In August, The Intercept revealed that Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest coal mining companies in America, has been secretly financing think tanks and political organizations that deny climate change. One of the people they funded, attorney Chris Horner, is well known for hounding climate scientists across the country.
The payments were exposed in the firm's bankruptcy filings last month.
On Monday, when I asked Kevin Crutchfield, the chief executive officer of Alpha Natural Resources, about his company's support for Horner and his aggressive investigations of climate scientists, he was unapologetic.
"It should come as no surprise to you that we support those with like-minded philosophies," Crutchfield said. read more
One Day After Warning Russia of Civilian Casualties, the U.S. Bombs a Hospital in Afghanistan
Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power marched to Twitter to proclaim: "we call on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians." Along with that decree, she posted a statement from the U.S. and several of its closest authoritarian allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UK warning Russia that civilian casualties "will only fuel more extremism and radicalization."
Early this morning, in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the U.S. dropped bombs on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)). The airstrike killed at least 9 of the hospital's medical staff, and seriously injured dozens of patients. "Among the dead was the Afghan head of the hospital, Abdul Sattar," reported The New York Times. read more
Jenna McLaughlin, The Intercept: Despite promises to allow Guantanamo prisoners to speak more freely about their experiences there, the U.S. government is still blocking the release of over 100 pages of notes and diaries from torture victim Abu Zubaydah. The U.S. had for many years taken the position that the prisoners could not describe their own experiences of torture and confinement because those activities were classified. But in January, after the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report, the government changed its classification rules. In a brief filed in a military commission case, the government wrote that "general allegations of torture" minus specific details about the CIA agents involved or the location, were now unclassified. ... However, as [Zubaydah attorney Joe] Margulies first told Reuters, the government has responded with an almost blanket refusal: "We submitted 116 pages in 10 separate submissions. The government declared all of it classified." read more
"We've ended two wars." -- Barack Obama, July 21, 2015, at a DSCC fundraiser held at a "private residence"
"Now that we have ended two wars responsibly, and brought home hundreds of American troops, we salute this new generation of veterans." -- National Security Adviser Susan Rice, May 20, 2015
"His presidency makes a potentially great story: the first African-American in the White House, who helped the country recover from recession and ended two wars." -- Dominic Tierney, The Atlantic, January 15, 2015, "America Will Miss Obama When He's Gone"
Report from Airwars, August 2, 2015, detailing civilian deaths from continuous U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria: read more
Pope Francis on Thursday gently scolded Congress on a variety of issues, from immigration to foreign policy, but on one unexpected topic -- the weapons sales that fuel armed conflicts around the world -- he couldn't have been much more blunt. He was speaking about his determination "to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world," when he said this: Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade. read more