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 March 2008
Sadr Calls for Ceasefire
PATRICK COCKBURN
Muqtada al-Sadr called on his Mehdi Army militia to stop fighting Iraqi government forces in a surprise move after six days of clashes. The Shia cleric also demanded that the government cease arresting his followers and release those detained. "Because...
Walls, Tunnels and Daily Humiliations
MATS SVENSSON
A while ago there was a big enough opening in the wall for a car to pass through. Now it is closed. The place is almost empty of people. A young man walks towards me, passes me and disappears into a ditch. And he is gone. I follow him down into the wide di...
The Showdown
PETER DALE SCOTT
In August 2007, Congressman Peter DeFazio, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the House that he and the rest of his Committee had been barred from reviewing parts of National Security Presidential Directive 51, the White House supersecret plan...
A Third American War in the Making?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The US Congress, the US media, the American people, and the United Nations, are looking the other way as Cheney prepares his attack on Iran. If only America had an independent media and an opposition party. If there were a shred of integrity left in Am...
The Clorox Coup
BETSY ROBERTS And KAREN ORR
The National Sierra Club Board of Directors voted on March 25, 2008 to dismantle the entire democratically -elected structure of the Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club, the fourth largest Chapter in the nation. The Florida Chapter, comprising 35,000 individ...
First the Sun and Then the Moon
PHYLLIS POLLACK
The Rolling Stones and director Martin Scorsese deliver an impressive visual and auditory masterpiece with the upcoming documentary film, Shine A Light. Stocked with an arsenal of 2006 performance footage from New York City’s Beacon Theater, the two hour fil...
Hillary’s Lies About Outsourcing
PAUL ROCKWELL
Job security is the foremost domestic issue for working people in Pennsylvania, where Senator Hillary Clinton is expected to win the Democratic Party primary. For many months, as a candidate for president, Senator Clinton has cultivated a pro-labor image. She clai...
The American Bard in New Orleans
MICHAEL SIMMONS
Ed Sanders’ language advances in a direction of production which probably isn’t even guessed at That is, it takes the earth to make a feather fall. – Charles Olson, 1964 They’d privatize...
Paulson’s Fixit Plan for Wall Street
MIKE WHITNEY
It is being billed as a "massive shakeup of US financial market regulation", but don’t be deceived. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s proposals for broad market reform are neither "timely" nor "thoughtful" (Reuters) In fa...
Cultura Mafiosa in Colombia
ALFREDO MOLANO
Translated by Forrest Hylton. The word’s origins are polemical: it comes from the Arabic mahya–bullying, arrogance; and maffia, in Tuscan dialect, a synonym for ostentation. The etymology fits like a ring on a finger. The mafia as we know it tod...
Day of the Land, 32 Years Later
URI AVNERY
This is the 32nd anniversary of the first "Day of the Land" – one of the defining events in the history of Israel. I remember the day well. I was at Ben Gurion airport, on the way to a secret meeting in London with Said Hamami, Yasser Arafat...
Why Paulson’s Plan Falls Short
PETER MORICI
The regulatory framework proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will not address fundamental problems in the banking sector that contributed significantly to the recession and that must be fixed to rescue the U.S. economy from recession and avoid future cris...
Bernanke’s Next Big Bail Out Plan
MIKE WHITNEY
The Federal Reserve is presently considering an emergency operation that is so risky it could send the dollar slip-sliding over the cliff. The story appeared in the Financial Times earlier this week and claimed that the Fed was examining the feasibility of buying ...
McCain, Lieberman and Rev. Hagee
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
As John McCain and his presumptive vice-presidential running mate, Joe Lieberman, toured the middle East together (Joe to remind John of who is on first in Iraq so as to correct gaffs born of John’s ignorance or old age, and John to demonstrate that notwiths...
Booked Up
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada by John Muir Laws The gold s...
The Great Lake of Gaza
SUZANNE BAROUD
In a place just a few miles from sandy beaches and soaring sky-scrapers, white stone villas and sky-blue swimming pools, it seems the epitome of irony and injustice that over 1.5 million people would be subjected to drinking sewage-contaminated water. When th...
AMLO, the Comeback Kid?
JOHN ROSS
As Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), the leftist firebrand who millions of Mexicans consider their legitimate president, made his way to the podium in the packed Zocalo plaza here March 18th, the 70th anniversary of the expropriation and nationalization of ...
