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
Does Obama Want a Deal With Iran or Not?
SHELDON RICHMAN
What are President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry up to with Iran? First they boasted of a historic interim agreement with Iran regarding its civilian nuclear program — an agreement which demonstrates that the Islamic Republic won’t be making nuclear w...
Why Israel Fears Roger Waters
RAMZY BAROUD
The intellectual dishonesty of Israel’s supporters is appalling. But in some odd way, it is also understandable. How else could they respond to the massively growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign? When a non-violent campaign – empowered b...
The Mystery of Tajikistan
SUFYAN bin UZAYR
Out of all the poor countries that emerged from the ashes of the erstwhile Soviet Union, Tajikistan stands alone as the poorest. While the papers surely talk about the rapid macroeconomic growth of the country, most of the ordinary Tajiks are yet to witness the ...
Outlawing the Metadata Program
BINOY KAMPMARK
People have an entirely different relationship with phones than they did 34 years ago. Judge Richard J. Leon in Klayman v Obama, US District Court for the District of Columbia, Dec 16, 2013...
Why Environmentalists Should Support Working Class Struggles
STEPHANIE McMILLAN
This is to specifically address class struggle as it relates to the ecological crisis. It will not address all the other (many!) reasons that working class struggle must be waged and supported. First, we must recognize the fact that global capitalism is driving eco...
Cockburn’s America
BEN TERRALL
Alexander Cockburn, who died of cancer at the age of 71 on July 21, 2012, was a prose powerhouse who left an admirable body of great columns about all manner of matters political and cultural. Cockburn’s last book, the posthumously released ...
Did Someone Say “Crash”?
MIKE WHITNEY
Guess who’s investing in America’s future? Nobody, that’s who. Just check out this excerpt from an article by Rex Nutting at Marketwatch and you’ll see what I mean. The article is titled “No one is investing in tomorrow’s econ...
The Budget Deal of December 2013
JACK RASMUS
This past week the US House of Representatives voted 332 to 94 in favor of changes to the federal budget for 2014. The House vote in effect adopted the proposals of the ‘Joint Congressional Committee’, chaired by Teaparty House leader, Paul Ryan, and Senate Democrat, ...
Obama’s National Security State
NORMAN POLLACK
The militarization of intelligence is not a new development. That had always been its primary if not also integral function from the start. E.g., the CIA did not and does not, to my knowledge, focus its resources on, or preoccupy itself with, compiling baseball sta...
The Indispensable Leader of the Marijuana Movement
FRED GARDNER
Last weekend at the Emerald Cup, a sprawling hempfest held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Dennis Peron got a lifetime achievement award and I got to present it. The marijuana legalization movement would not have achieved its great breakthrough in 1996 had it not been f...
The Scourging of Roger Waters
GILAD ATZMON
In the Palestinian Solidarity Movement we really love celebrities – those famous, rather special people who write great books, play musical instruments  (drums included) or even just think great thoughts. We like those people to stand up for Palestine and denounce ‘Z...
November 2013, Hottest on Record
ROBERT HUNZIKER
“This year is likely to be among the top 10 warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization,” Roger Harrabi (environment analyst), 2013 ‘One of Warmest’ on Record, BBC News, Nov. 13, 2013. Accordi...
10 Steps to Dictatorship in Haiti
CHARLIE HINTON
At great personal risk Haitians demonstrated massively in cities throughout the country on September 30 and October 17, calling for President Michel Martelly to step down. Both dates commemorate important coup d’etats in Haitian history. By choosing ...
If I Were Emperor
JOHN GRANT
It’s that time of the year again. Ho. Ho. Ho. There’s the urge to celebrate the Winter Solstice (AKA Christmas) with family and friends. It’s also time for end-of-the-year assessments concerning the absurdities of life in a fading empire in denial. To a respo...
Pope Francis I on Capitalism
BINOY KAMPMARK
Pope Francis I is no ideological jester. He should not fool any one at this point of time, nor is he attempting to. He is a formidable figure and has a sense of his enemies within the Church. He also knows the various precipices the world’s first global corporation has ...
