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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

"Questions About the $700 Billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Funds," First Report of the Congressional Oversight Panel for Economic Stabilization, Dec. 10, 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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Posted Dec. 24, 2008

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Jan. 2, 2009



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

Cheney Proudly Admits
to Authorizing Torture
Detailed in New Senate Report

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Sharon Kelly,
coordinator of Human Rights First's We Can End Torture Campaign,
conducted by Scott Harris


A report from the Senate Armed Services committee, parts of which were released on Dec. 11, found that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top Bush administration officials are directly responsible for the torture and abuse of American-held detainees. The bipartisan committee asserts that the White House authorized interrogation methods that included waterboarding, stress positions, sexual humiliation, isolation, sleep deprivation, exposure to heat and cold, and the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners at Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval in Cuba, military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan and secret CIA prisons around the world.

In a Dec. 15 interview with ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, Vice Persident Dick Cheney admitted that he had personally cleared the way for the U.S. military to employ abusive interrogation techniques against terrorist suspects. Cheney was unapologetic about approving the use of waterboarding on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of being a key al Qaeda planner of the 9/11 attacks. President Bush issued a memo on Feb. 7, 2002, which declared that that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. Both Bush and Cheney say the abuse of prisoners was necessary to keep the nation safe.

Chair of the Armed Services Committee Sen. Karl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said that the Senate report on torture will be turned over to Persident-elect Obama’s Department of Justice. He suggested that an outside commission be formed with subpoena power, which could lead to indictments or civil action. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Sharon Kelly, coordinator of Human Rights First’s We Can End Torture Campaign. She examines the Senate Committee report and explains the importance of keeping American officials accountable for violations of U.S. and international law.

Contact Human Rights First's We Can End Torture Campaign by calling (212) 845-5200 or visit their website at

Related links:

Small Island Nations Facing Destruction,
Press for Urgent Action
to Combat Global Warming

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Nicholas Arons,
co-founder of Islands First,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


In the first 12 days of December, environment ministers from 150 nations, and other leaders including UN chief Ban Ki Moon and representatives of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, gathered in Poznan, Poland, to work on a draft of the successor document to the Kyoto climate change treaty to be signed in Copenhagen next year. The treaty is scheduled to take effect in 2012. Among the delegates in Poland were representatives from dozens of small island nations, which have been the first to feel the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

While holding out hope for improvements to the proposed treaty under the incoming Obama administration, many environmentalists and representatives of these island nations were disappointed by the tepid response of participating countries to already existing climate disruption, and the more severe changes expected to come. The best news to come out of the Poznan meeting was the European Union's so-called "20-20-20" deal, which seeks to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy savings and renewable energy sources each by 20 percent, by the year 2020.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Nicholas Arons, cofounder of Islands First, an organization that assists small island states increase their influence at the United Nations in their fight against global warming. He discusses the disruptions that have already occurred on these islands due to global warming, and their people's hopes for averting more catastrophic damage and displacement.

Contact Islands First by calling their interim director Leila Kazemi at (917) 797-0923, or visit their website at

Obama Inauguration Invitation
to Prop. 8 Supporter Rev. Rick Warren
Triggers LGBT Outrage

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Cary Davidson,
board president of Equality California,
conducted by Scott Harris


When President-elect Barack Obama announced his selection of evangelical pastor Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, there was immediate negative reaction by many Obama supporters who object to Rev. Warren’s outspoken opposition to abortion and gay rights. But the anger wasn’t felt quite so deeply as it was among California’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, (LGBT) where Rev. Warren and his Saddleback mega-church actively backed California Proposition 8, which won voter support to overturn the state Supreme Court’s May 15 ruling legalizing gay marriage. In selecting Rev. Warren, Obama cited his friendship with the pastor and his influence in calling on Christians to become more active on combating poverty, global warming and AIDS.

Equality California is one of the groups that worked hard to defeat Proposition 8. The group’s executive director, Geoff Kors, described Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation as “appalling,” and wrote a statement explaining why he decided to decline an invitation to attend the inauguration ceremonies on Jan. 20. Some gay rights groups took their unhappiness with the Rick Warren controversy to press Obama to take quick action on protecting the rights of LGBT citizens when he takes office.

Between the Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Cary Davidson, board president of Equality California, who explains the angry reaction to Rev. Rick Warren’s participation in the Obama inauguration -- and the steps now being taken, by his and other groups, to overturn the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage.

