2006 Program Archive

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December 31st, 2006

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Program Producer Louis Vandenberg hosts a 2006 retrospective, featuring:

Senator Gary Hart (from February 26, 2006) on the strategic situation which faces the USA and how the nation must reconceive its defenses to deal with future challenges. Senator Hart is a former candidate for President of the United States who represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate from 1975 to 1987, where he served on the Armed Services Committee, specializing in nuclear arms control and military reform. During his Senate years, he also played a leadership role in major environmental and conservation legislation, initiatives to advance the information revolution, and new directions in foreign policy. He is the author of sixteen books, most recently a study of the presidency of James Monroe and an essay on religion and American politics called God and Caesar, both published in the fall of 2005. As co-chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, Hart warned of a massive homeland terror attack as early as fall 1999, and spent the first eight months of 2001 trying to persuade government leaders that the threat was urgent and action was needed. He is currently at work on a new book about the future of the Democratic Party. His just-published book is "The Shield and the Cloak: the security of the commons," which asserts a redefinition of what national security means in the 21st century.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (from March 12, 2006) on the Bush presidency and the "disaster after disaster" which it has wrought on both foreign and domestic policy fronts. Colonel Wilkerson was Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff at the Department of State from August 2002 to January 2005. But, Colonel Wilkerson's career with General Colin L. Powell goes back much further--to in March 1989 at the U.S. Army's Forces Command in Atlanta, Georgia as his Deputy Executive Officer. He followed the General to his next position as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving as his special assistant. Upon Powell's retirement from active service in 1993, Colonel Wilkerson served as the Deputy Director and Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia. Upon Wilkersons retirement from active service in 1997, he began working for General Powell in a private capacity as a consultant and advisor. In December 2000, Secretary of State-designate Powell asked Wilkerson to join him in the Transition Office at the U.S. State Department and, later, upon his confirmation as Secretary of State, Secretary Powell moved Wilkerson to his Policy Planning Staff with responsibilities for East Asia and the Pacific, and legislative and political-military affairs. In June of 2002, the Director for Policy Planning, Ambassador Richard Haass, made Wilkerson the Associate Director. In August of 2002, Secretary Powell moved Wilkerson to the position of Chief of Staff of the Department. In October of 2005, Colonel Wilkerson, after considerable soul searching, went public to tell the truth of what he knew: that Vice President Cheney had provided the "guidance" that led to America's torture disgrace in Guantanamo, Abu Ghriab and elsewhere; that Secretary Powell's February 2003 presentation to the UN security council was "the lowest point" of his life; and that US foreign policy had been hijacked by what he described as a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal."

December 24th, 2006

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Flynt Leverett on the White House censoring of an Op-Ed written for the New York Times by Dr. Leverett and his wife. Dr. Leverett was the senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from March 2002 to March 2003. He was involved in developing President Bush's approach to promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace, and advised the president and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on relations with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Prior to joining the National Security Council, Leverett was a Middle East and counterterrorism expert on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. Before that he was the senior CIA analyst on Syria and Middle East affairs. Leverett holds a Ph.D. in politics and an M.A. in politics from Princeton University. He earned his B.A from Texas Christian University in 1978. He is currently a fellow with the New America Foundation.

William Arkin on the rumored Bush military "surge" in Iraq early in 2007. Mr. Arkin is a Washington Post columnist, a NBC News military analyst, consultant, and author. His latest book is "Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World." He has been a columnist for The Los Angeles Times, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic Education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, U.S. Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Arkin's work as a military analyst for NBC News has spanned Desert Fox in Iraq in 1998, the 1999 Yugoslav war, the events of September 11, and current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

December 17th, 2006

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Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey on her opposition to the military "surge" that Bush seems to be readying in Iraq. Congresswoman Woolsey is in her seventh term as the Democratic representative from California s 6th District, just north of San Francisco (including all of Marin and most of Sonoma Counties). She is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and has been a passionately outspoken opponent of the Iraq war. She introduced the first resolution calling for our troops to be brought home and convened the first congressional hearing on military exit strategies. The San Jose Mercury News recently called her the unofficial matriarch of the [anti-war] movement in Congress. She is the senior Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Education Reform, sits on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and is also a senior member of the House Committee on Science, where she has worked to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and promote the use of clean, efficient energy sources. She has just called on President Bush to heed the election mandate of the American people to withdraw troops from Iraq, rather than to increase them in what is being called a "military surge" as reported in the New York Times and elsewhere.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson on the catastrophic mismanagement of foreign affairs and the Iraq war under President Bush. Colonel Wilkerson was Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff at the Department of State from August 2002 to January 2005. But, Colonel Wilkerson's career with General Colin L. Powell goes back much further--to in March 1989 at the U.S. Army s Forces Command in Atlanta, Georgia as his Deputy Executive Officer. He followed the General to his next position as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving as his special assistant. Upon Powell's retirement from active service in 1993, Colonel Wilkerson served as the Deputy Director and Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia. Upon Wilkerson s retirement from active service in 1997, he began working for General Powell in a private capacity as a consultant and advisor. In December 2000, Secretary of State-designate Powell asked Wilkerson to join him in the Transition Office at the U.S. State Department and, later, upon his confirmation as Secretary of State, Secretary Powell moved Wilkerson to his Policy Planning Staff with responsibilities for East Asia and the Pacific, and legislative and political-military affairs. In June of 2002, the Director for Policy Planning, Ambassador Richard Haass, made Wilkerson the Associate Director. In August of 2002, Secretary Powell moved Wilkerson to the position of Chief of Staff of the Department. In October of 2005, Colonel Wilkerson, after considerable soul searching, went public to tell the truth of what he knew: that Vice President Cheney had provided the "guidance" that led to America's torture disgrace in Guantanamo, Abu Ghriab and elsewhere; that Secretary Powell's February 2003 presentation to the UN security council was "the lowest point" of his life; and that US foreign policy had been hijacked by what he described as a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal."

John Zogby on the increasingly low regard in which Bush, the United States and the American people are held in the Arab world. Dr. Zogby is President and CEO of Zogby International, a company which has been praised as America's most accurate pollster by leading news publications, and which conducts polls in over 62 countries. His recent poll of the Arab world's attitudes towards America is quite startling and reveals the extent to which antipathy for the US has increased during the Bush administration.

December 10th, 2006
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Ambassador Chas Freeman on the findings and recommendations in the Baker - Hamilton Iraq Study Group report. Ambassador Freeman is a former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. In addition, he has been a Distinguished Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Charge/Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in both China and Thailand, Director of Chinese Affairs for the Department of State. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Department of Defense Meritorious service (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), the CIA Medallion (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), the Distinguished Honor Award (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award. Ambassador Freeman is currently Chairman of Projects International, Inc.; the President of the Middle East Policy Council; Co-Chair of the US-China Policy Council; and Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council. He is the author of "The Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy" and "The Diplomat's Dictionary."

Wayne White on the findings and recommendations in the Baker - Hamilton Iraq Study Group report. Mr. White is an Adjunct Scholar at Washington s Middle East Institute. He most recently served as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia (NESA). White also served as principal Iraq analyst and head of INR/NESA s Iraq team from 2003 to 2005. He was Chief of INR s Maghreb, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq division and State Department representative to NATO Middle East working groups from 1990 to 2002. Five times he received the State Department s Superior Honor Award, and three time s the Department s Meritorious Honor Award. In 1986, he was named INR s first Analyst of the Year, and, in 2004 received the Secretary s Career Achievement Award from Secretary Powell. Mr. White also has received the National Intelligence Certificate of Distinction for service during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, in 2000 the National Intelligence Medal for Outstanding Achievement, a 2004 citation from the National Intelligence Council for his work on the Iraq crisis, and was a 2002 National Intelligence Fellow. He recently served as an advisor to the Iraq Study Group.

Dr. Stephen Biddle on the situation in Iraq on the occasion of his meeting with President Bush to provide analysis and advice. Dr. Biddle is Associate Professor of National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. Before joining SSI in June 2001, he was a member of the political science faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has held research positions at the Institute for Defense Analyses; Harvard University s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; and the Kennedy School of Government's Office of National Security Programs. Dr. Biddle has presented testimony before congressional committees on issues relating to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; served as U.S. Representative to the NATO Defense Research Group study on Stable Defense; is a member of the Defense Department Senior Advisory Group on Homeland Defense; is co-director of the Columbia University Summer Workshop on the Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy. He holds an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His book, Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Award Silver Medal for 2005. His research has won Barchi, Rist, and Impact Prizes from the Military Operations Research Society, and he won the Army Superior Civilian Service Medal in 2003. Dr. Biddle holds AB (1981), MPP (1985), and Ph.D. (Public Policy, 1992) degrees, all from Harvard University.

December 3rd, 2006

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Anne Louise Bardach on what may be the final days of Fidel Castro. Ms. Bardach is a critically acclaimed author and award-winning reporter. Her books include "Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana" and "Cuba: A Traveler's Literary Companion." Cuba Confidential was named one of ten best nonfiction books of 2002 by the Los Angeles Times Book Review and finalist for the NY Public Library's Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. Ms. Bardach is a political columnist for the international edition of Newsweek. She is a Contributing editor to Vanity Fair; and is a freelance journalist published in top news outlets including the New York Times, New Yorker, New Republic, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. She is the recipient of the prestigious PEN West Award for Journalism.

Dr. George Grayson on the contentious inauguration of Mexican president Calderon, and the opposition he faces. Dr. Grayson has been a member of the Government Department faculty of the College of William and Mary for 38 years. He earned his B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his M.A. and Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University, and a J.D. at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Professor Grayson focuses on Latin American Politics, with a particular interest in Mexico. He has written 20 books and monographs on international affairs, made 125 research trips to Latin America, and lectures regularly at the U.S. Department of State. He writes a regularly column for "Milenio Semanal," a weekly magazine in Mexico. He is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C. and an associate scholar of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He is the author of the forthcoming "Mes as Mexicano," a book about Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Dr. James Fearon on the reality of civil war in Iraq. Dr. Fearon is the Geballe Professor of political science at Stanford University. His research has focused on democracy and international disputes, explanations for interstate wars, and, most recently, the causes of civil and especially ethnic violence. In 1999, Dr. Fearon won the Karl Deutsch Award for significant contributions to the study of International Relations and Peace Research." He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences in 2002. In September of this year he testified before a House sub committee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations regarding the subject Iraq: Democracy or Civil War?

November 26th, 2006

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Mark Danner on the chaotic and deteriorating state of affairs in Iraq. Mark Danner is a longtime staff writer at The New Yorker, frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, and professor at UC Berkeley and at Bard College. He writes about foreign affairs and American politics and is the author of the book, "Torture and Truth." His most recent book is "The Secret Way to War." He has a major new feature article out in the New York Review of Books, which is also being carried at Salon.com and TomsDispatch, on Iraq, entitled "Iraq: war of imagination." It comprehensively covers how we got there, where things stand and how we might get out.

Habib Battah on Lebanon in the aftermath of the assassination of Pierre Gemayel. Mr. Battah has been a print and broadcast journalist for some of the Arab World s leading news organizations including Qatar-based Al Jazeera, Lebanon s Daily Star newspaper and the Beirut-based satellite channel, Future Television. He has covered a range of political events from across the Middle East, including the Iraq war and recent turmoil in Lebanon, as well as a wide spectrum of Arab economic sectors, with a focus on telecommunications, information technology, real estate, construction and energy. Battah has also worked for a number of non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Vision and Creative Associates International Inc. He graduated with a BA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, where he recently presented a lecture on press censorship in the Middle East at UT s Journalism and the Arab World Conference. He is now in Lebanon, just outside Beirut.

Milton Leitenberg on the apparent assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, a harsh critic of Vladimir Putin, is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International and Security Studies at the School of Public Policy University of Maryland. He is a biochemist, specializing in neurochemistry, and has been working in the field of international Arms Control since 1966. He is an acknowledged expert in the use of poison for political assassination.

interviewed with

Phillip Knightley is a highly acclaimed and award-winning journalist and author, who specializes in issues of national security, intelligence and propaganda. He is a Professor of Journalism at the University of Lincoln, England, and frequent media commentator. He is the author of a number of excellent books, including The First Casualty on war and propaganda, The Second Oldest Profession on espionage and Philby, KGB Master Spy, his biography of Kim Philby; Knightley was the first and last journalist to interview the famous KGB spy in Moscow in 1988.

