The Bush-43 Administration


Obama’s Half-Hearted Cuba Detente

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo credit: United Nations.)

President Obama’s “normalization” of relations with Cuba have been more tell than show, with much of the half-century U.S. embargo left in place and some “relaxations” designed to coerce Cuba into “privatizing” its economy, as Art Heitzer and Marjorie Cohn describe.

The ‘Anti-Knowledge’ of the Elites

Coffins of dead U.S. soldiers arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2006. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: It’s fairly easy to spot the “anti-knowledge” spouted by the Tea Party and the Religious Right’s favorite candidates, but a more subtle form of reality-deprived “group think” pervades America’s elites though it is rarely noted in the polite circles of the mainstream media, writes Mike Lofgren.

Presidential Success or Failure

President Barack Obama and his national security team monitor the Special Operations raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

There are two kinds of presidential foreign policy decisions, one operational like the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, which can go right or wrong almost by chance, and the other strategic like the invasion of Iraq that can be based on fraudulent information and bad judgment, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Mideast’s Humpty Dumpty Problem

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Western powers – most recently the United States – have smashed up the Mideast so thoroughly that many of the options now under review in Official Washington go from bad to worse but almost certainly can never put the region back together again, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Secrecy and Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Over-classification of documents is the weapon of choice wielded by the U.S. government to punish  whistleblowers and keep the American people in the dark about its actions around the world. But the well-connected, like Hillary Clinton, get special forbearance, notes Diane Roark.

A Plea for Mideast Policy Realism

Former U.S. Ambassador Charles W. "Chas" Freeman. (Photo credit:

Over the past two decades, a neoconservative-driven foreign policy has led to strategic disaster after disaster, but neocon belligerence continues to dominate Official Washington, a dilemma that former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas W. Freeman addresses.

Obama Bends to ‘Endless’ Afghan War

U.S. troops in Afghanistan man a checkpoint near Takhteh Pol in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 26, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann)

By failing to challenge many of Official Washington’s “group thinks” on the war policy, President Obama has become captive to them as reflected in his decision to extend the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan despite little or no prospect of success, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Kicking War Cans Down the Road

President Barack Obama talking on the phone in the Oval Office , Oct. 5, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: By playing along with Official Washington’s false hopes – and its endless chest-thumping – President Obama has trapped himself into a pointless war policy in the Middle East, now deciding to pass America’s failing Afghan War onto his successor, notes Jonathan Marshall.

The Reckless Guns of October

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: With Official Washington’s armchair warriors demanding confrontation with Russia over Syria, the prospects for the conflict spinning out of control rise by the day. Years from now, historians may shake their heads over the failure to compromise, cooperate and deescalate, as Daniel Lazare describes.

The Kunduz Hospital Atrocity

Aftermath of the U.S. destruction of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Graphic credit: RT)

The U.S. bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, blipped on and off the mainstream media’s radar, catalogued as just one more unfortunate mistake in the last 14 years of war. But there is probable cause to treat the atrocity as a war crime, writes Marjorie Cohn for TeleSUR.