Punishing Poland for US Crimes

Some of the original detainees jailed at the Guantanamo Bay prison, as put on display by the U.S. military.

While former U.S. officials continue to deny torturing “war on terror” detainees – and President Obama fails to enforce any meaningful accountability – countries from the old Soviet bloc are confronting their complicity in the CIA’s crimes, writes Nat Parry.

On Iraq/Torture, Still in Denial

Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

Ex-senior CIA official Michael Morell is making the rounds promoting a new book and recycling old excuses about the Bush administration’s innocence in invading Iraq (just bad intel, you know) and torturing prisoners (the lawyers said it was okay) – and dodging pointed questions, as Sam Husseini discovered.

Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Bluster

President Barack Obama shakes hands with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders prepare to have a group photo with the President outside of the Laurel Cabin at the conclusion of a summit meeting at Camp David, Maryland, May 14, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi Arabia and Israel keep ratcheting up the pressure to kill the deal for constraining Iran’s nuclear program with the latest gambit a renewed Saudi threat to obtain its own nuclear capability if the Iran deal isn’t scrapped, a warning that may be more bluster than believable, writes Jonathan Marshall.

Fake Evidence Blaming Russia for MH-17?

A screen shot from a video of a suspected BUK missile battery traveling on a road in eastern Ukraine after the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. (As shown in Australia's "60 Minutes" program.)

Exclusive: Pointing the finger of blame at Russian President Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down last July, an Australian news show claims to have found the spot where the Russian BUK missile battery made its getaway, but the images don’t match, raising questions of journalistic fakery, writes Robert Parry.

Right-Wing Pressure in Academia

Conservative pundit and publisher William F. Buckley Jr.

Exclusive: The American Right has gained substantial control of U.S. media but academia remains a juicy target as a vulnerable, last bastion of liberal thought and rationality, thus a key battlefield in the “culture wars,” writes James DiEugenio.

The Value of Effective Government

National Transportation Safety Board officials examine site of Amtrak derailment, which occurred on May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (NTSB photo)

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned an activist federal government that would help build the new country, including transportation infrastructure, but that history has been lost amid Tea Party revisionism that treats all constructive government actions as bad, a dilemma addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

William & Mary Honors War Criminal

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld listen to President George W. Bush speak about the Middle East on June 24, 2002. (Photo from Whitehouse.gov)

Exclusive: Condoleezza Rice has crossed the threshold into esteemed celebrity – a welcomed speaker at this year’s College of William and Mary commencement – despite her record as the liar who sold the illegal war in Iraq and choreographed torture at CIA “black sites,” writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Phony ‘Bad Intel’ Defense on Iraq

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)

Exclusive: Jeb Bush’s stumbling start to his presidential bid has refocused attention on Official Washington’s favorite excuse for the illegal, aggressive and disastrous war in Iraq – that it was just a case of “bad intelligence.” But that isn’t what the real history shows, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern recalls.

Losing the American Republic

President George Washington, who warned against the dangers of a large military and an aggressive foreign policy to the Republic.

Decades of letting neocons dictate a hawkish foreign policy have put the American Republic in profound danger, just as presidents from George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower predicted, warnings that Americans must finally take to heart, says ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.

The Cruel Punishment of Jeffrey Sterling

Courtroom sketch of Jeffrey Sterling trial by Debra Van Poolen (http://www.debvanpoolen.com/)

The Obama administration’s cruel war on whistleblowers won another round, getting a 42-month sentence meted out to ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling even as the prosecutors were glum that he wasn’t given an even more draconian prison term, as Norman Solomon explains.

Netanyahu’s Narrow Right-Wing Majority

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows off photos that he claims justified the bombardment of Gaza. (Israeli government photo)

By the slimmest of margins, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu cobbled together a coalition government that is the most right-wing in Israel’s history, with key posts given to extremists who have made no secret of their disdain for Palestinians, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

The Bin Laden Murder Mystery

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

Seymour Hersh, a great journalist with superb sources and the courage to challenge conventional wisdom, has presented a counter-narrative of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but Hersh’s story – compelling in many respects, even to the New York Times – has some elements that stretch credulity, says John Gardner.

A Summer of War or Peace

An Iranian man holding a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

After the final deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear program is finalized – expected in June – a crucial series of votes will follow in Congress as Republicans and some Democrats seek to scuttle the deal, a prospect that Jamal Abdi and Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council warn could mean war.

The Saudis’ Hurt Feelings

President Barack Obama meets with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during a bilateral meeting at Rawdat Khuraim in Saudi Arabia, March 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Republicans are slamming President Obama for strained relations with the Saudi royals and other Persian Gulf sheiks, but U.S. relations with these oil-rich monarchs have been tense before and – given their support for Sunni terrorism – should be tenser still, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in April examined the expanding conflicts in the Middle East, the prospect of a peaceful nuclear agreement with Iran, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Any Thank-You Gifts Gone Missing?

From Editor Robert Parry: Our Spring Fund Drive ended in late April, so the thank-you gifts should have arrived by now — either the “Kill the Messenger” movie DVD plus the CD of Gary Webb and me discussing the Contra-cocaine scandal in 1996 (for donations of $150 or more) or just the CD (for donations of lesser amounts).

Sacrificing Yemen to Appease Saudis

map-yemen

In pandering to the Saudi royals, President Obama has tolerated and even aided their aerial pummeling of their poverty-stricken neighbor Yemen. But the Saudi rush to bomb the Houthis may have destroyed a promising UN peace accord — and killed hundreds of civilians, writes Joe Lauria.

US Politics Gives Saudis an Edge

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, in the Oval Office, Sept. 13, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

If President Obama were speaking solely for U.S. national interests, he would offer a stern rebuke, not gentle reassurance, to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States during a Camp David summit, but domestic politics and Israeli pressure will constrain any frankness, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Obama Panders to Gulf State Sheiks

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have given crucial support to Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists, but President Obama will pander to them anyway at a Camp David summit, a sign of a muddled foreign policy, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Tom Brady and Theoretical Crime

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: The NFL meted out a four-game suspension to New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady while also fining the team $1 million and taking away two draft picks — though the NFL didn’t conclusively prove that footballs were deflated, establishing only a theoretical crime, a dangerous precedent, writes Robert Parry.

Punishing Another Whistleblower

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling.

Exclusive: Just weeks after ex-CIA Director David Petraeus got a no-jail-time wrist-slap for divulging secrets to his biographer/lover, ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling got 42 months in prison for allegedly alerting a U.S. journalist to a dubious covert op, a double standard of justice, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

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’

1000px-National_Football_League_2008

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.