U.S. Justice Deptartment Sues Ferguson to Force Police Reforms: Interview with Jeffrey Mittman

Narmeen Sheikh and Amy Goodman talk to Jeffrey Mittman, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, about the news that the U.S. Justice Department is going to sue the city of Ferguson, Missouri, to force the city to adopt police reforms negotiated with the federal government. (Democracy Now!)

Beyonce’s ‘bootylicious’ sexualisation of black women isn’t inspiring – and her politics leave a lot to be desired

Kehinde Andrews writes for The Independent:

For days now there has been praise (and condemnation) pouring out for Beyonce’s Super Bowl half-time show performance and her boldness in making statements on race on such a mainstream stage.

After all, it is rare to see Black Power salutes and artists singing how they love their “negro nose” on such a platform. However, I have to confess that I watched the half-time show and almost missed the political stance entirely, wrapped as it was in the “bootylicious” over-sexualisation of black women that we have come to expect from Beyonce.

Never before has so much been made over a one and a half minute performance, with everyone so quick to embrace a performance that was the epitome of style over substance.

In October it will be 50 years since the formation of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense by Huey P Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California. This is an important anniversary to mark because the Panthers provided a radical alternative to the politics of mainstream acceptance.


Who Is The Real Donald Trump?

After Sanders’ Big Win in New Hampshire, Establishment Figures Want to Scare You with Superdelegates: Here’s Why It’s Bullshit

Shane Ryan writes for Paste Magazine:

[…] Here’s why it doesn’t matter: Superdelegates have never decided a Democratic nomination. It would be insane, even by the corrupt standards of the Democratic National Committee, if a small group of party elites went against the will of the people to choose the presidential nominee. This has already been an incredibly tense election, and Sanders voters are already expressing their unwillingness to vote for Clinton in the general election. When you look at the astounding numbers from Iowa and New Hampshire, where more than 80 percent of young voters have chosen Sanders over Clinton, regardless of gender, it’s clear that Clinton already finds herself in a very tenuous position for the general election. It will be tough to motivate young supporters, but any hint that Bernie was screwed by the establishment will result in total abandonment. Democrats win when turnout is high, and if the DNC decides to go against the will of the people and force Clinton down the electorate’s throat, they’d be committing political suicide. The important thing to know here is that Superdelegates are merely pledged to a candidate. We know who they support because they’ve stated it publicly, or been asked by journalists. They are not committed, and can change at any time. If Bernie Sanders wins the popular vote, he will be the nominee. End of story.


What Does A Superdelegate Do? The Democratic Party’s Rules Could Spell Trouble For Bernie Sanders

Chris Tognotti writes for Bustle:

[…] In the strictest procedural sense, there isn’t actually any difference between what a normal delegate does and what a superdelegate does ― they both vote during their party’s national convention to decide who’ll secure the nomination. It’s not that superdelegates’ votes count more, or anything quite as tawdry as that.

But superdelegates aren’t awarded through a primary vote, and they aren’t committed to a certain candidate ― they’re primarily made up of party and elected officials, and they get to support whoever they please. And for an insurgent campaign like, say, that of Bernie Sanders, that can be a huge problem.

That’s because allowing party officials to cast a large share of the nominating votes at their own discretion, independent of what their party’s voters might want, is naturally going to cut towards establishment options and away from the more ideologically staunch candidates. That’s why it was briefly feared in 2008 (or hoped, if you were supporting Clinton and didn’t mind her winning in such a shady way) that Clinton could overtake Obama even when the will of the Democratic electorate said otherwise.

Luckily, however, this didn’t happen. As Obama ascended, the superdelegates followed him. But there’s no assurance that this will happen with Sanders as it did with Obama ― Sanders could reasonably be dubbed a Democrat in name only, as throughout his career, he’s represented Vermont in Congress as an independent. In other words, the party establishment is likely both more hostile to Sanders’ underdog bid, and more wary of his electability, as well.


On Foreign Policy, Sanders May Disappoint Devotees

Jeff Stein writes for Newsweek:

[…] At this point in a successful campaign, presidential candidates are traditionally flanked by at least a couple advisers with thick resumes, who in turn create a tangled web of ex-generals, former national security officials and think-tank scholars to lend the campaign an aura of grand expertise.

