2009 Program Archive

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November 1st, 2009

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Adele Stan is a journalist and editor whose work has appeared in The New Republic, the Village Voice, The Nation, The Advocate, Salon.com, the Washington Blade and Mother Jones magazine, as well as on the op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Daily News. She began her media career at Ms. magazine, where she served both on staff and as a contributing editor. Adele Stan is currently the Washington Bureau Chief of Alternet.org, for which she covers beltway politics. She has a new piece at Alternet which looks deeply into the politics of health care reform.

Dr. Juan Cole is an author, journalist, professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and President of the Global Americana Institute. Dr. Cole is widely considered to be one of America leading scholars of contemporary Iraq and the Middle East. He has appeared around the world in print, television and radio, testified before the United States Senate and has provided high-level consultation to a number of elected officials. His weblog, Informed Comment, at JuanCole.com is one of the most popular blogs on the web, for its deep and authoritative analysis of the Middle East. He is the author of a number of books, his most recent being "Engaging the Muslim World."

Philip Weiss is an investigative journalist who has written for The New York Observer, The Nation, The American Conservative, National Review, Washington Monthly, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Harper's Magazine, and Jewish World Review. Philip Weiss' highly regarded online political blog, MondoWeiss.Net, focuses largely on American-Israeli relations, American Jewish life, and the role of the "Israel lobby" in American political and cultural life. In spring 2009 Weiss traveled to Gaza, where he met with United Nations relief agency, Hamas and the New York Times correspondent. He then went to Egypt where he witnessed President Barack Obama speech at Cairo University. Earlier this year, on Mondoweiss.net, Philip Weiss and Max Blumenthal released a video which depicted a great deal of hostility towards President Obama in Israel. Philip Weiss attended the recent J Street Conference.

October 25th, 2009
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Michael Lind is the Whitehead Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author of a number of books, including Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics and What Lincoln Believed. His book The American Way of Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life was critically hailed as a ground-breaking study of America's relationship with the world. In a recent article at Salon.com,"That Sound you Hear is the Social Fabric Beginning to Snap," in which Lind talks about the severe consequences of unemployment in America, the rate of which he says is actually at 20%.

Jahan Salehi was born in Iran, raised and educated in the United States. As a freelance photo-journalist in the late 1970's he has traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Formerly the Managing Director of European Operations of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, he is currently International Director of Agence Global, and international media agency, which has correspondents, specialists and analysts covering regions all over the world, including Iran, supplying analysis and commentary to numerous publications in many countries.

Dan Walters is political columnist for the Sacramento Bee covering the state Capitol since 1975. He is co-author of a new book entitled The Third House: Lobbyists, Money and Power in Sacramento. Walters will appearing at the Hammer Forum this Tuesday, October 27th at 7pm, speaking on State of Dysfunction: Government Gridlock and California's roken Dreams. The event is free and open to the public.

October 18th, 2009
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Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad where has taught for over 35 years. He holds a Ph.D in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the recipient of the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics, the Baker Award for Electronics, Faiz Ahmad Faiz Prize for contributions to education in Pakistan, and the UNESCO 2003 Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. He is a member of the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists. Dr Hoodbhoy is involved in social issues as well, such as: women's rights, environment, education, and nuclear disarmament. He is author of "Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality", now in seven languages.

Karl Agne is a founding partner of Gerstein-Agne, a Washington D.C.-based firm which provides strategy, message, and research services to corporate, political, and non-profit clients. Agne has conducted research for hundreds of political campaigns at every level, from municipal elections to congressional and gubernatorial contests to directing national research and message development for the Gore-Lieberman campaign. Karl Agne is the principal author of the "State of American Political Ideology 2009," for the Center for American Progress, just released and available at americanprogress.org.

Wayne Slater is Senior Political Writer for the Dallas Morning News, a position he was appointed to after 15 years as Austin bureau chief. He has appeared on numerous network television shows and is coauthor, with James Moore, of the New York Times best seller, "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential," which was made into a feature documentary. Slater has reported on a variety of political and public figures, including Pope John Paul II and Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and both George Bushes. He traveled for 16 months full-time covering the presidential campaign of George W. Bush. He has covered every Republican and Democratic national convention since 1988, seven sessions of the Texas Legislature, and the administrations of Texas Governors Bill Clements, Ann Richards, George W. Bush, and Rick Perry.

October 11th, 2009
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Peter Galbraith was, until recently, America s top diplomat at the United Nations mission in Afghanistan. He left that post over a conflict on how to respond to that country s fraud-ridden presidential elections. He has previously been US Ambassador to Croatia. In 1995, he was the co-mediator and principal architect of the Erdut Agreement that ended the war in Croatia by providing for the peaceful reintegration of Serb-held Eastern Slavonia. From 2000 to 2001 he served with the United Nations in East Timor, He was also a Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College and is a senior diplomatic fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.. He is the author of two books, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War without End and Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America's Enemies.

Emily Friedman is an award-winning independent writer, speaker, teacher, and health policy and ethics analyst based in Chicago. She has authored more than 750 articles on health care issues for various publications, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Progress, and other periodicals. Friedman serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Bioethics in the Department of Health Law, Bioethics, and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health. In 2002, 2004, and again in 2006, the readers of Modern Healthcare named her as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in the Health Care Field. In April 2005, the editors of that same publication named her one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare.

Tobias Wolfe is a professor at the University of California, Davis Law School since 2000 and has been a visiting professor at Stanford Law School, Northwestern Law School and at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His academic work spans the fields of Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law, and his advocacy work has included participation in some of the highest profile gay rights cases of the last several years. Professor Wolff's work Constitutional Law includes issues of racial justice, the history of race relations in America and on free speech values and the First Amendment. He is one of the nation's leading authorities on the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and has published the definitive works on the First Amendment implications of that policy

October 4th, 2009
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Peter Maass is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine who has reported from the Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa. He has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post and Slate. Maass is the author of Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War, which chronicled the Bosnian war and won prizes from the Overseas Press Club and the Los Angeles Times. His new book is CRUDE WORLD: THE VIOLENT TWILIGHT OF OIL. This book, just published, is a stunning and revealing examination of oil's indelible impact on the countries that produce it and the people who possess it. Robert Reich has said of this book, "With the clarity of a hard-boiled investigator and the grace of a fine writer, Peter Maass reveals how oil has cursed the countries that possess it, corrupted those who want it, and wrought havoc on a world addicted to it. Brilliant and compelling." And Robert Redford adds, "This book is essential reading for these times and for anyone interested in making the right decisions about our energy future."

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker, columnist, media commentator and New York Times best-selling author. Blumenthal is sometimes referred to as the Michael Moore of online video for his numerous widely recognized video reports, which have garnered hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and other sites. Max is a Puffin Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute, a research fellow for Media Matters for America and senior contributor at The Daily Beast. Blumenthal's first book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, a few weeks after publication, is now a New York Times best-seller. Max did an event at UC Riverside last Thursday that proved very interesting. We'll talk about that, his book and more.

September 27th, 2009
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Max Blumenthal is an award-winning investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker, columnist, media commentator and New York Times best-selling author. Blumenthal s work has been featured on MSNBC, The Nation, Washington Monthly, The American Prospect, The Huffington Post, Salon Magazine, Alternet, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show, among others. His investigative reporting has been cited by the Boston Globe, The American Prospect, San Francisco Chronicle, CBS News, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune and Time Magazine, among many other news outlets. He has been honored with the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Award for investigative reporting and is sometimes referred to as the Michael Moore of online video, for his numerous widely recognized video reports, which have garnered hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube and other sites. Max is a Puffin Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute, a research fellow for Media Matters for America and senior contributor at The Daily Beast. Blumenthal's first book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, was published earlier this month and is now a New York Times best-seller.

David Neiwert is an award-winning journalist who covers racism, extremism, culture and politics in America. Neiwert is the author of a number of books, including Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community, Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America and In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest. He is the founder of the political blob Orcinus and currently the Managing Editor of the very popular website "Crooks and Liars." David Neiwert's latest book is The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right. Sidney Blumenthal has said of this book, "David Neiwert is one of the most knowledgeable and careful reporters on the far right in America. The Eliminationists irrefutably documents the connection between extremist word and extremist deed. As Neiwert demonstrates, absolutist language corrupts absolutely. The shocking history he presents is undeniable, but it is not a matter of the past. The danger is clear and present."

September 20th, 2009
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T.R. Reid is a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and author of ten books, most recently The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care. from around the world for National Public Radio, he has become one of America s best-known foreign correspondents. Reid currently lives in Denver. His 2008 Frontline documentary, "Sick Around the World", under the premise that the US health care system is a failure,takes a look at the national health care systems of five wealthy countries around the world. The first two countries visited are the U.K. and Japan, both places where Reid has lived while serving as the Washington Post bureau chief and has had doctors. They are followed by Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland. Frontline asked T.R. Reid to follow-up with a companion documentary, "Sick Around America" which aired March 31, 2009, on PBS. But when it appeared, Reid was nowhere to be seen, and his conclusion, that "You can't allow a profit to be made on the basic package of health insurance," was completely absent from the program. As quoted by Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action and The Corporate Crime Reporter, Reid said "...mandating for-profit insurance is not the lesson from other countries in the world. I said I'm not going to be in a film that contradicts my previous film and my book."

Vali Nasr is a professor of international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a senior fellow of The Dubai Initiative at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is considered to be one the nation's leading experts on Middle Eastern affairs and Islam in politics. He has authored a number of books, includingThe Shia Revival which was a New York Times bestseller. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time and other publications. His new book is Forces of Fortune: The Rise of a New Muslim Middle Class and What It Means for Our World, described a groundbreaking analysis which will rewrite the wisdom about how the West can best contend with the threat of Islamic extremism.

September 13th, 2009
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Ron Suskind is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, whose coverage and analysis of the Bush administration has been acclaimed for its unique insight. Suskind was the senior national-affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1993 to 2000. He is currently a distinguished visiting scholar at Dartmouth and writes for various national publications, including the New York Times Magazine and Esquire. In 2004, two-weeks before the November election, Ron Suskind published, in the New York Times Magazine, what is now recognized as perhaps the seminal article on the inner workings and psychology of the Bush adminstration, entitled "Without a Doubt: Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush." He is the author of a number of books, including the best-sellers "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill" and "The One Per-Cent Doctrine." His latest book is "The Way of the World." In this time of legacy and reflection over the past eight years, Suskind has developed a kind of Unified Field Theory of the Bush administration, which purports that the same Bush/Cheney ideology that led to war and ruined America's strategic position internationally is also the central factor which has led to financial catastrophe and devastated America's standing in world's economy.

Scott Nelson is a senior attorney for the Litigation Group at Public Citizen. Nelson is an expert in issues of access to presidential records, Freedom of Information Act cases, campaign finance law, administrative law, OSHA standards, class action lawsuits and practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was a clerk for the Honorable Byron R. White, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. And previously was a partner at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, LLP. He recently co-authored an amicus brief in the critical corporate election funding case now before the Supreme Court

Charles Pierce is a journalist, commentator and author. He has been a writer-at-large for Esquire since 1997 and is a frequent contributor to American Prospect and Slate. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Nation, The Atlantic, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications, and he is a regular on NPR s Wait, Wait, Don t Tell Me and Only a Game. is a 1975 graduate of Marquette University, where he majored in journalism. His new book is "Idiot America: How stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free."

September 6th, 2009
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Nate Silver on potential Democratic congressional losses in the 2010 is a statistician, analyst, journalist, and writer. His website is FiveThirtyEight.com. He regularly appears on line, in print and broadcast media as an electoral and political analyst. He accurately predicted the winner in 49 of 50 states in the 2008 election and in April of 2009, he was named one of The World's 100 Most Influential People by TIME Magazine.

Dr. Lawrence Mishel on how the economy affects American workers. Dr. Mishel is an economist, author and analyst who is president of the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic research institution in Washington, D.C., that focuses primarily on economic trends that affect the lives and living standards of working people. He is principal author of a research volume published every two years that is widely considered the authoritative text on the American workforce: The State of Working America (The 2008/2009 edition was published this past January by Cornell University Press.) Dr. Mishel and coauthor economist Heidi Shierholz have just released a paper, The Recession s Hidden Costs in which they say that Wage growth is central to the growth of household consumption. That consumption is required if we are going to lift the demand of goods and services, a demand that is essential for a robust economy.

