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 2007
The Torture Tape Cover-Up
MARJORIE COHN
When the hideous photographs of torture and abuse emerged from Abu Ghraib in the fall of 2004, they created a public relations disaster for the Bush administration. The White House had painstakingly worked to capitalize on the 9/11 attacks by creating a "war ...
Cataclysm By Money Whim
ALLAN NAIRN
Three years ago today, the tsunami hit Aceh. It was a cataclysm so vast that Acehnese don’t talk about it all that much. It’s easier to deal with human-scale things. That morning, December 26, 2004, in an inland town far from the impa...
Who Killed Bhutto?
MURTAZA SHIBLI
The death of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is being mourned by millions of Pakistanis. She had a profound public base despite staying out of her country for nearly a decade and dogged by corruption and nepotism charges. Her death, however, ...
We Are All Prisoners Now
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"They’re locking them up today They’re throwing away the key I wonder who it’ll be tomorrow, you or me?" The Red Telephone (LOVE, 1967) At Christmas time it has been my habit to write a co...
Bolivia Amends New Constitution and Faces Mutiny from Within
NORMAN MADARASZ
By the end of the week before Christmas, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales dealt with his country’s constitutional reform as a leader ought to. He rallied a divided country by calling out to South America’s soccer greats, Pele and Maradona, to help...
From One Saddam to Fifty
CHARLES TRIPP
Now that the first phase of the Iraqi civil war seems to have ended, it is time to consider the political processes it may have left in its bloody wake. It is crucial for Iraqis and others to get a sense of the stability and durability of present arrangements. Are...
Brzezinski and Charlie Wilson’s War
STANLEY HELLER
Imagine, they made a funny movie about how the US helped turn Afghanistan into a killing field. It’s the film "Charlie Wilson’s War, a ligthearted look of how a skirt-chasing Congressman and a no-nonsense CIA thug helped bring mountains of weapons...
Two Unreasonable Men
JOHN WALSH
"An Unreasonable Man," the superb documentary on Ralph Nader, appeared on PBS on December 18. It is a substantive and very engaging portrait of Nader–and it has garnered far less attention than it deserves. It holds one’s attention for every ...
Lebanon in Search of a Government
RANNIE AMIRI
"Bush, your orders will not be implemented and your tutelage is rejected." - Hezbollah Deputy General Sheik Naim Kassem, in response to President Bush’s call for Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to ignore the constitution and push ...
No-Knock, You’re Dead
PAUL ARMENTANO
A growing number of political pundits are questioning America’s military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some are beginning to draw parallels to lawmakers’ much longer domestic war effort: the so-called war on drugs. The comparison is apropos....
The Strange Career of Scott Gottlieb
MARTHA ROSENBERG
As a 33-year-old Wall Street insider known for recommending hot medical stocks, many were surprised when physician Scott Gottlieb was named FDA deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs in 2005. "Gottlieb has an orientation which belies ...
Conscience and Empire
PATRICK COCKBURN
As a child the only interesting fact that I knew about my grandfather Henry Cockburn was that he had read his own obituary in The Times. This happened because he was a diplomat in the British legation during the siege of Peking in 1900 during which the Chinese Box...
Burma is Not Back to Normal
JILL JAMESON
A small Buddhist Peace Fellowship delegation went to Burma to bear witness to the suffering of the people following the brutal crackdown by the Burmese military at the end of September on monks and the people of Burma. We wanted to communicate the support and soli...
Help! A Ceasefire!
URI AVNERY
Forget the Qassams. Forget the mortar shells. They are nothing compared with what Hamas launched at us this week: The chief of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, has approached an Israeli newspaper and proposed a cease-fire. No more Qas...
Clueless Crusaders
JOHN WALSH
Tom Hayden has been given the cover article for The Nation’s December 17 issue to instruct the peace movement for 2008. Not since the cover page endorsement of the prowar John Kerry in 2004 has there been such an embarrassing face to this journal. In essence...
Russell Means Goes to Washington
STEVE MELENDEZ
In 1980 the United States government printed 500 hardcover books called, The Final Report of the Indian Claims Commission. It is on our Museum’s wish list. In it on page 4 under the heading "Historical Survey," it makes the grand revelation on how ...
Dreaming of a White House Christmas
RICHARD NEVILLE
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the White House Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse, The stockings were hung up by the chimney with care, And the shredders were humming in the chilly night air Our spinners and fix...