November 19th, 2006

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Stephen Flynn on the failure of the Bush administration to adequately prepare the US for disasters of all sorts. Dr. Flynn is a researcher, independent advisor, and frequent commentator on homeland security, global trade and maritime transportation security, and emergency preparedness. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and national bestseller, "America the Vulnerable." He is currently writing a new book to be published by Random House in early 2007 entitled, "The Edge of Disaster: Catastrophic Storms, Terror, and American Recklessness." The inaugural occupant of the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Chair in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Flynn served as Director and principal author for the task force report "America: Still Unprepared, Still in Danger," co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. Since 9/11 he has provided congressional testimony on homeland security matters on seventeen occasions. He spent twenty years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard including two commands at sea, served in the White House Military Office during the George H.W. Bush administration, and was director for Global Issues on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

John Pike on the reality of threat to the US by loose nukes, and specifically by Iran. Dr. Pike is one of the world s leading experts on defense, space and intelligence policy and is Director of GlobalSecurity.org, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization which he founded in December 2000. Pike previously worked for nearly two decades with the Federation of American Scientists, where he directed the Space Policy, Cyberstrategy, Military Analysis, Nuclear Resource and Intelligence Resource projects. He regularly provides commentary and analysis to numerous media outlets and is the author of more than 200 studies, reports and articles on national security and space.

Chris Paine on green personal transportation. Mr. Paine is the director of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" He drove a GM EV1 electric car from 1998-2003. After GM confiscated his EV1, he bought a Toyota RAV4 EV which were briefly available for sale. He still drives it. He has worked on a number of feature films and documentaries, including Michael Tolkien's "The Player," and Mark Neale's William Gibson: No Maps for These Territories , which was named Best Documentary by New Times Los Angeles in 2001. Before becoming a full-time filmmaker, Chris Paine was an Internet business pioneer. His web design and e-commerce company Internet Outfitters eventually became Appnet. Who Killed the Electric Car? is Paine's first feature documentary as a director

interviewed with

Dave Freeman was the Chairman of the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority. Prior to that he was the General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. These are some of the more recent distinctions in a five-decade career within both the electric and water utility industries, including top positions at New York Power Authority, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Lower Colorado River Authority and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). In these positions, he successfully introduced energy conservation and efficiency projects, established a reputation for reaching out to community groups and developed solid and respectable relations with labor. An engineer and lawyer, Mr. Freeman, has served in various high-level government positions, including energy adviser to President Jimmy Carter. He previously had been an energy consultant to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and assistant to the chairman of the Federal Power Commission. He is the author of a book, "Energy: The New Era," and is featured in the documentary, "Who Killed the Electric Car."

November 12th, 2006

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Lawrence Korb on the legacy of Donald Rumsfeld. Dr. Korb is the Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Senior Adviser to the Center for Defense Information. Korb served as Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1981 to 1985. In that position, he administered about seventy percent of the Defense budget. For his service he was awarded the Department of Defense s medal for Distinguished Public Service. Korb served on active duty for four years as Naval Flight Officer, and retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Captain. Korb s twenty books and more than 100 articles on national security issues include The Joint Chiefs of Staff: The First Twenty-five Years, The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon, American National Security: Policy and Process, Future Visions for U.S. Defense Policy, Reshaping America s Military, and A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. On November 8, he published, with Brian Katulis, "Strategic Redeployment 2.0: a Progressive Strategy for Iraq, described as a "reasoned, pragmatic plan to strategically redeploy our military forces in Iraq and around the region to fight our terrorist enemies in the most effective and most lethal fashion possible."

Mel Goodman on Rumsfeld's replacement, Robert Gates. Mr. Goodman is senior fellow and director of the national security program at the Center for International Policy. He is also a professor of international security studies and chairman of the international relations department at the National War College. He was division chief and senior analyst at the CIA's Office of Soviet Affairs from 1976 to 1986. He was a senior analyst at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1974 to 1976. He was an intelligence adviser to the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks in Vienna and Washington. He is co-author of "The Wars of Edvard Shevardnadze".

Max Blumenthal on the goings-on at the "Liberty Film Festival." Max Blumenthal is a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at the Nation Institute based in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, The American Prospect and the Washington Monthly. He is a research fellow for Media Matters for America. His blog is at maxblumenthal.blogspot.com. His recent articles have covered "The Coming Gay GOP Purge," the internal machinations of the Sun Myung Moon-funded Washington Times, and the right-wing back story on the ABC 9/11 5-hour $30million docudrama. He is this weekend in Los Angeles covering David Horowitz's Liberty Film Festival at which an award was presented to an ABC Television vice president for the factually-challenged 9/11 docudrama.

November 5th, 2006

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Sidney Blumenthal on the Bush administration and the political stakes in the November 7 election. Mr. Blumenthal is a former assistant and Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, Bill Clinton. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security, and a regular columnist for the Guardian of London and Salon.com. He has been a staff writer for the New Yorker, the Washington Post and other major publications. His has authored a number of books including, most recently, "The Clinton Wars," a national best-seller. His new book, just published by Princeton University Press, is "How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime."

Bill Press on what the political dynamics are in advance of the November 7 election. Mr. Press is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. He was co-host of MSNBC s Buchanan and Press and was also co-host of CNN s Crossfire and The Spin Room with Tucker Carlson. He has had a high-profile career in government, politics, and broadcasting for three decades and served as chairman of the California Democratic Party from 1993 to 1996. He was named Best Commentator of the Year by the Associated Press and has received numerous other awards for his work, including four Emmys and a Golden Mike Award. He is the author of Spin This! and Bush Must Go and writes a syndicated newspaper column distributed by Tribune Media Services. In addition to the foregoing, Mr. Press is a former Seminarian and it is this religious background which inspired his latest book, HOW THE REPUBLICANS STOLE CHRISTMAS: The Republican Party s Declared Monopoly on Religion and What Democrats Can Do to Take It Back,

Peter Wallsten on the many structural advantages which have been crafted to favor the Republican party--advantages which will remain even if the Democrats are successful in taking one or both houses of congress on November 7. Mr. Wallsten covers the White House for the Los Angeles Times. Walsten, with LA Times Washington reporter Tom Hamburger have written a new book is "One Party Country," which Roger Simon as described as ""Hamburger and Wallsten pull back the curtain and reveal the Republican battle-plan to take over American politics. With compelling detail and scrupulous fairness, the two uncover many of the machinations that have been below the radar screen until now."

October 15th, 2006

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Thomas Ricks on Iraq and the military. Mr. Ricks is The Washington Post's senior Pentagon correspondent, where he has covered the U.S. military since 2000. Until the end of 1999, he held the same beat at The Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for seventeen years. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams for national reporting, he has reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is the author of Making the Corps and A Soldier's Duty. His new book is "Fiasco: the American Military Adventure in Iraq," which has been described as "The definitive military chronicle of the Iraq war and a searing judgment on the strategic blindness with which America has conducted it, drawing on the accounts of senior military officers giving voice to their anger for the first time."

Rajiv Chandrasekaran on surreal and bizarre state of affairs in the attempt to rebuild and manage Iraq from within the confines of the Green Zone. Mr. Chandrasekaran is an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. He previously served the Post as a bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia, and as a correspondent covering the war in Afghanistan. He recently completed a term as journalist-in-residence at the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, and was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. His new book is "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone," described as "as extraordinary vivid and compelling anatomy of a fiasco."

William Polk on his practical plan to get the US out of Iraq. Mr. Polk studied at Harvard and Oxford and taught at Harvard until he was appointed the member of the State Department s Policy Planning Council responsible for the Middle East in 1961. He served as head of the interdepartmental task force on the Algerian war and was a member of the crisis management subcommittee during the Cuban missile crisis. In 1965, he became professor of history at the University of Chicago and founded its Middle Eastern Studies Center. In 1967, he became president of the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs. At the request of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, he negotiated a cease fire between Israel and Egypt in 1970. In 1972, he founded a consulting and investment company. The author of several books on history, international relations, and the Middle East, including Understanding Iraq, his new book, authored with former US Senator George McGovern is "Out of Iraq: a practical plan for withdrawal now."

October 8th, 2006

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Joe Cirincione on the then-impending test of a nuclear weapon by North Korea. Mr. Cirincione is Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy. Prior to joining the Center in May 2006, he served as director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for eight years. He is the author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons, Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, and co-author of Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security. He teaches at the graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Mr. Cirincione worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations, and served as staff director of the Military Reform Caucus. He is the author of numerous articles on nuclear weapons issues, the producer of two DVDs on proliferation, and is a frequent commentator on these issues in the media. He has held positions at the Henry L. Stimson Center, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Fadel Gheit on the politically convenient drop in oil prices prior to the mid-term elections. Mr. Gheit was described in a New York Times profile as "an elder statesman among oil analysts," with more than 30 years of experience in oil and gas research and analysis. His is widely regarded as having a comprehensive insight into matters of oil and energy, integrating a deep knowledge of the industry, of the Middle East, of US domestic and international politics, and of the demands of the international markets. A native of Egypt, Fadel Gheit is a graduate of Cairo University and New York University. He is currently Senior Vice President for Oil and Gas Research with Oppenheimer and company in NYC, which covers 26 energy companies. He was previously with Mobil Oil and JP Morgan Company.

John Aravosis on the matter of gay hypocrisy in the Republican party. Mr. Aravosis is a Washington, DC-based writer, political consultant, talking head and the creator of Americablog.com. Since 1995 he has been one of the country's top experts in the use of the Internet for politics. Aravosis has diplomas from the University of Illinois and the University of Paris (Sorbonne), and a joint law degree/master in foreign service from Georgetown University, where he studied under former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. We has worked at the World Bank and the Children's Defense Fund, and in 1997 started his own political Internet consulting business, Wired Strategies, which has brought him to clients in the US, Africa, Asia and Europe. Aravosis also created and edits one of the largest gay politics e-publications in the US, "THE LIST," comprising over 14,000 subscribers. John Aravosis is one of America's top and most-recognized gay activists and public figures. We'll ask him about gays in the Republican party, something Sidney Blumenthal described as a "walk-in closet."

October 1st, 2006

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Ambassador Peter Galbraith on the truly dire state of affairs in Iraq, much worse than reported in the US media and from the Ambassador's first-hand account. Ambassador Galbraith served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. He is currently the Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books. His new book is "The End of Iraq:How American Incompetence Created a War Without End," described as a "clear-eyed and persuasive case against the Bush nation-building project," and recommending that the US "facilitate an amicable divorce" between Iraq's fractious elements. He has spent considerable time in Iraq and is just returning from there. We reached him in Amman, Jordan.

Dr. Chalmers Johnson on the rise of a militaristic Japanese leadership, supported by American neocons, and what he views as a crisis of American democracy with the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Dr. Chalmers is an author and professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He is also president and co-founder of the Japan Policy Research Institute, an organization promoting public education about Japan and Asia. He has written numerous books including, most recently, two essential examinations of the consequences of American empire, Blowback: the costs and consequences of American empire and The Sorrows of Empire: militarism, secrecy and the end of the republic. Blowback won an American Book Award in 2001, and was re-issued in an updated version in 2004. Sorrows of Empire, published in 2004, updated the evidence and argument from Blowback for the post-9/11 environment. Johnson was centrally featured in the Eugene Jarecki-directed film Why We Fight, which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. His forthcoming book is "Nemesis: the last days of the American Republic."

September 24th, 2006

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Ambassador Akbar Ahmed on the visit to Washington, D.C. by Pakistani President Pervez Mushareff. Ambassador Ahmed is, according to the BBC, "probably the world s best-known scholar on contemporary Islam. He is the former Pakistani Ambassador to Great Britain, and has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush to consult on Islam. He is now Chair of Islamic Studies and professor of International Relations at American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Ahmed is a distinguished anthropologist, writer, and filmmaker. He has been actively involved in interfaith dialogue and the study of global Islam and its impact on contemporary society for many years. He is the author of "Islam Under Siege," and "Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society," among other titles. His most recent book, written with Brian Forst, is "After Terror: promoting dialog between nations."

