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 February 2010
Inside Organizing and Outside Representation
CARL FINAMORE
Organizing workers into a union usually brings out the best in labor. Organizers are truly motivated, committed, work long hours and genuinely believe in helping workers. But not everything is always as good as it appears. We know from watching pumped-up 30-s...
Why Gov. Paterson Should be Applauded for Hiring Former Drug Dealer
ANTHONY PAPA
Recently, the New York Times published what was supposed to be a spectacular expose about New York Gov. David Paterson and his administration. Instead many media commentators like Howard Kurtz, a media observer for The Washington Post and host of CNN’s "Re...
Make War on Goldman Sachs
MARSHALL AUERBACK And L. RANDALL WRAY
In recent weeks there has been much discussion about what to do about Greece.  These questions become all the more relevant as the country attempts to float a multibillion-euro bond issue later this week.  The Financial Times has called this fund-raising a ...
Bringing the War Home
BOB SOMMER
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq remain under the radar for most Americans. During the eight-year Bush nightmare, keeping Americans preoccupied and afraid was the enabling strategy for conducting war. Going shopping was how we’d contribute to the war effort. It...
The Story of Pvt. Hargrove
WILLIAM P. O'CONNOR
When Congress members voted to go to war in 2002, they didn’t think about Pvt. Joseph Hargrove. Instead, they thought about their re-election, their party, and themselves.    Hargrove lives in an antiseptic-six- by-10 room at Gainesville ...
The Melting Case for Cap-and-Trade
ROBERT BRYCE
What a difference 12 months makes. Almost exactly one year ago, the popular, newly minted president, ...
The Dubai Hit
URI AVNERY
FROM TIME to time I ask myself: what would happen if the world’s governments decided to abolish all their spy agencies simultaneously? True, it would be a great blow to the authors and movie producers who make their living from secret service stories. Th...
Beer Globalization in Latin America
BENJAMIN DANGL
On a pleasant autumn day in 1890 the Cuauhtémoc brewery was founded in Monterrey, Mexico. This brewery, which also specialized in ice production, went on to become Mexican Economic Development Inc. (FEMSA), brewing such beers as Dos Equis, Tecate and Sol. Rece...
The Story of Pvt. Hargrove
WILLIAM P. O'CONNOR
When Congress members voted to go to war in 2002, they didn’t think about Pvt. Joseph Hargrove. Instead, they thought about their re-election, their party, and themselves.    Hargrove lives in an antiseptic-six- by-10 room at Gainesville ...
Evan Bayh, the Hoosier Drama Queen
STEVEN HIGGS
Democrat Evan Bayh is exiting the U.S. Senate in the same capacity he has served the past 12 years — an embarrassment to his constituents, his party and an affront to democracy. The Indiana senator’s surrender will be remembered for two sound bites...
The Last Flight of Joe Stack
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Joseph Stack, frustrated American, flew his airplane into an Austin, Texas, office building. He was one of the 79 per cent of Americans who have given up on “their” government. The latest Rasmussen Poll indicates that the vast majori...
ABC of Media: Advertising, Bollywood and Corporate Power
P. SAINATH
Issues today have to be dressed up in ways certified by the corporate media. They have to be justified not by their importance to the public but by their acceptability to the media, their owners and sponsors. That the lethal bomb blast in the b...
The Vatican’s Top Ten Album List
MARC A. CATONE
L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican, released its Top Ten Albums list this past week. They are: 1:  Revolver…The Beatles 2:  Dark Side Of The Moon…Pink Floyd...
What it Really Means
Christopher Ketcham
If, as author Bill Blum has noted, a terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force, then the suicide pilot Andrew “Joe” Stack most certainly qualifies as a terrorist, having made an effective little bomb out of h...
Hillary Clinton’s War Whoop
MARC WEISBROT
In a visit to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Hillary Clinton recently  said that Iran “is moving toward a military dictatorship” and continued the Administration’s campaign for tougher sanctions against that country. What could ...
The Case of Judge Garzon
VINCENT NAVARRO
Barcelona The fascist regime led by General Franco was one of the most repressive regimes in Europe in the twentieth century. It was imposed on the Spanish people by Hitler and Mussolini; without their assistance, Franco could not have defeate...
Leveling the Playing Field
MICHAEL NEUMANN
In the last few years, both Zionism and the occupation have been criticized, if not to death, as fully as possible. America’s pro-Israel loudmouths should deceive no one:   most of the world has taken the criticisms to heart. Even Israel’s suppo...