Tony Blair and the Hawking of Religion
FARZANA VERSEY
Tony Blair has become a Catholic. Had it been seen as a personal decision, it would be fine. However, it already sounds like political canonization. According to a report, Blair, now a Middle East peace envoy, said he had prayed to God when deciding whether or not...
Thinking of Edward Said
TARIQ ALI
I think of Edward Said often, especially, but not only, when I read of the sordid deals in which the PLO is engaged with Israel and its US backers. I miss Edward’s impetuosity and righteous indignation. He would have had no truck with the shrivelled little B...
A Dark Ride on the Border
ANDREA PEACOCK
The sirens woke me up. The dogs broke into a howl, abruptly as though it woke them as well. Gee, that sounded close, I thought. Then the howls turned into barks, and Donna was outside calling them in. A few moments later, shouts. Doug was out of bed, strugg...
The Big Fix
MIKE WHITNEY
Last Friday Ohio’s top election official, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a report concluding that the voting systems that decided the 2004 election in Ohio were rife with "critical security failures". The perpetrators were so cocksure t...
Not Getting It About New Orleans
CHUCK MUNSON
It comes as no surprise when a major U.S. newspaper backs real estate developers over the rights and interests of the poor they have a long track record of doing so, while the poor are lectured in patronizing language to emulate the people the papers celebrate. Th...
Politics and Profits: How the Oil Cartel Gets Its Way
RALPH NADER
While many impoverished American families are shivering in the winter cold for lack of money to pay the oil baron their exorbitant price for home heating oil, ex-oil man, George W. Bush sleeps in a warm White House and relishes his defeat of the Congressional atte...
Molecule of the Year: Cannabiodiol
FRED GARDNER
THC -delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol- is not the only active ingredient in cannabis. At least five other cannabinoids exhibit biological activity, and so do some terpenes and flavonoids. All these compounds are found in the resin stored in the plant’s glandular...
Mike Huckabee’s Ascending Chariot
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Suddenly it’s Huckabee. The surge of the former Arkansas governor in the race for the Republican nomination has the pell-mell excitement of one of Napoleon’s victorious rampages across Europe in his heyday. In this case the long faces belong not to the...
Intelligence Failures, Battlefield Myths and Unaccountable Prisons in Afghanistan
ANDY WORTHINGTON
In the last week, while the media’s attention has focused on the release of two Sudanese humanitarian aid workers from Guantánamo, the 13 Afghans who were flown to Kabul at the same time have barely been mentioned. The reasons for this oversight are c...
Why Leon Russell Still Matters
RON JACOBS
There’s a moment in the film of the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh that shows how great rock music can be. Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Leon Russell are singing Dylan’s "Just Like A Woman." All three men join in the chorus, creating an unusual...
Democrats Continue to Capitulate on Iraq
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
For those who might still be harboring some doubts, it is now official: the Democratic Party has officially abrogating any responsibility for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. Tuesday, December 18, 2007 marked a milestone for the party, as its leaders in the Sena...
Christmas Eve Freedom Fighters
WILLIAM LOREN KATZ
This Christmas Eve, the freedom-loving Bush administration has a chance to mark the anniversary of a great victory for formerly oppressed people on U.S. soil. The President is unlikely, however, to notice or heed the meaning of this particular milestone, whose cas...
Enhanced Hazing Techniques
PAUL KRASSNER
A few years ago, in my last album, right after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, I talked about how furious Senators and congressmen were, looking at such photos as a prisoner forced to wear women’s panties on his head and a naked prisoner with a dog collar atta...
The Comedian of Pakistan
AHMAD FARUQUI
TIME magazine has declared Vladimir Putin as Man of the Year, even though he has severely restricted civil liberties in Russia and slowed its march toward democracy. The argument is that he has brought stability to the country and restored its status as a great po...
Blessed are the Peacemakers
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
The greatest threat to Christmas is not local governments’ preventing Nativity scenes from being displayed in public places but America’s overthrow of Iraq’s government and occupation of it public places. The greatest threat to the "Prince o...
Society on Steroids
BILL MOYERS
There’s been talk all this week about that stunning report from former Senator George Mitchell revealing that Major League Baseball players, including some of the sport’s biggest stars, have been using steroids for years. The findings prompted my fello...
Repealing California’s Three Strikes Law
SETH SANDRONSKY
Thirteen years is enough. It is time to repeal California’s Three Strikes law, passed by lawmakers and voters on the watch of former GOP Gov. Pete Wilson in 1994. The Inland Empire (San Bernardino and western Riverside counties) is headquarters of Fa...
