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 December 2007
Standing Up to NAFTA
LAURA CARLSEN
Every hour, Mexico imports $1.5 million dollars worth of agricultural and food products, almost all from the United States. In that same hour, 30 people-men, women, and children-leave their homes in the Mexican countryside to take up the most dangerous jou...
Cuba Changes, US Policy Stagnates
WAYNE SMITH And JENNIFER SCHUETT
Change and continuity are the two words that best describe Cuba and its relations with the United States. After nearly 50 years of the predictable leadership of Fidel Castro, presidential power has transferred to his brother Raul. But this is not the topic...
The Iraq War is Exhausting Our Nation
Sen. RUSSELL FEINGOLD
The amendment I am offering with Majority Leader Reid and Senators Leahy, Dodd, Boxer, Kennedy, Kerry, Harkin, Whitehouse, Wyden, Durbin, Schumer, Obama, Menendez, Lautenberg, Brown and Sanders to H.R. 2764, the fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations bill is one ...
A Rescue Mission for New York’s Governor
ANTHONY PAPA
New York Governor Elliot Spitzer’s approval rating is at an all-time low of 36%, according to a recent survey conducted by the Siena College Research Institute. This is a far cry from his 69% approval rating when he took office. The survey polled about one t...
Bush Still Spinning Iranian Nukes
MARJORIE COHN
The unanimous conclusion of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, that Iran ceased pursuing a program of nuclear weapons in 2003, has dealt a severe blow to the Bush-Cheney agenda of forcible regime change in Iran. For several months, the rhetoric emerging from the W...
Pave the Holy Lands with Good Intentions
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
Razing Jerusalem, Mecca! Free holy land in Baja California! Get it while it’s cheap!" I came across this real estate notice in a copy of Take a Shit, an odd little zine published out of Brooklyn that proselytizes (if we can call it that) the notion that...
Britney Spears Little Sister is Pregnant
DAVEY D
So yesterday word came down that Britney Spear’s little sister Jamie Lynne is pregnant at age 16. Yep, the little sis who is a frequently trotted out as a role model on the Nickalodean channel. This comes at the heals of her mom getting ready to drop a book ...
Hillary the Hawk
PAUL W. LOVINGER
When Senator Hillary Clinton voted on October 11, 2002, to turn over to President George W. Bush the power that the Constitution vested in her and congressional colleagues to decide whether or not to wage war – or, quoting House Joint Resolution 114, whether...
Is the NIE Bush’s Watergate?
SAUL LANDAU
"Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous, if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon." -George Bush, Dec. 4, 2007 "We have no clear understanding of what bulls...
George Mitchell’s Drugs of Choice
DAVE ZIRIN
The Mitchell Report on steroids is shaking the baseball world from cap to cleats. It names 86 players, and calls for a vast reformation of what is being called "the steroid era" in Major League Baseball. The 20-month, $20 million investigation has been a...
A Christmas Reflection on Palestine
SONJA KARKAR
As Christmas approaches this year, the thoughts of Christians all over the world will once again turn to Bethlehem, the holy town where Jesus was born over two millennia ago. Voices will be raised in joyful celebration and children everywhere will re-create the Ch...
The Mad Corporate World of Glenn Beck
NORMAN SOLOMON
When I picked up a ringing phone Monday morning, the next thing I knew a producer was inviting me to appear on Glenn Beck’s TV show. Beck has become a national phenom with his nightly hour of polemics on CNN Headline News — urging war on Iran, d...
The Consequences the Trade Deficit
PETER MORICI
Yesterday, the Commerce Department reported the third quarter current account deficit was $178.5 billion, down from $188.9 billion in the second quarter. The deficit exceeded 5.4 percent of GDP. The current account is the broadest measure of the U.S. trade ...
The Politics of Teen Pregnancy
R. F. BLADER
If any evidence were needed to confirm the base nature of political debate in America, the increase in teen birth rates ­ the first in 14 years ­ reported by the National Center for Health Statistics on December 5, provided an opportunity. The Bush adminis...
The Free Rider Problem
DAVID MACARAY
Union membership in the United States hovers at approximately 12 per cent, down from an all-time high of about 35 per cent, a figure reached during organized labor’s glory days, back in the early 1950s. In just five decades labor has lost two-thirds of its m...
When Impeachment is Out of Print
DAVE LINDORFF
Over this weekend and by noon today, 82,000 Americans signed a petition sponsored by Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) and two other members of the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), calling on that committee and its chairman,...
