Yvette Carnell explores the failure of identity politics; Mike Whitney dissects Trump’s economic policy, which looks like the same old trickledown with a few troubling wrinkles; Chris Floyd charts the rise of Trump on the continuum of American politics; Jeffrey St. Clair dissects the Democrats’ abandonment of the working class; Anthony DiMaggio reports on the street protests against Trump and Alena Wolflink examines how Trump’s campaign hit all the right nerves. Plus: Jason Hirthler on whitewashing the crimes of empire; Joshua Frank on climate change and the future of the grizzly; Seth Sandronsky and Dan Berman on the struggle for workplace safety; Ruth Fowler on police violence and gentrification; Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark on the refugee crisis; Robert Hunziker on spiking radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean and much more.
Exclusively in the New Print Issue of CounterPunch
When it came to trying to eliminate Fidel Castro, the Central Intelligence Agency spared no effort across a quarter of a century. In 1975, former CIA director William Colby admitted to the US Senate's Church Committee investigating CIA abuses that the agency had tried and failed to kill Castro several times, but, Colby claimed, not nearly as often as its critics alleged.
“It wasn’t for lack of trying,” Colby observed. “Castro gave McGovern in 1975 a list of the attempts made on his life – there were about thirty by that time – as he said, by the CIA. McGovern gave it to me and I looked through it and checked it off against our records and said we could account for about five or six. The others – I can understand Castro’s feeling about them because they were all ex-Bay of Pigs people or something like that, so he thinks they’re all CIA. Once you get into one of them, then bingo! – you get blamed for all the rest. We didn’t have any connections with the rest of them, but we’d never convince Castro of that.”
"What has happened to me?," I wondered, staring at the flood of emails swelling my inbox with the heading: "Are you Really a Russian agent?" Even the dog looked at me with suspicion, curious, I guess, if he needed a taste-tester for the Spot's Stew "wild salmon" nuggets I'd just filled his bowl with. More
I’ve long been taken aback by the readiness of some leading left intellectuals to downplay the role of state violence in the enforcement of social hierarchy and class rule inside the United States. Perhaps you know the argument: thanks to the relative strength of the free speech tradition, outwardly democratic politics, and the related heroic struggles of activists from the abolitionists of the 19th century through the trade union and Civil Rights militants of the last century, the American power elite relies less on force than on “the manufacture of consent” to keep to the citizenry down. It’s called “taking the risk out of democracy” through the “soft power” of propaganda, spectacle, messaging, diversion and illusion: thought control. It comes with a great and brilliant irony: free speech, “democracy” – insofar as it can meaningfully exist under capitalism (which is not very far) – and civil liberties are mixed blessings in hierarchical and imperial societies like the United States because they incentivize those who hold wealth and power to invest heavily in the sinister manipulation of popular hearts and minds. More
Craig Timberg, a Washington Post reporter with an interesting history (which we’ll get to shortly), doubled down last night with a new article suggesting that Congressional legislation may be coming to further crack down on independent journalists not properly adhering to the dogma of Washington. Timberg has become the deserving piñata of writers like Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Max Blumenthal of AlterNet, Robert Parry at Consortium News and numerous other writers at alternative media. More