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 CIA’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 July 2008
Will There be an Actors Strike?
DAVID MACARAY
On Thursday, July 10, SAG (Screen Actors Guild) rejected what the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) called their “last, best and final offer,” setting the stage for either more negotiations between the parties or the union’...
Lock and Load–It’s the Law!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
For millions of Americans, the political highpoint of 2008 is now behind them. The precise day is forever inscribed in their hearts as one of glorious ratification of one of America’s core freedoms: on June 26 the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time affirmed,...
The Audacity of Hype
FRAN SHOR
In the aftermath of Senator Barack Obama’s capitulation to the Bush Administration’s new FISA bill and in the face of continuing evidence that Obama is more of a triangulating than transformative politician, many of his “progressive” defenders...
Dark Neighborhoods
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
The young man entered a pool hall in Kentucky. When he ordered a beer, the bartender asked for identification. He’d forgotten to take his driver’s license, but his passport was in his backpack. “What’s this?” “It&rsqu...
Taking the M-Fers Down with Guns and Exploding Rats
KIM NICOLINI
I’m sure glad I ignored the critics and went to see Wanted for no other reason other than wanting to see some heads eat some bullets as a little Rage Therapy to purge my various anxieties and stresses from living life under 21st century global capitalism. Indeed, Wanted...
Canada, Guantanamo and Yankee Poodles
ROBERT FANTINA
During the administration of Tony Blair as Prime Minister of Britain, he was sometimes referred to as the ‘Yankee Poodle,’ due to the constant and humiliating spectacle he made of himself with his obvious adoration of U.S. President George W. Bush. ...
No Lies! No War!
ANDREW WIMMER
There are now 238 members of the House signed on as cosponsors of House Concurrent Resolution 362 "expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the ...
The Future of Iran
WAJAHAT ALI And OMID SAFI
For Americans, an Iranian human rights activist seems like the greatest oxymoron since military intelligence. However, Shirin Ebadi was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize precisely due to her unflinching and indefatigable commitment in advocating human rights and pro...
The Origins of the Western Greens
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
This essay is excerpted from Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance From th...
Needed for the future: new hardware
STAN COX
The ecological destruction in progress all around us grows out of the human economy’s unvarying tendency to overproduce what is profitable while at the same time underproducing what is needed.  There is no better example of that than ...
Worse Than McCain?
MIKE WHITNEY
Every four years, liberals and progressives are expected to set aside their beliefs and stand foursquare behind the Democratic Party candidate. This ritual is invariably performed in the name of party unity. It doesn’t matter if the candidate is a smooth-talkin...
If There is a Chimp Heaven …
KELLY OVERTON
A friend died last week. Carrie was only 45 years old; she died of complications from a life of exploitation. Almost from the start her life wasn’t what it should have been and despite heroic efforts by those who loved her, Carrie, simply couldn’t be put ...
The Not-So-Historic Barak-Talabani Handshake
RAMZY BAROUD
Most people would not have even realised that the 23rd congress of the Socialist International was being held near Athens were it not for the moment when Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak shook the hand of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. An Associated Press ...
Why Does Barack Obama Hate My Family?
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY
Addressing a congregation at the Apostolic Church of God, one of Chicago’s largest black churches, on Father’s Day, Barack Obama said: "Too many fathers are M.I.A., too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes. The...
Breaking Down the Trade Deficit
PETER MORICI
Today, the Commerce Department reported the May deficit on trade in goods and services was $59.8 billion. This was not much changed from the April deficit of $60.5 billion in April. The trade deficit remains high because of surging prices for imported oil and...
Crime, Punishment and ExxonMobil
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Last month witnessed the extraordinary contrast of two perspectives on crime, punishment and ExxonMobil. Just two days after leading climate change scientist James Hansen told the U.S. Congress that he believed ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel company CEOs &qu...
The Shoot Down of Iran Air Flight 655
SASAN FAYAZMANESH
In a daily press briefing on July 2, 2008, the following set of questions and answers took place between an unidentified reporter and Department of State Spokesman Sean McCormack [1]: QUESTION: Tomorrow marks...
Oiling the War Machine
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Is the Iraq War a US response to Peak Oil? Is it a favor to Israel? Is it meant to bring US consumers cheap gasoline?, or to inflate oil prices that balloon the profits of US oil firms? Ismael Hossein-Zadeh posed these questions and gave his answers in an interesting...
