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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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Many BTL interviews are excerpted from Scott Harris' live, 2-hour program, Counterpoint. To hear more in-depth analysis you won't get in mainstream media, listen to Counterpoint LIVE Monday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. EST on WPKN Radio

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"Best of New Haven 2001"
-- Staff Picks --
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WPKN Radio, 89.5 FM

'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

"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 Aug. 26, 2009

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Sept. 4, 2009


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

Narrow Investigation into Bush-Era Torture
Violates Legal Mandate
for Full Accountability

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Ray McGovern,
retired CIA officer,
conducted by Scott Harris


In response to a Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility recommendation to consider prosecution of CIA employees and contractors who are alleged to have tortured and abused U.S.-held detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed federal prosecutor John Durham to lead a new investigation. Durham is already investigating the destruction of CIA videotapes of harsh interrogations of American-held terrorist suspects, after being appointed to that job in 2008 by President Bush's Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Holder's appointment of a prosecutor reverses a Bush administration decision not to investigate nearly a dozen cases of prisoner abuse.

Under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the Obama administration released a 2004 CIA Inspector General report and memos detailing specific abuses of prisoners. Torture methods included mock executions, threats to kill prisoners' children, rape their mothers, and the use of guns and power drills to intimidate detainees. Documents disclose that one prisoner was beaten to death with a flashlight by a CIA contractor.

Holder has stated the investigation will be limited to focusing on whether CIA and contracted interrogators violated Bush anti-torture guidelines. But human rights groups have called on Holder to broaden the investigation to include Bush administration attorneys and other officials who designed and implemented the torture policies. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with retired CIA officer Ray McGovern, who, during his 27-year career at the agency, briefed Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. McGovern assesses Attorney General Holder's decision to proceed with a narrow torture investigation conflicting with the mandate of U.S. and international law for full accountability.

See rush interview transcript.
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Retired CIA Officer Ray McGovern is cofounder of the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. Read McGovern's articles online at

Related Links:
Despite Obama Campaign Pledge,
Little Has Changed on Immigration Policy

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Mike Wishnie,
Yale Law School professor and
instructor with the Workers and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


In mid-August, President Obama announced that his administration won't attempt to achieve immigration reform this year, since he's focusing mostly on health care and climate change issues leading up to an international conference on global warming in December. During the presidential campaign, Obama criticized the workplace sweeps by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, in which hundreds of allegedly undocumented workers were arrested, with many being deported. He promised to target employers of illegal workers more than the workers themselves, and pledged to create a road map to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented workers living in the U.S.

But critics of the administration's actions say so far, just like in other areas such as the war against terrorism, secrecy, and bailouts for business interests, Obama has a lot in common with his predecessor. A study found that through the first five months of the Obama presidency, there has been no let up in the increase in criminal prosecutions of undocumented immigrants by ICE enforcement agents.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Mike Wishnie, a law professor at Yale Law School who teaches the Workers and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic there. He has represented dozens of workers who have been arrested around the state of Connecticut in immigration raids. He says while some things have changed under Obama, others remain distressingly the same.

For more information, visit the Workers and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School online at

Related links:
With Bipartisan Health Reform Dead,
White House Should Push for
Single-Payer or Strong Public Option

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with John Nichols,
Washington correspondent with the Nation magazine,
conducted by Scott Harris


As President Obama headed to Martha's Vineyard for a family vacation, the debate on reforming the nation's failed health care system rages on. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 55 percent of those surveyed believed reform legislation would cover illegal immigrants, 50 percent believed proposed bills would pay for abortions, and 45 percent believed reform measures would authorize "death panels" to deny care to senior citizens. All of these claims are patently false. A Pew Research Center poll found that "regular viewers of the Fox News channel are far more likely than viewers of other cable news channels to say claims of death panels are true."

As the congressional August recess draws to a close, the public insurance option has emerged as a central focus of the health care reform debate, with the U.S. Senate likely playing a pivotal role in the legislative outcome. In recent days, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona has rejected passage of a government-run health care plan and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut urged the postponement of such a plan until the economy improves. The White House projection that the national deficit will top $9 trillion within 10 years, has prompted some to say we can't afford healthcare reform now. But Peter Orszag, President Obama's director of the Office of Management and Budget insists the impact of rising Medicare costs on the deficit "is precisely why we must enact fiscally well-designed healthcare reform now."

