Media Self-Censorship Suppresses 3 Key Elements From Obama Foreign Policy Analysis

 

President Obama announced May 28 a major update of his foreign policy. But the mainstream media, as usual, failed to report context that would make the implications understandable to the general public.

Barack Obama West Point Speech May 28, 2014In the president's commencement remarks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he urged creation of a new $5 billion "Counter-terrorism Partnership Fund."

The money would go to unspecified purposes, which the president suggested might include rebels fighting Syria's government. That formulation underscores the open-ended nature of the slush fund because even the administration has not maintained that Syria's government, or "regime," poses a terrorism threat to the United States. Covert CIA and U.S. special forces have long secretly helped overthrow the current government, according to independent sources.

Seeking to strike a balance with a war-weary public, Obama also urged restraint in new commitments. That prompted the Washington Post editorial board and other hawks to protest that restraint would foster terrorism and undermine human rights.

Almost entirely missing from such mainstream analysis was a reminder that the U.S. Constitution requires that congress declare war. That requirement has been undermined through the years, including by gray areas of blanket congressional approvals (including in advance for actions), treaty obligations and United Nations-style consensus actions. But the constitution itself, the nation's fundamental law, has not been amended.

Besides the legitimacy of such war-making, mainstream media self-censorship represses two other elements required for informed debate of foreign policy: power relationships and secret funding.

  • Hidden relationships. The media have persistently hidden parts of President Obama's biography, as well as spy agency ties of many other prominent decision-makers. Obama's first job after college in 1983 was with the CIA front company Business International Corp. The New York Times reported the company's background in 1977, quoting a co-founder as saying it had been a front company. This was in the wake of the Church Committee investigation of the CIA and its hidden operatives in the media. My in-depth look at the Obama-Dunham family background assembles evidence the future president and his family were worker bees in intelligence and related cover posts in business and non-profits. Obama's later work as a community organizer in the mid-1980s in Chicago fostered misleading perceptions of his political orientation, especially following reports of his involvement with radicals. But like most at the highest ranks of the political stage, he is playing a role, as I show in my book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters. Obama is one of many examples of controlled opposition in government. Voters receive little information on this background even regarding Obama, a two-term president.
  • Secret Funding. The national security state organizing the nation's civic agenda around "Homeland Defense" and related defense contracting is deeply interwoven with the country's supposedly independent thought leadership, including the Washington Post, other major media, businesses, universities and other non-profit groups. One of many examples is Amazon.com's $600 million contract last fall to handle cloud computing for the CIA. Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos, an attendee at last year's Bilderberg Group annual meeting, bought the Post last year for $250 million. The Bezos joint control of the Post and Amazon.com (and the possibility of additional such government and corporate contracts for Amazon.com) are an obvious, ongoing conflict of interest. More generally, secret government funding and other hidden relationships often help sustain ostensibly non-government organizations (NGOs), private businesses and other entities, such as universities. The money is laundered by pass-throughs difficult to detect with specifics on short notice for news deadlines, but well-known by Washington insiders as standard procedure.

In sum, voters lack the means readily to learn certain kinds of vital information about current affairs. This is no accident. Many major United States institutions were modeled on counterparts in the United Kingdom devised more than a century ago to expand the British empire by fostering secret relationships among the elite. In the United States, financiers have created similar organizations that work together in ways ignored by the most prestigious public affairs commentators.

One illustration is the attendee list of this year's Bilderberg Group, which began its annual deliberations May 29 in Denmark. Organizers, bowing to public pressure, announced 120 attendees who are enrolled at the super-secret conference first organized in 1954 by the Rockefeller and Rothschild families, initially at the Bilderberg Hotel in a rural town in the Netherlands.

This year's public list includes the Western world's titans and enforcement agents who consent to be so identified. Usually some do not. As for their goals, no insiders, including the media billionaires attending, are likely to report on discussions.

The President's Plan

President Obama and Senior Advisors May 27, 2014A White House photo shows President Obama in an Oval office meeting with his senior advisors May 27, the day before his address to West Point's graduating class. White House photographers are now providing the public more exposure to positive images of the president. Obama did not launch this process but he has expanded it. Meanwhile, photographers from news organizations are being limited in a variety of ways to fewer and less interesting photo opportunities, thereby endangering their jobs and also public access to the president's circle.

