Reporter Wins Fifth Amendment Case

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

The U.S. government’s recurring threats to prosecute journalists who receive classified documents may have created an avenue for some reporters to evade testimony at least in civil cases – by asserting a Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, says Marcy Wheeler.

Confronting a Very Dark Chapter

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of a very dark chapter of human history, the U.S. incineration of tens of thousands of Japanese civilians by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a war crime that has been rationalized in popular U.S. history, writes Gary G. Kohls.

The Soft Power Hoax

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

U.S. officials love the idea of “soft power,” a concept that applies non-violent means – from propaganda to culture – to induce foreign countries to conform to Washington’s wishes. But the arrogance of the approach has alienated, rather than attracted, many people around the world, writes Mike Lofgren.

The ‘Two Minutes Hate’ of Tom Brady

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may lose his day in court since the NFL maneuvered “Deflategate” into a corporate-friendly venue in Manhattan – possibly sparing the NFL from explaining why rival owners were allowed to intervene to push harsh penalties for Brady and the Patriots, says Robert Parry.

Nuclear War’s Unlearned Lessons

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

The upcoming 70th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a fitting moment for the world to contemplate the dangers from the continuation of nuclear arsenals and the cavalier attitude that many countries take toward geopolitical crises, as Robert Dodge explains.

Kafka-like Persecution of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

In an era when powerful institutions demonize decent people – and the mainstream media joins in, piling on the abuse – legal proceedings have become another Kafka-esque weapon of coercion. Few cases are more troubling than the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as John Pilger describes.

America’s Mindless Clamor

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, left, interviewed Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka "Joe the Plumber") on his Fox News Channel program in 2009.

America has become a land of institutionalized noise – whether the clamor of a crowded restaurant or the more dangerous shout fests of TV “news” – both intruding on the ability to think and communicate coherently, writes Lawrence Davidson.

Mideast Alliances Shift Again

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)

Like shifting desert sands, the volatile Middle East is going through a new, though subtle, realignment of adversaries and allies, with Turkey’s political tensions shaking up one area while Saudi Arabia makes moves of its own, as recounted by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Clash Over Whose Lives Matter

Afghan children await school supplies from Allied forces at Sozo School in Kabul. (French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde)

A Twitter clash has broken out between people favoring #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, both protesting U.S. police violence against Americans but failing to take into account the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the U.S. military as self-appointed global policeman, says Sam Husseini.

Plans to Destroy a Palestinian Village

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)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is holding together his fragile parliamentary coalition by backing the demands of the aggressive settlers encroaching on Palestinian lands, with one dramatic case the plan to demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya, writes Alon Ben-Meir.

Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts

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: The neocon-flagship Washington Post fired a propaganda broadside at President Putin for shutting down the Russian activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, but left out key facts like NED’s U.S. government funding, its quasi-CIA role, and its plans for regime change in Moscow, writes Robert Parry.

The Tom Brady Railroad

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

Exclusive: Powerful institutions – whether the U.S. government, the mainstream media or the NFL – can run roughshod over individuals, twisting facts in whatever direction is desired. The current railroading of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a cautionary case in point, writes Robert Parry.

Obama’s Egypt Policy Breeds Terrorism

mohamedmorsi

Exclusive: President Obama has gotten in line behind the Israeli-Saudi preference in Egypt for the brutal dictatorship of Gen. al-Sisi over the elected (but now deposed) Muslim Brotherhood government of President Morsi, a posture so shocking that even some U.S. neocons object, writes Jonathan Marshall.

When Israel/Neocons Favored Iran

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neocon and proponent of the Iraq War. (Defense Department photo)

Exclusive: The modern history of U.S.-Israeli-Iranian relations dates back 35 years to a time of political intrigue when Israel’s Likud leaders and the Reagan administration’s neocons secretly worked to arm Iran’s radical regime, an inconvenient truth given today’s anti-Iran hysteria, writes Robert Parry.

Turkey’s Geopolitical Gyrations

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

The Obama administration is joining with Turkey in airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Syria – a shift from President Erdogan’s past tolerance and even support for Islamic terrorists inside Syria – but a more complex geopolitical game is afoot, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Obama Buys False Iran Narrative

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

President Obama has fallen into the habit of accepting whatever “group think” is prevalent in Official Washington, which often falsely accuses some “enemy” of a nefarious deed, but Obama then tries to dodge the desired reaction: war. This risky pattern is playing out again over Iran, writes Gareth Porter.