Dr. Ruth Milkman on how American workers are being cheted. Dr. Milkman is a professor of sociology at UCLA, where she is also director of the UCLA Institute of Industrial Relations. Milkman obtained a bachelor's degree in 1975 from Brown University. She was awarded a Master of Arts in sociology in 1977 and a PhD.. in sociology in 1981, both from the University of California, Berkeley. She was appointed director of the UCLA Institute of Industrial Relations in 2001. From then to 2004, Dr. Milkman was also director of the UC Institute for Labor and Employment. Dr. Milkman's research focus in on the sociology of work, with a strong interest in the American labor movement and labor history.

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Dr. Nik Theodore is Director of the Center for Urban Economic Development and an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining UIC, he was a 1997-98 Atlantic Fellow in Public Policy based at Manchester University (UK) and researcher in the Chicago Urban League s Research & Planning Department (1988-97). Nik s research agenda is focused on problems of socioeconomic inequality arising from the restructuring of urban economies. Grounded in community development practice, his research seeks to combine primary data collection and analysis, policy assessment and evaluation, and theory-building to illuminate the complex (and often contradictory) processes that give rise to economic hardship in urban communities. Dr. Milkman and Dr. Theodore were part of a team of national labor market experts which has just released a groundbreaking study of the low-wage workforce in the nation s three largest cities, finding that core employment laws -- like the minimum wage and overtime pay -- are being aggressively and systematically violated in some of the economy s fastest-growing industries. The report, entitled "Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Labor Laws in America's Cities," can be viewed at http://www.unprotectedworkers.org/brokenlaws .

August 23rd, 2009
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James Fallows on the media and health care reform. Mr. Fallows is National Correspondent for The Atlantic, with which he has been affiliated for more than 25 years, reporting from Washington DC, Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in southern California's Inland Empire, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford. In addition to the Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction. Since the creation of the New America Foundation in 1999 he has been chairman of its board. His latest book is Blind Into Baghdad (2006). Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China is forthcoming in January, 2009. Jim Fallows blog at theatlantic.com has been looking into the media coverage of health care reform.

Russell Mokhiber on corporations and health care, with special attention to the anti-health care stance of Whole Foods ceo John Mackey. Mr. Mokhiber founded Single Payer Action in 2009. He is also"editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter, which is published weekly. He is, along with Robert Weissman, co-author of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for Megaprofits and the Attack on Democracy.

Dr. John Mueller on Afghanistan. Dr. Mueller is a political scientist in the field of international relations as well as a scholar of the history of dance. He is recognized for his ideas concerning "the banality of ethnic war" and the theory that major world conflicts are quickly becoming obsolete. He currently is the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and a professor of both political science and dance at The Ohio State University.

August 16th, 2009
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Mark Potok on the rise of right-wing extremism in the US. Mr. Potok is director of the Southern Poverty Law Center s Intelligence Project and editor of its award-winning, quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report. Mr. Potok leads one of the most highly regarded operations monitoring the extreme right in the world today. In addition to editing the magazine and the Hatewatch blog, Potok acts as a key spokesman for the SPLC, a well-known civil rights organization based in Alabama, and has testified before the Senate, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights and in other venues. Before coming to the SPLC in 1997, Potok spent almost 20 years as an award-winning reporter at newspapers including USA Today, the Dallas Times Herald and The Miami Herald. While at USA Today, he covered the 1993 siege in Waco, the rise of militias, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of Timothy McVeigh. The Southern Poverty Law Center has just released a new report "The Return of the Militias," which documents how, after vanishing for nearly 10 years, the antigovernment militia movement is surging across the country fueled by fears of a black president, the changing demographics of the country and fringe conspiracy theories increasingly spread by mainstream figures.

Phil Longman on health care reform. Mr. Longman is a Senior Research Fellow and Research Director of New America's Next Social Contract Initiative. He is the author of numerous articles and books on demographics, economics, finance, health care, and social change. His work has appeared in such publications as The Financial Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, and Washington Post. Formerly a senior writer and deputy assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report, he has won numerous awards for his business and financial writing, including UCLA's Gerald Loeb Award, and the top prize for investigative journalism from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, and was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University. His latest book, co-authored with Ray Boshara, is entitled The Next Progressive Era: A Blueprint for Broad Prosperity. Mr. Longman s previous book Best Care Anywhere, published by Polipoint in 2007, chronicles the quality transformation of the Veterans Health Administration and applies its lessons to a plan for reforming the U.S. health care system as a whole.

Dr. Jacob Hacker on Obama's strategy to reform health care. Dr. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University, and a Resident Fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies. He is also a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., and a former Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. An expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, he is author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream (2006, in paperback January 2008), The Divided Welfare State: The Battle over Public and Private Social Benefits in the United States (2002), and The Road to Nowhere: The Genesis of President Clinton s Plan for Health Security (1997), co-winner of the Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration. He is also co-author, with Paul Pierson, of Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (2005) and has edited two volumes most recently, Health At Risk: America s Ailing Health System and How to Heal It (2008). He is widely recognized as a contributor to the health care plans for three of the leading Democratic candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Edwards in the presidential election of 2008. Hacker's plan, Health Care for America, is outlined in a report for the Economic Policy Institute. It proposes providing health care for uninsured or under-insured Americans by requiring employers to either provide insurance to their workers or enroll them in a new, publicly overseen insurance pool. People in this pool could choose either a public plan modeled after Medicare or from regulated private plans.

August 9th, 2009
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Jane Hamsher on the astro-turfing behind the protests and disruptions of the congressional district "town hall" meetings of health care reform. Ms. Hamsher is the founder of Firedoglake.com and one of America's most popular and influential political bloggers. She is also a motion picture producer, wth such films as "Natural Born Killers," "Apt Pupil," "Permanent Midnight" and "From Hell." Her political writing and analysis has appeared in a number of other publications, including the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She is author of the best-selling book, "Killer Instinct." She has been covering the astro-turfed disruptions of congressional Town Hall meetings on health care -- disruptions which recall the orchestrated "Gucci riots" in Florida during the counting of the ballots in the Gore vs. Bush presidential election. The "gucci riots" stopped the ballot counting, which turned the momentum against Al Gore, allowing Bush to eventually capture the presidency via Supreme Court decision.

Dr. James Kwak on the reality of health insurance in America today. Dr. Kwak is the co-author of the popular economics blog BaselineScenario.com. He holds a PhD in History from UC Berkley. After a successful career in business, which included co-founding the software firm Guidewire, Dr. Kwak is now a student at Yale Law School, studying to become a public interest lawyer. Last week he published a piece on his blog entitled "You Don't Have Health Insurance," which got picked up by other websites, including Truthout, naked capitalism, and Felix Salmon, and was widely read."

Dr. Chaibong Hamn on the successful diplomacy by former President Bill Clinton in negotiating the release of 2 American reporters from a 12-year sentence doing hard-labor in a North Korean prison camp. Dr. Hamn is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation where he specializes in Korean and East Asian politics and security issues. Prior to joining RAND in 2007, he was a professor in the School of International Relations and the Department of Political Science as well as the director of Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California. From 1992 to 2005, he was a professor in the Department of Political Science at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the director of the Division of Social Sciences Research and Policy at UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in Paris, France. He has been a visiting professor at Duke, Georgetown, and Princeton universities and was a visiting fellow at the International Forum for Democratic Studies in Washington, D.C. Hahm earned his Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University.

August 2nd, 2009
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Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey on maintaining the public option in health care reform. Congresswoman Woolsey is in her ninth 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 and in favor of the public option in health care reform. 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 has called her the unofficial matriarch of the [anti-war] movement in Congress. She is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Chairwoman of the Committee on the Education and Labor s Workforce Protections Subcommittee. Congresswoman Woolsey also sits on the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education 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 Obama to retain the public option in any health care reform.

Max Fraad Wolff on Andrew Cuomo's recent report on "heads I win, tails you lose" compensation on Wall Street. Mr. Wolff is an economist, a Professor, a professional on Wall Street and a free lance researcher/writer. His commentary regularly appears in the Asia Times, The Huffington Post, The Prudent Bear and many other international outlets. His website is www.GlobalMacroScope.com. Based in NYC, Max does research on international financial risks and opportuniies as Senior Economist/Ananlyst for Beryl Consulting, a hedge fund consultanting firm on Wall Street. He teaches at the New School University's Graduate Program in International Affairs and economics.

Scott Horton on a variety of issues including investigating Wall Street corruption, Cheney's scheme to install a junta government in the US, more. Mr. Horton is a writer, analyst and attorney known for his work in international law, human rights and the law of armed conflict. Scott Horton served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union. He was hired by the Associated Press to represent Bilal Hussein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who was detained without charges by the US military for over a year. He is a professor at Columbia Law School and co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has also been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association. He is the author of over 100 articles and is a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security. His Harpers weblog, No Comment, is highly regarded and a wide range of matters from American law and politics to international affairs.

July 26th, 2009
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Dr. Kevin Casas-Zamora on the crisis in Honduras. Dr. Casas-Zamora is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy in Brookings Latin America Initiative. Most recently, Casas-Zamora served as Costa Rica s vice president, as well as minister of national planning and economic policy. Casas-Zamora has authored several studies on political finance, elections, democratization, and civil-military relations in Latin America. He is consultant to the Second Report on Democracy in Latin America for the United Nations Development Program. He was Consultant/Advisor to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems Money and Politics Program, International Foundation for Electoral Systems. He was named Young Global Leader 2007 by the World Economic Forum; and won the Human Development Award of Excellence Thesis Prize.

Dr. Thomas Ferguson on President Obama's effort to reform health care in America. Dr. Feguson is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and taught formerly at MIT and the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author or coauthor of many books and articles, including Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Part Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems. His "Too Big To Bail: The Paulson Put, Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown Part I: From Shadow Financial System to Shadow Bailout," coauthored with Robert Johnson, is in the current International Journal of Political Economy. interviewed with

Dr. Michael Intrilligator specializes in the areas of health economics, economic theory and strategy and arms control. His most recent work has focused on health care reform, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, global security, and the transition to a market economy in Russia. In the field of economic theory, In health economics, Professor Intriligator conducted an analysis of the major policy issues in the economics of health care in the United States, including a proposal for health care reform involving an expansion of the Medicare program. He has been widely sought as an expert witness on health economic issues for two decades. He has testified before the U.S. Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the United Nations and served as a consultant to the Center for National Security Studies at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and other organizations.

Mimi Kennedy on her new film "In the Loop." is an acclaimed film and television actress, well known for her ongoing role in Dharma and Greg, the film "Erin Brockovish" and for many other roles. She is also the national chairwoman of Progressive Democrats of America and was a charter member of Artists United to Win Without War, and a leading supporter of Dennis Kucinich s anti-war presidential campaign in 2004. She has worked on human rights, environmental and labour issues. Her new film is "In the Loop," in which she stars with James Gandolfini of the Sopranos. The film is drawing instant comparisons to some of the great political and absurdist comedies such as DOCTOR STRANGELOVE, WAG THE DOG, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING and MONTY PYTHON. The Village Voice has said of this film, "HILARIOUS. An acidly funny satire about politics and pomposity. The zing and sting of the film's dialogue harks back to screwball comedy, but the frequent flourishes of profanity throughout suggest its own genre: screw-you-ball."

July 19th, 2009
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Sir Richard Dalton on Iran. Sir Dalton is a former senior British diplomat, specializing in the Middle East, who was knighted by the Queen in 2005. Dalton joined the diplomatic service in 1970 and was posted to Jordan, Oman, Israel and the United Nations. From 1993 to 1997, Dalton was consul-general in Jerusalem effectively becoming ambassador to the Palestinian Authority during the early years of the Middle East peace process. He was appointed Head of Personnel in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1998, and was sent as Britain's ambassador to Libya in 1999, when diplomatic relations were resumed after a 17-year break. Between 2003 and 2006, Dalton was ambassador to Iran.

Matt Taibbi is an investigative journalist, political writer and author. He currently works at Rolling Stone where he authors a column called "Road Rage" for the print version, and an additional weekly online-only column called "The Low Post". He is probably best known for his coverage of the 2004 US presidential election, and for his former editorial positions at newspapers the eXile, the New York Press, and the Beast. Recently, Taibbi has been a regular contributor to Real Time with Bill Maher. Matt Taibbi is the author of several previous books, including "Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire," "Spanking the Donkey: Dispatches from the Dumb Season" and "The Exile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia." His latest book, a bestseller, is "The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics and Religtion at the Twilight of the American Empire." He has a breakthrough piece in Rolling Stone called "The Great American Bubble Machine: How Goldman Sachs Blew Up the Economy."

Pierre Sprey is a veteran high-tech defense weapons and systems designer, as well as a high regarded producer of avant-garde jazz and other genre recordings. Mr. Sprey was the primary designer of two key Air Force warplances -- the F-16 fighter and the A-10 ground attack jet. He left the Pentagon in 1986, he said, because "it became increasingly obvious that the atmosphere at the Pentagon was such that it would be impossible to build another honest aircraft." He is the owner of Maple Shade Records, and enjoyed considerable success when one of his recordings was used by Kanye West in the mega-hit "Jesus Walks."