For media watchers, photos enable scrutiny of the personnel involved. In this instance, Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes, sitting to the president's immediate left, is the brother of CBS News President Andrew Rhodes.

That kind of cross-pollination among the government and media elite is common to both the Obama and predecessor administrations. In the Bush administration, for example, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's was wife was White House Communications Director for Vice President Cheney and then for President Bush. Her job? Seeking to influence the media that her husband regulated.

Yet few of these relationships are ever reported. Washington's puppet master's and lobbyists already know the details, and enhance their powers when the public remains in the dark.

As for the substance of the president's remarks at West Point, he told the cadets: 

"This is a particularly useful time for America to reflect on those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, a few days after Memorial Day. You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.  When I first spoke at West Point in 2009, we still had more than 100,000 troops in Iraq. We were preparing to surge in Afghanistan. Our counter-terrorism efforts were focused on al Qaeda’s core leadership -- those who had carried out the 9/11 attacks.  And our nation was just beginning a long climb out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."

The president congratulated the newest officers in the U.S. Army and reflected on America's foreign policy agenda. His full remarks are here.

The hawks at the Washington Post promptly complained in the paper's lead editorial that Obama was "Tying America’s hands," a criticism that Republican, neo-con and neo-liberal voices repeated all week.

The president's claque of defenders endorsed his views with their usual hand-wringing over details. Some stalwart anti-war protesters boldly rebuked the president. But their audiences are limited for the most part to the web-based alternative media.

As noted above, the mainstream media (MSM) typically self-censor discussion of sensitive topics that might undermine the bipartisan support in congress for "The Intelligence-Industrial Complex," a modern successor to "The Military-Industrial Complex" denounced by President Eisenhower during his Farewell Address in 1961.

We noted that verboten topics in the MSM are reminders of the constitutional requirements founders created for warmaking.The next two require some additional background.

Another one is in-depth biographical details of our presidents and their top advisors, and most important, their power relationships.

For example, Obama is just one of many recent presidents with hidden ties to the intelligence and law enforcement sectors. Presidential Puppetry documents that all presidents after Jimmy Carter -- with the arguable exception of George W. Bush -- have had relationships with the CIA or FBI before entering politics.

Even the younger Bush, albeit without a formal title in younger years, was steeped in that culture as son of George H.W. Bush, who began secretly leading a CIA front company six decades ago and who rose to become CIA director and president.

To be sure, the evidence is at times circumstantial or otherwise sparse. The Obama portrait is incomplete because of an unusual number of missing or suppressed records involving him and his family. But the important factor for readers is that few with access to relevant officials dare even to ask sensitive questions of presidents and their advisors about these matters.

Another self-censored area is the funding sources for private organizations that are supposedly independent of the defense, surveillance and similar Homeland Security sectors. In fact, many such organizations receive secret funding from government black budgets that is almost untraceable by reporters and civic do-gooder groups. For example, Obama's proposed $5 billion slush fund for Executive Branch-ordered action against terrorism is just an additional step in a longer term transfer of war-making to the presidency from what the Constitution-writers envisioned as congressional control. 

True, each of these problems arose long before the Obama administration.

Finally, it is no secret to any serious researcher that an intelligence agenda has long permeated many ostensibly private organizations, including the media. Our previous column noted that Operation Mockingbird, according to declassified documents, involved CIA-coordinated messaging at many of the nation's most prestigious newspapers, broadcasters and magazine outlets. The late Washington Post owner Philip Graham was a leader in those secret efforts. He dined weekly with the CIA program's leader, Frank Wisner, who once boasted that he controlled "a Mighty Wurlitzer" that could create global propaganda, including in the United States.

I uncovered research in my book research showing that the CIA in the 1960s had also been funding such diverse groups as the American Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper and Students for a Democratic Society on the left, as well as the Ku Klux Klan and similar fringe groups on the right. The seeming crazy quilt of relationships actually provided effective levers of influence over domestic news coverage and political affairs.

Yet each stage of power shift is so momentous and fundamentally lawless that those of us in the media should remind the public at every new landmark.

