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Tom Engelhardt
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Entries by Tom Engelhardt

The Obama Administration's All-of-the-Above Energy Policy

(4) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 9:17 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Call it the energy or global warming news of recent weeks. No, I'm not referring to the fact this was globally the hottest June on record ever (as May had been before it), or that NASA launched the first...

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Living in a Photographically Redacted Post-9/11 World

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 10:41 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

What a world we're in. Thanks to smartphones, iPads, and the like, everyone is now a photographer, but it turns out that, in the public landscape, there's ever less to photograph. So here are a few tips for living more comfortably in a photographically redacted...

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Requiem for the American Century

(1) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 8:44 AM

Turning 70, Paragraph by Paragraph

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

First Paragraphs on Turning 70 in the American Century That Was

* Seventy-three years ago, on February 17, 1941, as a second devastating global war approached, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, called on...

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The Strangest Disaster on the Planet Right Now

(2) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 10:04 AM

Who even knows what to call it? The Iraq War or the Iraq-Syrian War would be far too orderly for what's happening, so it remains a no-name conflict that couldn't be deadlier or more destabilizing -- and it's in the process of internationalizing in unsettling ways. Think of it as...

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An Exceptional Decline for the Exceptional Country?

(53) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 8:33 AM

The Empire as Basket Case

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

For America’s national security state, this is the age of impunity.  Nothing it does -- torture, kidnapping, assassination, illegal surveillance, you name it -- will ever be brought to court.  For none of its beyond-the-boundaries acts will anyone be...

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They Kidnap, We Render

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 10:08 AM

It sounded like the beginning of a bad joke: a CIA agent and a U.S. Special Operations commando walked into a barbershop in Sana...

That's the capital of Yemen in case you didn't remember and not the sort of place where armed Americans usually wander out alone just to get...

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A Formula for the Production of Violent Emotions, Dead Bodies, and a Particularly Nasty World

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 10:09 AM

Call it a double whammy for the planet or simply irony with a capital "I." As the invaluable Michael Klare, author of The Race for What's Left, points out today in "21st-Century Energy Wars," if you scan the planet for conflict, what you'll find from Syria...

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The Great Exception (That Wasn't)

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 9:40 AM

It goes without saying that the honchos of the national security state weren't exactly happy with Edward Snowden's NSA revelations. Still, over the last year, the comments of such figures, politicians associated with them, and retirees from their world clearly channeling their...

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Saying No to Kerry: It's Getting to Be a Habit in the Middle East

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 8:47 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

When it comes to pure ineptness, it's been quite a performance -- and I'm sure you've already guessed that I'm referring to our secretary of state's recent jaunt to the Middle East. You remember the old quip about jokes and timing. (It's all in the...)...

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Surveillance: It's Worse Than You Think

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 10:07 AM

When it comes to spying, surveillance, and privacy, a simple rule applies to our world: However bad you think it is, it's worse. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we've learned an enormous amount about the global surveillance regime that one of America's 17 intelligence outfits has created...

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Send in the Drones (With Apologies to Stephen Sondheim)

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 10:29 AM

Imagine the president, speaking on Iraq from the White House Press Briefing Room last Thursday, as the proverbial deer in the headlights -- and it's not difficult to guess just what those headlights were. Think of them as Benghazi on steroids. If the killing of an American ambassador,...

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Who Won Iraq?

(33) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 9:25 AM

Lost Dreams, Lost Armies, Jihadi States, and the Arc of Instability

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

As Iraq was unraveling last week and the possible outlines of the first jihadist state in modern history were coming into view, I remembered this nugget from the summer of 2002. ...

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In America, It's Always Torture Approval Month

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 9:29 AM

I'll bet you didn't know that June is "torture awareness month" thanks to the fact that, on June 26, 1987, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect internationally. In this country, however, as a recent Amnesty International...

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Freedom of the Pressed

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2014 | 9:56 PM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Here's what passes for good news when it comes to a free press these days: two weeks ago, the Supreme Court refused without comment to hear a case involving New York Times reporter James Risen. It concerned his unwillingness to testify before a grand jury...

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Are American Soldiers 'Warriors'?

(4) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 10:10 AM

On the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Brian Williams led off NBC Nightly News this way: "On our broadcast tonight, the salute to the warriors who stormed the beaches here in Normandy..." It's such a commonplace of our American world, that word "warriors" for those in the...

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Don’t Walk Away From War

(70) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 9:23 AM

It’s Not the American Way

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

The United States has been at war -- major boots-on-the-ground conflicts and minor interventions, firefights, air strikes, drone assassination campaigns, occupations, special ops raids, proxy conflicts, and covert actions -- nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began.  That’s...

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Why There Is No Obama Doctrine

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 9:45 AM

Think of Barack Obama's recent return to West Point at graduation time to offer his approach to an increasingly chaotic world as a bookend on an era. George W. Bush went to the Academy in June 2002 -- less than a year after 9/11, seven months after the...

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The War of Terror, Homeland Version

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 8:58 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Where was the NSA? That's the question former State Department whistleblower Peter Van Buren recently asked at his We Meant Well blog -- and it couldn't be a smarter one. After all, the Isla Vista killer, Elliot Rodger, made both his own sense of disturbance...

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Surveilling the Class of 2014

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 9:43 AM

The Last Commencement Address 

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Internet Class of 2014, I’m in awe of you! To this giant, darkened auditorium filled with sparkling screens of every sort, welcome! 

It would, of course, be inaccurate to say, as speakers like me once did, that after four...

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Merchants of Doom

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 9:45 AM

"The industry's position was that there was no 'proof' that tobacco was bad, and they fostered that position by manufacturing a 'debate,' convincing the mass media that responsible journalists had an obligation to present 'both sides' of it." Using a handful of scientists as their expert witnesses, the major tobacco...

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