July 12th, 2009
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Nii Akuetteh is the founder of the Democracy and Conflict Research Institute (DCRI) and a member of the TransAfrica Forum's Scholars' Council. Among earlier positions, he was the founding Executive Director of OSIWA, the West Africa arm of the George Soros Foundation, and the Research and Education Director at TransAfrica. He also taught at Georgetown University. For more than two decades, he has monitored and analyzed U.S. foreign relations, African affairs, economic development, and globalization. BBC World News, Evening Exchange, Newsweek-On-The-Air, and WPFW are among the broadcast media he has appeared on. His written analyses and commentary have been published in Tompaine.com, The Washington Post, TransAfrica's Issue Brief, and Africa Writers Series. He was the longest serving editor of the Foreign Policy Quarterly, TransAfrica Forum Journal. Nii was born in Ghana and educated in the U.S. and Ghana.

Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer who formerly served as associate deputy attorney general under the Reagan administration, general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, research director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran, and member of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Presidential signing statements. He has authored several volumes on the United States Supreme Court, the United States Constitution, and international law, helped write the articles of impeachment for President Nixon and President Clinton, and is frequently cited by the New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and other national publications. Democrats and Republicans continue to invite him to tesify before Congress and administrative agencies. Bruce Fein is the author of a new book, entitled "Constitutional Peril: the Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy." This book attacks the various policies of the Bush administration and the failure of Congress to uphold its constitutional responsibilities as a check on the executive branch.

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Azziz Huq directs the Liberty and National Security Project at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice. He graduated summa cum laude from both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996), and Columbia Law School (2001). Mr. Huq clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the October 2003 Term of the Supreme Court He is a 2006 recipient of the Carnegie Scholars Fellowship and has published scholarship in the Columbia Law Review, the Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, and the New School's Constellations Journal. He has written for a number of publications, including The Legal Times and the American Prospect. He has worked with the International Crisis Group in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal on legal and constitutional reform issues. He is co-author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror, which has just been published in a new paperback edition.

Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University. He joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with The Environmental Defense Fund, a non-governmental, environmental organization, where he served as chief scientist and manager of the Climate and Air Program. Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, serving most recently as a lead author of the IPCC s Fourth Assessment Report. He is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Alternative Liquid Transportation Fuels. He is also a science advisor to The Environmental Defense Fund.

July 5th, 2009
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Shannyn Moore on Sarah Palin. Ms. Moore is the top rated progressive radio broadcaster of Anchorage, Alaska and pioneered the political talk radio for women in the 49th State. Born and raised in Homer, Alaska, Shannyn grew up hunting, commercial fishing, and living a rural lifestyle. She attended seminary in Seattle and is known from her radio program as a progressive liberal, who is at the same time a fiscal conservative and a Constitutionalist critical of both political parties. On her program, she has interviewed Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee Governor Sarah Palin numerous times, as well as many other figues on the American political scene. She has appeared as a guests on numerous radio and television programs in the US and Canada. She resides in Anchorage.

Dr. Max Neiman on the California budget crisis. Dr. Neiman is currently Director of the Governance and Public Finance Program at the Public Policy Institute of California, based in San Francisco, which he joined in 2005. Before that he was a professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside and his most recent book is titled DEFENDING GOVERNMENT: WHY BIG GOVERNMENT WORKS

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Todd Haggerty is a research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Reese Erlich on leftist misperceptions of the Iran election protesters. Mr. Erlich began his award-winning career in journalism 35 years ago as a staff writer and research editor for Ramparts, a seminal investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco from 1963 to 1975. A former journalism professor, he currently works as a full-time freelance journalist and radio producer. He produced the award-winning public radio documentaries "The Struggle for Iran," and "The Russia Project," both with the legendary CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. The programs were heard throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He reports regularly for a variety of radio networks, including National Public Radio, CBC, ABC (Australia), The World, and Common Ground Radio.and his newspaper articles have appeared in 16 daily papers in the United States and around the world, including the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Dallas Morning News, and the Chicago Tribune. Reese Erlich has covered the Middle East for 20 years. He is the co-author of the best-seller "Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You." His recent book is ""The Iran Agenda: the real story of U.S. policy and the Middle East crisis." His latest book is "Dateline Havana: the Real Story of US Policy and the Future of Cuba. His website is www.reeseerlich.com.

Michael Shifter on Honduras. Dr. Shifter is vice president for policy and director of the Andean program at the Inter-American Dialogue. Since 1993, he has been an adjunct professor of Latin American politics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Shifter writes and comments widely on U.S.-Latin American relations and hemispheric affairs. His recent articles have appeared in major U.S. and Latin American publications such as The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Journal of Democracy, Harvard International Review, Clar n, O Estado de S. Paulo, and Cambio. He is also co-editor, along with Jorge Dom nguez, of Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Since 1996, he has regularly testified before Congress about U.S. policy towards Latin America. Prior to joining the Inter-American Dialogue, Shifter directed the Latin American and Caribbean program at the National Endowment for Democracy and, before that, the Ford Foundation's governance and human rights program in the Andean region, based in Lima, Peru, and Southern Cone, based in Santiago, Chile. He is contributing editor to Current History and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has a BA from Oberlin College and a Master's degree in sociology from Harvard University.

June 28th, 2009
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Mohsen Sazegara was a founder of the Revolutionary Guard in late 1970's Iran. Currently he is an Iranian journalist, political activist and Director the Research Institute for Contemporary Iran. In addition, Dr. Sazegara held several high ranking positions during the early years of the Iranian Revolution, such as deputy prime minister in political affairs, deputy minister for heavy industry, deputy chairman of the budget and planning department and many more before becoming disillusioned with the government in 1989 and pushing for reforms. He applied to become a candidate for President of Iran in the 2001 election and was refused. His reformist policies clashed with the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, eventually resulting in his arrest in early-2003. Following his release in August 2003, he moved to the United Kingdom for medical attention. He currently resides in the United States.

Mary Anne Lovell is a researcher and staff writer at the Center for Public Integrity. She is the author of a study entitled "The Cost of Clean Coal."

Michelle Goldberg is a journalist and the author of the book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. She is a former contributing writer at Salon.com and blogs at The Huffington Post. Her work has been published in the magazines Rolling Stone and In These Times, and in The New York Observer, The Guardian, Newsday, and other newspapers. She also writes an online column for The American Prospect. She serves on the advisory board of the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, an organization dedicated to opposing the (Christian) Religious Right. She is the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World. She is currently working on a book about the global battle over women's rights.

June 21st, 2009
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Robert Baer on developments in Iran. Mr. Baer spent twenty years running agents from inside the CIA s Directorate of Operations, from 1976 to 1997, working against Hizballah, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations. He is considered by Seymour Hersh as "perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer ever to serve in the Middle East." Robert Baer is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Sleeping with the Devil, about the Saudi royal family and its relationship with the United States; and See No Evil, which recounts Baer's years as a top CIA operative. See No Evil was the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana, which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Mr. Baer. Robert Baer writes regularly for Time.com and has contributed to Vanity Fair, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the Middle East. His most recent book is "The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower."

interviewed with

Mayad Tousi is a filmmaker and entrepreneur living in Brookly, New York. While born in the US, he spaent his formative years in Iran amidst the revolution and the ensuing war. He has working in 24 countries spanning five continents as a producer, director, and cinematographer in both fiction and documentary, traditional narrative storytelling, as well as video art. His work has been seen on television, theatrically, as well as in museums and galleries across the world. He is a guest lecturer for the MFA program at City College of New York, and appears regularly as a commentator on Social Innovation through Media.

Robert Weissman on President Obama's pledge to clean up Wall Street. Mr. Weissman is co-director of Essential Action, a corporate accountability group based in Washington, D.C. that focuses especially on international issues and has been very involved in the access to medicines campaign. He is also editor of Multinational Monitor magazine. With Russell Mokhiber, he is editor of a weekly column, Focus on the Corporation.

June 7th, 2009
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Richard Wolffe on the "making of" President Barack Obama. Mr. Wolffe is an award-winning journalist and political analyst for MSNBC television, appearing frequently on MSNBC s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Hardball. He covered the entire length of Barack Obama s presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine. Before Newsweek, Wolffe was a senior journalist at the Financial Times, serving as its deputy bureau chief and U.S. diplomatic correspondent. Richard Wolffe is the author of the just-published book, "Renegade: The Making of a President." About this book, presidential historian Michael Beschloss has said A superb achievement. With an almost painterly eye, compelling insights, and extraordinary access to Barack Obama and his inner circle, Richard Wolffe s Renegade tells the hidden, dramatic story of the 2008 campaign and also reveals much we did not know about the 44th president s life before politics. Wolffe s brisk, well-written narrative is fully in the tradition of Theodore White and Richard Ben Cramer, capturing a pivotal presidential contest dominated by one of the most luminous figures in modern American history.

Frank Schaeffer is a bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction, and a documentary and feature film director. He is the son of the late evangelist Francis Schaeffer. He has written several internationally acclaimed novels depicting life in a strict, fundamentalist household including Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma. By the time he was nineteen, Frank Schaeffer s parents, Francis and Edith Schaeffer, had achieved global fame as bestselling evangelical authors and speakers, and Frank had joined his father on the evangelical circuit. He would go on to speak before thousands in arenas around America, publish his own evangelical bestseller, and work with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Dr. James Dobson. But all the while Schaeffer felt increasingly alienated, precipitating a crisis of faith that would ultimately lead to his departure even if it meant losing everything. Mr. Schaeffer is also the author of the nonfiction book "Crazy for God." Jeff Sharlet has described "Crazy for God" as "a brilliant book, a portrait of fundamentalism painted in broad strokes with streaks of nuance, the twinned coming-of-age story of Frank and the Christian right. But this story moves in more than one direction: both coming-of-age narratives are pulled against the current by the tragedy of Francis Schaeffer, a man who let his children, biological and ideological, guide him down a path from which he'd spent his whole life struggling to get off."

May 31st, 2009
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Mark Benjamin on whether or not photos depicting torture and suppressed by President Obma will ever see the light of day. Mr. Benjamin is an award-winning investigative reporter with Salon.com s Washington bureau, Mark Benjamin has focused on national security issues with an emphasis on the plight of returning veterans and detainee abuse. He has been hailed for exposing problems caring for veterans at Walter Reed starting in early 2005 and also obtained for Salon the Army s entire Abu Ghraib investigative files. Benjamin has been a consultant for CBS 60 Minutes, a freelance on-air reporter for CNN and has appeared on all of the major television networks.

Dan Neil on General Motors entering bankruptcy. Mr. Neil is an automotive columnist for the Los Angeles Times, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2004. The Pulitzer board praised his: "one of a kind reviews of automobiles, blending technical expertise with offbeat humor and astutue cultural criticism." Prior to coming to the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Neil wrote for the New York Times, Autoweek magazine Car and Driver, among others. Besides the Pulitzer prize, Dan Neil has also won the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, from the International Motor Press Association, 2001. His work was selected for Houghton Mifflin's Best American Sports Writing, 2002.

Glenn Greenwald on what is not known about the record of President Obama's nominee to the Supreme court, Sonya Sotomayor. Mr. Greenwald is an author, journalist and blogger, who was previously a constitutional lawyer in New York City. He litigated numerous high-profile cases in federal and state courts around the country, including Civil Rights cases before Judge Sotomayor. Greenwald is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, "How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values From a President Run Amok," and "Tragic Legacy: How a Good v. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency." His latest book "Great American Hypocrites" reveals how the GOP propaganda machine manipulates the Press.

George Smith on President Obama's just-announced Cyber Warfare Initiative. Mr. Smith is a Senior Fellow at Globalsecurity.org and wrote one of the first books on computer virus writers, "The Virus Creation Labs", in 1994. Over the past fifteen years, he has written frequently on computer security for a variety of publications, more recently "The Register." He also authored the first critical scholarly piece on cyberwar called "Electronic Pearl Harbor -- Not Likely." In the past few years he's analyzed al Qaeda documents said to be devoted to biological and chemical weapons and, as a consequence, has consulted to a couple of terrorism trials.

May 24th, 2009

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Colonel Lawence Wilkerson on Cheney's campaign to justify the Bush administration torture regime, which he authored. Colonel Wilkerson was Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff at the Department of State from August 2002 to January 2005. He followed the General Powell's Special Assistant when he was Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 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. Colonel Wilkerson retired from active service in 1997 and 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 August of 2002, Secretary Powell moved Wilkerson to the position of Chief of Staff of the State Department.

