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 May 2009
The Forgotten Casualties
TED NEWCOMEN
It was just another tragic headline in a Florida newspaper, "Area woman killed in Iraq – Father confirms his daughter is third casualty in past three months". The article went on to describe how Army SPC Oprah Nestling, aged 24, (for reasons of confid...
Obama, Torture and John Walker Lindh
MICHAEL TEITELMAN
On March 15, the Justice Department made an announcement that was barely reported in the media.   The DOJ decided not to renew the Special Administrative Measures (SAM) that have been imposed on John Walker Lindh since his conviction and incarceration in 20...
A Paler Shade of Green
CHRIS GENOVALI
Reflecting on the noise of the just concluded election in British Columbia, an amusing turn of phrase that appeared on the American political blog Firedoglake.com comes to mind: "Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of Dumb, I Shall Fear No Idiocy." ...
Gitmo, Democrats and Business as Usual
ROBERT FANTINA
In the U.S. Senate, elections don’t seem to mean much. After the Republicans were booted in 2006, amid much optimism that war funding would be cut and that the world would see an end of U.S. aggression, it was simply business as usual. But the U.S. voter...
Cheney Breaks the Taboo
RAY McGOVERN
If we hear in the coming days that former Vice President Dick Cheney has fired one of his speechwriters — or perhaps grounded Lynne or Liz — it will be clear why. Oozing out of the sleazy speech he gave Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute...
How Long Does It Take?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
How long does it take a mild-mannered, antiwar, black professor of constitutional law, trained as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, to become an enthusiastic sponsor of targeted assassinations, “decapitation” strategies and remote-contro...
The Afghanistan Escalation
NORMAN SOLOMON
To understand what’s up with President Obama as he escalates the war in Afghanistan, there may be no better place to look than a book published 25 years ago. “...
Two Funerals and a Wedding
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
There were three significant happenings this week up and down the vertical axis of the Indian Subcontinent. Up in the North, Pakistani troops battled the Taliban in Swat. As the week closed they had just begun the battle for Mingora, the capital town of the p...
In Defense of George W. Bush
CHRIS FLOYD
If George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other principals of the previous administration were ever brought to trial for war crimes, I would offer my services, in all sincerity, to their defense. For I think they would have a strong case to make, one that would be of vital,...
Out of Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
In a move that seems to open up a route out of Guantánamo for prisoners accused of having an active involvement with international terrorism that does not involve reviving the much-criticized system of trials by ...
Obama and the Hustler
ZACH MASON
Why is the “hustler” the iconic figure in hip-hop? The corporate consolidation of the music business has led to a dumbing down of hip-hop if not intentional perpetuation of racist stereotypes being carried out by corporate executives as they laugh all the...
Life and Death in the Qandil Mountains
GERALD PAOLI
Sulimanaya, Iraqi Kurdistan. The first Zarawa Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp was in a valley in the Qandil Mountains. It wasn’t home, but it was situated next to a cool stream and was close to the 8 villages of the 132 families who have fled vi...
The Politics of Bait-and-Switch
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR And JOSHUA FRANK
After little more than 100 days in office, the Democrats, under the leadership of Barack Obama, have unleashed a slew of anti-environmental policies that would have enraged any reasonable conservationist during the Bush years. Take the delisting of the gray wo...
A Corporate Crime Wave of Labor Law Violations
DAVE LINDORFF
A new study of 1004 union organizing drives conducted by the director of labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations has found that two-third of the companies involved were violating US labor law by holding one-on-o...
A Quarrel on the Titanic
URI AVNERY
One of the happiest moments in my life occurred in a restaurant. It happened before the second intifada. I had invited Rachel to celebrate her birthday with dinner at a famous restaurant in Ramallah. We were sitting in the garden under strings of colorf...
Morphing Dick Cheney
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
A despairing country elected a president who promised change. Americans arrived from every state to witness in bitter cold Obama’s swearing in ceremony. The mall was packed in a way that it has never been for any other president. The people’s good...
The Toll Booth Economy
MICHAEL HUDSON
It looks like bookstores are about to be swamped this summer and fall by advisories which publishers commissioned a year ago, as the economy was going off the rails. The preferred marketing strategy is to offer advice by celebrity insiders on how to restore the ...
