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 2013
Don’t Plan on Retiring
MIKE WHITNEY
Millions of older Americans say they will never be able to retire. They simply don’t have the savings. According to CNN, “Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings…50% have less than a three...
Boeing Workers Take a Stand & Take the Heat
CARL FINAMORE
Local IAM District 751 union leaders in the state of Washington are feeling the fallout of Boeing’s extremely well-orchestrated counteroffensive begun immediately after Nov. 13 when 67% of union members rejected the company’s concessionary contract extension thr...
Profits May Rise, Profits May Fall, the Capitalist System Doesn’t Care at All
MICHAEL D. YATES
A left-wing economist with whom I have a marginal acquaintance sent me an email a few days ago. He was angry that I had accused him of being a “true believer.” This was in reference to what Karl Marx termed the “tendency of the rate of profit to fall.” Put simply,...
The Future of Lebanon
KARIM MAKDISI
A new phase in the conflict in the Arab mashriq (Levant) has begun, and it is Lebanon, as ever, where the message has been delivered. After several deadly car bombs in Beirut and Tripoli over the past year designed to terrorize ordinary civilians and destabi...
Bank Corruption Down Under
EVAN JONES
On 25 November Lawrence Tomlinson issued a report[1] exposing yet another spectacular case of bank bastardry in the UK. Tomlinson had been commissioned by the British Business Minister, Vince Cable, to examine any difficulties that small business faced in escaping the deb...
Britain and the European Court of Human Rights
BINOY KAMPMARK
The cart of legal sobriety is truly getting away when parliamentarians start seeking exemptions from laws in the name of upholding them. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has been the solemn target for many a British politician since it came into being. It ...
Disasters Every Day
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE GAILLARD and JAKE ROM D CADAG
The Philippines was hit by 536 natural disasters between 1950 and 2012 (1), according to the emergency events databa...
Major Social Transformation Is Close
KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS
The current social movement that exploded onto the national scene with the 2011 Occupy Movement is following the path of successful movements so far. The social movement in 2014 is poised to begin an exciting era of broadening and deepening the growing consensus for socia...
Amidst the Whirlwind of Climate Science Denial
ROGER ANNIS
The ice storm that struck central and eastern Canada and northeastern United States, on Dec. 20-22 should be viewed not only an important news event but also a big climate change story. Not because the storm was a direct consequence of the Earth’s average warming te...
One Era Ends, Another Begins
THOMAS L. KNAPP
Well, we’re about to wrap up another year, so it’s time to throw out my dual nominations for “The Most Impactful Person of 2013.” The envelope, please? And the co-winners are … Edward Snowden and Satoshi Nakamoto. Edward Snowden, because in 2013 hi...
The Courts and the NSA
WILLIAM A. COHN
Prague.  A new year of media noise begins, and with it an avalanche of propaganda. With the public growing wary of privacy intrusions, the NSA debate is heating up and the message from power centers will focus on the effectiveness of the spy program in st...
On the Jewish State of Israel
JOHN V. WHITBECK
 Paris.  News reports continue to suggest that one of the primary roadblocks to any agreement in the current round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is the understandable Palestinian refusal to accept the Israeli demand that Palestine explicitly recogn...
Sunni Monarchs Back YouTube Hate Preachers
PATRICK COCKBURN
Anti-Shia hate propaganda spread by Sunni religious figures sponsored by, or based in, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, is creating the ingredients for a sectarian civil war engulfing the entire Muslim world. Iraq and Syria have seen the most violence, with the...
The Pivot to Nowhere
PATRICK FOY
With 2014 now upon us, a cosmological question may have occurred to you. Where is America going to “pivot to” next? Being a foreign policy and history buff, I’ve thought about it. Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist of the Financial Time...
How the New Great Game Will be Played
PEPE ESCOBAR
The big story of 2014 will be Iran. Of course, the big story of the early 21st century will never stop being US-China, but it’s in 2014 that we will know whether a comprehensive accord transcending the Iranian nuclear program is attainable; and in this case the myri...
Privacy Rights
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut The answer to this question is being pondered across America in light to the two seeming mutually contradictory US Federal Court decisions handed down this month from Courts in Washington DC and New York. The legal issue of what rights are le...
Why Snowden Has Already Won
JEFF MACKLER
Edward Joseph Snowden, 30, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and the world’s most ardent whistleblower, continues to be the bane of U.S. government surveillance and spy operations. Rarely a week passes when government denials of gross spying operations ar...