Increasingly, the Obama administration is expanding the notion of unilateral action by the United States to create war and regime change and similar actions without the blessings of major international bodies such as the United Nations -- or even the broad "Coalition of the willing" that the Bush-Cheney administration cobbled together for military action. Obama's actions tend to be sanctioned, if at all, by narrower coalitions of such strange bedfellows as Western democracies and oil-rich, repressive Gulf kingdoms.

Despite this pattern, we should fear such situations, which arguably are becoming more dangerous. Our first three Cold War presidents, all combat veterans extending from the Truman through Kennedy presidencies, ultimate (most of the time in private) against CIA's threat to American democracy. Their warnings are now little known, reported or heeded.

Congress, whose operations have been monitored and recorded by the NSA's secret surveillance just like everyone else's, according to recent disclosures by NSA whistleblowers, operates with far less independence now than powers envisioned under the constitution.

And there is not a single journalist anywhere the country who regularly publishes hard-hitting, independent investigations in the mainstream media in the style of Jack Anderson and his mentor, Drew Pearson. The closest approximation is New Yorker contributor Seymour Hersh. But he does not have a wide audience, and has not been able to publish even in his care publication, the New Yorker, his most explosive recent foreign policy findings, as I reported this spring in Mainstream Media Ignore Hersh’s Shocking Reports on Benghazi, Syria Atrocities.

In that column, I noted that this site and my book had also reported several of Hersh's findings. So, the unwillingness of the major media even to mention them strikes especially close to home here.

The Bilderbergers and Why You Should Care

Presidential Puppetry HandEarlier this week, the Justice Integrity Project tackled similar contentious issues in a column, Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears. We reported the extreme measures by government and the establishment media to discredit those who fear Big Brother-style secret plots.

In somewhat similar fashion, the annual three-day meeting of the Bilderberg Group that began on May 28 fuels fears of those on both the right and left that an elite cabal of the world's wealthiest CEOs  are discussing in secret the economic and political future of humanity. Among the fears fostered by this kind of secret process is that economic austerity could worsen the majority's condition under free trade policies, a "One World" government, and increased surveillance and police state tactics to suppress political dissent.

Bilderberg participants, who have included royalty from both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, for decades operated in absolute secrecy. That wall of silence has been breached thanks to the pioneering reporting of Daniel Estulin, the Spain-based author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, first published in 2005.

His work and its popular reception have been the primary reason the conference's organizers have started making limited disclosure about attendees and topics of discussion. The attendees are typically 120 to 150 each year, with two-thirds from Europe and the rest predominately from the United States and Canada.

Radio broadcaster Alex Jones has become a leading popularizer of attacks on the Bilderberg Group and available information, which is excerpted below. The brash theatrics of the raspy voiced Jones have appalled traditionalists and helped them portray critics of the Bilderberg Group as wild-eyed conspiracists. The host of a BBC program last year told Jones that he was the worst guest the program had ever hosted.

Petraeus and BroadwellYears ago before my research, I might have been inclined to agree with the host that the importance of a subdued demeanor. Now I can see that we would know little about the Bilderberg Group and those like it without the bold initiative of those like Jones and Estulin. Ironically, such groups -- including Chatham House, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Bohemian Grove -- are heavily populated by media CEOs of both old and new media and prominent academics who are failing their supposed obligation to keep us informed.

Moreover, the guest lists reveal a heavy concentration of intelligence, banking, energy, and other elite figures whose presence in effect confirms suspicion that this is precisely the kind of gathering that deserves intensive scrutiny. At the Bilderberg meetings, longtime U.S. NSA Director and Cyber Command Commander Keith Alexander, for example, is listed as resuming his attendance following his retirement to the private sector this spring. He has been a repeated guest for years. It is reasonable to wonder why he has been briefing foreign potentates when the operations of the NSA have historically been super-secret even from the American public until former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's revelations a year ago.

Similarly, the repeat presence of former CIA Director David Petraeus, now the CEO of a Wall Street subsidiary of KKR, raises a question about the revolving door. Petraeus is shown with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, during his military service. My research connects the dots to evidence that Petraeus entertained career advancement offers from powerful Republicans while he served in the Obama administration.

