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Posted June 23, 2010

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending July 2, 2010


Thank you to all who supported
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and co-author with Robert McChesney of the new book,
"The Death and Life of American Journalism:
The Media Revolution that will Begin the World Again"!

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This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:
Deteriorating Military Situation in Afghan War
Erodes Congressional Support

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Gareth Porter,
historian and national security policy analyst,
conducted by Scott Harris


Editor's note: Gen. Stanley McChrystal was relieved of his command by President Obama after our production date.

As the war in Afghanistan becomes ever more violent, the latest headlines in the U.S. press have focused on a public spitting match between U.S. Afghan war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the Obama administration. Gen. McChrystal was called back to Washington to respond in person to his staff's insulting criticism of President Obama and senior White House officials quoted in a July 8 Rolling Stone magazine article.

But the more important story involves a deteriorating situation in the Afghan war with an alarming rise in the number of Taliban-organized suicide bombings and assassinations of government officials. This, despite 30,000 additional U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan by President Obama, now totaling 94,000. A major U.S. offensive in the rural area of Marjah in February initially was declared a success, but the Taliban have succeeded in infiltrating back into the area, undermining the Pentagon's "clear, hold and build," strategy. A larger American offensive in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar province, originally set for June has been delayed due to the lack of local support -- and is expected to be launched this fall.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with historian and national security policy analyst Gareth Porter, who in a recent article predicted that the U.S. will soon confront an "Iraq 2006 moment," where political support for the Afghan war will evaporate among members of Congress and other elite opinion makers. Here Porter talks about the unraveling of the Afghan war -- and the interesting timing of a Pentagon announcement touting Afghan's nearly $1 trillion worth of untapped mineral wealth.

Gareth Porter is author of the book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam." Read his articles online at

Related Links:

Judge Acquits Anti-Torture Campaign Protesters

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Mark Colville,
Witness Against Torture activist,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


One of President Obama's first pledges upon taking office was that within his first year he would close the prison at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval base in Cuba which held hundreds of Bush-era War on Terror suspects. That deadline date was January 21st, 2010. On January 11th this year, the 8th anniversary of the first terrorism suspects being transferred to Guantanamo in 2002, 45 protesters with the group, Witness Against Torture, began a fast in a church near the White House, which lasted 11 days, ending on January 21st. During that time the group held many public protests to draw attention to their cause, aimed at pressuring President Obama to fulfill his pledge to close the Guantanamo prison camp.

On Jan. 21, 24 Witness Against Torture activists brought their protest to the U.S. Capitol and were subsequently arrested for "unlawful entry with disorderly conduct." After a trial in a Washington, D.C. Superior Court, those arrested were acquitted of all charges by Judge Russell Canan on June 14.

Mark Colville, who runs the Catholic Worker House in New Haven, Connecticut, has been involved with Witness Against Torture for several years, including a trip to Guantanamo he made with other peace activists in December 2005, to visit prisoners held there, an effort blocked by the U.S. military. Here, Colville talks about some disturbing facts related to prisoner suicides at Guantanamo that influenced activists' decision to risk arrest -- and how the judge in the trial arrived at his decision to acquit him and the other anti-torture defendants in the case.

For more information on Witness Against Torture's anti-torture campaign, visit their website at

Related links:

Obama Balks at Holding
BP Criminally Liable
for Gulf Oil Spill

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Russell Mokhiber,
editor of Corporate Crime Reporter,
conducted by Scott Harris


With British Petroleum's oil spill continuing to devastate the environment and the economy of the Gulf of Mexico - President Obama, in his first Oval Office address, spoke with the American people about his response to the single worst environmental disaster in American history. During his speech, Obama pledged to make BP pay for the damage it has caused along the Gulf Coast, and criticized the company for its "recklessness." The following day Obama met with BP officials and secured an agreement to create a $20 billion escrow fund that will be tapped to compensate individuals and businesses that have suffered economic damage due to the oil spill.

In a testament to how many friends money can buy, more than a few Republican legislators who receive Big Oil campaign contributions criticized Obama's pressure on BP to set aside the $20 billion to pay victims of the oil spill. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was by far BP's best friend when, at a House Energy Committee hearing on June 17, he apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for what he described as a "shakedown" by the White House to set up the $20 billion escrow fund. Reprimanded by Republican leaders worried about a public backlash against the pro-corporate stance of the GOP, Barton later retracted his apology to BP.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Russell Mokhiber, editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter, who criticized President Obama for not advocating criminal prosecution of BP executives. Here, Mokhiber explains why he favors revocation of BP's U.S. corporate charter and excluding the company from being awarded any future government contracts.