Sanders has none—zero—on the eve of primaries that may well put him on track to the White House in this most unusual and volatile campaign season. Even his lone named “senior foreign policy adviser,” Caryn Compton, who doubles as his Senate legislative director, has no foreign policy credentials. Before coming to work for Sanders in 2013, she spent two years as legislative director for Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat. Compton, who holds a doctorate law degree from the Catholic University of America, did not respond to a request for an interview. Sanders’s spokesman ignored repeated entreaties from Newsweek to make her available.

What’s also notable about Sanders’s limited list of foreign policy consults is the lack of any input even from expected quarters on the political left. While the likes of Michael Walzer, a Princeton University professor who has expounded theories about “just war,” and Tamara Cofman Wittes, a former deputy assistant secretary of state in the Obama administration, have gotten calls from the candidate, foreign policy specialists at such liberal-left redoubts as the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) are still waiting for their phones to ring.


The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition

Glenn Greenwald wrote for The Intercept last month:

The British political and media establishment incrementally lost its collective mind over the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the country’s Labour Party, and its unraveling and implosion show no signs of receding yet. Bernie Sanders is nowhere near as radical as Corbyn; they are not even in the same universe. But, especially on economic issues, Sanders is a more fundamental, systemic critic than the oligarchical power centers are willing to tolerate, and his rejection of corporate dominance over politics, and corporate support for his campaigns, is particularly menacing. He is thus regarded as America’s version of a far-left extremist, threatening establishment power.

For those who observed the unfolding of the British reaction to Corbyn’s victory, it’s been fascinating to watch the D.C./Democratic establishment’s reaction to Sanders’ emergence replicate that, reading from the same script. I personally think Clinton’s nomination is extremely likely, but evidence of a growing Sanders movement is unmistakable. Because of the broader trends driving it, this is clearly unsettling to establishment Democrats — as it should be.

[…] Just as was true for Corbyn, there is a direct correlation between the strength of Sanders and the intensity of the bitter and ugly attacks unleashed at him by the D.C. and Democratic political and media establishment. There were, roughly speaking, seven stages to this establishment revolt in the U.K. against Corbyn, and the U.S. reaction to Sanders is closely following the same script.


GOP Candidates Compete Over Who Will Commit Most War Crimes Once Elected

Murtaza Hussain and Dan Froomkin report for The Intercept:

At a rally in New Hampshire on Monday night, Donald Trump was criticizing Ted Cruz for having insufficiently endorsed torture – Cruz had said two nights earlier that he would bring back waterboarding, but not “in any sort of widespread use” – when someone in the audience yelled out that Cruz was a “pussy”. Trump, in faux outrage, reprimanded the supporter, repeating the allegation for the assembled crowd: “She said he’s a pussy. That’s terrible. Terrible.”

The spectacle of one Republican presidential candidate being identified by another as a “pussy” for failing to sufficiently endorse an archetypal form of torture exemplifies the moral state of the current race for the GOP nomination.

The Republican candidates have seemingly been competing with one another over who would commit the gravest war crimes if elected. In recent months, one or another has promised to waterboard, do a “helluva lot worse than waterboarding,” repopulate Guantanamo, engage in wars of aggressionkill families of suspected terrorists and “carpet bomb” Middle Eastern countries until we find out if “sand can glow in the dark.”


Wall Street and the U.S. Presidential Election: Interview with Nomi Prins

Mike Papantonio talks to Nomi Prins, who worked as a managing director at Goldman-Sachs and as a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns. Prins is also the author of All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power. She discusses how this year’s election will be the most expensive in history, and how there’s only one candidate that isn’t begging billionaires for their support. Her latest article for The Nation is The American Brand of Democracy Is Cold Hard Cash(Ring of Fire)

Former Financial Regulator Bill Black Reviews ‘The Big Short’

Jessica Desvarieux talks to former financial regulator Bill Black who reviews the highlights and holes of the film The Big Short. Bill Black is also the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry(The Real News)

NATO Plans Biggest Build-Up Since Cold War

Jason Ditz reports for Antiwar:

In a move sparked by the latest Pentagon plans for a major increase in US military spending, NATO defense ministers are preparing to meet later this week to work out the details of a massive new deployment along the Russian border, with plans to up to 40,000 NATO personnel to head to the area

The Baltic states and some other NATO members have been playing up the idea of a Russian invasion of Europe for over a year now, and while nothing ever came of it, they keep adding troops to the area, with the latest deployment to be the largest NATO deployment since the Cold War.