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with John Nichols, Washington Correspondent with the Nation Magazine, who urges President Obama to acknowledge there will be no bipartisan cooperation from Republicans on healthcare reform, and to switch tactics and push for a single-payer plan or a strong public option.
See interview transcript.
Sign up for Between The Lines Q&A
interview transcripts.


John Nichols is author of "The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism." Read Nichols' columns online at

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • The number of gay men killed in Baghdad surged in early 2009, but the Iraqi police have taken no action to stop the torture and murder of hundreds. ("Gay men targeted in Iraq, report says," Washington Post Aug. 17, 2009; "Iraq: stop killings for homosexual conduct," Human Rights Watch press release, Aug. 17, 2009,: "They want us exterminated," Human Rights Watch report summary, August 2009).
  • The high unemployment rate at 9.4 percent is driving up the number of home foreclosures, complicating effots to provide relief to homeowners victimized by the meltdown in sub-prime mortgages. ("Unemployment spike compounds foreclosure crisis," Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2009)
  • Wal-Mart and other discount retailers are exploiting workers in California warehouses and unions hope to organize them - a challenge since they work for a multitude of temporary agencies. ("The Shipping Point," American Prospect, July/August 2009, p.19-22)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Indu Anand
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producer: Jeffrey P. Yates
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editors: 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

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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 8/28/09

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"This Isn't Reform, It's Robbery," by Chris Hedges, TruthDig, Aug. 23, 2009

"NYT Pulls Back the Curtain on Tom Daschle, WH & Industry Front Man," by Scarecrow, Firedoglake, Aug. 22, 2009

"Obama May Abandon Effort to Reach Health Deal With Republicans," Bloomberg News, Aug. 22, 2009

"War of the Words: How Town Hall Crashers are Transforming Public Opinion," by Anthony DiMaggio, Common Dreams, Aug. 22, 2009

"Has Obama lost the trust of progressives, as Krugman says?," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Aug. 21, 2009

"Why the Gang of Six Is Deciding Health Care for Three Hundred Million of Us," by Robert Reich, Huffington Post, Aug. 21, 2009

"The Policy-Speak Disaster for Health Care," by George Lakoff, Truthout, Aug. 20, 2009

"Obama, Emanuel & Democrats Playing With Fire," by digby, Hullabaloo, Aug. 19, 2009

"Republicans, religion and the triumph of unreason," by Johann Hari, Independent/UK, Aug. 19, 2009

More newswire ...


"The Corporate Person Without a Country: AIG Spits in America's Eye, Again," by Brian Donohue, Common Dreams, Aug. 25, 2009

"The Deification of Gentle Ben," by William Greider, The Nation, Aug. 25, 2009

"Wal-Mart Faces Its Day of Reckoning," by Frank Nelson,, Aug. 24, 2009

"Jobless Rate Hits Double Digits in 14 States, D.C.," Wall Street Journal, Aug. 21, 2009

"While Debt Mounts, Couple Chases BofA Loan Mod," by Alexandra Andrews, ProPublica, Aug. 20, 2009

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Seven Points on the CIA Report," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Aug. 25, 2009

"Did Cheney Blink?," by Eric Etheridge, The New York Times, Aug. 25, 2009

"CIA Documents Provide Little Cover for Cheney Claims," by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent, Aug. 24, 2009

"What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Aug. 24, 2009

"Eric Holder announces investigation based on Abu Ghraib model," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Aug. 24, 2009

"Holder to Appoint Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Terror Interrogations," Washington Post, Aug. 24, 2009

"What To Look For Today in CIA Internal Investigation Report Release," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Aug. 24, 2009

"Blackwater's Contracts," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Aug. 24, 2009

"Panetta Threatened To Quit, Got In 'Screaming Match' Over Torture Probe," Huffington Post, Aug. 24, 2009

"Rove's Sorry Victim Act," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Aug. 21, 2009

"More Obstruction at Justice," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Aug. 21, 2009

"Conyers May Call Rove, Miers to Testify Publicly About Attorney Firings," by Jason Leopold, Truthout, Aug. 20, 2009

"Bush Official, in Book, Tells of Pressure on '04 Vote," The New York Times, Aug. 20, 2009