Can the NAFTA Superhighway be Stopped?
STEVEN HIGGS
U.S. District Judge David Hamilton’s ruling on a citizens’ lawsuit against the I-69/NAFTA Highway should be a call to action for Americans who care about the future of life on the planet and the fate of their democracy. The 58-page ruling expose...
Privatizing War Abroad, Invading Privacy at Home
EVA LIDDELL
Although there may be an international outcry that the United States has over a hundred and sixty thousand private contractors who are up to no good in Iraq most Americans are greeting the news with a resigned shrug. Nothing this government does seems to surprise ...
Encounters with Ghadar
VIJAY PRASHAD
Last year, I wrote an essay for CounterPunch about the Indo-US agreement. It began with the bravery of my friends Bela Malik and Tommy Mathew, whose protest in Jangpura drew the might of the US secret service and the...
A Reading List for the Holidays
RALPH NADER
‘Tis the Holiday Season and a time congenial for reading books. Here are my recommendations of recent books that relate to the quest for understanding today’s events: 1. ...
Drugs, Shrinks and Shooters
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The yellow do-not-cross police tape had barely been hung at Westroads Mall in Omaha before psychiatrist Dr. Harold Koplewicz appeared on CBS’ The Early Show to say that’s depression for you. Nineteen-year-old Robert Hawkins might have gunned d...
Gunning for Wolves in Idaho
GEORGE WUERTHNER
The Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) recently released its draft wolf management plan. Unfortunately, like all wolf plans so far produced in the Rockies, the proposal panders to the interests of livestock operators and hunters, ignoring the interests of the greater publ...
Police State America
STEPHEN LENDMAN
Year end is a good time to look back and reflect on what’s ahead. If past is prologue, however, the outlook isn’t good, and nothing on the horizon suggests otherwise. Voters last November wanted change but got betrayal from the bipartisan criminal clas...
Crossing the Line in Texas
GREG MOSES
In an act of civil disobedience on Sunday marking the first anniversary of protests against the imprisonment of children at the T. Don Hutto immigrant prison in Taylor, Texas, 100 people carried holiday toys and wrapping paper into the prison lobby. The action at ...
Terrorism; CounterTerrorism: Excuses for Murder
ALLAN NAIRN
Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the Indonesian cleric and political leader, says that the Bali bombers "were not terrorists but counter-terrorists." (Suherdjoko, "Ba’asyir pays homage to Bali bombers in jail," The Jakarta Post, December 16, 200...
Grizzly Right of Way
CHARLES JONKEL
A front-page story in the Missoulian cited a hunter’s close encounter with a charging grizzly bear while he was hunting elk near Whitefish. The response of the hunter, Vic Workman, is noteworthy, because he happens to be a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks co...
South Africa’s Fight Between Hostile Brothers
PATRICK BOND
Today’s conference vote for leader of the African National Congress is make-or-break for the ruling party, though probably not for the society as a whole. More than 4000 voting delegates to the city of Polokwane must decide between two presidential candidate...
Pawns in Their Game
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
You can demonize Bush and Cheney (rightfully) until hell freezes over–but it’s not going to change anything. Keith Olbermann does it almost every night on his MSNBC television show, but it doesn’t change anything. Trashing Bush and Cheney or Hill...
Planning the War on Immigrants
TOM BARRY
Politics can be an ugly affair, and it doesn’t get any uglier than when politicians try to best one another in the politics of hate and scapegoating. That’s what is happening in America, as politicians and political candidates at all levels of ...
A Gaza Masada?
URI AVNERY
THE MOST famous words ever spoken in Gaza were the last words of Samson (Judges, 16, 30): "Let me die with the Philistines!" According to the Biblical story, Samson took hold of the central pillars of the Philistine temple and brought down the who...
An Inside-Out Crisis in Gaza
LARAY POLK
Prior to 1948, there were approximately 80,000 people living in the Gaza Strip. In places like the town of Deir el-Balah, families have continuously lived in ancestral homes. The extravagant height of the palm and date trees in backyards and city streets is a test...
Staring Into the Abyss
MIKE WHITNEY
Stocks fell sharply last week on news of accelerating inflation which will limit the Federal Reserves ability to continue cutting interest rates. On Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrials tumbled 294 points following the Fed’s announcement of a quarter point cut ...
