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
A Lost Atlantis in South Jersey
KATHY DEACON
The one-car train clatters along on its ancient tracks, headed for Cape May, New Jersey. The ride is bumpy and every so often the train lurches violently. Inside, the passengers, tossed around in their seats, are glugging down beer and engrossed in their card games. There...
US Plans ‘Gazafication’ of the West Bank
JONATHAN COOK
In recent days, US and European diplomats have been engaged in a frenzy of activity on the Israeli-Palestinian front, before they settle down for the usual two-week Christmas hibernation. A sense of urgency looms because Washington is supposed to unveil next month ...
Amnesty in the Russian Federation
ALEXANDER REID ROSS
Who will he pardon next? The astounding pardon of Mikhail Khodorkovsky is only the latest icing on a historic amnesty that President Vladimir Putin has offered Russia. The amnesty covers up to 25,000 prisoners, including the Arctic 30, Pussy Riot, and seve...
The Big Winner in the Budget Deal
ANDREW COCKBURN
“Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan,” said Harry Truman, “I know he is going to vote against me.” The hosannas to bipartisanship accompanying the budget deal passed this week should have served as fair warning to the rest of us that...
Kim the Third
JOHN FEFFER
everal years before William Shakespeare wrote his first play, England was rocked by a bloody political scandal. Queen Elizabeth, the virgin monarch who had been on the throne for nearly three decades, was in a battle of wills with her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. En...
Two Challengers – Both One of a Kind
RALPH NADER
Two distinctly different Americans with distinctly similar, independent thinking and progressive values passed away last week. The great accounting professor Abraham Briloff (age 96) who relentlessly and brilliantly took apart the failures of his profession to insist on h...
When Israel Was Apartheid’s Open Ally
LENNI BRENNER
Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, has opened up much of the American public to serious discussion of Israel’s realities. He’s no expert on Zionist history, but the Anti-Defamation League and other pro-Israel propagandists must now work ...
The Gospel of Thin in American Yoga
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
Few issues get more yoga women tied up in knots faster than the question of whether their beloved mind-body practice can actually help them lose weight, while toning and reshaping their body. Are there clear and unequivocal weight-loss benefits to yoga?  Suppose there ar...
Much Ado About a Handshake
W.T. WHITNEY
Attending a memorial event for former South African President Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro. Secretary of State John Kerry excused Obama; “He didn’t choose who’s there.” Yet the encounter told much abou...
Angel Face and the Open Prison
URI AVNERY
Seeing her face on the TV screen, one is struck by her beauty. It is the face of an angel, pure and innocent. Then she opens her mouth, and what pours out is vile and ugly, the racist message of the extreme right. Like seeing a cherub parting its lips and revealing...
The Hypocrite Goes to South Africa
MURRAY DOBBIN
Of all the hypocrisies revealed by Stephen Harper, perhaps none are so morally offensive as his sudden, solemn respect for Nelson Mandela. We will never know how Harper would reconcile his past attitudes towards apartheid with his trip to South Africa to honour the iconic...
Pakistan Outs Three US CIA Station Chiefs in Three Years
DAVE LINDORFF
For the third time in three years, a CIA station chief has been outed in Pakistan, a country where the CIA is running one of its largest covert operations. It’s a remarkable record of failure by the CIA, since each outing, which has required a replacement of the station...
Let Them Eat Feral Creatures!
DAVID ROSEN
Marie Antoinette, the legendary French queen, upon learning that the peasants were starving for lack of bread, supposedly declared, “Let them eat cake.”  This apocryphal statement was supposedly uttered d...
Globalization, Capitalist Democracy and End Times
STEPHEN MARTIN
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. -Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint, The Usual Suspects Who among us has not dreamt, in moments of ambition, of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical without rhythm and rhyme, ...
Pity JP Morgan/Chase
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
And whatten penance wul ye drie for that, young Edward, oh young Edward? — Edward,  Scottish Ballad One has to feel sorry for JPMorgan Chase. Several months ago it thought it had not only paid a sufficient amount in fines to m...
Screening Slavery
LOUIS PROYECT
In a podcast discussion between veteran film critic Armond White and two younger film journalists focused on their differences...