Netanyahu Adviser Steps Out of the Shadows
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. As might be expected of a former senior official with Israel’s spy agency Mossad, Uzi Arad — the most trusted political adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister — has got used to being in the shadows as he exert...
Torture, Shrinks and a Groundhog’s Day Moment
TRUDY BOND
Did you hear about the torture In the newspapers that you read? Did you pretend it didn’t matter? Did you blame a few bad men? Did you think that your leaders Wouldn’t just do it all again? How far is i...
Why Women Need Single Payer
GARY LAPON
"Women At Risk: Why Many Women Are Forgoing Needed Health Care," an issue brief released this month by the Commonwealth Fund, reveals the gender inequality of the U.S. health care system and illustrates the gross inability of the current private health ...
Eulogizing Lawyers
PETER ZINN
When the insurance company AIG announced it would pay executive bonuses after having already received billions in bailout money, the media asked if Obama was faced with his “Katrina Moment.” Perhaps it’s a good sign that the President w...
Courting Hekmatyar
GARY LEUPP
In a Newsweek interview last week President Obama explained his assessment of the war in Afghanistan as of February when he announced his decision to increase U.S. forces in the country by 17,000. “The starting point,” sta...
The World Doesn’t Have a Pakistan Nukes Problem … It Has a David Albright Problem
PETER LEE
As AFP tells us, the Institute for Science and International Security just published a report on Pakistan’s nuclear program that seems designed to pour gasoline on the “the Pakistani nuclear program is outta control” story. And, ...
Work is Hell
MICHAEL D. YATES
Economists never say much about work. They talk about the supply of and the demand for labor, but they have very little to say about the nature of the work we do. Like most commentators, they seem to believe that modern economies will require ever more s...
Tortured Reasoning; Tortured Results
WILLIM LOREN KATZ
Each day the evidence piles higher and is spotlighted by Dick Chaney’s mix of admissions and denials. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, said, "the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 — w...
The End of the Tamil Tigers?
BINOY KAMPMARK
The demise of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), might give a moment of passing joy to the Sinhalese, chanting in the streets of Colombo at the quashing of ‘terrorism’ on the island, but such relief will be short lived.  Images...
Intimidation and Interrogation in Tel Aviv
MIRJAM HADAR MEERSCHWAM
My computer, today, is still at Tel Aviv police headquarters where it stayed after my two-hour interrogation last week. I am not given, I believe, to conspiracy thinking but the thought crossed my mind, comically rather, whether I’d ever written anything unkind...
The Indian Elections: a Game Changer?
VIJAY PRASHAD
The Indian general election of 2009 is finally over. 445 million voters entered 828,000 polling booths to elect 543 candidates to the lower house of the parliament, the Lok Sabha. An immense state apparatus went into play to ensure that the voters’ will was not...
Check Point Iraq
KRISTOFFER REHDER
I don’t remember how old I was when my father asked me this peculiar question, maybe sometime during my high school years.  And I don’t know why he asked me or how it came up in conversation, but when it did, it hit me like a brick.  “How ...
Alcohol as Metaphor
DAVID MACARAY
Some years ago, when I was a union rep with the West Coast papermakers, I was called in on a DOJ case (drunk on the job) to represent an employee who was facing termination.  While DOJs were by no means common, they weren’t exactly rare, either.  ...
The Real Lesson of the Financial Crisis
MIKE WHITNEY
The financial channels are abuzz with talk of a recovery, but we’re not out of the woods yet. In fact, the deceleration in the rate of economic decline is not a sign of recovery at all, but proof that the economy is resetting at a lower level of activity. That ...
John Kerry vs. Single-Payer
JOHN WALSH
Inspired by the civil disobedience of the Baucus 13, members of SinglePayerAction.org and its allies, including several doctors in Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) took our call for single-payer to Senator John Kerry’s Boston Office last Friday a...
Is Obama Up to the Challenge of Dealing with Netanyahu?
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI
I cannot recall a more important meeting between an American president and an Israeli prime minister than today’s meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Will the Obama administration have the courage to challenge Netanyahu, or wi...
A Prison Built on Lies
ANDY WORTHINGTON
As the Obama administration prepares to relaunch ...
