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 August 2012
When Will Palestinians Become Human?
AMER ZAHR
We Palestinians have been struggling for a long time.  I am not speaking of the struggle to be recognized as an independent state, or the struggle to be recognized in the United Nations, or even the struggle to be recognized in international courts.  I am speaking, ra...
Pot Injustice Pervades Public
NORM KENT
Recently, the city of Denver said it was going to deny medical marijuana dispensaries the right to advertise on city billboards.  A few years ago, I remember other cities denying strip clubs the right to solicit on billboards as well, claiming the ads distracted drivers ...
Boy Scout Bigotry
JOHN LaFORGE
The camping and knot-tying club Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its discriminatory exclusion of about 10 percent of all boys — the gay ones — and of any out lesbians who volunteer as Cub Scout den mothers. The BS’s flagrant bigotry is rationalized and accepted,...
A Sane Approach to Psychiatric Drugs
BRUCE E. LEVINE
Millions of people believe that psychiatric medications have saved their lives, while millions of others report that their psychiatric medications were unhelpful or made things worse. All this can result in mutual disrespect for different choices.  I can think of no bett...
Remembering Howard Zinn
CHIP GIBBONS
August 24, 2012 would have been Howard Zinn’s 90th birthday. Zinn was one of many thinkers and activists who played a significant role in developing my political consciousness. In addition to helping to shape my views of how social change occurs he is probably among...
Free to be Phyllis
LINDA UEKI ABSHER
After a long weekend, I logged into Facebook and saw this: “Phyllis Diller Dies at 95” My heart stopped.  Yes, she was extremely old and testimonials from the past week notwithstanding, considered passé: clownish and sexless, mostly existing as a huffy foil ...
The Abortion War
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The Abortion War ...
The Decline of Political Protest
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Paris. Once upon a time there was an organization called Amnesty International which was dedicated to defending prisoners of conscience all over the world. Its action was marked by two principles that contributed to its success: neutrality and discretion....
Why Cheaters Prosper
MIKE WHITNEY
Now there’s something you don’t see every day. If I told you that the Wall Street Journal ran no less than 3 articles in the last week promoting more regulations, you’d think I was crazy. But it’s true. And, for once, the WSJ...
The War in Mali
CONN HALLINAN
The reports filtering out of Northern Mali are ...
Dr. Frankenstein and the APA’s Decade of Monstrosities
ROY EIDELSON
In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written nearl...
America’s Descent Into Poverty
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The United States has collapsed economically, socially, politically, legally, constitutionally, environmentally, and morally. The country that exists today is not even a shell of the country into which I was born.  In this article I will deal with America’s economic co...
The Boutique Philosophy of Ayn Rand
DAVID MACARAY
Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, made news by declaring himself to be an unabashed admirer of quasi-philosopher Ayn Rand.  Reportedly, Rand’s books are required reading for Ryan’s staff.  I think the case can be made that Ayn Rand appeals to people for the s...
Tax the Rich or Privatize the State?
SHAMUS COOKE
The Great Recession and its possible continuance has brought the issue of privatization to the forefront of American politics. But most Americans aren’t even aware that this debate is happening, because the media and politicians aren’t using the word “p...
Peace Talks Begin in Colombia
DANIEL KOVALIK
According to Colombia’s El Tiempo, 75% of Colombians want a dialogue between the Colombian government and the guerillas.    And, this stands to reason, for Colombia has been devastated by over 50 years of armed conflict which has cost the lives of hundreds o...
On Translating Securityspeak into English
KEVIN CARSON
One might wonder, reading the American “national security” community’s pronouncements, if they refer to the same world we live in. Things make a little more sense when you realize that the Security State has its own language: Securityspeak. Like Newspeak...
Among the Paulites in Tampa
JEFF TAYLOR
Tampa. I’m a delegate to the Republican National Convention. First, two disclaimers:  (1) In writing about proceedings in Tampa, I’m speaking for myself, not for my state delegation, state party, or any other group.  (2) Any criticism of Mitt ...