Roger Morris on the Musharref visit and the hidden dimensions to the US/Pakistan relationship in the larger context of the Middle East and the so-called "war on terror." Mr. Morris served on the National Security Council for Presidents Johnson and Nixon. He is writing a book, "Shadow of the Eagle," a history of covert U.S. intervention in the Middle East and South Asia during the last half-century, which is due out in 2007 from Knopf.

Damon Linker is intimately familiar with the rise of the theocons, working as he did in the center of the theoconservative world as an editor of its flagship journal, First Things. That experience gave him resolve to write a critical history of the movement. His new book is "The Theocons: secular America under siege," in which he describes the inner workings of the "theoconservative" movement--a group of mostly Catholic intellectuals who view American society in sometimes apocalyptic terms, whose ultimate goal is "the end of secular politics" in America."

September 17th, 2006

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Walter Pincus on the recently released Senate report on the pre-Iraq war intelligence which showed no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. Mr. Pincus is a journalist for The Washington Post, who specializes in national security issues. He has won a number of prizes for his work, including a Polk Award, an Emmy, and a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. In his celebrated career, Mr. Pincus has covered a variety of historic national stories, ranging from the Senate Watergate hearings, the House Nixon impeachment hearings, to nuclear weapons and arms control, to political campaigns to the American hostages in Iran to investigations of Congress and the Executive Branch. For six years he covered the Iran-contra affair. He has covered the intelligence community and its problems arising out of the case of confessed spy Aldrich Ames, allegations of Chinese espionage at the nuclear weapons laboratories. He has recently covered the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the pre-war intel concerning Iraq and al Qaeda.

Glenn Greenwald on the attempt by the Bush administration to retroactively immunize themselves from prosecution for violations of the War Crimes Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Mr. Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer, a writer for Salon.com, has a very popular blog "Unclaimed Territory," and is the author of the New York Times Best-selling book "How Would a Patriot Act?: a critique of the Bush administration's radical theories of executive power." He has written extensively about the Bush administration and their attempts to retroactively immunize themselves from prosecution on both FISA and the War Crimes Act. interviewed with:

Martin Lederman is a Visiting Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law. He is a former Attorney Advisor at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel. He has written widely on questions relating to Executive power, detention, interrogation and torture. Much of his recent work can be found on the Balkinization web site, at balkin.blogspot.com. He has recently focused on the Bush administration attempt to revise the War Crimes Act.

Max Blumenthal on the recently aired ABC "propudrama" on 9/11. Mr. Blumenthal is a Nation Institute Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow whose work regularly appears in the Nation. He is also a Research Fellow at Media Matters for America. His award-winning work has appeared at Salon.com, Alternet, The American Prospect, Washington Monthly. His weblog is maxblumenthal.blogspot.com. He covers topics ranging from the religious right, to border issues, to academic freedom and more. Recently, he did a major expose on the right-wing path to ABC's "Path to 9/11," in which he revealed the evangelical and extremist cabal who snookered ABC into airing a "propudrama," which was designed to help the Republican party 2 months prior to a national election.

September 10th, 2006

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Lawrence Wright on how al Qaeda was formed and how 9/11 came to be. Mr. Wright graduated from Tulane University and spent two years teaching at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a fellow at the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law. The author of five works of nonfiction City Children, Country Summer; In the New World; Saints and Sinners; Remembering Satan; and Twins he has also written a novel, God s Favorite, and was cowriter of the movie The Siege. His new book is "The Looming Tower: al Qaeda and Road to 9/11," which the LA Times describes as A magisterial, beautifully crafted narrative . . ."

James Moore on Karl Rove's plan for complete Republican domination of the United States. Mr. Moore is the coauthor, with Wayne Slater, of the bestselling Bush s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential and the author of Bush s War for Reelection. An Emmy Award winning television news correspondent, he has traveled extensively with every presidential campaign since 1976. interviewed with

Wayne Slater is a senior political writer and an award-winning reporter for The Dallas Morning News. Previously, he was the Austin bureau chief of the paper for fifteen years and has covered state and national politics since 1984. Their new book is "The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power."

September 3rd, 2006

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Dr. Robert Reich on the state of labor in the United States today. Dr. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as the nation's 22nd secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. In this capacity, he implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act, led a national fight against sweatshops in the U.S. and illegal child labor around the world, headed the administration s successful effort to raise the minimum wage, secured worker s pensions, and launched job-training programs, one-stop career centers, and school-to-work initiatives. Under his leadership, the Department of Labor won more than 30 awards for innovation. Dr. Reich is the recipient of the prestigious Vaclev Havel Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought. He is currently Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has written ten books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet, and his most recent book, Reason. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine.

Dr. Vali Nasr in a follow-up interview from two-weeks prior on Iran, the Middle East and the Bush administration. Dr. Nasr is a Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, teaching courses on Comparative Politics, International Political Economy, South Asia Iran and Political Islam. He joined NPS in 1993 after teaching at the University of San Diego, University of California, San Diego, and Tufts University. He is the author of number of books, including Democracy in Iran; The Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power. His latest is The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future. His works on Political Islam and Comparative Politics of South Asia and the Middle East has been published in Comparative Politics, Asian Survey, Middle East Journal, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle east Policy, Political Science Quarterly, and many other publications. He has contributed to Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam, The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, and The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. He has written for The New York Times and the Washington Post and has been the recipient of grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. Early this past week Dr. Nasr and a small group of advisors met with President Bush to bring a fresh perspective on the Iranian question.

Thom Hartmann on how the American middle-class is being seriously eroded. Mr. Hartman is a nationally syndicated radio host with Air America Radio and a Project-Censored-award-winning bestselling author of 17 books His books include The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight; We the People; Unequal Protection; What Would Jefferson Do and his most recent book; Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class And What We Can Do About It.

August 27th, 2006

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Sidney Blumenthal on the increasingly shared view that Bush administration policies in in shambles and that the administration itself is the most radical in history. Mr. Blumenthal is a former assistant and Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, Bill Clinton. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security, and a regular columnist for the Guardian of London and Salon.com. He has been a staff writer for the New Yorker, the Washington Post and other major publications. His has authored a number of books including, most recently, "The Clinton Wars," a national best-seller. His new book, just published by Princeton University Press, is "How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime."

Afshin Molavi on the prospects for war and peace between the US and Iran, and the split between the Iranian leadership and the Iranian population. Mr. Molavi is a Fellow at the New America Foundation, focusing on Middle Eastern economic development and democratization. He is the author of The Soul of Iran. A former Dubai-based correspondent for the Reuters news agency and a regular contributor to The Washington Post from Iran, Mr. Molavi has covered the Middle East and Washington for a wide range of international publications. His articles have appeared in the Financial Times, Businessweek, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, the Journal of Commerce, The Wilson Quarterly, among others. Born in Iran, but raised and educated in the West, Mr. Molavi holds an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Middle East History and International Economics. He has also worked at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector development arm of the World Bank. He recently had an op-ed published in the Washington Post, called "The Real 'New Middle East.'"

Dr. Arthur Versluis on the troubling origins of the Bush administration's "unitary executive" theory. Dr. Versluis is a professor of American Studies at Michigan State University, who was a Fulbright scholar in Germany. He is the editor-in-chief of the academic journal, Esoterica and the founding president of the American Association for the Study of Esotericism. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The New Inquisitions: Heretic-hunting and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Totalitarianism, just published by Oxford University Press. He had a recent article, published in Counterpunch and elsewhere, which identifies the neocon notion of the "unitary executive" as paralleling the thinking of Weimar-era German legal theorist Carl Schmidt, legal theory which was used later by the Nazis. According to Schmitt, the ultimate power of government is not to be found in legislation, but in the executive power to abrogate or suspend legislation. What matters is not the rule, but the exception, and "sovereign is he who decides the exception," a governing philosophy Dr. Versluis sees in Bush's unprecedented use of "signing statements." A characteristic of fascism, explains Versluis, is "decisionism." "At least we're doing something," a decisionist says - even if what "we're" doing is in fact despotic and destructive." George W. Bush is, according to Mr. Bush and the neocons, "the decider" for America.

August 20th, 2006

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Lt. General Robert Gard (USA, Ret.) on the recent letter, signed by 21 former US military leaders and foreign-policy officials asking the President to change course on increasing tension between the US and Iran. General Gard graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1950, then earned an MPA in 1956 and a Ph. D. in Political Economy and Government in 1961 - both from Harvard University. In addition to combat service in Korea and Vietnam, General Gard's military assignments included executive assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara during the Johnson Administration, the first Director of Human Resources Development for the U.S. Army, and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He also served as President of the National Defense University and was a fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations. He retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant general in 1981. He is currently a Senior Military Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation in Washington, D.C.. General Gard and 20 other former military leaders and foreign policy officials signed a letter last Thursday to President Bush, asking that he change course on what appears to be attack plans on Iran, in spite of policy failure throughout the Middle East.

Dr. Vali Nasr on the Bush administration's Middle East policy. Dr. Nasr is a Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, teaching courses on Comparative Politics, International Political Economy, South Asia Iran and Political Islam. He joined NPS in 1993 after teaching at the University of San Diego, University of California, San Diego, and Tufts University. He is the author of number of books, including Democracy in Iran; The Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power. His latest is The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future. His works on Political Islam and Comparative Politics of South Asia and the Middle East has been published in Comparative Politics, Asian Survey, Middle East Journal, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle east Policy, Political Science Quarterly, and many other publications. He has contributed to Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam, The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, and The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. He has written for The New York Times and the Washington Post and has been the recipient of grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. Early this past week Dr. Nasr and a small group of advisors met with President Bush to bring a fresh perspective on the Iranian question.

Benjamin Ferencz on the attempt of the Bush administration to modify America's law on war crimes to evade potential prosecution. Mr. Ferencz is a towering presence in American and international jurisprudence, and in world history. In 1946 Mr. Ferencz became the Chief Prosecutor for the United States in what the Associated Press called "the biggest murder trial in world history"--the Nuremberg War Crimes trials of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, which was responsible for the systematized murder of millions of human beings. In this case, the first to recognize crimes against humanity, Mr. Ferencz stated: "Vengeance is not our goal, nor do we seek merely a just retribution. We ask this court to affirm man's right to live in peace and dignity, regardless of his race or creed. The case we present is a plea of humanity to law." Following his successful prosecution of the Nazis, Mr. Ferencz, a graduate of Harvard Law School, devoted himself to private practice and writing about world peace and international justice. He is the author of a number of books, including Defining International Aggression-The Search for World Peace, the two-volume An International Criminal Court-A Step Toward World Peace and A Common Sense Guide to World Peace. Since 1970, he has worked intensively for the establishment of the International Criminal Court in order to aid the cause of peace based on justice. He maintains a website, benferencz.org, where his motto is "Law is better than war."

August 18th, 2006

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Habib Battah on conditions in Lebanon and the prospects for a cease-fire between Hizbollah and Israel. Mr. Battah has been a print and broadcast journalist for some of the Arab World s leading news organizations including Qatar-based Al Jazeera, Lebanon s Daily Star newspaper and the Beirut-based satellite channel, Future Television. He has covered a range of political events from across the Middle East, including the Iraq war and recent turmoil in Lebanon, as well as a wide spectrum of Arab economic sectors, with a focus on telecommunications, information technology, real estate, construction and energy. Battah has also worked for a number of non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Vision and Creative Associates International Inc. He graduated with a BA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, where he recently presented a lecture on press censorship in the Middle East at UT s Journalism and the Arab World Conference. He is now in Lebanon, just outside Beirut.

