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 April 2013
Doctors Who Torture
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Buenos Aires Last July at the Libertad (Freedom) prison in Uruguay was unusual. Miguel Angel Estrella, an Argentine pianist (and now Argentina’s Ambassador to UNESCO), was giving a concert in the same prison where he had been imprisoned and tortur...
The Clowns of the Italian Parliament
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It doesn’t seem fair.  The Italians have a lot more fun doing nothing than do we.  And, in addition, they have the Pope and former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. We have no one like the Pope to take pride in and it’s hard to match Berlusconi.  This all came to ...
Confronting the Empire
MISSY BEATIE
It’s likely we witnessed a rehearsal last Friday in Boston for the wedding of Be Afraid and Martial Law. Most Bostonians said, “I do.” And if they promised to obey, plenty of ‘villians, ‘ers, and other ‘onians across the US will, as well, while wearing ...
Within The National (In)Security State
PHIL ROCKSTROH
Life, as lived, moment to moment, in the corporate/consumer state, involves moving between states of tedium, stress, and swoons of mass media and consumer distraction. Therein, one spends a large portion of one’s economically beleaguered life attempting to make ends...
New York City, Just Like I Pictured It…
RON JACOBS
My stated reason for being in New York in 1973 was to go to school, but my real intent was to immerse myself in leftist politics and rock and roll culture.  Almost every weekend I headed to the Village and Lower East Side in search of weed and music or politics.  There ...
A House Divided
BENJAMIN FOGEL
COSATU is in the midst of the biggest crisis in its 27-year history. This crisis has arisen from an SACP-driven attempt to oust democratically elected COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, under the guise of corruption charges. The conflict’s roots are in longst...
New Voices in Indie New Media
DAVID ROSEN
On April 20th, the Tribeca Film Institute held its 2nd “Interactive” conference as part of Tribeca’s 11th film festival. In the spirit of the wonderful eclecticism that marks the curatorial originality of the festival’s film select...
Running on Empty
MICHAEL McDAETH
There is a macabre irony to the Boston Marathon bombing; that of blowing off the legs of people at a running event. The victims lost their legs to this low flying violence as they stood behind barricades waiting for their loved ones who were using their legs to cross the ...
Liberty, Security, and Terror
SHELDON RICHMAN
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” It would be nice if Benjamin Franklin’s ...
The Problem With Green Party Leadership
MITCHEL COHEN
I agree with the main thrust of William Kaufman’s essay in CounterPunch, “Pwog Fantasies of Power“. My one caveat is that there is nothing wrong with listing what amou...
Farewell to the King of Heartbreak
PETER STONE BROWN
This morning while finishing my first cup of coffee and checking my Facebook notifications, an email came from a good friend of mine.  The title was “Possum.”  I knew what it was going to say and almost didn’t want to open it.  But I opened it and my fears were c...
Snow White, Bullfighter
KIM NICOLINI
It seems that we are living in a time where classic fairytales have become fodder for Hollywood mass-marketing strategies, where the tales of the Brothers Grimm have become grim exercises in salesmanship as Hollywood chews up and spits out a revised fairytale nearly every...
Afghan and American Misunderstandings
CHARLES R. LARSON
The best plan would be skip this review and run out and purchase a copy of Nadeem Aslam’s The Blin...
State Music, From Versailles to the White House
DAVID YEARSLEY
From the Versailles of Louis XIV to the White House of Barack Obama, state music functions have always been political, and the repertory and performers say much about the fashioning of leaders by themselves and their handlers. In the age of constant media exposure and pol...
Castro and Orloski
POETS' BASEMENT
Race in Education: Where do I Begin? by ANDRÉS CASTRO   Here’s to aboriculturists and gardeners with their bags of seeds and magic tricks, because we need to talk now more than ever. How do we agree...
What Motivated the Boston Bombers
GARY LEUPP
New details emerge every day, raising more questions. But the outlines of the stomach-churning story seem clear. Two young men, brothers who emigrated from Kyrgyzstan twelve years ago with their parents and sisters—high-achieving, “well-assimilated” immigrant me...
