iOS app Android app

Tom Engelhardt
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's He is the author of Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World and The End of Victory Culture, a history of the American Age of Denial. The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (Verso, 2008), a collection of some of the best pieces from his site and an alternative history of the mad Bush years, has recently been published.

Entries by Tom Engelhardt

New Year's Wishes for the Waning American Century

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 10:18 AM

No one would call TomDispatch a traditional website. Still, we do have our traditions. Among them, none is more "traditional" -- a full decade old at a website that just turned 13 this November -- than having Rebecca Solnit end our year. Sometimes as the year winds down,...

Read Post

The Forgotten Triumphalist Glories of War, American-Style

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 9:30 AM

Cross-posted from

So many years and wars later, it's easy to forget what a total television hit the first Gulf War of 1991 was. Just in case you no longer remember -- and why should you? -- that was the war that was to bury America's defeat...

Read Post

The Senate Drone Report of 2019

(3) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 9:42 AM

Looking Back on Washington’s War on Terror

Cross-posted with

It was December 6, 2019, three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress. That day, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report...

Read Post

The National Security State as a Criminal Enterprise

(6) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 9:04 AM

It came from the top and that's never been a secret. The president authorized the building of those CIA "black sites" and the use of what came to be known as "enhanced interrogation techniques" and has spoken of this with a certain pride. The president's top...

Read Post

Renewing the American Nuclear Faith (in Global Destruction)

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 10:09 AM

There's finally good news when it comes to the renewal of the Faith. I'm talking, of course, about the nuclear faith. In case you happen to have forgotten, that's the Cold War belief that a U.S. arsenal big enough to destroy several Earth-sized planets and on a hair-trigger alert remains...

Read Post

Peace Missing in Action

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 9:31 AM

Often enough when something goes missing, it takes a while to realize that it's gone. An example that came to me recently is the once-commonplace word "peace." It's not just that, in a time of public dissatisfaction with America's wars, there's no mention of a "peace movement" or "peace signs,"...

Read Post

The War Party Ascendant

(29) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 9:28 AM

Party On!

Cross-posted with

It was the end of the road for Chuck Hagel last week and the Washington press corps couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about writing his obituary. In terms of pure coverage, it may not have been Ferguson...

Read Post

Russians Invade Afghanistan (Again!), Chinese Fight Iraq War (Again!)

(5) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 11:25 AM

What If It Weren't Us?

Cross-posted with

Let’s play a game, the kind that makes no sense on this single-superpower planet of ours. For a moment, do your best to suspend disbelief and imagine that there’s another superpower, great power, or even regional power somewhere...

Read Post

After 13 Years Is a Name Change in Order for the War on Terror?

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 9:23 AM

Cross-posted with

The money should stagger you. Journalist James Risen, author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, a revelatory new book about the scammers, counterterrorism grifters, careerist bureaucrats, torture con artists, and on-the-make privatizers of our post-9/11 national security state, suggests that the best...

Read Post

What Makes Washington 'Imperial'?

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 9:40 AM

Sometimes, to see the big picture you need to focus on the smallest part of it, as Nick Turse does in the latest of his dispatches on the U.S. military in Africa, "The Outpost That Doesn't Exist in the Country You Can't Locate." He takes a...

Read Post

Believe It or Not, There Is Good News on Climate Change

(4) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 9:34 AM

Looking for a little hope on climate change? Believe it or not, it's here and it's real. And I'm not referring to the fact that, at least temporarily, oil prices have gone through the floor, making environmentally destructive "tough oil" projects like western oil-shale fracking and...

Read Post

Shrinking the Empire

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 9:35 AM

A Session on the Imperial Couch

Cross-posted with

[What follows is a transcript of a therapy session between the American Empire and a psychiatrist whose name we at TomDispatch have agreed not to disclose. Normally, even in an age in which privacy means ever less to anyone, we wouldn’t consider...

Read Post

There's Always Hope in Washington -- For Getting It Wrong Yet Again

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 8:58 AM

The Iraq Saga Continues

Cross-posted with

Last week, the New York Times front-paged a story about plans for "Iraq" to mount "a major spring offensive against Islamic State fighters." Its goal, among other things: to take back the country's second largest city, Mosul....

Read Post

Another Ho-Hum Week Surveilling You

(1) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 9:46 AM

Let me tell you my modest post-9/11 dream. One morning, I'll wake up and see a newspaper article that begins something like this: "The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to curtail the agency's significant powers to...

Read Post

The Pressure to Escalate

(3) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 9:18 AM

The Phantasmagoric World of Washington

Cross-posted with

Sometimes it seemed that only two issues mattered in the midterm election campaigns just ended.  No, I’m not talking about Obamacare, or the inequality gap, or the country’s sagging infrastructure, or education, or energy policy.  I mean...

Read Post

The Neverending Story, or How to Mess Up Afghanistan

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 11:20 AM

From the beginning, it was to be "Russia's Vietnam." First the administration of President Jimmy Carter, then that of President Ronald Reagan, was determined to give the Soviet Union a taste of what the U.S. had gone through in its disastrous 14-year war in Southeast Asia. As National Security Adviser...

Read Post

Stand Tall, America, We're No. 1! (When It Comes to Our Military Budget, Knocking Off Wedding Parties, Military Bases, Etc.)

(3) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 10:43 AM

We're now passing through a no-name election season of a particularly lusterless sort, but don't count on that for 2016. Here, in fact, is a surefire prediction for that moment, which (given the nature of modern presidential campaigns) will kick off with the usual round of media speculation...

Read Post

The United States of Hysteria

(1) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Sometimes, if you want to catch the essence of a moment, however, grim, you need to turn to humor. Recently, the New Yorker's resident satirist, Andy Borowitz, produced one of his patented fake news stories that began this way: "The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker,...

Read Post

Edward Snowden and the Golden Age of Spying

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 9:36 AM

A TomDispatch Interview With Laura Poitras

Cross-posted with

Here’s a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! stat from our new age of national security. How many Americans have security clearances? The answer: 5.1 million, a figure that reflects the explosive growth of the national security...

Read Post

On Being an Indispensable Nation

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 10:45 AM

It was May 23, 2012, and President Obama was giving a graduation speech at the Air Force Academy when he told the assembled cadets that they should "never bet against the United States of America... [because] the United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable...

Read Post