The Pentagon’s spending hike itself came on the pretext of “Russian aggression,” though the US of course outspends Russia on its military by roughly a factor of 10. Several other NATO members have spending only a bit lower than Russia’s.


Why Is My Kindergartner Being Groomed for the Military at School?

Sarah Grey writes for Truthout:

Why Is My Kindergartner Being Groomed for the Military at School?When he got home from Iraq, Hart Viges began sorting through his boyhood toys, looking for some he could pass on to his new baby nephew. He found a stash of G.I. Joes – his old favorites – and the memories came flooding back.

“I thought about giving them to him,” he said. But the pressures of a year in a war zone had strengthened Viges’ Christian faith, and he told the Army that “if I loved my enemy I couldn’t see killing them, for any reason.” He left as a conscientious objector. As for the G.I. Joes, “I threw them away instead.” Viges had grown up playing dress-up with his father’s, grandfather’s and uncles’ old military uniforms. “What we tell small kids has such a huge effect,” he told Truthout. “I didn’t want to be the one telling him to dream about the military.”

As the mother of a 6-year-old, I know what he means. My partner and I, as longtime antiwar activists, work hard to talk to our daughter about war, violence and peace in age-appropriate ways.

That’s why we were shocked this November when, shortly after Veterans Day, our daughter came home from kindergarten with a worksheet that asked the children to decide which branch of the military they would like to join. The class had been working on charts in math class, taking polls and graphing the results, which usually fell more along the lines of what flavors of pie they preferred.


The Might of the American Empire Was on Full Display at Super Bowl 50

Sarah Lazare reports for AlterNet:

From the fighter jets soaring overhead to the armed troops patrolling Levi Stadium, Super Bowl 50 was a highly militarized event, its 70,000 spectators and millions of television viewers subject to a showcase of war propaganda and heavy security crackdown.

To much fanfare, the Armed Forces Chorus, comprised of 50 men and women from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force, kicked off the massive sports event by singing “America the Beautiful” from the field. CBS’ broadcast of the song cut away to footage of uniformed troops standing at attention, with text on the screen reading, “United States Forces Afghanistan.” The clip was a nod to a brutal war and occupation, now stretching into its 15th year, as top generals press for an even slower withdrawal.

Following the national anthem, the U.S. Navy flew its signature Blue Angels Delta formation over the cheering stadium, located in Santa Clara, Calif. The Navy is open about the propaganda purposes of such flights, stating in a press release they are intended to demonstrate “pride” in the military. In a country that dropped 23,144 bombs on Muslim-majority countries in 2015 alone, the war planes are not just symbolic.

The heavy-handed display follows revelations that some NFL teams have long been accepting payment from the Department of Defense to honor and celebrate the military and its service members.



Super Bowl 50: A Chance For More War Hype

Jason Ditz writes for Antiwar:

From the helicopters looming overhead to the troops with assault rifles pretty much everywhere, Super Bowl 50 follows the ongoing trend of making everything about the military. That includes commercials hyping pricey new hypothetical war vehicles.

Northrop Grumman was at the center of this, with its new commercial hyping its as-yet-unnamed new Long-Range Strike Bomber, which doesn’t actually exist yet, and has already won a $60 billion contract purely on hype.


Beyoncé Invokes Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter at Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show: Interview with Dave Zirin and Vince Warren

Amy Goodman talks to Dave Zirin, sportswriter for The Nation, and Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Both men discuss Beyoncé paying tribute to the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement during her halftime show at Super Bowl 50 where the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers. Zirin also talks about the protests that have been taking place in San Francisco prior to the event. (Democracy Now!)

The Streets of San Francisco: ‘Super Bowl City’ Meets Tent City

Dave Zirin reported for The Nation prior to Super Bowl 50:

Super Bowl protesterOn a daily basis, an estimated 2,000 pounds of “trash, human waste and hypodermic needles” are removed from the homeless encampments around San Francisco. These are the tent cities that form the backdrop to the monstrous spectacle of decadence that is Super Bowl week in the Bay Area.

Last August, San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee made clear that a cleansing of the homeless would take place before the Super Bowl, saying, “They are going to have to leave. We’ll give you an alternative, we are always going to be supportive, but you are going to have to leave the streets.” Currently, there is no evidence of widespread mass-sweeps. But according to several Bay Area homeless rights activists and social workers with whom I spoke, it seems that when the cameras are on, the city cleans up trash. When the cameras are off, the city cleans up people, whom the San Francisco Police Department treat as if they are equally disposable.