Thatcher’s Coup
JOHN PILGER
In the wake of Thatcher’s departure, I remember her victims. Patrick Warby’s daughter, Marie, was one of them. Marie, aged five, suffered from a bowel deformity and needed a special diet. Without it, the pain was excruciating. Her father was a Durham miner and had use...
The Demonization of Richard Falk
JEREMY R. HAMMOND
The Zionist organization UN Watch has cited a commentary by Professor Richard Falk on the Boston bombings in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon demanding that that Prof. Falk be reprimanded for it. Prof. Falk, who serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteu...
Reviewing the Korean Crisis
PAUL GOTTINGER
Things seemed to have calmed on the Korean peninsula for now.  This despite the fact that the U.S. and South Korea are continuing their outrageously provocative Foal Eagle “war games” through April 30.  The Foal Eagle is one of the ...
Eminent Europeans: Drop the Oslo Peace Process
PETER BELMONT
What we’re doing in the Middle East isn’t working. In fact, it’s making things worse. That’s the upshot of a letter from a group of 19 prominent Europeans to the E.U.’s top foreign policy official, Lady Catherine Ashton. The former officials, drawing on ...
The Echoes of Guatemala’s Nightmares Past
PATRICIA DAVIS
In a week of remarkable events and reversals in Guatemala, the genocide trial of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt came to an abrupt halt on April 18 as a judge ruled all proceedings to date invalid. The witnesses who testified for the prosecution—dozens of survivors ...
What’s the Deal with Common Cause and Big Fossil Fuels?
MAURA STEPHENS
The ostensibly citizen action-oriented, anticorruption nongovernmental organization (NGO) Common Cause appears to be helping fossil fuel industry shareholders to “fight” Big Oil Big Gas. But it’s a sham — nothing more than more calls for “regulations” and “r...
Hunting For The Boogie Man
JOHN GRANT
“In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we’ve had to kill people.” -Ted Kaczynski, The Unabomber Manifesto, 1995 April 19, 2013, is a date to remember, not so much for the killing...
Pwog Fantasies of Power
WILLIAM KAUFMAN
Yesterday the Green Party of the United States unveiled its Green Shadow Cabinet. And a rather long shadow it casts—I counted no less than 73 members (several of whom are CounterPunchers), including a Secretary of Space and a Commissioner of Comedic Arts, both of whom ...
The “Light-Skinned” Men Threat to America
TIMOTHY KOECHLIN
After the explosion in West, Texas, witnesses across the country report having seen groups of “light skinned” men plotting to endanger innocent Americans. There is mounting evidence that the explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas — which killed 14...
The Boston Bombing was an All-American Spectacle
RUTH FOWLER
I’ve been loathe to contribute to the ever-increasing canon of American experts who feel that their unique and exceptional opinion about the Boston Marathon Bombers is important and worthy enough to merit yet another shittily written blog post or op-ed. “There...
Farewell Max Baucus
JOSHUA FRANK
Yesterday, Montana Senator Max Baucus announced he was set to retire at the end of his current term. As one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington he will surely leave a void, at least for the DC lobbyists that pay to play. However, as a native Montanan, I can assur...
What Dzokhar Tsarnaev and Bradley Manning Have in Common
ALYSSA ROHRICHT
The media is ablaze right now with discussions about Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Bomber, and whether or not he should receive a fair trial as an American citizen. A few politicians and genera...
The Lockdown Society Goes Primetime
MICHAEL SCHWALBE
“Lockdown” escaped prison long ago.  A Google Ngram chart shows the word first popping up in books in the mid-1960s but gaining little currency until around 1990, at which time its frequency soars.  The Ngram chart nearly mirrors a chart of the explosive growth in t...
Drones, Sanctions and the Prison Industrial Complex
BRIAN TERRALL
Yankton Federal Prison Camp. In the final weeks of a six month prison sentence for protesting remote control murder by drones, specifically from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, I can only reflect on my time of captivity in light of the crimes that bro...
What Deficit Reduction is Really About: Weakening Workers’ Bargaining Power
DEAN BAKER
Few academic papers have ever received as much attention or had as much influence on public policy as “...
