Failing to Hide Israel-Iran-Iraq Secrets

President Ronald Reagan with Secretary of State Alexander Haig and National Security Advisor Richard Allen during a meeting with Interagency Working Committee on Terrorism in the Cabinet Room on Jan. 26, 1981. (Photo from Reagan Library archives)

Exclusive: Many Americans think secret U.S. documents become public after, say, 30 years, but many are hidden indefinitely to conceal inconvenient truths that could enlighten public debate, as Robert Parry discovered in getting a redacted version of a “top secret” paper from 1981 that he had already found in unredacted form.

Saddam’s Green Light

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

From the Archive: An article from the first investigative series published at Consortiumnews in early 1996 revealed top-secret “talking points” used by Secretary of State Haig in 1981 to brief President Reagan about the Middle East, including an alleged U.S. “green light” for Iraq to invade Iran. Journalist Robert Parry found the document in old congressional files.

Two Approaches toward Nationalism

Wanted Poster of the Palestine Police Force offering rewards for the capture of Stern Gang terrorists: 1. Jaacov Levstein (Eliav), 2. Yitzhak Yezernitzky (Shamir), 3. Natan Friedman-Yelin

Despite a difficult history, Scotland and England have approached their modern differences within the democratic process – with Scottish nationalists sweeping recent parliamentary elections – but Israel has chosen cruel repression toward the Palestinians leading to a very different result, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Enforcing the Ukraine ‘Group Think’

Russia scholar Stephen Cohen.

Exclusive: U.S.-taxpayer-funded Radio Liberty has a checkered history that includes hiring Nazi sympathizers as Cold War commentators. Now, one of its current writers has used the platform to bash an American scholar who won’t join Official Washington’s “group think” on Ukraine, Robert Parry reports.

The Reasons for Urban Rioting

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April  4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

Urban rioting has a long history in the United States, often with one ethnic group turning on another. But modern history is more about oppressed racial communities lashing out at police brutality and government injustice, a phenomenon that requires a new national effort to resolve, writes Lawrence Davidson.

America as Dangerous Flailing Beast

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Despite pretty talk about “democracy” and “human rights,” U.S. leaders have become the world’s chief purveyors of chaos and death – from Vietnam through Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and many other unfortunate nations, a dangerous dilemma addressed by John Chuckman.

Why Write about NFL’s ‘Deflategate’

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Exclusive: After release of a tendentious NFL report on “Deflategate,” there is now a rush to the penalty phase with the media and public demanding severe punishment for quarterback Tom Brady — despite any clear evidence that he did anything wrong, writes Robert Parry.

Obama’s Petulant WWII Snub of Russia

President Barack Obama uncomfortably accepting the Nobel Peace Prize from Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009. (White House photo)

Exclusive: Russia will celebrate the Allied victory over Nazism on Saturday without U.S. President Obama and other Western leaders present, as they demean the extraordinary sacrifice of the Russian people in winning World War II – a gesture intended to humiliate President Putin, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Saudi Cash Wins France’s Favor

President Barack Obama holds a press conference with French President Francois Hollande at the White House on Feb. 11, 2014. (White House photo)

Saudi Arabia wields enormous influence in the West not only because of its oil power but also its ability to lavish billions of dollars or euros on sophisticated weapons systems, a bonanza of cash that has turned the head of French President Hollande, writes Jonathan Marshall.

Drone Deaths v. Broken Windows

Done "pilots" launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military photo)

The outrage of Baltimore residents after the fatal police abuse of Freddie Gray spilled over into ugly rioting, drawing media condemnation and public disapproval. But a different attitude prevails toward U.S. drone assassinations around the world despite many civilian deaths, a contradiction addressed by Nat Parry.

The Danger of Resurgent Anti-Semitism

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

Anti-Semitism ranks as one of the vilest of bigotries, especially considering the West’s disgraceful history of persecuting and killing Jews. Any resurgence deserves full-throated condemnation. But the current danger is that Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians is fueling an ugly comeback, warns Alon Ben-Meir.

Amnesty International’s Palestine Sell-out

Israel justified its bombardment of civilian targets in Gaza by claiming that Hamas militants operated near schools, mosques and other civilian structures, as cited in this Israeli graphic supposedly showing a "terror tunnel" running near a school. (Israeli government photo)

For years, major human rights groups have been losing credibility as they scramble for grants and respectability – and thus shy away from criticizing governments than can effectively fight back. Such is the case with Amnesty International and Israel’s repression of Palestine, writes Paul de Rooij.

Holes in NFL’s ‘Deflategate’ Report

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: A high-profile NFL probe into the champion New England Patriots concluded that “it is more probable than not” that quarterback Tom Brady’s footballs were intentionally deflated prior to a January playoff game, but the report sloughs off scientific evidence that undercuts the finding, writes Robert Parry.

Entangled in Sunni-Shiite Wars

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama's State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Early U.S. presidents warned against “entangling” foreign alliances, but they never suspected America might be drawn into squabbles between Sunnis and Shiites dating back to the Seventh Century succession of Prophet Muhammad. But that now seems to be the case, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

Gifting Russia ‘Free-Market’ Extremism

Russian President Vladimir Putin laying a wreath at Russia's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on May 8, 2014, as part of the observance of the World War II Victory over Germany.