Ron Suskind on Cheney and the moral standing of the United States. Mr. Suskind is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, whose coverage and analysis of the Bush administration has been acclaimed for its unique insight. Suskind was the senior national-affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1993 to 2000. He is the author of a number of books, including the best-sellers "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill" and "The One Per-Cent Doctrine." In his latest book "The Way of the World.", Ron Suskind has developed a kind of Unified Field Theory to explain the disastrous Bush administration, concluding that the same Bush/Cheney ideology that has trapped us in two losing wars is also central to the financial catastrophe that has devastated America's standing in world and brought the global economy to the brink of collapse.

Dr. Bryant Welsh on the psychological aspects of Ameriican politics. Dr. Welsh is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Welsh has been a nationally-prominent psychologist for thirty years and established the American Psychological Association Practice Directorate serving as its first executive director. In August of 2005, Dr. Welch was awarded the American Psychological Association's Presidential Citation for his "seminal and unique contribution to professional psychological practice." His latest book is State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind. In this book, Dr. Welch makes the case that right-wing political operatives and religious leaders have exploited fear and ignorance and sown confusion to make it nearly impossible to recognize or deal with reality, a condition that has brought this country to the brink of national political insanity.

May 17th, 2009

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Dr. Richard Parker on the banksters who continue to hold sway over Congress -- the best Congress that money can buy, and on the long-term prospects for an economy that is 70% dependent on consumer spending but consumers are spending less than half of what they were spending six months ago. Dr. Parker teaches economics and public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he's also Senior Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. An Oxford-trained macroeconomist, his most recent book is the award-winning intellectual biography of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, entitled "John Kenneth Galbraith: his life, his politics, his economics." He's a cofounder of Mother Jones, former managing editor of Ramparts, and currently serves on the editorial board of The Nation. He's also been a political advisor to Presidential candidate George McGovern and Senators Edward Kennedy and John Glenn. In the early 1980s, he helped build Greenpeace from 2,000 to 600,000 members, helped Norman Lear launch People for the American Way, as well as working with the Sierra Club, the ACLU and he now heads Americans For Democratic Action. Recently, Richard Parker chaired a forum at Harvard's Institute of Politics with Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, entitled "Financial Re-Regulation: the Economics and the Politics."

Jeremy Ben-Ami on the upcoming meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Ben-Ami is Executive Director of J Street and J Street PAC, the political voice of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement and has twenty-five years of experience in government, politics and communications, in the United States and internationally, including numerous political campaigns. In 2003-4, he was Policy Director for Howard Dean s presidential campaign; in 2001, and, from 1992 through 1996, he worked for former President Bill Clinton, serving for two years as the President s Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor. Ben-Ami has also been actively involved in Israeli politics and communications. In 1998, he started a consulting firm in Israel working with Israeli non-profit organizations and politicians. He also has served as Director of Communications and Regional Director in New York for the New Israel Fund, a foundation supporting civil rights, social justice and religious pluralism in Israel and is on the Board of Americans for Peace Now.

Dennis Henigan on gun control and electoral politics. Mr. Henigan is the vice president for law and policy at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and founder of its Legal Action Project. For twenty years, he has been a leading advocate for stronger gun laws, he has written and spoken extensively on liability and constitutional issues relating to gun laws and gun violence, including testifying before several congressional committees.

May 10th, 2009
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Nomi Prins on the banking stress tests and the overall management of the banking crisis by the Obama administration. Ms. Prins is an author, journalist and a Senior Fellow at Demos. Nomi's books include Other People s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, a highly-praised expos into corporate corruption, political collusion and Wall Street deception. Other People's Money was chosen as a Best Book of 2004 by The Economist, Barron's and The Library Journal. Her later book Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking your Pocket (whether you voted for them or not) catalogs her travels around the USA; talking to people about their economic lives: card by card - issue by issue. Nomi Prins authored a novel, THE TRAIL, under her pseudonym, Natalia Prentice - about intrigue, secrets, and money on Wall Street, in DC and offshore. It was selected to FORBES CEO BOOK CLUB in April, 2008. ItBefore becoming a journalist, Nomi worked on Wall Street as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and running the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Fortune, Newsday, Mother Jones, Slate.com, The Guardian UK, and other publications. Her forthcoming book, to be released this Fall is It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street. And she has a new article in Mother Jones "Flunking the Stress Test--Why the Long-Awaited Results are Meaningless."

Dr. Perrry Link on the 20th anniversary of the Tienanmen massacre, China today and the potential for democracy. Dr. Link was formerly a professor of east Asian studies at Princeton University and currently holds the Chancellorial Chair for Innovative Teaching across Disciplines at the University of California, Riverside, as well as being a professor of camparitive Literature and Foreign Languages at UCR. Dr. Link is known as one of the Western world's foremost experts on China, its langage, culture and people. While at princeton, he edited the "Tiananmen Papers," with Columbia University's Andrew Nathan, a collection of documents leaked by a high-level Chinese official that helped chronicle the events that led up to and followed the pro-reform student protests in June 1989. He has translated many Chinese stories, writings and poems into English. In 1996, China blacklisted Link, and has has been denied entrance ever since. Dr. Link has authored a number of books, including "Evening Chats in Beijing," "The Uses of Literature: Life in the Socialist Chinese Literary System" and "Banyan: Notes of a Semi-Foreigner."

Kirby Dick on hypocrisy among the GOP regarding homosexuality. Mr. Dick is an Academy Award nominated documentary film director whose works include "This Film is Not Yet Rated," "Twist of Faith" and "Derrida." He is a graduate from the film and video program at California Institute of the Arts. His new film is "Outrage," which has just opened to rave reviews and is described as a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians with appalling gay rights voting records who actively campaign against the lgbt community they covertly belong to. The film reveal the hidden lives of some of America's most powerful policymakers and takes a comprehensive look at the harm they've inflicted on millions of American. The film also examines the media's complicity in keeping their secrets. In "outrage," openly gay democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts explains that his Repuplican colleagues have "a right to privacy, but no right to hypocrisy"

May 3rd, 2009
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Scott Horton on former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent conversation with Standford students regarding torture. Mr. Horton is a writer, analyst, legal expert and attorney known for his work in international law, human rights and the law of armed conflict. Scott Horton served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union. He was hired by the Associated Press to represent Bilal Hussein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who was detained without charges by the US military for over a year. He is a professor at Columbia Law School and co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has also been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association. He is the author of over 100 articles and is a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security. His Harpers weblog, No Comment, is highly regarded and covers a wide range of matters from American law and politics to international affairs.

Robert Baer on the Bush torture regime. Mr. Baer spent twenty years running agents from inside the CIA s Directorate of Operations, from 1976 to 1997, working against Hizballah, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations. He is considered by Seymour Hersh as "perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer ever to serve in the Middle East." Robert Baer is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Sleeping with the Devil, about the Saudi royal family and its relationship with the United States; and See No Evil, which recounts Baer's years as a top CIA operative. See No Evil was the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana, which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Mr. Baer. Robert Baer writes regularly for Time.com and has contributed to Vanity Fair, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the Middle East. His most recent book is "The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower."

Barry Zigas on the failure of the Senate in a recent vote to help homeowners. Mr. Zigas is Director of Housing Policy at the Consumer Federation of America. Mr. Zigas has more than 30 years of experience in housing, community and economic development, including as a Senior Vice President at Fannie Mae and leading the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a national nonprofit advocacy organization. He helped create innovations such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the HOME program, and affordable single family mortgage products that have helped to significantly expand affordable homeownership and rental housing opportunities for low and moderate income Americans. He is a Trustee of Enterprise Community Partners, and serves on the boards of Mercy Housing, Inc, the National Housing Trust, and the National Housing Conference

April 26th, 2009
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Robert Scheer on President Obama's first 100 days, the financial crisis and the use of torture. Mr. Scheer is a journalist, author and columnist, whose work has been published across the country for the past 30 years. Between 1964 and 1969 he was Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor in chief of Ramparts magazine. From 1976 to 1993 he served as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, writing on diverse topics such as the Soviet Union, arms control, national politics and the military. In 1993 he launched a nationally syndicated column based at the Los Angeles Times, where he was named a contributing editor. That column ran weekly for the next 12 years and is now based at the San Francisco Chronicle. Scheer also directs the Privacy Project at the Annenberg School. After leaving the LA Times, Robert Scheer founded Truthdig, a web magazine that provides expert in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as other content assembled from a progressive point of view. Truthdig has won both the juried Webby Award and People s Voice Award in the category of Best Political Blog. Robert Scheer has written eight books, including The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us about Iraq, co-authored with his son Christopher, and Playing President: My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I and Clinton--and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush. His latest book is "The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America," described as "an impassioned call for a new way of thinking about national defense."

Chris Hedges on the ethical malaise in America. Mr. Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. Hedges, who has reported from more than 50 countries, worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, where he spent fifteen years. He was part of the New York Times team that shared the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for global terrorism coverage. His books include "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America, What Every Person Should Know About War, American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America, I Don t Believe in Atheists." His forthcoming book is "Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle," which will be out in July.

April 19th, 2009
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Ambassador Wayne Smith on the recent opernings to a possible future normalization with Cuba. Ambassador Smith is a veteran Cuba-specialist at the Center for International Policy. His interest in Cuba began as an analyst in the Department of State s Bureau of Intelligence and Research in early 1957, just after Castro returned to Cuba to begin his guerrilla struggle against Batista. He was then transferred to Havana, arriving there in August of 1958 and remaining as Third Secretary of Political Affairs until the U.S. broke diplomatic relations in January of 1961. He served on the Cuba Desk from 1964-66 and was with the first group of American diplomats to return to Cuba in 1977. From 1977 until 1979, he was director of Cuba Affairs in the Department of State, and then became chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana until 1982, when he left the Foreign Service because of his disagreements with policy. Since then, he was been an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University involved with its Cuba Exchange Program, and since 1992, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. where he directs its Cuba Program. He is the author of The Closest of Enemies: A Personal and Diplomatic History of the Castro Years.

Mike Chinoy on North Korea. Mr. Chinoy is the Edgerton Fellow on Korean Security at the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles. Until 2006, he was a foreign correspondent for CNN, largely in Asia, and made numerous visits to North Korea over the course of nearly two decades. He is the recipient of many broadcast journalism awards, including Emmy, Peabody, and Dupont Awards. He is the author of Meltdown: the Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis, recently published by St. Martin's Press.

Mark Potok on the recent Department of Homeland Security report indicating that economic hard times may push some in the US towards right-wing extremism. Mr. Potok is director of the Southern Poverty Law Center s Intelligence Project and editor of its award-winning, quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report. Mr. Potok leads one of the most highly regarded operations monitoring the extreme right in the world today. In addition to editing the magazine and the Hatewatch blog, Potok acts as a key spokesman for the SPLC, a well-known civil rights organization based in Alabama, and has testified before the Senate, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights and in other venues. Before coming to the SPLC in 1997, Potok spent almost 20 years as an award-winning reporter at newspapers including USA Today, the Dallas Times Herald and The Miami Herald. While at USA Today, he covered the 1993 siege in Waco, the rise of militias, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of Timothy McVeigh.

interviewed with

Marcia Mitchell is the co-author, with her husband Tom, of "The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katherine Gun and the Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion." Marcia Mitchell is a former associate director of the American Film Institute here in Hollywood and a former senior executive for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She began her career as a journalist, and has received national press awards for writing, editing and photography. She has testified on the Katharine Gun case before a prestigious Capitol Hill panel, and has written numerous articles about the case and its place in the run-up to the Iraq War. With her husband Tom, a former FBI agent, Marcia also wrote The Spy Who Seduced America; Lies and Betrayal in the Heat of the Cold War, a non-fiction work named Counterintelligence Book of the Year for 2002. Both of the Mitchell books are being adapted for the screen.

April 12th, 2009
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Dr. Said Sheikh Samatar on the Somalian pirates. Dr. Samatar is Professor of African history at Rutgers University and the editor-in-chief of the independent journal "Horn of Africa." He has published 40 articles and six books on Somalia, including his most recent, "Somalia: a Nation in Turmoil."

Lawrence Korb on President Obama's military budget. Lawrence 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.