Daniel Levy on the war against Lebanon, which is increasingly being perceived as a failure in Israel, and what the future holds for peace with Lebanon and with the Palestinians. Mr. Levy is the Director of Policy and International Efforts at Heskem, the Israeli headquarters of the joint nongovernmental Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative. He was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Accord and led the working-level Israeli negotiating team for over two years. Levy previously served as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice, Yossi Beilin, from March 2000 to March 2001. In this capacity, he was responsible for coordinating policy on various aspects of the ministerial portfolio, including issues related to peace negotiations, the Palestinian minority in Israel, civil and human rights, representing the minister on governmental committees. During the Ehud Barak government, he worked in the Prime Minister s Office as special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit under Minister Haim Ramon. Levy was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba Summit with the Palestinians in January 2001, and of the negotiating team for the "Oslo 2" Agreement from May to September 1995, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 2003 Levy worked as an analyst for the International Crisis Group Middle East Program, during which time he authored reports, including "A Time To Lead the International Community and the Middle East", Middle East Endgame How a Comprehensive Peace Settlement Would Look , A Middle East Roadmap to Where? , and Identity Crisis: Israel and its Arab Citizens He also worked for three years as projects director for the Economic Cooperation Foundation, a Tel Aviv based policy think-tank and do-tank whose mission is to promote regional peace and stability in the Middle East. He has a new Op-Ed, published in Ha'aretz, "Ending the Neoconservative Nightmare."

Omar Waraich on why some British Muslim youth have been radicalized. Mr. Waraich is an independent journalist and undergraduate college student who lives in London. He has written and commented on the community of Muslim youth from which those accused in the London bus bombings, and in the alleged plot to bomb airliners, emerged.

August 6th, 2006

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Ambassador Chas Freeman on the state of American foreign policy, which the Ambassador describes as "diplomacy free." Ambassador Freeman is a former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. In addition, he has been a Distinguished Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Charge/Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in both China and Thailand, Director of Chinese Affairs for the Department of State. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Department of Defense Meritorious service (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), the CIA Medallion (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), the Distinguished Honor Award (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award. Ambassador Freeman is currently Chairman of Projects International, Inc.; the President of the Middle East Policy Council; Co-Chair of the US-China Policy Council; and Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council. He is the author of "The Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy" and "The Diplomat's Dictionary."

Thomas Ricks on the Bush administration conduct of war on and occupation of Iraq. Mr. Ricks is The Washington Post's senior Pentagon correspondent, where he has covered the U.S. military since 2000. Until the end of 1999, he held the same beat at The Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for seventeen years. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams for national reporting, he has reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is the author of Making the Corps and A Soldier's Duty. His new book is "Fiasco: the American Military Adventure in Iraq," which has been described as "The definitive military chronicle of the Iraq war and a searing judgment on the strategic blindness with which America has conducted it, drawing on the accounts of senior military officers giving voice to their anger for the first time."

July 30th, 2006

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Nick Blamford is a veteran Middle East reporter for the Christian Science Monitor who reports live on this program from Lebanon, having just examined the wreckage at Qana. Blamford provides an eyewitness account in the aftermath of an Israeli aircraft bombing a building in Qana, Lebanon in which a number of civilians had sought shelter. Blamford says that there was no evidence of Hezbollah operation in the area of the bombing. He also says that, in reaction to the attack, the people of Lebanon seem to be more and more supportive of Hezbollah, and very negative towards the US, which they see as supporting Israel.

Yossi Melman is a columnist and reporter for Ha'aretz, which has been described as "The New York Times" of Israel. Melman says that the Israeli operation against Lebanon is "going very well." He says that Hezbollah was operating in or near the building that was bombed in Qana, Lebanon. Melman provides a strong case for Israel's attack on Lebanon. James Bamford is the author of the bestsellers Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace and has written extensively on national security issues, including investigative cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. He was formerly an investigative producer for ABC s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. His most recent book is A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies. His latest is a major feature for Rolling Stone's current issue, entitled "Iran the Next War," about the secret Neocon plan to attack Iran.

James Bamford is the author of the bestsellers Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace and has written extensively on national security issues, including investigative cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. He was formerly an investigative producer for ABC s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. His most recent book is A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies. His latest is a major feature for Rolling Stone's current issue, entitled "Iran the Next War," about the secret Neocon plan to attack Iran.

July 23rd, 2006

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Rami Khoury on the situation in Lebanon. Mr. Khoury is a Palestinian-Jordanian and US citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, published throughout the Middle East with the International Herald Tribune. He is an internationally syndicated political columnist and author. He was in Europe when the Israeli/Lebanese conflict broke out and is currently in Jordan, one of the few people trying to get into Lebanon.

Milton Viorst on the multiple perspectives, Israeli, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, and American, as regards the Middle Eastern conflicts. Mr. Viorst has covered the Middle East as a journalist and scholar since the 1960s. He was The New Yorker s Middle East correspondent, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has written six books on the Middle East, including "What Shall be Done With These People," "Fire In the Streets" and "In the Shadow of the Prophet: the Struggle for the Soul of Islam." His latest is "Storm from the East: the struggle between the Arab world and the Christian West."

Jahan Salehi on the reality of Iran and the possibility of war. Mr. Salehi was born in Iran, raised and educated in the United States. As a freelance photo-journalist in the late 1970's he traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. After founding and serving as chief executive officer of several technology and health information companies in Vermont, New York, and North Carolina, he became Managing Director of European Operations of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate (now Tribune Media Services International), based in London from 2001-2003, covering twenty-five countries throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He is currently International Director of Agence Global, which is the international agency for The Nation magazine. Mr. Salehi has just returned from a month in Iran.

July 16th, 2006

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Gideon Levy on the Israeli perspective in the crisis with Lebanon. Mr. Levy is a leading Israeli journalist for Ha'aretz and former spokesman for Shimon Peres, whose articles are praised for their keen analysis, insight and understanding of the Israeli as well as the Palestinian perspective.

Flynt Leverett on the Israel/Lebanon crisis and the American perspective. Dr. Leverett was the senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from March 2002 to March 2003. He was involved in developing President Bush's approach to promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace, and advised the president and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on relations with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Prior to joining the National Security Council, Leverett was a Middle East and counterterrorism expert on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. Before that he was the senior CIA analyst on Syria and Middle East affairs. Leverett holds a Ph.D. in politics and an M.A. in politics from Princeton University. He earned his B.A from Texas Christian University in 1978. He is currently a fellow with the New America Foundation.

Robert Fisk on the Israel/Lebanon crisis from the Lebanese perspective. Mr. Fisk is a best-selling author and acclaimed journalist, based in Beirut, Lebanon. Fisk is the Middle East Correspondent of The Independent and has lived in the region for almost three decades. He holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. The Financial Times described Fisk as "unrivaled as a war correspondent." The London Sunday Times said of him, "He is a devastating witness to the failure of politics to guard mankind against itself." His last book, Pity the Nation, a history of the Lebanon war, was published to great critical acclaim. His newest book is a monumental 1,000-page work, "The Great War for Civilisation : The Conquest of the Middle East," which has been described by the New York Times as "an unflinching, stunning achievement."

July 9th, 2006

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Dr. Tanya Reinhart on the increasingly explosive situation between the Israelis and Palestinians. Dr. Reinhert is an Israeli professor of linguistics at Tel-Aviv University, who writes frequently on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She received her PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where her advisor was Noam Chomsky. She contributes columns to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot and longer articles to CounterPunch, Znet, and Israeli Indymedia. She is an outspoken critic of Israel's handling of the Palestinians and authored the book "Israel/Palestine: how to end the war of 1948." Her forthcoming book is "Roadmap to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine since 2003." She is quoted as saying: "The present Israeli 'operation' is not about releasing the captured Israeli soldier. The Israeli army has been planning this operation for quite a while, awaiting the appropriate trigger that will create the appropriate international conditions. The major goal of the Israeli government is toppling the Hamas government by force. In Israel's view, the Palestinian election results are a disaster, because for the first time they have a leadership that insists on representing Palestinian interests rather than just collaborating with Israel's demands. A second local goal is to turn the north of the Gaza Strip into a 'no man's land.' This plan has been openly discussed in Israeli media since the disengagement last summer."

Luis Mandoki on increasing charges of fraud in the recent Mexican presidential elections. Mr. Mandoki is an acclaimed film director who works in Mexico and Hollywood. He studied Fine Arts in Mexico and at the San Francisco Art Institute and the London International Film School. While attending this institution he directed his first short film Silent Music which won an award at the International Amateur Film Festival of Cannes Film Festival in 1976. His major breakthrough as a filmmaker was for Gaby: A true story, a movie about the struggles of handicapped Gaby Brimer, which he wrote, produced and directed. This film was nominated for both the Academy and Golden Globe Awards. For the next 15 years he filmed only in English until the critically acclaimed Voces inocentes of 2004. This film gave him a Best Director nomination for the Ariel Award in 2005. The film also received three awards and was nominated for Best Film. The film was selected to represent Mexico in the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film and had a box-office output of 49.4 million pesos (roughly 4.5 million dollars) and was seen by 1.5 million people. His most recent work is "Quien es el senor Lopez?" ("Who is Mr. Lopez?"), which follows the life of leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Dr. Anne Norton on the status of the neocons and their "American empire" ambitions. What damage have they wrought? Where are their plans, put into practice by the Bush administration, taking this nation? To Fascism? Dr. Norton is a professor of political science and comparative literature at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of a number of books, including "Republic of Signs: liberal theory and American popular culture," "95 Theses on Politics, Culture and Method," and her most recent "Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire." She has a new article at Adbusters, entitled "Is it fascism yet?" Her forthcoming book is "Abu Ghriab and the American Soul."

July 2nd, 2006

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Helen Thomas on the state of the nation and its press corps. Ms. Thomas is the Dean of the White House Press Corps, a news service reporter, and a Hearst Newspapers columnist. She served for fifty-seven years as a correspondent for United Press International. As White House bureau chief, she covered every president since John F. Kennedy, was the first woman officer of the National Press Club, the first woman member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and the first woman member of the Gridiron Club. She has written four books, including her latest, Watchdogs of Democracy? : The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public.

Admiral John Hutson on the recent Hamdan decision by the Supreme Court. Admiral Hutson is a retired Rear Admiral and former Judge Advocate General for the United States Navy. He was also legal advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. For his service to the United States, Admiral Hutson was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with three gold stars), Meritorious Service Medal (with two gold stars), Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal as well as other awards. Upon retirement from the Navy, Dean Hutson was appointed Dean and President of the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, NH. Pierce Law is a small, private and independent law school which enjoys a world wide reputation.

Dr. George Grayson on the Mexican presidential elections. Dr. Grayson has been a member of the Government Department faculty of the College of William and Mary for 38 years. He earned his B.A. at the University of North Carolina (at Chapel Hill), his M.A. and Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University, and a J.D. at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Professor Grayson focuses on Latin American Politics, with a particular interest in Mexico. He has written 20 books and monographs on international affairs, made 125 research trips to Latin America, and lectures regularly at the U.S. Department of State. He writes a regularly column for "Milenio Semanal," a weekly magazine in Mexico He is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C. and an associate scholar of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

Dr. David Epstein on the recent Supreme Court decision regarding redistricting and the status of the Voting Rights Act. Dr. Epstein is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. He served as an expert witness for the state of Georgia following the 2000 census, in the case that was eventually decided as Georgia v. Ashcroft. The Supreme Court cited both Prof. Epstein s testimony and his published work in its opinion, which revolutionized judicial interpretation of the Voting Rights Act. Prof. Epstein has published extensively on the topics of gerrymandering, voting rights, and the representation of minority voters, and he is the co-editor of a book, The Future of the Voting Rights Act, currently being published by the Russell Sage Press.

June 25th, 2006

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Ron Suskind on his new book, which depicts a White House run by Vice President Cheney and Bush as a puppet playing a role. Mr. Suskind was the senior national-affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal from 1993 to 2000. He is the author of a number of books, including "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill." He also had a very important piece published in the New York Times, entitled "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush." His new book, which has been received with wide acclaim, is "The One Per Cent Doctrine."

