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 2010
Even Picnics in Israel are Political
NEVE GORDON
Picnics like almost everything else in Israel are often political. Oz Shelach underscores this point in his collection of short stories Picnic Grounds, where he describes how a history professor takes his family on a picnic in the pine forest near Giv...
The Eurozone’s Self-Inflicted Crisis
MARK WEISBROT
The current turmoil in financial markets around the world is another illustration of the damage that can be done by a bloated and politically powerful financial sector, combined with finance ministers and central bankers who identify with this sector ...
Winds of Change in Chicago
LEE SUSTAR
IF REFORMERS in the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) win union elections June 11, it will shake up City Hall, rattle teachers unions–and provide a rebuke to President Barack Obama’s education policy. In the first round ...
Israel’s Nukes Out of the Shadows
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Israel faces unprecedented pressure to abandon its official policy of “ambiguity” on its possession of nuclear weapons as the international community meets at the United Nations in New York this week to con...
Change Colombians Can Believe In?
FORREST HYLTON
Given the unprecedented wave of corruption scandals that have marked Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s second term in office (2006-10), it is fitting that his appointed successor and former minister of defense, Juan Manuel Santos, is in trouble...
Oil Wars Come Home to Roost
GREG MOSES
Even the birds are pissed.  Whether it’s the Mockingbird who guards the footpath down by the bus stop.  Or the Blue Jay who cusses across my back deck.  Or even the frigging Grackle who buzzed me early morning at the grocery-store...
Containing the Meat Spill
FIRMIN DeBRABANDER
Navigating a mind-numbing office park near the interstate the other day, I was stalled at a traffic light, and a curious billboard caught my attention: “Prime rib dinner potato and salad for under $10 call 410-252-xxxx”. The billboard stoo...
Watching the Pentagon Channel
CHARLES M. YOUNG
The Pentagon Channel is not the Military Channel. The Military Channel is Hitler plus top ten lists. You wanna know about the failed plot to assassinate the Fuehrer in 1944 and then learn the ten best attack submarines of all time–the Military C...
Reaffirming Afghanistan’s Al Capone
GARETH PORTER
Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s team once talked openly about the need to remove Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother and the most powerful man in Kandahar, from power. Last October, as reports of Wal...
Something’s Gotta Give
LAURA FLANDERS
At the very time when the social safety net is most needed, investors the world over are calling it a drag on the world economy. Here in the U.S., wages are stuck, income is down, unemployment remains around 10 percent, with al...
Merkel’s Savage Blitz Through Euroland
MIKE WHITNEY
Angela Merkel has let a minor brush-fire on the periphery turn into a raging inferno that’s sweeping across the continent.  Absent Berlin’s fumbling diplomatic effort and its ferocious attachment to Hooverian economics, the Greek matt...
Arizona and the Big Picture
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
The first rule of any boycott is to keep your eyes on the prize; translated, this means never lose sight of the problem, the objectives, the solutions and the bigger picture. Arizona is speeding towards an apartheid state. Some ...
Chomsky at the Gate
URI AVNERY
A LOCAL TV station told us this week about a group of Israelis who adhere to conspiracy theories. They believe that George W. Bush planned the destruction of the Twin Towers in order to further his wicked aims. They believe that...
Washington and the Small Time Commies
LINH DINH
The working class and peasants of Thailand were protesting a system that had repeatedly disenfranchised them, most notably in the ouster of populist Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Streaming in from the provinces, these men, women and children set ...
Overcoming the Bush Legacy
RAMZY BAROUD
When former US President George W. Bush left the White House, he left behind one of the most unpleasant legacies in history. He redefined the US’ role in world affairs, tainted the country’s reputation, and left his successor with a politi...
The Fair Report Privilege
JULIE HILDEN
On May 11, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision in a significant case involving libel law. In the ruling, the court recognized a conditional "fair report" privilege. That privilege protects news organizations from being sued for ...
