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 September 2009
What Integrity Means to Pfizer
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The satire was biting: "Thanks for making time to see me today," posted a rep on cafepharma about a fictitious sales meeting with a psychiatrist. "Now, I know that you used Neurontin in the past for every condition under the sun. Pfizer knows ve...
Medicare Buy-In
DEAN BAKER
Back in the good old days the conservatives were the folks who favored individual choice: not any more. In the current health care debate, the top priority of the so-called conservatives is to deny people choice. They want to make sure that Americans do not have the ...
Punch in the Streets, But Not in the Suites
LAURA FLANDERS
The G20 summit wrapped up in Pittsburgh Friday with pledges but little punch. Except in the streets. On climate change, world leaders vowed “strong action” and on the economy, "balanced economic growth." The summit endorsed granting more ...
U.S. Story on Iran Nuke Facility Doesn’t Add Up
GARETH PORTER
The story line that dominated media coverage of the second Iranian uranium enrichment facility last week was the official assertion that U.S. intelligence had caught Iran trying to conceal a "secret" nuclear facility. But an analysis of the transcrip...
The Baucus Excuse
DAVE LINDORFF
Some years ago, my wife and I, together with our young daughter, took a circuitous summer train trip through France, Italy, Austria and Germany. The last leg was an overnight express from Berlin that deposited us at the Gare du Nord in Paris just at sunrise. Feeling ...
Another War in the Works
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Does anyone remember all the lies that they were told by President Bush and the “mainstream media” about the grave threat to America from weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? These lies were repeated endlessly in the print and TV media despite the reports...
McChrystal’s Afghan Desolation
VIJAY PRASHAD
The sorrow and grief, these black evenings, Eyes full of tears and times full of sadness, These burnt hearts, the killing of youths, These unfulfilled expectations and unmet hopes of brides, With a hatred for war, I call time and a...
Mission Impossible
RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA
When the Supreme Court decided not to hear the Cuban Five petition, the Justices acted exactly as requested by President Obama’s Solicitor General, showing that on this issue, there has been no change, certainly not a change we can believe in. The Supre...
The Fiasco Behind Chicago’s Olympics Bid
ANDY THAYER
Anti-Olympics organizers sprinted into the home stretch with a City Hall rally yesterday ahead of Friday’s International Olympic Committee vote on which city will get the 2016 games.  About 300 attended the protest which – not to take anything away f...
Why British Workers Are Angry
SEAUMAS MILNE
As the economic crisis has deepened and unemployment mushroomed, powerful voices opposing national action to protect jobs and industries, whether by governments or trade unions, have grown louder. From Davos to Detroit, the warning has gone out that “protection...
Spreading Hysteria About Swine Flu "Hysteria"
STEPHEN SOLDZ
Public health is bedeviled by the public’s lack of understanding of uncertainty. Public health policy deals with potential future events. Decisions about policy have to be made with often inadequate data. If, as often happens, bad scenarios don’t unfold, ...
Palestinians in the Israeli Army
JONATHAN COOK
in Arrabeh Demands from Israel’s chief commander this month that all Israeli citizens should be required to perform national service has turned the spotlight on a rarely discussed group of soldiers: members of Israel’s Palestinian minority. ...
The Party of No Meets the Island of No
SARA MANN
This morning on Mackinac Island, Michigan the temperature was a beautiful 68 degrees. Wild daisies held tightly to the last of their summer glory and the leaves of maple trees were slowly turning colors in anticipation of fall. A freshwater breeze was in the air...
60 Minutes and the General
BRUCE JACKSON
David Martin’s 13-minute “60 Minutes” interview with General Stanley McChrystal (September 27), the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, may have seemed like one more of those insufferable Sunday evening puff pieces, like Steve Kroft’s str...
Why They Call It Fall
DAVE LINDORFF
So now it turns out that the whole Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) was a flop or more likely a scam. Remember Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson telling us last September that credit markets had locked up, and then, after half of the $750 billion that he ext...
A Neoliberal Hijacking
MARSHALL AUERBACK
As a matter of national accounting, the domestic private sector cannot net save unless and until foreign or government sectors net deficit spend. Call this the tyranny of double entry bookkeeping:  the government’s deficit equals by identity the non-govern...
