With President Barack Obama having issued an executive order banning secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons and then-CIA Director Leon Panetta having stated that “CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites,” one might think a credible report that the CIA is still operating such a prison would make the front page of every newspaper in the country and be covered on all major television news programs. Alas, in 21st-century America, where the news media are the handmaidens of the state, the story has largely been ignored; and those outlets that have deemed it worthy of coverage have done so in such a way as to play down its revelations and play up the government’s denials.
On July 12 The Nation published a lengthy article by Jeremy Scahill exposing a secret CIA prison in Mogadishu, Somalia. Scahill’s report was based on an in-person investigation of the allegations, undertaken at great personal risk.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Obama administration has decided to formally recognize Libya’s main opposition group as the country’s legitimate government. The move gives foes of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi a major financial and credibility boost.
Clinton announced Friday that Washington accepts the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority of the Libyan people.
Diplomatic recognition of the council means that the U.S. will be able to fund the opposition with some of the more than $30 billion in Gadhafi-regime assets that are frozen in American banks.
Although reporters from communist-controlled media in China are welcome at a summit between the National Governors Association and their Chinese communist counterparts in Salt Lake City this weekend, William Jasper, senior editor for the constitutionalist magazine The New American, is not.
It seems strange sometimes, the things that trouble Senator John McCain. Take the NATO war on Libya, for example, in which the United States is a participant, if not the outright leader.
Libya has, so far as is generally known, committed no recent offense against the United States or our NATO allies, nor threatened to do so. The African nation poses no threat to America and her interests abroad, nor has it made any assault on our nation’s honor. Yet President Barack Obama has waged an air war against Libya without any authorization by Congress, let alone a declaration of war, which power the Constitution assigns to Congress. He has gone past the time allotted by the 1973 War Powers Act for either obtaining the support of Congress or ceasing the military action.
On June 23 the United States conducted an unmanned aerial drone attack in Somalia, killing at least one person and wounding others. The targets of the attack were members of the Somali militant group al-Shabaab, which for several years has been fighting the U.S.-backed Somali government. Recently, however, the group began “planning operations outside of Somalia,” a senior U.S. military official told the Washington Post.
“A Pentagon official said … that one of the militants who was wounded had been in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric now hiding in Yemen,” according to the New York Times. Awlaki himself was the target of a U.S. drone strike in May but escaped unharmed.
Grassroots concern over these budding partnerships between U.S. governors and Communist Chinese officials is increasing as the first U.S.-China Governors Forum convenes in conjunction with an annual meeting of the National Governors Association in Salt Lake City July 15-17.
America’s new belligerent engagement in Libya, along with its NATO allies, has led me to think of our old engagement in Libya, which inspired the U.S. Marine anthem, “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli.” Not only have most Americans never heard of that war fought during Thomas Jefferson’s administration, but today’s schools don’t even bother to teach it.
About a year ago, I visited a prestigious private school in Oregon and was joined at lunch by a group of the school's best students of high-school age. I assumed that they were well versed in American history. But to find out if I was right, I asked if they could tell me what was the first war the United States was engaged in after we had established an independent government under the new constitution.
As the space shuttle Atlantis orbits the earth on its final flight, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is attempting to chart a new course for a federal agency that has often given the impression of being “lost in space.”
Bolden's tenure as administrator has been a time of transition for the agency. When he was nominated by President Obama in May 2009 and then confirmed by the Senate two months later, press reports focused on Bolden’s record as a Marine Corps major general, a veteran shuttle astronaut, and the historic role he would have as the first African American to serve as the head of NASA. As reported for The New American in July 2009:
As the last flight of NASA’s space shuttle began with a photogenic launch this morning, the future of manned space flight is far from certain. From the first shuttle mission — designated STS-1 — in April 1981, when astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen flew the Columbia, through today’s launch of Atlantis for STS-135, the shuttle program has been the focus of much of the praise and criticism in public analysis of America’s space program. Now, as Atlantis begins its twelve-day mission, the debate about the future of human space flight centers on the role of public and private involvement in such endeavors.
Since the beginning of “space race” between the Soviet Union and the United States, outer space has primarily been the domain of governmental space programs. National security concerns led to the development of spy and weather satellites, global satellite communications, and the global positioning satellite (GPS) system. Other programs — such as the Apollo — mixed science and "national prestige" interests.