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Panel discussions from the Left Forum, April 18, 2009

10,000 March on Wall St., April 4, 2009

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'A New Era of Responsibility'

"Push Obama to Follow Through on Peace Vows," by Amy Goodman, The Capital Times (Wisconsin), Jan. 22, 2009
"How to Push Obama," by John Nichols, The Nation, Jan. 12, 2009

"The Danger of Green Stimulus," Jesse Jenkins, Huffington Post, Jan. 5, 2009

"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

Civil Liberties

"The effects of Obama's refusal to investigate Bush crimes," by Glen Greenwald,, Jan. 20, 2009

"Binding U.S. law requires prosecutions for those who authorize torture, " by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Jan. 18, 2009

"Obama Has to Hold Bush Accountable for the Laws He Broke," by Elizabeth Holtzman, The Nation, Jan. 16, 2009

"Obama Must Restore the Constitution: Prosecuting Bush and Cheney," by Dave Lindoff,, Jan. 16-19, 2009

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE: Human Rights Solutions

"Single-Payer Health Care Would Stimulate Economy," by John Nichols, The Nation, Jan. 15, 2009

"Fulfilling the Promise of Human Rights: The Universal Declaration at 60," audio recordings from a Connecticut conference marking the 60th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn., Dec. 6, 2008

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE: Converting Fossil Fuel/War Economy to Green, Renewable Energy/Peace Economy

"Green Jobs Should Top Our Economic Recovery List," by Juleyka Lantigua, Jan. 6, 2009

"Obama Must Get Afghanistan Right,"by Katrina Van Heuvel, The Nation, Jan. 9, 2009

"Nine Steps to Peace for Obama in the New Year," by Deepak Chopra, Alternet, Jan. 1, 2009

"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

"The Outcry Is Muted, But The Food Crisis Is Getting Worse," by Jayati Ghosh, The Guardian/UK, Jan. 9, 2009

"Ideas for Obama, "by Paul Krugman, by The New York Times, Jan. 12, 2009

"The Ponzi Scheme Presidency: Bush's Legacy of Destruction," by Tom Engelhardt,, January/February, 2009

"Fiscal Therapy," by David Cay Johnston, Mother Jones, January/February, 2009

"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

Between The Lines

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Posted May 13, 2009

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending May 22, 2009

palastdvd BBC-TV's Greg Palast, considered by many to be the top investigative journalist in the United States, has just produced a new video documentary, "Palast Investigates: From 8-Mile to the Amazon - on the Trail of the Financial Marauders." The video covers his recent investigations on financial vultures who prey on the world's poorest nations; the human cost of oil production in the Amazon and the theft of millions of votes from American Indians in New Mexico.

Because Palast serves on the Between The Lines advisory board, he's offering Between The Lines' listeners a special deal. Make a donation of at least $40 and receive his new video DVD, and the proceeds from your contribution will be split 50-50, with half going to Between The Lines and half going to support Palast's Investigative Fund.

Visit to see the trailer and donate.
For more information, see excerpts from Greg Palast's letter about this project.



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

Obama Strategy on Afghanistan
and Pakistan Conflicts Take a Dangerous Path

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Conn Hallinan,
analyst with Foreign Policy in Focus,
conducted by Scott Harris


As the Taliban intensify their insurgency and the civilian death toll rises in Afghanistan, the Obama administration has moved to replace the U.S. and NATO top military commander there. Gen. David McKiernan, named Afghanistan and NATO commander 11 months ago, will be replaced by Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who had previously commanded special operation forces in Iraq.

U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan's western Farah province on May 4 resulted in an estimated 125 to 167 civilian deaths. Afghan President Hamid Karzai responded to the air raid, still under investigation, by demanding a halt to all U.S. bombing runs. According to the United Nations, U.S. and Afghan government forces have killed more than 800 civilians last year, an increase of a third from the previous year. Insurgents who have launched dozens of suicide bombing attacks, are reported to have killed twice as many civilians.

Not long after taking office, President Obama made good on his campaign pledge to escalate the Afghan war by ordering the deployment of 21,000 additional American troops by the end of the year, bringing the total in the country to 68,000. Obama views the Taliban's increased control of territory in neighboring Pakistan as extremely dangerous and linked to the Afghan war. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Conn Hallinan, an analyst with Foreign Policy in Focus, who examines the Obama administration's developing strategy toward the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Read Conn Hallinan's articles online at or at

Gay Marriage Gains Momentum
in New England States

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Carissa Cunningham,
public affairs director with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


The state of Massachusetts was the pioneer in same sex marriages, when the state Supreme Court sanctioned them in 2003. California followed in the spring of 2008, but that state's voters reversed the court ruling at the polls last November. Meanwhile, Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled in October of last year that same sex couples have the right to marry.

