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So ABC is arranging its convention coverage around an exhibition football game. NBC is giving us just the acceptance speeches.

Judith Miller is a New York Times reporter much in evidence on
talk shows and seminars on the Middle East.

Should the corporate owners of newspapers like the Los Angeles Times or the New York Post be allowed to own television stations in the same city?

The seismic shift in the politics of the death penalty is staggering.

On the final day of the Seattle demonstrations this past December, Peter Jennings of ABC's World News Tonight introduced the story with a sly aside: "The thousands of demonstrators will go

Once upon a time there was a struggling young California band. Its music was too loud and its image too unpolished for MTV.

It is impossible to overstate the importance--politically and legally--of the Supreme Court's recent 7-to-2 reaffirmation of its 1966 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona.

These days, the once highly revered nuclear weapons lab at Los
Alamos is the butt of jokes and investigations over the latest
revelation--that top-secret files supposedly locked in the most sec

What's wrong with this picture?: Slobodan Milosevic will be dragged
before an international war crimes tribunal while Robert McNamara tours
American college campuses touting his latest book on how to achieve world
peace, and Henry Kissinger advises corporations, for a fat fee, on how to
do business with dictators.

Clearly, when it comes to war crimes, this nation is above the law.

The United States has supported, nay imposed, a standard of official
morality on the world while blithely insisting that no American leader
ever could be held accountable to that same standard.

The persistent, if implicit, argument, made since the time of the
Nuremberg post-World War II trials, is that we get to judge but not be
judged because we are a democratic and free people inherently accountable
to the highest of standards. Dropping atomic bombs on Japanese civilians
was, therefore, a peaceful gesture because it shortened the war. Wouldn't
we judge such a claim as barbaric if employed by any other nation to
justify using such a weapon?

As the war in Vietnam further demonstrated, we are deeply invested in
the righteousness of war against civilians, but only when we are the
warriors. Now we will judge Milosevic a war criminal because he did the
same.

Whatever the horrors inflicted upon noncombatants during Milosevic's
tenure, they pale in comparison to what McNamara did during the eight
years that he presided over the Vietnam War, in which millions died
because of the lies he told and policies he ordered.

Milosevic is accused of using military force to wage a campaign of
terror against the civilian population of Kosovo. Yet it was McNamara who
defined the largest part of the Vietnamese countryside, populated by
peasants, as a free-fire zone. At no point was the population of Kosovo
systematically raked with anti-personnel bombs and incinerated with
napalm, as were the Vietnamese under the McNamara-directed policy.

McNamara refused to discuss his role in Vietnam for twenty-seven years after
leaving his post as Secretary of Defense, yet the acts over which he
concedes guilt in his 1995 memoir certainly could have formed the basis
of war crimes investigations of both McNamara and Lyndon Baines Johnson,
the president he served. In his book, McNamara makes clear that neither
he nor Johnson believed that the United States had a moral right to carpet-bomb
the Vietnamese into submission to achieve irrational US policy goals.

In a letter McNamara wrote to Johnson in 1967, the Secretary of
Defense conceded that the United States was flirting with war crimes and cautioned
the President that "there may be a limit beyond which many Americans and
much of the world will not permit the United States to go." He added:
"The picture of the world's greatest superpower killing or seriously
injuring 1,000 noncombatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny
backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly
disputed, is not a pretty one." But LBJ and McNamara were never held
accountable in a court committed to those human rights limits, and their
successors, Richard Nixon and his key warrior, Kissinger, promptly
escalated the war, carpet-bombing North Vietnamese peasants and
destroying all normal life in neutral Cambodia. The fierce bombings that
destroyed the Cambodian countryside also collapsed civil rule there,
paving the way for Pol Pot, a mass murderer who killed more than a
million of his own people and yet later became an ally of the United States. It was
only when he was no longer useful to US policymakers that they
considered him worthy of a war crimes trial. By then he was infirm.

Certainly Milosevic would seem to qualify as a war criminal, but
forcing him to trial while McNamara and Kissinger enjoy acclaim as elder
statesmen is to desecrate the standard of moral accountability. McNamara
was forced to address the war crimes issue last week before a USC
audience. He said he wished that international standards had been in
place when the United States was in Vietnam. Well, there was a standard. It was
established at Nuremberg, and McNamara and company clearly violated it.

As for Kissinger, his offenses are not restricted to any one
continent. He recently said he was too busy to answer a subpoena ordering
him to appear before a Paris judge investigating crimes by the
Kissinger-backed Pinochet regime in Chile.

Milosevic may well be a war criminal, but what arrogance to condemn
Yugoslavia's butcher of civilians when we have exonerated our own.

Since 1988, when it became available in France, American women have been waiting for mifepristone.

Blogs

Why are the Republicans going after a history professor who calls himself a “centrist”?

March 28, 2011

When Bill Cronon, a University of Wisconsin professor, started raising questions about whether Governor Scott Walker’s attacks on labor unions might have been organized by powerful out-of-state interests, the state Republican party went after him in a classic assault on academic freedom.

March 25, 2011

Eric Alterman reviews music and Reed Richardson parses the ethics of sports journalism.

March 25, 2011

After tracing the days of his youth in Oklahoma, and kicking around at low-paying jobs after high school, we pick up the story after he has decided to join the military.

March 25, 2011

Lennon’s song turns out to be not so utopian.

March 24, 2011

Most of us still know very little about Manning, his legal case and his incarceration—and how it reached this point.

March 24, 2011

The suspension of a star professor raises very disturbing question about the future of one of the country’s foremost journalism schools.

March 23, 2011

Former Michigan hoops star Jalen Rose called Duke's African American players “Uncle Toms.” Duke alum Grant Hill responded in the New York Times. Let the media firestorm commence!

March 22, 2011

The fact that Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Hillary Clinton skillfully argued for military intervention in Libya and won their point is not very interesting. So why is Robert Dreyfuss so shocked by it?

March 22, 2011

Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has been through the physical and mental wringer in twenty years of playing the game of football. His partner, Jaclyn Fujita, wants the next generation of players to be saved from the fears she carries every time he steps on the field.

March 21, 2011