A common complaint from spy agencies is that they get blamed for “intelligence failures” when they miss something and they get attacked for “intelligence abuses” when they go too far with their espionage. The public veers from one type of “scandal” to the next, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.
The U.S. drone program has decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups, but it also has alienated people and governments in countries on the front lines by killing civilians and disrupting political alliances, a complexity often missed by the U.S. media, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.
President Obama declares his love of “transparency,” but has an odd way of showing it, meting out harsh punishments to people who give the public a glimpse into the vast darkness of U.S. secrets, including revoking Edward Snowden’s passport to stop him from seeking asylum, an action addressed by Norman Solomon.
Exclusive: Official Washington justifies military and political interventions in other countries under the theory of “U.S. exceptionalism.” But these “regime changes” often have unexpected results, as with the bloody coup d’etat that removed South Vietnamese President Diem a half-century ago, recalls Beverly Deepe Keever.
Exclusive: More than two months after the chemical weapons attack near Damascus, President Obama has still not released any proof to support his allegations blaming the Syrian government. But the New York Times has embraced the accusations as flat fact, a replay of the run-up to invading Iraq, reports Robert Parry.
Exclusive: Lost in the celebration over the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN agency eliminating the Syrian government’s chemical weapons is the question of who was really behind the Aug. 21 poison-gas attack near Damascus. Relevant to that mystery is the recent U.S. pressure to control key UN agencies including the prize recipient, reports Robert Parry.
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger operated in an amoral world where they traded lives and principles for power. But their cold “realism” enabled them to function more effectively in foreign policy than many of their successors who let passions and politics color their thinking, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Many American historians, like their counterparts in journalism, fail the democratic process that they are supposed to serve. Both groups tend to put a positive spin on even the nastiest actions of the U.S. government, a process that Oliver Stone challenges in his “Untold History of the United States,” which he discusses with Dennis J Bernstein.
Exclusive: President Obama says he welcomes the debate on post-9/11 surveillance of Americans and the world, but that debate was only made meaningful by the disclosures of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was then indicted and sought asylum in Russia, where he just met with some ex-U.S. intelligence officials, including Ray McGovern.
Exclusive: The Israeli-Saudi détente is slowly emerging from the shadows, with a media report on a secret Jerusalem meeting and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s oblique reference in his UN speech. But this powerhouse collaboration could mean trouble for U.S. diplomacy in the Mideast, reports Robert Parry.