Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
ANATOMY OF TORTURE — Historian Christopher Dietrich on the 100-year-long history of American torture; Jeffrey St. Clair on the implications of giving impunity to the┬áCIA’s torturers; Chris Floyd on how the US has exported torture to its client states around the world. David Macaray on the Paradoxes of Police Unions; Louis Proyect on Slave Rebellions in the Open Seas; Paul Krassner on the Perils of Political Cartooning; Martha Rosenberg on the dangers of Livestock Shot-up with Antibiotics; and Lee Ballinger on Elvis, Race and the Poor South. Plus: Mike Whitney on Greece and the Eurozone and JoAnn Wypijewski on Media Lies that Killed.
Archives from May 2004
Thy Will be Done, On Earth as It is in Texas
JOE BAGEANT
Not long ago I pulled my car up alongside a tiny wooden church in the woods, a stark white frame box my family built in 1840. And as always, an honest-to-god chill went through me, for the ancestral ghosts presumably hovering over the graves there. From the wide o...
A Question of Human Dignity
Col. DAN SMITH
"There are always going to be differences of views….The test is what has been decided and what is issued, and then is it adhered to." That was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld this past May 13 en route to Iraq. ...
Gen. Zinni: Heads Should Roll
SAM HAMOD
In a slashing criticism of the Bush White House and Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon leadership, General Zinni, former Commander of Central Command of U.S. Military, and Special Envoy to the Middle East in the Bush Administration until he resigned in disgust, said...
More Dirty Tricks in TortureGate
KURT NIMMO
It sure is curious how documents entering the Bush Machine exit with blank pages. It happened with Iraq’s 11,800-page dossier on weapons and now it has happened again with the report on prison abuse produced by Major General Antonio M. Taguba. "T...
Dan Senor is Safe!
RON JACOBS
On May 22, 2004, Counterpunch published a piece of mine simply titled "Turnaround." This piece was a faux newspaper article written as if a freelance reporter sent it from Baghdad’s Green Zone. The article itself d...
MAMs (Military-Age Males) Are Back
STAN GOFF
In 1963, well before the American public generally understood where Vietnam was, a young Army captain led a South Vietnamese unit through the A Shau Valley to systematically burn villages to the ground. This was to deprive the so-called Vietcong of any base of sup...
Incident at Makr al Deeb
MIKE WHITNEY
Last week an Iraqi wedding party was bombed in the location of Makr al Deeb near the Syrian border. Approximately 40 members of the party were killed, many of them women and children. So far, there is a great deal of pictorial and anecdotal evidence suggesting tha...
Exhibitionistic Revenge at Abu Ghraib
PETER WOLSON, Ph. D.
What is, perhaps, most horrific and incomprehensible about the Abu Ghraib photos are the photos themselves. Why would American prison guards take pictures of themselves smiling triumphantly and making fun of Iraqi prisoners as they humiliated, tortured, and in som...
Her Son Was Told by the Recruiter He Wouldn’t See Combat; Now He’s Dead
ELIZABETH WEILL-GREENBERG
Seth, 24, was in debt after he graduated from Rutgers University in 2002. He joined the army for money and skills that, he was told, would help land him a job with the CIA or FBI — his dream jobs. "Not for patriotism," said his mother, Sue Niederer...
America is Committing War Crimes in Iraq
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The demented and spiritually tormented Congressman Tom DeLay, House Majority leader, begins his speeches with the words "good evening [morning/afternoon], or, as John Kerry would say, ‘bonjour’." This greeting is meant to indicate that Senato...
The Rape of Rafah
URI AVNERY
The immense might of the Israeli army, assembled from all over the country, has attacked a small Palestinian township on the margin of the destitute Gaza Strip. Palestinians, both fighters and civilians, are being killed by the dozen, homes are being destroyed who...
The Truth About the Wine Business; Mexicans and Mendolibs; Geezer Charged with Trying to Fry Spouse
BRUCE ANDERSON
THE GRUESOME facts of the wine industry are these: It’s wholly dependent on immigrant Mexican labor for whom the industry provides little to no housing or labor protections or fair compensation or anything else that American labor, also on the ropes these da...
Charting a New Course for US Nuclear Policy
DAVID KRIEGER
"Nuclear weapons give no quarter. Their effects transcend time and place, poisoning the Earth and deforming its inhabitants for generation upon generation. They leave us wholly without defense, expunge all hope for survival. They hold in their sw...
Bushwhacked in the Caribbean
RANDALL ROBINSON
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts. On Feb. 29 the legally elected government of Haiti was driven from power by armed force. Its president, after being taken against his will to the Central African Republic, was given refuge in Jamaica. The Bush administration’s r...
Why I Burned My Israeli Military Papers
JOSH RUEBNER
On Thursday I set fire to my Israeli military deferral papers across the street from the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. This act of civil disobedience took place during a protest organized by a Jewish American peace organization against the atrocities that Isr...