Arabs in the International Balance
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
The battle the Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouq Husni fought for the position of UNESCO Director General was not a personal battle by any standard.  Many powers had concerted their efforts so that this important position would not be occupied by an Arab, rega...
Recovery Without Feeling
ALAN FARAGO
The economic calamity is abating according to Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chief. What else could he say? But it is hard to be optimistic if you are a small businessman in Florida. This doesn’t feel like a "recovery" at all. "For rent" sign...
From the Great Game to the Blame Game
GARETH PORTER
In a remarkable parallel with a similar turning point in the Vietnam War 44 years ago, President Barack Obama will preside over a series of meetings in the coming weeks that will determine whether the United States will proceed with an escalation of the Afghanistan W...
The Patient as Customer
JOSEPH SHER
Throughout the misguided and misleading debate on how to “fix” the health care system in the United States, a fundamental fallacy continues to assert itself: that patients who require treatment are somehow like shoppers who want a new pair of shoes or a h...
The U.S., Iran and Nuclear Terror
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Iran’s admission that it is enriching uranium at a second nuclear site was greeted with alarm in the halls of Washington and in American newsrooms on Friday.  Obama has long warned about the "existential threat" that Iran poses to the U.S. and it...
Remembering Kirsten Brydum
BEN ROSENFELD
On September 27, 2008, Kirsten Brydum of San Francisco became the 144th of 179 people murdered in New Orleans that year. Like countless others, her murder remains unsolved. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, The Big Easy seems to mean killing and getting away with it....
On Palestinian Civil Disobedience
NEVE GORDON
Sometime in 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his taxes. This was his way of opposing the Mexican-American War as well as the institution of slavery. A few years later he published the essay Civil Disobedience, which has since ...
The Sound and Fury of the Honduran Coup
LAURA CARLSEN
Over the past few days, reports poured in from Honduras of the use of sound devices and chemical warfare in attacks on the Brazilian Embassy by the Honduran coup. The use of Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) has been confirmed by observers and journalists. Numerous p...
More Lies, More Deceptions
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The G-20 ministers declared their meeting in Pittsburgh a success, but as Rob Kall reports in OpEdNews.com, the meeting’s main success was to turn Pittsburgh into “a ghost-town, emptied of workers and the usual pedestrians, but filled to overflowing with ...
Obama’s LBJ Moment
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Lyndon Johnson was once on the verge of becoming one of America’s greatest presidents. But with a single wrong turn into Vietnam, LBJ plunged himself and the nation into a ghastly tragedy that still makes us all weep and bleed. It is NOW! up to ...
Stuck Between Two Failures
NICOLA NASSER
It was extraordinarily questionable why U.S. President Barak Obama chose not to credit the War on Afghanistan with a separate paragraph in his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 23, to “note” the war on Iraq with only a four...
Street Report From the G20
BILL QUIGLEY
The G20 in Pittsburgh showed us how pitifully fearful our leaders have become. What no terrorist could do to us, our own leaders did.   Out of fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack, authorities militarize our towns, scare our people ...
Dumping Dubya
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Hey, wasn’t that George W. Bush presidency really fantastic? You do still remember it, don’t you? Wasn’t it great?  Don’t you have lots of warm and fuzzy memories of it?  Isn’t it a shame that he couldn’t ha...
Why Afghan Intellectuals Live in National Despair
ESHAN AZARI
Afghanistan’s  president, Mr Hamid Karzai has many faces, like the colors of his billowing chapan.  One shines in his antipathy towards Afghan intelligentsia and another in his indissoluble bond with the Afghan warlords.  His election campaign ex...
Hardcore Capitalism
KIM NICOLINI
Lorna’s Silence, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s latest Belgian-Eye-View of life under Capitalism, is an uncompromisingly realistic picture of a cannibalistic economy in which the female body and humanity in general are so much disposable merchandise in th...
How "White Magic" Makes the Ism of Race Disappear
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Cambridge police sergeant James M. Crowley’s arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for “disorderly conduct” in his own home triggered an intense, momentary national conversation on “race.”  Not on racism.  “W...
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money
MIKE ROSELLE
No substantial gain in our efforts to continually evolve into a more humane and caring society has been made without the willingness of individuals-with non violence as both a creed and a strategy–to step outside the framework of law and tradition in order to c...
