In announcing the end of the Iraq War, President Obama ignored its horrors, so as not to further upset its still-powerful supporters. But his silence removed the context for Pvt. Bradley Manning’s moral decision to expose these crimes of war, writes Marjorie Cohn.
The neocons’ treasured Iraq War myth of their “successful surge” is belied by the actual history of how Iraqi Shiite leaders collaborated with Iran to tamp down internal violence and then destroy neocon plans for long-term U.S. military bases to project power in the Middle East, as Gareth Porter explains.
During a recent visit to Israel, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivered a blunt message – that the country’s leaders must adjust to the changing realities or risk ending up isolated in the region and losing international support. But Israel’s leaders only got angry, reports Lawrence Davidson.
The CIA is now “one hell of a killing machine,” said one CIA insider, as lethal drones hunt down “bad guys” selected for death by a ramped-up force of CIA target analysts. This shift in emphasis has transformed the spy agency that new director, retired Gen. David Petraeus, inherits, writes Gareth Porter.
Exclusive: When soldiers die, the politicians who sent them to their deaths typically use euphemisms, words like “fallen” or “ultimate sacrifice.” On one level, the avoidance of blunt language may be seen as a sign of respect, but on another, it is just one more evasion of responsibility, as Ray McGovern notes.
Arguably, the Iraq War has been headed for defeat from its earliest days, when it became clear the Iraqis would resist a U.S. occupation, but President George W. Bush didn’t want the blame, thus the “surge.” Now, President Barack Obama is worried that “losing Iraq” will be hung on him, thus thoughts of staying , as…
In another example of how Democrats deal timidly with Republican crimes, the Obama administration has closed the book on the vast majority of George W. Bush’s torture scandals, including high-level approval of waterboarding and other forms of physical coercion. Only two homicide investigations will go forward, as Marjorie Cohn notes.
Departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates is winning hosannas around Washington as a straight-talking “wise man” who reined in wasteful spending. However, the reality is much different, with Gates having spoken out of both sides of his mouth in a way that has created a dilemma for his successor, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.