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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

The Extremes of Climate Change Possibility

(7) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 11:47 AM

Consider the extremes of our present climate moment by the numbers. Recently, Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the former chief economist of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, did a little calculating. He was curious to find out just...

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Why Failure Doesn't Daunt the National Security State

(2) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:07 AM

Years ago, Chalmers Johnson took a term of CIA tradecraft, "blowback," and put it into our language. Originally, it was meant to describe CIA operations so secret that, when they blew back on this country, Americans would be incapable of tracing the connection or grasping that...

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'Mission Accomplished' (Yet Again)

(1) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 9:05 AM

Cross-posted with

Think of it as the American half-century in the Middle East: from August 17, 1953, when a CIA oil coup brought down democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed the Shah as Washington's man in Tehran, to May 1, 2003, when...

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Does the Pentagon Know That It's the Twenty-First Century?

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 11:49 AM

Fifteen to 20 years ago, a canny friend of mine assured me that I would know I was in a different world when the Europeans said no to Washington. I've been waiting all this time and last week it seemed as if the moment had finally arrived. Germany, France, and...

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The New American Order

(7) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 11:43 AM

1 Percent Elections, The Privatization of the State, a Fourth Branch of Government, and the Demobilization of "We the People"  Cross-posted with

Have you ever undertaken some task you felt less than qualified for, but knew that someone needed to do? Consider this piece my...

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Thanking the U.S. Military for Screwing Up Royally

(2) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 10:41 AM

Cross-posted with

I should be used to it by now. I'm talking about the ever-more-ingrained civilian habit of eternally thanking American troops and veterans for "their service." The most recent example that caught me off-guard: New York Times reporter Matt Richtel, covering a story about...

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The Great Vanishing

(2) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 10:14 AM

Cross-posted with

In her bestselling book The Sixth Extinction, the New Yorker's superb environmental journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert, reports on an event, already unfolding in the present moment, the likes of which may only have been experienced five other times in the distant history of life...

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Updating Our Merchants of Doubt

(3) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 11:41 AM

Welcome to the asylum! I'm talking, of course, about this country, or rather the world Big Oil spent big bucks creating. You know, the one in which the obvious -- climate change -- is doubted and denied, and in which the new Republican Congress is actively opposed to doing...

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The Pentagon, Up Close and Personal

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 11:15 AM

It's a structure we've seldom taken the true measure of, since ground was first broken for its construction in September 1941. With its 6.6 million square feet of floor space, it ranked as the largest building in the country until the World Trade Center came along in 1973...

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Being Wrong in Washington as a Career Enhancer

(5) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 9:28 AM

Cross-posted with

In our era in Washington, whole careers have been built on grotesque mistakes. In fact, when it comes to our various conflicts, God save you if you're right; no one will ever want to hear from you again. If you're wrong, however... well, take the...

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Melding the Overt With the Covert in Drone Warfare

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 10:50 AM

It was a typical little news story on Washington's drone wars -- six paragraphs from Yemen, the sort of minimalist report that, in these years, has also regularly come out of Pakistan or even, from time to time, Somalia. "A U.S. drone attack in Yemen killed...

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Green-Lighting the Oil Companies

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 9:26 AM

From the Atlantic Coast to the Arctic, It's Drill, Baby, Drill

If Sarah Palin were president, we'd know just what it was: a drill-baby-drill administration. Of course, there's no mama grizzly in the White House, yet these last years have been a grizzly tale of the...

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My War on Terror

(5) Comments | Posted March 1, 2015 | 5:53 PM

Letter to an Unknown American Patriot
Cross-posted with

Dear American Patriot,

I wish I knew your name. I’ve been thinking about you, about all of us actually and our country, and meaning to write for a while to explain myself.  Let me start...

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Selling Drones - Let the Good Times Begin

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 11:09 AM

My drone is yours, compadre! Or so Washington has now decided. The latest promise of good times in the arms trade comes from an administration that has pioneered a robotic assassination regime organized out of the White House (though credit for groundbreaking drone assassination work should go to...

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The 'Greatest Generation' Didn't Think They Were

(4) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 10:40 AM

Yes, they've become "the greatest generation" (a phrase that's always reminded me of an ad line for a soft drink), but they didn't feel that way at the time. As Susan Faludi pointed out in her classic book Stiffed and as I experienced as a boy, the men who came...

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In Whose America?

(8) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 10:04 AM

Machine Guns, MRAPs, Surveillance, Drones, Permanent War, and a Permanent Election Campaign
Cross-posted with

I never fail to be amazed -- and that’s undoubtedly my failing.  I mean, if you retain a capacity for wonder you can still be awed by a sunset, but should...

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Their Barbarism and Ours

(9) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 7:21 PM

It will come as no surprise to you that we're top-notch when it comes to denouncing barbarism -- as long as it's theirs. So the responses here to the horrific burning to death of a Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State -- the definition...

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Strategizing for Saudi America

(1) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 10:41 AM

Don't think for a minute that this president isn't proud of his climate-changing energy program. To be clear, however, I don't mean his efforts to check the advances of climate change. Consider the introduction to the new U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) his administration unveiled last week. It's...

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Crimes of the 'Sweep It All Up' Era

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 3:13 PM

The post-9/11 moment offered them their main chance to transform their dreams into reality and they seized it by the throat. They wanted to "take the gloves off." They were convinced that the presidency had been shackled by Congress in the Watergate era and that it...

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How to React to Lone-Wolf Terror Attacks: A Lesson from Norway

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 9:44 AM

He was undoubtedly one of the worst "lone-wolf" terrorists in modern history. On July 22, 2011, after trying to take out Norway's political leadership in Oslo with a car bomb and killing eight people, Anders Breivik boarded a ferry wearing a homemade police uniform and took it to a nearby...

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