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 2010
Wikileaks and the Free Press
SAUL LANDAU
“Congress shall make no law ?abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” 1st Amendment, US Constitution US officials routinely declare commitment to a free press ? except when someone uses it to reveal unflattering ...
Insisting on Humanity
RAMZY BAROUD
When a copy of William A. Cook’s latest book, The Plight of the Palestinians arrived in my mailbox, I initially felt a little worried. The volume, featuring the work of over 30 accomplished writers, is the most articulate treatise on the collective victimizatio...
The Globalization of Militarism
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. James Madison The gr...
The Two Best Reads of 2010
CHARLES R. LARSON
Last year, I had five books to recommend for the year. This year only two, though I confess, again, that there are other works I have clearly missed. Every critic who comes up with such a list needs to admit to a certain amount of chutzpah as well as basic restrictio...
When Green Matters
SAM SMITH
An election race you may have missed last November found Fred Horch losing to the Democratic candidate, Alex Cornell du Houx, by less than 150 votes. Horch also beat the Republican candidate by over 250 votes. Horch was the Independent Green ca...
Nowhere to Go But Up
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Can anything be more dismal than prospects for any decent resolution of the Israel/Palestine issue? Seemingly not. The hopes of January, 2009, at the dawn of Obama’s presidency, are dead. Washington has now given up all efforts to restart the direct Israeli-Pal...
The Drug War That Never Ends
RON JACOBS
On September 15, 2010 a barely-publicized memo was issued by the Obama White House. This memo discussed the so-called war on drugs as it stands in Autumn 2010. Called the "Majors List" in the circles that pay attention to these things, the memo listed certa...
You Call This Progress?
ERIC STONER
Kabul. Greetings from Afghanistan. I arrived here now almost a week ago and there is so much to share about this experience that it’s hard to know where to start. I’d like to offer a few random observations about Kabul that I’m sure will make...
Support the Dominant Paradigm
RANDALL AMSTER
There’s a bumper sticker still clinging to the back of my old camper, bearing a phrase you’ve probably heard before or perhaps even uttered: "Subvert the Dominant Paradigm." At the time I’d placed this on the tailgate for display, it made ...
Christoph Graupner Lives!
DAVID YEARSLEY
More often than not, decision-by-committee leads to rotten, belief-beggaring results. Just think of the Nobel committee granting last year’s Peace Prize to an American President, engaged in at least two wars. In the annals of music histor...
Mottaki: First Casualty of Wikileaks?
RANNIE AMIRI
Bruised egos, embarrassed faces, pubic and private indignation at the audacity of Julian Assange, clarifications offered and apologies extended; until now, these have been the reactions of world leaders and diplomats to the unprecedented release of WikiLeaks cables. ...
Hot Wet Holiday Sex
Dr. SUZY BLOCK
‘Tis the holiday season, so here’s wishing you one that’s merry and bright, with not too much in the way of holiday blues, but lots of good cheer, good works and great sex to chase those blues away. This is not as unholy as you might think. In ancie...
"All That We Share" Isn’t Enough
ROBERT JENSEN
All That We Share is an exciting and exasperating book. The excitement comes from the many voices arguing to place "the commons" at the center of planning for a viable future. The exasperation comes from the volume’s failure to critique the political ...
Peter Orzag Goes to Citigroup
DEAN BAKER
Last week we learned that President Obama intends to push for comprehensive tax reform. We also learned that Peter Orszag, who until recently headed up the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), will be taking a top job at Citigroup. These two events may seem to have...
Skullduggery in Ghost Town
ALAN FARAGO
Up there in wintry Maggie Valley, North Carolina, the former county manager of Miami-Dade, Steve Shiver, is scrambling to salvage an amusement park investment that has taken down hundreds of local debt holders and $5 million in equity. It’s called Ghost Town an...
The Caribbean Narco-Triangle
NORMAN GIRVAN
Among the most fascinating documents to come out of the WikiLeaks revelations is a cable allegedly sent by the head of the US Interests Section in Havana, Jonathan Farrar, on August 11, 2009. The document is a virtual diplomatic bombshell. It co...
Is Your Porfolio Ready for the End of the World?
PETER LEE
It makes the case that the invective and verbiage spewed at the climate   conference in Cancun reflects a shared but largely unspoken belief that  the  chances of coordinated global action to reduce greenhouse gas  emissions are  basically ze...
