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Presidential Transition

"The First Hundred Days or the Last Hundred Days? Obama's Rendezvous with Destiny -- and Ours," by Ira Chernus, by, Dec. 10, 2008

"Who Will Seize the Moment?" Turning Crisis into Opportunity, by Ralph Nader, Counterpunch, Dec. 4, 2008

"Community Organizers Press Obama for Real Change," by, Dec. 3, 2008

Converting Fossil Fuel Economy to Green Economy

"Electric Cars Put Hawaii on The Road to Independence," by Times Online/UK, Dec. 4, 2008

"Weapons Come Second: Can Obama Take on the Pentagon?" by Frida Berrigan,, Nov. 25, 2008

The FY 2009 Pentagon Spending Request - Global Military Spending, by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Economic Crisis

"A Look At Wall Street's Shadow Market: How Some Arcane Wall Street Financial Instruments Magnified Economic Crisis," 60 Minutes, Oct. 5, 2008

"Swapping Secrecy for Transparency," by Christopher Cox, SEC Chairman, The New York Times Op-Ed, Oct. 19, 2008

"The Bet That Blew Up Wall Street: Steve Kroft On Credit Default Swaps And Their Central Role In The Unfolding Economic Crisis," 60 Minutes, Oct. 26, 2008

Broken Government

"Broken Government: By The Numbers," 40 ways in which the federal government failed to perform under the administration of George W. Bush, 2001-2008

Class Warfare

"How the Rich Are Different From You and Me,"Places that went for Obama are richer and smarter than places that went for McCain, by Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing, Slate, Dec. 11, 2008

War And Profiteering

"This Is Change? Twenty Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House," by Jeremy Scahill,Alternet, Nov. 20, 2008

"Don't Let Barack Obama Break Your Heart," Why Americans Shouldn't Go Home, by Tom Engelhardt, Nov. 12, 2008

"The Future of Iraq: The Spoils of War," Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity, by Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb, The Independent/UK, Jan. 7, 2007

"Noam Chomsky on Middle East Conflict and U.S. War Plan Against Iraq," Between The Lines interview with Noam Chomsky, conducted by Scott Harris, for the Week Ending May 3, 2002

The Iraq Crisis, a Global Policy Forum, U.N. Security Council section on the 13 years of sanctions and other background of the war, the humanitarian situation, the importance of Iraq's huge oil resources, and disputes over a post-war government and reconstruction plan

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban, and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report, November-December 2001

Civil Liberties

"Martial Law Threat is Real," by Dave Lindorff,, July 27, 2007

"ACLU: US Constitution in Grave Danger,"United Press International, July 25, 2007

"Old-line Republican warns 'something's in the works' to trigger a police state," by Muriel Kane, July 19, 2007

"Fascist America, in 10 easy steps," by Naomi Wolf, The Guardian, April 24, 2007

"Fascism Anyone?" 14 Signs of Fascism, Free Inquiry Magazine, Volume 23, No. 2

"Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism," The Crisis Papers, June 9, 2003

Between The Lines

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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Dec. 19, 2008



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This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Auto Industry Bailout Should Strive
for Long-Term Structural Change,
Not Short-Term Profits

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Robert Weissman,
editor of Multinational Monitor,
conducted by Scott Harris


With the U.S. economy officially in recession for the past year, the severe financial meltdown and 533,000 jobs lost in November, the precarious condition of the U.S. auto industry is now the subject of debate in the U.S. Congress. House and Senate leaders are working with President Bush to craft a bailout plan that could provide $15 billion in bridge loans to ensure Chrysler and General Motors will survive until a new president and federal legislators are sworn into office in January.

The rescue plan being negotiated would name a government overseer appointed by President Bush to set guidelines for restructuring the two companies with the power to revoke the loans if the automakers fail to make the changes necessary to become viable. The White House was seeking to empower what is being called a "car czar," to force the companies into bankruptcy if they didn't follow government path to solvency.

Proposed conditions on the loan included limits on executive pay, a prohibition on paying out dividends, a requirement that the government share in future profits and assurances that taxpayers are paid back before any other shareholders. United Auto Workers Union President Ron Gettelfinger has said if union members were asked to make additional concessions, then his members should be given an equity stake in the company. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Robert Weissman, editor of Multinational Monitor, who assesses the major issues for the U.S. economy linked to the fate of the auto industry.

