Author Archive

Guantanamo Guards Tortured 90-Year-Old Blind Man, Book Alleges

Guantanamo Guards Tortured 90-Year-Old Blind Man, Book Alleges

Although U.S. officials have attributed the torture of Muslim prisoners in American custody to a handful of maverick guards or limited to a few “high-value detainees,” such criminal acts were widely perpetrated, likely involving large numbers of military personnel, a book by a survivor suggests. According to Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen raised in Germany […]

More Than Two-Dozen Countries Complicit In US Torture Program

More Than Two-Dozen Countries Complicit In US Torture Program

Twenty-eight nations have cooperated with the U.S. to detain in their prisons, and sometimes to interrogate and torture, suspects arrested as part of the U.S. “War on Terror.”
The complicit countries have kept suspects in prisons ranging from public interior ministry buildings to “safe house” villas in downtown urban areas to obscure prisons in forests to “black” sites to which the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been denied access.

Non-Partisan Think Tank Played Key Role In Afghanistan Surge

Non-Partisan Think Tank Played Key Role In Afghanistan Surge

A Washington think tank that bills itself as “independent and nonpartisan” actually “played a key role in selling the escalation of the war in Afghanistan,” “The Nation” magazine reveals. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) exemplifies a new influence game, writes Nathan Hodge in the March 29th issue. “Think tanks, once a place for intellectuals outside government to weigh in on important policy issues, are now enlisted by people within government to help sell its policies to the public, as well as to others in government,” he writes.

Cable News Channels Continues To Reveal Corporate Ties Of Guests

Cable News Channels Continues To Reveal Corporate Ties Of Guests

Since 2007, at least 75 registered lobbyists, public relations representatives and corporate officials have appeared on cable news broadcasts “with no disclosure of the corporate interests that paid them,” according to a report in the March 1 issue of The Nation magazine. Many of these people are “paid by companies and trade groups to manage their public image and promote their financial and political interests,” writes the magazine’s Sebastian Jones, a freelance reporter after a four-month-long probe.

The Government’s Secret Hit List

The Government’s Secret Hit List

Raising troubling comparisons to tactics employed by Josef Stalin and right-wing Latin American dictatorships, the U.S. government has created a “hit list” of Americans abroad marked for murder. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Feb. 3, the U.S. may, with executive approval, target and kill American terrorist suspects, Inter Press News Service reported.

Obama’s Base Pact With Colombia Accelerates “Dangerous Trend”

Obama’s Base Pact With Colombia Accelerates “Dangerous Trend”

The Obama administration’s pact to use seven Colombian military bases accelerates “a dangerous trend in U.S. hemispheric policy.” The White House claims the deal merely formalizes existing military cooperation but the Pentagon’s 2009 budget request said it needed funds to improve one of the bases in order to conduct “full spectrum operations throughout South America” and to “expand expeditionary warfare capability.”

Can The White House Control The Media?

Can The White House Control The Media?

Now that one of every four Americans gets the news online, a communications authority wonders if the White House is still able to control the news. “The transformation of media has not only undermined the imperial institutions of the mainstream media; it has undermined the imperial Presidency,” writes Ken Auletta, a media authority, in the January 25th The New Yorker.

Howard Zinn: “Largest Lie” Was US War On Terrorism

Howard Zinn: “Largest Lie” Was US War On Terrorism

The “largest lie,” wrote hisorian Howard Zinn who died yesterday at age 87, is that “everything the United States does is to be pardoned because we are engaged in a ‘war on terrorism.’” “This ignores the fact that war is itself terrorism, that the barging into people’s homes and taking away family members and subjecting them to torture, that is terrorism, that invading and bombing other countries does not give us more security but less security.”

Success of Afghanistan Troop Surge Doubted

Success of Afghanistan Troop Surge Doubted

“There isn’t the slightest possibility that the course laid out by Barack Obama in his Dec. 1 speech (at West Point) will halt or even slow the downward spiral toward defeat in Afghanistan,” writes Thomas Johnson in the current “Foreign Policy” magazine. And for emphasis, he adds the word “None.”

Federal War Spending Exceeds State Government Outlays

Federal War Spending Exceeds State Government Outlays

The U.S. spends more for war annually than all state governments combined spend for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 308 million Americans. Joseph Henchman, director of state projects for the Tax Foundation of Washington, D.C. says the states collected a total of $781 billion in taxes in 2008. For a rough comparison, according to Wikipedia data, the total budget for defense in fiscal year 2010 will be at least $880 billion and could possibly top $1 trillion. That’s more than all the state governments collect.

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