Politics

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How Congress Overlooked NSA Spying

Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs might have been avoided if more members of Congress had done their duty to stay informed about these classified activities, rather than get distracted by the fluff of politics, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Moral Imperative of Activism

Exclusive:  Today’s crises – endless war, environmental catastrophe, desperate poverty and more – can seem so daunting that they paralyze action rather than inspire activism. But the imperative to do something in the face of injustice defines one’s moral place in the universe, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

Scoring Points Over a Terror Threat

Though it’s summer, Official Washington’s factionalism never takes a vacation. The neocons are in workaholic mode, claiming the precautionary closure of some U.S. embassies proves al-Qaeda remains a major threat, despite the fact that no terror attack has actually happened, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

Iran/Iraq ‘Defectors’ and Disinformation

From the Archive: For years, “defectors” from “enemy” states have supplied the U.S. government and media with propaganda that is eagerly repeated to justify economic, diplomatic or even military retaliation. That was the case with Iraq in 2003 and now with Iran, as Robert Parry reported in 2012.

Will Zionism Sink Mideast Peace?

The resumption of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators is widely cheered, but it will result in a positive result only if the genuine interests of both sides are treated fairly, a prospect that is undercut by the pro-Israeli bias of the U.S. government, says Lawrence Davidson.

Who’s to Blame for NSA Excesses?

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.

GOP’s Mad Health-Care Vendetta

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.

Will Obama Pick a Retread for Fed?

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.

Sending the Wrong Signals on Iran

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.

Whistling Past the Wildfires

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.