’s War on Poverty as proof that “guv-mint” has no place in providing for “the general Welfare,” that the “free market” must rule as the master of American society. But there are real lessons to be learned from the past half century, writes Alice O’Connor.

Israel Lobby Takes Aim at Iran Deal

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois.

Official Washington’s neocons are still trying to derail a negotiated settlement with Iran over its nuclear program by imposing new sanctions and thus putting the U.S. on a course for war – as favored by Israel’s Likud. But this reality is hiding behind sophistry, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Happy ‘News Year’: Decline of the ‘News’


If presenting reality is the goal of news, the U.S. mainstream media strayed farther off course in 2013, lost in a self-defeating spiral of maintaining “credibility” by not challenging the powers-that-be – and thus losing the trust of the public, as Danny Schechter explains.

The More Complex Truth of Benghazi

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honor the four victims of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on Sept. 14, 2012. [State Department photo)

The single-minded Republican drive to exploit the deaths of four U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 – and use the tragedy to embarrass President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – has obscured the more complex reality of what happened, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Big-Money Politics Gains Ground

Anti-government crusader Grover Norquist.

The Right’s “war on government” – or perhaps put more accurately, its “war for unbridled corporate power” – continues to rack up victories, routing reformers who have tried to block big-money dominance of democracy, writes Michael Winship.

Lost in an Anthropocene Wonderland

NASA graphic showing the disappearing ice from the Muir Glacier in Alaska between 1941 and 2004.

The Anthropocene Epoch – dating from when human activity began to have a significant impact on the global ecosystem – is crashing toward a disastrous end amid melting icecaps, rising sea levels and dying species, but the human race can’t stop its rush to ecocide, as poet Phil Rockstroh observes.

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

Playing Deadly Games with ‘Gun Rights’

Noah Pozner, 6, one of 20 children murdered on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Pro-gun extremists routinely edit out of the Second Amendment its stated purpose of having “a well-regulated militia” maintain state “security.” The tampering lets them pretend the Founders would be okay with slaughters like the Newtown massacre, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship reflect.