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 January 2010
Security Kills
MARK WEISBROT
Six days after the earthquake in Haiti, the U.S. Southern Command finally began to drop bottled water and food (MREs) from an Air Force C-17. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates had previously rejected such a method because of “security concerns.” The Guardian ...
Letter From Port au Prince
SASHA KRAMER
Port au Prince. To our dear friends and supporters who have been so present through this difficult time. I feel like I have a wall of love and protection around me knowing that you are all holding Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. I apologize for not having writt...
Rule by the Rich
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate by Democratic voters in Massachusetts sends President Obama a message. Voters perceive that Obama’s administration has morphed into a Bush-Cheney government. Obama has reneged on every promise he made, from endin...
Regulation or Break-Up for the Financial Sector?
BRIAN M. DOWNING
In the late nineties, a prominent Japanese bank, one dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, went out of business. Its director felt obliged to come forward and express the deep shame and dishonor he felt for the venerable institution and the thousands of employee...
Big Brother is Alive and Well … and He’s Signing Your Paycheck!
DAVID MACARAY
Given the number of appropriate targets out there, it seems unfair, somehow, to pick on someone as innocuous as Howie Long, the Fox commentator and former NFL defensive end.  But because Howie uttered two monumentally stupid statements—either of which, in ...
Making Haiti
FARZANA VERSEY
"I survived by drinking Coca-Cola. I drank Coca-Cola every day, and I ate some little tiny things,” he said. Wismond Exantus’s tale of survival conveys a larger lesson about charity franchising. As someone who worked in the grocery store in Port-au-...
Remodeling the Antiwar Movement
KEVIN ZEESE
In his first year President Obama broke several war-making records of President George W. Bush. He passed the largest military budget in U.S. history, the largest one-year war supplementals and fired the most drone attacks on the most countries. He began 2010 asking ...
Myths of Recovery
MICHAEL HUDSON
The State of the Union address is in danger of purveying the usual euphemisms. I expect    Obama to brag that he has overseen a recovery. But can there be any such thing as a jobless recovery? What has recovered are stock market averages and Wall Stree...
The Press Only Likes Fresh Blood and the Blood in Haiti is Drying
RICHARD MORSE
Good morning. Sky,overcast,occasional planes overhead. Rooster crows. The Press is starting to filter out.Today is Monday. Banks give us weekdays. If they hand out food in one area,when do they get back to that area? Tomorrow, two days? Next week? Never? How l...
Haiti — Gaza
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
Akiva Eldar wrote an article entitled “Israel’s compassion in Haiti can’t hide our ugly face in Gaza” (Haaretz, January 18, 2010) in which he explains the contradiction in the public relations campaign conducted by Israel’s rulers in res...
We Send Doctors, Not Soldiers
FIDEL CASTRO
Two days after the catastrophe in Haiti, which destroyed that neighboring sister nation, I wrote: “In the area of healthcare and others the Haitian people has received the cooperation of Cuba, even though this is a small and blockaded countr...
Photographing Mountain Top Removal
MIKE ROSELLE
Photographer Antrim Caskey moved from Brooklyn, New York to the Rock Creek, WV in September 2008 to live and work in the field full-time. Over the past year she has documented the direct action campaign against mountaintop removal as the embedded photojournalist with...
It’s the Whole System
JOAN ROELOFS
The problem at the heart of the Citizens United decision cannot be easily fixed. One difficulty is the absence in the Constitution of provisions for how someone is to become a candidate for elected office, and what means are to be used to garner votes. A new democrac...
Israel’s "Army-Owned" University
JONATHAN COOK
in Nazareth. Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, approved last week the upgrading to university status of a college in a settlement located deep inside the West Bank, a move certain to further undermine Palestinian confidence in the peace process....
Putting the "Pro" Back Into Progressive
JAYNE LYN STAHL
Okay, it’s late, nearly midnight, on a Saturday night and probably not the best time to write about current events, but something has been plaguing me ever since Scott Brown pulled off what many describe as a major coup for the Republicans by winning Sen. Ted K...
Aiding Yemen
NADIA HIJAB
It was the fall of 2005, and we were sitting in the former minister of planning’s large office — "we" being two international consultants and the local representative of an international development agency. We were there to evaluate a $200,000 p...
Has Obama Sold Out to Big Ag?
DAN BACHER
A scientific panel charged with reviewing federal plans to rebuild imperiled Central Valley salmon and Delta smelt populations has been "hijacked" by advocates of increased water pumping from the California Delta, fishing, tribal and environmental groups ch...
Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder in Haiti
MARILYN LANGLOIS
–When asked "How are they surviving?" Haitian journalist Wadner Pierre responded, "Well, they’re all sharing. That’s what we do. That’s the way Haitians are." (January 16) –"The city has seen ...
The Mental Paralysis of the Left
JAMES L. SECOR
What is missed in this latest Supreme Court debasing of the Constitution and the Republic is that if Corporations are persons, they can then rightfully be tried in Courts as individuals for such things as, oh, say. . .bribery, collusion, murder, taking advantage of d...
Great Television, Bad Journalism
ROBERT JENSEN
CNN’s star anchor Anderson Cooper narrates a chaotic street scene in Port-au-Prince. A boy is struck in the head by a rock thrown by a looter from a roof. Cooper helps him to the side of the road, and then realizes the boy is disoriented and unable to get away....
Will Obama Put Muscle Into the White House’s New Populist Play?
MICHAEL HUDSON
At stake now  is President  Obama’s credibility as an agent for change. Voters see his main “change” thus far to have  been favoritism to Wall Street. Jay Leno jokes that   Obama has done the impossible: resurrected the seem...
Judges’ Shock Ruling Okays Fantasist’s "Repressed Memories" Fraud
JOANN WYPIJEWSKI
"A disgusting sinkhole of racism and vulgar prejudice” was  Alexander Cockburn’s apt characterization of Massachusetts on this site the other day— and we can now add this: the commonwealth is the last sanctuary for sex fantasists keen to l...
Judges’ Shock Ruling Okays Fantasist’s "Repressed Memories" Fraud
JOANN WYPIJEWSKI
"A disgusting sinkhole of racism and vulgar prejudice” was  Alexander Cockburn’s apt characterization of Massachusetts on this site the other day— and we can now add this: the commonwealth is the last sanctuary for sex fantasists keen to l...
Judges’ Shock Ruling Okays Fantasist’s "Repressed Memories" Fraud
JOANN WYPIJEWSKI
"A disgusting sinkhole of racism and vulgar prejudice” was  Alexander Cockburn’s apt characterization of Massachusetts on this site the other day— and we can now add this: the commonwealth is the last sanctuary for sex fantasists keen to l...
We are Far From Normal
RICHARD MORSE
Hotel Oloffson, Port au Prince, January 24, 2010. Good morning. I’m exhausted. My body hurts. No end in site to any of this. It’s not a news story thats going to go away when journalists leave. The drone of planes continues in the distance....
Boojum Hunting in the Caribbean
JOHN MAXWELL
When Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic from Africa to the Caribbean nearly 40 years ago, he was shocked by — of all things — a garbage dump in the middle of the ocean. In the area known as the Doldrums (wonderful word), Heyerdahl’s papyrus ...
Supremely Swindled
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
The Supreme Court took a big step this week in extending corporate power in the electoral arena.  In a 5-4 decision, the court struck down limits on interest groups wishing to directly fund campaign ads in the run-up to national elections.  Previous rules &...
Haiti and Toxic Waste
MITCHEL COHEN
Two decades ago, the garbage barge, the Khian Sea, with no place in the U.S. willing to accept its garbage, left the territorial waters of the United States and began circling the oceans in search of a country willing to accept its cargo: 14,000 tons of toxic inciner...
Russia’s Ruined Far East Metropolis
JEAN SABATÉ
Vladivostok is a distorted city. This city of 600,000 people is at the southern extremity of a 30km long peninsula, with only two access routes – a two-lane tortuous road full of potholes and a four-lane road with worse traffic jams than Moscow. The...
The Supremes Have Opened the Floodgates
Sen. RUSSELL FEINGOLD
The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC has opened the floodgates to corporate money in federal campaigns in ways we haven’t seen for nearly a century. While for decades corporations have been able to set up special accounts, called PACs, t...
Freedom of Speech for a Fiction
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
I often correspond with a long-time Washington DC operator named Leigh Ratiner, who spent 40 years in government, serving under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Reagan, with cabinet-level posts in the Defense Department, under the Secretary of the Interio...
Self-Slaughter Every 30 Minutes
P. SAINATH
There were at least 16,196 farmers’ suicides in India in 2008, bringing the total since 1997 to 199,132, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The share of the Big 5 States or ‘suicide belt’ in 2008 — Maharashtra, Andhr...
Why Grass-Fed Beef Won’t Save the Planet
GEORGE WUERTHNER
Another livestock industry propaganda piece recently appeared in Time Magazine by Lisa Abend titled “How Grass fed Beef Can Save The Planet.” The basic premise of the article is that factory farming is bad, so grass-fed or free-range beef is good for the ...
