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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 by Tag 'drones'
Drones and the End of Strategy
MICHAEL BRENNER
Drones are the latest step in the application of high-tech electronics to armaments. The much heralded Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) first appeared on the world stage in the Gulf War of 1991where precision-guided smart weapons were used with devastating effect. The...
Drones, Africa and the Decline of American Power
NORMAN POLLACK
The announcement (Feb. 22) that the US has opened a drone base in Niger has been deliberately couched in abstract counterterrorism terms: unarmed Predator drones for reconnaissance purposes in order to track Al Qaeda and, never to be missed, “its affiliates.”  Who co...
Democrats’ Complicity in Political Murder
NORMAN POLLACK
Today’s New York Times (Feb. 21) features an article on White House strategy for pushing through John Brennan’s appointment as CIA Director, with a photograph of him standing alongside an admiring Diane Feinstein, aka Madame Apologist for CIA-JSOC Paramilitary ...
Liberal Fascism in America
NORMAN POLLACK
Is liberal fascism a misnomer?  Perhaps Sinclair Lewis’s antecedent question is more basic, Can it happen here? Fascism comes in several varieties without losing its distinctive structural-ideological-political features, all of which point to an hierarchical soc...
Drone Trust the Government
SHELDON RICHMAN
“Covert” drone warfare requires a level of confidence in politicians that they will never deserve. In the ...
Are Pakistanis People?
CHARLES PIERSON
Do only American deaths matter?  The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence thinks so.  During last Thursday’s confirmation hearing for John O. Brennan as CIA Director the Committee’s exclusive focus was on American deaths from drones.  Not one Committee member as...
A Drone Court to Legitimize Assassination
NORMAN POLLACK
Soon Brennan will be confirmed, an Obama-Brennan, Brennan-Obama, Obrennan-Brenoma government  which merely compounds the grab for Executive Power already underway, to the prejudice of the US Constitution and flatout affront to humankind’s moral sensibility (presently i...
White Paper, Dark Deeds
VINCENT WARREN
What timing.  Just as President Obama’s nominee for CIA director, John Brennan, was poised to go before the Senate Intelligence Committee for confirmation, someone leaked a white paper that shows he may be just a tad too trigger-happy for the job. Currently the ...
Democracy on Trial
NORMAN POLLACK
The Memo released this week legitimating political murder is a farce, were it not a serious cover-up of extreme violations of international law and the profound negation of human decency.  We thought John Yoo’s apologia for torture in the Bush II administration was egr...
Why Targeted Assassinations Violate US and International Law
DENNIS BERNSTEIN
Marjorie Cohn is a Professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former President of the National Lawyers Guild.  She is also the editor of “...
Drone War Tolls
BARRY LANDO
Earlier this week, NBC News revealed a secret Department of Justice memo entitled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa’ida or An Associated Force.” NBC’s scoop has since fueled mounting outrage...
Why Obama Should be Impeached
DAVE LINDORFF
If the Constitution is to have any relevance, and if America is to remain a free society, then there is really no alternative: there must be a bill of impeachment drawn up and submitted in the House, and there must at least be a hearing on that bill in the House Judiciary...
The Dronemaster and His Senatorial Overseers
RAY McGOVERN
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing on John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director presents a rare public opportunity for Congress to insist that the White House publicly defend whatever legal reasoning has been adduced to justify the killing of alleged Ameri...
10 Questions for John Brennan’s Confirmation Hearing
MEDEA BENJAMIN
John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to become head of the CIA will take place at the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, February 7. There is suddenly a flurry of attention around a ...
Drones, Israel, and the Eclipse of Democracy
NORMAN POLLACK
Murder,  she said; No, not the popular song, not Brecht’s Arturo Ui (rhymes with phooey), not Chicago’s SouthSide gangland variety, but the real stuff of modern times: cold-blooded, methodical, depraved, the peculiar mix of militarism-ideology-practical realism, ...
When Will We Realize That It Is Murder?