As private planes engage in the yearly Super Bowl ritual of fighting for space at area airports, they will be entering a city that serves as a macrocosm of both the excesses of the big game and the human cost to be paid by many of the players we will be cheering on the field. While the city is having another of its periodic real-estate booms, creating the most expensive housing market in the nation—with a minuscule one-bedroom apartments going for $3,500 a month—the number of homeless in San Francisco is staggering. In a city with an official population of about 800,000, there are from 7,000 to 10,000 homeless. As Jessica Hanson Weaver, a social worker who works in the largest of the San Francisco homeless shelters, said to me, “That number goes up and down depending on variety of factors. It includes youth, families, and adults in shelters, and also those in streets, living in parks, or in the care of hospitals.”


How The Guardian Milked Edward Snowden’s Story

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange wrote for Newsweek in 2015:

RTR4NZECThe Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding is a hack job in the purest sense of the term. Pieced together from secondary sources and written with minimal additional research to be the first to market, the book’s thrifty origins are hard to miss.

The Guardian is a curiously inward-looking beast. If any other institution tried to market its own experience of its own work nearly as persistently as The Guardian, it would surely be called out for institutional narcissism. But becauseThe Guardian is an embarrassingly central institution within the moribund “left-of-center” wing of the U.K. establishment, everyone holds their tongue.

In recent years, we have seen The Guardian consult itself into cinematic history—in the Jason Bourne films and others—as a hip, ultra-modern, intensely British newspaper with a progressive edge, a charmingly befuddled giant of investigative journalism with a cast-iron spine.

The Snowden Files positions The Guardian as central to the Edward Snowden affair, elbowing out more significant players like Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for Guardian stablemates, often with remarkably bad grace.

“Disputatious gay” Glenn Greenwald’s distress at the U.K.’s detention of his husband, David Miranda, is described as “emotional” and “over-the-top.” My WikiLeaks colleague Sarah Harrison—who helped rescue Snowden from Hong Kong—is dismissed as a “would-be journalist.”

I am referred to as the “self-styled editor of WikiLeaks.” In other words, the editor of WikiLeaks. This is about as subtle as Harding’s withering asides get. You could use this kind of thing on anyone.


What Sex Means For World Peace

Valerie M. Hudson wrote for Foreign Policy in 2012:

In the academic field of security studies, realpolitik dominates. Those who adhere to this worldview are committed to accepting empirical evidence when it is placed before their eyes, to see the world as it “really” is and not as it ideally should be. As Walter Lippmann wrote, “We must not substitute for the world as it is an imaginary world.”

Well, here is some robust empirical evidence that we cannot ignore: Using the largest extant database on the status of women in the world today, which I created with three colleagues, we found that there is a strong and highly significant link between state security and women’s security. In fact, the very best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is not its level of wealth, its level of democracy, or its ethno-religious identity; the best predictor of a state’s peacefulness is how well its women are treated. What’s more, democracies with higher levels of violence against women are as insecure and unstable as nondemocracies.

Our findings, detailed in our new book out this month, Sex and World Peace, echo those of other scholars, who have found that the larger the gender gap between the treatment of men and women in a society, the more likely a country is to be involved in intra- and interstate conflict, to be the first to resort to force in such conflicts, and to resort to higher levels of violence. On issues of national health, economic growth, corruption, and social welfare, the best predictors are also those that reflect the situation of women. What happens to women affects the security, stability, prosperity, bellicosity, corruption, health, regime type, and (yes) the power of the state. The days when one could claim that the situation of women had nothing to do with matters of national or international security are, frankly, over. The empirical results to the contrary are just too numerous and too robust to ignore.


Gloria Steinem’s Time as a CIA Asset

Dangerous Minds reports:

In late in 2013, [then] 79-year-old feminist icon Gloria Steinem was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. During her acceptance speech, she graciously declared,“I’d be crazy if I didn’t understand that this was a medal for the entire women’s movement.”  Should you be under the impression that this award is indicative of a tacit endorsement of feminism by either the the Obama administration or even the U.S. Government, allow me to brush you up on a little feminist history.

