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
The Coming Backlash Against Outrage
NORMAN SOLOMON
Looking at visual images from U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, news watchers now find themselves in the midst of a jolting experience that roughly resembles a process described by Donald Rumsfeld: "It is the photographs that gives one the vivid realization of what a...
Community Radio in Guatemala
LISA VISCIDI
On May 22, 1987, Guatemalan guerillas hijacked the frequency of a state-approved radio station in order to broadcast their popular revolutionary message. Voz Popular, the voice of Guatemala’s guerilla party the URNG, transmitted from a mobile unit atop the V...
So, Who’s to Blame?
VIRGINIA TILLEY
Secretary Rumsfeld has apologized. Or rather, he read a statement full of apology, now dutifully quoted in the media. Nothing in the rest of his testimony or his bearing, however, indicated the slightest remorse. Instead, with his usual nasal petulance, he lashed ...
Civil Liberties Victory in Oakland Courts: All Charges Dropped Against Port Anti-War Protesters; Longshoremen Plan Mass March on Washington
JACK HEYMAN
"This is a victory we’re all gonna celebrate!", exclaimed Charles Braves, deacon of the predominantly black Charleston, South Carolina longshore union. He was talking about the April 22 court decision by the Alameda County District Attorney’s...
Hoffa’s Executive Assistant Alleged to Have Quashed Investigation of Mob Influence
COUNTERPUNCH WIRE
A new document has surfaced in the Teamster corruption scandal identifying Carlow Scalf, Executive Assistant to Teamster President James Hoffa, as the person most responsible for shutting down the investigation of Teamster organized crime activity in Chicago. ...
Maybe the Dumbest US Senator of the All
BRUCE JACKSON
On Tuesday, May 11, the Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony from Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, whose report documents American atrocities and administrative failures of various kinds at Abu Ghriab prison; Stephen A. Cambone, the Defense Department ...
Dirty Nukes and Jefferson’s Grand Experiment
KURT NIMMO
It’s the second week of May and we’re closing in on the elections. If more sadistic reports of prisoner abuse emerge — like the most recent photos showing big guard dogs biting a hapless Iraqi detainee — or something worse, Bush is ...
On the Necessity of Torture
MARK ENGLER
While it has been over a week since the scandal concerning abuses of Iraqi prisoners erupted, our country is only beginning to reckon with the issue of torture. By now, most Americans have seen at least some of the horrific photos from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib pris...
Cheney Warned in 1992
THOMAS BLANTON And PETER KORNBLUH
CIA interrogation manuals written in the 1960s and 1980s described "coercive techniques" such as those used to mistreat detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to the declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The...
America’s Long History of Prison Abuse
CHRISTOPHER REED
For a nation founded on slavery and genocide, Americans retain an astonishingly enduring faith in their continuing righteousness. They are sounding this note again as the prison torture scandal continues in Iraq. In a column in the New York Times last ...
Legitimacy in Iraq
MIKE WHITNEY
By using the distraction of Rumsfeld’s testimony on Capital Hill to disguise continuing aggression, US Marines have stepped up their campaign to "capture or kill" Muqtada al-Sadr. Fighting has escalated in both Najaf and Kerbala with the goal of s...
Detention Camp, USA
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
One picture is worth a thousand words Fred Barnard, Printer’s Ink It’s hardly the president’s fault. As he himself has said, he doesn’t read newspapers. He relies on his staff to tell him what...
The Great Conspirator Turns 85
BRUCE JACKSON
Pete Seeger was 85 this week and his friends from around the world have been emailing one another and checking in at various Internet sites, telling their favorite stories about him. They’re all true those stories, every one of them. Pete is every bit the pr...
The Bloody Career of the New Ambassador to Iraq
DENNIS HANS
Remember Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, the Islamist movement that mis-governed the failed state of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001? He and the Taliban played host to Osama bin Laden, providing him and his al Qaeda organization a safe haven from where they...
Budget Cuts and Revolving Doors
SIMON HELWEG-LARSEN
The Guatemalan military will be heavily reduced in size and funding over the next few months. The major restructuring of the military was agreed to in the 1996 Peace Accords, but since 1998 this has only been met with a constant increase in both troops and budget....
