Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses why the Libyan rebels and NATO rejected African Union and Col. Gadhafi peace offers; the pitifully small rebel “army” that can’t make military advances, but refuses to negotiate as long as NATO supports them; the good news from Washington: “House Bars Obama From Sending Ground Troops to Libya;” the still-unsettled question of US troops remaining in Iraq beyond the SOFA withdrawal deadline; and how Bahrain’s draconian crackdown on protesters seems to be working – at least in the short term.
Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses his opinion piece “After Bin Laden?” on NJToday.net; why Memorial Day is a good time to read revisionist history and reject war glorification; how an interventionist foreign policy self-perpetuates; and why WWII isn’t the good vs. evil morality tale it’s commonly perceived as.
This interview is from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of May 27th.
Adam Morrow, journalist with IPS News, discusses the ongoing Egyptian revolution, with renewed protests and token governmental reforms; the tenuous security situation with the army replacing the disbanded police force; changes to Egypt’s foreign policy, especially on Gaza; the open-yet-restricted Rafah border crossing, where people may pass but not bulk commercial goods or building supplies; and the very fast Egypt-brokered reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, discusses the espionage trial of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, scheduled to start on June 13 – also the 40th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers leak; why Bradley Manning, even if guilty of everything he’s accused of, still didn’t commit a federal crime; the history, applicability and common use of the Espionage Act of 1917; why using the Act for prosecuting whistleblowers who disclose classified information violates the First Amendment and should be unconstitutional; how Manning’s possible conviction would fundamentally damage the relationship between Americans and their government; and the disturbing trend of increasing government secrecy and decreasing public privacy.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses David Sanger’s latest inflammatory and inaccurate NY Times article on Iran’s nuclear program (you’d think the second paragraph alone would have killed the article – how are multiple bullet-points on page 7, of a 9 page report, in any way “buried”); how the IAEA goes beyond its mandate when dealing with Iran, demanding information they have no right to; Israel’s document forgeries and efforts to frame up Iran; and why the IAEA is a political organization with an agenda, heavily influenced by the US, not the neutral scientific observer the media portrays it as.
Robert Parry, founder and editor of ConsortiumNews.com, discusses his snazzy new website; his article on the US Congress’s love-fest for Israel’s Prime Minister, “Cheering Netanyahu’s Intransigence;” how, with members of Congress competing for the role of top Israel cheerleader, all pressure to negotiate with the Palestinians is relieved; walking back long established understandings, like a reversion to 1967 borders and a shared Jerusalem capital; Likud Party member Danny Danon’s NY Times op-ed proposing the annexation of the West Bank, should Palestinians declare statehood in September; and the Likud Party’s influence in US politics since the Carter administration.
Joshua E.S. Phillips, independent journalist and author of None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture, discusses his article on the post-Abu Ghraib investigations of Iraqi prisoners abused in US custody, “Inside the Detainee Abuse Task Force;” attorney Susan Burke’s lawsuit against private military contractors, on behalf of 337 Iraqi torture victims; the sincere efforts of many DATF investigators, who were given insufficient guidelines and resources to do their jobs; suspicions that investigations were reopened in response to particular FOIA requests from the ACLU (an open investigation is immune from FOIA); and why all the evidence points to a systemic culture of abuse and torture, far beyond the “few bad apples” at Abu Ghraib.
Eric Margolis, foreign correspondent and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses the close watch the US is keeping on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons sites, creating suspicions that a confiscatory raid is being planned; how recent events make the Pakistani military look weak and incompetent; how the crucial and fragile US supply line from Pakistan to Afghanistan could be the object of retaliation against further military incursions; how billions in US “aid” convinces Pakistan’s elite to wage a very unpopular war in the tribal areas; and the open question of who could replace CIA-asset Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan to make a legitimate government.
Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, discusses the “Nullify Now!” event on Saturday, May 28th in Los Angeles; state rebellions on the Real ID Act and TSA airport “security” groping; why the US government threatened to impose a no-fly zone on Texas; how large countries are better served by local control than a vast central government; and why its up to the individual states to nullify the Patriot Act, since Washington politicians remain committed to destroying our civil liberties (with some notable exceptions).
Jeremy Sapienza, Senior Editor at Antiwar.com, discusses Antiwar.com’s 1995 origin and early opposition to Bill Clinton’s foreign interventions; looking beyond economics and domestic policy to unite a broad coalition devoted to a foreign policy of peace; the quarterly fund drive that helps pay the meager salaries of Antiwar.com staffers who basically devote their lives to the website; and a reminder that Randolph Bourne (despite his fancy-sounding name) was a writer who lived a hardscrabble life and died young in 1918, not a billionaire philanthropist bankrolling this website.
Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com blogger and former constitutional lawyer, discusses his upcoming new book With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful; the Libya War’s illegality (whether governed by the Constitution or the War Powers Act); how Congress hides its support for war – and hedges its political liabilities – by ceding control to the president; the glaringly obvious two-tiered justice system; the slippery legal and moral slope of extrajudicial assassinations, whether failed or successful; how Obama continues the Bush administration’s pursuit of a unitary executive, beholden to no one; and why the Osama bin Laden boogeyman will soon be replaced with another, since the national security state must justify its immense size and scope.
Karen Kwiatkowski, columnist at lewrockwell.com and retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel, discusses her decision to run for Congress in Virginia’s 6th district; looking at foreign aid to Israel from the perspective of a US taxpayer; how foreign aid (and not just to Israel) lines the pockets of US arms manufacturers, props up autocratic regimes and undermines the Palestinian peace process; the dustup at the National Press Club between Israel critics and short-tempered Israel supporters; and why AIPAC’s cadre of extremist, inflexible old men might just run the lobby into the ground.
Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses how the Obama administration has ignored the War Powers Act and eschewed congressional authorization while continuing to wage war in Libya; the end of limited, representative, checked-and-balanced government; how the Supreme Court has made legal redress impossible for victims of US government rendition and torture; and the power of good ideas (like increasingly-popular libertarianism) to bring rapid, sweeping solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
Angela Keaton, Antiwar.com Development Director and Antiwar Radio producer, discusses the quarterly Antiwar.com fundraising drive; how small regularly-scheduled monthly contributions make a big difference in sustaining Antiwar.com’s budget; and how your donation gives the best bang for your antiwar activist buck.
David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale University, discusses his article “Obama’s Middle East: Rhetoric and Reality;” the degenerating US Middle East policy from Obama’s Cairo speech to George Mitchell’s resignation and the end of the “peace process;” and how Obama’s too-clever-by-half speechmaking takes the place of authoritative policy declarations – based on his belief that words can be substituted for actions.