Britain’s Speaker Crisis
BINOY KAMPMARK
Politics is practiced by a group Orson Welles liked calling the third sex.  And that third variant of gender is not very popular in Britain at the moment.  The expenses crisis threatens to submerge Parliament, as if it did not already have enough problems i...
How Colin Powell Got Duped by the CIA
RAY McGOVERN
Think back six years. How often did we hear then-Secretary of State Colin Powell tout his intense four-day vigil at CIA headquarters preparing the speech he would give to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003? Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Powel...
Politics and American Idol
CHARLOTTE LAWS
I am a greenhorn in the music world. If you gifted me an Ipod, I’d probably mistake it for a remote control. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift are names I have heard, but faces I could not place. I can’t operate a CD player and have always thought o...
How Many Kicks to the Head Does It Take?
BEN ROSENFELD
A suspect crashes his car after leading El Monte, CA police on a dangerous, sometimes high speed chase and flees into a residential neighborhood. Soon cornered, he gives up in a backyard and lies face down, arms and legs out, surrendering. An El Monte police officer ...
Thirty Years of Tragedy in Afghanistan
ABDUL MALIK MUJAHID
According to the CIA World Factbook, an Afghan’s life expectancy is merely 44 years. That’s 20 to 30 years less than neighboring Pakistan and all other surrounding countries. It is just one result of the ongoing devastation in that country. The war...
They Want It All
RALPH NADER
After years of opposing or ridiculing renewable energy, the giant oil companies are using a new approach. A recent ExxonMobil advertising campaign puts it this way: “Oil, gas, coal, biofuels, nuclear, wind, solar … to fuel the future we need them all.&rd...
War and Torture
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
It is apparent that regardless of who is in power, conservative ideals are firmly entrenched not simply in the American psyche, but are an integral part of U.S. policies. One could blame liberals for not having a backbone when combating conservatives, but chances are...
Cheney’s Magical Mystery Media Tour
WALTER BRASCH
Dick Cheney has apparently been on a magical mystery media tour. He has sought out and been interviewed by more TV journalists and talk show hosts during the past month than during the eight years he was vice president. The topic is always the same. T...
These Killings Will Only Strengthen the Taliban
PATRICK COCKBURN
It is astonishing to discover that the same small American unit, the US Marine Corps’ Special Operations or MarSOC, has been responsible for all three of the worst incidents in Afghanistan in which civilians have been killed. Its members refer to themselves as ...
On the Devaluation of Labor
EUGENIA TSAO
I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who happens to be an administrative assistant at a small postsecondary institution in southern Ontario. Over mayonnaise-slathered sandwiches, we discussed the implications of the global economic crisis for higher education i...
Thirty Years of Tragedy in Afghanistan
ABDUL MALIK MUJAHID
According to the CIA World Factbook, an Afghan’s life expectancy is merely 44 years. That’s 20 to 30 years less than neighboring Pakistan and all other surrounding countries. It is just one result of the ongoing devastation in that country. The war...
How Many Secret Prisons Does Israel Have?
JONATHAN COOK
The United Nation’s watchdog on torture has criticised Israel for refusing to allow inspections at a secret prison, dubbed by critics as “Israel’s Guantanamo Bay”, and demanded to know if more such clandestine detention camps are operating....
Psychologist Bryce Lefever Clarifies Defense of Torture
STEPHEN SOLDZ
The recently public posting on the Propublica web site of the lis...
The U.S. is Using White Phosphorous in Afghanistan
DAVE LINDORFF
When doctors started reporting that some of the victims of the US bombing of several villages in Farah Province last week—an attack that left between 117 and 147 civilians dead, most of them women and children—were turning up with deep, sharp burns on the...
King of the Hate Business
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
What is the arch-salesman of hate-mongering, Mr. Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center doing now? He’s saying that the election of a black president proves his point. Hate is on the rise! Send money!  Without skipping a beat, the mailshot ...
Lapel Pins, Arugula and Mustard
ROBERT FANTINA
Conservative Republicans (probably a redundant term since there seem to be no other kind of Republicans anymore) have tried relentlessly but in vain to find something to criticize about President Barack Obama that would have staying power. It almost seems they are co...