Gay About Marriage
BINOY KAMPMARK
Marriage is such a testy issue at the best of times, an institution that has been both sacralised and demonised in equal measure for the millennia that humans have formalised it.  The galvanised opposition to same-sex marriage in France wasn’t enough to derail the trai...
Diaspora Jews Must Speak Out
SAM BAHOUR
You are born in a country, say the United States. As such, you become a citizen of that country. You are issued a passport from your country of citizenship which allows you to travel to other countries, as a tourist, a foreigner. Of course, you can apply for residency or ...
What If the Tsarnaevs’ Motive Was Revenge for U.S. Foreign Policy?
SHELDON RICHMAN
On the day of the Boston Marathon bombings, President Obama stood in the White House briefing room and ...
Perpetual Emotion War Machine
NORMAN SOLOMON
As a perpetual emotion machine — producing and guzzling its own political fuel — the “war on terror” continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Ongoing warfare has become a matter of default routine, pushed along by mainl...
The Flag Flies at Half-Staff
HOWARD LISNOFF
There is a cemetery in rural Massachusetts where the U.S. flag flew at half-mast on Saturday. Cemeteries in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts have both a haunting and historical character. Their graves are often stained from centuries of wear and mark the place...
Margaret Thatcher a Freedom Fighter?
ALAN MACLEOD
Margaret Thatcher’s face stares out at me from the front ...
For Accused Boston Bomber, Rule of Law Is the Right Choice
CHRIS EDELSON
Since 9/11, there have been two main schools of thought when it comes to presidential power.  Some argue that the president must be able to do whatever is necessary to defend the nation–whether that means ordering secret electronic surveillance in violation of fede...
Freed by Richie Havens
ANTHONY TARRANT
My father spent 26 years as Vice President of a family owned manufacturing company in Saratoga Springs, NY.  He hired many people during the 1960’s, worked with and befriended many of them.  It was through them he came to possess a number of albums that would f...
Boston Overkill
ANDREW LEVINE
For anyone who watched the World Trade Center collapse on television in the days after September 11, 2001, the repetitive display of pictures of the terror attack on the Boston Marathon was déja vu all over again. Not having been there, I can’t judge the mood, b...
Friends of Israel Defense Forces Raises $27 Million Under NY Media’s Radar
JEFF BLANKFORT
It isn’t every day or night that a tax-exempt non-profit American charity rakes in $27 million in the space of a few hours. When it happens in New York at such a well known landmark as the Waldorf-Astoria, arguably the city’s most famous hotel, it should be news, righ...
The Best Union in the World Goes on Strike
DAVID MACARAY
Why is it easier to respect (maybe “respect” isn’t the right word) a self-confessed racist (“I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like black people.”) than an obvious racist who goes around sanctimoniously pretending he has no prejudices?  Dante was awar...
A Wall Street Tax
DEBORAH BURGER
The nation is now considering cuts to Social Security that would take away a week’s grocery money from elderly women, many already living at the margins.  They will join some of the nation’s children...
Un-trialled in Guatemala
JAMES ELLIOTT
The world was seeing something incredible. Unprecedented to all, unimaginable to most, and unbearable for the few in the dock: the brutal Efrain Rios Montt, president of Guatemala during its most brutal and bloody massacres in 1982, was on trial for genocide; the first fo...
Venezuela Survives Another Attempt at Regime Change
MARK WEISBROT
While most of the news on Venezuela in the week since the April 14 presidential election focused on the efforts of losing candidate Henrique Capriles to challenge the results, there was another campaign based in Washington that was quite revealing.  And the two were mos...
Los Angeles at Ground Zero
LINH DINH
Sightseeing buses are for those who deeply dread the places they’re visiting. You can’t really see a city or town from a motorized anything, so if you claim to have driven through Los Angeles, for example, you haven’t seen it. The speed and protection of a car preve...
A Green Agenda for Our Food System
MARK A. DUNLEA
A Green Shadow Cabinet (greenshadowcabinet.us) is being launched on Earth Day to provide an alternative to the co...
Nail-Biting Time at Kaiser
CAL WINSLOW
We’re now in nail-biting time for workers at California’s huge HMO, Kaiser Permanente. Some 45,000 service and technical employees there received ballots from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at the beginning of April; the ballots must be returned by May 1, w...