The President on the Ropes
MICHAEL WINSHIP
In a scene from the new movie, The Fighter, we watch welterweight Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg, take a brutal pounding when he’s thrown into the ring against a bigger boxer. Micky’s been told the fight would be "an easy win," but he’...
Coming to Terms With Holbrooke
JOSEPH NEVINS
"You cannot deal with the future unless you also come to terms with the past,” Richard Holbrooke, who died on Dec. 13, once said. And in terms of Holbrooke’s past, he has received largely glowing reviews in the corridors of power. President Obama ref...
Death on Christmas Island
BINOY KAMPMARK
How visual, how cruel, and how wasteful.  The death toll from official sources from a wooden fishing boat that smashed against the treacherous coastline of the Australian territory of Christmas Island has reached 28.  Up to 100 might have been on to the ves...
Terrorama
STEPHEN SALISBURY
There are some things to be thankful for. The woman who puzzled over Hispanics in her audience of high-school students and suggested they looked "Asian" was defeated in her run for the Senate in Nevada. The guy who called Islam a cult ...
Why Bill of Rights Days Should be Anti-Politician Day
JAMES BOVARD
Today is the 219th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights ? the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Bill of Rights Day should be the preeminent Anti-Politician Day on the American calendar. Instead, it has become simply another pretext for rulers...
We Want You Out
AFGHAN YOUTH PEACE VOLUNTEERS And AFGHANS FOR PEACE
To all the leaders of our world, the leaders of the US-led coalition, the Afghan government, the ‘Taliban/Al-Qaeda’ and regional countries, We are intolerably angry. All our senses are hurting. ...
Autism Waiver Cuts Spell Catastrophe
STEVE HIGGS
If you think you’re going to hike with Ron Habney, you’d better be prepared. The 6-foot-tall, 130-pound, 25-year-old treks an average four to six miles a day on some of the most challenging trails in Southern Indiana’s Upland regions. Not everyday, ...
Pot Legalizers Look to 2012
FRED GARDNER
A week after the election, pro-cannabis reform activists held a get-together in Denver that some modestly referred to as a "summit meeting." They defined the yes vote for Prop 19 (46%) as a victory and began making plans for another attempt at "legaliz...
Holbrooke or Milosevic: Who is the Greater Murderer?
DIANA JOHNSTONE
It is usually considered good form to avoid sharp criticism of someone who has just died. But Richard Holbrooke himself set a striking example of the breach of such etiquette. On learning of the death in prison of Slobodan Milosevic, Holbrooke did not hesitate to des...
Israel, Obama and the Bomb
CONN HALLINAN
This past July, a nuclear-armed nation, in violation of an international treaty, clandestinely agreed to supply uranium to a known proliferator of nuclear weapons.  China and North Korea? No, the United States and Israel. In a July 8 artic...
Empire Unmasked
VIJAY PRASHAD
"Secret diplomacy is a necessary tool for a propertied minority, which is compelled to deceive the majority in order to subject it to its interests. Imperialism, with its dark plans of conquest and its robber alliances and deals, developed the system...
Big Profits, Bigger Crimes
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Corporate crime and wrongdoing is an everyday fact of life in the United States and around the world. Still, the last year has been remarkable for a series of high-profile, deadly corporate disasters: the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that killed 11 workers and sp...
Remembering Richard Holbrooke
JOSHUA FRANK
In the wee morning hours of January 23rd, 2009 a U.S. spy plane killed 15 individuals in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border. It was Barack Obama’s first blood and the U.S.’ first violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty under the new administration. ...
The Price of Suicide
ANTHONY PAPA
One of the worst possible things you feel while being imprisoned is experiencing the death of a loved one, especially your own flesh and blood. What’s even more powerful is when you have direct responsibility for the death. Without a doubt, the weight of Bernie...
Real Estate and Israeli Rabbis
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
On Tuesday, the 7th of December, some fifty Israeli rabbis issued a "decree" forbidding their Jewish fellow citizens from "renting or selling homes or land to Arabs and other non-Jews." The "decree" was soon endorsed by an additional 250...
Majority of One
RALPH NADER
On Friday, December 10, 2010, Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent Socialist, of Vermont, came of age. At last. With just about the best progressive voting record, Senator Sanders has nonetheless been an underachiever in the minds of those Americans who marveled at hi...
