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
The New White Slave Trade
DAVID ROSEN
For those who plan to attend the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, FL, one of the unexpected giveaways you might be handed is a bar of soap.  It will be given by a group called SOAP (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) Outreach as part of a camp...
The Children are Still Dying
RAMZY BAROUD
Somewhere in my home I have a set of photo albums I rarely go near. I fear the flood of cruel memories that might be evoked from looking at the countless photos I took during a trip to Iraq. Many of the pictures are of children who developed rare forms of cancer as a resu...
The Coming Tempest in Tampa
RUSS McSPADDEN
The Dance By now its old hat. Every four years the Republicans gather to formally nominate their candidate for president of the United States and every four years large scale street demonstrations vacillate between hippy parades of clever marching ...
My Journey Through Nirvana
RODOLFO ACUÑA
 I am constantly asked the question as to why I write with so much emotion. As a historian I should be more restrained, objective and search for the truth.  When the first edition of Occupied America was published in 1972, I tri...
Islamophobia in America
FAWZIA AFZAL-KHAN
Yesterday, as I was about to board a Metro-north train to Grand Central terminal from the sleepy Hudson-river hamlet of Croton-on-Hudson in upstate New York, approximately an hour north of Manhattan where I have lived with my husband for 30 years and raised two wonderful ...
Empire and the Denial of Death
THOMAS H. NAYLOR
I was so taken by James Howard Kunstler’s book The Long Emergency back in 2005 that I im...
Longview Redux
CAL WINSLOW
I was happy to learn that the longshoremen of Longview Washington, members of International Longshore and Warehousemen Union (ILWU), Local 21, were awarded the Mother Jones prize by the Washington State Labor Council at its August convention. The longshoremen of lo...
The Romney-Akin Axis
BINOY KAMPMARK
If a campaign can self-destruct in an inferno of imbecility, then this must surely provide a good recipe for it.  Aiken’s grasp of reality, at least when it comes to those of the opposite gender, is slim, caricatured and severe.  Enter then, the disastrous move that r...
Jill Stein and the 99 Percent
BART GRUZALSKI
Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President of the United States, promises a Manhattan-project jobs program that would ignite our economy, repair our crumbling infrastructure, and put the US in the lead at the forefront of the world’s newest and hottest tech...
Art as Murder?
MICHAEL NAGLER
“The only thing that you can control, and you must therefore control, is the imagery in your own mind.” – Epictetus Until today I didn’t ev...
A Plea for Mockery
MICHAEL DOLINER
Whenever an article on the internet discusses Obama or Romney I know it is not serious about politics. Certainly both of these men, and the entire American bureaucratic system, are irrelevant to the serious problems facing Americans and indeed, everyone. This year Arctic ...
The Weight of Shadows
MISSY BEATTIE
Last Saturday, WidowRica and I went to Oregon Ridge Park’s Hot August Blues.  We sat among the flesh and talked about the flesh and our lives external to this particular flesh and the flesh internal to our own.  Claiming the plots were infants, toddlers, preteens, ado...
Ted Nugent is No Pussy (Riot)
MARK T. HARRIS
It didn’t take a Secret Service visit this past spring to know (off-his) rocker Ted Nugent wasn’t really threatening President Obama when he declared he’d “either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if the President was re-elected. Actually, it’s...
The Parable of the Shopping Mall
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
In town after town across America these days one can physically see the economic mantras of an entire generation turning to boarded-up wasteland before one’s eyes. Shopping malls, which changed the American landscape within the course of a generation, are dying week by ...
African Women in Nigeria and Senegal
CHARLES R. LARSON
Sefi Atta’s lovely third novel, A Bit of Difference, is further proof (assuming it’s n...
Ryan’s Rage
DAVID YEARSLEY
Among all the arts, music’s meaning is the most elusive. The fact that it lacks the power of unambiguous signification is both its greatest advantage and its greatest curse. This paradox explains, for example, how the unparalleled erudition, flamboyance, and pathos of B...
Three Poems by Frank Ford
POETS' BASEMENT
Two flee the Catty Arts by FRANK FORD   for farming, real, dirt, not Gentleman. Traverse mud-   dy fields for planting, bosky dells for mushrooms. They   ...
