News Releases

Putin and ICC “Rank Hypocrisy” 20 Years After Iraq Invasion


Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. His most recent book is World Politics, Human Rights and International Law.

He said today: “The ICC is itself guilty of rank hypocrisy. … Putin is the first white leader that the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for.”

Boyle noted that exactly 20 years ago, the U.S. started its “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign, which initiated the full-blown invasion of Iraq. It began with the demand that Saddam Hussein leave Iraq following a long-planned scheme which included illegally spying on members of the Security Council to coerce their backing, which failed. The invasion was backed by Biden and others currently in power.

[There will be an online screening of “War Made Easy” tonight about how the public is manipulated into war. It will be followed by a panel with IPA Executive Director Norman Solomon (whose book the film is based on), Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Marcy Winograd, India Walton, Kathy Kelly, and David Swanson.]

Boyle added: “I asked [the ICC] for arrest warrants against Bush et al. for their policy and practice of extraordinary rendition but did not get them.” Boyle was a prosecutor for an international tribunal organized in Malaysia which found George W. Bush and Tony Blair guilty of crimes against humanity in 2011. See reports in Al-Jazeera and Reuters.

“The ICC has not indicted even one American, even one Brit, even one Canadian, even one Australian, even one NATO leader, even one Israeli. This despite all the death and destruction that they have inflicted upon humanity all over the world for the past two decades.”

Boyle argued that the U.S. invasion of Iraq alone was far worse than the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but he critiqued a whole series of actions by the U.S. and its NATO and non-NATO allies.

Boyle’s recently-released book has a chapter titled “ICC: The White Man’s Court.” He said today: “Besides Putin, all the rest targeted by the ICC were Black Tinpot Dictators. So the Africans call the ICC ‘The White Man’s Court.’ The ICC has not lifted one finger to help the Palestinians, the Afghans, the Iraqis, the Libyans, the Syrians, the Somalis, etc.

“Just as Biden and Antony Blinken have refused to have good faith negotiations with Russia regarding Ukraine, so too did the U.S. government refuse to negotiate with Iraq and other countries it attacked.” Blinken has explicitly called on the ICC to not scrutinize Israel. Blinken is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday.

Boyle also noted that a genuinely independent court would be examining the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline, reportedly done by the U.S. government but which the State Department denies.

Is the Fed Both Causing and Exploiting Crises?


Canova is professor of law and public finance at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He said today: “The present crisis reveals some of the big shortcomings in the 2008 bailout approach — starting with a failure to nationalize and prosecute fraudster bankers; a refusal to close down the derivatives markets, cronyism and revolving doors between D.C. policymakers, regulators and banks; and the Federal Reserve’s trickle-down monetary policy, printing money to bailout banks and subsidize financial markets and a casino economy. … There are indications that the Federal Reserve may use the present crisis to try to usher in central bank digital currency (CBDC) and a centralized system of social credit and social control.”

In 2011, Tim was appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to serve on an Advisory Committee on Federal Reserve Reform. He has written extensively on the Federal Reserve, including “The Role of Central Banks in Global Austerity.” Other works are here.

“Blame the Fed”


Wray is senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute and his latest book is Money for Beginners; Nersisyan is associate professor of economics at Franklin and Marshall College. They just wrote the yet-to-be-published piece “Blame the Fed” which states: “If the Fed should go crazy and hike rates quickly, the market value of bank assets will fall. But the Fed has kept rates low for a generation — and seems to have learned its lesson from the last three significant rate hikes: Volcker in the early 1980s, Greenspan in 1987, and Bernanke in the early 2000s: rate hikes kill financial markets. Surely the Fed would not be so stupid as to quickly raise rates? Of course not. The Fed had learned its lesson the hard way. Why would you want to create another financial crisis?

“Enter [Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome] Powell and the pandemic disruptions to global supply chains. After some — laudable — patience as pandemic-induced inflation rose, Powell decided to raise rates to foam the runway for a soft landing. The truth is that the Fed has never engineered a soft landing. The reason is simple: higher rates reduce inflation only by creating a financial crisis that crashes the economy. After two decades of near zero interest rates, the Fed hiked rates extremely quickly — by 400 basis points (4 percentage points). All balance sheets that had been built during the period of low rates immediately became toxic. Short-sellers were watching. They sent out the warning to depositors: SVB [Silicon Valley Bank] is in trouble, withdraw all your deposits now!”

Silicon Valley Wants A Bailout


JAMES HENRY,, @submergingmkt
Henry is Global Justice Fellow at Yale University and managing director at the Sag Harbor Group. He just wrote the piece “So Silicon Valley Wants A Bailout?” He noted in a tweet that “#Signature was a premier NYC bank w Barney Frank on its board+ crypto/US$ exchange deals w Binance.”

RootsAction just put out an action alert: “Tell Senators to Apologize for Rigging the Rules for Reckless Banks.”

RENITA MARCELLIN, via Carter Dougherty,,  @RealBankReform

Americans for Financial Reform states: “The swift demise of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and the actions taken by the federal regulators over the weekend underscore the folly of the partial rollback of the Dodd-Frank law in 2018 and the need, looking forward, for strict oversight of large banks and the entirety of the financial system.”