Dollarocracy
STEVE HORN
What’s the U.S. congressional response to the safety issues with the 485-mile southern half of TransCanada̵...
What Really Happened in Ukraine
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Kiev. It is freezing cold in Kiev, legendary city of golden domes on the banks of Dnieper River – cradle of ancient Russian civilisation and the most charming of East European capitals. It is a comfortable and rather prosperous place, with hundreds of sm...
Gordon Brown and Economic Inequality
JOHN K. WHITE
Many things are said and written during an economic crisis, especially one that has been going on for five years and counting. The Federal Reserve easing up too soon/not soon enough on the stimulus (whether quantitatively eased or not), inequality rising/shrinking, the na...
Abject Poverty or Domestic Servitude
GRAHAM PEEBLES
They work as maids, housekeepers, cleaners; they take care of children, the elderly and infirmed for wealthy and middle class families in rich and upwardly mobile nations. They are found throughout the world: in the G20 countries and the Gulf States, Latin America (where ...
From the Annals of Psychology
DAVID MACARAY
Do conspicuously gifted people—people who are prodigiously and undeniably skilled—go around boasting of their abilities? I can understand them occasionally “showing off” just to confirm or re-establish their creds, but I can’t see them needing to brag about stuf...
Walking in an Anthropocene Wonderland
PHIL ROCKSTROH
According to a recent, exhaustive study commissioned by the US Department of Energy and headed by a scientific team from the U.S. navy, by the summer of 2015, the Arctic Ocean could be bereft of ice, a phenomenon that will engender devastating consequences for the earth&#...
Inside Guantanamo
JOHN LAFORGE
Four more innocents were released from America’s Robben Island this month. Our offshore penal colony at Guantanamo Bay still holds 158 prisoners, 84 of whom have been cleared for release. The men sent home were never charged with a crime and were cleared four years ago....
UNRWA’s Bitter Winter Solstice
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus At UNWRA offices around the Levant this Winter Solstice, the day which astronomically marks the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days, ‘winters midterm’, is not being celebrated as it has been since ancient times...
The Devil Came Up to Vermont
RON JACOBS
According to the tale called The Iliad, the Greek god of war, named Ares, was “The most hateful of all gods….” Indeed, his father Zeus commanded him: “Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar.” Zeus treated him like this because Ares revele...
Saying No To War Crimes
TOM MCNAMARA
“I’m afraid that they will forget about the moral and legal issues raised by this war” -Captain Michael J. Heck, B-52 pilot, speaking in 1973 after being discharge from the US Air Force for refusing to bomb civilians in North Vietnam....
It’s Time for Stewart and Colbert to Retire
PETER BRESCHARD
The King is delighted when the Village Idiot is mocked by the Fool. The King is delighted when anyone is mocked by the Fool other than the King. Unfortunately for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, their job is to mock the King and they have failed to do that for quite some...
No Peace Through Military Strength
PATRICK T. Hiller
“The War to End all Wars” never achieved what H.G. Wells implied with this term. On the contrary, World War I not only resulted in the death of  more than 16 million humans, it also resulted in a victor’s peace directly setting the stage for World War 2 where an es...
Obstructions in Halting NSA Surveillance
NORMAN POLLACK
[CP readers should read, in the Dec. 18 issue, two fine articles on topic: Rob Hager, “A Victory for the Constitution,” and Binoy Kampmark, “...
My 19 Days in a Psychiatric Hospital
JON HOCHSCHARTNER
Growing up influenced by cultural representations of psychiatric hospitals as soul-crushing, prison-like institutions, my impression of such treatment centers was quite negative. Then I was a patient in one. When I tell friends I was hospitalized for 19 days, th...
Santa in Black-and-White
PETER LEE
With the “white Santa vs. black Santa” faux controversy roiling the Internet this year, it is interesting to recall that Elvis Presley pledged allegiance to the dark side of Santa in one of his greatest performances. One of the early pinnacles of Elvis’ achie...
Teach Them Well
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
On June 15, 16-year-old Ethan Couch turned the ignition of a Ford truck, drove 70 mph in a 40 mph zone, and killed four pedestrians who were working on a disabled vehicle on the side of the road. Couch had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit for an adult. He...