Katherine Gunn on her attempt to stop the Iraq war. Ms. Gun is a former British secret service officer at the ultra-secret GCHQ, Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham, England. In February of 2003, she was arrested for leaking an illegal United States spy operation against members of the UN Security Council. Her arrest and the case against her created a media firestorm around the world, except in the U.S., which remained silent about the NSA operation. She has received numerous international honors for her efforts for peace, and has become a prominent anti-war spokesperson. Academy Award Winning actor Sean Penn says of Katharine that what she did was, An act of conscience in a world where nobody celebrates that. She will go down in history as a hero of the human spirit. Daniel Ellsberg says that what Katharine did was, The most important and courageous leak I ve ever seen, more timely and potentially more effective than the Pentagon Papers." Her powerful story is told in the recent book, "The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katherine Gun and the Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion," authored by Marcia Mitchell and Tom Mitchell.

interviewed with

Marcia Mitchell is the co-author, with her husband Tom, of "The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katherine Gun and the Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion." Marcia Mitchell is a former associate director of the American Film Institute here in Hollywood and a former senior executive for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She began her career as a journalist, and has received national press awards for writing, editing and photography. She has testified on the Katharine Gun case before a prestigious Capitol Hill panel, and has written numerous articles about the case and its place in the run-up to the Iraq War. With her husband Tom, a former FBI agent, Marcia also wrote The Spy Who Seduced America; Lies and Betrayal in the Heat of the Cold War, a non-fiction work named Counterintelligence Book of the Year for 2002. Both of the Mitchell books are being adapted for the screen.
 

April 5th, 2009
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Dr. William K. Black on the fraudulent core of the world financial crisis. Dr. Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). He teaches White-Collar Crime, Public Finance, Antitrust, Law & Economics He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He was formerly litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and Senior Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement. Professor Black developed the concept of control fraud frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a weapon. Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined and kill and maim thousands. He recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae s former senior management. Nobel prize winner George Akerlof called his book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, a classic. Robert Kuttner, in his Business Week column, proclaimed: Black's book shows how dishonest CEOs, crony directors, and corrupt middlemen can systematically defeat market discipline and conceal deliberate fraud for a long time -- enough to create massive damage. Professor Black was featured on last Friday's Bill Moyer's Journal. This is an extended interview.

Dan Neil is an automotive columnist for the Los Angeles Times, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2004. The Pulitzer board praised his: "one of a kind reviews of automobiles, blending technical expertise with offbeat humor and astutue cultural criticism." Prior to coming to the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Neil wrote for the New York Times, Autoweek magazine Car and Driver, among others. Besides the Pulitzer prize, Dan Neil has also won the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, from the International Motor Press Association, 2001. His work was selected for Houghton Mifflin's Best American Sports Writing, 2002.

March 29th, 2009

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Dr. Joseph Stiglitz on the world's economy, the G20 and related. Dr. Stiglitz is a world-renowned economist, Nobel prize winner, author and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. He also chairs the University of Manchester's Brooks World Poverty Institute and is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. Dr. Stiglitz's book Globalization and Its Discontents has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than one million copies worldwide. Other books include Making Globalization Work and , is "The Three Trillion Doillar War: the True Cost of the Iraq Conflict," co-authored with Linda Bilmes. He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free-market economists (whom he calls "free market fundamentalists") and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Matt Taibbi on the "cash for trash" AIG bailouts, and matters related. Matt Taibbi is an investigative journalist, political writer, author and winner of the National Magazine Award for his writing at Rolling Stone, in which his column "Road Rage" appears. He is well-known for his coverage of the 2004 and 2008 US presidential elections, and for his former editorial positions at newspapers the eXile, the New York Press, and the Beast. Matt Taibbi is the author of several books, including "Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire," "Spanking the Donkey: Dispatches from the Dumb Season" and "The Exile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia." His most recent book, a bestseller, was "The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics and Religtion at the Twilight of the American Empire." He has a new piece in Rolling Stone, which has attracted wide attention, entitled " The Big Takeover: The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution ." He also authored a response to AIG exec Jake DeSantis' NY Times letter asking for sympathy and understanding for the infamous insurance company, describing it as "a sick joke."

Dr. Pamela Starr on the destabilization of Mexico. Dr. Starr is associate director of the USC Latin America Initiative, a senior fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, and a senior lecturer in Public Diplomacy and the School of International Relations, where she focuses on the politics, economy and foreign policy of contemporary Mexico, and more broadly the politics of economic policy-making across Latin America. A member of the Pacific Council on National Policy, she was previously with the Eurasia Group, one of the world's leading global political risk advisory and consulting firms, where she was senior analyst responsible for Mexico. Prior to that, she spent eight years in Mexico as a professor of Latin American political economy at the Instituto Tecnol gico Aut nomo de M xico (ITAM), a private university in Mexico City. Dr. Starr has held research positions in Argentina and Brazil and at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC. Dr. Starr serves on the editorial board of Foreign Affairs en Espa ol, is an associate of the Inter-American Dialogue, and is an active member of the Latin American Studies Association and the American Political Science Association.

March 22nd, 2009
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Dr. Michael Hudson on America's financial meltdown, and President Obama's management of it. Dr. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world s first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City, he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire and The Myth of Aid. He is currently in Germany and on his way to Iceland to consult on that country's economic meltdown.

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy on the state of affairs in Pakistan. Dr. Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad where has taught for over 35 years. He holds a Ph.D in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the recipient of the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics, the Baker Award for Electronics, Faiz Ahmad Faiz Prize for contributions to education in Pakistan, and the UNESCO 2003 Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. He is a member of the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists. Dr Hoodbhoy is involved in social issues as well, such as: women's rights, environment, education, and nuclear disarmament. He is author of "Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality", now in seven languages. He has produced and directed several documentary films that have been widely viewed on national television which deal with political, nuclear, and scientific matters. We speak to Dr. Hoodbhoy in Pakistan.

Jahan Salehi on President Obama's overture to Iran. Mr. Salehi was born in Iran, raised and educated in the United States. As a freelance photo-journalist in the late 1970's he has traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Formerly the Managing Director of European Operations of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, he is currently International Director of Agence Global, and international media agency, which has correspondents, specialists and analysts covering regions all over the world, including Iran, supplying analysis and commentary to numerous publications in many countries.

March 15th, 2009

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Dr. Charles Kupchan on how America's economic meltdown has affected relations with Europe. Dr. Kupchan is Professor of International Affairs in the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University. He is also Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. During 2006-2007, he held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress and was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Kupchan was Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the first Clinton administration. He is the author of a number of books, including How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace (forthcoming), The End of the America Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century (2002), and Power in Transition: The Peaceful Change of International Order, and numerous articles on international and strategic affairs. Kupchan was educated Harvard University and Oxford University. He has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University s Center for International Affairs, Columbia University s Institute for War and Peace Studies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and the Centre d Etude et de Recherches Internationales in Paris, and the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo.

Sam Quinones on the destabilization of Mexico. Mr. Quinones is an author and journalist who has been called "the most original American writer on the border and Mexico out there" by The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. He reports for the Los Angeles Times, covering Mexico, immigration-related stories and gangs. Sam Quinones spent 10 years (1994-2004) living in Mexico as a freelance writer, and is the author of two non-fiction books about Mexico. His first book, True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx (University of New Mexico Press, 2001), is a collection of non-fiction stories about contemporary Mexico that grew from his reporting on the country. His second book of non-fiction stories, Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration, was published in 2007. In 1998, he was awarded an Alicia Patterson Fellowship, one of the most prestigious fellowships in U.S. print journalism, for a series of stories on impunity in Mexico including one about a lynching in a small town. His recent reporting on Mexico for the Times "MEXICO UNDER FIRE" is available at LATIMES.COM.

Max Blumenthal on the Ambassador Freeman controversy. Max Blumenthal is an award winning journalist and videographer whose work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, The American Prospect the Washington Monthly, The Daily Beast and other publications. He is a fellow at the Nation Institute and a Senior Writer for The Daily Beast. His blog is maxblumenthal.com. For the past six years he has covered right-wing political movements in America. His YouTube videos have received hundreds of thousands of hits. His forthcoming book is Republican Gomorrah: Inside the movement the Party. He has been covering the controversy surrounding the appointment of Ambassador Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council.

interviewed with:

Paul Woodward on the Freeman affair. Mr. Woodward is an independent journalist and analyst who has been covering America's involvement in the Middle East through his highly regarded website, warincontext.org. His areas of concern are the Bush administration's disastrous foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, with a special focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His analysis states that America's foreign policy apparatus and mainstream media have been constrained by the Israel lobby. He is on the advisory board of Conflicts Forum, an organization based in Beirut and Washington DC that is helping facilitate political engagement between Islamic organizations and Western governments. He is also an online journalist for an English-language newspaper in the Gulf.

March 8th, 2009

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Robert Weissman on how Wall Street bought off law-makers to remove the regulations that produced our economic disaster. Mr. Weissman is the editor of Multinational Monitor magazine and Director of Essential Action, a non-profit corporate accountability group based in Washington, D.C.. He is the co-author, with Russell Mokhiber, of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy. He is editor of a weekly column, also with Mokhiber, called Focus on the Corporation. His writing appears in a number of publications, including The Huffington Post, Counterpunch, Alternet and elsewhere. He is the lead author of a major new report entitled "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America." This report, available at wallstreetwatch.org, documents how the financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influency purchasing in Washington over the past decade, and showing how the purchasing of legislative influence led to a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that directly led to the financial meltdown.

John Dean on Bush's Office of Legal Council memos which gave him dictatorial powers. Mr. Dean became Counsel to the President of the United States Richard Nixon in July 1970 at age thirty-one. Prior to that, John Dean was Chief Minority Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, the Associate Director of a law reform commission, and Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Today, John Dean is a best-selling author who writes on the law, government, and politics. He recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in two books, Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982). He has authored 8 books in total, including the best-sellers "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," "Conservatives Without Conscience" and "Broken Government: How Republican Rule destroyed the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches." His latest, co-authored with Barry M. Goldwater is "Pure Goldwater." He has just published an article at FindLaw.com entitled Beyond the Pale: The Newly-Released, Indefensible Office of Legal Counsel Terror Memos.

Dr. Robert Johnson on the banking crisis. Dr. Johnson is an economist who was previously a managing director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to the time Dr. Johnson was a managing director of Bankers Trust Company. Dr. Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire and before that Senior Economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici. Robert Johnson received Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute and the Institute for America's Future. In 2007-8 He was an executive producer of Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar Winning Documentary produced and Directed by Alex Gibney. He has recently been speaking out on the subject of bank nationalization and was recently featured on Bill Moyers Journal.

March 8th, 2009

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Robert Weissmn on how Wall Street bought off law-makers to remove the regulations that produced our economic disaster. Mr. Weissman is the editor of Multinational Monitor magazine and Director of Essential Action, a non-profit corporate accountability group based in Washington, D.C.. He is the co-author, with Russell Mokhiber, of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy. He is editor of a weekly column, also with Mokhiber, called Focus on the Corporation. His writing appears in a number of publications, including The Huffington Post, Counterpunch, Alternet and elsewhere. He is the lead author of a major new report entitled "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America." This report, available at wallstreetwatch.org, documents how the financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influency purchasing in Washington over the past decade, and showing how the purchasing of legislative influence led to a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that directly led to the financial meltdown.

John Dean on Bush's Office of Legal Council memos which gave him dictatorial powers. Mr. Dean became Counsel to the President of the United States Richard Nixon in July 1970 at age thirty-one. Prior to that, John Dean was Chief Minority Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, the Associate Director of a law reform commission, and Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Today, John Dean is a best-selling author who writes on the law, government, and politics. He recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in two books, Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982). He has authored 8 books in total, including the best-sellers "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," "Conservatives Without Conscience" and "Broken Government: How Republican Rule destroyed the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches." His latest, co-authored with Barry M. Goldwater is "Pure Goldwater." He has just published an article at FindLaw.com entitled Beyond the Pale: The Newly-Released, Indefensible Office of Legal Counsel Terror Memos.

Dr. Robert Johnson on the banking crisis. Dr. Johnson is an economist who was previously a managing director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to the time Dr. Johnson was a managing director of Bankers Trust Company. Dr. Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire and before that Senior Economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici. Robert Johnson received Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute and the Institute for America's Future. In 2007-8 He was an executive producer of Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar Winning Documentary produced and Directed by Alex Gibney. He has recently been speaking out on the subject of bank nationalization and was recently featured on Bill Moyers Journal.

March 1st , 2009

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Steve Ellis on Obama's budget. Mr. Ellis is Vice President of programs at Taxpayers for Common Sense, where he oversees programs and serves as a leading media and legislative spokesperson. A persistent critic of the mounting budget deficit and federal fiscal policy, Steve has testified before numerous Congressional Committees and has appeared on national network news programs, including programs on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN. Taxpayers for Common Sense is a non-partisan watchdog group, focusing on budget issues, devoted to ending earmarks, corporate welfare and holding decision makers accountable.