Promoted to leadership of the CIA, Petraeus resigned in disgrace shortly after the 2012, both for the public reasons of a sex scandal and for more important -- and secret reasons relating to Benghazi, as I report in Presidential Puppetry. Discovery of electronic evidence of his scandal with Broadwell was a convenient cover story for public dissemination, thereby obscuring the far more interesting and important machinations.

But America's puppet masters could not let the story, known primarily to themselves and their vassals, end there. To maintain discipline and proper incentives for the long term, they had to commemorate their power by elevating Petraeus to the world of wealth even after his disgrace. KKR, whose name partner Henry Kravis is one of the dynasties with vast and largely unreported power over government, named Petraeus CEO of one of its Wall Street subsidiaries last year. With two years in a row of Bilderberg invitations, his status is secure. 

The Truth Patrol

Given the high stakes for the country and the level of support the book has been receiving from readers across the political spectrum, I am reaching out to connect the dots more clearly between Puppetry's findings and current events.

We are calling this effort The Truth Patrol, and hope you will join with it both via the Justice Integrity Project and otherwise.

Andy ThibaultAndy Thibault, left, a syndicated columnist in Connecticut specializing in legal affairs, wrote a review of Puppetry, "Road map to master manipulators," that provides an excellent summary of its most explosive documentation.

More recently, retired University of Michigan engineering professor C.W. Kauffman, an expert on armaments, wrote a glowing review that he posted this week both on the Amazon.com Reviews of 'Presidential Puppetry' and the parallel site of Barnes & Noble here. The Amazon.com review omits most specifics of his impressive background, but they are contained on the other review.

As of this date, all but one of the 40 reader reviews are a "5" or a "4." The exception was a "1" from an obvious troll who used the name "Smuckfeldt" the day after a writer with a similar name, Bill Schmalfeldt, praised the work of the Justice Integrity Project for helping him in a legal difficulty while he was besieged by many ideological enemies.

Next month, I'm going to airing these messages more widely. The book will be excerpted in serial form on this site and others. Also, I'll be undertaking speaking trips, such as one centered on Connecticut, beginning with two appearances in Litchfield on June 19 in the rural, northwestern part of the state. One of the nation's first law schools was established there, and the region is well-known to this day for a strong civic culture.

I began my reporting career in Connecticut, working 14 years for the state's largest newspaper, the Hartford Courant, before undertaking magazine, TV and book work there. I am especially interested in sharing ideas about how those with a strong sense of pride in fostering good governance in local communities can be effective regarding national issues.

Kindly contact me if you would like to arrange similar speaking appearances or broadcast interviews. I appeared on more than a hundred broadcast interviews to discuss my first book, Spiked, which exposed suppression of legitimate news stories and inflation of others, thereby distorting the public's agenda. The stakes are far more important now.

 

Contact the author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Related News Coverage

President Obama touches Marshall Placque at West Point, May 28, 2014White House, Remarks by the President at the United States Military Academy Commencement Ceremony, May 28, 2014. President Obama travels to West Point to congratulate the newest officers in the U.S. Army and to reflect on America's foreign policy agenda. He is shown touching the Marshall Placque, named in honor of the late Gen. George C. Marshall, shortly before his talk: "The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it -- when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake, when the security of our allies is in danger.  In these circumstances, we still need to ask tough questions about whether our actions are proportional and effective and just.  International opinion matters, but America should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland, or our way of life. On the other hand, when issues of global concern do not pose a direct threat to the United States, when such issues are at stake -- when crises arise that stir our conscience or push the world in a more dangerous direction but do not directly threaten us -- then the threshold for military action must be higher. 

In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action.  We have to broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law; and, if just, necessary and effective, multilateral military action. In such circumstances, we have to work with others because collective action in these circumstances is more likely to succeed, more likely to be sustained, less likely to lead to costly mistakes. This leads to my second point:  For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism. But a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable.  I believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy -- drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan -- to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.

Washington Post, Tying America’s hands, Editorial Board, May 28, 2014.  At West Point, the president stands at odds with decades of U.S. foreign policy.