This Film is Not About Dave Van Ronk
PETER STONE BROWN
For almost the entire year of 2013, there has been beyond incredible hype and buzz about the new Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, and how it is loosely based on the life of singer and guitarist Dave Van Ronk, through the book The Mayor of MacDougal Stree...
Rich, Israeli Beauty Freak
CHARLES R. LARSON
Orly Castel-Bloom’s goofy and thoroughly-entertaining novel, Textile, will upend your ima...
The Kaleidoscopic Tones of Christmas
DAVID YEARSLEY
Amidst the avalanche of Amazon boxes and the mountains of plastic junk made in China, it might seem irrelevant to point out that the most lasting symbols of the Christmas season are of German origins—from St. Nicholas’s long white flowing beard to the evergreen tree h...
The Real Deal on Obama’s Deportation Record
TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
Many activists and news sites have claimed that President Obama has reached or surpassed ...
Down Where Apartheid Lives
JOHN PILGER
In the late 1960s, I was given an usual assignment by the London Daily Mirror’s editor in chief, Hugh Cudlipp. I was to return to my homeland, Australia, and “discover what lies behind the sunny face”. The Mirror had been an indefatigable campaigner against a...
Foundations and the South African Transition
JOAN ROELOFS
Apartheid, pioneered in the U.S. South, became generally unacceptable when idealistic statements such as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights received worldwide respect. South Africa required deft treatment. United States public opinion would support “authorit...
The Worst Emergency in UN History
PATRICK COCKBURN
As Syrian society teeters on the edge of final collapse after three years of ferocious warfare and economic devastation, the UN is making its biggest-ever appeal for £4bn in aid to help the country’s starving civilians. Three-quarters of Syria’s 22.4 million p...
It’s been a ‘Catch-22’
ALFREDO LOPEZ
The web designers will tell you: when it comes to websites, good design can’t mask bad ideas. I’ve been thinking about that for the last six weeks as I’ve confronted, with waning trust morphing into enraged frustration, the remarkably complicated ...
Invest in People, Not War
RALPH NADER
Earlier this month, a delegation of activists took to Capitol Hill to demand a decrease in the massive, out-of-control military budget. As millions of Americans struggle with inadequate health care, low wages, deteriorating public services and uncertainty about their futu...
The Nuclear Waste Dilemma
ACE HOFFMAN
Hearings on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s proposed Generic Environment Impact Statement (GEIS) for nuclear waste were held nationally over the past few months and attended by more than 1400 people.  The comment period (for written comments) for “NRC NUR...
The Democrats and Clemency
ANTHONY PAPA
At the end of 2013 I look back at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s accomplishments and applaud him for what he has done to make New York State a better place. In November of 2010, I wrote an article praising him saying that we needed a political leader like Andrew to halt the wa...
Stopping Iran’s Human Rights Abuses
DR. CESAR CHELALA
The election of Hassan Rouhani’s as Iran’s President seemed to signal a dramatic change in policies regarding the previous government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, while portraying an image of moderation overseas, serious human rights abuses continue in Iran, despi...
The Great Lament of Palestine
VACY VLAZNA
Your Holiness, In desperation, in December a campaign was launched appealing to you to help release the suffering people of Ga...
A Victory for the Constitution
ROB HAGER
Judge Richard J. Leon, a Bush appointee to the federal district court of the District of Columbia, is an interesting figure in U.S. history to have changed the ongoing game of ...
The CIA and the Washington Post
NORMAN SOLOMON
News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper’s CIA coverage are left in the dar...
Slouching Toward Confrontation in the South China Sea
PEPE ESCOBAR
It happened now and it will happen again: a near-collision between an American and a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea. The USS Cowpens, a 10,000-ton guided-missile cruiser, got “too close” to a drill involving the Liaoning, Chin...
US Drone Strike Targets Yemeni Wedding
ALYSSA ROHRICHT
“Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured — the highest standard we can set.” – President Barack Obama “Before any strike is taken,” P...
The US/EU Egyptian Roadmap to Hell
MOHAMED MALIK and OMAR KASSEM
A number of human rights NGOs have condemned the string of recent massacres by the Egyptian Junta of their citizens, including ...