Attorneys and organizers from the Boston-based legal firm, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, or GLAD, were instrumental in both the Massachusetts and Connecticut victories. They developed a strategy they call "Six by '12," meaning they hoped to have same sex marriage in all six New England states by 2012. They picked that date because the current governor of Rhode Island is a staunch gay marriage opponent and will be leaving office then, and they say Rhode Island legislators have been less supportive than their counterparts in other states.

In late April, the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in that state. And within a few weeks, the legislatures of Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire approved same-sex marriage. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Carissa Cunningham, public affairs director with GLAD, who assesses the recent wave of victories for gay marriage and the challenges that still lie ahead.

Contact Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders by calling (617) 426-1350 or visit their website at

Healthcare Advocates Protesting Single-Payer Exclusion
from Congressional Debate Arrested

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers,
co-chairman of the Maryland chapter
of Physicians for a National Health Program,
conducted by Scott Harris


Barack Obama is conducting meetings with health insurance executives and Congress is holding hearings in order to fulfill the president's campaign pledge to pass legislation that will reform the U.S. healthcare system, where more than 47 million Americans have no health insurance coverage. But there is growing frustration among advocates of single-payer health insurance, as both the president and Congress have attempted to exclude the option of government-run health coverage from being included in the national debate.

Two recent protests on Capitol Hill by single-payer healthcare activists, including doctors and nurses, have resulted thus far in 13 arrests. On May 12, two doctors, two nurses and one patient activist were charged with "Disruption of Congress" by Capitol Police when the five vocally demanded that Congress pass a single-payer system during a Senate Finance Committee healthcare reform roundtable. Dominating the Senate proceedings were experts with ties to the for-profit, private health insurance industry.

The first protest of this type occurred on May 5 before the same Senate committee, when eight protesters rose out of their seats in the hearing room and asked why single-payer advocates were being prevented from participating in the panel. Sen. Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has previously stated that the single-payer option is "off the table" in the current health care reform debate. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with one of those arrested on May 5, Dr. Margaret Flowers, co-chair of the Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, a national organization with 16,000 physician members. She explains why single-payer activists find it necessary to resort to direct action in order to draw attention to the single-payer healthcare model, used by the majority of industrialized nations around the world.

Contact Physicians for a National Health Program by calling (312) 782-6006 or visit their website at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • A Zimbabwean judge revoked the bail of 18 human rights activists who were accused of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe, thus sending them back to the prison where they said they had been tortured. Zimbabwe's president and prime minister then forced the judge to reverse her decision to send them back to the prison. ("Zimbabwe judge sends 18 activists back to prison," Associated Pres, May 5, 2009; "Zimbabwe Activists Released, IMF Links Resumed," Agence France Press, May 6, 2009; "Judge frees Zimbabwean rights activist, 14 others," Associated Press, May 6, 2009)
  • Nepal fell into political crisis in early May as Prime Minister Puspha Kamal Dahal, a former Maoist rebel resigned and efforts to create a new government have stalled. ("Nepal's Prime Minister Resigns Amid Power Struggle," Associated Press, May 4, 2009; "Nepal's Maoists Lose Support Over Army Chief's Sacking," Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 2009; "Riot Police Beat Back Maoist Protests in Nepal," Associated Press, May 8, 2009)
  • Of 7 million subprime loans, 21 of the top 25 subprime lenders were financed by big banks who are now recipients of billions of dollars in government bailout money ahd helped fuel the subprime mortgage bubble that led to the collapse of the financial and banking industries. Nearly all of the top subprime lenders have closed, gone bankrupt or been taken over by other banks. ("Who's Behind the Financial Meltdown," Center for Public Integrity, May 6, 2009)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Richard Hill
Copy editor: Chris Ferrio
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producer: Jeffrey P. Yates
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 5/15/09

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"A Progressive Challenge to Jane Harman," by Norman Solomon, Common Dreams, May 12, 2009

"Beware: Big Business is Targeting Moderate Dems with Campaign Dollars and Crying Wolf Arguments," by Peter Dreier, Common Dreams, May 12, 2009

"The Politics of Escalation," by Tom Hayden & Joseph Gerson, The Nation, May 12, 2009

"The Bankrupt Debate Over Bankrupting Our Children," by Dean Baker, Truthout, May 11, 2009

"Wrong Way Steny," by Robert L. Borosage,, May 11, 2009

"Franken calls on state Supreme Court to order issuance of election certificate," Minnesota Independent, May 11, 2009

"Democratic Lobbyists Against Obama," by Jane Hamsher, Firedoglake, May 11, 2009

"Crying Wolf Again: Big Business Gearing Up for a Fight Against Obama's Environmental Program," by Donald Cohen & Peter Dreier, Common Dreams, May 11, 2009

"Health Groups Offer $2 Trillion in Cost Savings," Associated Press, May 10, 2009

