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 August 2007
Giuliani’s Garden District
DEBBIE NATHAN
To make it to the Republican presidential caucuses, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been flip flopping the cosmopolitan stances he used to take on gay, women’s and immigrant rights. Once he supported them; now he’s against. And lately, ...
Credit Derivative Orgy is Behind Liquidity Crisis
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Financial Times warned against them. So did Warren Buffet, Alan Greenspan, Jim Sinclair and the chief economist at Morgan Stanley. Derivatives they said could facilitate a global financial collapse like what sunk Barings Bank, Orange County and the Long-Ter...
The Art of Sinning Well
BINOY KAMPMARK
Every saint has a past and every sinner a future. – Oscar Wilde Oprah Winfrey is a phenomenon. Or so claims Jennifer Harris and Elwood Watson in an edited book by that name, recently out from University of Kentucky Pre...
Back to School During Wartime
SUNSARA TAYLOR
College should be a time and a place to learn about the worldto go from the galactic to the microscopic, to learn of different cultures and art forms, to get into philosophy and history and questions of meaning and of truthto explore things that have been kept fro...
Meet Miss C.
URI AVNERY
INTRODUCING Miss Calculatsia, that fashionable foreigner, the new star in Israeli discourse. To a Hebrew ear, she sounds like a young beauty, like "Miss Israel". But Miss-Calculatsia, the Hebrew version of "miscalculation", is neither yo...
The Senate’s Radioactive Rip-Off
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Gargantuan loan guarantees for a "new generation" of nuke reactors define the Senate’s version of the Energy Bill that Congress will consider right after Labor Day. Its backers say the $50 billion-plus in radioactive pork will give us "...
Padilla Jury Opens Pandora’s Box
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Jose Padilla’s conviction on terrorism charges on August 16 was a victory, not for justice, but for the US Justice (sic) Department’s theory that a US citizen can be convicted, not because he committed a terrorist act but for allegedly harboring aspira...
Excuse Us, Nancy Pelosi
DAVE LINDORFF
It’s not just the Constitution that’s suffering because of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nutty and unprincipled "impeachment-off-the-table" position blocking any effort to impeach President Bush or Vice President Cheney for their many cr...
To Smear a King
DAVID "DC" LARSON
As the August anniversary of Elvis Presley’s 1977 death approached, writings seeking to dismiss him (at best) and convict him of racial animosity (at worst) appeared on the printed page. Disappointingly, two such attack pieces soiled the online pages...
Canada’s Disgrace
ROBERT BILLYARD
It is an interesting irony that as the case of Maher Arar passes into history the case of another Canadian, Omar Khadr is coming to trial in the US. Arar and Khadr have a few things in common besides being Canadian citizens. Both have suffered inhumane tort...
The Fine Art of Bad Elections
JOHN ROSS
In its most revealing set of elections since the July 2006 fraud-marred presidential balloting, this not-so-distant neighbor nation proved conclusively that its electoral system is irreparably broken. The August 5th vote-taking in Baja California Norte, the...
Why Your Vote Will Never Matter
JAMES ROTHENBERG
Well, it looks like the 2008 election campaign is in full swing, or is it? Does anyone know who the Greens are running? Or the Socialists? Or the Progressives or Populists or Workers World? Nah, I guess we don’t need them to get started. They can fill in the...
Nasrallah’s Surprise
RANNIE AMIRI
"If you, the Zionists, are considering attacking Lebanon, I am reserving a surprise for you that will change the fate of the war and the region." - Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech marking the end of last year’s war with I...
Greed and Folly on Wall Street
RALPH NADER
The corporate capitalists’ knees are shaking a bit. Their manipulation of the sub-prime housing market has led to a spreading credit crunch and liquidity crisis. So it is time for them to call on Uncle Sam–the all purpose bailout man. Only don&#...
I’m So Screwed
BEN TRIPP
Not to show off or anything, but I have a day job. Every morning from Monday through Friday I put on a pair of pants and toddle off to an environment I like to call "the workplace" to perform the duties associated with "work". Weekends are pant...
Assholes of the Week
PAUL KRASSNER
This is a special edition of these nominations. They all have to do with religion. Not included here, however, is the massacre of 175 civilians in the Yazidi community in Iraq. The victims were mostly Kurds, though neither Muslim nor Christian, and are considered ...
