Free speech in a time of terrorism

Yesterday’s massacre in Paris at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is… shocking and unforgettable. The… publication may have been frequently racist against Muslims and a whole host of “enemies” but the right to offend is a key attribute in a democracy. This doesn’t mean we have to applaud editors and writers who trade in racial…

Don't mention the Iraqi oil

Perceptive Steve Coll in The New Yorker: Obama’s advisers explained to reporters that Erbil holds an American consulate, and that “thousands” of Americans live there. The city has to be defended, they continued, lest… ISIS… overrun it and threaten American lives. Fair enough, but why are thousands of Americans in Erbil these days? It is not to…

How the NSA wants total population control

My weekly Guardian column: William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance. On 5 July he spoke at a… conference… in London organised by the…

Dirty Wars is the best book of 2013

Jeremy Scahill’s stunning investigative book, Dirty Wars, is the most compelling book… of the year. Green Left Weekly asked me to name my best book of 2013. Easy choice: The corporate media are filled daily with stories of “terrorists” being killed, captured and droned in the far corners of the globe. Since 9/11, the Bush and…

Seymour Hersh; journalism isn't propaganda

Far too many reporters see themselves as extensions of power instead of checks on it. One of the finest journalists in the world, Seymour Hersh, unloads on this trend. I couldn’t have put it better myself (via Guardian): Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news…

The daily inhumanity of Guantanamo Bay

Devastating article by writer John Grisham in the New York Times: About two months ago I learned that some of my books had been banned at Guantánamo Bay. Apparently detainees were requesting them, and their lawyers were delivering them to the prison, but they were not being allowed in because of “impermissible content.” I became…

Tony Abbott’s foreign policy would be as clueless as George W. Bush

My following article appears today in the Guardian: In April 2010, as the war in Afghanistan was raging and US president Barack Obama… “surged” 30,000 more troops… into the country, Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott suggested that under his leadership, a Coalition government would have considered increasing involvement. “The government should explain why it’s apparently right that…