Eugene Jarecki on President Eisenhower's warning on the accumulation of power in the military-industrial and (in the original draft) congressional complex and what the rise of this power means to America and the world. Mr. Jarecki is an acclaimed filmmaker, whose first short film, SEASON OF THE LIFTERBEES, premiered at Sundance in 1992 before winning a regional Student Academy Award and Grand Prize at Aspen Shortfest. In 2001, Jarecki wrote and directed the dramatic feature THE OPPONENT, distributed by Lions Gate Films. His 2002 documentary THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER was released theatrically in 130 U.S. cities. Winner of the 2002 Amnesty International Award, the film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and was broadcast in over thirty countries. Jarecki's new film, now being released on DVD, is WHY WE FIGHT, was inspired by President Eisenhower's fateful warning to America about the Military-Industrial complex. The film is an inside look at the anatomy of the American war machine, examining how a force so potentially counter to the balance of a democratic society influences American life. Amid the upheaval of the Iraq War, the film follows the personal stories of a group of characters in America's military family. They are its soldiers and its victims. Its dreamers and its disillusioned. Woven among the characters, a chorus of luminaries from government, academia, and the press explore the extent to which military, industrial, and national interests have formed an unholy alliance on the common ground of the battlefield. Ultimately, the film's goal is to move beyond the headlines about how the Iraq war was waged to the deeper question of why why does America fight? Time and again, why does she seem inclined toward war against an ever changing array of enemies? What are the forces economic, political, ideological that shape and propel American militarism? Where do they meet? And what role does the individual play?


June 18th, 2006

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Nir Rosen on the true state of affairs in Iraq and the "war on terror." Rosen asserts among many startling truths that "al Qaeda does not exist, except as a marketing term . . . it is not a functioning entity." On the insurgency in Iraq, he says "the worst is yet to come" and that Zarqawi's demise will have no impact on the insurgency. Mr. Rosen is a freelance writer, photographer and film-maker who has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere. He is a Fellow at the New America Foundation. His recently-published book on Iraq is "In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq." He recently had an Op-Ed published in the Washington Post, "Iraq is the Republic of Fear."

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the theft of the vote in Ohio, which gave Bush a re-election victory over Kerry. Mr. Kennedy is senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper, and president of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University School of Law. A former assistant district attorney for New York City, he is the coauthor of The Riverkeepers: Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right and he is the author of "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy," which is in a new paperback edition, which we're offering up in this fund-drive. Most recently, he authored an article in Rolling Stone, which has received wide attention, entitled "Was the 2004 Election Stolen," in which he documents that 350,000 votes were suppressed in Ohio--enough to have given the presidency to John Kerry.

Eric Boehlert on the abject failure of the American press during the Bush presidency. Mr. Boehlert is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about media, politics, and pop culture. He is contributing editor to Rolling Stone, writes frequently for the Huffington Post, and is a former senior writer for Salon. His new book is "Lapdogs: how the press rolled over for George Bush."


June 11th, 2006

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Gitanjali Gutierrez is an attorney with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights who represents inmates being held at Guantanamo. In this interview Gutierrez describes the conditions in the camp, the abject depression and hopelessness of the prisoners and the difficulty in representing them--on the occasion of three suicides having taken place there.

Wayne White on the situation in Iraq in the celebratory aftermath of the killing of Abu Al Zarqawi. Mr. White is an Adjunct Scholar at Washington s Middle East Institute. He most recently served as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia (NESA). He was Chief of INR s Maghreb, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq division and State Department representative to NATO Middle East working groups from 1990 to 2002.

Tammy Duckworth is a Democratic candidate for Illinois' 6th congressional district. Ms. Duckworth was born in Thailand and grew up in several countries in Southeast Asia where her father, Franklin Duckworth, worked for the United Nations and international companies. Tammy's mother, Lamai Sompornpairin, was a native of Thailand. Tammy followed a long family tradition, going back to the Revolutionary War, of serving in the military. Her late father fought as a U.S. Marine in World War II and Vietnam. She joined ROTC in 1990 as a graduate student in Washington, D.C. and was commissioned to the Army Reserve in 1992 in Illinois. She decided to become a helicopter pilot because it was one of the only combat jobs available to women. Tammy holds the rank of Major in the Illinois Army National Guard.

June 4th, 2006

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Garrett Reppenhagan on the nature of being a soldier in Iraq in the context of recent revelations of alleged atrocities at Haditha and elsewhere. Mr. Reppenhagan is a member Iraq Veterans Against the War and former specialist and sniper 1st Infantry division, who participated in the attack on Fallujah and testified that white phosphorus was used on that city, known as the "city of Mosques" in Iraq. Reppenhagen has been outspoken in his support for Rep. John Murtha's public statements about the Haditha massacre as a criminal atrocity.

David Rieff on the upcoming elections in Mexico and on the candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Mr. Rieff is a political analyst and cultural critic who has written widely on war, genocide and human rights for many publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly and many others. He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor to The New Republic. Mr. Rieff is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the New York Institute for the Humanities, a Senior Fellow of the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, and of the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute. He is a founder and director of the Crimes of War project, based in Washington D.C. and London, which undertakes to educate the public, with special attention to journalists, on issues of war and war crimes. The website of this ongoing project is crimesofwar.org. His latest book is "At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention" (2005). He co-edited (with Roy Gutman) and contributed to "Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know" (1999), a primer on international humanitarian law. He has an article in today's New York Times magazine, entitled "The Populist at the Border," on Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, on his bid to become President of Mexico, in the upcoming election.

James Carroll on Bush's war. Mr. Carroll was born in Chicago and raised in Washington, D.C., where his father was an Air Force general and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He attended Georgetown University before entering St. Paul's College, the Paulist Fathers' seminary, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees. Carroll has been a civil rights worker, an antiwar activist, and a community organizer in Washington and New York. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969. Carroll served as Catholic chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974. During that time, he studied poetry with George Starbuck and published books on religious subjects and a book of poems. He was also a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter (1972-1975) and was named Best Columnist by the Catholic Press Association. For his writing on religion and politics he received the first Thomas Merton Award. His new book is "House of War: the Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power."

May 28th, 2006

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Dr. Benjamin Barber on the Bush foreign policy meltdown. Dr. Barber is the Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and a principal of the Democracy Collaborative. His honors include a knighthood from the French Government, the Berlin Prize of the American Academy of Berlin and the John Dewey Award. He has also been awarded Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Social Science Research Fellowships, honorary doctorates from Grinnell College, Monmouth University and Connecticut College, and has held the chair of American Civilization at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris He consults regularly with political and civic leaders in the United States and Europe, including Governor Howard Dean, former President Bill Clinton, and others. He has also consulted with the Corporation for National Service, the United States Information Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities; and in Europe, UNESCO, the European Parliament, the Swedish Parliamentary Commission on Democracy and "Mission 2000" (the French Millennial Commission). Dr. Barber's 17 books include the classic STRONG DEMOCRACY (1984) reissued in 2004; the recent international best-seller JIHAD VS. MCWORLD (1995 with a Post 9/11 Edition in 2001, translated into twenty languages) and FEAR'S EMPIRE: WAR, TERRORISM AND DEMOCRACY (2003). His collected American essays, A PASSION FOR DEMOCRACY, were published by Princeton University Press in 1999, and his book THE TRUTH OF POWER: INTELLECTUAL AFFAIRS IN THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE was published in 2001 by W.W. Norton & Company. He is currently working on THE DECLINE OF CAPITALISM AND THE INFANTALIST ETHOS, to be published next year.

Robert Malley on the situation vis-a-vis the US and the Middle East. Robert Malley is the Middle East and North Africa Program Director of the International Crisis Group, which works to prevent conflicts worldwide. Mr. Malley directs a team of analysts that covers events from Iran to Morocco, with a heavy focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the situation in Iraq, and Islamist movements throughout the region. Robert also covers developments in the United States that affect policy toward the Middle East. Mr. Malley was previously a special assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli affairs, prior to that he was Executive Assistant to Samuel Berger, President Clinton's National Security Advisor and he was Director for Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian affairs for the National Security Council.

Veterans on Memorial day: Tim Goodrich and "Mike"

Tim Goodrich enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 18 and deployed to the Middle East three times during his enlistment. The first deployment was in support of Operation Southern Watch (patrolling of southern no-fly zone over Iraq). During his second deployment, Tim provided direct combat support for Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001. His final, and possibly most significant deployment, was again in support of Operation Southern Watch. During this time, he participated in the intensified bombing of Iraq during the fall of 2002, while President Bush was stating that diplomacy would be used first and before the U.S. Congress or the United Nations had been approached. Following his return to the United States, Tim completed his enlistment and was honorably discharged in April of 2003. Wanting to see the other side of the bombing, Tim joined a Global Exchange fact finding delegation to Iraq in January of 2004, where he witnessed the devastation of the war and occupation firsthand. Upon his return from Iraq, Tim began speaking out against the occupation of Iraq and co-founded Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).

interviewed with:

"Mike" --not his real name--was born and raised in LA. He Joined the Cal National Guard at 17 in 2000. He was deployed on Sept 11, 2004, went to Kuwait, and shortly thereafter to Iraq, remaining there to October 2005. Upon coming back to the US, he Joined Iraq Veterans against War, currently still in the Cal National Guard.
 

May 21st, 2006

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Lawrence O'Donnell on the latest in the on-going White House/Plame leak investigation. Mr. O'Donnell is an Emmy winning producer of NBC s The West Wing. He is also MSNBC s senior political analyst and a panelist on The McLaughlin Group. He is a former contributing editor of New York Magazine and a former Democratic Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and for the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Mr. O O'Donnell has also served as Senior Advisor to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He can be seen as an actor on HBO's series "Big Love."

Senator Bob Graham on the politicized misuse of America's intelligence services, the Hayden confirmation, and the restructuring of the intelligence services. Senator Graham is a former two-term governor of Florida, a three-term in the United States Senator and ran for President in 2004. While recognized for his leadership on issues ranging from health care to environmental preservation, Senator Graham is best known for his ten years of service on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence including eighteen months as chairman in 2001 2002, during which he co-chaired the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the intelligence community s failures prior to 9/11. Following the release of a declassified version of the Joint Inquiry s final report in July 2003, Senator Graham advocated reform of the intelligence community and sponsored legislation to bring about needed changes. His most recent book is "Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror ."

Dr. Chris Fair on the re-emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, also on recent observation regarding India and Pakistan. Dr. Fair is a senior research associate in USIP s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, where she specializes in South Asian political and military affairs. Prior to joining USIP in April 2004, she was an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Much of her research has been concerned with security competition between India and Pakistan, Pakistan s internal security, analyses of the causes of terrorism, and U.S. strategic relations with India and Pakistan.
 

May 14th, 2006

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Jason Leopold on his reporting of developments in the unfolding White House-CIA-Plame scandal. Mr. Leopold spent two years covering California's Enron electric power crisis as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. He has worked for the Los Angeles Times and has been a frequent guest on CNBC; his articles have appeared in The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times. Leopold is a regular contributor to Truthout and The Huffington Post. He also writes for CounterPunch, Political Affairs, and Z Magazine. He has worked for the last year cultivating sources close to the Plame/CIA leak investigation, and has broken a number of stories from his on-going investigative work. His just-published book is "News Junkie," which is an insider's look at the cut-throat world of investigative journalism, and Leopold's pursuit of corporate and political scandals at the highest levels.

