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Silent Coup

In the past 4 years 22 universities across the U.S. have quietly taken the CIA’s dollars and agreed to become spy-factories for student spooks. David Price breaks the story, identifies the campuses, details secret faculty protests and charts the strategy for resistance. The U.S.’s warlord clients in Afghanistan now produce 90 per cent of the world’s opium. Peter Lee reports how the U.S. sponsors widening drug plagues in Iran and Russia. Get your new edition today by subscribing online or calling 1-800-840-3683 Contributions to CounterPunch are tax-deductible. Click here to make a donation. If you find our site useful please: Subscribe Now! CounterPunch books and t-shirts make great presents.

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Today's Stories

February 4, 2010

Barbara Rhine
Keep What You Have, But Leave the Rest

February 3, 2010

Paul Craig Roberts
The Crisis is Not Over

Kathleen Christison
Zionism Laid Bare

Franklin Spinney
The Pentagon Goes Intellectually AWOL

Dean Baker
No Way Out: Roadblocks on the Way to Recovery

Marc Levy
No Medal Jacket

Kathy Kelly
Banning the Homeless in Colorado Springs

Gareth Porter
Talking with the Taliban: US and Karzai Clash

Joshua Frank
Blackwash: How the Coal Ash Industry Manipulated EPA Reports

Rannie Amiri
Saada War Rages On

Gregory Vickrey
Short-Changing the Health Care Debate ... For Now

Website of the Day
Mt. Reagan?

February 2, 2010

Michael Hudson
The Bernanke Disaster

Boadiba's Earthquake Diary

Chris Floyd
War, Budgets and Blind Ambition

Paul A. Passavant
The Symbolic Politics of the GOP: State of the Union or Civil War?

Mike Whitney
Bair's Damning Testimony

John Ross
Who's Who in Mexico's Narco Wars?

Jonathan Cook
Israel is Criminalizing Dissent

Susan Galleymore
Wasting Good Waste

Dave Lindorff
Talk Now With the Taliban

Tolu Olorunda
Words as Weapons

Ron Jacobs
I See Hawks and Earthworms

Website of the Day
Cop Watch: Guerrilla Video Primer

February 1, 2010

Michael Hudson
Obama's Junk Economics

Stan Goff
The Murderous Mystique of JSOC: How Secret Becomes Special

Patrick Cockburn
The Case Against Tony Blair

Saul Landau
Universal Disorientation: the Modern Media and Haiti

Dr. Carol Paris, MD
Staying When They Tell You to Leave
: What I've Learned Doing Civil Disobedience for Single Payer

Marshall Auerback
A Proposal for Genuine Financial Reform

Harvey Wasserman
Will Obama Guarantee a New Nuclear Reactor War?

Johanna Berrigan
Destruction, Hope and Faith in Port au Prince

Peter Gelderloos
More Wood for the Fire

David Michael Green
An Ugly Week for the Human Race (and Other Living Things)

Martha Rosenberg
If You Liked Bovine Growth Hormone, You'll Love Beta Agonists

Kevin Zeese
Health Care: a Better Idea

Alan Farago
Where Nature Saves the World ... From Us

Website of the Day
Demolishing Flint

January 29 - 31, 2010

Alexander Cockburn
The Oldest Game in Washington

Daniel Ellsberg
A Memory of Howard Zinn

Bill Quigley
Hell and Hope in Haiti

Franklin Spinney
Turning Sun Tzu on His Head: the Eikenberry Cables and the Escalation in Afghanistan

Jeffrey St. Clair
Showdown in the Malheur Marshes

Steve Early
The Night They Drove Old Labor Down

Joe Bageant
The Annotated Obama

P. Sainath
Memories of Maharaj

Jordan Flaherty
The New Politics of Post-Katrina New Orleans

Joshua Frank
Why the Stimulus Falls Short: an Interview with Doug Henwood

Winslow T. Wheeler
The New Pentagon Budget: Spending Even More, Buying Even Less

Brian M. Downing
Negotiating an Afghan Agreement?

Wajahat Ali
Dissent as Democracy: an Interview with Howard Zinn

William Loren Katz
Changing History: Howard Zinn, John Hope Franklin and Ivan Van Sertima

Dave Lindorff
SOTU Whoppers: Obama's Fog Machine

Jim Goodman
The Political Capital is Gone, Now What About Political Will?