Take a Hike
RANDALL AMSTER
You’ve probably heard about the three hikers being held in Iran since last summer. Their case has become a political football, highlighting the inherent tensions and absurd machinations of the U.S.-Iran relationship. If you’ve followed the...
The Battle for Australia’s Wealth
BRIAN McKINLAY
Australia, sometimes dubbed “the Lucky Country,” is now the scene of a mounting and increasingly acrimonious struggle over a proposed new tax of 40% on the profits of the major international mining companies. A...
The Story of Abir Mohammed
KATHY KELLY And JOSHUA BROLLIER
Islamabad. Abir Mohammed, a refugee from Bajaur, says that the battles which raged in his home province since 2008 have dramatically changed his life.  We met him in a crowded Islamabad café where he politely approac...
US / Israel Challenged on Iran
RAY McGOVERN
The times may be a-changin’ – at least a bit – with the United States and Israel no longer able to dictate to the rest of the world how crises in the Middle East must be handled, though the new reality has been slow to dawn on Secret...
Prosecute Massey for Manslaughter
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
A group of citizen activists are calling on the state of West Virginia to prosecute Massey Energy for manslaughter. The group has set up a web site — ...
BP and the Audacity of Greed
DAVE LINDORFF
Even as BP’s blown well a mile beneath the surface in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush forth an estimated 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the sea, and the fragile wetlands along the Gulf begin to get coated with crude, which is also headed ...
The Radiological Legacy of Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands
ROBERT ALVAREZ
The radiological legacy of U.S. nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands remains to this day and will persist for many years to come. The most severe impacts were visited upon the people of the Rongelap Atoll in 1954 following a very large ther...
The Chicago Boys’ Free Market Theology
MICHAEL HUDSON
Many academics recently received a petition signed by 111 University of Chicago faculty members, explaining that “without any announcement to its own community, [the University] has commissioned Ann Beha Architects, a Boston firm, to remake the ...
Stage Managing a Catastrophe in the Gulf
ALAN FARAGO
From the very first, the Gulf Oil Spill has been about "managing expectations". Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry used exactly that term in an early televised press conference about "Top Hat", the first failed intervention to stop te...
Saving Gitmo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
President Obama’s hopes of closing Guantánamo, which were already gravely wounded by his inability to meet his self-imposed deadline of a year for the prison’s clos...
Number One in War
BILL QUIGLEY
US law officially proclaims Memorial Day “as a day of prayer for permanent peace.”  However, the US is much closer to permanent war than permanent peace.  Corporations are profiting from wars and lobbying ...
Political Misspeak
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Who hasn’t misspoken? Jeeez, I have—plenty of times—and especially if I’ve consumed one too many glasses of Cabernet. Do you remember when Condi Rice referred to George W. Bush as “my husband&rdquo...
Will Hezbollah Support the Right to Work for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut The current relationship between the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Hezbollah is not as clear cut as often assumed, despite the frequent and inspiring brotherly words of Hezbollah’s leadership and the fact...
Mexican Labor Union Under Siege
DAVID MACARAY
Any questions as to which American president Felipe Calderon most admires were answered last October when he fired 44,000 members of the independent Mexican Electrical Workers Union.   First, he refused to negotiate with them, then he fired ...
Lascaux, Lost Caul
CLAYTON ESHLEMAN
The cave of Lascaux, with its 600 paintings and 1500 engravings, is the most magnificent example of the Upper Paleolithic (32,000 to 9,000 years ago) creative force in human culture which surged into, and made sacred, for the first time, subterranean ...
Twisted Minds
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Attempts to rewrite the history of the economic crisis come in many forms; some come from the reactionary right, others from centrists and the liberal left – but all are pursued in the service of neoliberal corporatism.  I’ve written ...
France, Italy and Anti-Racist Posturing
HARRY BROWNE
It was April 1999, and I was in a Paris hotel room, idly watching television, amazed to see a TV chef scooping handfuls of "un peu de sel" to add to the soup. Then came an advertisement, from the station itself: "Nine months after World...
