TomDispatch.com

Sorry, the Idea that Civilians Control the US Military Is Pure Fantasy

Item: Two U.S. Navy patrol boats, with 10 sailors aboard, “stray” into Iranian territorial waters, and are apprehended and held by Iranian revolutionary guards, precipitating a 24-hour international incident involving negotiations at the highest levels of government to secure their release. The Pentagon offers conflicting reports on why this happened: navigational error, mechanical breakdown, fuel depletion -- but not intelligence-gathering, intentional provocation, or hormonally induced hot-dogging.

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5 Questions That Desperately Need to Be Asked of the Presidential Candidates

The nuances of foreign policy do not feature heavily in the ongoing presidential campaign. Every candidate intends to “destroy” the Islamic State; each has concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea, and China; every one of them will defend Israel; and no one wants to talk much about anything else -- except, in the case of the Republicans, who rattle their sabers against Iran.

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40 Years On: What the Fall of Saigon Can Tell us About the End of Iraq and Afghanistan

If our wars in the Greater Middle East ever end, it’s a pretty safe bet that they will end badly -- and it won't be the first time. The “fall of Saigon” in 1975 was the quintessential bitter end to a war. Oddly enough, however, we’ve since found ways to reimagine that denouement which miraculously transformed a failed and brutal war of American aggression into a tragic humanitarian rescue mission. Our most popular Vietnam end-stories bury the long, ghastly history that preceded the “fall,” while managing to absolve us of our primary responsibility for creating the disaster. Think of them as silver-lining tributes to good intentions and last-ditch heroism that may come in handy in the years ahead.

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A Foreclosure Conveyor Belt: the Continuing Depopulation of Detroit

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Raging Energy Wars: Global Conflict Fueled by Oil and Natural Gas

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Climate Change as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

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How Being a Whistleblower Left Me With No Choice But to Take a Minimum-Wage Job

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Cable News Is Reporting in an Alternate Universe

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How the Pentagon Covers Up the Truth About Its War Atrocities

This article originally appeared on TomDispatch, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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Selling Your Secrets: The Invisible World of Software Backdoors and Bounty Hunters

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Is This the Golden Age of Journalism for Readers?

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We're Looking at the End of Humanity -- And It Might Happen Sooner Than You Think

I grew up planning for my future, wondering which college I would attend, what to study, and later on, where to work, which articles to write, what my next book might be, how to pay a mortgage, and which mountaineering trip I might like to take next.

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How the Powerful Intelligence World Is on the Verge of the Ability to Make People Digitally Disappear

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CIA’s Disastrous “Bourne” Strategy

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It Was Bad Enough That We Militarized Our Own Borders -- Now the U.S. Is Doing It to the Rest of the World

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It isn’t exactly the towering 20-foot wall that runs like a scar through significant parts of the U.S.-Mexican borderlands. Imagine instead the sort of metal police barricades you see at protests. These are unevenly lined up like so many crooked teeth on the Dominican Republic’s side of the river that acts as its border with Haiti. Like dazed versions of U.S. Border Patrol agents, the armed Dominican border guards sit at their assigned posts, staring at the opposite shore.  There, on Haitian territory, children splash in the water and women wash clothes on rocks.

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Obama's Disastrous, Bumbling Middle East Policy Is Making a Huge Mess of Things

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How Private Tech Companies Are Collecting Data on You and Selling Them to the Feds for Huge Profits

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We Destroyed Afghanistan: Americans Can't Remember, Afghans Will Never Forget

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America Is More Terrifying Than Orwell’s Fiction

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In an increasingly phantasmagorical world, here’s my present fantasy of choice: someone from General Keith Alexander’s outfit, the National Security Agency, tracks down H.G. Wells’s time machine in the attic of an old house in London.  Britain’s subservient Government Communications Headquarters, its version of the NSA, is paid off and the contraption is flown to Fort Meade, Maryland, where it’s put back in working order.  Alexander then revs it up and heads not into the future like Wells to see how our world ends, but into the past to offer a warning to Americans about what’s to come.

He arrives in Washington on October 23, 1962, in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a day after President Kennedy has addressed the American people on national television to tell them that this planet might not be theirs — or anyone else’s — for long.  (“We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth, but neither will we shrink from the risk at any time it must be faced.”)  Greeted with amazement by the Washington elite, Alexander, too, goes on television and informs the same public that, in 2013, the major enemy of the United States will no longer be the Soviet Union, but an outfit called al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and that the headquarters of our country’s preeminent foe will be found somewhere in the rural backlands of… Yemen.

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We're in a Post-Constitutional America: Our Country Is Going Sideways in Plain Sight, and Nobody's Saying Much About It

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Planet Earth Is a U.S. Military Base

It could be any week on that great U.S. military base we know as Planet Earth and here’s the remarkable thing: there’s always news.  Something’s always happening somewhere, usually on more than one continent, as befits the largest, most destructive, most technologically advanced (and in many ways least successful) military on the planet.  In our time, the U.S. military has been sent into numerous wars, failed to win a single one, and created plenty of blowback.  But hey, who has to win a specific war when it’s “wartime” all the time?

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How to Be a Rogue Superpower: A Manual for the Twenty-First Century

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How to Act Like a Billionaire

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How TV News Gets All the Eye-Gluing Benefits of Climate Change without Having to Deal with It

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Too Soon to Tell: The Case for Hope, Continued

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Unimaginable Destruction If Israel Did Attack Iran with Nuclear Weapons

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The Book That Exposes How America's Imperial Global War on Terror Makes Life Much More Dangerous for Us at Home

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As the Newspaper Fades, Are We Entering a New Age of Conglomerated Chaos?

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Iraq Is Such a House of Trauma, It Doesn't Take Much to Get PTSD

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The American Public Suffered Recession for 4 Decades Before the Financial Crisis Hit

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Washington's Insane Iran Policy: Encirclement and Sanctions Over Fantasy Weapons

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