Great for Investors; Not So Good for People
SAUL LANDAU
"Our model [neo-liberal economic model] is very good for Brazil, but not so good for Brazilians." – President Emilio Medici, 1971 According to comedian Chris Rock, democracy doesn’t deliver equality. F...
Beat the Crowds
BEN TRIPP
Even a sack of day-old White Castle hamburgers couldn’t help but notice there’s something missing from the administration’s terrorist emergency plans. It’s the same thing missing from all this administration’s plans: the welfare of th...
Colin Powell, DOA
PAUL DE ROOIJ
"You are going to be ...
In Defense of "Troy"
CHLOE COCKBURN
Troy has gotten a lot of flak over the past few days. Much of the opposition to this film seems to stem from a misunderstanding of the purposes and mechanisms of the Iliad. It is unclear exactly how many critics have actually read Homer, but it seems clear that th...
An American Value
LINDA BURNHAM
The Abu Ghraib portraits of sexual humiliation and submission have exposed the unbelievably tangled strands of racism, misogyny, homophobia, national arrogance and hyper-masculinity that characterize the US military. Militarized sexual domination is neither "...
Abortion, Judges and Kerry
BRANDY BAKER
The thought of anti-abortion zealots winning appointments to the Supreme Court under a Bush presidency was the one factor that terrified many into staying the course with the Democratic Party in 2000. Voters, many with pinched noses and sick stomachs, pulled the l...
Spc. Sabrina Harmon and Her Corpse
ADRIEN RAIN BURKE
I just saw a picture of Spc. Sabrina Harmon, posing with a dead body, her gloved thumb up, and a bright, Miss America smile on her wholesome face. And I am wondering what it means. Is this the sweet all-american smile of a "bad apple?" There is no...
Moral Failure of the "Free World" in Gaza
GHALI HASSAN
"Yes, they suffered the holocaust, and yes, they are the victims of anti-Semitism. But no, they cannot use those facts to continue, or initiate, the dispossession of another people that bears no responsibility for either of those prior facts"...
Why an Underdog May be the Best Antidote to the Neo-Cons
BILL KAUFFMAN
Four years ago, as Americans snored through the early round sparring between presidential candidates George W. Bush and vice-president Albert Gore, insurgent Ralph Nader, an old-fashioned anti-monopolist, had a virtual monopoly on glamour and glitz as movie and TV...
An Open Letter to the American Public
OMAR BARGHOUTI
Dear Americans, I’ve written to you a published open letter a year after the criminal attacks of September 11th reiterating my heartfelt condemnation of those attacks, while reminding you, despite your pain, to search deeper for the context, for the r...
From Wallens Ridge to Abu Ghraib
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The object of torture is torture. George Orwell, 1984 Senator James Inhofe (R. Ok.) never ceases to amaze and amuse with unique and mindless view of the world. It was he who recently described global warming a "hoax.&qu...
Can Camilo Mejia Get a Fair Trial?
JACK McCARTHY
The first trial in the Abu Gharib prison torture saga concluded with a guilty plea by SPC staff Seargeant Jeremy Spivits. Spivits was sentenced to one year in prison and a "Bad Conduct Discharge." As well, Spivits was ordered to provide ev...
How the CIA Taught the Portuguese to Torture
CHRISTOPHER REED
For several days in the early summer of 1974, I had open access to a strange and terrible prison near Lisbon, then empty because of the coup that April which ended 48 years of fascist dictatorship in Portugal. My prison time in Caxias was a never forgotten experie...
Darkness at Noon
AMIRA HASS
Rafah. Some say they heard it at 10 A.M. – others said they heard it at 11 A.M. on Wednesday: Loudspeakers calling the men of Tel Sultan to leave their homes and proceed to the Omariya School. The refugee neighborhood of 25,000 souls has been under co...
Our Iraq Legacy May be Chaos and Anarchy
RAY CLOSE
former CIA analyst Apologists for the disasters now facing America in Iraq have been, with astonishing consistency, afraid to go back to square one and admit that the idea was stupid and ill-advised in the first place. What they should be doing is taking Dick ...
What He Did as a Catspaw for Teheran: How He Nearly Bankrupted Jordan; the Billions He Stands to Make Out of the New Iraq
ANDREW COCKBURN
Earlier this week, just as administration officials were leaking the news that Ahmed Chalabi’s monthly $340,000 monthly Pentagon stipend was at last being cut off, they learned that Chalabi was investigating a potentially far more profitable income stream. &...
Why the US Turned Against Their Former Golden Boy — He was Preparing a Coup! What He Did as a Catspaw for Tehran: How He Nearly Bankrupted Jordan; the Billions He Stands to Make Out of the New Iraq
ANDREW COCKBURN
In dawn raids today, American troops surrounded Ahmed Chalabi’s headquarters and home in Baghdad, put a gun to his head, arrested two of his aides, and seized documents. Only five months ago, Chalabi was a guest of honor sitting right behind Laura Bush at th...