Judith Scherr
Sending in the Marines: a Q & A with the State Dept. on Haiti

Kerry Kennedy / Monika Kalra Varma
Human Rights and Haiti

Anthony Papa
The Ordeal of Cameron Douglas: Punished for Being an Addict

David Macaray
A Man for All Seasons

Roger Burbach
Indigenous Challenges to Ecuador's Neo-Liberal Model

Belén Fernández
Police Perform Halftime Show at Zelaya Airport Farewell

Nikolas Kozloff
Chávez and Earthquakes

Dr. Susan Block
Defending the G-Spot: Yes, Virginia, It Does Exist

Windy Cooler
Salinger and Zinn: Dead Together, But Read Together?

Charles R. Larson
The Last Cargo Cult: Econ. 101 with Mike Daisey

Mikita Brottman
Theaters of Death: Losing it at the Movies

David Yearsley
Fancy Footwork

Lorenzo Wolff
The Stoic Soul of Bill Withers

David Rovics
He Fades Away: the Life and Music of Alistair Hulett

Poets' Basement
Cirino, Holt and Farrelly

Website of the Weekend
Arrest Blair

January 28, 2010

Bill Quigley
Haitians are Helping Haitians

Peter Hallward
The Fourth Invasion: Securing Disaster in Haiti

Tanya Golash-Boza
Struggling for Dignity and Survival in Haiti

Shamus Cooke
Taxing the Rich Wins in Oregon

Dave Lindorff
In Liberty County Jail

Ray McGovern
Obama Put Politics First on Afghanistan

Uri Weiss
Distorting the Basic Law: Apartheid at the Israeli High Court

Thomas M. Power
Logging for Electricity?

Cecil Brown
The Greensboro Sit-In and Obama

Wajahat Ali
Muslims Helping Haiti

Harvey Wasserman
The Late, Great Howard Zinn

Website of the Day
Hayduke, Take a Walk on the Wild Side

January 27, 2010

Daniel Kovalik
Obama's War for Oil in Colombia

Paul Craig Roberts
Rule by the Rich

Dean Baker
We Won't Get Tarped Again!

Uri Avnery
The Two-Headed Monster

Sasha Kramer
Fear Slows Aid Efforts in Haiti

Vijay Prashad
Plan of Death in Haiti

Nikolas Kozloff
Hugo and the Shockwave: the U.S., Latin America and Haiti

Mark Weisbrot
Haiti: Where Security Kills

Jonathan Cook
Holocaust Day Invited Raises Storm in Israel

Bob Fitrakis /
Harvey Wasserman

Et Tu, ACLU?

Binoy Kampmark
Gordon Ramsay in India

Website of the Day
White House Die In

January 26, 2010

Michael Hudson
Myths of Recovery

Joan Roelofs
It's the Whole System

Patrick Cockburn
The Hanging of the Henchman

Mike Roselle
Photographing Mountain Top Removal: an Interview with Antrim Caskey

Brian M. Downing
Return of the Trust Busters

David Macaray
Big Brother is Alive and Well ... and He's Signing Your Paycheck!

Bouthaina Shaaban
Haiti -- Gaza: Varieties of Compassion

Kevin Zeese
Remodeling the Antiwar Movement

Richard Morse
The Press Only Likes Fresh Blood and the Blood in Haiti is Drying

Fidel Castro
We Send Doctors, Not Soldiers

Farzana Versey
Making Haiti: Survival, Charity Tourism and the Marketplace

Jonathan Cook
Israel's "Army-Owned" University

Website of the Day
Bagram: an Annotated Prisoners List

January 25, 2010

Michael Hudson
Will Obama Put Muscle Into the White House's New Populist Play?

Anthony DiMaggio
Supremely Swindled

JoAnn Wypijewski
Judges' Shock Ruling Okays Fantasist's "Repressed Memories" Fraud

Nadia Hijab
Aiding Yemen

Robert Jensen
Great Television, Bad Journalism: Media Failures on Haiti

John Maxwell
Boojum Hunting in the Caribbean

Richard Morse
Tweets From Port au Prince: We are Far From Normal

Marilyn Langlois
Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder in Haiti

Dan Bacher
Has Obama Sold Out to Big Ag?

