President Obama promised a “transparent” administration – but the American people didn’t know the transparency would go only one way, letting the government look at the people while blocking the public’s view of the government, a reality described in James Risen’s new book, reviewed by Norman Solomon.
Terror tactics have always been partly theater designed to elicit public reaction, whether to draw attention to a grievance or to draw the U.S. military into a conflict. Yet, American pols and pundits seem to have forgotten this reality and thus continue to get manipulated, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: In the Kafkaesque world of Guantanamo, even inmates cleared for release are held indefinitely and – if they try to kill themselves via hunger strikes – are brutally force-fed to keep them alive. Finally, a U.S. court is confronting whether the force-feeding can be done more humanely, reports Ray McGovern.
Official Washington’s “group think” is that President Obama is “weak” because he doesn’t rush into wars with the abandon that talk-show favorite John McCain would like. But Obama may actually be “weak” because he gets pushed into conflicts that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says only make matters worse.
After World War II, there was hope that core principles of international law and human rights would become universal, but increasingly these standards have suffered from selective application and propagandistic manipulation, causing a loss of credibility in these key precepts, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
From the Archive: After six years, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has nearly weathered his chilly relationship with President Obama and can expect to coast through the next two years ignoring Obama’s appeals. But Obama is not the first U.S. president to be played by Israel, as Morgan Strong wrote in 2010.
Contradictions beset the U.S. war over Iraq and Syria. The principal target ISIS wouldn’t even exist but for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria have benefited from defections of U.S.-backed “moderates.” But now warplanes and missiles are supposed to fix things, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: As Scots vote on independence from Great Britain, part of the motivation for those voting “aye” is the brutal history of English repression of Scottish freedom, dating back centuries but fresh in the minds of many Scots, a lesson about unintended consequences of violence that should be remembered by today’s politicians, as…