Exclusive: Official Washington’s Putin-bashing knows no bounds as the Russian president’s understandable complaints about U.S. triumphalism and NATO expansion, after the Soviet collapse in the 1990s, are dismissed as signs of his “paranoia” and “revisionism,” writes Robert Parry.

US Media Shields Saudi War on Yemen

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)

The U.S. news media always seems to have an excuse for the actions of the Saudi-Israeli alliance, now trivializing Saudi Arabia’s open aggression against Yemen as simply one side of a “proxy war” with Iran, a misleading depiction, says Gareth Porter.

The War over the Vietnam War

ABC TV News cameraman Jim Dysilva at the Citadel in Hue at Tet 1968. (Photo credit: Don North)

Exclusive: The Pentagon has retreated somewhat from its recent campaign to rewrite the Vietnam War history to push the discredited theory that the military strategy was sound, just undercut by disloyal war reporters and a misled public, a modest victory for truth, as war correspondent Don North describes.

Papering Over Extra-Judicial Killings

A Predator drone firing a missile.

The Obama administration, like its predecessor, holds that the “exceptional” U.S. has the right to enter other countries to kill “terrorists,” but it would never tolerate, say, Cuba targeting CIA-trained terrorists harbored in Miami, one of many double standards posing as international law, as Coleen Rowley notes.

The Inhuman Failure of ‘Austerity’

A classic photo of a poor mother and children in Elm Grove, California, during the Great Depression. (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution said the Government should provide for the “general Welfare,” a mandate to help build a strong and prosperous nation. But the concept has been lost in a wave of anti-government, “neoliberal” propaganda making the Market king, as David William Pear explains.

Fear and Loathing in Baltimore

Freddie Gray. (Photo from the Gray family)

Freddie Gray’s fatally broken spine, while trundled up in a Baltimore police van and taken for a “rough ride” to hurtle him around and inflict pain, was just another case of an unarmed black man’s fate in modern America, except that a prosecutor finally took a stand against police brutality, writes Marjorie Cohn.

Might Israel Ever Surrender Its Nukes?

A photograph of a control room at Israel's Dimona nuclear weapons plant in the 1980s. (Photograph taken by nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who was later kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel as punishment for revealing its secret nuclear arsenal.)

Just as apartheid South Africa once secretly possessed nuclear weapons and vowed to hold down its black majority forever, Israel is approaching a crossroads where it must decide if it will accept Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza as citizens and then what to do with its nukes, a dilemma that Joe Lauria explores.

Why Iran Must Be America’s Enemy

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

Though Iran is arguably the major regional bulwark against Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, the Saudi-Israeli alliance insists that Iran is the Mideast’s bête noire, so the Obama administration falls in line with that narrative even as it seeks a peaceful nuclear deal, as Gareth Porter explains.

WPost Blames Obama for Syrian Mess

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Exclusive: As Al-Qaeda forces advance in Syria – with the help of the Saudi-Israeli alliance – American neocons are shielding themselves from the blame if Damascus falls to the jihadists by preemptively faulting President Obama for not intervening for “regime change” earlier, Robert Parry reports.

Letting Scientific Knowledge into Religion

Michelangelo's depiction of God creating Adam, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City.

Ancient religions used myths to explain the mysteries of the universe to primitive people, making up stories that modern humans know to be imaginative but false. The problem, however, is that many people still anchor their world views in these old fables, as Rev. Howard Bess describes.

Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda

King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama is tolerating the smuggling of high-tech U.S. weapons to a Syrian rebel coalition led by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, as these Islamists — supported by the Saudis and other U.S. allies — mount a new offensive to topple the secular government in Damascus, as Daniel Lazare explains.

The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

Scene from the Vietnam War

Exclusive: Many reflections on America’s final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn’t the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects.

How Many Islamic State Fighters Are There?

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From the Archive: The mainstream U.S. media is marking the Vietnam War’s end 40 years ago with superficial remembrances that downplay the horror that the U.S. military inflicted on the Vietnamese. That prevents the real Vietnam lessons from illuminating today’s conflicts, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern noted in 2014.

How Saudi-Israel Alliance Helps Al-Qaeda

President Barack Obama stands with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the President's official arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Neither the U.S. political system nor the mainstream media can come to grips with the new reality in the Middle East as the Saudi-Israeli alliance effectively sides with Al-Qaeda-connected jihadists and seeks to entangle the U.S. government on the Sunni side of an ancient conflict with Shiites, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Understanding Baltimore’s Violence

President Barack Obama at the White House on April 28, 2015, making comments on the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray apparently from injuries suffered at the hands of police. (White House photo)

As much as the United States thinks it’s made lots of progress on racial equality – we have a black president, you know – the on-the-street reality has, in many ways, gotten worse with the “war on drugs,” police violence and other repressive policies devastating black communities — and finally provoking a violent response, says Daniel Patrick Welch.

Reconstructing Democracy

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American government increasingly bent to the whims and desires of the wealthy is emerging as a populist issue among pro-democracy citizens who favor the old idea of government for the people, as Michael Winship describes.

Mixed Signals on the Middle East

The U.S. Congress has balked at approving a war resolution against the Islamic State, while moving aggressively to derail negotiations to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful.(Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol)

On one level the Congressional failure to authorize war on the Islamic State while seeking to sabotage the peaceful nuclear accord with Iran would seem to fit neatly with the interests of the Saudi-Israeli alliance as it presses for “regime change” in Syria and Iran, but there are other factors afoot, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.