Mocked When She Flew to Baghdad
RICHARD NEVILLE
A book recently launched at Sydney University attracted a large audience and scant media attention. At first glance this may not seem surprising, as its author is not a Vogue model, shock jock, porn start or literary giant. She is a Christian; one of...
Accidental Parallels?
M. SHAHID ALAM
Is the question of parallels between the USA and the USSR idle, even mischievous? Perhaps, it is neither, but, on the contrary, deserves our serious consideration. During the Cold War, the USA and USSR were arch rivals, each the antipodes of the other. For som...
Violent Days in Iraq
NICOLA NASSER
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill’s warning on February 18 that it could take months to form a new government in Baghdad after the Iraqi elections, scheduled for March 7, and that in turn could mean considerable political turmoil in Iraq, and the warnings of obs...
The Shia Crescent Revisited
RANNIE AMIRI
“If pro-Iran parties or politicians dominate the new Iraqi government, a new ‘crescent’ of dominant Shia movements or governments stretching from Iran into Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon could emerge, he [King Abdullah of Jordan] said, alter t...
A Hard-Headed Look at Biomass
THOMAS MICHAEL POWER
One way to avoid unpleasant or dangerous surprises is to take a hard-headed look at apparent "good deals" before committing to them, despite the enthusiasm that any alleged "good deal" is bound to generate. Of course such a rational approach risks...
The Case of Briana Waters
JOSHUA FRANK And JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Smoke billowed as a wing of the University of Washington’s Center of Urban Horticulture burned in the early morning hours of Monday, May 21, 2001. It was not the result of a science experiment gone awry — it was arson. Situated under a tree, safe f...
From God to Gaia to Obama’s Nuclear Apocalypse
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Thirty years ago, driving across the hill country in the South, every 50 miles  I’d pick up a new Pentecostal radio station with the preacher screaming in tongues in  a torrent of ecstatic drivel – “Miki taki meka keena ko-o-ola ka&rd...
Looting Social Security
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Hank Paulson, the Gold Sacks bankster/US Treasury Secretary, who deregulated the financial system, caused a world crisis that wrecked the prospects of foreign banks and governments, caused millions of Americans to lose retirement savings, homes, and jobs, and left ta...
From God to Gaia to Obama’s Nuclear Apocalypse
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Thirty years ago, driving across the hill country in the South, every 50 miles  I’d pick up a new Pentecostal radio station with the preacher screaming in tongues in  a torrent of ecstatic drivel – “Miki taki meka keena ko-o-ola ka&rd...
The Fog of War
CHARLES R. LARSON
I n the sparsest of stories, a young filmmaker arranges to visit Richard Elster, somewhere in the desert of the Southwest (the Sonoran or the Mojave, possibly) in order to interview the seventy-three-year-old man who was one of the architects of the Iraq war. Both me...
A New Round of National Monuments?
GEORGE WUERTHNER
The Obama Administration’s short list of potential new national monuments was leaked to the media this week. I had heard rumors that this was being considered as early as November when I had a private conversation with a top BLM administor, so I was not surpris...
The Lonely Sport
M. G. PIETY
World champion (1994-96) and Olympic silver medalist (1994 and 98) Elvis Stojko has taken exception to the awarding of the Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating to Evan Lysacek (“...
Jailed Taliban Leader Still a Pakistani Asset
GARETH PORTER
Contrary to initial U.S. suggestions that it signals reduced Pakistani support for the Taliban, the detention of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the operational leader of the Afghan Taliban, represents a shift by Pakistan to more open support for the Taliban in preparati...
The Austin Kamikaze
ALAN CABAL
God still looks out for the little guy. For months now, I’ve been collecting unemployment, working occasional odd theatricals hither and yon, and despairing over finding an issue or an event that I could bring some unique perspective to in the face of the ever-...
Iraq’s Labor Unions
DAVID MACARAY
Given that unions in the United States and Europe continue to be co-opted, usurped, assaulted, demonized, marginalized, and traumatized—pick your poison—it seems both ironic and fantastic that organized labor could be on the ascendancy in a country as tro...
Trial Balloons for War
RAMZY BAROUD
With the dreadful threat of yet another Israeli war in the Middle East looming, Israeli propaganda machine is likely to go into full gear. In fact, trial balloons have already been sent out bearing supposedly unrehearsed comments by former Israeli Army genera...