The Unreality of the Iran-Nuke Fight

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to 2014 convention of the powerful lobbying group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Israel is throwing the full weight of its U.S. lobby to crush the Iran nuclear agreement, but there are other factors adding momentum to the opposition – partisanship among Republicans and money from Israeli backers to propagandize the American people, explains ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How ‘Adjunct’ Professors Are Exploited

Ohio State University's University Hall.

While some “star” professors at major universities are very well compensated and college football coaches can make millions of dollars a year, “adjunct” professors are exploited as cheap labor, often needing other jobs and food stamps to survive, notes Laura Finley.

Israel Clears the Bench in Iran Fight

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

Exclusive: Israel – in its desperation to kill the Iran nuclear deal – is exposing its often-denied influence over the U.S. political/media process. Israeli officials are even using football analogies to rally U.S. lawmakers while emptying the bench of friendly “experts” to mount a goal-line stand, writes Robert Parry.

NYT Enforces Ukraine ‘Group Think’

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Determined to enforce the “group think” on Ukraine, the editors of The New York Times lashed out at Russia for urging an expanded inquiry into last year’s MH-17 shoot-down. But the Times won’t join calls for the U.S. government to release its intelligence on the tragedy, writes Robert Parry.

The Dangers of European Dis-Union

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (center) with French President Francois Hollande (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right).

The “European Project” is under unprecedented stress from fissures both east-and-west (over the Ukraine crisis) and north-and-south (over the Greek and refugee crises) – and it’s unclear whether the Continent’s bureaucrats can keep the European Union from splintering apart, as Nat Parry explains.

Philippines’ Terror-Inducing ‘War on Terror’

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)

A largely forgotten front in George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” has been the Philippines where military campaigns to crush various rebel groups and political activists have led to charges of extrajudicial killings, torture and other war crimes, reports Marjorie Cohn.

Hillary Clinton’s Leftward Flip-Flops

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Faced with a populist surge in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has tacked strongly to the left and – in so doing – is leaving in her wake many long-held positions on crime, trade, same-sex marriage, etc., to such a degree that it’s hard to know what she’d do as president, says Evan Popp.

Trump, McCain and ‘Chicken-hawk-ism’

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The fury over Donald Trump’s slur against Sen. McCain’s time as a Vietnam War POW has obscured a larger point about “chicken-hawk-ism,” how U.S. political/media insiders hail the soldiers for “heroism” but send them into harm’s way with little appreciation of their sacrifice, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Should Release MH-17 Intel

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)

A year ago, the U.S. government issued a sketchy report on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down citing “social media” and other flimsy data implicating eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia, but then – as hard intelligence became available – went silent. Now, U.S. intelligence veterans are demanding release of that intel.

Iran Deal Dooms ‘Full-Spectrum Dominance’

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The international agreement to ensure that Iran’s nuclear energy program stays peaceful is not just a victory for non-proliferation but part of a more realistic realignment of U.S. policy toward the Mideast, finally recognizing the bloody futility of “full-spectrum dominance,” writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in June focused on the bloody crises in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East — and on propaganda’s harm to democracy and fairness, from war to Tom Brady.

A Reminder about Comment Policy

From Editor Robert Parry: At Consortiumnews, we welcome substantive comments about our articles, but comments should avoid abusive language toward other commenters or our writers, racial or religious slurs (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia), and allegations that are unsupported by facts.

Learning from the Greek ‘Betrayal’

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's Syriza party. (Photo credit: FrangiscoDer)

Europe’s defenders of neoliberal economics – favoring the market interests of wealthy elites over the social needs of average people – marshaled their forces to crush the Greek challenge to “austerity,” with Greek Prime Minister Tsipras betraying his supporters, John Pilger told Dennis J Bernstein.

Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War

A scene of destruction after an aerial bombing in Azaz, Syria, Aug. 16, 2012. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: In the early months of the Syrian civil war, the West’s mainstream media presented the conflict as a simple case of good-guy protesters vs. bad-guy government, but the conflict was more complicated than that and the one-sided version only made matters worse, writes Jonathan Marshall.

The US Hand in the Syrian Mess

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

Exclusive: Neocons and the mainstream U.S. media place all the blame for the Syrian civil war on President Bashar al-Assad and Iran, but there is another side of the story in which Syria’s olive branches to the U.S. and Israel were spurned and a reckless drive for “regime change” followed, writes Jonathan Marshall.