Read Robert Weismann's article, "Nationalize GM - Or at Least Think About It," online at

Hardline Jewish Settler Violence Against IDF
Has Alienated Many Israelis

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Hagit Ofran,
director of the Settlement Watch Project
of Peace Now,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


In early December, members of the Israeli Army, known as the Israel Defense Forces or IDF, forcibly removed a group of radical right-wing Israeli settlers from a building they were occupying in the West Bank city of Hebron, following violent attacks by the settlers on both the IDF and on Palestinian civilians. About 600 settlers, living under the protection of the Israeli army, reside in the middle of Hebron, a Palestinian city of 130,000. This is one incident among several that have recently caused some Middle East watchers to conclude that relations between Israelis and Palestinians are deteriorating even below their formerly abysmal level. This week, outgoing President Ehud Olmert described the settlers' treatment of Palestinians as a "pogrom," a word used historically to describe organized violence against Jews.

The situation is extremely volatile, as Israelis will soon be holding national elections, which the far-right Likud party candidate, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is favored to win. The U.S. -- Israel's strongest and most uncritical supporter -- will also inaugurate a new president in January.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Hagit Ofran, the director of the Settlement Watch Project of Peace Now. She keeps track of developments among the 276,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and 180,000 living in Palestinian East Jerusalem. She explains what happened in the Hebron conflict and the possible ramifications.

Contact Americans for Peace NOW at (202) 728-1893, or visit the group's Israeli website at

Related articles:

Obama Must Make Ending
Bush Torture Policy a Top Priority

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Christopher Anders,
ACLU Senior Legislative Council,
conducted by Scott Harris


Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency with a pledge to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, end the military commission proceedings of prisoners there and abolish the Bush administration's authorization for torture and abusive treatment of American-held detainees. In a December 2007 newspaper interview. Obama said, "As president, I will abide by statutory prohibitions, and have the Army Field Manual govern interrogation techniques for all United States government personnel and contractors."

Dozens if not hundreds of those being held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, U.S. bases in Afghanistan and the unidentified locations of CIA secret prisons have been subjected to brutal interrogations. U.S. soldiers and former detainees have come forward to talk about the stress positions, sexual humiliation, isolation, sleep deprivation, exposure to heat and cold, use of dogs for intimidation, and waterboarding that were employed against terrorist suspects and others. An unknown number of prisoners have died after being abused in U.S. custody. Human rights advocates have urged Obama to appoint an independent prosecutor to initiate a criminal investigation of former Bush administration officials who have authorized torture.

While many support the president-elect's stated position on torture, conservative commentators and some in Congress would like to maintain a policy that prohibits the U.S. armed forces from engaging in abusive interrogation methods banned by the U.S. Army Field Manual, but allow the CIA to go outside the manual's guidelines. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, who explains why abolition of government authorized torture must be a top priority for President-elect Obama's administration.

Contact the American Civil Liberties Union at (202) 457-0800 or visit their website at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Sudan has recalled its ambassadors from Kenya and Ethiopia because it believes those governments are selling arms to Sudan's semi-autonomous People's Liberation Army in southern Sudan. ("Arms Race, Uneasy Peace in Sudan" Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 12, 2008)
  • In the global economic recession, China is facing a massive wave of factory closures and bankruptcies of companies who export goods to western nations. ("Some Owners Deserting Factories in China," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 3, 2008; "Great Engine of China Slows," New York Times, Nov. 26, 2008)
  • Canada's conservative Prime Minister Steven Harper convinced the Canadian governor general to suspend Parliament until Jan. 27, averting the likelihood that opposition parties would have taken control of the government. ("In Canada, Harper's Government in Crisis, " Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 5, 2008; "A Most Un-Canadian Caper," Economist, Dec. 6, 2008; "Ignatieff Posed to Replace Dion with Support of Liberal Caucus Vote," CBC, Dec. 7, 2008)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Richard Hill
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producer: Anna Manzo
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editor: Hank Hoffman
Photo editor: Scott Harris
Outreach coordinator: Anna Manzo
Distribution: Anna Manzo and Jeffrey P. Yates
Theme music: Written by Richard Hill and Jody Gray, and performed by Mikata