Iraqi Police Refuse to Back Maliki’s Attacks on Mehdi Army
PATRICK COCKBURN
US and British forces are increasingly playing a supporting role in the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s stalled offensive against the Mehdi Army militia. American aircraft launched air strikes in Basra yesterday and fought militiamen on the streets in...
Iraq Troika: McCain, Obama and Clinton
ROBERT FANTINA
Awash in the blood of 4,000 U.S. soldiers and at least 1,000,000 Iraqi men, women and children, Arizona Senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain returned from a trip to Iraq and declared "we are succeeding." This is the same man w...
Throwing Granny from the Gravy Train
RICHARD RHAMES
For going on 2 decades now the great right wing/business class project of repealing the 20th century has been steadily advanced. It’s now become a bipartisan undertaking, barely missing a beat regardless of which party dominates Washington. Between 19...
Cuba, the Beatles and Historical Context
NELSON P. VALDÉS
"Let the world be grafted onto our republics, but the trunk must be ours." – José Martí, Our America Tom Miller recently published in the Washington Post (02/17/08) an opinion pi...
Cock Chuggers and Cheese Curls
KIM NICOLINI
Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales was one of the most under-appreciated and underscreened movies of the past year. For the most part, critics found it confusing and didn’t understand that it is not just a movie but a critique of media in general that uses the me...
Justice and the Monsters of War
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
On Thursday, CNN’s Kyra Phillips, broadcasting from Iraq, gave viewers a tour of Saddam Hussein’s last residence before he was hanged-a prison cell in Baghdad where he was held under US guard in a structure built during his reign. As Phillips obse...
Shady Lending Hits Home
ALLISON KILKENNY
The subprime crisis gives young homeowners a harsh education in predatory lending. When I heard about the subprime mortgage crisis, it sounded eerily similar to the shady credit cardlending practices found on most college campuses. I imagined yet another financial...
Hillary Misremembers Again!
EAMONN McCANN
Ask not what you can do for the peace process, but what the peace process can do for you. Thus the approach of US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Some may say that Hillary distorting beyond recognition any role she played in the North may not be a big...
Obama and the Baby Boomers
CHRISTOPHER FONS
Yes, the Baby Boomer Generation is an annoying self-indulgent group and seemingly blatant hypocrites, have you seen Dennis Hopper hooking for Wall Street lately?, but one thing the Boomers did do is put on the table the hard issues of the time-poverty, identity, i...
"All the World’s a Hospital"
DAVID YEARSLEY
Bach has many lessons to teach us, though they are rarely for the faint-of-heart. Indeed, faintness of heart itself is one of the main themes of this often dark music. For Bach the weakness of the body is the central fact of earthly life, and the human propensity ...
Jim Thorpe, All-American
FRED GARDNER
San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter Bruce Jenkins writes in an easy-to-read, colloquial style that invites agreement with the point he’s making. But Bruce seems to be getting crankier as he ages. Take his March 22 column opposing the right of 19-year-olds t...
When They Pick Up the Phone at 3 AM, What Will They Say?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
America’s tragedy is that we have three neoliberals left in the presidential race, at a time when, as Martin Wolf correctly pointed out in Wednesday’s Financial Times, neoliberalism has collapsed. The bailout by the Fed of Bear Stearns sounded the deat...
Misery at 35,000 Feet
CARL FINAMORE
It’s been a dizzying season of hookups and breakups for airlines. Everyone said they were single and ready to mingle. But, as it turned out, players found the game was not as easy as it first appeared. The plan was simple enough. Coupling up would d...
China, Tibet and the Propaganda Olympics
WILLIAM BLUM
The latest protests in Tibet and crackdown by Chinese authorities have brought up the usual sermonizing in the West about Chinese government oppression and illegitimate control of the Tibetans. Although I have little love for the Chinese leaders — I think th...
A Chinese Muslim’s Desperate Plea from Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
The stories of the Uyghurs in Guantánamo — Muslims from the oppressed Xinjiang province of China, formerly known as East Turkistan — have long demonstrated chronic injustice on the part of the US authorities to those who know of them, although t...
Knocking Down False Economic Gods
PETER MORICI
The recession is a wake up call. Americans need to confront some false gods–free trade, gas guzzlers and Wall Street. In the 1990s, the U.S. launched the World Trade Organization and opened trade with China. Americans were to import more tee-shirts an...