The Bain Files
WEBSITE OF THE WEEKEND
The Bain Files ...
The Wall Street Rally That Wasn’t
MIKE WHITNEY
US stocks hit a four-year high on Tuesday before lapsing back into negative territory by the end of the session. Normally, a milestone like that would have sent cheers ringing out across the trading floor, but not this time. This time the reaction was more subdued, even s...
The Media on Presidential Campaigns
RALPH NADER
The media coverage of the Presidential campaigns is a dreary repetition of past coverage. Stuck in a rut and garnished by press cynicism and boredom, media groupthink becomes more ossified every four years. This massive mental motion-sickness confines reporters, ed...
The Marikana Massacre: a Premeditated Killing?
BENJAMIN FOGEL
“Two hundred thousand subterranean heroes who, by day and by night, for a mere pittance lay down their lives to the familiar `fall of rock` and who, at deep levels, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 feet in the bowels of the earth, sacrifice their lungs to the...
Fighting the Mortgage Mess
ELLEN BROWN
Two landmark developments on August 16th give momentum to the growing interest of cities and counties in addressing the mortgage crisis using eminent domain: (1) The Washington State Supreme Court held in ...
The Radioactive Waste Disaster
KEVIN KAMPS and LINDA GUNTER
It was always a terrible name – The Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision. No one, since the first cupful of forever deadly nuclear waste was generated at Chicago’s Fermi reactor on December 2, 1942, has ever had the slightest ounce of confidence about what to do with...
Paul Ryan and Human Rights
JOANNE MARINER
Has an election ever been won or lost based on a vice-presidential candidate’s positions on human rights issues?  None that I can think of.  But a VP’s views can have enormous human rights impact; just think of Dick Cheney’s attraction to what he called the “dar...
Why Ex-Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill is a Worthless Human Being
D. SIDNEY POTTER
Nearly a fortnight ago, and after hearing his conflicted comments aired recently on CNBC regarding his presumed desire to reinstate the Glass Steagall Act along with the break-up of big banks, one can be incredibly confident that Judas has a warm seat in hell waiting for ...
The Secret History of Pussy Riot
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow. Universally admired, Pussy Riot (or PR for short) have been promoted as superstars. But what are they? A rock or punk group they are not.  A British journalist marvelled: they produce no music, no song, no painting, nada, rien, nothing. How can th...
Romney and His Tax Returns
WALTER BRASCH
When a craven of buffoons and bigots disguised in the bodies of Birthers figured that anyone with dark skin and a foreign name had to be born outside the U.S., Barack Obama provided a birth certificate. Not just the usual “short form,” but a state-certified copy of th...
Four Ways Ohio Republicans Are Already Stealing the 2012 Elections
BOB FITRAKIS and HARVEY WASSERMAN
The Ohio Republican Party has moved four ways to steal America’s 2012 election.  The Buckeye State is almost certain to emerge as a decider in this year’s presidential election, and the GOP is moving fast to ensure victory, no matter what it takes. The...
The 2012 Politics of Fantasy
BEN SCHREINER
Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. - Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion ...
Francois Hollande, the Austere Socialist
PHILIPPE MARLIERE
London. As François Hollande hits the 100-day mark, what is the verdict on the man at the top of French politics? In terms of style, his trademarks emerged quickly enough. Hollande has renewed the Gaullist interpretation of the presidency: in accordance w...
In the Republic of Yachts
TOM GILL
The rich don’t pay taxes. Everybody knows that. Especially in Italy, where governments have maintained firmly on the side of the 1%. So no surprises then that new levies on large cylinder cars, yachts and private jets, introduced in December by the premier Ma...
Is Your Child Eating Downer Cows?
MARTHA ROSENBERG
It has been over four years since the public was horrified and sickened to watch dying dairy cows moved with pitchforks into the slaughter line to make meat for the national school lunch program.  By law animals must walk under their own steam to slaughter to prevent ...
Fixing the Budget by Beating Up on Old People
DEAN BAKER
Economists tend not to be very good at economics, which is one of the main reasons that the world is facing such a prolonged downturn. Few economists were able to recognize the enormous imbalances created by housing bubbles in the United States and elsewhere, nor to under...