Righteous Indignation, Nakedly Displayed
WILLIAM A. COOK
Have we heard from everyone yet? The President blurted out how "disgusted" he was when he saw the photographs; the Secretary of Defense cringed at the "pictures" that had far greater impact than words alone; Senator Warner expressed "...
A March of Folly
RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA analyst "It would take 500,000 men to do it and even then it could not be done." So spoke General Jacques Leclerc, the French World War II hero sent to Vietnam in 1946 to estimate how many troops would be required to take back that country...
Less Than Hero
MICKEY Z.
Q. Who gave up a life of luxury and turned his back on millions to fight in the mountains of Afghanistan for what he believed in and, as a result, is revered by millions as a "hero"? A. Osama bin Laden. Perception is reality…...
Mishandled Invasions
REZA FIYOUZAT
In view of the fact that a social endeavor as enormous as invading another nation involves an inordinate amount of co-ordination and organizational capability and foresight, it is only natural that surprising turns of events would come up as a matter of fact, and ...
Rape, Feces and Urine-Dipped Cloth Sacks
WAYNE MADSEN
With mounting evidence that a shadowy group of former Israeli Defense Force and General Security Service (Shin Bet) Arabic-speaking interrogators were hired by the Pentagon under a classified "carve out" sub-contract to brutally interrogate Iraqi prisone...
Talking the Homeland Security Blues with Bingo the Philosopher Dog
JOE BAGEANT
I’d be the first to admit that sitting here in this garden shed drinking Jim Beam and feeding pork rinds to my dog Bingo (a black mutt of the type we call a "piss hound" around here) may not be the be the best vantage point from which to examine na...
Images & Abstractions & Genitals
DIANE CHRISTIAN
The images of abuse from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison have been characterized by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld as ‘radioactive.’ He sees them as poisoning and contaminating the noble US cause of liberation and democracy. He and most other commentator...
The Shame of Abu Ghraib
Col. DAN SMITH
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963) The Pentagon’s February 7, 2004 statement read: "An inquiry has been laun...
Don’t Leave Mad; Just Leave
RON JACOBS
At last. From the looks of America’s editorial pages this morning (May 7, 2004), it appears that the some of the country’s news media has finally caught up with those of us writing from the left. Both the New York Times and the Boston Globe have editor...
Racism, Bigotry and Abuse
RAY HANANIA
Americans hate to be told that their culture is often based by the hatred of other people, particularly foreigners. But racism and bigotry are a fact of American life, which is built on the decades of civil rights abuses of African Americans and other minorities....
From Hollywood to Abu Ghraib
ROBERT FISK
The Independent Less than six month before the outbreak of the First World War, my grandmother, Margaret Fisk, gave my father William a 360-page book of imperial adventure, Tom Graham VC, A Story of the Afghan War. "Presented to Willie by his Mother,"...
Getting in Touch with Your Inner Savage
BEN TRIPP
Note: there are times when humor fails. We are savages. It is inherent in the human species. The machinery of civilization with its laws, mores, restrictions, and responsibilities, is nothing more than a device for the distillation of savagery into a less t...
There Were No Weapons of Mass Destruction
DOUG GIEBEL
Ever since the Bush Administration began publicly spinning out its catalog of reasons for invading Iraq, this writer has questioned and written about the alleged existence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. More important, however, is my growing convicti...
Alan Lomax: Dead, But Still Stealing
DAVE MARSH
Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook (Rounder) is a fantastic two disc set featuring 41 great country blues by black and white artists, including Muddy Waters, Dock Boggs, Fred McDowell, Leadbelly and Sonny Boy Williamson. The title, however, may seem a little mislea...
Humpty Dumpty is Falling
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean–neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many diffe...
(There Are No Innocent Bystanders)
MICKEY Z.
"Please forgive us, we didn’t know Could you ever believe that we didn’t know? Please forgive us, we didn’t know I wouldn’t blame you if you never could, and you never will" -Natalie Merchant, &q...
Disorderly Conduct as Fine Art
SUSAN DAVIS
The Rise & Fall of the DIL PICKLE: Jazz-Age Chicago’s Wildest & Most Outrageously Creative Hobohemian Nightspot, edited & introduced by Franklin Rosemont. Chicago, Charles H. Kerr publishing Co., 2004. A few month...
