Adam Hudson, Truthout: When reports of torture in CIA black sites or Chicago’s Homan Square come out, it’s tempting to view them as historical anomalies, but they are not. Rather, state torture is the norm, a product of the slavery and imperialism on which the United States was built.
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: More than 18 million pounds of hazardous explosives are still sitting in bunkers at Camp Minden in Louisiana, after an explosion happened there more than two years ago. Officials haven’t agreed on how to clean up the wartime leftovers, but they have decided not to burn them in the open air.
Aisha Maniar, Truthout: Prisoner Shaker Aamer is not being held at Guantánamo Bay for anything he has done; he is a pawn in the power games of others.
Jude Widmann, Truthout: The positions advocated in a recent essay in Foreign Affairs by Jane Harman, former ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, reflect how weak, incomplete and outdated US intelligence oversight is.
Lorenzo Del Savio and Matteo Mameli, Truthout: While nationalist rhetoric has often been exclusionary and utilized by racist, right-wing factions, national struggles can also be an inclusionary means to stimulate solidarity among the oppressed, in Greece and other disadvantaged European nations, against the political and economic elites of the European Union.
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: As the United States begins bombing the Iraqi city of Tikrit and again delays a withdrawal from Afghanistan, a new report has found that the Iraq War has killed about 1 million people. The Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War examined the toll from the so-called war on terror.
Rebecca Burns, AlterNet: Seattle may have become one of the first cities to pass a $15 minimum wage last year, but the city’s adjunct instructors say that the dictum for fair pay has yet to penetrate the Ivory Tower. The next big fight for decent labor protections is heating up in academia.
Howard Zinn and Paula J. Giddings, TomDispatch: In an excerpt from 1960, Howard Zinn observes the young women of Spelman College turning into protesters, while historian Paula J. Giddings vividly looks back on Zinn and the Spelman experience 55 years later.
Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords: While Florida Gov. Rick Scott openly questions whether climate change is occurring, he denies he’s muzzling his staff. But stories of Florida state workers and contractors getting the brunt of this censorship make his denial ring hollow.
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: Why do some parties want this treaty so much? Because, as with many “trade” deals in recent years, the intellectual property aspects are more important than the trade aspects. We should never forget that protecting intellectual property means creating a monopoly.
LeeAnn Hall, OtherWords: The Obama administration should investigate all forms of predatory lending, including student loans, payday loans, medical loans, mortgages and credit cards. Our children, our neighbors, our parents, the sick and the struggling aren’t cash cows for bankers and lenders to milk.
Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Brennan Center for Justice: Last month, President Obama released a presidential memorandum on the domestic use of drones by federal agencies. The memorandum addresses the implications for privacy, civil rights and civil liberties. The memorandum takes some steps in the right direction, but leaves many questions unanswered.