Boats Against the Current
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Almost daily, I sign an online petition. "Impeach Cheney." Impeach Bush." "Act now to save the environment." "End torture." "Help hold contractors accountable." Some weeks ago after hearing that Nancy Pelosi stat...
A Vision for China’s Future
JAMES L. SECOR
Around the time of the 17th Party Conference in mid-October, Li Datong penned ...
Lord Byron and the Bad Tourists
SAUL LANDAU
For decades, tourism has grown as one of the fashionable ways to shop abroad or in a different city in your own country. Less than 200 years ago, people thought of travel as a way to enrich education. Would anyone think of Lord Byron as a tourist in Greece, or Ale...
A People’s Penny for the Magna Carta
PETER LINEBAUGH
Magna Carta is up for sale next week at Sotheby’s and this last week it was up for grabs in the U.S. Supreme Court. Privatized in auction, this thirteenth century version of Magna Carta has ceased to be common property. Of course, it is only a foot a...
Moral Bankruptcy in Action
ROBERT FANTINA
If the U.S. was ever considered a moral guide for the rest of the world, surely that myth has now evaporated like a city in a nuclear explosion. The country is now involved in a discussion of how to define torture, as if there is some fine line that one does not w...
Bomb After Bomb
HOWARD ZINN
This essay serves as the introduction to Bomb After Bomb: a Violent Cartography...
Why a Palestinian "State" is a Punitive Construct
AHMAD SAMIH KHALIDI
The Palestinian state has now become the universal standard for all solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The international community applauds the concept. President Bush proudly proclaims it as his "vision". The Israelis have come to it belated...
Ike Turner’s Music Won’t be Forgotten
ELIJAH WALD
The last time I saw Ike Turner he had just turned 70, but he looked great, played piano and guitar with phenomenal power, and took his listeners from Delta blues through classic R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and the golden age of soul. Turner not only ...
Let’s Take Christ Out of Christmas
RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE
Many in the Christian community are vexed because of the use of Christmas by the culture at large, and more especially troubled by the use of Christmas themes for purposes that are not thought to be congruent with Christian values. As a Christian minister (specifi...
Of Mormons and Muslims
RAMZY BAROUD
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech on December 6th – in which he tried to ‘explain’ his Mormon faith – was met with a mostly sympathetic reception at George Bush Library in Texas. The speech has been long a...
Lying to "Reassure" the Public
JENNA ORKIN
Might it sometimes be appropriate for the government to lie in order to reassure the public? Asked this question during a Court of Appeals hearing yesterday in Benzman vs. EPA, the case brought by residents, students and office workers exposed to and in many cases...
Down on Desolation Row
ALAN FARAGO
The mainstream media in Florida sheds no light on the $13 billion dollar losses of the state-run Local Government Investment Pool. Those losses are tied to financial derivatives that underwrote suburban sprawl and the political fortunes of elected officials sittin...
The Greening of Big Tobacco
STANDARD SHAEFER
  "Instinctively we caught the spirit of the times. It was the era when Rachel Carson’s book on the environment came out. It was an era when the people on our planet became aware. It was an era of the freedom movement-when the y...
Guantánamo and the Supreme Court
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Last Wednesday’s Supreme Court showdown over Guantánamo was billed as "probably the most important habeas corpus case in modern history," according to Law.com, and "the most important civil liberties case of the past 50 years," acc...
The First Cut is the Deepest
DAVE LINDORFF
While the Democratic and Republican candidates for president blather on about non-issues like who will be meaner to immigrants, who will use the most water on torture victims, who wanted to be president at the youngest age, who’s the best Christian and other...
Terror Suspects Belong in Federal Court
JACOB HORNBERGER
The new chief judge of the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Marine Col. Ralph H. Kohlman, is being confronted with a paper that was written back in 2002 at the Naval War College criticizing President Bush’s and the Pentagon’s plan to use militar...
Toxic Grizzlies
MISTY MacDUFFEE
If you are like most people, you have likely never heard of a chemical called deca Brominated Diphenyl Ether (decaBDE), but right now, Environment Canada is quietly deciding whether or not to continue exposing you and our country’s wildlife to this substance...
Prerequisites for Peace
Dr. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI
RAMALLAH, West Bank As one who for decades has supported a two-state solution and the nonviolent struggle for Palestinian rights, I view the recent conference in Annapolis with a great deal of skepticism – and a glimmer of hope. Seven years wit...