James L. Secor
The Mental Paralysis of the Left

Jayne Lyn Stahl
Putting the "Pro" Back Into Progressive

Website of the Day
Glenn Beck's "Revolution Holocaust"

January 22/24, 2010

Alexander Cockburn
The Great Leap Sideways

Russell Feingold
The Supremes Have Opened the Floodgates

Ralph Nader
The Supremes Bow to King Corporation

Christopher Ketcham
Freedom of Speech for a Fiction

Manuel Garcia, Jr
Corporate Personhood and Political Free Speech

Paul Craig Roberts
How Wall Street Destroyed Health Care

Jeffrey St. Clair
Poison Letters

Nikolas Kozloff
A Thorn in the Side of the U.S. Military in Haiti

Jean Damu
Haiti: Blood, Sweat and Baseball

Mitchel Cohen
Haiti and Toxic Waste

Paul Buccheit
The Tragedy of Haiti ... and Us

Conn Hallinan
Something About Yemen

Steven Higgs
The Mystery of the Eli Lilly Rider

Rob Stone, MD
Face Time With Rahm on Health Care

Saul Landau /
Nelson P. Valdes

The Preventive Coup

Ron Jacobs
Just Walk Away From the Democrats

Vijay Prashad
The Killings in Bengal

P. Sainath
India: Self-Slaughter Every 30 Minutes

M. Shahid Alam
Inviting David Brooks to My Class

George Wuerthner
Why Grass-Fed Beef Won't Save the Planet

Missy Comley Beattie
Could a Woman Who Posed Nude Get Elected?

Jean Sabaté
Russia's Ruined Far East Metropolis

Shamus Cooke
Company Unionism

Stephen Fleischman
The Founding Fathers and the Luck of the Draw

Michael Donnelly
Gitmo Closes

David Michael Green
How to Wreck a Presidency

Michael Dickinson
Art on Trial in the Capital of Culture

Charles R. Larson
In the Aftermath of 9/11

David Yearsley
From the Liberace Museum to Persian aub Zam Zam

Lorenzo Wolff
Catching Ziggy on the Lower East Side

Poets' Basement
Ahmad and Corseri

Website of the Day
Hitler Finds Out Scott Brown Won Mass. Senate Seat


January 21, 2010

Paul Craig Roberts
Security Fools

Alan Farago
Fat Tires in the Everglades

Richard Morse
Earthquake in the Red Zone

Stewart J. Lawrence
The Prospects for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Harvey Wasserman
The Weimar Democrats

Carl Finamore
Class Clowns

Ramzy Baroud
Iran and Latin America: the Press Stirs the Pot

Marshall Auerback
Obama Still Doesn't Get It

Fawzia Afzal-Khan
Pakistan Love Story

Adam Federman
Did Commercial-ization Kill the Bees?

Website of the Day
How Free Market Theory Destroyed the Free Market

January 20, 2010

Alexander Cockburn
A Richly Deserved Humiliation

James Bovard
How the Patriot Act Perpetuates Official Robberies

Mary Lynn Cramer
Class and Party Differences in Massachusetts

Dean Baker
Making the Banks Pay

Uri Avnery
The Turkish Incident

Kathy Kelly
Tough Minds and Tender Hearts

Jeb Sprague
Haiti's Classquake

Ron Jacobs
Revolution Not a Tea Party

John V. Walsh
Why I Voted for the Republican in Massachusetts

Bouthaina Shaaban
A Wise Strategy for Obama

Gail Dines
The Ideal Partner?

Website of the Day
Water Insecurity in the Colorado Basin

January 19, 2010

Michael Hudson
Wall Street's Power Grab

John Maxwell
No, Mister, You Can't Share My Pain

Stephen Soldz
The Guantánamo Suicides

Richard Morse
Tweets from Port au Prince: "A Hungry Man is an Angry Man..."

Björn Kumm
The Tragedy of Toussaint L'Ouverture

Gary Leupp
Blowback of the Drones

Eric Toussaint /
Sophie Perchellet
Haiti's Odious Debt

Nikolas Kozloff
Chile's New Right

Benjamin Dangl
Profiting From Haiti's Misery: If the Marines Don't Kill You, the Loans Will

Dave Lindorff
The Blackout on Cuban Aid to Haiti

Robert Roth
The Politics of an Earthquake

Website of the Day
Break Up the Big Banks--ASAP

January 18, 2010

Petra Bartosiewicz
The Intelligence Factory: How America Makes Its Enemies Disappear

Nelson P. Valdés
The Rescue Operation's Priorities in Haiti

Bill Quigley
Why the U.S. Owes Haiti Billions

Richard Morse
I See No Evidence of a Government Presence Here: Tweets from Port au Prince