Washington Post, Obama lays out new approach to foreign policy in second term, David Nakamura and William Branigin, May 28, 2014. President Obama on Wednesday laid out a new, post-9/11 foreign policy after more than a decade of war overseas, outlining a global counterterrorism initiative and arguing for a balance between interventionism and “foreign entanglements.” In a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy, he stressed the importance of nonmilitary options in addressing the world’s foreign policy challenges, as well as collective international action. Coming more than six years into a presidency that has been devoted to winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama’s announcement of his new foreign policy approach also featured a defense of his administration’s handling of foreign crises and a suggestion that some critics are out of step with a nation weary after 13 years of war. He sought to strike a balance between those who want to avoid involvement in foreign conflicts and “interventionists on the left and right” who want to apply U.S. power to solve various world problems."

Mother Jones, Is Obama a Realist, Isolationist, Humanitarian Interventionist, or Drone-Dropping Hawk? David Corn, May 28, 2014. Since the end of the Cold War, foreign policy has become much more challenging. In a post-bipolar world where nonstate actors pose real threats and disrupters (good and bad) are everywhere, the issues are knottier and unforeseen developments often yield difficult options. In the aftermath of 9/11, George W. Bush chose not to come to terms with this fundamental change. Instead, he opted for a blunderbuss policy dominated by a misguided invasion of Iraq. President Barack Obama inherited a helluva cleanup job. And as he had handled the details -- such as winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- he has had tried to articulate an overall strategy. His latest stab at this was the speech he delivered to West Point graduates this morning. 

Seymour HershJustice Integrity Project, Mainstream Media Ignore Hersh’s Shocking Reports on Benghazi, Syria Atrocities, Andrew Kreig, April 17, 2014. The major U.S. media have ignored for the most part Seymour Hersh’s blockbuster column April 4 reporting the Obama administration's deceptive accounts of notorious killings in Benghazi and Syria. Several major outlets declined to publish his column "The Red Line and the Rat Line" and, much worse, have also failed to raise questions about his source-based allegations after Hersh published them in the London Review of Books. 

Bilderberg Group

Bilderberg Meetings, Official Conference Site. Founded in 1954, Bilderberg is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Every year, between 120-150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the conference. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; approximately one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields. The conference is a forum for informal discussions about major issues facing the world. The meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor of any other participant may be revealed. Thanks to the private nature of the conference, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no desired outcome, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.

The 62nd Bilderberg meeting is set to take place from 29 May until 1 June 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. A total of around 140 participants from 22 countries have confirmed their attendance. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media have been invited. The list of participants is available on www.bilderbergmeetings.org. The key topics for discussion this year include:

  •     Is the economic recovery sustainable?
  •     Who will pay for the demographics?
  •     Does privacy exist?
  •     How special is the relationship in intelligence sharing?
  •     Big shifts in technology and jobs
  •     The future of democracy and the middle class trap
  •     China’s political and economic outlook
  •     The new architecture of the Middle East
  •     Ukraine
  •     What next for Europe?
  •     Current events

Infowars, Official Bilderberg 2014 Membership List Released, Alex Jones and Daniel Estulin, May 27, 2014. Confab reveals this year's list of participants, set to attend in Copenhagen, Denmark from May 29 to June 1, 2014.
Official Bilderberg 2014 Membership List Released. Chairman, Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group, France, with 120 other names. Infowars analysis note: There are always members who will be attending, but who don’t want to be included in the list, due to laws such as 18 U.S. Code § 953, otherwise known as the Logan Act, which makes it a felony offense – punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years – for any member of federal or state government to meet with members of a foreign government without the express authority and authorization of the president or congress.