The Founding Fathers and the Luck of the Draw
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
If Sarah Palin doesn’t know who the Founding Fathers are, she’s not alone—neither do most Americans. To begin with, George Washington was not the first president of the United States—John Hanson was. Hanson became president under the A...
Just Walk Away From the Democrats
RON JACOBS
The left needs to organize the unorganized. The working people, the unemployed, the young, and the restless. The right wing has their core group of supporters who organize around fear of the other. The liberals have those who believe in the myth of American equality ...
Corporate Personhood and Political Free Speech
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
With a 5-to-4 split decision on the 21st of January, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled "that labor unions and corporations can spend unlimited amounts to influence federal elections, throwing out a ban that had been in effect for 63 years and adding an explosive new ...
Art on Trial in the Capital of Culture
MICHAEL DICKINSON
The skies over Istanbul were illuminated with firework displays twice recently. First, at the stroke of midnight to usher in the new decade and the crossover from the noughties to the pre-teens. And again last week the firmament sparkled and the streets echoed with b...
Haiti: Baseball’s Sweatshop
JEAN DAMU
Just two days after the Haitian earthquake, a disaster now recognized as one of biblical proportions, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig stepped to the plate and whiffed. He said his organization was donating $1 million to the devastated nation....
The Great Leap Sideways
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
It’s actually some 30 years ago, but to me seems only yesterday that we were howling for Paul Volcker’s blood. As Fed chairman back in Carter-Reagan time he was the great deflator, ratcheting up interest rates and hurling widows and orphans out into the s...
How Wall Street Destroyed Health Care
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
At my annual check-up, my doctor handed me a sheet explaining the reasons for office fee increases for Medicare Patients.  It is worth reporting at length. Medicare fixes the prices for Medicare patients’ health care. All office charges for Medicar...
Gitmo Closes
MICHAEL DONNELLY
“I think they’ll discover that trying to close it (Gitmo) is a very hard proposition.” —Dick Cheney Eight years after the first prisoners arrived at the US prison camp at Guantanamo, Cuba, President Bara...
A Thorn in the Side of the U.S. Military in Haiti
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Watch the U.S. media and its coverage of the crisis in Haiti, and you get the impression that Washington is a benevolent power doing its utmost to help with emergency relief in the Caribbean island nation. But tune into al-Jazeera English or South American news netwo...
Catching Ziggy on the Lower East Side
LORENZO WOLFF
An old friend of mine was in town a couple weeks ago. He said he wanted to see the Lower East Side, so we went out drinking. After the eighth or ninth round I can’t say how much local scenery we saw, but we did glimpse a familiar face across the tracks of the L...
The Supremes Bow to King Corporation
RALPH NADER
Yesterday’s 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process. It is outrageous that ...
Face Time With Rahm on Health Care
ROB STONE, M.D.
I had some face time with Rahm Emmanuel two weeks ago at my friend Owen’s. (Owen’s brother-in-law is the former Chair of the Democratic National Committee.) Rahm said nothing surprising, but made his points. He had just finished David Kennedy’s 1999...
The Killings in Bengal
VIJAY PRASHAD
Violence in West Bengal’s western districts has reached crisis proportions. Each day, one or more cadre member or sympathizer of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM] is killed either by Maoists or the Trinamul Congress (TMC). The Maoists have found comm...
Inviting David Brooks to My Class
M. SHAHID ALAM
On January 12, the New York Times, carried an article by David Brooks on Jews and Israel. It so caught my eye, I decided to bring its conservative author to my class on the economic history of the Middle East. I sent my students the link to this article, asked them t...
In the Aftermath of 9/11
CHARLES R. LARSON
9/11 looms centrally in H. M. Naqvi’s love song of New York City and the subsequent loss of that adoration after the twin towers collapse. As an American, I can’t help feeling a terrible sadness at the precarious lives of anyone perceived to be an Arab in...
The Preventive Coup
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON P. VALDÉS
"If the American nation will speak softly, and yet build and keep at a pitch of the highest training a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine  will go far." –President Theodore Roosevelt, 1903 "I am go...
The Tragedy of Haiti … and Us
PAUL BUCHHEIT
Dr. Paul Farmer tells the story of the beautiful young Haitian girl Acéphie, whose family was driven out of their small farm by powerful forces: a hydroelectric company whose dam flooded the farmland; a dictator (Duvalier) who paid workers 10 cents a day; poli...