A Human Rights Manifesto
RON JACOBS
Julie Wark has written a manifesto for justice. Simply titled A Human Rights Manifesto, her book ex...
Democrats’ Moral-Political Bankruptcy
NORMAN POLLACK
An end-of-year article in the New York Times, Jonathan Martin and Michael D. Shear’s “Minimum Wage Key to Democrats’ 2014 Strategy,” (30 Dec.), enables one to foresee what the coming year will be like: deft, cautious appeal for votes on an obviously significant hu...
Demanding Justice for Andy Lopez
SHEPHERD BLISS
Christmas Eve is when many families gather to celebrate and exchange gifts. But what would you do when a beloved child of your immediate or extended family had been killed two months before? This Christmas Eve a committee of the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez met...
Spence, Haeder and Beaudin
POETS' BASEMENT
 Adirondack Night by EMILY SPENCE The moon gently ascends out of a stand of quiet birch. It backlights them so...
A Long Ferment in the Middle East
PATRICK COCKBURN
Soon after the Libyan capital fell to the rebels in August 2011 I got to know a 32-year-old man called Ahmed Abdullah al-Ghadamsi. We met when he tried to evict me from my hotel room, which he said was needed for members of the National Transitional Council, in effect the...
Israel Has Been “Singled Out” in the US for a Very Long Time
THOMAS S. HARRINGTON
As has been widely reported, the American Studies Association, the umbrella organization of academics devoted to the study of US literature, history and culture, recently voted to join the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions. In the days since that hi...
US Treasuries Cross Into Danger Zone
MIKE WHITNEY
10-year Treasuries veered into the danger zone on Friday as yields broke through the crucial 3 percent barrier signaling a slowdown in housing sales due to higher mortgage rates. Fixed rate mortgages are expected to edge higher even though the rate on the 30-year loan inc...
The Good War, Revisited
ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Each Pearl Harbor day offers a fresh opportunity for those who correctly believe
that Franklin Roosevelt knew of an impending attack by the Japanese and welcomed it as
a way of snookering the isolationists and getting America into the war. And year by year the eviden...
The Age of the Billionaires
RODOLFO ACUÑA
Every day I realize more how little we have progressed since the nineteenth century in terms of ideas. Our technological advances dwarf our ability to conceptualize new ...
Washington’s Real Aims in Colombia
NICK ALEXANDROV
Last Sunday’s Washington Post carried a front-page article by Dana Priest, in which she revealed “a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders.”  Thanks to “a multibillion-dollar black budget”—“no...
When the Unimaginable Happened
URI AVNERY
I HAVE just seen the new movie “Mandela”, and I am so full of impressions that I cannot abstain from writing them down. It is a very good film, with very good actors. But that’s not the main point. It is a very accurate film, depicting what actually happened ...
Boeing’s Union Workers in the Crosshairs
DAVID MACARAY
A brief summary of what’s been happening in Seattle between the Boeing Corporation and its union workforce, the IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers).  Aware they have the upper hand, and that thousands of relatively well-paying jobs hang ...
The Bernanke Legacy
DEAN BAKER
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke gave his last press conference as chair and already the ...
Yasakuni Blues
PETER LEE
Myth: Shinzo Abe is a leading member of the team of world and Asian democracies standing up to China in the name of universal values like “freedom of navigation” and to help ensure the shared peace and prosperity of Asia. Reality:  Shinzo Abe is a revisionist ...
The Dirty Business of Coal
JOSHUA FRANK
Coal powers America. But at what cost to the environment and human health? That’s the question documentarian Peter Bull and the Center for Investigative Reporting attempt to tackle in the latest documentary, ...
The Killings Fields of Gaza
COLIN GREEN
Revelations from Israeli sources such as ‘Breaking the Silence’ and ‘Physicians for Human Rights-Israel’ that the Israeli assaults on Gaza in 2008/9 (Cast Lead) and 2012 (Pillars of Defence) were planned many months ahead pose many questions about the real motives...
The End of Freedom in America?
ROBERT P. ABELE
As must appear self-evident to both historians and astute observers by now, the United States, in its history, has had a rather facile and at times acrimonious relationship to the idea of domestic democracy (If this is not self-evident, see Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Su...
Why Many Charities are Corporate Scams
BRAD YU
#1 TIPPING 101: So I’m the owner of Company X.  My workers’ used to be paid a whopping 7.25 per/hour because of the ridiculous “minimum wage” labor laws that are seriously cutting into my profits.  I only want to pay them 2.13 per/hour, wh...