Robert Dreyfuss on the state of affairs in Iraq and the intrigue behind the appointment of Ambassador Chas Freeman to the National Intelligence Council. Mr. Dreyfuss is an investigative journalist based in Alexandria, Virginia, specializing in politics and national security. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, a Nation contributing editor, and is a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, The American Prospect, and Mother Jones. He has a new piece in the Nation on hopeful signs of an emerging nation in Iraq, and covered the battle behind the appoint of Ambassador Chas Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council.

Dr. Michael Klare on the precarious state of the world. Dr. Klare is a Five Colleges professor of Peace and World Security Studies, located at Hampshire College. He is a journalist and the author of thirteen books. His recent book is Resource Wars and Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency and his latest book is Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: the New Geopolitics of Energy, soon to be published in a new paperback edition. Klare also teaches at Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Klare also serves on the boards of directors of Human Rights Watch, and the Arms Control Association. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, for which he is the Defense correspondent, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, Foreign Policy In Focus and others. He has a new article at Salon.com, entitled "We're on the Brink of Disaster."

February 15th, 2009

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Dr. David Korten on the economy. Dr. Korten is a journalist, author, analyst and economist. He is the chairman of the board of YES! Magazine and co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, founded in late 2008 with the Institute for Policy Studies. He is the founder and president of the People-Centered Development Forum; a founding associate of the International Forum on Globalization; a board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies; and a member of the Social Ventures Network. He holds MBA and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford Business School and has thirty years experience as a development professional in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In addition, he has been a Harvard Business School professor, a captain in the US Air Force, a Ford Foundation Project Specialist, and a regional adviser to the US Agency for International Development. His books include the international best-seller When Corporations Rule the World; The Post-Corporate World: Life after Capitalism. and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. His latest book, just published, is Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth.

Tom Ricks on the Iraq war. Mr. Ricks is a Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist and author who has covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post since 2000. Until the end of 1999 he had the same beat at the Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for 17 years. He has reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. Ricks lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University's Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. Ricks is author of the bestselling Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq as well as Making the Corps and A Soldier's Duty. His most recent book, a follow-up to Fiasco, is entitled The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008.

February 8th, 2009

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Will Bunch on his book about Ronald Reagan, "Tear Down This Myth." Mr. Bunch is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author. His numerous articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, American Prospect, American Journalism Review and elsewhere. He is senior writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and author of its popular blog, Attytood. He also blogs at the Huffington Post. His new book is Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future, which examines the calculated effort by the modern right wing to canonize the 40th president, and how that's harmed America on everything from runaway debt to failed energy policies to unchecked greed on Wall Street.

Greg Mitchell on his book about the election of Barack Obama. Mr. Mitchell is the editor of Editor & Publisher, the journal of the newspaper business which has won several major awards for its coverage of Iraq and the media. He has written nine books, including Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton) and The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics, and his articles have appeared in dozens of leading newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. He blogs for Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo and has a regular column at Editor and Publisher.com. His recent book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed in Iraq was acclaimed by critics and commentators, such as Bill Moyers. It included a preface by Bruce Springsteen and a foreword by war reporter Joseph L. Galloway. His new book, just published, is "Why Obama Won: the Making of a President 2008," the first book exploring the 2008 campaign and its aftermath from a "liberal" perspective. Why Obama Won focuses on new media vs. old media, grassroots vs. GOP, lessons for the future, and all of the controversies and conflicts -- from Jeremiah the Preacher to Joe the Plumber. Steven Hart of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting says, "Every copy sold will make Ann Coulter cry." Will Bunch says of "Why Obama Won," "a great account of how the media -- old and new -- covered a presidential race that will go down in the history books for forever changing the ways that candidates and voters connect."
 

February 1st, 2009

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Dr. Richard Parker on the economy, stimulus package and bailout. Dr. Parker teaches economics and public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he's also Senior Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. An Oxford-trained macroeconomist, he writes frequently for newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, The Nation, American Prospect, Foreign Affairs, Le Monde, International Herald Tribune, and the Times of London. His most recent book is the award-winning intellectual biography of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, entitled "John Kenneth Galbraith: his life, his politics, his economics." In it, he traces not only the life and career of America's most famous and most widely read economist, but the complex and often subtle interaction of politics, economics, and economic theory since the 1930s. Princeton historian Sean Wilentz called the book "the best progressive history I've read in twenty years." Parker has worked in journalism, politics, and the private sector. He's a cofounder of Mother Jones, former managing editor of Ramparts, and currently serves on the editorial board of The Nation. He's also been a political advisor to Presidential candidate George McGovern and senators Ron Dellums, Edward Kennedy and John Glenn among others. In the early 1980s, he helped build Greenpeace from 2,000 to 600,000 members, helped Norman Lear launch People for the American Way, as well as working with the Sierra Club, the ACLU and others.

Dr. Harley Shaiken on the fate of auto workers in the climate of financial chaos. Dr. Shaiken is Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He also also shares an appointment with the program in Social and Cultural Studies in the Graduate School of Education. He studies labor and globalization, with a focus on auto manufacturing.

Pierre Sprey on the folly of President Obama's plans to escalate in Afghanistan. Mr. Sprey is a veteran high-tech defense weapons and systems designer, as well as a high regarded producer of avant-garde jazz and other genre recordings. Mr. Sprey was the primary designer of two key Air Force warplances -- the F-16 fighter and the A-10 ground attack jet. He left the Pentagon in 1986, he said, because "it became increasingly obvious that the atmosphere at the Pentagon was such that it would be impossible to build another honest aircraft." He is the owner of Maple Shade Records, and enjoyed considerable success when one of his recordings was used by Kanye West in the mega-hit "Jesus Walks." He recently appeared on Bill Moyers' PBS television program, discussing the possibility that Afghanistan will be "Obama's Vietnam," a theme echoed recently in an article by Dr. Juan Cole in Salon and which is this week's Newsweek cover story in an article by Fareek Zakaria.

January 25th, 2009

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Michael Lind on a new vision for the relationship between the citizen and the government in America. Mr. Lind is the Whitehead Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author of a number of books, including Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics and What Lincoln Believed. His book The American Way of Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life was critically hailed as a ground-breaking study of America's relationship with the world. Mr. Lind has been an editor or staff writer for The New Yorker, Harper s Magazine, and The New Republic. Mr. Lind has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Prospect (U.K.), The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, and other leading publications. In a just published series of three articles published at Salon.com, Michael Lind envisions "A New Contract with the American Citizen," which envisions an America transformed by the Obama presidency, with sweeping moderization, a citizen's economic Bill of Rights with national healthcare, and an America devoted to cooperation, peace and diplomacy which does not engage in "wars of choice."

James Bamford on new revelations about Bush's domestic spying and a PBS NOVA special "The Spy Factory." James Bamford is an acclaimed journalist specializing in national security issues. He is the author of the bestselling books "Body of Secrets," "The Puzzle Palace" and "A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies." His writing includes investigative cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. His reporting in Rolling Stone, entitled "The Man Who Sold the War," won the 2005 National Magazine Award. His latest book is entitled "The Shadow Factory: inside the ultra-secret NSA, from 9/11 to spying on America." Mr. Bamford and his breakthrough reporting are featured in a major PBS NOVA Documentary, airing on February 3, entitled "The Spy Factory." The PBS special will air just as new information is breaking on the extent of domestic spying done by the Bush administration. In the last week, former NSA analyst Russell Tice went public with new information, saying journalists and politicians were targeted. Senator Jay Rockefeller not only affirmed the information as credible, but said he believed he may have been spied on.

Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer on the disturbing deaths of critics, dissidents and their supporters in Russia. Dr. Felgenhauer is a Moscow-based defense analyst, columnist and journalist. He previously served as researcher and senior research officer in the Soviet Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and received his Ph.D. from the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1988. Dr. Felgenhauer has published numerous articles on topics dealing with Russian foreign and defense policies, military doctrine, arms trade and the Russian military-industrial complex. In the early '90's, he wrote for Moscow's Nezavisimaya Gazeta, as Defense Analyst and Defense Correspondent. He was later a member of the editorial board and Chief Defense Correspondent for a Moscow daily Sevodnya. Since May 1994, till Oct. 2005 Felgenhauer has published a regular column on defense in the English language local daily The Moscow Times. In July 2006 after being more than six years an independent defense analyst Felgenhauer joined the staff of Novaya Gazeta. Felgenhauer's regular commentary on Russia appears in many other local and international publications.

January 18th, 2009

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Ron Suskind on the legacy of out-going President George W. Bush. Mr. Suskind is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, whose coverage and analysis of the Bush administration has been acclaimed for its unique insight. Suskind was the senior national-affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1993 to 2000. He is currently a distinguished visiting scholar at Dartmouth and writes for various national publications, including the New York Times Magazine and Esquire. In 2004, two-weeks before the November election, Ron Suskind published, in the New York Times Magazine, what is now recognized as perhaps the seminal article on the inner workings and psychology of the Bush adminstration, entitled "Without a Doubt: Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush." He is the author of a number of books, including the best-sellers "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill" and "The One Per-Cent Doctrine." His latest book is "The Way of the World." In this time of legacy and reflection over the past eight years, Suskind has developed a kind of Unified Field Theory of the Bush administration, which purports that the same Bush/Cheney ideology that led to war and ruined America's strategic position internationally is also the central factor which has led to financial catastrophe and devastated America's standing in world's economy.

Alexander Thier on the future of Afghanistan and of America's involvement there. Mr. Thier a senior adviser in the Rule of Law Center of Innovation at the US Institue of Peace. He is director of the project on Constitution Making, Peacebuilding, and National Reconciliation, expert group lead for the Genocide Prevention Task Force and director of the Future of Afghanistan Project. He is also responsible for several rule of law programs in Afghanistan, including a project on establishing relations between Afghanistan's formal and informal justice systems. Before joining USIP in 2005, Thier was the director of the Project on Failed States at Stanford University s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. From 2002 to 2004, Thier was legal adviser to Afghanistan s Constitutional and Judicial Reform Commissions in Kabul, where he assisted in the development of a new constitution and judicial system. Mr. Thier has authored or co-authored a number of publications, with the most recent being "The Future of Afghanistan."

Dr. Trita Parsi on the charge that Iran backs the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah. Dr. Parsi is president and founder of the National Iranian American Council, whose writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian, Haaretz, The Forward, Huffington Post and The Nation. Dr. Trita Parsi worked for the Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, where he served in the Security Council and handled affairs for Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikistan and Western Sahara. He also served in the General Assembly's Third Committee addressing human rights in Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq. His most recent book is "Treacherous Alliances: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States." This book was awarded the silver medal in the Council on Foreign Relations prestigious Arthur Ross Book Award, considered the "the most significant award for a book on international affairs." According to the jury, This unique and important book takes a closer look at the complicated triangular relations between Israel, Iran, and the United States that continue to shape the future of the Middle East.
 

January 11th, 2009

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Robert Baer on President-Elect Obama's recent appointments to intelligence posts. Mr. Baer spent twenty years running agents from inside the CIA s Directorate of Operations, from 1976 to 1997, working against Hizballah, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations. He is considered by Seymour Hersh as "perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer ever to serve in the Middle East." Robert Baer is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Sleeping with the Devil, about the Saudi royal family and its relationship with the United States; and See No Evil, which recounts Baer's years as a top CIA operative. See No Evil was the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana, which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Mr. Baer. Robert Baer writes regularly for Time.com and has contributed to Vanity Fair, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the Middle East. His most recent book is "The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower."

Uri Avnery on an Israeli perspective on the Gaza siege. Mr. Avnery is an Israeli journalist, author, the founder and leader of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc), one of Israel's leading peace groups, and a former member of the Knesset. He belonged to the Revisionist Zionist movement involved in the founding of Israel, having made aliyah, emigrating to the region that would become the State of Israel, in 1933. He joined the paramilitary group, the Irgun at age 15 and left several years later after becoming disenchanted with their tactics, which he described as terrorist. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Avnery was a fighter in the Samson's Foxes commando unit. He wrote a book about the war, called In the Fields of Philistia. During the 1950s and the 1960s Avnery was co-publisher and editor of a weekly magazine, which was for many years Israel's leading alternative-media publication. In 1965 Avnery was elected to the Knesset, serving a total of 3 terms. He is a devout secularist and is strongly opposed to the Orthodox influence in religious and political life. His frequent commentaries are distributed internationally and he has been outspoken against Israel's recent siege of Gaza.

interviewed with:

Avi Schlaim is a dual Israeli-British citizen, a Fellow of St. Anthony's College and a professor of international relations at Oxford university. He was born in Baghdad, grew up in Israel, served in the Israeli Defense Force, and studied at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2006. He is a key member of a group of Israeli scholars known as the New Historians who put forward critical interpretations of the history of Zionism and Israel. His books include The Politics of Partition; War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History; and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. His latest book, published last November, is Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace. Shlaim's approach to the study of history is informed by his belief that "The job of the historian is to judge." He has just published a commentary in the Guardian which has drawn international attention.