Between The Lines
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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 12/12/08

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"Capitalist Fools" by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Vanity Fair, Jan., 2009

"Illinois Governor Taken into Custody for Abusing His Authority to Appoint Obama Successor," Think Progress, Dec. 9, 2008

"What's with Obama's Deputy Telling Progressives to Pipe Down?," by David Sirota, Open Left, Dec. 9, 2008

"Feds: Governor tried to 'auction' Obama's seat," NBC News, Dec. 9, 2008

"Is Obama Backing Off a Crucial Pledge to Labor?: Bait and Switch on the Employee Free Choice Act," by Steve Early, Counterpunch, Dec. 8, 2008

"Gen. Hayden and the claimed irrelevance of presidential appointments," by Glen Greenwald, Salon, Dec. 8, 2008

"Liberals voice concerns about Obama," Politico, Dec. 8, 2008

"Obama May Tap a Strong Progressive to Manage Our Wilderness," by Roberto Lovato, AlterNet, Dec. 6, 2008

"Where Is the Left?," by Terence Samuel, The American Prospect, Dec. 5, 2008

"Shall We Call it a Depression Now?," by Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog, Dec. 5, 2008

"Foreclosures soar 76% to record 1.35 million," CNN, Dec. 5, 2008

"Obama's Familiar Orbit," by Michael Winship, Common Dreams, Dec. 5, 2008

"Jobless Rate Rises to 6.7% as 533,000 Jobs Are Lost," The New York Times, Dec. 5, 2008

"Obama Doesn't Plan to End the Iraq Occupation," by Jeremy Scahill, Common Dreams, Dec. 5, 2008

"Obama's Health Care Reform Plan Is Based on the Clintons' Failed 1990s Model," By Marie Cocco, Washington Post Writers Group, Dec. 4, 2008

More newswire ...

Bush Regime

" Who's at fault for harsh antiterror tactics?," Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 9, 2008

" Legal Scholars Outraged by Talk of Blanket Pardons," Washington Independent, Dec. 8, 2008

" Lies and Deception George Bush Style," by Christopher Brauchli, Common Dreams, Dec. 6, 2008

"Bush the Infallible," by Eugene Robinson, TruthDig, Dec. 5, 2008

"Bush's Pity Party," by Matthew Yglesias, The American Prospect, Dec. 4, 2008

"Mukasey Sees No Necessity for Pardons in Terror War," The New York Times, Dec. 3, 2008

"Obama should prosecute Bush officials who designed torture policy," by Michael Ratner, The Progressive, Dec. 3, 2008

More newswire ...

American Empire/War Profiteering

"Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug," by Eugene Robinson, TruthDig, Dec. 9, 2008

"Javier Ponce, Poet and Defence Minister, Takes On the CIA in Ecuador," by Jose Steinsleger, ZNet Dec. 9, 2008

"Somalia: War Crimes Devastate Population," Human Rights Watch, Dec. 8, 2008

"One thriving sector: The business of war," Boston Globe, Dec. 6, 2008

"KBR Kept Foreign Contractors in Squalid Warehouses for Months," McClatchy Newspapers, Dec. 5, 2008

"Suit Claims Halliburton, KBR Sickened Base," Army Times, Dec. 5, 2008

"Cloak-and-Dagger, Inc.: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing," Inter Press Service, Dec. 5, 2008

"Obama Should Make a Clean Break With the Past on Latin America," by Mark Weisbrot, Common Dreams, Dec. 3, 2008

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Kinzer: Surge Diplomacy, Not Troops, in Afghanistan," by Robert Naiman, Common Dreams, Dec. 9, 2008

"Talking to a Lashkar Militant," by Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch, Dec. 8, 2008

"NATO says no Afghan winter lull in fight with Taliban," Reuters, Dec. 8, 2008

"The Silent Winter of Escalation," by Norman Solomon, Common Dreams, Dec. 1, 2008