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"Is Iran gas ban a step toward war?," by Michael Klare, Asia Times, Aug. 22, 2009

"Obama's deafening silence on Honduras," by Mark Weisbrot, Guardian/UK, Aug. 21, 2009

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Feingold to Obama: Announce Withdrawal Timetable from Afghanistan," ABC News, Aug. 24, 2009

"U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient," The New York Times, Aug. 24, 2009

"Karzai Opponent Alleges 'Widespread' Voter Fraud," Washington Post, Aug. 24, 2009

"U.S. anxious over Shiite-Sunni relations in Iraq," Los Angeles Times, Aug. 24, 2009

"Spectre of unrest looms after Afghan polls marred by fraud," Independent/UK, Aug. 23, 2009

"Afghanistan Contractors Outnumber Troops," Wall Street Journal, Aug. 22, 2009

"The Truth About The Afghan Election," by Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch, Aug. 21-23, 2009

"Saigon 2009: Afghanistan is today's Vietnam. No question mark needed," by Thomas H. Lohnson & M. Chris Mason, Foreign Policy, Aug. 20, 2009

"C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones," The New York Times, Aug. 20, 2009

"Iraq bombs are a warning to Maliki," by Jonathan Steele, Guardian/UK, Aug. 20, 2009

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Rendition of Terror Suspects Will Continue Under Obama," The New York Times, Aug. 24, 2009

"New Warning of Terror Campaign By Far-Right Extremists," by SketterVT, Daily Kos, Aug. 24, 2009

"Could US Officials Please Treat a Nobel Peace Laureate with Respect?," by Ann Wright, Common Dreams, Aug. 23, 2009

"CIA mock executions alleged in secret report," Guardian/UK, Aug. 23, 2009

"CIA staged mock execution, wielded power drill in interrogations, secret report says," Los Angeles Times, Aug. 23, 2009

"Secret prisons and sovereignty," by Bernard Keenan, Guardian/UK, Aug. 22, 2009

"American Justice is Not Blind, But it is Truly Sick," by David Lindorff, Counterpunch, Aug. 21-23, 2009

"Freedom From Fear-and the Second Amendment," by David Sirota, TruthDig, Aug. 21, 2009

"CIA Used Mock Execution to Get Al-Qaeda Info: Report," Agence France Presse, Aug. 22, 2009

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Activists Assail Tar Sands," Windsor Star/Canada, Aug. 24, 2009

"EPA Fails To Inform Public About Weed-Killer In Drinking Water," by Danielle Ivory, Huffington Post, Aug. 23, 2009

"Forging a Green Economic Recovery at Home," by Edwin D. Hill, Huffington Post, Aug. 21, 2009

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Media: Angry right-wingers are important; angry libs are annoying," by Eric Boehlert, Media Matters, Aug. 25, 2009

"Is Glenn Beck Finished?," by Tana Ganeva, AlterNet, Aug. 24, 2009

"Man who sold Iraq war now vetting embedded journos: report," Raw Story, Aug. 24, 2009

"Time For The CIA's Chief Apologist to Apologize," by Melvin A. Goodman, The Public Record, Aug. 23, 2009

"The Beltway consensus: the Left is to blame for health care battle," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Aug. 23, 2009

"Marc Ambinder's Cave," by emptywheel, Firedoglake, Aug. 22, 2009

"Ramparts Magazine: A Bomb in Every Issue," by Peter Richardson, TruthDig, Aug. 21, 2009

"Fringe leftist losers: wrong even when they're right," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Aug. 20, 2009

"Ethically Troubled Courant Lets Aetna Execs Write Their Own Article," by tparty, My Left Nutmeg, Aug. 20, 2009

"Losing Job, Consumer Columnist Cries Foul," The New York Times, Aug. 17, 2009

"Sleepy's: The bedbug column The Courant refused to publish about its prime advertiser," by George Gombossy, Connecticut Watchdog, Aug. 14, 2009

"The News About the Internet," by Michael Massing, New York Review of Books, Aug. 13, 2009

More newswire ...


"Urgent 911 to EPA, OSM: Fearless Tree-Sit in Coal Blasting Area Calls Out WV DEP Scandal and Failed Regulations," by Jeff Biggers, Common Dreams, Aug. 25, 2009

More newswire ...

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