Jonathan Winer on restructuring of American intelligence by the Bush administration, a restructuring which many believe is not in the service of America's need for information, but more to serve the political ends of the Bush administration. Mr. Winer is the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement. At the State Department, Jonathan was one of the architects of U.S. international policy and strategies in financial services regulation and enforcement. He led U.S. negotiations on these and related issues with the European Union and the Organization of American States, and bilaterally with China, Cyprus, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Russia, Thailand, and numerous countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Central Europe, and Africa. Previously, Jonathan served for ten years as Chief Counsel and principal legislative assistant to Senator John F. Kerry. In that capacity, he drafted numerous laws pertaining to financial regulatory matters. He also conducted a series of Congressional investigations, including the U.S. Senate's investigation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

Nancy Libin on Bush's use of the NSA to collect a massive database of telephone calls by American citizens, and telephone complicity in this criminal violation of privacy. Ms. Liben is Staff Counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, where her work focuses on national security, government surveillance, and Fourth Amendment issues. Ms. Libin received her B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center. Before joining CDT, Ms. Libin was on the Kerry-Edwards campaign, where she helped to manage the voter protection effort for the 2004 presidential election. Prior to that, Ms. Libin was an Associate General Counsel at NASD, the securities self-regulatory organization that regulates the securities industry and the NASDAQ Stock Market. She was responsible for analyzing the securities industry's use of data mining and other Internet technologies and for advising the securities industry on compliance with the money laundering provisions of the PATRIOT Act.

interviewed with:

Kevin Bankston on the lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against the US government regarding the collection of citizen telephone records in a massive database, described by some sources as the "largest database in the world." Mr. Bankston is a staff attorney specializing in free speech and privacy law, was the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow for 2003-05, a position in which he focused on the impact of post-9/11 anti-terrorism laws and surveillance initiatives on online privacy and free expression. Before joining EFF, Kevin was the Justice William J. Brennan First Amendment Fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union in New York City. At the ACLU, Kevin litigated Internet-related free speech cases, including First Amendment challenges to both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Edelman v. N2H2, Inc.) and a federal statute regulating Internet speech in public libraries (American Library Association v. U.S.). Kevin received his J.D. in 2001 from the University of Southern California Law Center, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin.

May 7th, 2006

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Philip Giraldi on the behind-the-scenes of Porter Goss's surprising resignation as Director of the CIA. Mr. Giraldi was, for 17 years, a CIA operations officer specializing in counter-terrorism, who served in Europe and the Middle East. He now works in the private sector doing security consulting and he writes a column in the American Conservative on international security issues. Giraldi was one of the few who early-on expressed concern in his column and elsewhere that those who brought us the war with Iraq--the neocons--were focusing considerable attention on Iran. He reported in 2005 that Vice President Cheney had tasked StratCom to develop a plan of attack, utilizing conventional and nuclear forces, against that country.

Charlie Savage on the relentless and unprecedented acquisition of power by President Bush as a "unitary executive." Mr. Savage is a legal affairs reporter based in Washington for the Boston Globe, the author of an important recent article, which has received attention world-wide and prompted a number of editorials, including one in the New York Times, entitled "Bush Challenges Hundreds of Laws." In this article, Charlie Savage shows that President Bush has claimed the right to disobey over 750 laws, assuming a level of power heretofore unseen in an American president.

April 30th, 2006

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Dr. James Jennings on the genocide taking place in Sudan. Dr. Jennings is founder and president of Conscience International, an organization which has delivered humanitarian aid to dozens of countries, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. He has spoken about Sudan recently on PBS, CNN and CBS. Besides the provision of humanitarian aid to troubled and conflicted areas, Conscience International also engages in human rights advocacy. Recently, Dr. Jennings and Conscience International have developed dialog conferences with universities in Iran, Syria and Sudan. He was last in the Sudan ten days ago, distributing aid to Darfur through local NGO's and engaging in high--level dialog with officials of the central government in Khartoum.

interviewed with--

Adam Shapiro is a filmmaker and activist, who directed and produced the just released documentary film "Darfur Diaries." His previous film was "About Baghdad," made after overthrow of Saddam Hussein, which documented the lives of average Iraqis under US occupation. Mr. Shapiro shot "Darfur Diaries" in the Sudan during october and november 2004, mostly in the teeming refugee camps and in northern Darfur. Adam Shapiro is one of the founders of the International Solidarity Movement, working with Palestinians and Israelis to promote non-violent alternatives in opposing the occupation. Mr. Shapiro speaks Arabic, holds an MA in Politics from New York University and an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown. He is a PhD candidate in International Relations at Georgetown University. He was present in Washington, D.C. today at the demonstration against the on-going genocide in the Sudan.

Dr. Juan Cole on the situation in Iraq, what the future may hold and what solutions may available. Dr. Cole is a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and is widely considered to be one of America leading scholars of contemporary Iraq and the Middle East. He is the author of "Sacred Space and Holy War," a definitive examination of the Iraqi Shiites. His weblog, Informed Comment, at JuanCole.com is one of the most popular blogs on the web, for its unique insight and deep analysis. He has a recent piece on Salon.com, entitled "Breaking the Silence," about the reaction to the "working paper" by Drs. Mearsheimer and Walt on the Israeli Lobby.

Taylor Lincoln on the is a former newspaper reporter, with a Masters in Journalism from the University of Maryland, who covered local and federal government and technology issues. He has worked for the last three years at Public Citizen's Congress Watch, where he is Research Director. He is co-author of a new report entitled: "Spending Millions to Save Billions," which looks into the financial interests behind the repeal of the Estate Tax."

April 23th, 2006

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Jason Leopold on the latest regarding the investigation of the Plame/CIA leak case by Patrick Fitzgerald and on the likelihood of further indictments, which may include Karl Rove. Mr. Leopold spent two years covering California's Enron electric power crisis as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. He has worked for the Los Angeles Times and has been a frequent guest on CNBC; his articles have appeared in The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times. Leopold is a regular contributor to Truthout and The Huffington Post. He also writes for CounterPunch, Political Affairs, and Z Magazine. He has worked for the last year cultivating sources close to the Plame/CIA leak investigation, and has broken a number of stories from his on-going investigative work. His just-published book is "News Junkie," which is an insider's look at the cut-throat world of investigative journalism, and Leopold's pursuit of corporate and political scandals at the highest levels.

Laurie David on the occasion of Earth Day and the politics of the environment. Ms. David is a leading environmental activist, who is a member of the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Among her many projects, she founded the Stop Global Warming Virtual March with Senator John McCain and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. that is engaging citizens from all walks of life to urge the US government to address the ticking time bomb that is global warming. She is also the producer of An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film about former Vice President Al Gore s thirty years of research on global warming, which will be in theaters this spring. She also produced the HBO documentary called Too Hot Not to Handle on the effects of global warming, airing on HBO.

Ambassador Jeffrey Bader in a discussion on the recent state visit by Chinese President Hu. Ambassador Bader is a Senior Fellow and Director of the China Initiative at the Brookings Institution. He is also on the Academic Advisory Board, U.S.-China Congressional Working Group; a Member, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations; and a member of the Asia Society. He has previously served as Ambassador to Namibia (1999-2000). He was Director for Asian Affairs of the National Security Council and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. He has written a number of articles recently on US-China relations, including last week's piece for the Baltimore Sun, entitled "Confronting the China Challenge."

April 16th, 2006

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Larisa Alexandrova on the neocon plans for a US attack on Iran. Ms. Alexandrova is a journalist, poet, essayist and Managing Editor for Raw Story.com. In addition to Raw Story, she has a blog at the Huffington Post, Alexandrovna also does the weekly news round-up for Pacifica every Friday in New York and is also a regular guest on Air America Radio. Her recent reporting at Raw Story has garnered wide respect and acclaim, including a three-part series, entitled "Conversations with Machiavelli's Ghost," interviewing influential neocon Michael Ledeen. Her most recent report says that Cheney and Rumsfeld have authorized the use of a former Baathist terrorist group, called the MEK, to create unrest within Iran, in preparation for an American invasion. One UN official, quoted in the article, says "we're already at war."

Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer on the real motivations for terrorism, being not our "freedoms" but our policies, and also on the connections between religion, war and terror. Dr. Juergensmeyer is Director of Global and International Studies and Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is an expert on religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics, and has published more than two hundred articles and a dozen books, including the best-seller Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, which is based on interviews with violent religious activists around the world--including individuals convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, leaders of Hamas, and abortion clinic bombers in the United States--and was listed by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. His previous book, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State covered the rise of religious activism and its confrontation with secular modernity. His most recent work is an edited volume, Global Religions. He is currently working on a book on religion and war, and an edited volume on religion in global civil society.

Dr. Felix Gutierrez on the use of the Latino media in organizing the recent widespread demonstrations. Dr. Gutierrez is a native of East Los Angeles and is a professor at the USC Annenberg School of Communication. Dr. Gutierrez was a former senior vice president of the Freedom Forum and Newseum, executive director of the Freedom Forum's Pacific Coast Center in San Francisco, and a journalism professor from 1974-1990, Gutierrez was among the first scholars to focus on Latinos and media. An advocate for diversity and inclusiveness, he was the first executive director of the California Chicano News Media Association. Dr. Gutierrez is the author or co-author of four books, including Racism, Sexism, and the Media: The Rise of Class Communication in Multicultural America, winner of the 2003 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Medallion for Excellence.

April 9th, 2006

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Elizabeth De la Vega on the latest revelations in the on-going "Plamegate" scandal, now broadening, it seems, into a criminal conspiracy. De la Vega is a former federal prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience. During her tenure, she was a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. Her pieces have appeared in the Nation Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Salon. We'll discuss the revelation, from court filings by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald this week, that indicted former Cheney Chief-of-Staff Lewis Libby asserts that the President authorized the leaking that resulting in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler on the need for a national single-payer health plan. Dr. Woolhandler is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard and co-director of the Harvard Medical School General Internal Medicine Fellowship program. She worked in 1990-91 as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow at the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Congress. Dr. Woolhandler is a frequent speaker and has written extensively on health policy. A co-founder of PNHP ( www.pnhp.org ) and current Board member, she co-edits PNHP s Newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Phillipe Sands on the rise of America as something of a "rogue state," and on the "Downing Street Memo." Mr. Sands is an international lawyer, professor at University College London, and a practicing barrister. Sands has been involved in many of the recent high profile cases in the World Court and elsewhere, including representing the interests of the British detainees at Guantanamo and the efforts to extradite Augusto Pinochet to Spain. He has written for the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, taught at NYU and Boston College, and appears regularly on CNN and the BBC. His new book is Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules--From FDR's Atlantic Charter to George W. Bush's Illegal War, which describes--as he puts it--Bush's "full scale assault on the international rule of law," and what dire consequences will come of this. It was revealed in Lawless World that George W. Bush and Tony Blair had agreed to go to war against Iraq in January 2003, whether diplomatic efforts succeeded or not.

 

April 2nd, 2006

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Dr. John Womack on the US/Mexico/Canada summit in Cancun and the on-going controversy of immigration. Dr. Womack is the Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics at Harvard University. He is the author of "Rebellion in Chiapas: An Historical Reader" and "Zapata and the Mexican Revolution."

Kevin McKiernan on the role that the Kurds play in Iraq, with respect to the Turks and in the larger Middle East. Mr. McKiernan has been a war correspondent for over thirty years. He covered the Iraq war for ABC News in both Kurdish and Arab areas. Prior to that, he coproduced The Spirit of Crazy Horse for PBS Frontline and wrote and directed Good Kurds, Bad Kurds, the award-winning PBS documentary. McKiernan has published articles about and photographs of the Kurds in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time and other publications. His new book is entitled, "The Kurds," and has been described by Noam Chomsky as a "searing record of many decades of secret horror, of scandalous betrayal, and willful silence, (which) could not be more timely or important."

Jamie Lincoln Kitman on the fate of General Motors. Mr. Kitman is the New York bureau chief for Automobile Magazine. Mr. Kitman won an investigative reporting award from Investigative Reporters and Editors for his Nation article on leaded gasoline and is a member of the Society of Automotive Historians. He has an article in the new issue of The Nation, entitled "What's Good for GM?," which describes the mismanagement, myopia and greed which has the world's largest automobile manufacturer driving full-speed into a wall.
 

March 26th, 2006

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Asparisim "Bobby" Ghosh on his reporting regarding a massacre of civilians in Iraq. Mr. Ghosh is a TIME magazine senior correspondent who has just arrived in New York after a long stint in Baghdad, the base from which he has covered Iraq since the winter of 2002-03. He has also reported from Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Mr. Ghosh originally joined TIME in 1997 as senior editor for TIME Asia, based in Hong Kong, where he was a specialist on South Asian affairs and covered assignments in politics, war, sport, business and technology. He also wrote the provocative weekly online column Subcontinental Drift, for TIME's award-winning website. He then moved to London, as senior editor or TIME Europe, where he launched a travel section, TIME Global Advisor, and wrote about European social trends as well as Middle East politics. He is now based in New York, but will continue to travel extensively across the Middle East. Ghosh began his journalistic career straight after graduating from high school when he worked for a local newspaper in southern India. He moved onto a business newspaper in Calcutta and continued to Delhi and Bombay where he reported business news for magazines. In the last week Bobby Ghosh has broken a major story, published in Time, regarding the massacre of 15 Iraqi civilians, including 5 children, in the Western Iraqi town of Haditha. It has been alleged that these killings were committed by U.S. Marines, in what some are calling the "Iraqi My Lai massacre."