TOM MCNAMARA
Saint-Cyr, Coëtquidan, France. In his essay “A Hanging,” George Orwell recounts, in great de...
How Many Kids Have You Killed Today?
DAVE LINDORFF
I personally found the president’s inaugural speech not just insipid, but disgusting. It reached its gut-churning nadir near the end where he said: “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war&...
The Opacity of a Shadow War
NICHOLAS SAIDEL
The Obama administration scored two victories this month, both of which expand its ability to wage its targeted killing campaign against America’s “enemies” unencumbered by checks from the Judicial Branch, Congress or the American people.  The first vic...
A New Model Drone Resolution
DAVID SWANSON
In the absence of state or federal laws, localities around the United States are proceeding to put unmanned aerial vehicles in our skies as they see fit.  The federal government has authorized the flight of 30,000 drones, and the use of drones up to 400 feet by police de...
Obama, Round Two
NORMAN POLLACK
I have written comments to the New York Times for several years, prompted to bear down in a sustained way in the lead-up to Obama’s First Term, when it appeared obvious that early that–especially with the announcement of  his appointments—he would betray...
Kafka in the Air
JOSEPH GROSSO
As Barack Obama embarks on his second term media discourse predicatively overflows with talk of how he could avoid the final term doldrums. And this of course all will lead toward talk of an alleged legacy from years from now. In that vain, and in a most pressing way, per...
A Day in the Life of … Barack Obama
NORMAN POLLACK
[Apologies to Solzhenitsyn for cribbing from his title.  Goodnight, Ivan Denisovich, wherever ...
Seeking Security in Afghanistan
MARTHA HENNESSY AND KATHY KELLY
This week, in Washington, D.C., Presidents Obama and Karzai will discuss a proposed Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. Presumably, they’ll note some of the main security problems Afghanistan faces. The people of Afghanistan ha...
Keeper of the Kill Lists
RAY McGOVERN
As Washington’s pundit class sees it, Defense Secretary-designee Chuck Hagel deserves a tough grilling over his hesitancy to go to war with Iran and his controversial detection of a pro-Israel lobby operating in the U.S. capital, but prospective CIA Director John Brenna...
Czar of the Drones
MEDEA BENJAMIN
In October 2011, 16-year-old Tariq Aziz attended a gathering in Islamabad where he was taught how to use a video camera so he could document the drones that were constantly circling over his Pakistani village, terrorizing and killing his family and neighbors. Two days lat...
Will Chuck Hagel Stand Up to the Drone Lobby?
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
U.S. Central Command has released some interesting numbers on the performance of modern air systems in Afghanistan; the data do not auger well for our defenses in the next decade, nor for the suitability of the man who appears likely to be ...
Drone Denial Syndrome
MICHAEL BRENNER
Drone strikes are the weapon of choice in the current phase of the endless “war on terror.” They have become the trademark instrument of the Obama presidency which has dedicated itself to eliminating any Islamic jihadi who may now or in the future constitute a threat ...
Crossover Drones
TOM BARRY
The rapid advance of drone technology has sparked interest by police and sheriff offices in acquiring drones. This new eagerness of many nonfederal law enforcement agencies to acquire drones has been also closely nurtured by the federal government. The Departments ...
Predator-Automatons?
WILLIAM MANSON
“Automaton—person who behaves like a robot…” —Oxford Desk Dictionary...
Do Arabs Cry For Their Children Too?
TOM MCNAMARA
Rennes, France. Once more tragedy befalls America. But this time the tragedy is even more bitter due to the fact that such a large number of young children were involved. A gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them children &#...
An Interview With Noam Chomsky on Obama’s Human Rights Record
ERIC BAILEY
Professor Noam Chomsky is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and at Harvard University as a Harvard Junior ...
Euphemisms of Obama’s Wars
VIJAY PRASHAD
At Oxford University, ten days ago, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, Jeb Johnson said that the war against al-Qaeda was almost over, and that what remained were police actions. A “tipping point” has been reached, he noted. Does this mean that the War on Terror, begun in t...