In Praise of Jules Tygiel
ADRIAN BURGOS
For many of us who study race and baseball, Jules Tygiel’s Baseball’s Great Experiment...
Jesse Helms Finally Does the Right Thing
ALAN MAASS
According to a former aide, Jesse Helms was "very comfortable" in his final moments. If there were any justice, he might have experienced something of the final moments of the many people for whose deaths he should–in some measure at least̵...
Who Will Leave Iraq First?
RON JACOBS
Recently, Washington’s man in Baghdad Nouri al-Maliki has been making noises about the need to set a "hard" timetable detailing the departure of US occupation forces from Iraq.  One wonders if Mr. al-Maliki is sincere in his demand or if he is po...
Dr. Strangelove
WILLIAM BLUM
There have been numerous books published on the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. I have not read one of them. There’s another one just out: "One Minute to Midnight," by Washington Post writer Michael Dobbs. I will ...
Watching Greed Murder the Economy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The collapse of world socialism, the rise of the high speed Internet, a bought-and-paid-for US government, and a million dollar cap on executive pay that is not performance related are permitting greedy and disloyal corporate executives, Wall Street, and large retail...
Cutting Deals with Big Timber’s Darth Vader
JOSHUA FRANK
The wild forests of North America have almost completely disappeared over the past century and a half, and so too have the great timber barons that stole these lands from the public trust.  Even so, the corporate pillage continues to be celebrated, and the compa...
McCain’s Melanoma Cover-Up
BRIAN McKENNA
When John McCain airboated through the sundrenched Florida Everglades in June, he was sure to lather up with plenty of sunscreen (SPF30 is his preferred) and wear a baseball cap. For someone with his melanoma history, this was poor preventive medicine. In a UVA satur...
Coral Reef Meltdown
ALAN FARAGO
The past few days I’ve been thinking about Dr. James Speth’s call for "civic unreasonableness" and NASA’s Dr. James Hansen’s appeal for scientists to drop "objectivity" from muting their involvement, communicating to the pu...
Humanitarian Failure at the G8
ROBERT WEISSMAN
It’s hard to dismiss the temptation to write off the G8 meetings as a meaningless talkfest. On the other hand, when the political leaders of the most powerful countries get together and issue joint statements, it may be worth looking at what these planet...
* * *
SAUL LANDAU
In June 2008, Tom and Huck (Saul and his friend Marin) return as two senior citizens not on a raft but in a rented car, driving from New Jersey south and then west through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and into Illinois where we see the Mi...
What’s Driving the Wall Street Rout
PETER MORICI
On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke outlined Washington efforts to restore confidence in U.S. financial institutions. Initially, this gave the market a lift. After closer examination by investors, the market continued its downward spiral on Wednesday, l...
Sick at the Gaza Crossing
PHILIP RIZK
Between her hands the sick woman grasped a pack of six tea glasses. It seemed a bit strange of an item to be bringing back into Gaza with so few permitted to make this rare excursion beyond Gaza’s borders. Later that day, after a large welcoming lunch and over ...
The Deadly Fallout from Gang Injunctions
LUIS RODRIGUEZ
As expected, and despite opposition from a number of community leaders, a gang injunction against the San Fer gang has been imposed by the courts on a nine-and-a-half square mile area of the Northeast San Fernando Valley, encompassing most of Sylmar, a northwest port...
Blowing Smoke
CHAD HANSON
Recent editorials by timber industry spokespersons are a wildly misleading attempt to promote increased logging of western U.S. forests under the guise of reducing wildland fires and mitigating climate change. The timber industry fails to mention, however, that loggi...
Defining Deviancy Down with FISA
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
It is good that President George W. Bush is not much of a reader: If he were late in returning a library book, Congress might try to change the date on the calendar! An absurdity of similar proportions is taking place, only it is not just absurd but criminal too...
What’s Wrong with Selling Your Vote?
SHELDON RICHMAN
Poor Max Sanders. The 19-year-old University of Minnesota student faces five years in jail and a $10,000 fine; he is accused of putting his vote in the presidential election up for auction on eBay. He started the bidding at $10. The charge is bribery, treating, and s...