Obama and Attention Deficit Democracy
JAMES BOVARD
In his commencement address at the University of Michigan on May 1, President Obama warned that public ignorance subverts self-government.  Obama declared: “When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when ...
BP and the Perilous Voyage of Bama the Manatee
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
To the degree that Americans are paying attention to the environmental plight of marine wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, they may focus most upon dolphins and whales.  However, the U.S. public is much less familiar with another marine mammal, the ...
LeBron James and the Culture of Narcissism
DENNIS LOO
Last week I watched LeBron James allow, without much of a fuss, his Cleveland Cavaliers to lose to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs’ Eastern Conference second round, while the media storm around him speculated what team he would go to next...
Drugging Poor Kids
BRUCE E. LEVINE
Children covered by Medicaid are far more likely to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs than are children covered by private insurance, and Medicaid-covered kids have a higher likelihood of being prescribed antipsychotics even if they have no psychotic ...
The Pakistan Mess
SAUL LANDAU
Washington’s national security elite seethe and fume with resentment and frustration. Pakistan receives billions of U.S. aid dollars and remains a training ground for terrorists targeting the United States. On May 1, Faisa...
On Persuasion
DAVID Ker THOMSON
A non-confrontational style is wonderful for keeping us comfortable, giving us the appearance of wisdom, and maintaining popularity.  I indulge in it quite often.  Non-confrontation makes me seem as wise as Gandalf an...
Becoming a Writer
CHARLES R. LARSON
East Africa’s major writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, has written the first of what I hope will be a several-volume account of his life. ...
Israeli Think Tank Calls for Sabotaging "Delegitimizers" of Israel
JAMES MARC LEAS
While a report by an Israeli think tank has been widely condemned (1) for advocating that the Israeli government use its intelligence services to attack and sabotage non-violent human rights advocates, the...
The Limits of Liberalism
CHARLES DAVIS
In 2006 I did something monumentally stupid, something that can only be chalked up to pure, unadulterated ignorance and the folly of youth. I voted. For a Democrat. And I did so — wait for it — under the impression I might be helping ...
The Slow Disasters
H. DRAKE
By now the story is familiar: we have drilling by a powerful transnational corporation, a man-made disaster, a deadly explosion, the massive and uncontrollable flows of pollution, the devastation of animal life on a scale we can barely me...
The War Awaiting Kandahar
RAMZY BAROUD
Clad in his usual attire of a colorful, striped robe, Afghan President Hamid Karazai appeared more like an emperor as he began his fourth day in Washington. Accompanying him on a somber visit to the Arlington National Cemetery were US Defense Secretar...
BP and the Perilous Voyage of Bama the Manatee
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
To the degree that Americans are paying attention to the environmental plight of marine wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, they may focus most upon dolphins and whales.  However, the U.S. public is much less familiar with another marine mammal, the ...
Israel is Becoming North Korea
GIDEON LEVY
In the end, we will only be left with Prof. Uriel Reichman. After we sent Prof. Noam Chomsky away, and there was no sharp rebuke by Israeli academics (who in their silence support a boycott of Bir Zeit University ), we will be left with a narrow and f...
Something About Rima
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Is the new Miss USA packing a bomb in her bikini? Rima Fakih, an Arab-American beauty who really knows her way around a stripper pole, has managed to upset prudes, neo-cons and anti-immigrationists alike. "It’s a sad ...
Oil, Water and Liability
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Why does pouring oil on the sea make it clear and calm? Is it for that the winds, slipping the smooth oil, have no force, nor cause any waves? Plutarch, Natural Questions, IX Eve...
Pete Peterson’s Pathological Obsession
JOHN HALLE
Pete Peterson has stepped up his mischief making. The last week of April found the most odious of Wall Street billionaires having assembled a parade of A-list Washington power brokers-up to and including former President Clinton...
Environmentalism is Dead
GREGORY VICKREY
Another tragedy befalls the environment and we can count on those that were once environmentalists to capitalize, figuratively and literally. As you read, perhaps a 1000 or so organizations are happily signing (or being bribed to sign) yet another ref...