Marcellin, the advocacy and legislative director for the group states: “Rolling back common-sense safeguards to ensure banks were liquid enough to pay their depositors was clearly the wrong decision. These banks would have faced a tougher risk management framework under the original Dodd-Frank law. But bipartisan majorities in Congress weakened the law in 2018 and Trump-appointed regulators took it even further.”

The group adds: “Congress should repeal the 2018 legislation, and take up additional measures to protect financial stability and the public interest. But regulators should not wait; they can take steps now to make the system more stable while protecting consumers and investors. They should strengthen bank capital and liquidity rules and make use of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Office of Financial Research to identify emerging risks, designate firms as systemically important, and properly regulate both banks and non-banks. They should also implement the Dodd-Frank mandate to limit executive compensation.” Dougherty is communications director for the group.

Collapse of SVB: Single Payer Healthcare — For the Financial System Only


Ferguson is professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston, research director at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and senior fellow at Better Markets.

He said today: “After 2008 the financial system was supposed to be fixed thanks to Dodd-Frank, stress tests, higher capital requirements, etc. Suddenly we wake up to discover that the collapse of a single bank mortally threatens the whole financial system and that authorities are reinstating single payer healthcare for the financial system (only). And this amid news reports that SVB [Silicon Valley Bank] lobbied against regulatory restraints and higher FDIC fees and paid out bonuses just before the takeover. With monetary authorities still climbing uphill in their crusade against inflation, anyone who thinks this is a politically stable outcome is smoking something.”

He is the author or coauthor of many books and articles. Among these are “Myth and Reality in the Great Inflation Debate: Supply Shocks and Wealth Effects in a Multipolar World Economy” with Servaas Storm; and “Bankman-Fried, Political Money, and the Crash of FTX” and “How Much Can the U.S. Congress Resist Political Money? A Quantitative Assessment” with Jie Chen and Paul Jorgensen. The views expressed here are his own and not those of any organization he is affiliated with.

China Brokers Normalization Between Iran and Saudi Arabia


TRITA PARSI,, @tparsi
Parsi is the executive vice president of the Quincy Institute. He states: “Saudi-Iran normalization is a BIG DEAL, not just because of the positive repercussions it can have in the region — from Lebanon to Yemen — but also because of mediated it (China) and who didn’t (U.S.).

“Saudi-Iran tensions have had many ups and downs in the past 40 years, but this is the first time they have agreed to lower the temperature through Chinese mediation. By not taking sides, China has emerged as a player that can resolve disputes rather than merely sell weapons.”

Meanwhile, Parsi notes the U.S. focus on Israel: “When asked about the China-brokered agreement between Iran and Saudi, Biden responds that ‘the better relations between ISRAEL and its Arab neighbors, the better for everybody.'” Parsi adds: “While the Abraham Accords have been lauded as a ‘peace deal,’ the Wall Street Journal explicitly states that it could ‘extinguish the flickering Palestinian hopes of creating an independent state.’ So it would be a ‘peace’ based on Israel annexing Palestine. Got it.”

In 2021 Parsi called on the U.S. to help build a new Persian Gulf security architecture: “1. Abandon dominance 2. Encourage regional dialogue, but let the region lead 3. Include other major powers such as China.” He notes now: “Biden didn’t listen, but apparently Beijing did.”

He adds: “The Saudi-Iran normalization was apparently not a one-off by China. China is also arranging a summit between Iran and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for later this year.”

“The Partisan Pandemic Cottage Industry”


In a new piece for PESTE magazine, public-health researcher Abby Cartus critiques the mainstream narrative of pandemic response in the U.S., which contends that the reason the country’s pandemic response was so badly botched is the country’s deep partisan polarization. 

    Abby Cartus is a postdoctoral research associate with the People, Place, and Health Collective at Brown University School of Public Health, where her work focuses on overdose prevention, perinatal epidemiology, and statistical methods. 

Cartus writes that the explanation in news media and academic research, which hinges on politics and partisan polarization, “threatens to point us down a dead-end path.” The framing provides an “easy answer,” she writes, indicating that it was the public’s “stubborn attachment to our partisan identities and mistrust of one another that ultimately scuttled an effective response.” Cartus argues that that narrative blames the public for what she sees as the government’s failures.

She told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “The partisan gaps are real. But they’re being endowed with an [outsized] explanatory power. The narrative is doing a lot of work to cover up for policy failures that did not need to happen. It also does a lot of work to shield public figures from public outcry and response. The U.S. pandemic response failed so badly because of structural and material things—policy decisions made decades ago, pandemic policy decisions, and the economic imperatives of running a capitalist economy.”

20 Years Later: “The Most Important Leak” That Almost Stopped the Iraq Invasion


In 2003, Gun was an analyst with GCHQ, the British equivalent of the secretive NSA. As the U.S. government ramped up to invade Iraq, it sought a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the invasion.
To help get that authorization, the NSA put out a memo ordering a spy surge on other members of the UN Security Council to find ways to blackmail and bribe them into voting for authorization.

