The Nitwits Are in Charge

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

Exclusive: Pundit Thomas Friedman laments that the new Cold War isn’t funny enough for him, but there really isn’t anything funny about the U.S. plunging into an unnecessary nuclear showdown with Russia over Ukraine while Friedman and his fellow VIPs misreport what’s happening, writes Robert Parry.

Why Turkey’s Erdogan Stumbled

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

In his rise to power, Turkish President Erdogan won popular support by showing independence in foreign affairs but then got caught up in his own grand ambitions, including support for violent “regime change” in Syria, setting the stage for an electoral rebuke, as ex-CIA officer Graham E. Fuller explains.

NYT’s Orwellian View of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

Exclusive: In the up-is-down Orwellian world that is now The New York Times’ editorial page, there was no coup in Ukraine in 2014, no U.S.-driven “regime change,” no provocation on Russia’s border, just Moscow’s aggression — a sign of how propaganda has taken over mainstream U.S. media, writes Robert Parry.

America’s ‘Exceptional’ Negotiations

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a walk in a park between meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 8, 2013, that focused on limits on Iran's nuclear capabilities. (State Department photo)

America has a strange idea about international negotiations: It makes demands and the other side must capitulate or face crushing penalties if not violent “regime change.” This strange attitude is threatening the Iran-nuclear talks and endangering real U.S. national interests, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Dangers of Religious Primitivism

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)

By stirring up the Middle East – from Western exploitation of oil to Zionist expulsion of Palestinians – Christians and Jews set in motion today’s “clash of civilizations” with Islam and launched all three religions on a path toward dangerous primitivism, a threat to humanity’s future, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Facing America’s Great Evils

Accused mass murderer Dylann Roof, posing with the white supremacist flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa.

Exclusive: A 21-year-old white supremacist is charged with entering a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, and murdering nine black parishioners, merging two of America’s great evils – gun violence and racial injustice. But what can be done, asks Robert Parry.

The Pentagon’s War Reluctance

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

Despite Republican pressure and State Department hawkishness, the Pentagon and the White House remain reluctant to dive deeper into the fight against the Islamic State, wishing to avoid U.S. combat casualties, writes Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye.

Hillary Clinton’s Sincerity Question

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As Hillary Clinton talks up her commitment to economic and social justice, the big question for Democrats is: Does she means what she says or is she just mouthing words to block challengers from her left, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.

Obama’s Libya Fiasco

President Barack Obama at the White House with National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Samantha Power (right), his U.N. ambassador. (Photo credit: Pete Souza)

Exclusive: With Libya’s bloody “regime change” in 2011, the Obama administration and its European allies opened the door to anarchy and now the emergence of another Islamic State terror affiliate, but chaos and indecision continue to dominate the West’s reaction to the crisis, says Andres Cala.

The Rush to a New Cold War

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

The U.S. government and news media have jumped back into Cold War attitudes since early 2014 when a U.S.-backed coup overthrew Ukraine’s elected president and prompted countermoves by Russia, setting the stage for a potential nuclear showdown, as journalist Robert Parry discussed with Dennis J. Bernstein.

The Pope’s Global Warming Warning

Pope Francis. (Photo from Casa Rosada)

Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum are among the Catholic Republicans who have cited Church teachings on abortion as guiding their political positions, but now are objecting to Pope Francis issuing an encyclical on the dangers of global warming, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Can US Stop Enabling Israel?

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking to the AIPAC conference on March 3, 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is like the drunken friend demanding the car keys as he staggers toward his own destruction and that of others – a condition that requires the United States to intervene to stop his dangerous and reckless behavior, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

Fiddling While the World Burns

President Jimmy Carter's solar panels being installed on the White House roof.

In the mid-to-late 1970s, the U.S. began grappling with the energy crisis as Jimmy Carter pushed investments in alternative energies and called for conservation, but then Ronald Reagan arrived on the scene. Now, the world faces a much greater crisis, says David William Pear.

Stumbling into a New Cold War

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

U.S. expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders and last year’s U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine have drawn reactions from Moscow and now counter-reactions from Washington, including a plan to preposition U.S. military hardware in the Baltic States. But is that the best option, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Explaining Myself

Journalist Robert Parry

Exclusive: U.S. government propagandists know that the best way to get Americans to support a war is to get them despising and laughing at some “designated villain,” though the technique applies to more mundane cases, too. That’s when journalists should step in but often they just pile on, says Robert Parry.

Explaining the Ukraine Crisis

915F4nT7fLL._SL1500_

Spurred on by neocons and liberal war hawks, the Obama administration lurches toward a dangerous escalation of tensions with nuclear-armed Russia, while the American people are again fed a steady diet of propaganda – that is challenged by a new book on the Ukraine crisis, reviewed by David Swanson.

