Spies, Diplomacy and Double Standards

Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in the photo from his U.S. Naval Intelligence ID.

While Israel demands that the U.S. release spy Jonathan Pollard, it continues to persecute Mordechai Vanunu for exposing the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, raising questions about secrecy, double standards and diplomacy, an issue addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

When Is a Putsch a Putsch?

Secretary of State John Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 8, 2014. (Screenshot from foreign.senate.gov)

Exclusive: Secretary of State John Kerry accuses Russia of a “contrived crisis” in Ukraine as the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev sends troops to crush resistance in the ethnic-Russian east. But the most “contrived” element of this crisis may be the false…

Seeking a Dead-End in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

By insisting that “Assad must go,” the West has locked itself in to a losing and dangerous game in Syria. Rather than negotiate a political settlement with President Assad, the alternative has been to back Saudi-funded jihadis with ties to…

Anti-Iran Hardliners Seek New Excuse

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey.

U.S. hardliners seeking to disrupt negotiations that would constrain but not eliminate Iran’s nuclear program are citing Iran’s efforts to evade U.S. oil sanctions as their latest excuse. But Iran has no obligation to submit to U.S. sanctions, notes ex-CIA analyst…

The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case

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: Defenders of the old conventional wisdom blaming the Syrian government for the Aug. 21 Sarin attack are going after investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who implicates Syrian jihadists and Turkish intelligence. But the defenders are relying on long-discredited claims, says Robert Parry.

Was Turkey Behind Syrian Sarin Attack?

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

Exclusive: Journalist Seymour Hersh has unearthed information implicating Turkish intelligence in last summer’s Sarin attack near Damascus that almost pushed President Obama into a war to topple Syria’s government and open a path for an al-Qaeda victory, writes Robert Parry.

The Torture Report’s Long, Winding Road

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)

Any encouragement that torture opponents may take from an initial step toward releasing part of a long Senate report on CIA abuses during the Bush-43 years is tempered by the fact that the declassification process may be glacially slow and…

US Triumphalism and the Ukraine Mess

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering a speech on the Ukraine crisis in Moscow on March 18, 2014. (Russian government photo)

Besides the misleading simplicity of Official Washington’s narrative on Ukraine, the “good guy/bad guy” storyline ignores important lessons of world history and human nature, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Oligarch-Free News

Journalist Robert Parry.

From Editor Robert Parry: Since our founding in 1995, Consortiumnews.com has provided our readers with truly independent journalism and we have relied on donations from our readers to do so. We’ve never had some billionaire “oligarch” paying our bills and…

The Age of the Oligarchs

Oil billionaires David and Charles Koch.

Exclusive: The concentration of power in the hands of billionaire “oligarchs” may be most alarming in places like Ukraine but the United States is moving in the same direction as wealth is consolidated at the top — and both elections…

The Perception Management Priority

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Since the Reagan era, Republicans have pushed “perception management” to manage how Americans perceive the world. A key element is right-wing talk radio, which has now lured Rep. Mike Rogers from his powerful intelligence post to a seat behind a microphone, as JP Sottile explains.

Giving the Super-Rich More Clout

John Roberts at the Sept. 5, 2005, announcement at which President George W. Bush nominated Roberts to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (White House photo by Paul Morse)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to remove limits on how much a person can donate each election cycle represents another giant step toward giving the 1 percent out-sized control of the U.S. political process, as Public Citizen President Robert Weissman told Dennis J…

What Kind of One-State Solution

A section of the barrier -- erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians -- with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy's famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, "Ich bin ein Berliner." (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

As the illusion of a “two-state solution” fades away with the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian talks, what remains is a “one-state solution” that will be either democratic and egalitarian or a de facto apartheid system with a permanent Palestinian underclass, as Lawrence…

Misguided Honor for Condi Rice

Ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

U.S. officials lecture others about respecting international law and punishing human rights crimes, but those principles are ignored when the violators are U.S. officials. Offenders like ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice even get honors, as Coleen Rowley and Todd E. Pierce…

Ukrainians Get IMF’s Bitter Medicine

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. (Photo credit: Ybilyk)

Exclusive: Though lacking legitimacy from national elections, Ukraine’s coup regime has approved a harsh IMF austerity plan that hits Ukraine’s “99 percent” the hardest and asks little from the country’s “1 percent,” including the corrupt “oligarchs,” reports Robert Parry.

Israeli-Palestinian Talks Founder, Again

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Obama pondered freeing Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to keep Israeli-Palestinian negotiations sputtering along, but Israel’s demand to be called a “Jewish state” and its refusal to free more Palestinian prisoners have pushed the talks to the brink, notes ex-CIA…