Liberating Masturbation
DR. SUSAN BLOCK
Confession: The author of the book I’m about to review gave me my first orgasm. Well, not personally. Actually, it was her first book that gave it to me. I was 19 years old, and I’d never had an orgasm. Oh, I’d had sex a few times, mainly ...
* * * *
JOANNE MARINER
Those who like word-guessing games might enjoy the opinion that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed down last week in the Moussaoui case. Its text is interrupted in several dozen places with sets of asterisks — **** — that substitut...
A Guiding Light Falls on Ramallah
SAM BAHOUR
Ramallah. Ramallah is now usually quiet at night. This has not always been the case for this summer town located in the center of the West Bank. As a matter of fact, before the latest Israeli military aggression and subsequent re-occupation of the West Bank...
Why I Will Not Vote in 2004
CAROLYN BAKER
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous. Frederick Douglass On May 3, 2004, the California Secretary of State nixed all electronic, touch-screen voting in the state and called ...
Dear Mr. Man
PRINCE
What’s wrong with the world 2day? Things just got 2 get better Show me what the leaders say Maybe we should write a letter Said Dear Mr. Man, we don’t understand Why poor people keep struggling but U don’t lend a helping ...
Limbaugh and the Babes of Abu Ghraib
KURT NIMMO
Torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq? It’s no different than fraternity hazing. Or so declares the king of reactionary radio, Rush Limbaugh. Beating and killing Iraqi detainees, according to Limbaugh, is good fun. "I’m talking about peo...
Who Let the Dogs Out?
DOUGLAS VALENTINE
"O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!" Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene I. Finally, a period of re-evaluation. Too bad it took a war crimes scandal to bring i...
A Few Things About the Cheneys
LAURA FLANDERS
First Ladies Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney (the wife of the Vice President) are the White House’s Maria Shriver. Unelected, supposedly not political they speak to the "personal" side of their men. Just as Shriver attempted to assure voters that the n...
How the Bush Gang Exploited 9/11
NORM DIXON
Even while working people were still coming to terms with the shock of witnessing the unimaginable and traumatic collapse of the World Trade Center, top US officials were describing this mass murder of 3000 people as “an opportunity” recent books by go...
Forbidden Games
LUCIA DAILEY
One of the main requirements for taking the life of another is to dehumanize and brand them as inferior, evil, stupid; gook, swine, rat, dog, coon, raghead–because the difficulty and psychological pain of killing someone recognizably the same is so great....
Fans Push Spiderman Off Base
DAVE ZIRIN
Sometimes an every day innocuous indignity becomes the piece of straw that breaks the camel’s back. The American Revolution was sparked by a tax on tea. The Civil Rights Movement ignited because Rosa Parks held down her seat. Now Majo...
America’s Srebrenica
ADAM JONES
Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio commentator, has likened the abusive and humiliating treatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers, contractors, and CIA personnel to "a college fraternity prank" (New York Times, 6 May 2004). Anyone with a grain of ...
As American as Apple Pie
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR Torture’s back in the news, courtesy of those lurid pictures of exultant Americans laughing as they torture their Iraqi captives in Abu Ghraib prison run by the US military outside Baghdad. Apparently it takes electrodes and naked ...
US Detention Facilities in Iraq
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Human Rights Watch has repeatedly tried to gain access to U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, but U.S. military officials in Baghdad have denied requests for visitation rights. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH is able to have regular access to prisons and detention centers unde...
The Thing with No Brain
JOHN CHUCKMAN
I had an unpleasant moment on the day Bush decided to address "the Arab world." He is a man I cannot stand hearing, so when his voice comes on the radio, I always switch it off. Well, this time I was too far away and necessarily heard a couple of sentenc...
Doesn’t It Ring a (Prison) Bell
ALEXANDER ZAITCHIK
If the president wasn’t so forthright about his disinterest in the world, it would have been hard to believe him Wednesday when he said the abuse in Abu Ghraib prison "doesn’t represent the America I know." But who can doubt him? To represent...
Betrayed by Images of Our Own Racism
ROBERT FISK
First, our enemies created the suicide bomber. Now, we have our own digital suicide bomber, the camera. Just look at the way US army reservist Lynndie England holds the leash of the naked, bearded Iraqi. Take a close look at the leather strap, the pain on the pris...
A Comic Apology
M. SHAHID ALAM
"There’s a lot of people in the world who don’t believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith c...