Infowars, Bilderberg Agenda Revealed: Elite Desperate to Rescue Unipolar World, Paul Joseph Watson, May 27, 2014. The 2014 Bilderberg meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark is taking place amidst a climate of panic for many of the 120 globalists set to attend the secretive confab, with Russia’s intransigence on the crisis in Ukraine and the anti-EU revolution sweeping Europe posing a serious threat to the unipolar world order Bilderberg spent over 60 years helping to build. Inside sources confirm to Infowars that the elite conference, which will take place from Thursday onwards at the five star Marriott Hotel, will center around how to derail a global political awakening that threatens to hinder Bilderberg’s long-standing agenda to centralize power into a one world political federation, a goal set to be advanced with the passage of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will undoubtedly be a central topic of discussion at this year’s meeting. The TTIP represents an integral component of Bilderberg’s attempt to rescue the unipolar world by creating a “world company,” initially a free trade area, which would connect the United States with Europe. Just as the European Union started as a mere free trade area and was eventually transformed into a political federation which controls upwards of 50 per cent of its member states’ laws and regulations with total contempt for national sovereignty and democracy, TTIP is designed to accomplish the same goal, only on a bigger scale. The deal is being spearheaded by Obama’s U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, a Wall Street insider and a CFR member, Bilderberg’s sister organization. Froman is simultaneously helping to build another block of this global government, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a similar project involving Asian countries. Given that Bilderberg schemed to create the Euro single currency as far back as 1955 (Bilderberg chairman Étienne Davignon bragged about how the Euro single currency was a brainchild of the Bilderberg in 2009 interview), the results of the European elections are sure to have stirred outright alarm amongst Bilderberg globalists who are aghast that their planned EU superstate is being eroded as a result of a populist resistance mainly centered around animosity towards uncontrolled immigration policies.

​RT, Bilderberg actually talks nukes, euro nationalism and… Barack Obama – leak, Staff report, May 31, 2014. The officially released agenda of the prestigious Bilderberg club meeting is not true, claims RT show host Daniel Estulin, a longtime watcher of the ‘secret world govt’ group. He says he obtained the real agenda for this year’s gathering in Copenhagen. An insider leaked the list of talking points for the ongoing Bilderberg conference to the investigative journalist last week, he said. The list has nine items, seven of which he shared: 1. Nuclear diplomacy and the deal with Iran currently in the making.

Washington Post, Jeff Bezos to his future Washington Post journalists: Put the readers first, Paul Farhi and Craig Timberg,  Sept. 4, 2013. Jeffrey P. Bezos had a simple bit of advice for the staff of the newspaper he’ll soon own: Put readers, not advertisers, first. Don’t write to impress each other. And above all, “Don’t be boring.”

 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues

John KerryOpEdNews, Why does the US govt support attacks on civilians in Ukraine? Michael Collins, May 31, 2014. The Orwellian definitions of human rights versus unfortunate incidents may be the Obama administration's latest attempt to support an inhumane and immoral policy on the part of Ukraine while trying to avoid paying the price for that support. The Obama administration took a very high profile, hard line on removing the government of Syria. President Bashar Al-Assad was told to simply leave his country on multiple occasions by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, current Secretary John Kerry, and countless subordinates. He refused to comply. The Syrian government has successfully resisted the U.S.-supported takeover of that nation and the policy is in tatters. The president and his party cannot afford another major foreign policy fiasco given the poor record. The administration may have sought a quick win in Ukraine to offset Syria (and the chaos in Libya) and used the neoconservatives as shock troops. Now, facing another even higher profile loss than Syria, acute desperation may prevail.

Washington Post, Snowden, U.S. clash over his e-mail records, Ellen Nakashima and Barton Gellman, May 29, 2014. Officials release a tame e-mail from the then-contractor, saying he never raised concerns Edward Snowden (Freedom of the Press Foundation)about surveillance programs, but in a response to the Post, he calls their leak “tailored” to mislead. Snowden is shown in a portrait via the San Francisco-based Freedom of the Press Foundation, on whose board he serves.

NBC News, Edward Snowden: ‘I’d like to go home,’ Terrence McCoy, May 29, 2014. Edward J. Snowden, in an hour-long television interview broadcast Wednesday night, portrayed himself as a “patriot” who broke the law in an act of “civil disobedience” directed at “massive” constitutional violations by the U.S. government. While Snowden said he would love to return to the United States from Russia, where he sought and obtained asylum last summer after leaking thousands of documents detailing the extent of the National Security Agency’s sprawling surveillance program, he said he did not want to “walk into a jail cell.” That, he said, would serve as a “bad example for other people in government who see something happening, some violation of the Constitution, and think they need to say something about it.” The government has charged the one-time contractor of the National Security Agency with theft and violations of the 1917 Espionage Act for disclosing details of the government’s electronic spying program to news organizations, including The Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which won the Pulitzer Prize for stories derived from the materials. He could face a significant jail term were he to be found guilty of those crimes.