Rape, Todd Akin and the Paintings of Artemisia Gentileschi
RAOUF J. HALABY
Soon after my twin brother and I turned 14, my mother told us the following: “Treat women the way you would want someone to treat your sister and mother.”  The youngest of five children, my twin brother, three older siblings and I admired our widowed mother for her c...
Hating Russian Orthodoxy
LOUIS PROYECT
Given the sharp divide on the left between those who consider the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) governments to be the first line of defense against Western imperialism and those who take the sides of the victims of such governments even when the U.S. State Depar...
Thirsting for Justice
KATHY KELLY
At Maryhouse Catholic Worker, in New York City, word arrived, on a hot August day that, due to street construction, the water would be cut off for four hours the following day.  The Catholic Worker community serves scores of guests each day, and the water shortage would ...
Israeli Warmongering
NICOLA NASSER
To keep “all options on the table” in the U.S. – Israel plans to change the incumbent Syrian and Iranian regimes and neutralize what both countries perceive as an imminent “threat” is a formula missing the only feasible option to defuse their perceived threat pe...
Ayn Rand Syndrome
HILARY MATFESS
My father gave me a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged when I was 13 and was regularly expounding leftist doctrines at the dinner table. My father, no conservative himself, gave me the book to force me to engage with the conservative mindset. He knew Rand’s gr...
From Labor Boon to Embarrassment?
STEVE EARLY
One sign, among many, of labor’s current travails is the stalled union growth strategy known as “Bargain to Organize.” More than a decade ago, there was no bigger buzzword in union organizing circles. When John Sweeney was elected AFL-CIO presiden...
The Revolution Will Not Be Anti-Social
WINDY COOLER
I have been ruminating lately on how much I am looking forward to school starting up again for Ob, my six year old son, because of how deeply I enjoy my time with other parents picking up their kids after school; how meaningful, powerful, and frankly, political, much of ...
Paris, Mai ’68: Icones de la Revolution
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Paris, Mai ’68: Icones de la Revolution ...
The South Gathers in Tehran
VIJAY PRASHAD
Tomorrow, perhaps, the future. — W. H. Auden. Next week, representatives from one hundred and eighteen of the world’s one hundred and ninety two states will gather in Tehran, Iran for the 16th Non-Aligned Movement ...
Israel and Iran’s Nuclear Program
MOHAMMED AYOOB
Leading Israeli figures including Prime Minister Netenyahu and Defense Minister Barak have once again begun to make loud noises about Iran’s nuclear program and the inevitability of an Israeli strike against Iran to destroy its capacity to enrich uranium. Whether the Is...
The Meaning of Assange’s Asylum
SILVIA ARANA
Quito, Ecuador. The impact of Ecuador’s decision to grant political asylum  to Julian Assange is still quite tangible internationally, a rarity in a world where no one remembers yesterday’s news. Even hours before it was announced, Ecuador...
Mitt’s Big Secret
DAVE LINDORFF
A lot of theories have been put forward to try and explain why Romney has allowed his campaign to become bedeviled by charges of tax dodging, but what if what he is hiding is felonious tax fraud? Okay, so he’s taken the legal option of delaying filing his 201...
From the Virgin Mary to Pussy Riot
RAY McGOVERN
The song to which the punk band “Pussy Riot” danced on Feb. 21 in Russia’s iconic Christ the Savior Cathedral ends with a prayer asking Jesus’s mother Mary to “become a feminist,” but Mary always was a feminist through and through, with a voice speaking strong...
Does Paul Ryan Know What’s in His Budget?
DEAN BAKER
If the news media had to work for a living, this is what they would all be asking right now. The reason is simple. The projections the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) made for Representative Ryan’s budget imply that he literally wants to shut down the federal gove...
Climate Change Complacency
CHUCK GASPAROVIC
Gijon, Spain. Tom is an agribusiness banker in Greeley, Colorado, a Republican, and one of the nicest people I have ever met. During a visit to Greeley this year, thinking I had finally found a chink in his ideological armor, I pointed to the drought punis...
St. Nelson’s Legacy
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
As the legendary life of South African leader Nelson Mandela draws to a close his legacy to his people has been brutally splashed across television screens worldwide showing neo-Apartheid police firing automatic weapons into crowds of striking African miners,  killing ...