The Wal-Mart Counter-Revolution
ADAM TURL
"The commitment to stay union-free must exist at all levels of management–from the chairperson of the ‘Board’ down to the front-line manager. Therefore, no one in management is immune from carrying his or her ‘own weight’...
Dead Man Walking in California
JOHN ROSS
First stop was the near north woods, Humboldt County USA, to wheedle the medicos into granting me a clean bill of health before I hit the road. A year ago this February, my doctor who has poked and probed my old broken cadaver for nearly 20 years pronounced me dead. ...
The Halal Question
FARZANA VERSEY
Let us not confuse matters. France’s problem with the veil is different from its problems with restaurants serving only halal meat. The veil is being banned on grounds of not being part of the mainstream and carving a separate niche. The argument against the re...
The Natural Gas Game
PETER LEE
While Western attention was focused on Saudi Arabia’s possible provision of energy guarantees to China in return for a "yes" vote on Iran sanctions, Iran was working to leverage its natural gas reserves into economic alliances with China, India and Pa...
Grumpy, White Terrorists in Cars and Planes
DAVE LINDORFF
The deliberate suicide crash bombing by a domestic terrorist pilot of a small plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas has exposed a grave failure of the Homeland Security Department to protect us Americans from the threat posed by the virtually unregulated use in...
Voices of Haiti’s Homeless
BILL QUIGLEY
The United Nations reported there are 1.2 million people living in “spontaneous settlements” or homeless camps around Port au Prince.  Three people living in the camps spoke with this author this week, before the hard rains hit. Jean Dora, 71...
An Intimate Look at Ordinary Life
KIM NICOLINI
Clair Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum is a small, intimate and beautiful film that gets bigger the more we think about it. While bombastic Hollywood vehicles like Avatar glut movie theater screens across the globe, the French independent film 35 Shots of Rum has played ...
The Sacrifice of Haiti
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Haiti’s history has been cursed by white nationalism and associated political and economic domination and not by rebelling slaves’ “pact to the devil,” as televangelist Pat Robertson “prophesized” after the fact of the 7.0 earthqua...
Cheney’s Baby
MISSY BEATTIE
I watch very little television these days, so I didn’t see ABC News’ broadcast of the Dick Cheney declaration: “I was a big supporter of waterboading. I was a big supporter of the enhanced interrogation techniques…” Later, I read the tr...
Bases of Empire
JOAN ROELOFS
Despite United States economic weakness, although not unrelated to it, our military casts a heavy shadow everywhere on earth, far beyond the major and minor wars it is now conducting. The geographical and functional scope of the US military is cosmic. Formal alliance...
The Night of the Living Deadheads
DAVID YEARSLEY
One of my college friends was a Deadhead. He had crates of cassette tapes with labels like “Bucknell, 1971”, Stanford 1973”; “Fillmore East 1970.”  Of an evening he would navigate through these hundreds of cassettes and pull out &ld...
The Defense Elephant in America’s Living Room
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON P. VALDES
History quiz: Name the greatest robbery committed in the last 100 years.             A: Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme            B: Nazi t...
Music, Lyrics and the Void Between Us
LORENZO WOLFF
I spent this Valentine’s Day driving south on I-95 from New York to DC to perform in the backing band for a burlesque troop. Everyone in the van spent some time behind the controls of the stereo, and we all heard a lot of music that was new to us. Occasionally ...
Passing the "Riot Test" in Haiti
MARK SCHULLER
It is finally official; Haiti’s earthquake is the most expensive in recent memory, even more than the 2004 tsunami. Conservative estimates are $16 billion. This is no surprise given the human causes, the vulnerability, of this earthquake. Meanwhile there is a m...
The Decade of the Victory for Freedom and Justice in Palestine
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
Two decades after Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990, this fighter for freedom and justice has become a living example of the fact that those who become immortal are freedom fighters not their jailers.  Who remembers today the names of ...
Dysfunctional Democracy
DEAN BAKER
Those outside the United States may be surprised how the loss of a Senate seat in the state of Massachusetts in a special election can paralyze the Obama Administration. After all, it was just over a year ago that President Obama was elected by the largest margin for...
King Obesity
RALPH NADER
King Obesity sat grandly on a huge hassock atop a throne composed of solidified animal fat surveying his domain. The last thirty years have been bullish for Obesity, during which the number of seriously overweight children in America tripled. Eating fat, sugary and s...