Category: Secrecy

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Clarifying Snowden’s ‘Freedom’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

A common angle from the mainstream U.S. media is that NSA leaker Edward Snowden will regret his asylum in Russia (rather than life in prison in the U.S.). A quote from ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was used in support of…

NYTimes Mentions Israeli Nukes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Exclusive: The U.S. press is very tolerant of Israeli cross-border attacks inside Syria, like the latest one against a military target in Latakia. Israel’s nuclear arsenal usually goes unmentioned, too. But the New York Times surprisingly deviated from that pattern, notes…

The Two Types of Spy ‘Scandals’

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

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…

Geopolitics of the Drone

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

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…

Why Snowden’s Passport Matters

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. (Photo credit: The Guardian)

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…

Dangerous History of Regime Change

South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, who was assassinated in a coup d'etat on Nov. 1, 1963.

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…

Treating Anti-Syria Charges as Flat-Fact

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

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,…

How US Pressure Bends UN Agencies

Ahmet Uzumcu, a Turkish diplomat who is the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

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.…

What Nixon/Kissinger Got Right

President Richard Nixon with his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

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…

Oliver Stone’s Hard Look at US History

Writer-director Oliver Stone.

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…