Secrecy

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The Endless Tragedy of Vietnam

Scene from the Vietnam War

For the U.S. government, old lies die hard, even lies as discredited as blaming the North Vietnamese for the Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964, the non-event that launched the Vietnam War and caused ongoing tragedies for those who bombed and those who were bombed, as Myra MacPherson reported from Hanoi.

The Putin-Did-It Conspiracy Theory

President Barack Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation as they join other leaders en route to the APEC Family Photo at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: A new truce agreement in Ukraine rekindles hope that the bloodshed can be reduced if not stopped, but Official Washington’s gross misunderstanding of the crisis, blaming everything on Russia’s President Putin, raises doubts and portends a potentially grave catastrophe, writes Robert Parry.

Finding Creative Ways to Torture

George W. Bush taking the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001. (White House photo)

After World War II, Americans led the way in establishing landmark human rights principles, including a repudiation of torture. But more recent U.S. leaders have chosen to disgrace those ideals by devising euphemisms and end-runs to continue the barbaric practices, as Peter Costantini describes.

Ronald Reagan’s Torture

President Ronald Reagan meeting with Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt.

From the Archive: George W. Bush’s torture policies may have been extraordinary in the direct participation of U.S. personnel but they were far from unique, with Ronald Reagan having followed a similar path in his anti-leftist wars in Central America, as Robert Parry reported in 2009.

When Silencing Dissent Isn’t News

Ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern crying out in pain while being arrested on Oct. 30, 2014, in New York City. (A screenshot via The Dissenter at firedoglake.com)

Exclusive: The criminal case against ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern for “resisting arrest” when he was denied entry to a public speech by retired Gen. David Petraeus appears to be nearly over, but the image of police brutally shielding the mighty from a citizen’s question remains troubling, writes Robert Parry.

A Rush to Judgment in Argentine Bomb Case?

A memorial at the site of the 1994 bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) where 85 people were killed. (Photo credit: Nbelohlavek)

The mysterious death of an Argentine prosecutor has whipped up new suspicions around the case of who bombed the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in 1994 and whether there was an official cover-up, but the evidence on both counts remains dubious or discredited, says Gareth Porter.

Convicting Sterling to Chill Whistleblowing

Courtroom sketch of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling by Debra Van Poolen (http://www.debvanpoolen.com/)

In the cause of protecting government secrets, the CIA and Justice Department made an example of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling by convicting him of exposing a dubious covert operation without presenting clear-cut evidence that he did, a chilling message to others, notes Norman Solomon.

Examining the Stasi, Seeing the NSA

The Stasi museum in Berlin. (Photo credit: Prof. Quatermass)

Exclusive: For many years, the East German Stasi was viewed as the most totalitarian of intelligence services, relentlessly spying on its citizens during the Cold War. But the Stasi’s capabilities pale in comparison to what the NSA can now do, notes former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

A Pointed Letter to Gen. Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus in a photo with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: As retired Gen. and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus was about to speak in New York City last Oct. 30, someone decided to spare the “great man” from impertinent questions, so ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was barred, arrested and brought to trial, prompting McGovern to ask some questions now in an open letter.

Honoring NSA’s Binney and Amb. White

Former National Security Agency official William Binney sitting in the offices of Democracy Now! in New York City. (Photo credit: Jacob Appelbaum)

In our age of careerism, it’s rare for high-ranking officials to sacrifice their powerful posts for principle, but that was what NSA’s William Binney and the late U.S. Ambassador Robert White did. Their sacrifices and integrity were honored by likeminded former government officials, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes.