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Norman Solomon is the author of many books, including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death," which has been adapted into a documentary film. For more information, go to: www.normansolomon.com
Sunday, April 13, 2014 Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent
On the whole, the media critics boosted by big media have been conformists who don't step outside the shadows cast by the institutions paying their salaries. And they're not inclined to question the corporate prerogatives of other media firms; people in glass skyscrapers don't throw weighty stones.
Monday, March 17, 2014 When hope turns rancid: LBJ and Obama (1 comments)
Living in a mass culture that encourages political passivity, all too many of Obama's ex-enthusiasts have drifted into quiet disengagement instead of creative enragement. While recent years have seen an upsurge of activism on issues that range from climate change and economic justice to civil liberties and war, the magnitude and intensity of such efforts must increase.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Sen. Feinstein: Accidental "Whistleblower" (2 comments)
President Obama has stumbled into a scandal created by his determination to protect dirty secrets on torture and other CIA crimes committed by the Bush-43 administration. The unlikely “whistleblower” is another Democratic defender of CIA abuses, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, notes Norman Solomon.
Friday, March 7, 2014 Hillary Clinton on Putin: Playing a Dog-Eared "Hitler" Card (6 comments)
With the largest nuclear arsenals on the planet, the United States and Russia have the entire world on a horrific knife's edge. Nuclear saber-rattling is implicit in what the prospective President Hillary Clinton has done in recent days, going out of her way to tar Russia's president with a Hitler brush.
Monday, March 3, 2014 Heard the One About Obama Denouncing a Breach of International Law? (4 comments)
International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a "breach of international law." Secretary of State John Kerry followed up by declaring that Russia is "in direct, overt violation of international law."
Unfortunately, during the last five years, no world leader has done more to undermine international law than Obama
Thursday, February 20, 2014 Why Amazon's Collaboration with the CIA Is So Ominous -- and Vulnerable (1 comments)
In view of Amazon's eagerness to dump the WikiLeaks site at the behest of U.S. government officials, what else might the Amazon hierarchy be willing to do? Amazon maintains a humongous trove of detailed information about hundreds of millions of people. Are we to believe that the CIA and other intelligence agencies have no interest in Amazon's data?
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Resisting the surveillance state of mind
Unless we directly challenge the system of mass surveillance now, the ruling elites may understand our complacency as consent, with results that extend the reach of surveillance and its damaging consequences. Even as it grows more familiar, this bulk collection of data is corroding civil society. The surveillance state generates fearful conformity.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Amazon, the CIA and Assassinations (2 comments)
The entangling threads connecting technology, media and the surveillance state have snarled so completely that it’s next to impossible to untie them, exemplified by Amazon, the Washington Post, and the CIA’s pending assassination of a suspected American terrorist, as Norman Solomon explains.
Monday, January 27, 2014 Cut Off the NSA's Juice (2 comments)
Serving the warfare state and overall agendas for U.S. global dominance to the benefit of corporate elites, the NSA persists in doing violence to the Constitution's civil-liberties amendments -- chilling the First, smashing the Fourth and end-running the Fifth. It's time to stop giving juice to Big Brother.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 J Street's Dead End (1 comments)
The hardline Zionist positions of AIPAC have given rise to a more moderate pro-Israel lobby called J Street, which deviates from some right-wing Israeli policies by favoring negotiations with Iran, for instance. But J Street still makes excuses for Israel’s repression of the Palestinians, write Abba A. Solomon and Norman Solomon.
Monday, January 13, 2014 Why the Washington Post’s New Ties to the CIA Are So Ominous
The Washington Post's refusal to provide readers with minimal disclosure in coverage of the CIA is important on its own. But it's also a marker for an ominous pattern -- combining denial with accommodation to raw financial and governmental power -- a synergy of media leverage, corporate digital muscle and secretive agencies implementing policies of mass surveillance, covert action and ongoing warfare.
Monday, December 23, 2013 Is MoveOn Less Progressive Than the New York Times Editorial Board? (17 comments)
On crucial matters of foreign policy, militarism and surveillance, the contrast between Times editorials and MoveOn is stunning. Millions of people on MoveOn's list are continually deluged with emails pretending that Republicans are the only major problem in Washington -- while nearly always ignoring Obama administration policies that are antithetical to basic progressive values.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 WPost Slips Behind Amazon's Cloud
Technology moguls -- many involved with high-tech U.S. intelligence projects -- are deploying their fortunes to buy up or start up media entities that give them control of the tone and content of journalism, including Amazon's Jeff Bezos and his Washington Post.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 Real Journalism v. Big Brother (1 comments)
In theory, pretty much everyone claims to like investigative journalism, even government officials. But the reaction is different when reporters expose troubling facts, especially if they make a favored country or politician look bad. Yet, that is what's needed.
Monday, November 25, 2013 Overplaying Its Hand, Israel Still Holds Plenty of U.S. Cards (1 comments)
In the short run, the belligerent responses from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are bound to play badly in most of the U.S. media. But Netanyahu and the forces he represents have only begun to fight. They want war on Iran, and they are determined to exercise their political muscle that has long extended through most of the Washington establishment.
Thursday, November 21, 2013 JFK in Political Shades of Gray (9 comments)
Fifty years after the horrific day in Dallas, it's hard to think of John F. Kennedy apart from an aura of political sainthood. But mythology is disorienting in the long run, and we can do better with realism. JFK brought youthful intelligence and evocations of soaring idealism to the Oval Office. Kennedy relied on deft wordsmiths to produce lofty speeches about freedom and democracy.
Monday, November 18, 2013 The Obamacare Disaster and the Poison of Party Loyalty (4 comments)
Obamacare is a mess largely because it builds a revamped healthcare system around the retrenched and extended power of insurance companies--setting back prospects for real healthcare reform for a decade or more.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Big Brother's Loyal Sister: How Dianne Feinstein Is Betraying Civil Liberties (1 comments)
Ever since the first big revelations about the National Security Agency five months ago, Dianne Feinstein has been in overdrive to defend the surveillance state. As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she generates an abundance of fog, weasel words, anti-whistleblower slander and bogus notions of reform -- while methodically stabbing civil liberties in the back.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 Why Snowden's Passport Matters (1 comments)
President Obama declares his love of "transparency," but has an odd way of showing it, meting out harsh punishments to people who give the public a glimpse into the vast darkness of U.S. secrets, including revoking Edward Snowden's passport to stop him from seeking asylum.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 Google: Doing Evil with ALEC (1 comments)
ALEC's reactionary efforts -- thoroughly documented by the Center for Media and Democracy -- are shameful assaults on democratic principles. And Google is now among the hundreds of companies in ALEC. Many people who've admired Google are now wondering: how could this be?
Sunday, October 6, 2013 Here Comes the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, Dragging a Broken Moral Compass (4 comments)
Despite all its claims of independence, the Oslo-based Nobel Committee is enmeshed in Norwegian politics. The global prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize has obscured the reality that its selection committee is chosen by leaders of Norway's main political parties -- and, as a member of NATO, Norway is deeply entangled in the military alliance.
Monday, September 30, 2013 The NSA Deserves a Permanent Shutdown (7 comments)
At the top of the federal government, even a brief shutdown of "core NSA operations" is unthinkable. But at the grassroots, a permanent shutdown of the NSA should be more than thinkable; we should strive to make it achievable.
Thursday, September 26, 2013 Obama's Justice Department: Trumpeting a New Victory in War on Freedom of the Press (6 comments)
The Obama administration's pernicious goal is to normalize circumstances where journalists can't credibly promise confidentiality, and potential leakers don't believe they can have it. The broader purpose is to destroy independent journalism -- which is to say, actual journalism -- which is to say, freedom of the press.
Sunday, September 8, 2013 Is War on Syria Veering Off-Script? (2 comments)
When the U.S. government readies for war, there is a well-worn script. A "bad" guy is defined; some act of perfidy is alleged despite murky evidence; politicians and journalists express righteous outrage; a confused public is dragged along. Except that the war on Syria may be veering off-script. There's an antidote to the repetition compulsion for war. It's called democracy.
Friday, August 30, 2013 While Cameron Defers to Parliament, Obama Locks into Warfare State of Mind (1 comments)
Some progressive groups and members of Congress have focused on urging that Congress get to vote -- or at least play a role -- in the decision on whether to bomb Syria. But we should not imply that we'll be satisfied as long as the matter comes to a congressional vote. Time is very short; we should cut through the preliminaries and get to the point: No attack on Syria!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 What The Assault On Whistleblowers Has to Do With War on Syria (7 comments)
Every president who wants to launch another war can't abide whistleblowers. They might interfere with the careful omissions, distortions and outright lies of war propaganda, which requires that truth be held in a kind of preventative detention.
Thursday, August 22, 2013 Challenging Obama on Manning (3 comments)
Facing decades in prison, Pvt. Bradley Manning explained that patriotism drove his decision to reveal crimes hidden in classified documents. Now, it's up to President Obama to decide if he will pardon Manning or continue a strategy of making his punishment an example to others, as Norman Solomon notes in this open letter.
Monday, August 19, 2013 Oiling the War Machinery, From Oslo to Heathrow to Washington (3 comments)
For the Nobel Committee, more than ever, war is peace. Across the globe, aligned with and/or intimidated by official Washington, many governments are enablers of an American warfare/surveillance multinational state. And in Washington, at the top of the government, when it comes to civil liberties and war and so much more, the moral compass has gone due south.
Monday, August 12, 2013 Memo from Oslo: If Peace Is Prized, a Nobel for Bradley Manning (3 comments)
Opening heart and mind to moral responsibility -- seeing an opportunity to provide the crucial fuel of information for democracy and compassion -- Bradley Manning lifted a shroud and illuminated terrible actions of the USA's warfare state. He chose courage on behalf of humanity. He refused to just follow orders. The Nobel Peace Prize needs Bradley Manning much more than the other way around.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 The Moral Verdict on Bradley Manning: A Conviction of Love in Action (1 comments)
No verdict handed down by the military judge can change the moral verdict that has emerged from people all over the world, reciprocating what Bradley Manning expressed online a few days before his arrest: "I can't separate myself from others." And: "I feel connected to everybody ... like they were distant family."
Thursday, July 25, 2013 Obama's Willing Executioners of the Fourth Amendment (2 comments)
All three branches of the U.S. government are now largely under the control of forces with stunning contempt for basic legal processes required by the Bill of Rights. Mere words and mild reforms from members of Congress may mollify the gullible, but only a direct challenge to the Obama administration's policies can rise to the level of the current historic imperative to restore civil liberties in the United States.
Monday, July 22, 2013 Obama's Escalating War on Freedom of the Press (5 comments)
The part of the First Amendment that prohibits "abridging the freedom " of the press" is now up against the wall, as the Obama administration continues to assault the kind of journalism that can expose government secrets.
Friday, July 19, 2013 A Portrait of the Leaker as a Young Man (5 comments)
Snowden's choice was ultimately personal. He decided to take big risks on behalf of big truths; he showed how easy and hazardous such a step can be. He blew the whistle not only on the NSA's Big Brother surveillance but also on the fear, constantly in our midst, that routinely induces conformity.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 Denouncing NSA Surveillance Isn't Enough -- We Need the Power to Stop It (7 comments)
For more than a month, outrage has been profuse in response to news about NSA surveillance and other evidence that all three branches of the U.S. government are turning Uncle Sam into Big Brother.
Continuing to expose and denounce the assaults on civil liberties is essential. So is supporting Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers -- past, present and future. But those vital efforts are...
