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 by Tag 'NSA'
Fallacies on Whistleblowing
BINOY KAMPMARK
It did not take long for the critics to pounce on the shootings at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. on September 16 as the product not so much of a disturbed mind but one who had not been sufficiently policed and excluded. 13 people were left dead, one of them being...
WikiLeaks and Defining Journalism
BINOY KAMPMARK
hey are at it again, those eager policy makers keen to define what journalism actually is. To be a journalist, or not to be one, may well be the difference between punishment or protection under the latest discussions by members of the U.S. Senate. The Senate Judiciary Co...
The NSA Has Effectively Destroyed Internet Privacy
ALFREDO LOPEZ
The revelations this week by whistle-blower Edward Snowden (through documents provided to the ...
Surveillance and Leakage
JOANNE KNIGHT
As the Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden episodes draw to a close with Manning receiving an outrageous 35-year jail sentence and Snowden being granted temporary asylum in Russia, Julian Assange continues to campaign from within the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. These peo...
Internet Hackers and the Real Threat They Expose
ALFREDO LOPEZ
While certainly not over-shadowing the Obama Administration’s military threats against Syria, the cyber attack that brought ...
The Tipping Point
KEVIN CARSON
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that when a garment gets so old, attempting to patch it with new cloth will just tear it up worse. The authoritarian state seems to be reaching that point, beyond which any attempt to patch it up or prolong its life just inflict new ...
Manning, Snowden and the U.S. Coup in Iran
ROB URIE
With the CIA finally admitting the open secret this week that it and its counterparts in the British oil mafia (‘intelligence’ service) were behind the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leader Mohammad Mossadegh in a coup it orchestrated in 1953 the economi...
13 Things the Government is Trying to Keep Secret From You
BILL QUIGLEY
“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted…the Patriot Act.  As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government se...
Forward to Fascism?
JASON HIRTHLER
The Orwellian concept of doublethink, and its synonyms ‘doublespeak’ and ‘doubletalk’, are relatively recent euphemisms for political deceit, but they have a classical analogue in the Roman Empire. Janus was the Roman god of transitions, principally between war an...
The Right to Remain Silent in an Age of Mass Surveillance
CHRISTOPHER H. PYLE
Last weekend, British police detained David Miranda, husband of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald at Heathrow Airport, seized his computer and thumb drives, and forced him to disclose the passwords. The computer and thumb drives presumably contained information abo...
Libertarianism in the Age of Obama
ANDREW LEVINE
In national politics these days, the most ardent opponents of the Bush-Obama surveillance state are libertarians in the GOP. In the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, a few Democrats have taken leading positions too, but they equivocate, emphasizing the importan...
NSA Lies
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, evoked Monet when, in fine impressionistic form, he said under oath that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any kind of data on millions of Americans. As with 19th century Impressionism, the idea is not t...
John Kerry, Organization Man
THOMAS L. KNAPP
Lots of people have lots of complaints about the Internet, and some of those complaints are based in fact. One that I hadn’t heard before, until US Secretary of State John Kerry brought it up in recent remarks to embassy personnel in Brazil, is that the Internet makes i...
Obama Versus Snowden
ROB HAGER
Obama’s recent media counteroffensive against Edward Snowden is unquestionably a tribute to Edward Snowden, who so far has managed to secure an offshore sanctuary from the strongest most far-flung empire in history where he might continue his premeditated acts of ci...
The Rise of the Internet Dissidents
NOZOMI HAYASE
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s volcanic revelations of ubiquitous US surveillance are in their third month. The aftershocks felt around the world continue. As Russia granted Snowden temporary asylum, the White House ...
Snowden and the Stupidity of the Security State
KEVIN CARSON
Back in 2006 Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom, in The Starfish and the Spider, contrasted the...
A Social History of Wiretaps
DAVID H. PRICE
With Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive NSA electronic surveillance and metadata mining of domestic telephone and internet activities comes renewed scrutiny of American intelligence agencies intrusions into our lives.  But with this news of NSA and outsourced surv...
Insults to Our Intelligence
ANDREW LEVINE
George W. Bush was never at a loss for something idiotic to say.  Still his speech to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001 was exceptional. He said that the World Trade Center and Pentagon had been attacked nine days earlier because: “They hate our ...