Why an Election is Called a Race
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
This week, as America was marking the 50th anniversary of Brown (the landmark racial segregation decision by the US Supreme Court), India was enacting its own version of Brown — Browns Only! Where the Warren court of 1954 ruled that the constitution did not ...
The War Crimes of Bush, Cheney and Co.
TOM STEPHENS And JOHN PHILO
Dear Congressman Conyers: We write to ask that you take the lead in efforts to appoint special counsel to investigate the top officials of the current US Government executive branch and their leading co-conspirators. The targets of this proposed investigati...
Ocean Commission Report Falls Short
ROBERT OVETZ
The recently released preliminary report of the US Commission on Ocean Policy, with all its flaws, got one thing right: we need to 3end the race for the last fish.2 But the commission didn1t go far enough. We need to radically reform our domestic regional f...
A Change Gonna Come
KATHY KELLY
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. -Arundhati Roy Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Social Forum, January 27, 2003 Pekin Federal Prison Peoria, Illinois &quo...
Genocide by Public Policy
SAM BAHOUR And MICHAEL DAHAN
Many words are taboo when used to describe Israel’s actions against Palestinians. One word in specific, genocide, sparks emotions that echo across Israel, Europe and America. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines genocide as "the deliberate and systema...
The Most Important Thing I Learned in School This Year
BILLY WILSON
The following is an essay written by a High School sophomore in Freyburg, Maine, as the essay part of the final exam in his English class. His teacher sent it to CounterPunch as an example of the uprightness of modern youth. The most important lesson I lear...
The Failure of Its Aggressive Foreign Policies is Inevitable
BILL And KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
former CIA analysts Recently a journalist in Singapore asked for our help on an article about U.S. foreign policies for an English-language newspaper on that island-nation. The journalist asked for our thoughts, in writing, on four specific questions that caus...
Fractured Reflections on Kissability
GREG MOSES
Tuesday morning, 8:53 a.m., MAN PRESIDENT kisses Woman President and begins: "Thank you all very much. Finally, AIPAC elected a President I can kiss. (Laughter and applause.)" Mornings all should be like this–thanking crowds for electing kissable p...
The Indian Elections of 2004
VIJAY PRASHAD
Nobody expected these results. Across the country, the hundreds of millions of Indian voters rejected the economic "reforms" associated with IMFundamentalism. The most dramatic repudiation of these "reforms" came in the southern state of Andhra...
Caterpillar Should Do the Right Thing, Now
ELIZABETH W. CORRIE
Unable to sleep, I decided to write. For the past week, my email box has been flooded with desperate pleas for help from the people in Rafah, a Palestinian village on the border with Egypt. Since last week, the Israeli Army has relentlessly hammered the people of ...
Who is Kenneth deGraffenried?
MICHAEL GILLESPIE
Seymour Hersh, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for his expose of the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Viet Nam war, is a formidable figure in the world of big media journalism. He is reported to be an extraordinarily difficu...
Who to Trust: AIPAC or Amnesty International?
RAY HANANIA
In a speech recently, President Bush says Israel has a right to defend itself against terror but he made no mention of Israel’s government’s "war crimes." Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorism, but does Israel’s g...
Out of Iraq and Plato’s Cave
GARY CORSERI
"What is reality anyway? Nothing but a collective hunch." –Lilly Tomlin It’s all about images, hype and our salesman’s culture. A week before the pictures of Abu Ghraib exploded, killing Am...
Homes Destroyed; Death Toll Mounts
JOSH FRANK
Even if he turns out to be the second worst president in US history, John F. Kerry will still be better than our sitting president. At least many liberal and progressive Americans are stating as much in order to justify their support for the leading Democrat. Howe...
If Malcolm Were Alive
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY
(A speech delivered at the 14th Annual Malcolm X Day Festival in Greenville SC on May 16th and in Columbia SC on Malcolm X Day, May 19th) Like Malcolm, I want to speak to you in a straightforward, down to earth way that you can clearly understand. I ...
The Body Burden
THOMAS P. HEALY
Chemical and biological weapons disguised as beneficial pesticides and herbicides are poisoning Americans. Exposure is at levels "well above officially permitted thresholds established by government health and environmental agencies," according to "...
Man on a Leash
VANESSA JONES
"He remembered, suddenly, his days in boot camp in the South and felt again the shoe of a white officer against his mouth. He was in his white uniform, on the ground, against the red, dusty clay. Some of his coloured buddies were holding him, were shouting ...
The Gaza Debacle
NEVE GORDON
Two weeks after 60,000 Likud members voted against a pullout from the Gaza Strip, about 150,000 Israelis filled Rabin Square in Tel-Aviv, calling upon the government to proceed with the withdrawal plan. The first group supports the vision of a Greater Israel, the ...