Tolu Olorunda
More Than Aid, Haiti Needs Allies

John Ross
The Silence of the Sub

Manuel Garcia, Jr. The Murder of Masoud Alimohammadi: Assassinating the Iranian H-Bomb

Ralph Nader
Privatizing Everything

Franklin Lamb
How McCain was Greeted in Lebanon

Frederick B. Hudson
Plucking the Chords of Change

Website of the Day
Senator Centerfold

January 15-17, 2010

Alexander Cockburn
Bum Rap for Harry, Not for Bubba Bill

Richard Morse
The Streets are Now Haiti's Living Room, Bedroom and Morgue

Bill Quigley
Ten Things the U.S. Can and Should Do for Haiti

Patrick Cockburn
Crushing Haiti, Now as Always

Jeffrey St. Clair
On the Firing Line

Anthony DiMaggio
Remaking an American Myth: Haiti, U.S. Aid and Humanitarian Relief

Tom Reeves
Haiti, Where America Never Learns

Daniel Wolff
Haiti's Ongoing Emergency

Alan Nasser
Obama's Latest Ruse: the Bank Tax

Saul Landau /
Nelson P. Valdes

A Coup in Honduras ... So Twentieth Century!

Andrew Oxford
Afghanistan's Soft-Spoken Rebel

Michael Donnelly
Big Greens and Real Greens: Biodiversity in the Age of Big Money Environmentalism

Russell Mokhiber
Democrats Going Down in Flames

Darwin Bond-Graham
The Green Drillers

Missy Beattie
War Dealer

David Ker Thomson
The Attention Economy

Gary Leupp
War on Yemen

Ron Jacobs
The Untold Story of Afghanistan

Clifton Ross
Nicaragua Now: Living the Farce

Jordan Flaherty
Her Crime? Sex Work in New Orleans

Marshall Auerback
Why Placating the Tea Baggers Protects the Status Quo

Marjorie Cohn
Keeping Same Sex Marriage in the Dark

Joe Bageant
Bass Boats and Queer Marriage

Tariq Ali
Remembering Daniel Bensaîd

Jayne Lyn Stahl
Too Soon to Fail?

Charles R. Larson
Iran at the Seams

Kim Nicolini
Vampires in Hard Times

David Yearsley
Histories of Western Music, From Grout to Kleinzahler

Poets' Basement
Garcia and Bryan

Website of the Weekend
Green Tags: Words That Stick

Support Haiti Action

January 14, 2010

Ashley Smith
The Incapacitation of Haiti: Before and After the Quake

Harvey Wasserman
Hard Core Green: How to Kick Corporate Butt

Dean Baker
The Case for Bernanke: a Really Bad Joke

Brian Cloughley
Selective Compassion

Brock L. Bevan
One Night in Sana'a: Parties, French Girls and Security in Yemen

Don Monkerud
The Health Insurance Monopoly

Winslow T. Wheeler
More Pentagon Spending

Gideon Levy
Only Shrinks Can Explain Israel's Behavior

Adam Federman
The Exxon Clause

James McEnteer
This Week in Stupid

Brian Concannon Jr
Working with the Haitian Government

Website of the Day
Protest at Wall Street

January 13, 2010

Patrick Haenni /
Sami Amghar
The Myth of Muslim Conquest

Jonathan Cook
The Iron Dome

Cecil Brown
Knocking on Woods: What Tiger Woods Jokes Tell Us About the American Character

Steven Higgs
Mercury and the "Environmental Soup"

Paul de Rooij
A People's Cartoon History of Gaza

Richard Forno
What Happens When They Change Targets?

Dr. Trudy Bond
Psychologists in an Age of Torture

Daniel Drennan
A Black Panther in Beirut

Martha Rosenberg
The "Good Cancer" Spin

Brenda Baletti, Gilson Rego and Antonio Sena
Battle in Amazonia

Website of the Day
Haiti Aid: Artists for Peace and Justice

January 12, 2010

Bill Salganik
The Myth of "Cadillac" Health Plans

Uri Avnery
The Quiet American Goes to Yemen

Dean Baker
Big Bank Theory

Dan Kovalik
Chiquita Lauded for Human Rights Abuses

Raza Naeem
Yemen's Memories of Revolution and Resistance

George Wuerthner
Up in Smoke: Why Biomass Wood Energy is Not the Answer

Dave Lindorff
Looking for Those Green Shoots

David Macaray
I am Blacker Than Rod Blagojevich

Tolu Olorunda
Bono Bombs, Again

Patrick Bond
Copenhagen Inside-Out

Website of the Day
Unfortunate Checkout Aisle Juxtapositions: Tiger and Abdulmutallab