War is Over! (If Only We Really Wanted It)
TIMOTHY J. FREEMAN
It was thirty eight years ago today, that John and Yoko gave us all something to play, a message that’s never really been in style, though its guaranteed to raise a smile. . . . . . . and maybe even save the world, if only w...
In the Dungeon of the Zabita
MICHAEL DICKINSON
Until recently the big squares of Istanbul, at Beyazit between the university and the mosque, the streets around the old Spice Market, and the seafront promenade along the Golden Horn were alive with street sellers peddling their wares, ranging from imitation bran...
New Massacres Loom in Mexico
JOHN ROSS
The men milled about on the shoulder of the mountain road, their faces hooded and masked. Christmas was just three days away but first they had some killing to do. When the signal was given, they picked up their weapons–at least five AK-47s were included in ...
A Declaration of Independence from the USA
LAKOTA FREEDOM DELEGATION
Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy...
Put God Back in the Closet Where It Belongs
STEVE EARLY
While millions of other Americans have somehow managed to minimize the impact of the 2008 presidential election campaign on their collective consciousness, the candidates from both parties have had a transformative effect on me. They’ve made me a militant at...
Business as Usual as Recession Looms
PETER MORICI
TThe stock market remains unsettled, as the nation’s economic problems grow. Washington from the White House to Capitol Hill to the Federal Reserve gives us lots of bustle but no truly comforting action. The Democrats pushed through an energy bill tha...
Nothing Can Morally Justify the Invasion of Iraq
JACOB G. HORNBERGER
Neo-con supporters of the U.S. government’s war of aggression against Iraq are undoubtedly holding their collective breath in the hope that U.S. military forces have finally smashed any further violent opposition to their conquest of Iraq. The attitude would...
Zuma, the Center-Left and the Left-Left
PATRICK BOND
Congratulations are due Jacob Zuma ­ apparently far more Machiavellian than even his arch-opponent since 2005, Thabo Mbeki ­ and the tireless band of warriors from the Congress of SA Trade Unions, SA Communist Party and African National Congress Youth Leag...
Sex and Revolution
RAÚL ZIBECHI
The alliance between Zapatistas, sex workers, and transvestites shows the power of social change in a key cultural way-when it’s anchored to daily life. In Mexico, one of the strongest and most overbearing enclaves of patriarchy and machismo, Subcomandante M...
Union Aftermath
DAVID MACARAY
Even after a group of employees goes through the hassle of getting enough signatures (30% of the workers) to force an employer to submit to a NLRB-sanctioned union election, and even after they survive the company’s comprehensive anti-union propaganda campai...
The 2007 P.U.-litzer Prizes
JEFF COHEN And NORMAN SOLOMON
Many journalists qualified for the sixteenth annual P.U.-litzer Prizes, but only a few were able to win recognition for turning in one of the truly stinkiest media performances of the year. As the judges for this un-coveted award, we have done our best to confer t...
Let Us Now Praise Judith Regan
JACK McCARTHY
OJ ("If I Did It") Simpson has all but admitted he did do it, that is kill wife Nicole Simpson and hunky waiter Ron Goldman. Jose ("Long Live Steroids!") Canseco long ago admitted in his 2005 book Juiced that he did it, ie, used steroid...
A Way Out of the Newspaper Abyss
DICK J. REAVIS
For ten years newspaper publishers and editors have been wringing their hands about declining "household coverage," the percentage of households that subscribe to a daily newspaper. Coverage figures have declined from more than 80 percent in the 1950s, t...
Mitt Romney’s Secret Life as a Pornographer
DAVID ROSEN
The summer scandal about Mitt Romney’s role as a closet pornographer appears to be resurfacing as the Iowa Republican caucuses near. While never raised during the Republican debates, the rumor has been gaining momentum as local press and Christian groups con...
The Return of the Bread Riot
ASHLEY DAWSON
On September 13th, 2007, Italian shoppers, led by a confederation of consumer organizations, staged one of the country’s first pasta strikes. In the elegant but rather grimy deindustrialized city of Turin where I’m currently living, erstwhile home to t...
The Huckster and the Wreckage
ALAN FARAGO
It was a classic run on the bank. Until his recent resignation under fire, Coleman Stipanovich, a Bush loyalist, headed the Florida State Board of Administration, responsible for investing billions of dollars of state funds. Stipanovich’s brother, "Mac&...