Gun was sent this memo. She exposed it and on March 2, 2003, the Observer published the memo on their front page.

The story ricocheted around the world, causing the U.S. government to fail to get UN authorization.

On March 8, 2003, the Observer reported that a worker at GCHQ had been arrested in violation of the Official Secrets Act. That was Gun. This effectively confirmed the veracity of the story and authenticated the document.

Gun, who lives in Turkey with her husband and child, said today: “I wouldn’t change anything that I did. I did what I was capable of. I felt genuinely alone in the process of trying to stop the war by exposing the U.S. government’s illegal actions.”

Daniel Ellsberg, who exposed the Pentagon Papers, would comment: “No one else — including myself — has ever done what Katharine Gun did: Tell secret truths at personal risk, before an imminent war, in time, possibly, to avert it. Hers was the most important — and courageous — leak I’ve ever seen, more timely and potentially more effective than the Pentagon Papers.”

The Institute for Public Accuracy put out multiple news releases on the case, but U.S. media largely buried the story. It was eventually told in the 2019 film “Official Secrets” with Keira Knightley playing Gun, see review by Sam Husseini which gives further detail on the case.

Gun added: “Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, few in the media picked up on the revelations, and even some who did didn’t follow up as vigorously as they could have. Similarly, few politicians, including those who had taken a stance against war, actually utilized the exposure to stop the invasion.” Even years after the invasion, Gun’s case has been notably ignored, effectively allowing the Bush and Blair governments off easy. The famed British Chilcot Report in 2016 was deemed “devastating” by the New York Times — but incredibly made no mention of the Gun case.

The U.S. began its invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003 without UN authorization with its “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign. Bush told the weapons inspectors that Iraq had allowed in, and which were proceeding, to leave the country. He unilaterally demanded that Saddam Hussein leave the country — and then stated that the bombing would start regardless. (See just re-released excerpt of the film “War Made Easy” with Norman Solomon. See “Joe Biden won’t tell the truth about his Iraq war record — and he hasn’t for years” by Husseini.)

Gun added: “Also unfortunately, I think we see a similar pattern continuing with wars to this day. For example, you had Seymour Hersh recently report that the U.S. government was behind the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline, quoting an anonymous inside source. But there’s virtually no follow up. A few members of the European parliament speak up, but there’s largely silence in most media and among the U.S. and British lawmakers — including those allegedly committed to peace.”

Solomon is executive director of IPA; Husseini is senior analyst with the group.

Matt Gaetz, Progressive Caucus Team Up to Oppose Syria Occupation


Ryan Grim of the Intercept reports in: “Matt Gaetz, Progressive Caucus, and Former Obama Ambassador Team Up to Oppose Syria Occupation” that: “The Obama administration’s ambassador to Syria [Robert Ford], a leading voice in favor of aggressively confronting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the time, is now backing an effort by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to force U.S. withdrawal from the country within 180 days. …

“On Tuesday evening, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, or CPC, circulated a message to its membership urging a yes vote, producing a serious bipartisan coalition. ‘This measure to remove unauthorized deployment of U.S. Armed Forces in Syria unless a specific statutory authorization is enacted within six months is largely consistent with previous bipartisan efforts led by CPC Members to terminate such unauthorized military presence within one year, for which 130 House Democrats voted yes last year,’ read the message to members.

“The resolution is scheduled for a vote Wednesday afternoon.”

The effort brings together “progressive groups like Just Foreign Policy and Demand Progress and conservative ones such as FreedomWorks, Concerned Veterans for America, and Citizens for Renewing America.”

Grim notes: “The speed with which it is coming to the floor leaves little time for grassroots mobilization.”

ERIK SPERLING,, @ErikSperling
Sperling is executive director of Just Foreign Policy.

Public Investments in the mRNA Vaccines


A retrospective cohort study published this month in The BMJ found that 34 research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health were involved in the development of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. Those grants totaled $31.9 billion. 

    Fremstad is the director of law and political economy and a senior advisor at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The study found that the U.S. government invested at least $31.9 billion to develop, produce and purchase mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, including investments made in the 30 years prior to March 2020. Given that the vaccines translated into millions of saved lives and will inform scientific research into future vaccine development, the authors also conclude that to “maximize overall health impact, policy makers should ensure equitable global access to publicly funded health technologies.” 

Fremstad said: This study on the “massive extent of public financing of Covid-19 vaccine development and production comes at the same time as the U.S. government Covid-19 vaccine supply is running out. Pharmaceutical companies have not committed to providing free or low-cost vaccines to all people in the United States, even though each dose costs only $1 to $3 to manufacture. Using public funds, the U.S. government was a pivotal investor and buyer of the Covid-19 vaccines.

    “Since the U.S. people and government made the investments and took on the risks that were needed to produce the vaccines, we also need to be the ones to direct how the value we created is used. That should include ensuring that the vaccines remain free without creating new administrative or insurance barriers to access them, pursuing an Operation Global Vaccination, and building public options to manufacture vaccines and other critical health technologies.”

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