Category: Secrecy

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America’s Upside-Down Morality

A scene from the "Collateral Murder" video in which an Iraqi man stops his van to aid those wounded in a lethal U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, only to be gunned down by the American gunners.

Exclusive: Pvt. Bradley Manning has prostrated himself before his court-martial judge, apologizing for leaking documents on U.S. government wrongdoing and referencing his psychological problems as reasons for mercy. The sad spectacle underscores how upside-down American morality now is, says Robert…

How Congress Overlooked NSA Spying

Edward Snowden, who revealed himself as the leaker of top-secret documents related to the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance. (Photo credit: the UK Guardian)

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…

Who Benefits from the Various ‘Wars’?

President Barack Obama addresses issues of government surveillance at a press conference in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 9, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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…

No Reckoning over Agent Orange

A U.S. military helicopter spraying the defoliant Agent Orange over Vietnam during the Vietnam War. (U.S. Army photo)

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…

Pinning Argentine Bombing on Iran

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former president of Iran. (Photo credit: Sajedi2013)

“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…

Who’s to Blame for NSA Excesses?

Seal of the National Security Agency

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…

Fresh Doubts on Iran’s Nuke Program

Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani.

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…

Scooping ‘the Boys’ of Vietnam Press

Death-Zones-Keever

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…

Puttin’ the Pressure on Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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…

Chilling the First Amendment

fightingforthepress

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…