"Will Congress keep paying for these two wars?," McClatchy Newspapers, May 10, 2009

"Cheney backs Limbaugh over Powell on GOP future," Asociated Press, May 10, 2009

"Stop the Single Payer Shut-out!," by Ralph Nader, Common Dreams, May 9, 2009

"Populism is Not a Style, It's a People's Rebellion Against Corporate Power," by Jim Hightower, The Hightower LOwdown, May 9, 2009

"A Democrat Calls for Executive Accountability," by John Nichols, The Nation, May 8, 2009

"Obama v. the Republican Party," by Terence Samuel, The American Prospect, May 8, 2009

"Cramdown's Downfall," by Tim Fernholz, The American Prospect, May 7, 2009

"A 'Post-Racial' Assault on Voting Rights," by Adam Serwer, The American Prospect, May 6, 2009

"The Subprime Court" by Rob Larson, ZNet, May, 2009

More newswire ...


"The Banker Boys Are Alright! Time to End the Bailouts," by Dean Baker, Counterpunch, May 12, 2009

"A Sane Alternative to a Corrupt, Greed-Driven Industry: Why Isn't Obama Turning to Credit Unions?," by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, Counterpunch, May 12, 2009

"Still there, foreclosed no longer," Boston Globe, May 11, 2009

"Green shoots? Don't speak too soon," by Joseph Stiglitz, Guardian/UK, May 11, 2009

"A Woman at the Edge: Tough Times, Domestic Violence, and Economic Abuse," by Tom Engelhardt & Nick Turse, TomDispatch, May 10, 2009

"Collateral Damage and Double Standards," by Robert Kuttner, Huffington Post, May 10, 2009

"Rate of Job Loss Slows Moderately, Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.9 Percent," by Dean Baker, Truthout, May 9, 2009

"Stress Tests: What Was the Point Again?," by James Kwak, Baseline Scenario, May 9, 2009

"Has Bernanke Pulled the Economy Back From the Brink?," by Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, May 8-10, 2009

"Memo to Jackass, the Credit Card Industry Doesn't Need Anyone Standing Up for It," by Matt Taibbi, True/Slant, May 8, 2009

"Breaking Down the Auto Bailout," by William Greider, The Nation, May 8, 2009

"A Strong Safety Net Encourages Healthy Risk-Taking," by Jacob S. Hacker, The American Prospect, May 7, 2009

"The Future of the American Dream," by William Greider, The Nation, May 6, 2009

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Dick's 'Presidential-Level' Torture Decision," by emptywheel, Firedoglake, May 12, 2009

"White House To Declassify 'Holy Grail' Torture Report That Could Undercut Cheney," by Greg Sargent, The Plum Line, May 11, 2009

"The Death of Rendition Victim Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi," by Andy Worthington, Future of Freedom Foundation, May 11, 2009

"How to Torture the Bush Six," by Paul Campos, The Daily beast, May 11, 2009

"Bush, Cheney, Pelosi and Testifying About Torture," by John Nichols, The Nation, May 11, 2009

"Lt. Col. Oliver 'No Regrets' Cheney," by Meteor Blades, Daily Kos, May 11, 2009

"CIA Headquarters Micromanaged Torture," by Jason Leopold, Truthout, May 11, 2009

"Hill Panel Reviewing CIA Tactics," Washington Post, May 10, 2009

"Prosecuting Torture: Is Time Really Running Out?," by Elizabeth de la Vega, Truthout, May 10, 2009

"From the Inquisition to us," by James Mandrell, Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2009

"Impeaching the Torture Judge," by Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch, May 7, 2009

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"The Bomb Iran Faction," by Gary Leupp, Counterpunch, May 12, 2009

"Cuba's Biggest 'Crime': a Desire to be a Sovereign and Independent State," by Saul Landau, Counterpunch, May 11, 2009

"Signs of Hope?: Hillary and Latin America," by Mark Weisbrot, Counterpunch, May 8-10, 2009

"Secretary Doomsday and the Empathy Gap," by Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, May 7, 2009

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Will Pakistan Become Obama's Vietnam?," by Steve Weissman, Truthout, May 12, 2009

"New US General Vs. Taliban, Pashtuns," by Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, May 12, 2009

"Who Are the Real Psychopaths in Afghanistan?," by Chris Hedges, Truthdig, May 11, 2009

"Conservative Historian Andrew Bacevich Warns Against Obama's Escalation of War in Afghanistan and Intensifying Use of Air Power in Region," by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, May 11, 2009

"Fear and Worry Pervade Refugee Camps As Pakistanis Flee Assault on Taliban," Washington Post, May 11, 2009

"Phosphorus claim after fatal air strikes in Afghanistan," Guardian/UK, May 11, 2009

"Shaky Pakistan Is Seen as Target of Qaeda Plots," The New York Times, May 10, 2009