Privatizing the Social Healthcare ‘Brand’
HOUMAN BAREKAT
London. The musician and satirist Tom Lehrer famously quipped that satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.  He might have saved his breath if he had known what was coming.  This week, the UK’s Conservative-led coalition gov...
Fast-Tracking Evictions in Spain
TOM GILL
The Spanish government has come up with draft legislation that it claims will jumpstart the country’s t...
Rabbi: “Pray for the Annihilation of Iran”
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Rabbi: “Pray for the Annihilation of Iran” ...
Authoritarian Politics in the Age of Casino Capitalism
HENRY GIROUX
The United States has entered a new historical era marked by a growing disinvestment in the social state, public goods, and civic morality. Matters of politics, power, ideology, governance, economics, and policy now translate unapologetically into a systemic disinvestment...
The Deadly Silence Over Fukushima
KARL GROSSMAN
Amid the cover-up of the Fukushima nuclear power disaster, the title of Kimberly Roberson’s book rings so unfortunately true: ...
Todd Akin and Rightwing Science
ALLAN J. LICHTMAN
Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri did not misspeak when he misrepresented the nature of rape and women’s biology in a television interview. Rather Akin repeated what is conventional wisdom on the right, opening a trap door into a subterranean world of id...
Rohrabacher’s Plan to Partition Iran
TOURAJ DARYAEE
From time to time it is important that one provide a teach-in to nonacademics and educate those who promote wrong and harmful ideas. As a history professor I would like to teach a history lesson to Mr. Dana Rohrabacher, the honorable Congressional Representative of Califo...
Payoff in the Pit of the Plutocracy
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Jeff Connaughton was a lobbyist, a Senate aide and a White House lawyer. He says he came to Washington, D.C. as a Democrat and left as a Plutocrat. Now he’s written a book –...
Defining Inequality Down
DAVID GREEN
Since the recession of 2008, it has become increasingly apparent that for the past four decades the majority of the American population has gotten a raw economic deal. Computer applications and internet technology have made accessible raw data from the Census, the Bureau ...
The Republican “Small Government” Fraud
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
One of the most widely-advertised but falsest claims in American politics is that the modern Republican Party stands for “small government.” In the distant past, leading Republicans were indeed sharp critics of statism. And even today a few marginal party activ...
US Encourages Israel’s War Aims
SHELDON RICHMAN
While Israel—cheered on by its American boosters led by AIPAC and Mitt Romney—beats the drums ever louder for a war of aggression against I...
Obama Halts American Trips to Cuba
KEN SMITH
Until recently, Americans could travel to Cuba as part of academic, religious or research groups. But according to travel writers for USA Today and other major newspapers, government approval for such trips has come to a halt. This is despite a program authorize...
Are Rape Jokes Funny?
PAUL KRASSNER
Abortion was still illegal in 1970. At the time, as both an underground abortion referral service and a stand-up satirist, I faced an undefined paradox. Irreverence was my only sacred cow, yet I wouldn’t allow victims to become the target of my humor.  There was one pa...
Eros and Gender on Ice
M. G. PIETY
I have a friend who writes what he likes to refer to as “gay romance novels.” The novels are sufficiently sexually explicit, however, for some people to label them “gay porn.” I was surprised to learn that many of his readers were women. He met them, he explained,...
Lance, Tiger and Harry…Oh My!
BRIAN J. FOLEY
Methinks that if Lance Armstrong were innocent of charges he doped during the Tour de France, as he maintains, he wouldn’t avoid arbitration, where all the evidence, pro and con, could come out.  He wouldn’t, without this forensic fight (where he could vindicate hims...
The Man We Called “Suit”
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The Man We Called “Suit” ...
Romney’s Blood Money
SANDY SMITH-NONINI
Recent revelations about Mitt Romney’s highly profitable company Bain Capital help connect the dots between offshore tax shelters, shady investors; and the role that ill-gotten gains plays in today’s casino-like finance capital. Both the Los Angeles Times and H...