The Politics of Schizophrenia
FRED GARDNER
"There is now sufficient evidence to warn young people that using cannabis could increase their risk of developing a psychotic illness later in life," according to a paper in The Lancet July 28. The "evidence" was produced by an exerci...
India Backtracks on Disarmament
N. D. JAYAPRAKASH
The text of the Indo-US nuclear deal, which is titled "Agreement for Co-operation Between the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy" (also known as the 123 Agreement) and which w...
Where Inmates Can Grow for Free
NANCY ODEN
Drug- and alcohol-related crimes, plus mandatory, lengthy sentences have caused serious overcrowding of Maine’s [and entire USA's] jails and prisons. Simply locking inmates in cages, where they loll about, eating, sleeping and watching TV, is terribly...
Cannon Fodder
ROBERT FANTINA
"He’s a deployable asset just like any other soldier in that unit." So said Lt. Col. Len Gratteri, spokesman for the Delaware National Guard, when asked if Mr. Beau Biden, soon to be sent to Iraq, would be treated ...
The Suicide Bomber
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
A peace symbol hangs from a chain around my neck. Soon after I bought the necklace, I decided I wouldn’t take it off until the war ended. On Tuesday afternoon, I sat in a physician’s examining room. The doctor mentioned my peace symbol and said that pe...
The Virtues of Resistance
RON JACOBS
Some biographies are great histories. Others are lively and interesting discussions of the subject’s life. Very few are both. Even fewer are not only both of the above, but also inspirational. Ray Ginger’s biography of Eugene Debs, ...
Azar’s Story
ROBERT S. ESHELMAN
"I got a death threat," begins Azar, 26, explaining why in April of last year he fled Iraq and joined the ranks of Iraqi refugees in Syria, now numbering 1.5 million. "I had no choice but to leave." On a July afternoon in the Christian ...
Exit Karl Rove, Everyone’s Useful Demon
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The uproar over Karl Rove’s resignation as George Bush’s political advisor is stupendous, but in truth he was no great shakes as Svengali and his exit is of scant consequence. Though they profess joy that the nation has been freed at last from h...
Living with Grief
ANDREW WIMMER
"What are you going to do with him, Sergeant Williams?" asked Sergeant Rosado, looking concerned about the child. "I’m gonna take this little motherfucker to the base and I’m gonna arrest him," answered Will...
Reflections on Cuba
RICK SMITH
The following is Part I of an edited and enhanced version of an interview conducted by RICK SMITH (radio host of "United for Progress," a 100% pro-labor and unapologetically progressive voice, heard on WHYL News Talk Radio (960 AM), Carlisle, PA) with D...
Iraq, Iran & the Vanishing Context in American News
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
It’s no coincidence that the American corporate media is the wealthiest communication systems in the world, yet also one of the worst in terms of educating its citizens. Extraordinary riches require extraordinary efforts to divert public attention from extre...
The FBI in Peace and War
SAUL LANDAU
When I read a news story about the FBI "taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities," (ABCNews.com July 25) I had a déjà vu exp...
War Profiteering and Corruption
TOM TURNIPSEED
A businesswoman in my home county of Lexington, South Carolina, pleaded guilty on August 16, 2007 to defrauding U.S. taxpayers of $20.5 million in shipping costs for Pentagon supplies. According to a front page story in The State newspaper, "Charlene Corley, ...
Tossing Fuel on a Fire
DAVE LINDORFF
According to a new Associated Press report, the US is offering Israel a record $30-billion 10-year military aid package. Let’s ignore for a moment the AP story’s irony-free comment that "Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nichol...
The Last Battle of Laxmi Panda
P. SAINATH
Countless ordinary Indians sacrificed much for Independence without a thought of reward. As India celebrates its 60th anniversary, much of that generation has died out. The numbers of freedom fighters are rapidly dwindling. Most are very old, and seve...
A Bloody Week in Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
It was a bloody week in Iraq. In the Sinjar district of northern Iraq five vehicle-born bombs have killed at least 200 people and injured 300. The casualties may rise to make the atrocity the worst single bombing of a civilian target in Iraq in the past four years...
The Old West Moves East
PHIL DOE
When I was a boy, my farm town used to put on a show called a greased pig contest. A young pig would be greased and set free in a watered down arena. To the rough-edged delight of townspeople, the local kids, those daring enough, would climb inside the arena and a...