Dr. Belinda Reyes on the politics, practicalities and issues surrounding immigration. Dr. Reyes is an Assistant Professor and founding faculty at the School of Social Science, Humanities, and Arts at the University of California, Merced. Formerly she was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Her research focuses on immigration issues and the economic progress of race and ethnic groups in the United States. Her publications include: Holding the Line? The Effect of the Recent Border Build-up on Unauthorized Immigration; Taking the Oath: An Analysis of Naturalization in California and the United States; and A Portrait of Race and Ethnicity in California: An Assessment of Social and Economic Well-Being. She has briefed various federal, state, and local governmental bodies and addressed numerous civic organizations on immigration policy issues.

Marcos Moulitsas on how the Democratic party has become a dysfunctional shell and how it can be reformed. Mr. Moulitsas served in the U.S. Army for three years and later earned two bachelors degrees from Northern Illinois University and a law degree from Boston University. After moving to California to work in the tech industry, Markos started DailyKos.com in May 2002. His blog has had a meteoric rise and now gets more than a million unique visitors each day, making it one of the most popular blogs in the nation. Markos lives in Berkeley, California. His book, "Crashing the Gate," is described as laying bare, with passion and precision, how ineffective, incompetent, and antiquated the Democratic Party establishment has become, and how it has failed to adapt and respond to new realities and challenges. Although highly critical of the Dems, the authors save their sharpest knives to go for the jugular in their critique of Republican ideologues who are now running and ruining our country. The book hails the new movement of the netroots, the grassroots, the unorthodox labor unions, the maverick big donors as the antidote to old-school politics as usual. Fueled by advances in technology and a hunger for a more authentic and populist democracy, this broad-based movement is changing the way political campaigns are waged and managed.

 

March 19th, 2006

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Barbara Slavin on recent developments in Iran, as tensions rise between that country and the US. Ms. Slavin has been the senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY since 1996. In that capacity, she has accompanied two Secretaries of State on their official travels, and has covered such issues as the war on terror, policy on "rogue" states, the reform movement in Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ms. Slavin has also written for The Economist, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and Business Week. In her career, she has covered a number of historic events, including the Iran-Iraq war, the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya, the political evolution of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism

General William Odom on the occasion of the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, which General Odom has described as "the worst strategic error in American history." William Odom is a senior fellow and director of National Security Studies at Hudson Institute's Washington, D.C. office. He is also an adjunct professor at Yale University. As director of the National Security Agency from 1985 to 1988, he was responsible for the nation's signals intelligence and communications security. From 1981 to 1985, he served as assistant chief of staff for Intelligence, the Army's senior intelligence officer. From 1977 to 1981, General Odom was military assistant to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski. On the National Security Council staff, he worked on strategic planning, Soviet affairs, nuclear weapons policy, telecommunications policy, and Persian Gulf security issues. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1954, and received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1970.

Todd Gitlin on the sale of the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain and the increasing consolidation of American media into fewer owners, who control what the American public sees and hears. Dr. Gitlin is an American sociologist, political writer, novelist, and cultural commentator. He has written voluminously on the media, politics, intellectual life and the arts, in public as well as scholarly venues. He is a former president of Students for a Democratic Society - of whose later politics and tactics he is now a prominent critic - and helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam war, as well as the first civil disobedience directed against American corporate support for the apartheid regime in South Africa. Gitlin attended Harvard University, the University of Michigan and the University of California-Berkeley and is currently a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University.
 

March 12th, 2006

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Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson on the Bush presidency and the "disaster after disaster" which it has wrought on both foreign and domestic policy fronts. Colonel Wilkerson was Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff at the Department of State from August 2002 to January 2005. But, Colonel Wilkerson's career with General Colin L. Powell goes back much further--to in March 1989 at the U.S. Armys Forces Command in Atlanta, Georgia as his Deputy Executive Officer. He followed the General to his next position as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving as his special assistant. Upon Powell's retirement from active service in 1993, Colonel Wilkerson served as the Deputy Director and Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia. Upon Wilkersons retirement from active service in 1997, he began working for General Powell in a private capacity as a consultant and advisor. In December 2000, Secretary of State-designate Powell asked Wilkerson to join him in the Transition Office at the U.S. State Department and, later, upon his confirmation as Secretary of State, Secretary Powell moved Wilkerson to his Policy Planning Staff with responsibilities for East Asia and the Pacific, and legislative and political-military affairs. In June of 2002, the Director for Policy Planning, Ambassador Richard Haass, made Wilkerson the Associate Director. In August of 2002, Secretary Powell moved Wilkerson to the position of Chief of Staff of the Department. In October of 2005, Colonel Wilkerson, after considerable soul searching, went public to tell the truth of what he knew: that Vice President Cheney had provided the "guidance" that led to America's torture disgrace in Guantanamo, Abu Ghriab and elsewhere; that Secretary Powell's February 2003 presentation to the UN security council was "the lowest point" of his life; and that US foreign policy had been hijacked by what he described as a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal."

Wayne White on the troubled state of affairs in Iraq and the brewing conflict with Iran. Mr. White is an Adjunct Scholar at Washington's Middle East Institute.He most recently served as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia (NESA). White also served as principal Iraq analyst and head of INR/NESAs Iraq team from 2003 to 2005. He was Chief of INRs Maghreb, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq division and State Department representative to NATO Middle East working groups from 1990 to 2002. Five times he received the State Departments Superior Honor Award, and three times the Departments Meritorious Honor Award. In 1986, he was named INRs first Analyst of the Year, and, in 2004 received the Secretary's Career Achievement Award from Secretary Powell. Mr. White also has received the National Intelligence Certificate of Distinction for service during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, in 2000 the National Intelligence Medal for Outstanding Achievement, a 2004 citation from the National Intelligence Council for his work on the Iraq crisis, and was a 2002 National Intelligence Fellow.

Dr. Muhammed Sahimi on how the US may finesse a best-case outcome in Iran and avoid a mutually destructive conflict. Dr. Sahimi is a Professor and Chairman of Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He obtained his BS from the University of Tehran (Iran) in 1977 and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1984, both in chemical engineering. He has been a faculty member at USC since 1984. He has also been a visiting professor in Australia, Europe, the US, and the Middle East, and a consultant to many industrial corporations. He has published over 220 papers in peer-reviewed journals and four books. Among his honors are the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award and the United Nations UNESCO Khwarizmi Award for distinguished achievements in science. In January of this year, Dr. Sahimi wrote an Los Angeles Times Op-Ed with 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, entitled "Defusing Iran with Democracy."

March 5th, 2006

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John Zogby on the first ever poll of American soliders on the ground in Iraq. Mr. Zogby is President and CEO of Zogby International, a company which has been praised as America's most accurate pollster by leading news publications, and which conducts polls in over 62 countries. His recent poll of American soldiers on the ground in Iraq is the first of its kind and gives unique insight into what the troops are thinking.

Dr RR Subramanian on the recent visit of President Bush to India and the nuclear ambitions of India. Dr R R Subramanian joined the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, as a specialist in nuclear studies. An expert in Indo-US relations, specifically non-proliferation issues and technology transfer, he worked with Joseph Nye, who, during the Carter and Clinton Administrations, was instrumental in conducting negotiations on nuclear non-proliferation. A Fulbright scholar at Harvard's Centre for Science and International Affairs, Dr Subramanian acquired his doctorate from Brandeis University in the United States before moving to Stanford to specialize in arms control and disarmament issues. He subsequently went to Freiburg University in Germany and was associated with its Institute of Science and Politics, a premier think tank.

Dr.Chris Fair on President Bush's recent visits to Pakistan and India. Dr. Fair is a senior research associate in USIPs Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, where she specializes in South Asian political and military affairs. Prior to joining USIP in April 2004, she was an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Much of her research has been concerned with security competition between India and Pakistan, Pakistan's internal security, analyses of the causes of terrorism, and U.S. strategic relations with India and Pakistan. She has just returned from Pakistan.

February 26th, 2006

Part One

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Part Two

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Bob Baer on the tinder box which Iraq has become and the potential for conflict with Iran, including unique insights into the Iranian leadership. Mr. Baer was a case officer in the Directorate of Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1976 to 1997. His overseas assignments included stints in various locations in the Middle East, and elsewhere, handling agents that infiltrated a number of groups within the region, including Hizballah, Libyan intelligence and al Qaeda. He is the author of "Sleeping with the Devil" and "See No Evil," which were both used as the basis of the film, "Syriana." His first work of fiction, "Blow the House Down," is forthcoming this summer.

Dr.Khaled Abou Al Fald on how there is a battle for the heart of Islam between moderates and extremists. Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl is a highly accomplished Islamic jurist and scholar. He is a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law where he teaches Islamic law, Immigration, Human Rights and International and National Security Law. Dr. Abou El Fadl previously taught Islamic law at the University of Texas at Austin Law School, Yale Law School and Princeton University. He holds degrees from Yale University (B.A.), University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D.) and Princeton University (M.A./Ph.D.). He received formal training in Islamic jurisprudence in Egypt and Kuwait. He serves on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch and was a commissioner on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Dr. Abou El Fadl is a prolific author who writes extensively on universal themes of morality and humanity. He is the author of seven books and over fifty articles on Islamic law and Islam, including: Islam and the Challenge of Democracy and The Place of Tolerance in Islam and Speaking in God's Name: Islamic law, Authority and Women (Oneworld Press, Oxford, 2001). His most recent book is "The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists," which was described by the Washington Post as "an uncommonly rich, learned and easily accessible framework for understanding the current theological struggle within Islam. " and by the AP as "the most dramatic manifesto from an American Muslim since the September 11 attacks."

Background Briefing Part TWO

Senator Gary Hart on the strategic situation which faces the USA and how the nation must reconceive its defenses to deal with future challenges. Senator Hart is a former candidate for President of the United States who represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate from 1975 to 1987, where he served on the Armed Services Committee, specializing in nuclear arms control and military reform. During his Senate years, he also played a leadership role in major environmental and conservation legislation, initiatives to advance the information revolution, and new directions in foreign policy. He is the author of sixteen books, most recently a study of the presidency of James Monroe and an essay on religion and American politics called God and Caesar, both published in the fall of 2005. As co-chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, Hart warned of a massive homeland terror attack as early as fall 1999, and spent the first eight months of 2001 trying to persuade government leaders that the threat was urgent and action was needed. He is currently at work on a new book about the future of the Democratic Party. His just-published book is "The Shield and the Cloak: the security of the commons," which asserts a redefinition of what national security means in the 21stcentury.

Rabbi Michael Lerner on how religion in America has been hijacked for right-wing politics, how the true nature of religion is a force for human progress and how religion can be "taken back." Rabbi Lerner is an internationally renowned social theorist, theologian, psychotherapist, and the editor of Tikkun magazine. He earned a PhD in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute. Lerner is rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue, which meets in San Francisco and Berkeley. His new book is "The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country From the Religious Right." "Lerners needed voice for progressive spirituality will find resonance across many faith traditions. I'm deeply grateful for his work."--Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian. "An enormously important book-practical steps we can take to launch a spiritual revolution and save this beautiful planet."--Robert Thurman. "Michael Lerner is the most prophetic intellectual and spiritual leader of our generation. We ignore his wisdom at our peril!"--Cornel West, author of Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism. "THE LEFT HAND OF GOD reclaims the common ground of peace and social justice which gird all authentic spiritualities."--Reverend John Dear

February 12th, 2006

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Jason Leopold on the role of Dick Cheney in the Plame scandal. Mr. Leopold spent two years covering California's Enron electric power crisis as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. He has worked for the last year cultivating sources close to the CIA leak investigation. He is a regular contributor to t r u t h o u t. Jason broke news last Thursday with his article entitled "Cheney Spearheaded Effort to Discredit Wilson" which revealed information from well-placed sources as to the Vice President's central involvement in the campaign to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and intimidate anyone else who would question

Joe Cirincione on the alleged Iranian nuclear threat. How serious is it and what should be done? Mr. Cirincione is the Director for Non-Proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, (Second Edition, 2005) and co-author of Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security (March 2005). He teaches at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service and is one of Americas best known weapons experts. In May 2004 the National Journal listed Cirincione as one of the 100 people who will play a critical role in the policy debates of this administration. The World Affairs Councils of America also named him one of 500 people whose views have the most influence in shaping American foreign policy. Cirincione worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations. He is the author of numerous articles on proliferation and weapons issues, a co-author of WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implication (January 2004), the editor of Repairing the Regime (Routledge, 2000) and producer of the award-winning DVD, The Proliferation Threat. He is the publisher and editor of the Internet site, ProliferationNews.org. In December 2003 the National Journal said "Cirincione was a trailblazer, recognizing the Web's potential long before others in the field did. This site reflects his experience at making voluminous information easily accessible." He organizes and chairs the annual Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference, the premier event in the field.

