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America's Empire of Bases on the Sly

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 11.17.2015 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

While the U.S. has always pursued parts of its imperial strategy in "the shadows," to use a phrase from my Cold War childhood, in this new strategy everyday basing, too, is disappearing into those shadows, which is why Nick Turse's latest piece on the subject is a small reportorial triumph of time and effort.

A War That Circles Back on Itself

Nick Turse | Posted 11.05.2015 | Politics
Nick Turse

There have been so many claims of "progress" these last 14 years (and so many air strike apologies as well) and yet each announcement of further success seems to signal the very opposite.

Henry the K and Me

Nick Turse | Posted 09.28.2015 | Politics
Nick Turse

I once listened to the man who helped prolong the Vietnam War for half a decade declare that its "tragedy" lay in the fact "that the faith of Americans in each other became destroyed in the process."

Experiencing the '60s With Captain Kirk

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 09.17.2015 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

We were both experiencing the Sixties, Captain Kirk and I. Admittedly, I was still in the 1960s and the captain was somewhere in the 2260s.

Not Noticing American Bases

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 09.14.2015 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Is it that a genuine acknowledgement of the existence of a vast network of global garrisons would lead to uncomfortable conclusions about the imperial nature of this country? I'm not sure myself. That they remain largely surrounded by an accepted and acceptable silence, however, continues to be an American reality.

Profiling the American Mass Killer

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 08.02.2015 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

You want to profile America's mass killers? No need at all for the FBI or the national security state. You don't have to secretly read anyone's emails or check their phone metadata. You don't need to follow them on Twitter.

Enemies Lists, Then and Now

Nick Turse | Posted 06.30.2015 | Politics
Nick Turse

As the 2016 election campaign ramps up, get ready to hear far more about the grave, even existential threats posed by two oldies but goodies: Russia and China.

Two Hundred Years of 'Containment' -- Imperial History Revisited

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 06.08.2015 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

It might have been the most influential single sentence of that era: "In these circumstances it is clear that the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies."

The U.S. Military Really Doesn't Want to Talk About What It's Doing in Africa

Bryan Maygers | Posted 06.01.2015 | Politics
Bryan Maygers

Nick Turse's new book of investigative reporting reveals that the U.S. military has been involved in one way or another -- "construction, military exercises, advisory assignments, security cooperation, or training missions" -- with more than 90 percent of Africa's 54 nations, despite military spokespersons insistence that the U.S. maintains only one permanent "base."

The Great Age of Whistleblowers

Nick Turse | Posted 06.01.2015 | Politics
Nick Turse

Without whistleblowers, citizens are at the mercy of massaged truths and fine-crafted fictions spun by officials who prefer shadows to sunlight.

The Other Conspirator

Barbara Myers | Posted 06.01.2015 | Politics
Barbara Myers

While Daniel Ellsberg, his compatriot and companion in revelation, remains a major figure for his role in releasing the Pentagon Papers, Tony Russo is a forgotten man. That's too bad. He shouldn't be forgotten. His is, unfortunately, a story of our times as well as his.

New Year's Wishes for the Waning American Century

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 02.22.2015 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

It's one of the jokes of our time that we Americans have literally plowed trillions of dollars into what's called "national security" in the post-9/11 years without seriously facing climate change, a phenomenon that, if not brought under control, guarantees us a kind of insecurity we've never known.

Walrusgrams and Fracklands: Messages From Another Planet

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 12.13.2014 | Green
Tom Engelhardt

Between the two worlds, the one producing ever more fossil fuels amid a let-the-good-times-roll spirit of triumphalism and the one slowly melting down under the impact of what those fossil fuels release into the atmosphere, there sometimes seems no connection at all.

Build We Must -- Abroad But Not at Home

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 11.08.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

As of this year, more U.S. and NATO money had been "squandered" on the "reconstruction" of Afghanistan than was spent on the full post-World War-II Marshall Plan to put a devastated Europe back on its feet. And how has all that spending turned out?

An Exceptional Decline for the Exceptional Country?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 09.13.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Today, the U.S. looks less like a functioning and effective empire than an imperial basket case, unable to bring its massive power to bear effectively from Germany to Syria, Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya to the South China Sea, the Crimea to Africa.

The Year of Edward Snowden

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 07.13.2014 | Media
Tom Engelhardt

This is publication day for Greenwald's new book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Security State, about his last near-year swept away by the Snowden affair. It's been under wraps until now for obvious reasons.

The Marquis de Sade in Washington

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 06.28.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

The legacy of America's Iraq is essentially an oil-producing wreck of a state with another autocrat in power, a Shiite government allied to Iran in Baghdad, and a Sunni population in revolt. That, in short, is the upshot of Washington's multi-trillion-dollar war. It might be worth a painting by George W. Bush.

What Happened to War and the Imperial Drive to Organize the Planet?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 05.03.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

If you survey our planet, the situation is remarkably unsettled and confusing. But at least two things stand out, and whatever you make of them, they could be the real news of the first decades of this century. Both are right before our eyes, yet largely unseen.

World of Warcraft in Real Life

Nick Turse | Posted 02.15.2014 | Technology
Nick Turse

Another week, another revelation about spying by the National Security Agency. This time, it was the NSA's infiltration of online video games and virtual realms like World of Warcraft and Second Life.

Good Neighbor Policies and the Writing Life

Nick Turse | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Nick Turse

At 73, Ann Jones strapped on body armor and headed to war so you didn't have to. She watched the sort of "meatball surgery" that would have left you doubled over and retching.

No 'Armistice' in Washington's Global War on Veterans Day 2013

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Tom Engelhardt

In 1954, nine years after World War II ended, with the previous "great" conflict having proved anything but -- as once advertised -- the war to end all wars, and the memory of its armistice fading, the holiday was officially relabeled Veterans Day.

The Obama Administration Adrift in the Greater Middle East

Nick Turse | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Nick Turse

The only country in the region that seems to bear much resemblance to its pre-Obama self is Iraq, where violence has reached its highest level in half a decade.

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be [You Fill in the Country]

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Tom Engelhardt

If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium -- the title of a 1969 romantic comedy -- could now fit two intertwined phenomena: the madcap global travels of Secretary of State John Kerry and the nonstop journey of the latest revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Surveillance 101

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 12.08.2013 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Sometimes, the world sends you back to school. These last months have offered us a crash course in how Washington, enveloped in a penumbra of extreme secrecy, went to work creating a global surveillance state on a scale almost beyond the imagination.

No Privacy in Washington

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 11.22.2013 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Gigantic as the NSA's intrusions on privacy might be, they are only part of an uncomfortably large story in which many U.S. agencies and outfits feel free to take possession of our lives in ever more technologically advanced and intrusive ways.