Monday, June 24, 2013 The Pursuit of Edward Snowden: Washington in a Rage, Striving to Run the World (2 comments)
The central issue is our dire shortage of democracy. How can we have real consent of the governed when the government is entrenched with extreme secrecy, surveillance and contempt for privacy?
The state of surveillance and perpetual war are one and the same. The U.S. government's rationale for pervasive snooping is the "war on terror," the warfare state under whatever name.
Thursday, June 20, 2013 Uncle Sam and Corporate Tech: Domestic Partners Raising Digital Big Brother (2 comments)
A terrible formula has taken hold: warfare state + corporate digital power = surveillance state.
"National security" agencies and major tech sectors have teamed up to make Big Brother a reality. "Of the estimated $80 billion the government will spend on intelligence this year, most is spent on private contractors," the New York Times noted. The synergy is great for war-crazed snoops in Washington and profit-crazed moguls
Monday, June 17, 2013 David Brooks, Tom Friedman, Bill Keller Wish Snowden Had Just Followed Orders (8 comments)
Edward Snowden's disclosures, the New York Times reported on Sunday , "have renewed a longstanding concern: that young Internet aficionados whose skills the agencies need for counterterrorism and cyberdefense sometimes bring an anti-authority spirit that does not fit the security bureaucracy."
Thursday, June 13, 2013 Clarity from Edward Snowden and Murky Response from Progressive Leaders in Congress (2 comments)
As the largest caucus of Democrats on Capitol Hill, the Progressive Caucus could supply a principled counterweight to the bombast coming from the likes of Boehner and Feinstein. But for that to happen, leaders of the 75-member caucus would need to set a good example by putting up a real fight.
Right now, even when we hear some promising words, the extent of the political resolve behind them is hazy.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Choosing Against the Surveillance State (4 comments)
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden explained his decision to leak top-secret documents as a response to America letting a ragtag group of terrorists scare the country into accepting a near-Orwellian surveillance state, a choice that can be challenged.
Friday, June 7, 2013 An Open Letter to Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee (3 comments)
Senator Feinstein, your energetic contempt for the Bill of Rights is serving a bipartisan power structure that threatens to crush our democratic possibilities.
A huge number of people in California and around the country will oppose your efforts for the surveillance state at every turn.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 Bradley Manning Is Guilty of "Aiding the Enemy" -- If the Enemy Is Democracy (2 comments)
Of all the charges against Bradley Manning, the most pernicious -- and revealing -- is "aiding the enemy."
A blogger at The New Yorker, Amy Davidson, raised a pair of big questions that now loom over the courtroom at Fort Meade and over the entire country:
* "Would it aid the enemy, for example, to expose war crimes committed by American forces or lies told by the American government?"
Monday, May 27, 2013 Our Twisted Politics of Grief
Let's face it: in the American political culture of our day, all grief is not created equal. Not even close.
Thursday, May 9, 2013 Obama in Plunderland: Down the Corporate Rabbit Hole (2 comments)
Of course the Republican economic program is worse, and President Romney's policies would have been even more corporate-driven. That doesn't in the slightest make acceptable what Obama is doing. His latest high-level appointments -- boosting corporate power and shafting the public -- are despicable.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Don't Vent, Organize -- And "Primary" a Democrat Near You (5 comments)
A good starting point to consider launching a primary challenge in your area would be to look at those 44 progressive caucus members of Congress who continue to refuse to make such a promise, leaving themselves wiggle room to vote for cuts in three crucial programs of the social compact.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 Time to Renounce the "War on Terror" (16 comments)
As a perpetual emotion machine -- producing and guzzling its own political fuel -- the "war on terror" continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Ongoing warfare has become a matter of default routine...
Without a clear and effective upsurge of opposition from the grassroots, Americans can expect to remain citizens of a war-driven country for the rest of their lives.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 Time to Bell the Obama Cat (26 comments)
In recent days, the big cat in the White House has provoked denunciations from groups that have rarely crossed him. They're upset about his decision to push for cuts in Social Security benefits. "Progressive outrage has reached a boiling point," the online juggernaut MoveOn declared a few days ago.