Contact Equality California by calling (415) 581-0005 or visit their website at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Zimbabwe's health workers are worried the recent cholera outbreak has overshadowed the demise of the country's health care system and hundreds of people who die everyday from AIDS. ("Don't Neglect AIDS Crisis, Warn Health Workers," The Guardian, Dec. 12, 2008; "Cholera Epidemic Sweeping Across Crumbling Zimbabwe," New York Times, Dec. 18, 2008)
  • Critics of Lisa Jackson, nominated by Barack Obama to be the next administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charge that she is too close to industry, has failed to reform New Jersey's toxic cleanup program and is unsupportive of agency whistleblowers. ("Obama's Controversial EPA Pick" ProPublica, Dec. 16 2008; "Weeding Through the Controversy Over Obama's EPA Pick" New Republic blog, Dec. 11, 2008)
  • Florida tomato pickers won a historic agreement with Connecticut-based Subway, the third largest fast food chain in the country, to pay workers an extra penny per pound of tomatoes. ("U.S. Tomato Workers Win Better Wages, ", Dec. 10, 2008; "Subway to Pay More for Tomatoes," Miami Herald, Dec. 2, 2008; ""CIW/Subway Joint Statement," Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Dec. 2, 2008)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Copy editor: Chris Ferrio
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Ruben Abreu
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 12/26/08

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"A New New Deal," by Robert Borosage & Eric Lotke, The Nation, Dec. 23, 2008

"Dianne Feinstein: Bad Choice for Intelligence," by Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus, Dec. 23, 2008

"Obama's Economic Opportunity," by Robert Kuttner, The Am,erican Prospect, Dec. 23, 2008

"Guns, Butter, and Obama," by Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy in Focus, Dec. 21, 2008

"Obama Expands Stimulus Goals," Washington Post, Dec. 21, 2008

"Auto Bailout: Ecological Sustainability Before Economic Viability," by Robert Weissman, ZNet, Dec. 20, 2008

"How new is Obama's New Politics?," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Dec. 19, 2008

"Labor's Fresh Face," by Harold Meyerson, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 19, 2008

"Where Have the Bailout Billions Gone?," by Adrianne Appel, Inter Press Service, Dec. 18, 2008

"A wolf in sheep's clothing: Lending Rick Warren undeserved legitimacy," by Michelle Goldberg, Guardian/UK, Dec. 18, 2008

"Workers laid off, execs paid off," by Amy Goodman, Capital Times (Wisconsin), Dec. 18, 2008

"What's the Matter With Rick Warren?," by Sarah Posner, The Nation, Dec. 17, 2008

"The Prophet: Howard Dean & the 50-State Strategy," by Ari Berman, The Nation, Dec. 17, 2008

"The Trouble With Appointing Caroline Kennedy," by John Nichols, The Nation, Dec. 17, 2008

More newswire ...

Bush Regime

"Cheney's admissions to the CIA leak prosecutor and FBI," by Murray Waas, Murray Waas' Investigative Reporting, Dec. 23, 2008

"TARP This: Paulson's Bailout Plan Riddled With Deception," by Danny Schechter, Common Dreams, Dec. 23, 2008

"Cheney's Contempt for the Republic," by Robert Parry, Consortium News, Dec. 22, 2008

"The Seven Deadly Deficits: What the Bush Years Really Cost Us," by Joseph Stiglitz, Mother Jones, Dec. 22, 2008

"Cheney says top congressional Democrats complicit in spying," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Dec. 22, 2008

"Cheney Admits Detainee-Abuse Role," by Jason Leopold, ZNet, Dec. 20, 2008

"If criminal penalties are removed, what will deter lawbreaking by political officials?," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Dec. 20, 2008

"Rumsfeld's 'Bad Apples' Didn't Fall Far From the Tree," by William Fisher, Inter Press Service, Dec. 20, 2008

"Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet, Defies Prosecution for War Crimes," by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout, Dec. 19, 2008

"New Rule for Health Providers Stirs Objections," Associated Press, Dec. 19, 2008

"Did Bush officials commit war crimes? Maybe, but trials aren't likely," McClatchy Newspapers, Dec. 18, 2008

"Prosecuting Bush and Cheney for Torture: No One Can Be Above the Law," by Dave Lindorff, Common Dreams, Dec. 18, 2008

"Bush's Midnight Regulations," by Peter Rothberg, The Nation, Dec. 17, 2008

"Will War Crimes Be Outed?," by Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith, The Nation, Dec. 17, 2008

"Dick Cheney's fantasy world," by Scott Ritter, Guardian/UK, Dec. 16, 2008

More newswire ...