Thought Crimes, School Shootings and State Violence
TREVOR HULTNER
In our attempts to stop the monsters terrorizing our children, we have ourselves become monsters. We never notice when the transformation occurs. We don’t even fully realize it until years into our rampage. But one day, we wake up and look into the mirror, and th...
O’Toole in the Palace of Wisdom
RANDY SHIELDS
Peter O’Toole has died and I’d like to draw a little attention to three of his movies: The Ruling Class, The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year. Take a little of the madness of his title character in Lawrence of Arabia, put a mag...
Kerry’s Return to the Mekong
GRANT MINCY
United States Secretary of State John Kerry has been politicking through Southeast Asia the past few days. Kerry visited the Vietnam Mekong Delta, a place he knows well from his wartime adventures. US military interventionism in the region nominally passe, but there is an...
The Black Gold Brigade
JASON HIRTHLER
You might imagine that a dystopian report from the United Nations or ...
The Bankruptcy of the West’s Syrian Policy
PATRICK COCKBURN
The final bankruptcy of American and British policy in Syria came 10 days ago as Islamic Front, a Saudi-backed Sunni jihadi group, overran the headquarters of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) at Bab al-Hawa on the Syrian side of the border with T...
The Wild and Cruel Gap Between Debtors and Creditors
RALPH NADER
The word “inequality” is much in vogue these days. We hear almost daily about the inequality of wealth, income and wages between the richest top 2 or 3 percent of people and the majority of the country’s wage earners. But not much attention is given and not many mar...
Archaeology and the Atom
KENT SHIFFERD
We have all heard of the city of Idu.  Right?  Thousands of families living there, carrying out their normal lives, government housed in lavish buildings, written documents, trade, religion, etc.  Well, it was lost.  A whole city lost.  Idu flourished in the 13t...
The Laptop Panopticon
WILLIAM MANSON
First, I have a confession to make: I don’t exactly like computers—nor do I understand them.  For almost a decade, I pretty much ignored the Internet, simply reading and teaching in the manner in which I had grown accustomed in the late 20th century.  (Cf...
Two Cheers for Pope Francis
DAVE LINDORFF
So Pope Francis, the new pope who has conservative American Catholics, particularly those in politics and the media, freaked out because he is criticizing capitalist greed, ...
Peace in the Pentagon
DAVID SWANSON
I’m a huge fan of peace studies as an academic discipline that should be spread into every corner of what we call, with sometimes unclear justification, our education system.  But often peace studies, like other disciplines, manages to study only those far from hom...
The Horrors of the “Great” War
ROBERT FISK
Why do we want to commemorate the centenary of the Great War? Because it marked the destruction of the “flower of English manhood”? An odd thought, since it also marked the crushing of the “flower” of French and German manhood. The war’s ultimate tragedy, of cou...
That Fake African Interpreter and the CIA
DAVID MACARAY
Aside from the fact that the prank was disrespectful to Nelson Mandela’s memory, the notion that a mentally ill person with a documented history of violence (and who claimed to be hallucinating at the time) could get himself placed next to President Obama, putatively th...
America’s Own Political Prisoners
NANCY KURSHAN
“Oscar Lopez-River has been accused of seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to free his people from the shackles of injustice. Now is the time for his immediate and unconditional release.” ...
Mandela, Manning and Snowden
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Two individuals who have unquestionably dominated the 2013 agenda are Nelson Mandela and Edward Snowden. Their treatment in the media could hardly be more different. Yet in many respects what they share is remarkable, and that they brought out the best and the worst in hu...
Herbert Marcuse and Absolute Struggle in 2013
JAVIER SETHNESS CASTRO
“One can delineate the domain of philosophy however one likes, but in its search for truth, philosophy is always concerned with human existence.  Authentic philosophizing refuses to remain at the stage of knowledge ...
Do Elections Make Any Difference?
ANDREW LEVINE
In the run up to the Presidential election of 1960, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Harvard historian and Kennedy courtier, published a book called Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference?  Schlesinger had to struggle to find reasons to claim that it was important t...
The Revelations of Kidnapped CIA Agent Robert Levinson
DAVID H. PRICE
Revelations that the CIA made a $2.5-million cash settlement to CIA agent Robert Levinson’s family in order to forestall an embarrassing lawsuit marks the return of public claims about the CIA’s status as a rogue elephant. When Robert Levinson was first kid...