Other People’s Money
ALAN FARAGO
The air is escaping from the little multi-hundred billion dollar balloon Bush administration floated to resolve sunken credit markets. Meanwhile, news on the economy, in the past week especially, has been massaged within an inch of its news cycle life. We’re...
The Mumia Exception
DAVE LINDORFF
After spending almost a year’s time deliberating following a hearing last May 17, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has shot down all three claims by death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal challenging his conviction for th...
Sierra Club Cleans House — With Clorox!
PETER MONTAGUE
The Sierra Club’s national board voted March 25 to remove the leaders of the Club’s 35,000-member Florida chapter, and to suspend the Chapter for four years. It was the first time in the Club’s 116- year history that such action has been taken ag...
Why No One Trusts the US Forest Service
FELICE PACE
It’s a pity really! For generations employees of the United States Forest Service – clad in their crisp green uniforms and with Smokey the Bear always nearby – were among the most trusted government officials in the world. But over the past 25 ye...
Growing Dread About Iraq
SAUL LANDAU
Now that either could win the big race, Obama and Clinton fudge and hedge about withdrawing troops immediately from Iraq. Barack "will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will kee...
Meeting Charlie Ehlen
RON JACOBS
Charlie Ehlen is a Marine veteran who lives in Louisiana. He and I have been keeping up an intermittent correspondence for the past few years. After a piece of mine gets published in Counterpunch I usually receive a comment or two, often from Charlie. After a rece...
Obama’s Speech: a Touch of Bigotry
JOHN V. WALSH
I did not hear Barack Obama’s great speech on race when he gave it live, so I read the text as I listened to it on You Tube. The hype surrounding it seemed over the top, reminiscent in fact of the highly praised (at the time) speech given by Colin Powell at ...
Put Impeachment Back on the Table
RALPH NADER
Chairman John Conyers House Judiciary Committee U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Congress Washington, DC 20510 Dear Chairman Conyers: Prominent Constitutional law experts believe President Bush has engaged in at least, five cat...
How Things Work
ROBERT WEISSMAN
The chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Deborah Platt Majoras, is leaving her job. She’s going to become vice president and general counsel for Procter & Gamble (P&G). Should it raise eyebrows for the head of the leading U.S. consumer...
Basra Erupts
PATRICK COCKBURN
The Iraqi army is fighting the Mehdi Army Shia militia in the streets of Basra after the government launched its most serious offensive to gain control of the southern oil city. Clouds of dark smoke rose over Basra 340 miles south of Baghdad as Iraqi soldie...
NPR News: National Pentagon Radio?
NORMAN SOLOMON
While the Iraqi government continued its large-scale military assault in Basra, the NPR reporter’s voice from Iraq was unequivocal this morning: "There is no doubt that this operation needed to happen." Such flat-out statements, uttered with...
Clearcutting the History of Forest Destruction
JOHN BOROWSKI
(An open letter to Nancy Dubuc, Executive VP and General Manager of the History Channel) Dear Ms. Dubuc, While standing in a clear-cut a few minutes from my home in Philomath, Oregon, I pondered the role of your new show, "Ax Men." Once...
Free Market Apostates
BINOY KAMPMARK
We have heard it for some time now: the market is divine, lending its magical corrective qualities to sort out the good from the bad. A character portrait of George Bush by a former teacher of his, Professor Yoshi Tsurumi (1 March 2004), recalled a pupil’s s...
Prognosis for Iraq
WILLIAM S. LIND
Most wars move not at a steady pace but in a series of fits and starts. For about half a year, we have been enjoying something of a lull in the war in Iraq. Anything that reduces casualties is to be welcomed. But the bulletins’ claims that the downward trend...
Patriots, Refugees and Terrorists
JOANNE MARINER
"Was George Washington a terrorist?" asked Bill Frelick, Human Rights Watch’s refugee policy director, only semi-facetiously. What sparked his question was the exceedingly broad definition of terrorist activity employed in U.S. immigration l...
Court Rules Against Grocery Workers
DAVID MACARAY
On February 11, a decision was handed down by a Los Angeles County Superior Court that has the potential to negatively affect the lives of California grocery workers. The ruling overturned an ordinance (the Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance) passed in December 20...
Gentlemen, Pick Up Your Clubs
MARTHA ROSENBERG
There’s another reason to lament Arctic ice melting; as soon as floes break up off the shores of Labrador and Newfoundland, fleets of Canadian seal killers will arrive to initiate the largest marine mammal hunt in the world. 275,000 seals will ...