The Bush-43 Administration

A Special Look-back at 2014

A New Year's scene over Sydney, Australia

At Consortiumnews, we combine reporting on current events with the historical context that gives those events meaning, a context that is often lacking in the mainstream media. So a selection of our stories from 2014 offers an intriguing way to look back – and to understand – the pivotal events of the year just ended.

Udall Urged to Disclose Full Torture Report

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado.

Sen. Mark Udall has called for the full release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture. However, as a still-sitting member of Congress, he has a constitutional protection to read most of the still-secret report on the Senate floor — and a group of intelligence veterans urges him to do just that.

The Victory of ‘Perception Management’

President Ronald Reagan meeting with media magnate Rupert Murdoch in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983, with Charles Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency, the the background. (Credit: Reagan presidential library)

Special Report: In the 1980s, the Reagan administration pioneered “perception management” to get the American people to “kick the Vietnam Syndrome” and accept more U.S. interventionism, but that propaganda structure continues to this day getting the public to buy into endless war, writes Robert Parry.

Neocons Link Cuba Opening to Iran Deal

President Barack Obama talks with Ricardo Zuniga, National Security Council's Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, after the President delivered a statement on Cuba, in the Oval Office, Dec. 17, 2014. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice watches from the doorway. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Neocons are hoping that by raising the political cost of President Obama’s diplomatic opening to Cuba, they can scare him away from reaching a final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program and thus keep alive their Mideast “regime change” agenda, as Andrés Cala explains.

‘Terrorism’ Hysteria over Sony Hack

A poster from Sony's "The Interview" starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

Some U.S. moviegoers say they are standing up to North Korean “cyber-terrorism” by going to see Sony’s “The Interview,” a comedy that makes light of assassinating real-life leader Kim Jong-un. But the furor over a retaliatory hack of Sony has the look of just the latest U.S. hysteria, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Selling ‘Peace Groups’ on US-Led Wars

A scene of destruction after an aerial bombing in Azaz, Syria, Aug. 16, 2012. (U.S. government photo)

Since the anti-war protests on Vietnam, the U.S. government has made “perception management” of the American people a high priority, feeding them a steady diet of propaganda about foreign crises, even getting “peace groups” to buy into “pro-democracy” wars, write Margaret Sarfehjooy and Coleen Rowley.

Dividing the CIA in Two

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

When created in 1947, the CIA was meant to coordinate objective intelligence and thus avert some future Pearl Harbor attack, but its secondary role – engaging in covert operations – came to corrupt its independence, a problem that must now be addressed, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

NSA’s Binney Honored for Integrity

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

Retired National Security Agency official William Binney, who challenged decisions to ignore the Fourth Amendment in the government’s massive — and wasteful — collection of electronic data, faced career and legal repercussions. Because of his courage, he is being honored by former intelligence officials.

The Liberal Idiocy on Russia/Ukraine

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

Exclusive: American pundits are often more interested in scoring points against their partisan rivals than in the pain that U.S. policies inflict on people in faraway lands, as columnists Paul Krugman and Thomas L. Friedman are showing regarding Russia and Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

How the Iran-Nuke Crisis Was Hyped

Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaking to the United Nations

A prized weapon in the U.S. geopolitical arsenal is “information warfare,” the ability to promote false or misleading information to heighten the pressure on an adversary, often using supposedly neutral UN agencies as a front, as may have happened on Iran’s nuclear program, reports Gareth Porter.