American Empire/War Profiteering

"Is a US-Iran Deal on the Middle East Possible?," by Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service, Dec. 16, 2008

"Should ground troops hunt pirates in Somalia?," McClatchy Newspapers, Dec. 15, 2008

"Coping with Crisis, Latin America Bucks the System," by Laura Carlsen, Huffington Post, Dec. 15, 2008

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Iraqis hope to sue U.S. troops under new accord," McClatchy Newspapers, Dec. 22, 2008

"'Baghdad Clogger' suffered brutal beating after arrest," Observer/UK, Dec. 21, 2008

"Corruption Destroys Afghanistan," by Michael Winship, Truthout, Dec. 20, 2008

"How a Shoe Put the Boot to Bush's Iraq Legacy," by Olivia War, Toronto Star/Canada, Dec. 20, 2008 8

"General and Iraqi Officials Held: The Baathist 'Coup Plot,'" by Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch, Dec. 19-21, 2008 8

"More Iraqis rally to cause of reporter who threw shoes at Bush," McClatchy Newspapers, Dec. 19, 2008 8

"Maliki's Secret Crackdown," by Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, Dec. 19, 2008 8

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Guantanamo prisoner's lawyers accuse US defence secretary," Guardian/UK, Dec. 23, 2008

"What Motivates the Torture Enablers?," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Dec. 20, 2008

"Deterring Torture Through the Law," by Coleen Rowley and Ray McGovern, Counterpunch, Dec. 20, 2008

"By the Time I Get to Arizona: ICE Raids and Popular Resistance in Flagstaff," by George Cicciarello-Maher, Counterpunch, Dec. 19-21, 2008

"The Torture Report," The New York Times editorial, Dec. 18, 2008

"What Obama Doesn't Know: Much has been hidden from the new president by the Bush team," by Nat Hentoff, Village Voice, Dec. 16, 2008

"Surveillance: NYPD Retreats, FBI Takes Over," by Nat Hentoff, Village Voice, Nov. 25, 2008

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"EPA: 7 Western States Fall Below New Air Standards," Associated Press, Dec. 23, 2008

"Coalition Sues Over Mining Ruling," Courier-Journal (Kentucky), Dec. 23, 2008

"It's Official: We're Just a Few Years from Peak Oil," by George Monbiot,, Dec. 21, 2008

"U.S. De-Regulates Factory Farm Pollution,", Dec. 20, 2008

"Green Myopia: Obama's Appointments Reveal What's Wrong with the Environmental Establishment," by Felice Page, Counterpunch, Dec. 19-21, 2008

"Another Shill for Monsanto: Tom Vilsack's Kind of Agriculture," by Ronnie Cummins, Counterpunch, Dec. 18, 2008

"E.P.A. Ruling Could Speed Up Approval of Coal Plants," The New York Times, Dec. 18, 2008

"2008 Among 10 Warmest Years on Record, UN Reports," Environment News Service, Dec. 18, 2008

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Some observations after being involved in a Fox News report," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, dEc. 23, 2008

"Compelling Journalism Persists Despite Media's Business Struggle," by Pierre Tristam, The News-Journal (Florida), Dec. 21, 2008

"The Media Dodge the Shoe, Too," by Leslie Savan, The Nation, Dec. 19, 2008

"Fox Gives Racist, Out of Control Cop His Own TV Show," by Angela Kelley, America's Voice, Dec. 18, 2008

"Announcing the P.U.-litzer Prizes for 2008," by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon, Common Dreams, Dec. 18, 2008

More newswire ...


"Blacks and Immigrants Bring in the Union," by David Bacon, Truthout, Dec. 21, 2008

"Amazon Killings Go On Despite Chico Mendes' Legacy," Associated Press, Dec. 21, 2008

"Thinking About Protest Tactics," by Steve D'Arcy, ZNet, Dec. 20, 2008

"UAW's Sacrifices Look to Some Like Surrender," Washington Post, Dec. 20, 2008

"Unions: A Surprise American Favorite," by Dick Meister, ZNet, Dec. 20, 2008

"'Greek Syndrome' is catching as youth take to streets," Independent/UK, Dec. 20, 2008

"Destroying What the UAW Built," by Harold Meyerson, Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2008

More newswire ...

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