Reining in Obama and His Drones
RALPH NADER
Barack Obama, former president of the Harvard Law Review and a constitutional law lecturer, should go back and review his coursework. He seems to have declined to comport his presidency to the rule of law. Let’s focus here on his major expansion of drone warfare ...
Why Obama’s Killer Drones Violate International Law
JEFF BACHMAN
The United States has a long history of violating international law when its leaders believe foreign policy objectives justify doing so. The belief in the right of the United States to overthrow democratically elected governments (Guatemala, Iran, Congo), to train and ar...
In the Business of Killing Civilians
JOSHUA FRANK
While reports slowly spread that President Obama is secretly ...
Petraeus’ Political Seppuku
MANUEL GARCIA, JR.
On the Friday after Election Day, November 9, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General David H. Petraeus announced his immediate resignation and admitted to an extramarital affair (with his biographer Paula Broadwell), which had been exposed (officially by...
Is This Child Dead Enough for You?
CHRIS FLOYD
To all those now hailing the re-election of Barack Obama as a triumph of decent, humane, liberal values over the oozing-postule perfidy of the Republicans, a simple question: Is this child dead enough for you? ...
Obama’s Fatwa
DOUG NOBLE
I just read Salman Rushdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton, describing his nine years in hiding from Ayato...
The Stolen Child
KATHLEEN PEINE
Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand. “The Stolen Child” WB Yeats “I believ...
Sinister Automatons
JEFF SPARROW
‘Before they were blind, deaf and dumb,’ exults Mark Maybury, chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force. ‘Now we’re beginning to make them to see, hear and sense.’ We know that rhetoric. ‘I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless ...
Afghanistan: the Smell of Defeat
MIKE WHITNEY
“These two visions, one of tyranny and murder, the other of liberty and life, clashed in Afghanistan. And thanks to brave US and coalition forces and to Afghan patriots, the nightmare of the Taliban is over and that nation is coming to life again.”...
The Twisted Logic of Drone Warfare
TOM MCNAMARA
A recent article in the Washington Post entitled “...
Drone Wars from Britain
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Now we know that not only did the United Kingdom already have drones, but more are coming to join the Royal Air Force for surveillance and combat operations in foreign lands. And, for the first time, they will be controlled from Britain. According to a report in the Guard...
The Age of Hell
CHRIS FLOYD
...
When War Passes for Foreign Policy
P. SAINATH
“Take the profit out of war,” said Kevin Zeese, one of the more important activists of the Occupy Movement in the United States, “and you take out war.” His audience was made up mainly of U.S. war veterans gathered in New York to observe — and protest — the 11...
Obama’s Endless Kill List
BEN SCHREINER
Of the three presidential debates, Monday’s saw the only mention of U.S. drone warfare.  But after the challenger Romney quickly affirmed his support of President Obama’s drone program, stating that it is “absolutely the right thing to do,” the issue was summaril...
The African-American Case Against Obama
AFEWORKI MEKONNEN
Over the last little while, a few individuals, claiming to be Eritrean-Americans, have come on the popular Eritrean website, Dehai, and tried to influence their fellow Eritrean-Americans to vote for Barack Obama. I see this as akin to asking Eritreans to reward Obama for ...
America’s Drone Terrorism
SHELDON RICHMAN
In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the U.S. safer by enabling “targeted killing” of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. This...
Punishing Free Speech, Letting Murder Off the Hook
BRIAN TERRELL
In US District Court in Jefferson City, Missouri, two anti-drone protestors were sentenced for trespassing at Whiteman Air Force Base, one of the stateside bases from where predator drones are operated in the skies over Afghanistan and Pakistan. Brian Terrell will beg...
Imran Khan’s Revolution
FARZANA VERSEY
Mumbai. The worst thing Imran Khan could have done to reclaim self respect is use a bunch of sympathetic foreigners to convey his legitimate stand against drone attacks. There were these gentle people going right into the rough terrain. It contrasted rathe...