January 4th, 2009

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Dr. Moustafa Barghouti on the siege of Gaza. Dr. Barghouti is a medical doctor and President of the Palestinian National Initiative, a democratic opposition movement. He was a candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005, finishing second after Mahmoud Abbas. In 1979, Barghouti founded the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, a non-governmental organization which provides health care and related services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He continues to serve as the Union's president. In 1989, Barghouti was one of the founders of the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute, a think tank representing an alliance of 90 Palestinian community organizations. In June 2002, Barghouti, Edward Said and others established the Palestinian National Initiative, which was an attempt to build a reformist, inclusive alternative to both the established Palestinian Liberation Organization and to Islamic militant groups such as Hamas. Barghouti currently serves as the Initiative's general secretary. Barghouti was newly elected to a seat on the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006.

Gershom Gorenberg on the siege of Gaza. Mr. Gorenberg is an internationally acclaimed author and journalist based in Israel. His book The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount was described by the Washington Post as "a clear-eyed and compelling account of the messianists, would-be prophets, and adventurers who have fixed their sights on Jerusalem's holy places." His previous book, "Shalom, Friend: the Life and Legacy of Yitzhak Rabin" is considered to be a definitive biography of the fallen Israeli leader, who was slain by Israeli settler extremist. His new book is "The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements. Publishers' weekley said of this book: "An essential guide to understanding Israel's own contribution to its current tragic pass." And Booklist says, "this is a timely, vital and riveting analysis of how the current territorial and ethnic Gordian knot developed."

Scott Horton on holding the Bush administration accountable. Mr. Horton is a writer, analyst and attorney known for his work in international law, human rights and the law of armed conflict. Scott Horton served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union. He was hired by the Associated Press to represent Bilal Hussein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who was detained without charges by the US military for over a year. He is a professor at Columbia Law School and co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has also been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association. He is the author of over 100 articles and is a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security. His Harpers weblog, No Comment, is highly regarded and a wide range of matters from American law and politics to international affairs.

March 22nd, 2009
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Dr. Michael Hudson on America's financial meltdown, and President Obama's management of it. Dr. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world s first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City, he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire and The Myth of Aid. He is currently in Germany and on his way to Iceland to consult on that country's economic meltdown.

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy on the state of affairs in Pakistan. Dr. Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad where has taught for over 35 years. He holds a Ph.D in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the recipient of the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics, the Baker Award for Electronics, Faiz Ahmad Faiz Prize for contributions to education in Pakistan, and the UNESCO 2003 Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. He is a member of the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists. Dr Hoodbhoy is involved in social issues as well, such as: women's rights, environment, education, and nuclear disarmament. He is author of "Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality", now in seven languages. He has produced and directed several documentary films that have been widely viewed on national television which deal with political, nuclear, and scientific matters. We speak to Dr. Hoodbhoy in Pakistan.

Jahan Salehi on President Obama's overture to Iran. Mr. Salehi was born in Iran, raised and educated in the United States. As a freelance photo-journalist in the late 1970's he has traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Formerly the Managing Director of European Operations of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, he is currently International Director of Agence Global, and international media agency, which has correspondents, specialists and analysts covering regions all over the world, including Iran, supplying analysis and commentary to numerous publications in many countries.

March 15th, 2009
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Dr. Charles Kupchan on how America's economic meltdown has affected relations with Europe. Dr. Kupchan is Professor of International Affairs in the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University. He is also Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. During 2006-2007, he held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress and was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Kupchan was Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the first Clinton administration. He is the author of a number of books, including How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace (forthcoming), The End of the America Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century (2002), and Power in Transition: The Peaceful Change of International Order, and numerous articles on international and strategic affairs. Kupchan was educated Harvard University and Oxford University. He has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University s Center for International Affairs, Columbia University s Institute for War and Peace Studies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and the Centre d Etude et de Recherches Internationales in Paris, and the Institute for International Policy Studies in Tokyo.

Sam Quinones on the destabilization of Mexico. Mr. Quinones is an author and journalist who has been called "the most original American writer on the border and Mexico out there" by The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. He reports for the Los Angeles Times, covering Mexico, immigration-related stories and gangs. Sam Quinones spent 10 years (1994-2004) living in Mexico as a freelance writer, and is the author of two non-fiction books about Mexico. His first book, True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx (University of New Mexico Press, 2001), is a collection of non-fiction stories about contemporary Mexico that grew from his reporting on the country. His second book of non-fiction stories, Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration, was published in 2007. In 1998, he was awarded an Alicia Patterson Fellowship, one of the most prestigious fellowships in U.S. print journalism, for a series of stories on impunity in Mexico including one about a lynching in a small town. His recent reporting on Mexico for the Times "MEXICO UNDER FIRE" is available at LATIMES.COM.

Max Blumenthal on the Ambassador Freeman controversy. Max Blumenthal is an award winning journalist and videographer whose work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, The American Prospect the Washington Monthly, The Daily Beast and other publications. He is a fellow at the Nation Institute and a Senior Writer for The Daily Beast. His blog is maxblumenthal.com. For the past six years he has covered right-wing political movements in America. His YouTube videos have received hundreds of thousands of hits. His forthcoming book is Republican Gomorrah: Inside the movement the Party. He has been covering the controversy surrounding the appointment of Ambassador Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council.

interviewed with:

Paul Woodward on the Freeman affair. Mr. Woodward is an independent journalist and analyst who has been covering America's involvement in the Middle East through his highly regarded website, warincontext.org. His areas of concern are the Bush administration's disastrous foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, with a special focus on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His analysis states that America's foreign policy apparatus and mainstream media have been constrained by the Israel lobby. He is on the advisory board of Conflicts Forum, an organization based in Beirut and Washington DC that is helping facilitate political engagement between Islamic organizations and Western governments. He is also an online journalist for an English-language newspaper in the Gulf.

March 8th, 2009

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Robert Weissman on how Wall Street bought off law-makers to remove the regulations that produced our economic disaster. Mr. Weissman is the editor of Multinational Monitor magazine and Director of Essential Action, a non-profit corporate accountability group based in Washington, D.C.. He is the co-author, with Russell Mokhiber, of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy. He is editor of a weekly column, also with Mokhiber, called Focus on the Corporation. His writing appears in a number of publications, including The Huffington Post, Counterpunch, Alternet and elsewhere. He is the lead author of a major new report entitled "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America." This report, available at wallstreetwatch.org, documents how the financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influency purchasing in Washington over the past decade, and showing how the purchasing of legislative influence led to a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that directly led to the financial meltdown.

John Dean on Bush's Office of Legal Council memos which gave him dictatorial powers. Mr. Dean became Counsel to the President of the United States Richard Nixon in July 1970 at age thirty-one. Prior to that, John Dean was Chief Minority Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, the Associate Director of a law reform commission, and Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Today, John Dean is a best-selling author who writes on the law, government, and politics. He recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in two books, Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982). He has authored 8 books in total, including the best-sellers "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," "Conservatives Without Conscience" and "Broken Government: How Republican Rule destroyed the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches." His latest, co-authored with Barry M. Goldwater is "Pure Goldwater." He has just published an article at FindLaw.com entitled Beyond the Pale: The Newly-Released, Indefensible Office of Legal Counsel Terror Memos.

Dr. Robert Johnson on the banking crisis. Dr. Johnson is an economist who was previously a managing director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to the time Dr. Johnson was a managing director of Bankers Trust Company. Dr. Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire and before that Senior Economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici. Robert Johnson received Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute and the Institute for America's Future. In 2007-8 He was an executive producer of Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar Winning Documentary produced and Directed by Alex Gibney. He has recently been speaking out on the subject of bank nationalization and was recently featured on Bill Moyers Journal.

March 8th, 2009

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Robert Weissman on how Wall Street bought off law-makers to remove the regulations that produced our economic disaster. Mr. Weissman is the editor of Multinational Monitor magazine and Director of Essential Action, a non-profit corporate accountability group based in Washington, D.C.. He is the co-author, with Russell Mokhiber, of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy. He is editor of a weekly column, also with Mokhiber, called Focus on the Corporation. His writing appears in a number of publications, including The Huffington Post, Counterpunch, Alternet and elsewhere. He is the lead author of a major new report entitled "Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America." This report, available at wallstreetwatch.org, documents how the financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influency purchasing in Washington over the past decade, and showing how the purchasing of legislative influence led to a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that directly led to the financial meltdown.

John Dean on Bush's Office of Legal Council memos which gave him dictatorial powers. Mr. Dean became Counsel to the President of the United States Richard Nixon in July 1970 at age thirty-one. Prior to that, John Dean was Chief Minority Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, the Associate Director of a law reform commission, and Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Today, John Dean is a best-selling author who writes on the law, government, and politics. He recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate in two books, Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982). He has authored 8 books in total, including the best-sellers "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," "Conservatives Without Conscience" and "Broken Government: How Republican Rule destroyed the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches." His latest, co-authored with Barry M. Goldwater is "Pure Goldwater." He has just published an article at FindLaw.com entitled Beyond the Pale: The Newly-Released, Indefensible Office of Legal Counsel Terror Memos.

Dr. Robert Johnson on the banking crisis. Dr. Johnson is an economist who was previously a managing director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to the time Dr. Johnson was a managing director of Bankers Trust Company. Dr. Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire and before that Senior Economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici. Robert Johnson received Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute and the Institute for America's Future. In 2007-8 He was an executive producer of Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar Winning Documentary produced and Directed by Alex Gibney. He has recently been speaking out on the subject of bank nationalization and was recently featured on Bill Moyers Journal.

March 1st , 2009

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Steve Ellis on Obama's budget. Mr. Ellis is Vice President of programs at Taxpayers for Common Sense, where he oversees programs and serves as a leading media and legislative spokesperson. A persistent critic of the mounting budget deficit and federal fiscal policy, Steve has testified before numerous Congressional Committees and has appeared on national network news programs, including programs on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN. Taxpayers for Common Sense is a non-partisan watchdog group, focusing on budget issues, devoted to ending earmarks, corporate welfare and holding decision makers accountable.

Robert Dreyfuss on the state of affairs in Iraq and the intrigue behind the appointment of Ambassador Chas Freeman to the National Intelligence Council. Mr. Dreyfuss is an investigative journalist based in Alexandria, Virginia, specializing in politics and national security. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, a Nation contributing editor, and is a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, The American Prospect, and Mother Jones. He has a new piece in the Nation on hopeful signs of an emerging nation in Iraq, and covered the battle behind the appoint of Ambassador Chas Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council.

Dr. Michael Klare on the precarious state of the world. Dr. Klare is a Five Colleges professor of Peace and World Security Studies, located at Hampshire College. He is a journalist and the author of thirteen books. His recent book is Resource Wars and Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency and his latest book is Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: the New Geopolitics of Energy, soon to be published in a new paperback edition. Klare also teaches at Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Klare also serves on the boards of directors of Human Rights Watch, and the Arms Control Association. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, for which he is the Defense correspondent, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, Foreign Policy In Focus and others. He has a new article at Salon.com, entitled "We're on the Brink of Disaster."

February 15th, 2009

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Dr. David Korten on the economy. Dr. Korten is a journalist, author, analyst and economist. He is the chairman of the board of YES! Magazine and co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, founded in late 2008 with the Institute for Policy Studies. He is the founder and president of the People-Centered Development Forum; a founding associate of the International Forum on Globalization; a board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies; and a member of the Social Ventures Network. He holds MBA and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford Business School and has thirty years experience as a development professional in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In addition, he has been a Harvard Business School professor, a captain in the US Air Force, a Ford Foundation Project Specialist, and a regional adviser to the US Agency for International Development. His books include the international best-seller When Corporations Rule the World; The Post-Corporate World: Life after Capitalism. and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. His latest book, just published, is Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth.

Tom Ricks on the Iraq war. Mr. Ricks is a Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist and author who has covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post since 2000. Until the end of 1999 he had the same beat at the Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for 17 years. He has reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. Ricks lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University's Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. Ricks is author of the bestselling Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq as well as Making the Corps and A Soldier's Duty. His most recent book, a follow-up to Fiasco, is entitled The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008.

