Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the attack in Lahore, Pakistan against the Ahmadiyya religious minority, the propagation of conspiracy theories by the Pakistani government, Muqtada al-Sadr’s extensive community organization apparatus in Iraq and the blurred legal authority governing overlapping US civilian, CIA and military operations.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses the swiftly unraveling US disaster in Afghanistan, the short-lived “government in a box” Marjah model, US reliance on Wali Karzai (Hamid Karzai’s brother) for intelligence gathering, Gen. McChrystal’s continuation of night raids despite their ineffectiveness and why the upcoming operation in Kandahar may be the last gasp of US occupation.
Stephen Vladeck, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, discusses the legal challenges brought to bear against unconstitutional government actions, the Obama administration’s so-far successful effort to keep Bagram prison free from judicial oversight, the high burden of proof on a prisoner to show the location of his detention was explicitly chosen to skirt the law and language in the National Defense Authorization Act that potentially criminalizes defense lawyers who represent terrorist suspects.
Spencer Thayer, member of Chicago Cop Watch and the Jail Jon Burge Committee, discusses the numerous torture accusations against former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, the torture tactics used by the US in Vietnam that have since made a home in civilian law enforcement, the longstanding practice of Chicago politicians and prosecutors ignoring complaints against police abuse and the real physical dangers faced by activist proponents of alternative policing methods.
John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses the diplomatic fallout following S. Korea’s conclusion that N. Korea sunk its battleship, indications that – despite the heated rhetoric – war will be avoided on the Korean peninsula, the breakdown of N. Korea’s prior NPT commitment thanks to the US government and the Japanese Prime Minister’s change of heart on a US military base on Okinawa.
Jim Fine, Legislative Secretary for Foreign Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), discusses the effort to add an exit strategy and withdrawal deadline to the Afghanistan supplemental spending bill in the Senate, the US push for Iran sanctions despite broad agreement they won’t work, Hillary Clinton’s tough talk on Pakistan and Gen. McChrystal’s admission that nearly nine years of US occupation has only produced a draw in Afghanistan.
Former CIA and DIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses press reports that attempt to link Iran with al-Qaeda and build the case for war, the danger of a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran based on perceived intentions rather than facts, neocon Frank Gaffney’s tireless warmongering and why Israel may have an opportunity to attack Iran in August.
The Other Scott Horton (no relation), international human rights lawyer, professor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, discusses the secret “second prison” at Bagram in Afghanistan, changes made to the Army Field Manual (Appendix M) that allow the abuse of prisoners, Seymour Hersh’s upcoming exposé on US battlefield executions, civilian contractors providing intel for AfPak drone missile strikes, Christianity and just-war theory and Rand Paul’s disappointing stance on foreign policy.
Will Grigg, author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses the police killing of seven year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Michigan, how the presence of a “First 48″ A&E Network film crew influenced police tactics and priorities, why the media has a statist (not liberal or conservative) bias and how military rules of engagement in Afghanistan are more strict than those governing SWAT raids in the US .
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses the just-disclosed US demand that Iran must stop all uranium enrichment before any negotiations are conducted, why further UN Security Council sanctions would need to be toothless to gain support from Russia and China, Hillary Clinton’s bad faith diplomacy that is weakening the US sphere of influence, parallels between US mission creep in Vietnam and Afghanistan and increasing evidence that US foreign policy decisions are made without regard for consequences.
Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, discusses the failure of Iraqi elections to create a functional government, inadequate basic services in Iraq after seven years of occupation, the tendency of countries with oil-based economies to become dictatorships and why the Kurds are better served in the short term by continued autonomy rather than an independent state.
Margaret Roberts, author of the foreword to Secrets Worth Dying For: Timothy James McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing, discusses the security lockdown on David Paul Hammer since his recent death row radio interviews, Hammer’s concern about being murdered or “suicided” in custody and the history of suspicious deaths of other inmates associated with the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California, discusses the Iran/Turkey/Brazil enriched uranium swap agreement, the predictable negative reception from Europe and the US, further demands upon Iran and continuing sanctions meant to queer the deal, Hillary Clinton’s last minute attempt to dissuade Turkey and Brazil from cooperating with Iran and why arguing for Iran’s rights under the NPT is not an endorsement of Ahmadinejad or the ayatollahs.
James Bovard, author of Attention Deficit Democracy, discusses Bill Clinton’s definition of terrorism: when regular people act like governments do, the Republican Party’s inability to criticize law enforcement during the Waco Congressional hearings, why the libertarian movement is stuck in limbo and the large portion of tea party protesters that love government when it is warring, wiretapping or waterboarding.