In 1959, Gloria Steinem attended the communist-sponsored World Youth Festival in Vienna as the head of the Independent Service for Information, a CIA front. The ISI had been set up at Harvard to send young anti-communist Americans to attend the World Youth Festival, where they could defend the US against communist critics and report back on their Marxist counterparts. Steinem was in charge of recruiting those young anti-communists.


Rebuke Swift After Madeline Albright Declares ‘Special Place in Hell’ for Women Who Don’t Vote Clinton

Lauren McCauley reports for Common Dreams:

Madeleine Albright served as secretary of state under President Bill Clinton. (Photograph: Chip East/Reuters )Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea for Hillary Clinton to invite Madeleine Albright to campaign for her in New Hampshire.

During a campaign event in Concord on Saturday, the former Secretary of State declared: “Young women have to support Hillary Clinton. The story is not over!”

“They’re going to want to push us back,” she continued. “It’s not done and you have to help. Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

And while it was not the first time Albright muttered that phrase, the backlash was swift and severe.

Pointing to Albright’s notorious defense of the Iraq invasion, during which she said that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it,” observers speculated about someone else who may end up in that “special place.”


Hillary Clinton Hangs On In Revised Iowa Caucus Results

Bradford Richardson reports for The Hill:

Bernie Sanders, Hillary ClintonThe Iowa Democratic Party on Sunday updated the results of the Iowa caucuses after discovering discrepancies in the tallies at five precincts, but the final outcome remains unchanged.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton still places first in the caucuses with 700.47 state delegate equivalents, or 49.84 percent, the party said in a statement.

Primary rival Bernie Sanders comes in second with 696.92 state delegate equivalents, or 49.59 percent.

The total net change gives Sanders an additional 0.1053 state delegate equivalents and strips Clinton of 0.122 state delegate equivalents.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out of the race after the caucuses, also received an additional 0.0167 state equivalent delegates.


Iowans claim instances when Bernie Sanders was shorted delegates

Jennifer Jacobs reports for the Des Moines Register:

Keane Schwarz is certain he knows the outcome of the vote in his precinct: He was the lone caucusgoer in Woodbury County No. 43.

But the Iowa Democratic Party’s final results state that Hillary Clinton won one county delegate andBernie Sanders received zero.

“I voted for Bernie,” Schwarz, 36, of Oto, told The Des Moines Register. “It was really suspicious … I’m actually pretty irate about it.”

Some complaints that Iowa Democrats have shared with the Register about discrepancies in caucus results appear to be valid. Others stem from confusion over how the math-heavy delegate-awarding system works in the Democrats’ caucus process.

Party officials on Friday night were still reviewing reports and correcting errors and hadn’t yet shared candidates’ updated totals of state delegate equivalents, which determine the winner of the caucuses.


Young Women For Bernie Sanders Not to Be Underestimated

Donna Smith writes for Common Dreams:

Normally, I would just stay silent if Gloria Steinem said something with which I did not agree.  I admire her so much.  She has shown so much courage on behalf of women’s issues throughout the years that it is a bit absurd for someone such as me to even consider challenging any comment she makes regarding women.

So when I read that she thinks young women who support Bernie Sanders for president are doing so because they want attention from boys, I was angry.  The young women I have met in Iowa, in Colorado, in Arizona, and in Maryland who are supporting Bernie certainly do not appear to be seeking male attention or favor.  That sort of diminishment of any woman’s decision to support Bernie seems beneath us all in terms of the sort of discourse the Democratic presidential race has provided thus far.

When I read Gloria’s comment, I thought of the young women I met in Iowa who supported Bernie because of his record on climate issues.  Those young women were clear-eyed and intelligent, not boy-hungry, attention seekers.


Gloria Steinem Slammed for Suggesting Young Women Support Bernie Sanders to Chase Boys

Thom Geier reports for The Wrap:

Gloria SteinemThe feminist icon is drawing hackles online for comments made Friday on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher“

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem has drawn the wrath of the Twitterverse for suggesting that young women supporting Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign are doing so to gain the attention of men.

“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’” Steinem told Bill Maher Friday night on the comic’s HBO show “Real Time.”

Maher leapt right on her comment. “Now if I said that, ‘Yeah, they’re for Bernie because that’s where the boys are,’ you’d slap me,” he said.

“No, I wouldn’t,” she replied.

