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.
P.R. experts are skilled at framing policy debates in favorable though misleading ways, like the “war on terror” or the “war on drugs.” What gets shielded by this packaging are the unstated goals, interests and outcomes that would draw popular opposition if known, writes Arjen Kamphuis.
Official Washington often lectures other countries on the need for accountability, especially when governments have engaged in war crimes. Yet, one of the clearest cases of a U.S. war crime – the mass spraying of Vietnam with Agent Orange – has escaped any reckoning, note Marjorie Cohn and Jeanne Mirer.
“Defectors” are among the most unreliable intelligence sources since they have an obvious motive for discrediting their former governments, but still have been allowed outsized roles in whipping up hysteria against Iraq in 2003 and now against Iran, as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.
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.
Though Israeli leaders and U.S. neocons still beat the drum for war on Iran, new evidence suggests top Iranian officials did not sanction nuclear weapons research a decade ago but rather the work originated from scientists who resisted the will of political leaders to shut it down, Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.
Exclusive: During her seven years covering the Vietnam War, Beverly Deepe Keever broke through the male-dominated world of war reporting and nearly changed history with her discovery that Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign was sabotaging the Paris peace talks, notes Don North in his review of her memoir.
Exclusive: The Obama administration continues to compound the diplomatic mess around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The latest blunder was announcing that the U.S. wouldn’t torture or execute Snowden, a reminder to the world how far Official Washington has strayed from civilized behavior, notes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
President Obama has overseen an unprecedented legal campaign against leaks of classified information with New York Times journalist James Risen now facing possible jail for refusing to testify in the trial of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for a leak published in Risen’s book, State of War, a topic that First Amendment attorney James Goodale discusses…
Exclusive: For more than a decade since the Iraq invasion, President Bush, Prime Minister Blair and their senior aides have stuck to the story of innocent intelligence mistakes and evaded accountability. But the code of silence may crack if top British spy Richard Dearlove tells his story, says ex-UK intelligence officer Annie Machon.