The Water and the Road
JOHN MUTHYALA
August 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall. 90,000 square miles across several southern states are affected; 270,000 people are displaced; more than 1800 people are killed; and 81.2 billion dollars in damages are estimated. Like the Good Samaritan in the an...
Deepening Divisions in Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq’s three main communities each responded differently to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the occupation of 2003. Their responses deepened the divisions between them. The Sunni, about 20 per cent of Iraq’s 27 million population and the dom...
Terrorizing Social Protest
JOANNE MARINER
A disturbing trend is afoot. In the past couple of months, in two countries, governments have relied on broadly-worded terrorism laws to put down social protests. Political demonstrators in El Salvador and London have found police deploying a new weapon aga...
Convicting Padilla
DAVE LINDORFF
With habeas corpus a thing of the past, with arrest and detention without charge permitted, with torture and spying without court oversight all the rage, with prosecutors free to tape conversations between lawyers and their clients, and with the judicial branch no...
Military Interrogators are Posing as Lawyers at Gitmo
SHERWOOD ROSS
Military interrogators posing as "lawyers" are attempting to trick Guantanamo prisoners into providing them with information, The Catholic Worker (TCW) reports. This incredible and illegal practice contributes "to the prisoners’ suspici...
China is not the Problem
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
At a time when even the Wall Street Journal has disappeared into the maw of a huge media conglomerate, the New York Times remains an independent newspaper. But it doesn’t show any independence in reporting or in thought. The Times issued a mea culpa f...
Karl Rove and Damage Done
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Imagine you could be a gambler, and never lose. Now you understand Karl Rove. How can a gambler never lose? Only when he gets to throw the dice, and pick up the winnings, while somebody else stakes the bet. To a certain degree, that’s the story...
Returning to the Scene of the Crime
SHEPHERD BLISS
"Speak to the judge’s heart," the comforting Chilean human rights attorney Sergio Corvalan suggested, after hearing about my continuing pain over Frank Teruggi’s terrible death in September, l973, at the hands of Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s...
The Epic Struggle of Indigenous Andean / Amazonian Cultures
HUGO BLANCO
Over the course of more than 10,000 years, the rich biodiversity of the Andes-Amazon region has created a culture that is closely interlocked with Pachamama (Mother Nature). This culture is marked by deep knowledge of nature and is highly agricultural. Ours is one...
The Forgotten Warnings of Saddam Hussein
JAY BARR
Seventeen years ago Saddam Hussein summoned now-infamous U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie to a "cordial, reasonable, and even warm" meeting where he conveyed a "message of friendship" to then-President George H.W. Bush. While this two hour confere...
Nearly All the War Crimes Were Israel’s
JONATHAN COOK
This week marks a year since the end of hostilities now officially called the Second Lebanon war by Israelis. A month of fighting — mostly Israeli aerial bombardment of Lebanon, and rocket attacks from the Shia militia Hizbullah on northern Israel in respons...
Bush Solution: Put Gonzo on It
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
George Bush is busy inventing the wheel. And what a fine group he has assembled to help him accomplish the task. It is safe to say that all the designers he is employing have some notion of what a wheel should look like although it is unlikely any of them has any ...
The Convenience of Denial
NORMAN SOLOMON
The man who ran CNN’s news operation during the invasion of Iraq is now doing damage control in response to a new documentary’s evidence that he kowtowed to the Pentagon on behalf of the cable network. His current denial says a lot about how "libe...
Economic Domino Theory
RALPH NADER
The worst top management of giant corporations in American history is also by far the most hugely paid. That contradiction applies as well to the Boards of Directors of these global companies. Consider these illustrations: The bosses of General Motors (...
"No American President Can Stand Up to Israel"
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"No American President can stand up to Israel." These words came from feisty Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations (1967-1970) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1970-1974). Moorer was, perhaps, the last independent-minded Ameri...
Tasteless
BINOY KAMPMARK
Doctor, gastronomy is disappearing, and with it the last of the old civilisation. Louis XVIII to Corvisart Seeing food prepared on screen is an indictment on us all. Tinned food may have provided us with less than healthy hi...
In Memoriam: Raul Hilberg
MICHAEL NEUMANN
In December 2000 I had the privilege of meeting Raul Hilberg at a conference in Berlin. The conference celebrated the 100th anniversary of Franz Neumann’s birth. Franz Neumann was at first a politically engaged legal theorist, close to the German Soci...