Outgoing President Barack Obama is leaving his successor with a wide array of tools he used to wage war and obscure the work of the government.
It was a trick of words: Congress agreed to an arms “control” treaty — but only in exchange for billions of dollars to “modernize” the current stockpile of weapons. So nothing really changed.
Four former drone operators came forward to strongly criticize President Barack Obama’s drone war, saying it bred terror, killed innocents, and left the ones pulling the trigger grievously wounded in spirit.
On May 18, 2015, President Obama made a surprising announcement: he ordered the federal government to reverse its standing practice of providing American police departments with surplus weapons and vehicles from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Given declining confidence in police after a seemingly constant recent stream of fatalities involving black suspects, this newfound caution with heavy provisioning is understandable. But questions about the wisdom of militarizing police are not new. WhoWhatWhy first wrote about the issue in February, 2014.
Why did the president back away from a commitment that federal agencies use green electronics? Buried in a recent Executive Order on sustainability is recycled rhetoric that undermines long-standing federal policy.
Classic Why: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Iran and the Bomb, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Facts
With the June 30 deadline looming to reach a deal in the Iran nuclear talks, we revisit the good old days when everyone was still entirely misled about Iran’s nuclear program. Have those days really passed?
Western support of the Ukrainian uprising may have been miscalculated—and has the potential to exacerbate an already-strained relationship with Russia.
The goodwill President Obama first enjoyed with our Latin American neighbors has thawed, in large part due to an executive order signed in March that labels Venezuela an “extraordinary threat.”
Sixty-two years after the Cuban Revolution began and 53 years after they were severed, diplomatic ties between the US and Cuba have been restored. Tom Hayden, a leader in the student, antiwar, and civil rights protests throughout the 1960s talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about what this new opening might mean.
The Secret Service cordon around President Obama is looking more like a sieve after two security breaches in as many days. The most serious one involved a former soldier getting into the front door. He’d already been stopped outside the White House a month before—carrying a hatchet. Is he another “lone nut” to be dismissed reflexively or a sign of something else?
Thanks to Ukraine, NATO is back in a familiar Cold-War posture—warning against Russian belligerence and pushing for more defense spending to deter it. As the alliance’s leaders meet at a summit in Wales, plans under discussion to push NATO defenses closer to Russia could create the consequences they’re designed to avert.
The debate over who was responsible for the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, rages on. But the partisan noise appears to be obscuring a much more interesting possibility. Not to mention more troubling.
Last year, we addressed questions of fairness and equity in the long imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard for spying on behalf of Israel. With the Snowden case, the issue of how to handle those who reveal America’s secrets has taken on a new life.
Finally, the cracks in the official 9/11 story are beginning to widen. Two congressmen— alarmed by what they have read about financial and logistical support of top Saudi officials for the purported 9/11 hijackers—are demanding that President Obama declassify a report that would tell us much more about what the US government knows.
If the past is not to be ignored, we have every reason to be skeptical of the justifications coming out of Washington for military action in Syria. Is it really about chemical weapons? Two words: Highly. Unlikely.
US Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split, But Says It Needs Decades to Safely Eliminate Its Own Chems
Sixteen years after signing the chemical weapons treaty, the US says it needs another 10 years to destroy its stocks of chemical arms. But it insists that Syria, in the midst of a civil war, eliminate its huge weapons stockpile in 8 months or face a bombing blitz.
Here’s another fine mess: The American people overwhelmingly don’t want war with Syria. The US is in bed with terrorists—plus blithely ignores international law and protocol. And when a congressman points out apparent disinformation from on high, the Secretary of Defense pleads ignorance.
America and its allies appear about to launch a war against Syria. The justification is that the regime of Bashar al-Assad is using chemical weapons against the Syrian people. But a closer look raises doubts about whether Assad is using the weapons, whether the US-backed opposition is using them—or some combination. This is a timely must-read.
As Cairo burns and the American president tries to say anything but “coup”, the Washington chatterati are agreed that Egypt is just too precious a commodity to give up in the name of human rights. They’re right, but geopolitics has less to do with it than profits.
The “War on Terror” just keeps expanding. Next, it could go south of the border. And target a whole new group of scary folks. Where is all this headed? We take a look in this three-part series.