Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

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The Resistance Starts Now!

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SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

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who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

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Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

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Common Cause to IRS: Revoke Corporate Lobby Group ALEC’s Tax-Exempt, Charitable Status

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Posted May 16, 2012

Interview with Bob Edgar, former six-term congressional representative who now serves as president and CEO of Common Cause, conducted by Scott Harris


The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has come under scrutiny in recent months for its under-the-radar campaign to pass a variety of laws supported by its corporate membership in state legislatures across the U.S. One of ALEC’s signature efforts was their success in 2011 in eliminating public sector labor unions’ collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. In the aftermath of the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, ALEC’s promotion of permissive Stand Your Ground gun laws has been the subject of national media coverage.

Widespread criticism of ALEC for its advocacy of relaxed gun laws, as well as discriminatory voter ID legislation, harsher criminal penalties for juveniles, privatization of education and severe anti-immigration measures has taken its toll. The negative publicity has caused prominent corporate members such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft and McDonald's to resign – and the group to disband its Elections and Public Safety Task Force.

Now Common Cause, one of a national coalition of groups working to shine a spotlight on the corporate front organization’s stealthy activities, has made a formal complaint to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Common Cause charges that ALEC is violating federal laws by posing as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity, when in actuality ALEC is spending millions of dollars lobbying for legislation that benefits its corporate membership. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause, a former six-term Pennsylvania congressman, who discusses his group’s demand of the IRS to cancel ALEC’s not-for-profit tax status, collect years of unpaid taxes and “impose necessary penalties.”

BOB EDGAR: About a year ago, we were given about 4,000 documents that were internal documents that the American Legislative Exchange Council had distributed over the course of many years. And what startled us in reviewing those documents was that ALEC files with the IRS as a charity. That means when a large corporation gives a large grant to this organization, they're actually getting tax relief for contributing to a charity when more than 60 percent of what they do is hard-core lobbying.

I've spent 12 years as a member of Congress, was elected as one of the Watergate babies with Chris Dodd and Toby Moffett in 1974. I've seen lobbying up close and personal over those 12 years of service. I know what lobbying looks like, what it acts like, and what these corporations were doing were sneaking into resort centers a couple times a year, sitting side-by-side with state legislators, mostly conservative, some Democrats, mostly Republican. And they were putting forth legislation to help their bottom line. For example, the profit-making prison industry that made for-profit prisons across the country. They got involved in ALEC in order to proliferate the immigration laws so that they could fill some of their prisons that were actually over-billed and empty at times. The for-profit educational industry also was pushing their legislation. Where Common Cause got concerned was there were an awful lot of efforts to push back and suppress the vote, particularly of senior citizens and persons of color and poor people. So as we analyzed those documents, we decided to call out ALEC as what it is, a lobbying organization committing tax fraud.

And on July 14 of last year, we gently sent a 16-page letter to the IRS. We heard nothing from the IRS. So we discovered that there is a whistle-blower law passed by Congress in 2006. We used that particular provision and filed a very formal IRS whistle-blower complaint with the 4,000 documents. We hired a pro bono legal team from San Francisco. They believe that the documents we provided and the evidence that we've shared is some of the strongest whistl-blower evidence that they've seen. They clearly believe that our arguments are accurate. And we believe that some of the reasons that large corporations like Coca-Cola and Pepsi and Kraft and Johnson and Johnson and some other corporations have fled ALEC. Because they know that if they stick with ALEC, if they stick with this organization after the IRS finds them in noncompliance with the tax code, they'll be subject to penalties and fines for actually doing lobbying work through an organization that claims zero lobbying, yet is filing as a charity under the tax code.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What are your demands from the IRS? What would you like the IRS to do in terms of dealing with ALEC and what you believe to be a fraudulent tax status they've taken out?

BOB EDGAR: We'd like the IRS to call out the fraud that's involved, to impose penalties and fines on ALEC, to force the organization to reorganize itself under clear provisions and exclude corporations from getting any tax deduction for charitable contribution through ALEC. The American taxpayer has been hurt over the last 30 years as corporations have found all kinds of ways to put money into politics and to corrupt the system and we hope the IRS will straighten it out. And if there are large fines and penalties, we want those dollars to go back to the general Treasury and reimburse the government for the fraudulent tax provision that has been perpetrated on the American public over the last few years.

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