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 February 2012
Occupy the SEC Pitches An Extreme Makeover of Wall Street
PAM MARTENS
“Too big” failed on Wall Street in 2008 in a tumultuous explosion that wiped out century old iconoclastic institutions in a week’s time.  In their infinite wisdom, Congress and the regulators repaired  “too big” with “much bigger,” bundling giant insolvent...
Greece Throws in the Towel, Bows to German Jackboot
PATRICK COCKBURN
Greeks expect to agree a deal with the Eurozone leaders today, Monday, that will cede much of their country’s independence. Greece will become an economic – and to a large extent a political – colony of Germany and its allies. Berlin will have a say in everythin...
Churches Out
ANDREW LEVINE
For a few weeks in France in the spring of 1968, with universities and factories occupied by students and workers, conservative bureaucrats of the ossified (Communist) left seemed the main obstacle in the way of “the imagination in power.”  It was at that time that t...
The Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy
JEAN BRICMONT
Louvain-la-Neuve The events in Syria, after those in Libya last year, are accompanied by calls for a military intervention, in order to “protect civilians”, claiming that it is our right or our duty to do so. And, just as last year, some of the loudest...
The Global Color Line
JOSEPH NEVINS
The tragic running aground of the Costa Concordia and dramatic images of the massive luxury cruise ship keeled over off the coast of Tuscany, Italy in mid-January made for intense media coverage. With 17 confirmed fatalities and another 15 individuals still unaccounted fo...
The War on Women
JACK RANDOM
A nation’s progress should be measured as much by its advancement of human rights as by its accumulation and equitable distribution of wealth. Though conditioned on gender, race and property, we were the first nation on earth to embrace the fundamental principle ...
Scoring the Global War on Terror
ANDREW J. BACEVICH
With the United States now well into the second decade of what the Pentagon has styled an “era of persistent conflict,” the war formerly known as the global war on terrorism (unofficial acronym WFKATGWOT) appears increasingly fragmented and diffus...
Will 2012 be the Year of the Third Parties?
STEVEN HIGGS
Americans’ faith in the two-party system of governance may have plummeted to the point where alternative candidates and parties like Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party, former Democratic Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and his new Justice Party, renegade Republi...
Do Atheists Really Need a Temple?
BINOY KAMPMARK
It sounds naff at first glance.  But the British philosopher Alain de Botton has decided to go into the mimicry of religion, into its replication.  Cunningly, he hopes to accommodate religious impulses while remaining an atheist.  With plans to build a £1m pound ‘te...
The Benefits of Work Sharing
DEAN BAKER
This week, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief a...
Rapture Ready!
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Rapture Ready! ...
Hypocrisy and Syria
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Few spectacles have been more surreal than senior US officials – starting with the President, the Secretary of State and the US ambassador to the UN – solemnly lecturing Assad and his beleaguered Syrian government on the need to accommodate rebel forces whose GCC ...
Assassinating Iranian Scientists
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
To avoid restating the obvious, or repeating what others have already established, I take these facts as givens: that the main perpetrator of the assassination of Iranian scientists has been the Israeli spy agency Mossad, assisted by various covert operations agencies of ...
The Suicide State
URI AVNERY
AFTER THE founding of Israel, God appeared to David Ben-Gurion and told him: “You have created a state for my chosen people in my holy land. This merits a great reward. Tell me what you wish, and I will grant it.” Ben-Gurion answered: “Almighty God, I wish th...
China Steps Up in Syria
PETER LEE
The conventional picture of US policy in the Middle East is of a hellbound train rushing toward war with Iran, pulling burning coaches filled with European passengers howling praise of Western values out the windows at horrified bystanders.  Actually, I think it’s more...
Dynastic Succession in North Korea
BRUCE CUMINGS
I was in Singapore when Kim Jong-il died on 17 December, so I was reading from a salutary distance what passed for expert American commentary. “North Korea as we know it is over,” according to a piece in The New York Times written by a specialist who...
Slash-and-Burn With Grover Norquist
ROBERT HUNZIKER
A brutal, take-no-prisoners war, camouflaged as a populist movement, is being waged against the government of the United States of America. The Field Marshall in charge of operations is Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Re...
Stand Up for Working Women!
LAURA FLANDERS
The grassroots rage and organizing that countered Komen and GOP’s anti-contraception crusade showed just what feminist fury can do. Facing a cut-off in funds from the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, PPFA raised more money in a few days than it stood to lose from...
Those Attacks on Israeli Diplomats
ARSHIN ADIB-MOGHADDAM
Let’s assume that sections of the military and security apparatus in Iran are responsible for the ...
Revisiting the Second Great Depression
DEAN BAKER
As President Obama’s re-election campaign heats up, there are several new accounts of his track record finding their way into print. One item for which he is undeservedly given credit is saving the country from a second Great Depression. The political elites beli...
Take a Train in Jakarta
ANDRE VLTCHEK
If you take a train in Jakarta, be warned: the images that would unwind behind your windows could be too disturbing to bear for someone who is not a war correspondent or a medical doctor. It would often feel as if hundreds of thousands of the wretched of the earth decided...
The Lockout Weapon
DAVID MACARAY
If you’re looking for evidence of just how confident, militant, and insufferably arrogant companies have become in recent years, consider the phenomenon of the lockout.  A lockout is where a company closes its doors, refusing to allow its union employees to return to w...
Dying for Disaster
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
It took a medevac unit 59 minutes to get U.S. Army Spec. Chazray Clark to a hospital in southern Afghanistan after receiving a call that a roadside bombing severed three of his limbs. Clark did not survive. “I need something, please...
Creeping Fascism
RON JACOBS
The list contines to grow.  The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The essentially unprovoked police attacks on protesters, bystanders and journalists at Occupy protests around the nation.  The continuing murder of (mostly young and black) men by police depart...