The Problems with the FISA Bill
Sen. RUSS FEINGOLD
A number of Senators came to the floor prior to the Fourth of July recess to debate the FISA legislation, and more debate has occurred this week. We have heard arguments for and against the legislation, and Senators have cited a variety of reasons for their positions...
Are They Really Oil Wars?
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
A most widely-cited factor behind the recent U.S. wars of choice is said to be oil. “No Blood for Oil” has been a rallying cry for most of the opponents of the war. While some of these opponents argue that the war is driven by the U.S. desire for cheap oi...
A Damned Good Assembly
STANLEY HELLER
A big cheer filled the hall as an important section of the US Left broke new ground and incorporated the Palestinian struggle firmly into the analysis the anti-war movement. The program of the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation recognized Palestine ...
Paul Krugman’s Blind Spot
DAVE LINDORFF
In a New York Times column on Monday (“Behind the Bush Bust”), economics columnist Paul Krugman mused on whether President George Bush could be blamed for the nation’s economic crisis. His conclusion was that, yes, to some extent the crisis was Bush...
Lessons from Sa’di of Shiraz on "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"
FATEMEH KESHAVARZ
Sa’di, the thirteen century Iranian poet, was a man for all seasons. Distinct among his peers for a rare poetic talent and a sharp humor, he was a traveler, teacher, and master ghazal writer all in one. But, above all, he loved to tease and to question. In a mo...
The Empire Goes to the Movies
PATRICK IRELAN
The FARC, Colombia’s largest guerilla army, released 15 hostages to the Colombian government on July 2. The hostages included Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician, plus 11 other Colombians and 3 U.S. mercenaries. Warfare of any kind is brutal...
Mumia’s Long-Shot Appeal
DAVE LINDORFF
Mumia Abu-Jamal and his attorney Robert L. Bryan yesterday filed a formal petition seeking a full en banc reconsideration of last spring’s decision by a three-member panel of the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals rejecting his claim of a constitutional vio...
Bush’s Rampage in Somalia
MIKE WHITNEY
While George Bush was breezing through photo-ops at the G-8 summit in Japan; his Ethiopian proxy-army in Somalia was grinding out more carnage on the streets of Mogadishu. More than 40 civilians have been killed in the last 48 hours. On Sunday, Osman Ali Ahme...
The Myths of Independence Day
JOHN CHUCKMAN
If you relish myths and enjoy superstition, then the flatulent speeches of America’s Independence Day, July 4, were just the thing for you. No religion on earth has more to offer along these lines than America celebrating itself. Some, believing the spe...
North America Doesn’t Exist
LAURA CARLSEN
About every six months or so, the media provide a fleeting show of North American unity. Whether on the shores of the Mexican Caribbean, the forests of Quebec, or the hurricane-torn streets of New Orleans, the script is pretty much the same. It includes a lot of back...
Riding the Colombia Gravy Train
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
When you consider John McCain’s ties to Big Oil, the GOP candidate’s claim to be a political maverick confronting special interests is nothing short of absurd.  Just last week the Arizona Senator took valuable time out of his presidential cam...
FISA and the Decline of America
PHILLIP DOE
Jonathan Swift, the great Irish political writer and satirist, is not alone in observing that great nations rarely fall from outside threats or attack. More often they decline and fall from internal corruption. The Congress is deaf to this warning it appears, for las...
Scandal at Diego Garcia
ANDY WORTHINGTON
This has been a bad week for the British government, in relation to two of the running sores of its foreign policy, both centered on the Overseas Territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Diego Garcia and the surrounding islands — known collectively...
A Union Story
DAVID MACARAY
Some years ago, the Kimberly-Clark Corporation hired an employee (I’ll call him “Lee”) into its paper mill in Fullerton, California.  A large, modern facility, the Fullerton mill manufactured tons of raw paper each shift and produced, among oth...
The Un-tied States of America
CHELLIS GLENDINNING
I’ve long been attracted to secession as a strategy for breaking up the purposeful gigantism of empire and returning power to communities.  Here in Río Arriba County – where our government officials are community activists,  poets,  ...
Obama’s War Room
ELIZABETH SCHULTE
"I FEEL he is totally different." Those were the words of Naser Mahdi, a school teacher in Buquba, Iraq, on the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama. "The world needs new blood in rulers," Mahdi told Inter Press Service, ...