The Hollow ‘Free-Trade’ Promises

President Barack Obama speaking in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Official Washington has long embraced “free-market” mantras, whether bank deregulation or fast-track trade bills promising prosperity for all. But the promises have been hollow, hollowing out the Middle Class and now causing problems for President Obama’s Pacific trade deal, write Bill Moyers and Bernard Weisberger.

Samantha Power: Liberal War Hawk

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Liberal interventionist Samantha Power – along with neocon allies – appears to have prevailed in the struggle over how President Obama will conduct his foreign policy in his last months in office, promoting aggressive strategies that will lead to more death and destruction, writes Robert Parry.

The Bush Dynasty’s Back Story

From Editor Robert Parry: With Jeb Bush’s hat in the ring, one could say the Bush Family doesn’t want all the U.S. presidencies, just the odd-numbered ones, with Jeb shooting for “45” to go with his dad’s “41” and his brother’s “43.” But there is a hidden back story to the Bush Dynasty that must be told.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories from May focused on powerful institutions abusing their authority by making exaggerated, dubious or false allegations to justify punitive actions – from the U.S. government to the mainstream media to the NFL – while often covering up their own offenses and hypocrisies.

NFL’s ‘Deflategate’ Findings ‘Unreliable’

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: The widespread hatred of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady explains the public support for the NFL’s harsh penalties in “Deflategate,” but independent statistical experts have found the NFL’s findings in the case to be “deeply flawed” and “unreliable,” writes Robert Parry.

The Saga of Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers

Exclusive: The teaming up of United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez and Sen. Robert Kennedy marked an important moment in the fight for the rights of Latinos in America, a time in history brought to life by a film biography of Chavez, says James DiEugenio.

Standing Up for Truth and Ben Franklin

Daniel Ellsberg, Norman Solomon, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley and Thomas Drake on June 7, 2015, in front of Benjamin Franklin dedication of Kongresshalle in Berlin, Germany. (Photo credit: Johanna Hullar)

Because of the excessive secrecy exercised by the U.S. government, whistleblowing has become a necessity for American democracy, a reality that struck home to former FBI official Coleen Rowley and other whistleblowers as they encountered Benjamin Franklin’s words in Germany.

A Rare Defeat for the Israel Lobby

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

In a rare rebuke to the powerful Israel Lobby, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a congressional encroachment on presidential powers regarding the official status of Jerusalem. Even some right-wing justices turned on each other, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

U.S. House Admits Nazi Role in Ukraine

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

Exclusive: The U.S. House of Representatives has admitted an ugly truth that the U.S. mainstream media has tried to hide from the American people – that the post-coup regime in Ukraine has relied heavily on Nazi storm troopers to carry out its bloody war against ethnic Russians, reports Robert Parry.

Hiding Facts to Thwart Democracy

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

Over-classification of U.S. government information is a grave threat to the Republic, giving politicians and bureaucrats the power to hide facts that aren’t really sensitive but are vital to a meaningful public debate, such as the IG report on President Bush’s surveillance program, says ex-NSA analyst Kirk Wiebe.

Jeb Bush’s Tangled Past

President George W. Bush is introduced by his brother Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before delivering remarks at Sun City Center, Florida, on May 9, 2006. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

Special Report: As Jeb Bush prepares to announce his presidential candidacy, he’s mostly viewed as the smarter and less dangerous Bush brother, but he has his own tangled history of dubious business deals and unsavory associates, writes Chelsea Gilmour.

The Bush Family ‘Oiligarchy’

President George W. Bush pauses for applause during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, 2003, when he made a fraudulent case for invading Iraq. Seated behind him are Vice President Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (White House photo)

From the Archive: The past often is prologue — making it especially important to know how a politician built his career and who helped him. In 2000, too little attention was paid to George W. Bush’s personal history and how it might shape his disastrous presidency, a void that Sam Parry tried to fill.

WPost Plays Ukraine’s Lapdog

The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O'Neil)

Exclusive: Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and Finance Minister Jaresko are on a U.S. trip to drum up weapons and money to crush the ethnic Russian resistance in the east – and they are finding a lapdog U.S. press that won’t ask them tough questions, reports Robert Parry.

Barack Obama: No Jack Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy  at the American University commencement on June 10, 1963.

Exclusive: A half century ago – at the peak of the Cold War – President Kennedy appealed to humankind’s better nature in a daring overture to Soviet leaders, a gamble that brought bans on nuclear testing and a safer world, a bravery that President Obama can’t seem to muster, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Saudi Finger-pointing at Iran

President and Mrs. Obama disembark from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Jan. 27, 2015, for a state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Parroting Israel and Saudi Arabia, much of Official Washington blames Iran for the current instability across the Mideast, but that may rank as one of the most inside-out explanations imaginable, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.