Kerry’s Clumsy Words on Iran Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

Secretary of State Kerry, in another diplomatic  blunder, has inserted the word “dismantle” into comments on Iran’s deal to constrain its nuclear program. Kerry’s loose talk has created expectations in mainstream U.S. media beyond what Iran has agreed to, Gareth Porter writes for Inter Press…

The Crumbling Lockerbie Case

Ailing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in September 2011, as he was dying from prostate cancer.

A quarter century ago, the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed 270 people and later was pinned on a Libyan agent. In 2011, Lockerbie was used to justify a U.S.-backed war to oust Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, but the…

MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

A mug shot photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail to focus national attention on the injustice of segregation, he was stung by criticism from Christian clergy who feared upsetting the status quo and urged “moderation,” prompting his historic rejoinder from the Birmingham…

Neocons Take Aim at Syrian Peace Talks

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

Exclusive: Syrian peace talks have finally begun, but many powerful interests including U.S. neocons are determined to see the talks fail. The Washington Post’s neocon editorial page is urging President Obama to give up on “feckless diplomacy” and threaten war,…

The Why Behind Egypt’s Coup

Egyptian General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi as shown on official Egyptian TV around the time of the coup.

Egypt’s military coup meshed with the geopolitical interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel, but the toppling of the country’s first democratically elected government was driven by other factors, including the history of a politically powerful military, as ex-CIA analyst Paul…

The Mountaintops of the 1 Percenters

Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

In the final speech of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. talked about reaching the mountaintop and gazing down on a promised land of a brighter future. But today’s mountaintops are often reserved for elites to meet and gaze upon each other,…

Bob Gates’s Mean, Misguided Memoir

Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.

Like many Washington memoirs, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s Duty seeks to settle scores and spin a legacy. But Gates also penned a book filled with contradictions and showing little regard for the U.S. principle of civilian control over the military, says ex-CIA…

J Street’s Dead End

Vice President Joe Biden addresses a J Street conference in 2013.

The hardline Zionist positions of AIPAC have given rise to a more moderate pro-Israel lobby called J Street, which deviates from some right-wing Israeli policies by favoring negotiations with Iran, for instance. But J Street still makes excuses for Israel’s…

The Lost Legacy of Otis Pike

Rep. Otis Pike, D-New York.

Former Rep. Otis Pike died Monday at the age of 92, stirring recollections of his courageous efforts in the 1970s to expose abuses committed by the CIA, a struggle that ultimately bogged down as defenders of state secrecy proved too…

Human Rights Watch’s Syria Dilemma

The cover photo of Human Rights Watch’s annual report.

Exclusive: Human Rights Watch, which has pushed for a U.S. military intervention in Syria, continues to blame the Assad government for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack even though the group’s high-profile map supposedly proving the case has been debunked, reports…

The Fragile Process for Engaging Iran

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

The diplomatic fracas over inviting and disinviting Iran to the Syrian peace talks only makes sense if you factor in President Obama’s fragile consensus for engaging Iran over its nuclear program while influential neocons keep pressing for confrontation. That mix…

Big-Power Foot-Dragging on Nukes

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

Most recent talk about nukes has focused on Iran, which doesn’t have one — and is accepting new constraints to show it won’t build one. But there’s been a long-delayed debate on a 44-year-old commitment by existing nuclear states to…

The Mistaken Guns of Last August

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

Exclusive: After hundreds of Syrians died from Sarin gas last summer, Secretary of State Kerry insisted the U.S. had solid intelligence on the locations of the Syrian government’s launch sites used in the attack, thus justifying a U.S. military retaliation…

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect even if only briefly on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over King’s message can be intense,…

MLK’s Warning of America’s Spiritual Death

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, DC.

At the dawn of the last year of his life, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. broke with many political allies by warning that the Vietnam War and the militarism that surrounded it were inflicting a “spiritual death” on America, an…

The Injustice of US Justice

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, a powerful example of how dissenters have addressed injustice in America and given meaning to democracy.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. saw the injustices in American society and sought to correct them. He succeeded in many ways as laws were changed to eradicate overt segregation, but other problems proved more intractable as witnessed in the criminal…