The Bush-43 Administration

The CIA’s Bureaucracy of Torture

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

Bureaucratic inertia – the CIA’s desire for bigger budgets and then its fear of negative consequences – helped drive the torture program from its frantic start to its belated finish, as Gareth Porter explains.

How ‘Awesome’ Is America?

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros.

Exclusive: America has an extraordinary capacity to submerge unpleasant truths about its past and present, from African-American slavery and Native-American genocide to bloodbaths in Vietnam and Iraq. Now faced with clear evidence of torture, one cheerleader simply says the U.S. is “awesome,” as Robert Parry reports.

America’s Illusion of Free Will

President George W. Bush in a flight suit after landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech about the Iraq War.

The mainstream U.S. news media’s narrow parameters, especially on foreign policy issues, give the American people little opportunity to engage in meaningful debate or to influence outcomes. Typically, public perceptions are managed and consensus is manufactured, as Lawrence Davidson writes.

What’s the Next Step to Stop Torture?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Exclusive: The grim details about the CIA’s torture techniques – from waterboarding to “rectal rehydration” – have overwhelmed the final defenses of the torture apologists. Now the question is what to do with this evidence and how to make sure this behavior doesn’t happen again, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Obama and the Truth Agenda

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The euphemism, “enhanced interrogations,” is finally fading amid truth-telling that President George W. Bush authorized — and the CIA engaged in — torture of “war on terror” detainees. The lack of a backlash to the stomach-turning new details also suggests that Americans are ready for a truth agenda, writes Robert Parry.

Torture Report Exposes Sadism and Lies

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)

The stunning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and other sadistic treatment meted out to “war on terror” detainees has shredded the credibility of CIA apologists who claimed the “enhance interrogations” were carefully calibrated and humane, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman explains.

Rescuing Diplomacy in an Age of Demagogy

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

“Information warfare” is a new centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy, with demonizing an “enemy” the predictable first step sometimes toward actual war, as we’ve seen with Russian President Putin over Ukraine. But this propagandistic approach raises troubling philosophical questions about democracy, says Paul Grenier.

How ‘Allies’ Manipulate the Superpower

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Reputed U.S. allies in the Mideast are pushing the Obama administration, step by step, into a “regime change” operation in Syria, despite its illegality and risks that a power vacuum would be filled by al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, as Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland says about Turkey.

The New Republic’s Ugly Reality

Former New Republic owner Martin Peretz.

Exclusive: Mainstream pundits are outraged over a Silicon Valley barbarian riding in and defacing The New Republic, a temple to all that is wonderful about deep-thinking policymaking and long-form journalism. But the truth about the Washington-based magazine is much less honorable, writes Robert Parry.

Stifling Dissent on the Upper East Side

Exclusive: Modern U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine doesn’t just target people in faraway lands where the U.S. military is battling some uprising. It also takes aim at Americans whose dissent might undermine those wars, possibly explaining the strange arrest of Ray McGovern, writes retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.