Maher had been pressing the 81-year-old feminist about why polls suggest that young American women are backing the Vermont senator over Steinem’s preferred Democratic candidate, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.


EU Renegotiation: David Cameron’s PR Machine and The Theatre of Brexit

In the first interview, Afshin Rattansi talks to Robert Oulds, director of Eurosceptic think tank the Bruges Group, who discusses David Cameron’s PR theatrics over the EU referendum and the Brexit. In the second interview, Labour MP Kate Hoey discusses David Cameron’s so called EU renegotiation, and her being on the side of the out campaign. (Going Underground/RT UK)

UN Panel: Too Often Only Half of Aid Money Get to the Needy

Edith M. Lederer reports for the Associated Press:

Too often only half of the money from donors is getting to the millions of people devastated by conflicts and natural disasters who desperately need humanitarian aid, the co-chair of a U.N.-appointed panel said Wednesday.

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commission’s vice president for budget and human resources, said the nine-member panel trying to find new financing to help the rapidly growing number of people needing humanitarian aid is urging donors and aid organizations to work more closely to drive down costs.

“Humanitarian money is like gold” because it saves lives, she told a briefing on the panel’s report. “But our goals very often are very low karat — a 9 karat gold — because we take a dollar or a pound or a yen or a ruble, and by the time it gets to the recipient it shrinks to only half of what it is worth.”

Georgieva said this is because of transaction costs, administration and “because of us creating bureaucracy.”

The report said the world is spending around $25 billion to help 125 million people today — more than 12 times the $2 billion spent in 2000 — but there is still a $15 billion annual funding gap. It warned that if the current trend continues, the cost of humanitarian assistance will rise to $50 billion by 2030.

The report focuses on three solutions: mobilizing more funds, shrinking the need for aid by preventing and resolving conflicts, and improving the efficiency of assistance.


A Golden Age for Pentagon Waste

William D. Hartung, author of Prophets of War, reports for U.S. News & World Report:

160202_pentagonstockAs the Pentagon prepares for the formal release its budget next week, there is much talk within the department that the $600 billion-plus that is likely to be proposed is inadequate. In fact, rooting out billions of dollars of waste in the Pentagon budget would leave more than enough to provide a robust defense of the country without increasing spending.

Waste at the Pentagon is nothing new. But recent revelations suggest that it may be reaching historic levels.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction has uncovered scandal after scandal involving U.S. aid to that country, including the creation of private villas for a small number of personnel working for a Pentagon economic development initiative and a series of costly facilities that were never or barely used. An analysis by ProPublica puts the price tag for wasteful and misguided expenditures in Afghanistan at $17 billion, a figure that is higher than the GDP of 80 nations.


Pentagon Releases Photos of Detainee Abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan

Cora Currier reports for The Intercept:

detainee-photos-3The Pentagon today released 198 photos related to its investigations into abuse of detainees by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The photos are mainly close-up shots of arms, feet, heads, hands, or joints, sometimes showing bruises or scabs. Faces are redacted with black bars. It’s not always clear where each of the photos was taken, but they come from internal military investigations and have dates ranging from 2003 to 2006. Sometimes the marks on the prisoners’ skin are labeled with tape measuring the size of the wound, or a coin or pen for comparison.

These photos appear to be the most innocuous of the more than 2,000 images that the government has fought for years to keep secret. Lawyers for the government have long maintained that the photos, if released, could cause grievous harm to national security because they could be used for propaganda by groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The legal case has stretched on for more than a decade, since 2004, when the American Civil Liberties Union firstsued to obtain photos beyond the notorious images that had been leaked from the prison at Abu Ghraib.

It has been reported that some of the 2,000 imagesshow soldiers posing with dead bodies, kicking and punching detainees or posing them stripped naked next to female guards. The 198 photos that were released today do not show any of this.


Corporate Media Endorses Clinton to Defend Their Own Interests: Interview with Norman Solomon

Sharmini Peries talks to Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org, who says that the New York Times’ anti-Sanders bias is rooted in its desire to maintain the status quo. (The Real News)

Did Hillary Lie About Her Iraq War Vote? Interview with Stephen Zunes

Jessica Desvarieux talks to Professor Stephen Zunes about Hillary Clinton’s explanation of her Iraq War vote, along with Bernie Sanders‘ plan to mobilize countries like Saudi Arabia to take on ISIS. (The Real News)