January 11, 2010

Patrick Cockburn
Only Fools Rush Into Yemen

Gareth Porter
Potemkin Tunnels: Iran Uses Fear of Secret Nuclear Sites to Avert Attacks

John Ross
Mexico Welcomes 2010 With Bombs and Riots

Gregory V. Button
TVA Health Assessment Report on Coal Ash Raises Troubling Questions About the Agency

Ralph Nader
The Last of the Prairie Populists: Losing Byron Dorgan

Tom Barry
Not Systemic Failure, Failed System

Mikita Brottman
The Healing Powers of Facebook

David Michael Green Lost in the White House

David Swanson
Obama as the Secret Decider

Kevin Zeese
The Baucus 8 Are Free

Website of the Day
Solitary Watch: News From a Nation in Lockdown

February 4, 2010

Chucking Precedent at the High Court

Sammy the Mouth Alito


It seemed rude, but Sammy was just coming to the defense of a colleague. It happened during the State of the Union address when Sammy mouthed the words “Not true” in response to the President’s comments about a recently decided U.S. Supreme Court case. Johnny was still smarting, insofar as a Chief Justice of the United States ever smarts, from the fact that that decision demonstrated that when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing, he had his fingers crossed.

One of the issues that concerned some of the senators during that hearing was whether Judge Roberts’s ideology would cause him to ignore the established principle of stare decisis that says courts should give great weight to judicial precedent and be slow to overturn established law. The reasons for the rule were best expressed by Judge Roberts himself when in response to questions from Senator Arlen Specter he said:

“I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent. Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness. It is not enough -- and the court has emphasized this on several occasions -- it is not enough that you may think the prior decision was wrongly decided. That really doesn't answer the question, it just poses the question.

And you do look at these other factors, like settled expectations, like the legitimacy of the court, like whether a particular precedent is workable or not, whether a precedent has been eroded by subsequent developments. All of those factors go into the determination of whether to revisit a precedent under the principles of stare decisis. . . . If a[n] overruling of a prior precedent is a jolt to the legal system, it is inconsistent with principles of stability. . . . [T]he principles of stare decisis recognize that there are situations when that's a price that has to be paid.”

On January 21, 2010, in the case of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, the Chief Justice was part of the 5 person majority that overruled decades of established law to find that the law limiting corporate expenditures in political campaigns is unconstitutional even though, as Justice Stevens observed in his dissent, the Court had adequate grounds to rule in favor of the plaintiffs without holding the statute unconstitutional. Mindful of his senate testimony, the Chief Justice wrote a 14-page mea culpa (in legal parlance called a concurring opinion) explaining why his vote to overrule earlier cases did not overrule his testimony before the U.S. Senate. What was notable about the Chief Justice’s concurring opinion was not so much what he wrote as to how it came to be written.

Citizens was first argued before the Supreme Court in March, 2009 and a decision was expected by late June. Instead, on June 29th the Court announced that it had set the case for reargument one month before its regular fall term was to begin and set a schedule for the filing of briefs. It said that it wanted the hear argument on the very issues that the parties had stipulated were not being presented to the Court. It asked the parties to advise it whether it should overrule either or both of two prior rulings on campaign finance law.

Justice Stevens observes in his 94 page dissent that the parties had agreed that neither side was attacking the constitutionality of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 insofar as it prevented corporations from making independent expenditures for speech that is an “electioneering communication” or that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate.

Commenting on the procedural issues, Justice Stevens said that although there was initially a “facial challenge to the constitutionality of Section 203 [of the Act]” . . . . [i]n its motion for summary judgment . . . Citizens United expressly abandoned its facial challenge. . . and the parties stipulated to the dismissal of that claim.” He observes that the Court typically does not anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity of deciding it nor formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise fact to which it is to be applied.

Only time will tell whether Citizens will open the monetary floodgates to corporate involvement in political campaigns since corporations can now make independent expenditures in support of candidates or parties. What no one can debate is that by joining the members of the Court who said the case should be reframed and reargued so that the Court could overrule earlier decisions, the Chief Justice made a mockery of his statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Not that it matters. He now is where he wanted to be and no one can touch him.

Christopher Brauchli is a lawyer in Boulder, Colorado. He can be e-mailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu.

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