U.S. government officials (and many mainstream pundits) assure Americans that there’s nothing to fear from the electronic surveillance aimed at “terrorists,” but some intelligence experts say the new techniques could ultimately intimidate people from participating in democracy, as author Christopher Simpson tells Dennis J Bernstein.
Americans got a rare glimpse into the breadth of U.S. government surveillance of their communications with new revelations that phone and Internet providers have been turning over vast amounts of data to be mined for “terrorism” investigations, an issue discussed by human rights attorney Shahid Buttar with Dennis J Bernstein.
The genocide conviction of Guatemala’s ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt has put respect for human rights at a crossroads, with one option to reverse the judgment and another to expand the investigation to Rios Montt’s accomplices in Guatemala and the U.S., journalist Allan Nairn tells Dennis J. Bernstein.
From the Archive: President Obama has nominated Hyatt Hotels heiress Penny Pritzker to be the next Commerce Secretary. Pritzker, also a major fundraiser for Obama’s two presidential campaigns, faced controversy because of her role in the sub-prime mortgage disaster, as Dennis J. Bernstein reported in 2008.
U.S. propagandists and the mainstream media present foreign crises, like the current one with North Korea, as black-and-white morality plays with Official Washington behaving wisely and the adversaries as crazy. But the reality is always more complex, as Christine Hong told Dennis J. Bernstein.
As the Iraq War’s architects and boosters remain respected figures in Official Washington, whistleblower Bradley Manning faces possible life in prison. To counter this injustice, media critic Jeff Cohen thinks Manning should get the Nobel Peace Prize, as he explained to Dennis J. Bernstein.
Liberation theology holds that Jesus was committed to making society address the needs of the poor, not just giving them charity. But traditional Church leaders condemn it as Marxism in Christian trappings and have sat back as rightist regimes tortured and killed priests and nuns, a history that now haunts Pope Francis.
There was a time in America when someone like Ramsey Clark could be Attorney General and assert the power of the federal government on the side of civil rights, but that now seems like ancient history, as Clark reflects on the past and present with Dennis J. Bernstein.
The genocide against Native Americans remains one of the worst blots on the collective U.S. conscience, but the crime was widely ignored until four decades ago when a movement of Indian activists returned to the historic massacre site at Wounded Knee, as Bill Means recounted to Dennis J. Bernstein.
The U.S. Postal Service, which has bound the nation together since its founding, is under intense pressure to privatize, especially from business rivals and libertarians. But Post Offices represent some of America’s finest examples of public space and common purpose, scholar Gray Brechin tells Dennis J. Bernstein.