The Bars of Irony
MIKE ROSELLE
It can be hard to write when life is coming at you like a howling wind. Sometimes you know what you need to do and sometimes it doesn’t matter. When you step out on the highway you let the road take you where it wants to go or you will never get there. The hard part is ...
The Truth About Deflation
MIKE WHITNEY
“We are on the eve of a deflationary shock which will likely reduce equity valuations from very high to very low levels…..it is increasingly likely that one event will be the catalyst to very rapidly change inflationary into deflationary expectations. Indeed, ...
The Whack ‘Em and Stack ‘Em Mentality of American Cops
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Police work continues to be a relatively safe occupation. In the 1970s, an average of 220 officers died each year. In the 1980s, 185 officers were killed on average, with the average number dropping to 155 in the 1990s. The number of police deaths continues to decline, ye...
Self-Boycott
URI AVNERY
Can a country boycott itself? That may sound like a silly question. It is not. At the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the “Giant of History” as Barack Obama called him, Israel was not represented by any of its leaders. The only dignitary who agreed ...
The Right’s Fear of the Past
DAVID ROSEN
Nelson Mandela’s death has precipitated a global discussion as to his remarkable personal story and profound historical role.  Surprising, his death has sparked an unexpected debate within the conservative right, revealing its ongoing unraveling.  More significantly...
The Tyranny of Words
RODOLFO ACUÑA
People keep telling me about the need for an ideology as if it alone will correct the imperfections of society. But what they don’t understand is that disparate ideologies often confuse the problem of communications. The lowest common denominator in communication is the...
Honduras: a Setback for Women’s Rights
LAURA CARLSEN
Honduras went into its general elections in a state of high tension. The country has come out of the Nov. 24 vote with tensions even higher. A lot was at stake. The nation hasn’t had a truly democratic process to select a president since the election of former pr...
America Managed Like a US Military Contract
JOHN STANTON
A review of internal emails from 2011 provides an example of the bent ethics and professionalism that was so common in the US Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS) and scores of other US military programs; for example, the US Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs. ...
Does Organized Labor Have a Future?
CARL FINAMORE
There is still time during the holidays to purchase labor journalist Steve Early’s very readable and quite reflective latest book, ...
The United Methodist Church’s Regressive Position on Homosexuality
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
The United Methodist Church’s website states, “Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” (www.umc.or...
Learning Nothing From School Shootings
GEOFFREY McDONALD
In the year since Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 26 people and then himself, the various experts have come up with a single “explanation”: it is unexplainable. The recent Connecticut State’s Attorney report concludes: “The evidence cl...
A Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East
NEVE GORDON
Across the globe headlines pronounced that a “breakthrough agreement” had been reached in Geneva. Iran’s atomic ambitions had been curbed in exchange for limited sanctions relief, thus deflating the longstanding military standoff. The deal hammered out b...
The Battle Over Invisible Guns
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It was exciting-the news about banning invisible guns.  Of course they are only invisible when they’re going through machines meant to detect them.  They are not invisible if they are used to shoot people.  But what made it especially exciting was that the news came ...
The Blob Hits China
ROBERT HUNZIKER
“Indescribable… Indestructible! Nothing Can Stop It!” The Blob, staring Steve McQueen (Paramount Pictures, Sept. 1958.) In a small rural Pennsylvania town an alien creature, The Blob, a jelly-like creature, grows every t...
Does the Pentagon Really Need Another $20 Billion?
WILLIAM D. HARTUNG
The deal struck this week by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray has been well received by President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, the defense industry, and many people in the media and the public at large who are tired of Washington’s budgetary gridlock. No one i...
The Peer Review Hypocrisy
BINOY KAMPMARK
“The overwhelming flaw in the traditional peer review system is that it is listed so heavily towards consensus that it showed little tolerance for genuinely new findings and interpretations.” ...
Getting the Minimum Wage Just Right
JEFFREY SOMMERS
Workers need a break. Few are happy with our economy, and for good reason. Today we lack an economy that is “just right.” Such a “just right” economy arguably existed – at least for white men – in the decades after World War II, when bu...