Tancredo’s Creed
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The Lord is my shepherd. —  Psalm 23 He’ll probably be calling on the Lord again.  When he needs to change his mind he lets the Lord do it for him.   It all came to mind when the Denver Post reported that it had invited T...
Congress Must Not Cede Its War Power to Israel
SHELDON RICHMAN
The American people should know that pending right now in Congress is a bipartisan bill that would virtually commit the United States to go to war against Iran if Israel attacks the Islamic Republic. ...
Thinking About a Recovered Identity
JOSÉ M. TIRADO
dentity is not always a clear-cut thing. For example, I´m not the best Puertorican, by any standard. There are those who might say I´m not Puertorican, at all. I was born in New York City, and then raised mainly in Miami, Florida. My spoken Spanish is just OK, ni...
“Crony Capitalism” and “Corporatism”
KEVIN CARSON
Recently Mike Konczal (“‘Corporatism’ is the Latest Hysterical Right-Wing Accusation,” The New Republic, December 15) attacked “corporatism” as a pernicious right-wing meme, ostensibly aimed at exposing Obama’s policies for “enriching the well-off” but i...
State of the Nation, 2013
DAVID ROSEN
The New Year season is a good time to reflect on one’s life and the U.S.’s true standing in the world.  If you are honest with yourself, you known something fundemenal is taking place in early-21st century America.  The nation is being restructured, ye...
Understanding Karzai’s Role in Determining Afghanistan’s Future
SAM KIERSTEAD
The controversy surrounding the bilateral Security Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States and Afghanistan is more complex than a stubborn Afghan president. President Karzai is playing the weighing game. On one side of the scale rests the centerpiec...
Kidnapping Jesus at Christmas
MICHAEL DICKINSON
I’m back in England after a fruitless searchfor teaching English work in Spain and Morroco.  I arrived practically penniless. To my great relief there was a Western Union agent at Luton airport and I was able to Access the 161 pounds my brother sent, so the mone...
No White Christmas for Brown Immigrants
ALVARO HUERTA
The recent controversy over the comments made by Megyn Kelly—the new media darling of Fox News—telling kids on the air that Santa “is just white,” rings truthful for millions of brown, undocumented immigrants in this country. Latino immigrants who lack legal statu...
Is Peace Obsolete?
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I’d like to age in peace. Peacefully. I suppose this is impossible. And despite saying nothing surprises me anymore, I’m often outraged. I shouldn’t be astonished though by a resolution intro’d by Senators Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer, and Mark Kirk that gives I...
Letter to Boeing’s Boss
RALPH NADER
Dear Mr. McNerney: The squeeze that you and Boeing are putting on your machinist workers’ pensions, pay scales and your stance on other labor issues regarding the assembling of the new 777X airliners is unseemly for several reasons. First, consider your pa...
Searching for Truth and Reconciliation in Bangladesh
WILLIAM GOMES
Dear Mr. Imran Khan, I am writing to you on the birthday of Mohammad Ali Jinnah to share my sincere thanks to you for protesting the judicial murder of Abdul Quader Mollah before the Pakistan National Assembly. I was heartened by your speech which showed moral cour...
Nuremberg Set a Valid Precedent for Iraq War Trials
DR. CESAR CHELALA
As the number of deaths continues unabated in Iraq –the worst since 2008- so do calls for the prosecution of those that led both the United States and Great Britain into war, George W. Bush and Tony Blair. In December alone there were 44 deaths in just one day, over 766...
Canada’s “Dutch Disease”
YVES ENGLER
A clear diagnosis of the Oil Sands fever variant of Dutch Disease may be just what the doctor ordered to rally Canadian workers in the fight against global warming. A rapid increase in natural resource investment and revenue usually drives up a nation’s currency....
The Futility of Top Ten Lists
WALTER BRASCH
The mass media have a fixation upon throwing up lists. Sports editors run innumerable lists of the “Top 10” high school and college teams. Arts and entertainment editors run lists of the top books, movies, songs, and even video games. Financial an...
Ethan’s Christmas Eve
CHARLES ORLOSKI
That no one can deny, a sure way for a writer to lose an audience is to re-hash one’s Catholic 1950s-era Christmas Eve experiences. Very disingenuous, such would be better left unsaid, but I shall begin at the beginning (Genesis) – the Scene, a humble downstairs-a...