"Petraeus: Taliban threaten existence of Pakistan," Associated Press, May 10, 2009

"Who killed 120 civilians? The US says it's not a story," by Patrick Cockburn, Independent/UK, May 10, 2009

"Afghan Students Protest Against Civilian Casualties," Reuters, May 10, 2009

"Obama White House: U.S. Will Not Halt Afghan Air Strikes," Reuters, May 10, 2009

"White Phosphorus? Concern Over Burns on Afghans Caught in Battle," Associated Press, May 10, 2009

"The Pakistan Conundrum," by Gareth Porter, Counterpunch, May 8-10, 2009

"Did Blackwater Contractors Attempt to Hide Evidence of a Massacre in Iraq?," by Scott Horton, Harper's, May 8, 2009

"Civilians pay price of war from above," by Robert Fisk, Independent/UK, May 7, 2009

"After US Strikes, Afghans Describe "'Tractor Trailers Full of Pieces of Human Bodies;"' Meanwhile, Obama Readies 21,000 More Troops," by Jeremy Scahill, Rebel Reports, May 7, 2009

"A Full-Court Press for Pakistan War," by Chris Floyd, Counterpunch, May 7, 2009

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Obama administration threatens Britain to keep torture evidence concealed," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, May 12, 2009

"What's in a name? It was never just 'sleep deprivation,'" by Valtin, Invictus, May 11, 2009

"CIA Was Authorized to Keep Prisoners Awake for 11 Days," Agence France Presse, May 11, 2009

"How Americans Think About Torture - And Why," by Roy Eidelson, Cognitive Policy Work, May 11, 2009

"G20 police 'used undercover men to incite crowds,'" Guardian/UK, May 10, 2009

"Memos shed light on CIA use of sleep deprivation," Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2009

"Obama Set to Revive Military Commissions," Washington Post, May 9, 2009

"Back to the Bush Era?: Obama's New Gitmo Policy," by Andy Worthington, Counterpunch, May 8-10, 2009

"Obama's First 100 Days: Mixed Messages on Torture," by Andy Worthington, Counterpunch, May 7, 2009

"Tortured Profession: Psychologists Warned of Abusive Interrogations, Then Helped Craft Them," by Sheri Fink, ProPublica, May 7, 2009

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Badly-Needed California Water Transfers Blocked by Economic, Environmental Hurdles," Sacramento Bee (California), May 12, 2009

"Cleaner air from reduced emissions could save millions of lives, says report," Guardian/UK, May 12, 2009

"Chevron's Environmental Disaster in Ecuador," by Paul Paz y Miņo, Common Dreams, May 9, 2009

"We Need Food and Farming Regulation Now!," by Will Allen, Chelsea Green, May 9, 2009

"Arctic Groups Demand Global Chemicals' Ban," by Haider Rizvi,, May 9, 2009

"Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Flotation Devices: Revenge of the Tundra," by Richard Rhames, Counterpunch, May 8-10, 2009

"Obama Administration Upholds Bush Polar Bear Rule," Environment News Service, May 8, 2009

"Are Policy Makers Exacerbating Drought Scares? That's What It Looks Like in California," by Tara Lohan, AlterNet, May 8, 2009

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"How much is the Philadelphia Inquirer paying John Yoo?," by Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America, May 12, 2009

"Roxana Saberi's plight and American media propaganda," by Glenn Greenwald, SAlon, May 11, 2009

"On Satirist Apologies: Jon Stewart and Truman, the War Criminal," by Paul Krassner, Counterpunch, May 11, 2009

"David Simon, Arianna Huffington and the Future of Journalism," by John Nichols, The Nation, May 11, 2009

"White House Press Correspondents dinner," by kos, Daily Kos, May 11, 2009

"Why We Can't Get Enough of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher," by Jeffrey Jones and Jonathan Gray and Ethan Thompson, NYU Press, May 9, 2009

"The American Press on Suicide Watch," by Frank Rich, The New York Times, May 9, 2009

"About Face on Pentagon Pundits?," by Diane Farsetta, Counterpunch, May 8-10, 2009

"The NYT's definition of blinding American exceptionalism," by Glenn Greenwald, SAlon, May 8, 2009

"David Broder: Eyes Wide Shut," by Eric Alterman, The Nation, May 6, 2009

"Prometheus Radio Project," In These Times, May, 2009

More newswire ...


"BREAKING: 5 More RNs, MDs Arrested at Baucus Finance Cmte. in Florence Nightingale Protest," by National Nurses Movement, Daily Kos, May 12, 2009

"Police eject protesters from Senate health hearing," Associated Press, May 12, 2009

"Why We Risked Arrest for Single-Payer Health Care," by Margaret Flowers, M.D., Common Dreams, May 9, 2009

"Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Recessions and Labor Unions," by David Macaray, Counterpunch, May 8-10, 2009

More newswire ...

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