Post Mortem for the World’s Reserve Currency
MIKE WHITNEY
Paul Volcker is worried about the future of the dollar and for good reason. The Fed has initiated a program (Quantitative Easing) that presages an end to Bretton Woods 2 and replaces it with different system altogether. Naturally, that’s made trading partners p...
The Wikileaks Revolution
MAXIMILIAN FORTE
The State. Secrecy. Security. Censorship. Big Brother. Courts. Police. Corporations. Banks. Espionage. Treason. Assassination. Infowar. Field of battle. Troops. Terrorists. Criminals. Hackers. Activists. Danger. Arrest. Imprisonment. Avenge. Retaliation. Defiance. Su...
Who is the Wise General in Afghanistan?
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
In the first treatise written on the art of war sometime around 450 BC [1], Sun Tzu explained why "the wise general sees to it that his troops feed on the enemy," "Where the army is, prices are high; when prices rise ...
You are Right to Remain Silent: Just Shut Up!
NORM KENT
After 35 years of practicing law in the trenches of state and federal courts, I have narrowed my advice for all my clients down to one, simple, direct sentence: "Shut Up." No kidding. Really. Just shut up. Living in Florida, I have come to lov...
Jos? Cuervo for President?
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
In recent weeks, some top Latino Democrats, appalled at their party’s failure to push an legalization bill through Congress, have announced their intention to form an independent "Tequila Party" to demand more aggressive bipartisan action on immigrati...
Jay Z and the Colonizing of Hip Hop: the Myth of the Fixed Text
CECIL BROWN
The publication of Jay Z’s Decoded and the recent controversy regarding Yale University&...
Two American Labor Unions Shift Gears
DAVID MACARAY
By now most labor watchers are aware of the details of the pending trade pact between the U.S. and South Korea, and of the scorn and ridicule that’s being heaped upon the (UAW) United Auto Workers and UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) for breaking with ...
Pakistan’s Cruel and Unusual Blasphemy Statute
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN And JASMINE ABOU-KASSEM
Aasia Bibi, a 45-year old Pakistani Christian woman, and mother of five, has been sentenced to death, under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, for allegedly “defiling” the Prophet Muhammad. Section 295 with various provisions is the blasphemy statu...
The Untold Story of Discrimination in Professional Hockey Against French-Speaking Players
BOB SIROIS
Every December, just before the World Junior hockey Championships, Canada’s hockey decision-makers pick the country’s Junior Team Canada, and every December Quebec hockey players are told that they just don’t make muster. Canada’s hockey brass...
Israel’s War on Children
JONATHAN COOK
Israeli police have been criticised over their treatment of hundreds of Palestinian children, some as young as seven, arrested and interrogated on suspicion of stone-throwing in East Jerusalem. In the past year, criminal investigations have been opened agains...
Rubbish on Afghanistan
DAVID SMITH-FERRI
A December 9 article in the Wall Street Journal began with the following sentence: “After touring bases in eastern Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he was confident the war strategy was working, rejecting doubts that have been voiced by som...
The Blog of War
RANDALL AMSTER
In an ideal world, the WikiLeaks revelations would have ended two wars. Documenting patterns of cavalier abuse and untold brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan might have sparked public outrage sufficient to undermine the capacity to continue these campaigns. Instead we&...
Single Payer and Professor Hsiao
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Vermont’s Governor elect ? Peter Shumlin ? promised during his campaign this year to deliver single payer health insurance to state’s residents. And also earlier this year, the government of Vermont called on Harvard School of Public...
Racism, Political Incompetence and the Mount Carmel Fire
URI AVNERY
THE JUDGE: “You are accused of murdering your wife and two children. How do you plead: Guilty or not guilty?” The accused: “Your honor, I do not deal with the past. I think about the future!” ...
Listening to Haiti
DANNY MULLER
I have been in Haiti for just over a week, on my second trip this year to support a public health partnership in the North, in Cap Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city. It feels like a trip akin to freshmen orientation, a step in the process of becoming a stude...
Billions Down the Drain in Useless US Afghan Aid
PATRICK COCKBURN
Kabul Beautiful but fake photographs are often the only evidence that companies have carried out expensive aid projects located in parts of Afghanistan too dangerous for donors to visit. “I went to see a food processing plant in the...
Does Liu Xiaobo Really Deserve the Peace Prize?
TARIQ ALI
Last year’s recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize escalated the war in Afghanistan a few weeks after receiving the prize. The award surprised even Obama. This year the Chinese government were foolish to make a martyr of the president of Chinese PEN and neo-con Liu...