Obama's move to cut Social Security is certainly outrageous, and it's encouraging that a wide range of progressive groups are
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 The Growing Campaign to Revoke Obama's Nobel Peace Prize (18 comments)
The Nobel Peace Prize that President Obama received 40 months ago has emerged as the most appalling Orwellian award of this century. No, war is not peace.
George Carlin used to riff about oxymorons like "jumbo shrimp," "genuine imitation," and "military intelligence." But humor is of the gallows sort when we consider the absurdity and tragedy of the world's most important peace prize honoring the world's top war maker.
Monday, April 1, 2013 An Outpouring of Love and Support for Bradley Manning to Receive the Nobel Peace Prize (9 comments)
As a U.S. Army private -- seeing massive evidence of official deception, human rights abuses and flagrant killing of civilians -- Bradley Manning did not just follow orders. Instead, he became a whistleblower, supplying vast troves of documents to WikiLeaks, exposing duplicity that had enormous impacts from Iraq and Afghanistan to Egypt and Tunisia.
Friday, March 29, 2013 Digital Grab: Corporate Power Has Seized the Internet (1 comments)
The huge imbalance of digital power now afflicting the Internet is a crucial subset of what afflicts the entirety of economic relations and political power in the United States. We have a profound, far-reaching fight on our hands, at a crossroads leading toward democracy or corporate monopoly. The future of humanity is at stake.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 A Warfare State of Mind (1 comments)
Many Americans forget how intimidating it was a decade ago for any U.S. citizen to speak out against President George W. Bush's rush to war with Iraq. For example, the Dixie Chicks got death threats and actor Sean Penn was denounced as "a stooge of Saddam."
Thursday, March 14, 2013 Which Members of Congress Are Standing Up for Economic Decency -- and Which "Progressives" Aren't (8 comments)
In the real politics of the emerging struggle over Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, there's a very big difference between expressing opposition to benefit cuts and promising not to vote for them. It's only when members of Congress make a firm public commitment that Obama White House strategists may feel a need to recalibrate their deal-making calculus with Republicans.
Thursday, February 21, 2013 Congress: End Endless War and Stop Becoming "the Evil That We Deplore" (3 comments)
"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war," President Obama said in his 2013 inaugural address, after four years of doing more than any other president to normalize perpetual war as a bipartisan enterprise.
Repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force will be very hard. Revoking the power to combine lovely rhetoric with pernicious militarism w
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone. (2 comments)
After his Inaugural speech in January 2009, Obama has pursued policies that epitomize King's grim warning in 1967: "When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men." But Obama has not ignored King's anti-war legacy. On the contrary, the president has gone out of his way to distort and belittle it.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 The Progressive Caucus: Enabling Obama's Rightward Moves? (3 comments)
What we have witnessed so far is surrender in stages -- a chronic confluence of conformity and undue party loyalty, with brave talk from caucus members habitually followed by contrary votes on the floor of the House of Representatives
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 New Era for Progressives and Obama (10 comments)
With the danger of a Republican replacing Obama in the White House now behind us, progressives must proceed to systematically confront the administration in the process of reframing the national discourse on economic fairness, Wall Street, civil liberties, war and climate change. The next generations are depending on us.
Monday, December 26, 2011 Uncle Sam is making the wrong choices
Charities and other nonprofits are struggling to cope with deep economic wounds that have been festering for years. The dire consequences are far more widespread than private agencies can possibly heal. Only government has the capacity to provide economic remedies for social distress of this magnitude. But government is failing.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 Democrats must push back (6 comments)
The bipartisan deal-makers in Washington are slashing the safety net that's essential for vast numbers of Americans. One of the most dangerous aspects of the recent budget deal is that it explicitly sets the stage for future actions to undermine Medicare. This scenario strikes at the heart of precious values.