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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

Drone Addiction on the Border

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2015 | 9:54 PM

Predator drones, tested out in this country's distant war zones, have played an increasingly prominent role in the up-armoring of the U.S.-Mexican border. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched its first Predator in 2004, but only really ramped up drone use in March 2013. There have been...

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More and War: The Tao of Washington

(3) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 10:22 AM

Cross-posted with

When it comes to the national security state, our capital has become a thought-free zone. The airlessness of the place, the unwillingness of leading players in the corridors of power to explore new ways of approaching crucial problems is right there in plain sight, yet...

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Missing What's Being Built Right Before Our Eyes

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 10:48 AM

Cross-posted with

From the point of view of the U.S. military and the national security state, the period from September 12, 2001 to late last night could be summed up in a single word: more. What Washington funded with your tax dollars was a bacchanalia of expansion...

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The American Gulag

(7) Comments | Posted January 18, 2015 | 8:36 PM

Cross-posted with

If they were moved all at once, they could almost replace the population of Jamaica (2.7 million) and they would leave Qatar, Namibia, Macedonia, or Latvia swimming in extra people. I'm talking about the incarcerated in America -- an estimated 2.4...

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Where Did Iraq War 3.0 Go?

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 9:42 AM

Call it what you will -- Iraq War 3.0, the war against ISIS, the new Syrian War -- it was regularly headline-making news in this country in the second half of last year: the stunning advances of the Islamic State (IS) movement; its newly proclaimed "caliphate"; the collapse...

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(Over)Bearing Arms in America

(166) Comments | Posted January 11, 2015 | 1:34 PM

One of the grimmer small events of recent American life occurred just as 2014 was ending. A mother had her 2-year-old toddler perched in a shopping cart at an Idaho Wal-Mart. He reached into her purse, specially made for carrying a concealed firearm (and a Christmas gift from...

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A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity

(8) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 10:05 AM

Welcome to the National Security State of 2015

Cross-posted with

As 2015 begins, let’s take a trip down memory lane.  Imagine that it’s January 1963.  For the last three years, the United States has unsuccessfully faced off against a small island in the Caribbean,...

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New Year's Wishes for the Waning American Century

(2) 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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,"...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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