"5 Guards Face US Charges in Iraq Deaths," The New York Times, Dec. 6, 2008

"US preparing for troop buildup in Afghanistan," Associated Press, Dec. 5, 2008

"Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality," The New York Times, Dec. 5, 2008

"Who Are the Taliban?: The Afghan War Deciphered," by Tom Engelhardt & Anand Gopal,, Dec. 4, 2008

"Obama Faced With Iraq Detainee Human Rights Debacle," by Nick Mottern & Bill Rau, Truthout, Dec. 3, 2008

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Five 9/11 Suspects Offer to Confess: But Proposal Is Pulled Over Death Penalty Issue," Washington Post, Dec. 9, 2008

"Closing Guantanamo a minefield of critical steps," McClatchy Newspapers, Dec. 8, 2008

"Spying on Pacifists, Environmentalists and Nuns," by Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7, 2008

"Why do Feinstein and Wyden sound much different on the torture issue now?," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Dec. 4, 2008

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Victims of Global Warming Could Sue Oil and Power Companies," Telegraph/UK, Dec. 9, 2008

"Interest in water management blossoms," San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 6, 2008

"Junk Cap-and-Trade: Obama Should Impose a Carbon Tax," by Ralph Nader & Toby Heaps, Counterpunch, Dec. 5/7, 2008

"Efficiency Is Our Best Untapped Energy Source," by Carole Bass, Yale Environment 360, Dec. 5, 2008

"Pollution 'could kill as many as climate change' warns Met Office," Telegraph/UK, Dec. 5, 2008

"Paying Our Climate Debt," by V, Foreign Policy in Focus, Dec. 4, 2008

"Highest U.S. Court Ponders Power Plants and Fish Protection," Environment News Service, Dec. 4, 2008

"Bail US Out of the Fossil Fuel Economy," by Karyn Strickler, Common Dreams, Dec. 3, 2008

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Obama's Broadband Roadmap," by Timothy Karr, Huffington Post, Dec. 9, 2008

"The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Dec. 8, 2008

"KBDI refuses to delay airing of Guantanamo torture documentary," Colorado Independent, Dec. 8, 2008

"The Blogging Revolution: A Look at the Repression of Online Journalism Around the World," Democracy Now!, Dec. 5, 2008

"Critics Rap MSNBC, Matthews," by Michael Calderone, Politico, Dec. 5, 2008

"Obama Copyright Move Cheers Advocacy Groups," The National Journal, Dec. 5, 2008

"Berlusconi Plans to Use G8 Presidency to "Regulate the Internet,'" Register/UK, Dec. 3, 2008

More newswire ...


"No Dreams, Only Nightmares: The UAW in Peril," by David Macaray, Counterpunch Dec. 9, 2008

"A Classic Battle for Workers' Rights: Raising the Stakes at Republic " by Lee Sustar & Nicole Colson, Counterpunch, Dec. 9, 2008

"Bank of America's Greed Sparked the Eye-Opening Worker's Strike in Chicago," by John Woodruff Jr., Portside, Dec. 9, 2008

"Chicago Factory Sit-In: A Symbol of What's Wrong and What's Needed," by Peter Dreier, Huffington Post, Dec. 9, 2008

"Prop. 8 foes set 'Day Without a Gay' boycott," San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 9, 2008

"Workers Occupy Chicago Factory: Echoes of Argentina's 2001 Worker Uprising," by Benjamin Dangl, Common Dreams, Dec. 9, 2008

"The Chicago Sit-Down Strike: The Spark We Need," by Daniel Gross, Counterpunch, Dec. 8, 2008

"Chicago Factory Layoffs Are a 'Wake-Up Call to America,'" Chicago Sun-Times, Dec. 8, 2008

"Making a New New Deal: Sitdown Strike in Chicago," by John Nichols, The Nation, Dec. 7, 2008

"Angry Laid-Off Workers Occupy Factory in Chicago," Associated Press, Dec. 7, 2008

"Community Organizers Attend Washington Event," Ventura County Star (California), Dec. 5, 2008

"Financial Crisis Could Herald a Renaissance of Radical Thought," by David Williamson, WalesOnline, Dec. 4, 2008

"Community Organizers Press Obama for Real Change," by Ira Chernus, Common Dreams, Dec. 3, 2008

More newswire ...

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