Greg Speeter on the newly released Bush budget. What does it mean for real people and how are they impacted? Mr. Speeter is the Executive Director and founder of the National Priorities Project in Washington, D.C.. The National Priorities Project studies the federal budget and policy priorities and provides information on how the budget is created, how it works and how it impacts citizen's lives, with an analytical focus informed by principles of social and economic justice . Since founding the National Priorities Project in 1982, Greg Speeter has been a featured speaker at policy conferences, has held a number of budget briefings on Capitol Hill, and is frequently sought out by the media for analysis of budget policies. He began his career as a VISTA Volunteer in 1966, and spent the first decade of his professional life as a community organizer and policy analyst.

February 5th, 2006

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Clayton Swisher on the situation in Palestine in the aftermath of the recent elections. Clayton is a former marine reservist and federal criminal investigator who currently works as the Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.. His recent book THE TRUTH ABOUT CAMP DAVID has been acclaimed in the US by Foreign Affairs, Middle East Policy and Middle East Review and in the Middle East region, from Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper to Al-Jazeera to Lebanon's Daily Star. He has appeared recently on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, CBC, ABC News, CSPAN, Voice of America, and been quoted as an authoritative source in the Financial Times and Irish Times, as well as published in the LA TImes. He has lectured at universities including Harvard, Penn and American. He has just returned the West Bank in Palestine, serving as an elections monitor with President Jimmy Carter's delegation, observing the recent Palestinian Parliamentary elections in which Hamas was victorious.

Paul Craig Roberts on the real state of the union. Dr. Roberts is the Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. A former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Associate Editor of National review and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service, he is currently a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. During the Reagan administration, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for economic policy and played a major role in the Economic Recovery Act of 1981. He is the author of eight books, including "The Supply Side Revolution" and, most recently, co-author of "The Tyranny of Good Intentions."

Elizabeth De la Vega on the on-going investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald, particularly as it regards Karl Rove. De la Vega is a former federal prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience. During her tenure, she was a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. Her pieces have appeared in the Nation Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Salon. Her most recent article, entitled "Why Rove Will Fall," is an insightful analysis of what is known about prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's case against the porcine political kingmaker and predicts indictment.
 

January 29th, 2006

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Beshari Doumani on the Palestinian elections and victory of Hamas, which took many--including the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, by surprise. Beshari Doumani is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Berkeley, whose interest is--as he puts it--recovering the history of social groups, places and time periods that have been erased or silenced by conventional scholarship on the Modern Middle East. He is the author of Rediscovering Palestine and editor of Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender. He is currently working on a "social history" of the Palestinians and a book on "Academic Freedom After September 11." He had an Op-Ed published in the Los Angeles Times last Friday, entitled "Hamas in Charge: they gave the Palestinians God and Hope--they gave it power."

(interviewed with)

Dr. Mamdouh Aker, a physician based in Ramallah, who is Commissioner General of the Independent Palestinian Commission for the Protection of Citizen Rights.

Christopher Pyle on domestic spying by the US government on American citizens. Chris Pyle is a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College, who specializes in Constitutional law, civil liberties, rights of privacy; and the decision-making process in complex organizations. He has written extensively on freedom of expression, equal protection of the laws, rights of privacy, investigative journalism, terrorism, the detention of aliens and citizens without trial, and President Bush's plan to try alleged terrorists before military tribunals. His writings have appeared in hundreds of newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of two books: The President, Congress, and the Constitution and Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics. His work on military surveillance has won the Polk and Hillman Awards for investigative journalism. His forthcoming book is "The Art of Civil Discourse and its relationship to responsible citizenship."

Eugene Jarecki is an acclaimed filmmaker, whose first short film, SEASON OF THE LIFTERBEES, premiered at Sundance in 1992 before winning a regional Student Academy Award and Grand Prize at Aspen Shortfest. In 2001, Jarecki wrote and directed the dramatic feature THE OPPONENT, distributed by Lions Gate Films. His 2002 documentary THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER was released theatrically in 130 U.S. cities. Winner of the 2002 Amnesty International Award, the film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and was broadcast in over thirty countries. Jarecki's new film, WHY WE FIGHT, was inspired by President Eisenhower's fateful warning to America about the Military-Industrial complex. The film is an inside look at the anatomy of the American war machine, examining how a force so potentially counter to the balance of a democratic society influences American life. Amid the upheaval of the Iraq War, the film follows the personal stories of a group of characters in America's military family. They are its soldiers and its victims. Its dreamers and its disillusioned. Woven among the characters, a chorus of luminaries from government, academia, and the press explore the extent to which military, industrial, and national interests have formed an unholy alliance on the common ground of the battlefield. Ultimately, the film's goal is to move beyond the headlines about how the Iraq war was waged to the deeper question of why - why does America fight? Time and again, why does she seem inclined toward war against an ever changing array of enemies? What are the forces - economic, political, ideological - that shape and propel American militarism? Where do they meet? And what role does the individual play?

January 22nd, 2006

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William Blum on the recent mention by Osama bin Laden of Mr. Blum's book "Rogue State." William Blum left the US State Department in 1967, because of his opposition to the Vietnam war and then helped to found the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the nation's capitol.Mr Blum has been a freelance journalist in the United States, Europe and South America. His stay in Chile in 1972-3, writing about the Allende government's overthrow in a CIA-designed coup, instilled in him a sense of mission and an even more heightened interest in what the US was doing in various parts of the world. His book, "Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II", first published in 1995 and updated since, received international acclaim, with Noam Chomsky called it "Far and away the best book on the topic." In 1999, Blum was one of the recipients of Project Censored's awards for "exemplary journalism" for writing an article on how, in the 1980s, the United States gave Iraq the material to develop a chemical and biological warfare capability. In 2002, "West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir" was published. In 2004, "Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire". It was his book, "Rogue State: a guide to the world's only superpower" that has made him famous and pushed the book to number 35 on the Amazon sales charts. What has attracted world attention to William Blum's book? Osama bin Laden mentioned it in his latest dispatch.

Linda Bilmes on the real cost of Bush's war in Iraq. Linda Bilmes is a Professor of Public Policy, teaching budgeting and public finance at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard. She served as Chief Financial Officer and as Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the second Clinton Administration. She was responsible for a budget of $9 billion, for financial management, and for administration of 45,000 employees.. Much of her previous work was in Eastern Europe and Russia, assisting in the privatization process. Earlier in her career, Bilmes worked as a political campaign consultant for candidates in the United States and Latin America. She writes and broadcasts regularly on financial and budget issues in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, The Atlantic and other publications. Her current research topics include the cost of the Iraq war, federal workforce reform, and public pension liabilities. Her forthcoming book (The People Factor, Brookings) is on civil service reform. Her recent work with the Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has show that the actual cost of Bush's war on Iraq is much larger than Bush has stated--it is not several hundred billion; it is a colossal $two trillion.

Frederick Clarkson on the connection between scandal-ridden Jack Abramoff and is a widely published independent journalist, author and lecturer who has written about politics and religion for twenty years, which have included many groundbreaking exposes. He was the first to report that elements of the Christian Right were encouraging the formation of citizen militias - five years before the Oklahoma City bombing propelled the militia movement into national consciousness. His 1991 undercover investigation of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition was the first to expose and detail the group's plans to take over the Republican Party. He is the author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, Common Courage Press, (1997). The Humanist magazine called it "the best book yet written about the religious right." Church & State magazine called it "essential reading for anyone who cares about freedom." He co-authored Challenging the Christian Right: The Activist's Handbook, (Institute for First Amendment Studies 1992; Ms Foundation edition, 1994) for which he and his co-author were named among the "Media Heroes of 1992" by the Institute for Alternative Journalism. He has recently exposed the connection between Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a number of kingpins of the evangelical right, a connection we'll explore.
 

January 15th, 2006

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Dawn Johnson joined the faculty in of Indiana University School of Law in 1998, following a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. She began her career after graduating from Yale Law School as Staff Counsel Fellow of the ACLU, and then was five years as legal director of the NARAL. Professor Johnsen then, during the Clinton administration, served as a deputy assistant attorney general and then the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, where she advised the attorney general, the White House counsel, and the general counsels of all the executive departments and agencies. Her current courses include Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and a Seminar in the Separation of Powers.

interviewed with

Dean Lawrence Velvel has practiced law in the Department of Justice and the private sector, and written numerous briefs for the Supreme Court. He has been a law professor at the University of Kansas Law School and Catholic University in Washington, D.C.. He is the author of the quartet of books entitled Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam. He is one of the founders of the Massachusetts School of Law, where he currently serves as Dean. He has written some of the most penetrating analyses of the Fitzgerald investigation, the Iraq war, American torture policy and practice, and the Alito nomination--all of which can be found at his highly regarded blog: Velvelonnationalaffairs.com.

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize winning writer for the New York Times, he is the winner of the 2003 "Investigative Book of the year award" prize awarded by Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. for the book, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else. "His years of covering the intricacies of America's loophole-ridden tax system and the wealthy who take advantage of it have paid off in a book that should anger every citizen," they said." His articles for the NY Times recently have concerned the IRS under George Bush ignoring the wealthy and auditing the poor and middle-class.

Maziar Behrooz on Iran's political dynamic, it's nuclear intentions and on the neocon ideologues driving US policy on this nation of 75 million. Dr. Behrooz is a professor of Middle Eastern History at California State University, San Francisco. His most recent book is "Rebels with a cause: the failure of the Left in Iran"

January 8th, 2006

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Marsha Friedman is a former member of the Israeli Knesset now living in Berkeley, California, who has keenly observed political events as they have recently transpired in Israel. She discusses the future of Israel and the Middle East after Sharon.

Ari Berman on the ever deepening Abramoff scandal. Mr. Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation, based in Washington, DC, and a Nation Institute Puffin Foundation writing fellow, who has covered the deepening Abramoff scandal for The Nation magazine. Ian speaks to him about the political fallout as the DeLay/Norquist K-Street Project crumbles. He has recently written two articles on Jack Abramoff and Bob Ney, which describe the corruption of the political class in Washington, D.C. A old theme emerges in his writing: to find the truth, follow the money.

Dr. Craig Holman on how political corruption takes place because of a system and structure that permits it. Dr. Holman is the Legislative Representative for Public Citizen, serving as the organization's Capitol Hill lobbyist on campaign finance and governmental ethics. Dr. Holman has assisted in drafting campaign finance reform legislation, and has conducted numerous research projects on the initiative process and the impact of money in politics. He has been called upon to assist as a researcher and/or expert witness defending in court the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) as well as the campaign finance reform laws of Alaska, Arkansas, California and Colorado. He has authored and co-authored major works on campaign finance and the initiative process, including Buying Time 2000: Television Advertising In the 2000 Federal Elections (2001); The Price of Justice: A Case Study in Judicial Campaign Financing (1995); To Govern Ourselves: Ballot Initiatives in the Los Angeles Area (1992), and Democracy by Initiative (1992). Previously, Holman was Senior Policy Analyst at the Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law.