The Vietnam War on Record
LEE BALLINGER
Nostalgia clouds our memory of the Vietnam War era. Peace. Love. Music. Rock & roll, dope, and fucking in the streets. Wasn’t it a mighty time? Sometimes, yes. More fundamentally, the Vietnam War era meant three million Indochinese killed, along with the callous rui...
The Furor Over Abu Qatada
YVONNE RIDLEY
Istanbul  I am overseas as the whole Abu Qatada hate fest unfolds back in London. And from my seat over-looking the Bosphorus I am cringing with embarrassment and wondering what on earth has happened to my country. The screaming headlines, t...
Khader Adnan’s Hunger Strike
CHARLOTTE SILVER
A month ago only those who had met him knew Khader Adnan. Now all of Palestine and people across the world know his name and his cause. Before December 17, when Khader was arrested for the eighth time from his home in Jenin, he was one of thousands of Palestinians ...
The One-Percent on Campus
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The increasing cost of obtaining an education was highlighted when President Obama revealed his latest budget on February 13, 2012.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in recent years college tuition has gone up at roughly twice the rate of inflation. Ad...
A Blow Against the Prison-Industrial-Complex
JAMES KILGORE
In a major defeat for the private prison industry on February 14th the Florida State legislature rejected SB 2038..     Had the bill succeeded it would have initiated the selloff of 24 of the state’s prisons to private operators,  by far the big...
Not Another Rabbit Hole!
IAN HARRIS
When Alice went down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carol’s novel, Alice and Wonderland, she experienced all kinds of unpleasant surprises. What kind of surprises will we Americans face if our government bombs Iran? The last time the United States went down th...
Inside Obama’s Energy and Environment Budget
DAPHNE WYSHAM
President Barack Obama’s 2013 budget proposal offers a window into which battles he aims to fight and which ones he intends to avoid. Here’s a breakdown of the energy policies embedded in the proposed budget. First the good energy news: The Obama ...
Creating Equality
MISSY BEATTIE
I believed the pen could smash rock, paper, scissors, and injustice. I signed petitions. Wrote letters to Congressmen and women. And the op-ed articles.  Five hundred, at least. I thought I could make a difference, working within the system, a...
What Iran Can Do for Lebanon’s Palestinians
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut. Around noon on Tuesday September 14, 1982, the day before Israel gave the green light for the launch of the three day Sabra-Shatila Massacre, two white vans pulled into Rue Sabra, diagonal from Akka Palestinian Hospital (PCRS), the main Shatila cam...
Stepping Away
MARY SOJOURNER
The world outside my writing room window is diamond bright. Gleaming black ravens hop and posture around the corn chips and unshelled peanuts I’ve scattered for their breakfast. Conan, a ferocious tassel-eared squirrel half a raven’s size, scoots down the apartment wa...
A Dickensian Watergate
CHARLES R. LARSON
There’s a certain Dickensian quality to Thomas Mallon’s always inventive novel, Watergate...
Zarafa: Big Neck, Melting Eyes
DAVID YEARSLEY
Berlin One doesn’t have to go to a Sunday morning world premiere screening at the Berlin Film Festival, now in the last few days of its 62nd incarnation, to come to the obvious conclusion that  movies have become the world’s religion. Ten o...
Three by Harry Newman
POETS' BASEMENT
Soon by HARRY NEWMAN soon the generals will have their way   and killing will begin again the modern kind distant and televised   how strange it is to think of...
Contraception’s Con Men
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
Contraception’s Con Men ...
Rotten Apple
JACK RANDOM
In 1984 I bought one of the first Apple Macintosh computers to roll off the line in Cupertino, California.  At 132 K ROM (hardly enough to power a toaster by today’s standards), the Mac came loaded with a serviceable writing program (Mac Write) and an ingenious graphi...
The U.S. War for Drugs of Terror in Colombia
DANIEL KOVALIK
I just had the pleasure of reading an important new book entitled, Cocaine, Death Squads and the W...
Torturer Sues Coup Generals for Making Him ‘a Monster’
PATRICK COCKBURN
A former Turkish soldier, Dogan Eslik, is suing the generals who seized power in Turkey in a military coup in 1980 and tortured hundreds of thousands of people. He claims his experiences in Ankara’s dreaded Mamak Prison dehumanized him, turned him into a mons...
Assault on Ice
RALPH NADER
Call it what you will, but staged, premeditated or planned fighting in the National Hockey League (NHL), where two big “enforcers” slug each other’s heads with their bare fists, has no place in the game of hockey. Such fighting is boxing and as such requires a boxin...
The Rot in Gang Green
GEORGE OCHENSKI
Since its inception, the environmental movement has continued to change and, some would say, mature. But with those changes and maturity has come a bane common to groups that grow beyond their original mission. In the case of Gang Green, the term applied to the large envi...
When the President Was a Sex Predator
STEWART LAWRENCE
Mimi Alford, the grandmother of five who claims in her new memoir to have been President John F. Kennedy’s mistress as a 19-year old White House intern, made the rounds of some of America’s leading talk shows last week.  But you’d hardly know it from th...
That Bomb in Delhi
JAWED NAQVI
“Tarry a little, old Jew,” remonstrates Portia with Shylock before having his macabre petition for a pound of human flesh thrown out of the window at the magistrate’s court in Venice. Portia, if Shakespeare allowed, would be compelled to rein...
Will Israel Attack Iran?
MARK WEISBROT
Last week the New York Times ...
The United States and Its Dark Passenger
JOHN GRANT
I could have been a vicious raving monster who killed and killed and left towers of rotting flesh in my wake. Instead, here I was on the side of truth, justice and the American way. Still a monster, of course, but I cleaned up nicely afterward, and I was OUR m...