There are the repercussions of the Republican electoral victories in last fall's elections - not just in Washington but in statehouses across the country. Though they well know that they were swept into office due to unemployment and a weak economic recovery on the one hand, and voter ignorance and lack of memory on the other, the GOP in DC is acting like they have a mandate for gutting Planned Parenthood, Public Radio and Television, and the EPA. Even worse, in the states, they are seizing on budget shortfalls to try to crush public employee unions.
JOHN NICHOLS is a Washington correspondent for The Nation and associate editor of The Capital TImes in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the author of Jews for Buchanan, and co-author with Robert McChesney of Our Media Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media.
MARK HERTSGAARD, a fellow of The Open Society Institute, The Nation's environment correspondent, covers climate change for Vanity Fair, Time and Die Zeit and has written for many of the world's leading newspapers and magazines. He is the author of the highly acclaimed study of the media during the Reagan years, On Bended Knee, as well as Earth Odyssey; A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles; The Eagle's Shadow, and his newest, HOT: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth.
ROBERT SCHEER, editor-in-chief of Truthdig, was Vietnam correspondent and an editor of Ramparts magazine from 1964-69. He worked with the Los Angeles Times for nearly 30 years, as a national correspondent from 1976-1993 and as a weekly syndicated columnist until 2005. In 2005 he co-founded Truthdig. Scheer is heard weekly on Left, Right and Center on NPR's KCRW. A clinical professor of communications at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, he is a contributing editor for The Nation as well as a Nation Fellow. Scheer has written nine books, including With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War; The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us about Iraq; The Pornography of Power and his newest, THE GREAT AMERICAN STICKUP.
A fellow of The Open Society Institute and The Nation's environment correspondent, MARK HERTSGAARD also covers climate change for Vanity Fair, TIME and Die Zeit and has written for many of the world's leading newspapers and magazines. He is the author of the highly acclaimed study of the media during the Reagan years, On Bended Knee, as well as Earth Odyssey; A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles; The Eagle's Shadow; and the forthcoming Generation Hot: Living Through the Storm of Climate Change.
JANE MAYER, one of our nation's foremost investigative journalists will join us for at least the last half hour, maybe a bit more. Her best-selling 2008 book, THE DARK SIDE, was chosen by the New New York Times, The Economist, Salon, Slate, and Bloomberg as one of the best books of the year.
In THE DARK SIDE, MAYER reported (to quote a review by Andrew Basevich), "Since embarking upon its global war on terror, the United States has blatantly disregarded the Geneva Conventions. It has imprisoned suspects, including U.S. citizens, without charge, holding them indefinitely and denying them due process. It has created an American gulag in which thousands of detainees, including many innocent of any wrongdoing, have been subjected to ritual abuse and humiliation. It has delivered suspected terrorists into the hands of foreign torturers. Under the guise of 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' it has succeeded, in Mayer's words, in 'making torture the official law of the land in all but name.' Further, it has done all these things as a direct result of policy decisions made at the highest levels of government."
The country learned about all this and rejected Bush's Republican successor, John McCain, in favor of former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama. So has everything changed for the good?
I'd say not nearly enough.
Just in the two months since President Obama released the torture memos, a former FBI interrogator testified to the failures of the CIA's so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, a former aide to Colin Powell said the interrogations were aimed at building the case for the Iraq war, a coalition of advocacy groups has launched a campaign to disbar twelve former Bush administration attorneys.
The Obama response? While continuing to preach "move forward, don't look back" when it comes to investigating or prosecuting possible crimes committed in pursuit of the above listed policies, the Obama administration has withheld photos of detainee abuse, defended the military tribunal system, and floated plans for a system of "preventive detention" for accused Terrorists.
We will talk with JANE MAYER about the past, the present, and the future of actions and crimes committed by the US government to defend us from terror.