Obama and Race Management
SETH SANDRONSKY
Is President Obama left, center or right? To some of his opponents he is a leftist. But wait. The actual president widens the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Further, he watches the withering of the Employee Free Choice Act to help workers form labor unions. ...
The Goldstone Report and Israeli Impunity
RAMZY BAROUD
"We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the era of impunity," Nadia Hijab, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Palestine Studies, said in response to the findings of a 574-page report by a four-member United Nations Fact finding ...
The Lady Vanishes
DAVID Ker THOMSON
We seldom surface long enough to be registered as anything substantial upon the consciousness of your cities, but we are everywhere in your midst.  Our ubiquity is akin to that of dog scat—unremarked till you step in it.  We seldom write, or i...
Cuba, Hurricanes and the Internet
NELSON P. VALDÉS
Fernando Ravsberg of the BBC reports that Cubans now are permitted to have  access to the Internet via the Cuban Post Office. [1] Such a decision has  been characterized as "free access" to the Internet. Actually, the service  is not free bec...
Gitmo Trial Delayed … Again
ANDY WORTHINGTON
On Monday, following a request from the Obama administration, Army Col. Stephen Henley, the military judge in the proposed trial by Military Commission of five men charged in connection with the 9/11 att...
The Ruin of His Presidency
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The ripest moment of absurdity last week was the spectacle of Pentagon officials berating the Washington Post for publishing the supposedly confidential assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, prepared for General McChrystal, America’s Man in Charge of that...
Why are Farmers Afraid of Michael Pollan?
JIM GOODMAN
Author Michael Pollan is no stranger to controversy. He has broadened the discussion of what we eat, where and how it is grown, big vs. small, organic farming vs. conventional. When he speaks some in the audience will love him, some will not. Advocates of larg...
Covert Memories From Miami
SAUL LANDAU
In Miami, several retired U.S. officials remembered the early 1960s, when the CIA sent hundreds of employees to join other government bureaucrats to process and recruit thousands of Cuban exiles to destroy the Cuban revolution. Assassination plans abounded, from pois...
Speculating on Education
DANIEL WOLFF
"We’re not speculators. We’re investors.” So says the CEO of a real estate trust that recently sunk some $170 million into 22 charter schools. Which got me wondering: why charter schools? How do they end up looking like sound inves...
Transparent Pink
LORENZO WOLFF
Most of the time, it takes something more than the right choice of notes to make a good record. Whether it’s a nostalgic connection or an attraction to the reputation the music brings, people tend to have ulterior motives for their musical choices. On t...
The Partition Straightjacket
JOHN V. WHITBECK
The desperate and desultory New York "summit" among Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas and the evident capitulation of Obama to Israeli defiance of even his minimalist effort to achieve mere maintenance of the status quo have left most obser...
From Oppression to Opportunity
CHARLES R. LARSON
How many books make a significant difference in matters that concern everyone who lives on earth? You can probably count the titles on one hand. Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, husband and wife, have certainly written such a book. Half the Sky: Turning Oppress...
The Pentagon Feedlot
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
2009 is an important year for the evolution of pork in defense bills. Having expanded immensely since September 11, 2001, pork has met its first notable challenge. It came from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who in April took a stand against some of the lowest of...
Froberger’s Travels
DAVID YEARSLEY
No music was cloaked more darkly in the allure of travel than that of the great 17th-century keyboardist Johann Jakob  Froberger (1616-1667). Commemorating encounters, incidents, and personages from across Europe, Froberger’s oeuvre acquired its lasting au...
Sleeping with the Enemy
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and “rescue” them. The move by the...
Is Obama a Socialist?
ROBERT JENSEN
For months, leftists have been pointing out the absurdity of the claim that Barack Obama is a socialist. But no matter how laughable, the claim keeps popping up, most recently in the form of the Republican Party chairman’s warning of “a socialist power gr...
Know Your Dictator
NADIA HIJAB
As the United Nations General Assembly convenes this week, a high-level parade of actual and aspiring dictators arrives in New York City. This is a good time for people of conscience to reflect on how to deal with dictators. The U.S. government appears to have...