Assange, Pinochet and Diplomatic Double-Dealing
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
A decade ago, the British government of Labour prime minister Tony Blair decided to back President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq even though foreign office lawyers in London had warned that such an attack had no “legal basis in international law.” ...
The Fountainhead
URI AVNERY
I was not interested in Paul Ryan, the man about to be nominated by the Republican party for the office of Vice President, until the name Ayn Rand popped up. Ayn Rand, it was said, was one of the main inspirations for his particular philosophy. Since Ryan is being ...
Egyptian Military Checkmated
ESAM AL-AMIN
Ever since early April when he became an official candidate in the first post-revolution presidential election, Dr. Mohammad Morsi has been generally dismissed by most political observers as a weak and unimpressive politician. In fact, he was an accidental contender since...
The Neo-Gothic Politics of the Deep South
DAVID MACARAY
Saying this gives me no pleasure, but it needs to be said.  The 13 former confederate states now account for 144 seats in the Congress and 26 seats in the Senate.  That’s a lot of government power for a group of constituents who, 150 years ago, hated the federal gover...
The Katrina Pain Index, 2012
BILL QUIGLEY and DAVIDA FINGER
1 Rank of New Orleans in fastest growing US cities between 2010 and 2011.  Source: Census Bureau. 1 Rank of New Orleans, Louisiana in world prison rate.  Louisiana imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of the other 50 states.  Louisiana rate is five t...
Romney’s Big Tax Dilemma
DAVE LINDORFF
GOP presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as noted in my previous piece, Mitt’s Big Secret, is probably stonewalling demands that he release his 2009 and earlier IRS filings because th...
The Sentence of Death
B. SIDNEY SMITH
I was a staunch opponent of the death penalty, but in recent years I have had a change of mind on the issue. I now support the death penalty, but only for the privileged. This is not meant to be funny. There are generally two arguments made in favor of the death pe...
Liberties and Commons for All
PETER LINEBAUGH
Of the aristocratic and stylish six Mitford sisters, Jessica provides us with the Lazy Interpretation of Magna Carta beloved by sluggards everywhere.  As a lovely communist (two of her sisters were fascists) she was disowned by her family and fell from the social peaks o...
The New Lexicon of Rape
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
 Peacably if we can, forcibly if we must. — Henry Clay, Speech 1811 The campaign season thus far has convinced many of us that we have no idea whether social security cuts ...
Capitalism’s Sexual Affairs?
ROBERT HUNZIKER
The fourth-year national election cycle has a way of bringing out the worst and the best of political escapades, but it is the worst capers, like Rep. Todd Akin’s (R. MO) ridiculous “legitimate rape” statement that rings the public’s bell. Where does stuff like th...
Paul Ryan and the Contradictions of Conservatism
ROGER S. FOSTER
Three years ago, U.S. vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan published a short theoretical essay called ‘The Cause of Freedom cannot be separated from the Cause of Life’.[1] There are several reasons...
A Move to Free the Cuban Five
DANNY GLOVER and SAUL LANDAU
People stop in Victorville California 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles because they have to see someone at one of its several prisons (federal, state, county and city) or have prison-related business, or because they’re hot and tired coming back from Las Vegas to Los A...
The Romneys and the Black/White Achievement Gap
RICHARD ROTHSTEIN
We cannot remedy the large racial achievement gaps in American education if we continue to close our eyes to the continued racial segregation of schools, owing primarily to the continued segregation of our neighborhoods. We pretend that this segregation is nobody’s ...
Opposing the Eagle’s Talons
RON JACOBS
And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. –  Mark Twain When my book ...
The Secret Scheme To Sabotage Mumia’s Appeal Rights
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, the internationally recognized American political prisoner, thwarted a Philadelphia judge’s secretive court order that could have eliminated his future appeal rights when he filed a last- minute motion on August 23rd challenging that order sentencing hi...