Pissing Off Friends is a Doomed Strategy
DAVE LINDORFF
Like an obnoxious drunk harassing everyone and spilling drinks at a party, the US has continued to make itself both loathed and laughed at in the wake of the revelations about the National Security Agency’s global spying program as revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden....
The NSA and Global Terror Alerts
BINOY KAMPMARK
Let us not get too worked up. Let us not even feel too conspiratorial. But is it coincidence that, after a series of exposures of such programs as PRISM, that a “global terror alert” has been announced? Tax payers want bang for their buck; even more so, they want to s...
Snowden Escapes
BINOY KAMPMARK
Not so fast, but very furious – U.S. officials have been checked by the latest move on the part of the Russian government to grant Edward Snowden a year’s asylum. This is not so much cat and mouse as better feline against tricked feline, a combination of various anima...
America’s Police State Marches On, Media in Tow
DAVE LINDORFF
BREAKING!: It could well be that the harsh pretrial treatment of Bradley Manning and the harsh verdict handed down against him Tuesday may have been what convinced Russian authorities of the validity of National Security Agency whistleblower ...
The Earth’s Most Wanted Man Finds a Refuge
STEPHEN LENDMAN
On June 23, he arrived in Moscow. He applied for asylum. He’s been stuck in Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone limbo. Putin was clear and unequivocal. He won’t extradite him. No treaty obligation exists. Official requests don’t matter. Snowd...
The Gentleman Whistleblower
JACK CLANCEY
Hong Kong. “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail,” Henry Stimson famously commented when in 1929, as the U.S. Secretary of State, he withdrew funding from the Black Chamber program that had been deciphering messages sent by foreign ambassadors. By...
A Shameful Day to Be a US Citizen
DAVE LINDORFF
I have been deeply ashamed of my country a number of times. The Nixon Christmas bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong was one such time, when hospitals, schools and dikes were targeted. The invasion of Iraq was another. Washington’s silence over the fatal Israeli Commando raid ...
The Age of Regression
JOHN PILGER
London. I have known my postman for more than 20 years. Conscientious and good-humoured, he is the embodiment of public service at its best. The other day, I asked him, “Why are you standing in front of each door like a soldier on parade?” “Ne...
Obama’s Legacy, Before Snowden and Now
ANDREW LEVINE
Like Jackie Robinson, Barack Obama will be remembered for crossing a seemingly infrangible color line. However the comparison stops there.  Playing in the major leagues, even for the Brooklyn Dodgers, hardly compares with becoming President of the United States....
Freedom and Spy Control
GRAHAM PEEBLES
As millions take to the streets demanding political participation, social justice and freedom, opponents to change – governments and reactionary forces worldwide – centralise power, tighten control of civil society and the media and trample on democratic ideals. T...
Obama’s Willing Executioners of the Fourth Amendment
NORMAN SOLOMON
It’s now painfully clear that the president has put out a contract on the Fourth Amendment. And at the Capitol, the hierarchies of both parties are stuffing it into the trunks of their limousines, so each provision can be neatly fitted with cement shoes and delivered to...
NSA Surveillance Through the Prism of Political Repression
CARLOS BORRERO
July 28th marks the 35th anniversary of the political assassination of two Puerto Rican independence activists, Carlos Soto Arriví and Arnaldo Darío Rosado, in the infamous Cerro Maravillai case. This case, which was widely followed among Puerto Ricans, involved an agen...
Who’s Really ‘The Enemy’ In the Bradley Manning Case?
JOHN GRANT
We now have clarity from a full-bird colonel in judicial robes that Bradley Manning is to be charged with “aiding the enemy.” OK, not much of a surprise here. ...
We Can’t Get Along
MISSY BEATTIE
I awoke this morning feeling like a shit sandwich without the bread. And then, “Oh, Grandma Fletcher, I’m 64 today.” I lay in bed, thinking, thinking, thinking—knowing the additional year couldn’t be the problem. It’s just one day after being 63. The acquittal...
The United State’s Futile Search for ‘World Domination’
RAMZY BAROUD
Those enchanted by pseudo-reality must have been at the edge of their seats as they watched ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, a Hollywood account of how US SEAL Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011. But a recently leaked report shows that the ‘riveting’ Hollywo...