February 8th, 2009

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Will Bunch on his book about Ronald Reagan, "Tear Down This Myth." Mr. Bunch is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author. His numerous articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, American Prospect, American Journalism Review and elsewhere. He is senior writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and author of its popular blog, Attytood. He also blogs at the Huffington Post. His new book is Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future, which examines the calculated effort by the modern right wing to canonize the 40th president, and how that's harmed America on everything from runaway debt to failed energy policies to unchecked greed on Wall Street.

Greg Mitchell on his book about the election of Barack Obama. Mr. Mitchell is the editor of Editor & Publisher, the journal of the newspaper business which has won several major awards for its coverage of Iraq and the media. He has written nine books, including Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton) and The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics, and his articles have appeared in dozens of leading newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. He blogs for Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo and has a regular column at Editor and Publisher.com. His recent book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed in Iraq was acclaimed by critics and commentators, such as Bill Moyers. It included a preface by Bruce Springsteen and a foreword by war reporter Joseph L. Galloway. His new book, just published, is "Why Obama Won: the Making of a President 2008," the first book exploring the 2008 campaign and its aftermath from a "liberal" perspective. Why Obama Won focuses on new media vs. old media, grassroots vs. GOP, lessons for the future, and all of the controversies and conflicts -- from Jeremiah the Preacher to Joe the Plumber. Steven Hart of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting says, "Every copy sold will make Ann Coulter cry." Will Bunch says of "Why Obama Won," "a great account of how the media -- old and new -- covered a presidential race that will go down in the history books for forever changing the ways that candidates and voters connect."
 

February 1st, 2009

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Dr. Richard Parker on the economy, stimulus package and bailout. Dr. Parker teaches economics and public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he's also Senior Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. An Oxford-trained macroeconomist, he writes frequently for newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, The Nation, American Prospect, Foreign Affairs, Le Monde, International Herald Tribune, and the Times of London. His most recent book is the award-winning intellectual biography of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, entitled "John Kenneth Galbraith: his life, his politics, his economics." In it, he traces not only the life and career of America's most famous and most widely read economist, but the complex and often subtle interaction of politics, economics, and economic theory since the 1930s. Princeton historian Sean Wilentz called the book "the best progressive history I've read in twenty years." Parker has worked in journalism, politics, and the private sector. He's a cofounder of Mother Jones, former managing editor of Ramparts, and currently serves on the editorial board of The Nation. He's also been a political advisor to Presidential candidate George McGovern and senators Ron Dellums, Edward Kennedy and John Glenn among others. In the early 1980s, he helped build Greenpeace from 2,000 to 600,000 members, helped Norman Lear launch People for the American Way, as well as working with the Sierra Club, the ACLU and others.

Dr. Harley Shaiken on the fate of auto workers in the climate of financial chaos. Dr. Shaiken is Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He also also shares an appointment with the program in Social and Cultural Studies in the Graduate School of Education. He studies labor and globalization, with a focus on auto manufacturing.

Pierre Sprey on the folly of President Obama's plans to escalate in Afghanistan. Mr. Sprey is a veteran high-tech defense weapons and systems designer, as well as a high regarded producer of avant-garde jazz and other genre recordings. Mr. Sprey was the primary designer of two key Air Force warplances -- the F-16 fighter and the A-10 ground attack jet. He left the Pentagon in 1986, he said, because "it became increasingly obvious that the atmosphere at the Pentagon was such that it would be impossible to build another honest aircraft." He is the owner of Maple Shade Records, and enjoyed considerable success when one of his recordings was used by Kanye West in the mega-hit "Jesus Walks." He recently appeared on Bill Moyers' PBS television program, discussing the possibility that Afghanistan will be "Obama's Vietnam," a theme echoed recently in an article by Dr. Juan Cole in Salon and which is this week's Newsweek cover story in an article by Fareek Zakaria.

January 25th, 2009

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Michael Lind on a new vision for the relationship between the citizen and the government in America. Mr. Lind is the Whitehead Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author of a number of books, including Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics and What Lincoln Believed. His book The American Way of Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life was critically hailed as a ground-breaking study of America's relationship with the world. Mr. Lind has been an editor or staff writer for The New Yorker, Harper s Magazine, and The New Republic. Mr. Lind has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Prospect (U.K.), The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, and other leading publications. In a just published series of three articles published at Salon.com, Michael Lind envisions "A New Contract with the American Citizen," which envisions an America transformed by the Obama presidency, with sweeping moderization, a citizen's economic Bill of Rights with national healthcare, and an America devoted to cooperation, peace and diplomacy which does not engage in "wars of choice."

James Bamford on new revelations about Bush's domestic spying and a PBS NOVA special "The Spy Factory." James Bamford is an acclaimed journalist specializing in national security issues. He is the author of the bestselling books "Body of Secrets," "The Puzzle Palace" and "A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies." His writing includes investigative cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. His reporting in Rolling Stone, entitled "The Man Who Sold the War," won the 2005 National Magazine Award. His latest book is entitled "The Shadow Factory: inside the ultra-secret NSA, from 9/11 to spying on America." Mr. Bamford and his breakthrough reporting are featured in a major PBS NOVA Documentary, airing on February 3, entitled "The Spy Factory." The PBS special will air just as new information is breaking on the extent of domestic spying done by the Bush administration. In the last week, former NSA analyst Russell Tice went public with new information, saying journalists and politicians were targeted. Senator Jay Rockefeller not only affirmed the information as credible, but said he believed he may have been spied on.

Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer on the disturbing deaths of critics, dissidents and their supporters in Russia. Dr. Felgenhauer is a Moscow-based defense analyst, columnist and journalist. He previously served as researcher and senior research officer in the Soviet Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and received his Ph.D. from the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1988. Dr. Felgenhauer has published numerous articles on topics dealing with Russian foreign and defense policies, military doctrine, arms trade and the Russian military-industrial complex. In the early '90's, he wrote for Moscow's Nezavisimaya Gazeta, as Defense Analyst and Defense Correspondent. He was later a member of the editorial board and Chief Defense Correspondent for a Moscow daily Sevodnya. Since May 1994, till Oct. 2005 Felgenhauer has published a regular column on defense in the English language local daily The Moscow Times. In July 2006 after being more than six years an independent defense analyst Felgenhauer joined the staff of Novaya Gazeta. Felgenhauer's regular commentary on Russia appears in many other local and international publications.

January 18th, 2009

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Ron Suskind on the legacy of out-going President George W. Bush. Mr. Suskind is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, whose coverage and analysis of the Bush administration has been acclaimed for its unique insight. Suskind was the senior national-affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1993 to 2000. He is currently a distinguished visiting scholar at Dartmouth and writes for various national publications, including the New York Times Magazine and Esquire. In 2004, two-weeks before the November election, Ron Suskind published, in the New York Times Magazine, what is now recognized as perhaps the seminal article on the inner workings and psychology of the Bush adminstration, entitled "Without a Doubt: Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush." He is the author of a number of books, including the best-sellers "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill" and "The One Per-Cent Doctrine." His latest book is "The Way of the World." In this time of legacy and reflection over the past eight years, Suskind has developed a kind of Unified Field Theory of the Bush administration, which purports that the same Bush/Cheney ideology that led to war and ruined America's strategic position internationally is also the central factor which has led to financial catastrophe and devastated America's standing in world's economy.

Alexander Thier on the future of Afghanistan and of America's involvement there. Mr. Thier a senior adviser in the Rule of Law Center of Innovation at the US Institue of Peace. He is director of the project on Constitution Making, Peacebuilding, and National Reconciliation, expert group lead for the Genocide Prevention Task Force and director of the Future of Afghanistan Project. He is also responsible for several rule of law programs in Afghanistan, including a project on establishing relations between Afghanistan's formal and informal justice systems. Before joining USIP in 2005, Thier was the director of the Project on Failed States at Stanford University s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. From 2002 to 2004, Thier was legal adviser to Afghanistan s Constitutional and Judicial Reform Commissions in Kabul, where he assisted in the development of a new constitution and judicial system. Mr. Thier has authored or co-authored a number of publications, with the most recent being "The Future of Afghanistan."

Dr. Trita Parsi on the charge that Iran backs the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah. Dr. Parsi is president and founder of the National Iranian American Council, whose writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian, Haaretz, The Forward, Huffington Post and The Nation. Dr. Trita Parsi worked for the Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, where he served in the Security Council and handled affairs for Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikistan and Western Sahara. He also served in the General Assembly's Third Committee addressing human rights in Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq. His most recent book is "Treacherous Alliances: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States." This book was awarded the silver medal in the Council on Foreign Relations prestigious Arthur Ross Book Award, considered the "the most significant award for a book on international affairs." According to the jury, This unique and important book takes a closer look at the complicated triangular relations between Israel, Iran, and the United States that continue to shape the future of the Middle East.
 

January 11th, 2009
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Robert Baer on President-Elect Obama's recent appointments to intelligence posts. Mr. Baer spent twenty years running agents from inside the CIA s Directorate of Operations, from 1976 to 1997, working against Hizballah, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations. He is considered by Seymour Hersh as "perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer ever to serve in the Middle East." Robert Baer is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Sleeping with the Devil, about the Saudi royal family and its relationship with the United States; and See No Evil, which recounts Baer's years as a top CIA operative. See No Evil was the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana, which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Mr. Baer. Robert Baer writes regularly for Time.com and has contributed to Vanity Fair, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the Middle East. His most recent book is "The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower."

Uri Avnery on an Israeli perspective on the Gaza siege. Mr. Avnery is an Israeli journalist, author, the founder and leader of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc), one of Israel's leading peace groups, and a former member of the Knesset. He belonged to the Revisionist Zionist movement involved in the founding of Israel, having made aliyah, emigrating to the region that would become the State of Israel, in 1933. He joined the paramilitary group, the Irgun at age 15 and left several years later after becoming disenchanted with their tactics, which he described as terrorist. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Avnery was a fighter in the Samson's Foxes commando unit. He wrote a book about the war, called In the Fields of Philistia. During the 1950s and the 1960s Avnery was co-publisher and editor of a weekly magazine, which was for many years Israel's leading alternative-media publication. In 1965 Avnery was elected to the Knesset, serving a total of 3 terms. He is a devout secularist and is strongly opposed to the Orthodox influence in religious and political life. His frequent commentaries are distributed internationally and he has been outspoken against Israel's recent siege of Gaza.

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Avi Schlaim is a dual Israeli-British citizen, a Fellow of St. Anthony's College and a professor of international relations at Oxford university. He was born in Baghdad, grew up in Israel, served in the Israeli Defense Force, and studied at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2006. He is a key member of a group of Israeli scholars known as the New Historians who put forward critical interpretations of the history of Zionism and Israel. His books include The Politics of Partition; War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History; and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. His latest book, published last November, is Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace. Shlaim's approach to the study of history is informed by his belief that "The job of the historian is to judge." He has just published a commentary in the Guardian which has drawn international attention.

January 4th, 2009

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Dr. Moustafa Barghouti on the siege of Gaza. Dr. Barghouti is a medical doctor and President of the Palestinian National Initiative, a democratic opposition movement. He was a candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005, finishing second after Mahmoud Abbas. In 1979, Barghouti founded the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, a non-governmental organization which provides health care and related services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He continues to serve as the Union's president. In 1989, Barghouti was one of the founders of the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute, a think tank representing an alliance of 90 Palestinian community organizations. In June 2002, Barghouti, Edward Said and others established the Palestinian National Initiative, which was an attempt to build a reformist, inclusive alternative to both the established Palestinian Liberation Organization and to Islamic militant groups such as Hamas. Barghouti currently serves as the Initiative's general secretary. Barghouti was newly elected to a seat on the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006.

Gershom Gorenberg on the siege of Gaza. Mr. Gorenberg is an internationally acclaimed author and journalist based in Israel. His book The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount was described by the Washington Post as "a clear-eyed and compelling account of the messianists, would-be prophets, and adventurers who have fixed their sights on Jerusalem's holy places." His previous book, "Shalom, Friend: the Life and Legacy of Yitzhak Rabin" is considered to be a definitive biography of the fallen Israeli leader, who was slain by Israeli settler extremist. His new book is "The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements. Publishers' weekley said of this book: "An essential guide to understanding Israel's own contribution to its current tragic pass." And Booklist says, "this is a timely, vital and riveting analysis of how the current territorial and ethnic Gordian knot developed."

Scott Horton on holding the Bush administration accountable. Mr. Horton is a writer, analyst and attorney known for his work in international law, human rights and the law of armed conflict. Scott Horton served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union. He was hired by the Associated Press to represent Bilal Hussein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who was detained without charges by the US military for over a year. He is a professor at Columbia Law School and co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has also been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association. He is the author of over 100 articles and is a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security. His Harpers weblog, No Comment, is highly regarded and a wide range of matters from American law and politics to international affairs.

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