Like Hale’s Philip Nolan, Snowden Has Become a ‘Man Without a Country’
DAVE LINDORFF
In Edward Everett Hale’s short story “The Man Without a Country,” US Army Lt. Philip Nolan, following a court-martial, is exiled from his country, his citizenship snatched away, leaving him doomed to sail the seven seas confined to a Navy vessel, unable ...
Political Asylum Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be
DAVID MACARAY
As Edward Snowden, the young American accused of blowing the whistle on NSA surveillance tactics, continues his search for a fresh start in a new country in order to avoid extradition and perhaps a lengthy prison term in a U.S. prison, he needs to ask himself a couple of ...
Frustrating Snowden’s Asylum Bid
BINOY KAMPMARK
In its struggle against whistleblowers, the United States has exerted a variegated form of power, one that focuses on documents and an anaemic reading of the law. The international relations canon searches desperately for what that might be. In the classically obtuse lang...
The New York Times and the NSA’s Illegal Spying
ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
This article is excerpted from End Times: The Death of the Fourth...
The Emperor Strikes Back
ANDREW LEVINE
Governments abhor transparency, and governments lie.  To keep them (comparatively) honest, an engaged and informed citizenry is indispensable. That requires media that are aggressive and probing, and that are not afraid to speak the truth.  We have precious littl...
Air Piracy Over Europe
JOHN PILGER
Imagine the aircraft of the President of France being forced down in Latin America on “suspicion” that it was carrying a political refugee to safety – and not just any refugee but someone who has provided the people of the world with proof of criminal activity on an...
In Obamaland, ‘Rule of Law’ is for the Other Suckers
DAVE LINDORFF
It is clear that the entrapment and forced landing in Austria of the official airplane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was the work of the US, which was obviously behind the decision by France and Portugal to deny air rights to the flight, and which also was obvio...
Killers and Roller-Coaster Rides
JOHN GRANT
We’re all aware of the reputed Chinese curse about living in interesting times. Upheaval seems to be in the air. According to Wikipedia, the interesting times curse was linked with a second, more worrisome curse: “May you come to the attention of those in auth...
The Snowden Controversy and Our Legacy of Choices
ALFREDO LOPEZ
In one of the most innovative uses of the bizarre rules of international travel, whistle-blower Edward Snowden sits in an airport transit lounge outside the customs barrier that is Russian enough to not invade but not Russian enough to claim the Russians are hiding him. H...
The National Security State Exposed
JEFF MACKLER
President Obama’s well-publicized May 23 speech to the nation was aimed at moderating the present U.S. dictum that the country is and should remain in a never-ending state of war—that is, the undeclared, undefined “war on terror.” This “war,” codified ...
The Real Traitors to America are in Washington and New York
DAVE LINDORFF
It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry as the US goes all out to get its hands on National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. We’ve got the US leaning on Russia to push him out of his sanctuary in their Moscow airport. We’ve got Obam...
Treason
ROB URIE
U.S. military adventures have historically combined imperial ambition—the acquisition of territory and colonies, limiting the reach of competing empires and ‘acquiring’ economic resources—‘natural’ resources, existing economic infrastructure and labor, under a...
Obama’s Grave Threat to Democratic Governance
ANDREW LEVINE
In the mid-70s, when de-Nixonification was a national priority, a not yet spineless Congress made it possible for Americans to access the files that their government kept on their activities.  Over the years, Administrations intent on keeping their foul deeds secret did ...
Is Edward Snowden a Lawbreaker?
SHELDON RICHMAN
Most people believe that Edward Snowden, who has confirmed that the U.S. government spies on us, broke the law. Even many of his defenders concede this. While in one sense the statement “Snowden broke the law” may be trivially true, in another, deepe...
Snowden’s Case for Asylum
DENNIS J. BERNSTEIN
The US government is putting on a full-court press to track down, arrest and prosecute Edward Snowden for blowing the whistle on the National Security Agency’s massive collection of data on phone calls by Americans and Internet u...
Small Lies to Conceal Greater Lies
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner, by saying no.” — James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in an ...
Eavesdropping on the Planet
WILLIAM BLUM
The above is the title of an essay that I wrote in 2000 that appeared as a chapter in my book ...