Visit Corporate Crime Reporter's website at

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Indu Anand
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producers: Jeffrey P. Yates and Gil Gilmore
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editor: Hank Hoffman
Photo editor: Scott Harris
Outreach coordinator: Anna Manzo
Distribution: Anna Manzo and Jeffrey P. Yates
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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 6/25/10

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"A State Democratic Party Tells Congress: Reject More War Spending," by John Nichols, The Nation, June 15, 2010

"Obama's Treasury Dept Working To Defeat Derivatives Proposal 'Of Utmost Importance' To Reforming Wall Street," by Shahien Nasiripour and Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, June 14, 2010

"The Obama Presidency: Possibility or Peril?," by Ari Berman, The Nation, June 14, 2010

"A Lobbying Tempest Engulfs Financial Overhaul," Associated Press, June 14, 2010

"The Supreme Court Says NO to the People - Again," by Michael Winship, Truthout, June 12, 2010

"Environmentalists give Barack Obama a pass on oil spill," by Josh Gerstein, Politico, June 12, 2010

"Arizona: Rushing Toward the Wrong Side of History," by Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, Truthout, June 12, 2010

"Obama overlooked key points in giving OK to offshore drilling," McClatchy Newspapers, June 11, 2010

"White House Comments on Lincoln Victory Sets Off Firestorm With Labor," by E.J. Dionne, Truthout, June 10, 2010

More newswire ...


"The Next Housing Crisis," by Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, June 15, 2010

"Compromise weakens ratings agency revamp," McClatchy Newspapers, Counterpunch, June 15, 2010

"Amid Unemployment Crisis, Senate Gridlock Leaves Jobs Bill in Limbo," Washington Independent, June 15, 2010

"'Free-Market Fundamentalism' Is an Invention of Progressives," by Dean Baker, Truthout, June 14, 2010

"Out of Work, Sleeping in the Fields: The People of the Central Valley," by David Bacon, Truthout, June 13, 2010

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Bush admin lawyer urges court to toss torture suit," San Francisco Chronicle, June 14, 2010

"Why We Can't Just 'Look Forward,'" by Joe Conason, TruthDig, June 9, 2010

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"Three American girls are left fatherless by Jerusalem killing," by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, June 15, 2010

"Call the Politburo, We're in Trouble: Entering the Soviet Era in America," by Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, June 15, 2010

"Democratic Party Defends Israeli Attack," by Stephen Zunes,, June 15, 2010

"Who is Afraid of a Real Inquiry?," by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, June 14, 2010

"Stealth Superpower," by John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus, June 14, 2010

"The Next Power Triangle," by Stephen Kinzer, The American Prospect, June 14, 2010

"Children Carry Guns for a U.S. Ally, Somalia," The New York Times, June 13, 2010

"Joe Biden: In Israel's Service," by Jeffrey Blankfort, Counterpunch, June 11-13, 2010

"Government Deploys Drones to Patrol US-Mexico Border," by Mike Ludwig, Truthout, June 11, 2010

"Private Contractors and Covert Wars in Latin America," by Cyril Mychalejko, Upside Down World, June 10, 2010

"Israel's Gift to Iran's Hard-Liners," by Juan Cole, TruthDig, June 10, 2010

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Trillion-Dollar War," by Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, June 15, 2010

"Timing of Leak of Afghan Mineral Wealth Evokes Scepticism," by Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service, June 14, 2010

"False Advertising About the Iraq Surge," by John Agnew & Claudio Guler, Truthout, June 13, 2010

"McChrystal Faces 'Iraq 2006 Moment' in Coming Months," by Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service, June 13, 2010

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Torture News: Anti-Gitmo Protesters Acquitted; RCMP to Investigate U.S. Officials on Arar Rendition," by Jeffrey Kaye, Invictus, June 15, 2010

"RCMP goes global with Maher Arar torture probe," Toronto Star/Canada, June 14, 2010

"Wanted by the US: WikiLeaks founder keeps his head down," Sydney Morning Herald/Australia, June 14, 2010

"The U.S. wins the right to abduct innocent people with impunity," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, June 14, 2010

"El Paso 'Cat and Mouse' Turns Fatal," by Dennis Bernstein and Jesse Strauss, Consortium News, June 12, 2010

"Suspected Wikileaks Source Described Crisis of Conscience Leading to Leaks," by Kevin Poulsen & Kim Zetter, Wired, June 10, 2010

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Obama will order BP to hand over control of oil spill damage claims," Guardian/UK, June 15, 2010

"Panel Sharply Raises Estimate of Oil Spilling Into the Gulf," The New York Times, June 15, 2010

"BP E-mails Show Decisions Pre-Blast to Save 'Lots of Time' and Money," by Marian Wang, ProPublica, June 15, 2010

"BP oil spill may not be capped until Christmas, expert warns," Guardian/UK, June 14, 2010

"The Inside Story of How Obama Let the World's Most Dangerous Oil Company Spiral out of Control," by Amy Goodman and Tim Dickinson, Democracy Now!, June 12, 2010

"Privacy in Peril: Lawyers, Nations Clamor for Google Wi-Fi Data," by David Kravets, Wired, June 11, 2010

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"The media's understanding of its role," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, June 15, 2010

"Israeli Raid Coverage: American Media Failure Again," by Linn Washington, Jr., Counterpunch, June 15, 2010

"Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right: On the Actual Ideology of the American Press," by Jay Rosen, PressThink, June 14, 2010

"Journalistic balance at the expense of truth," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, June 11, 2010

More newswire ...


"Sierra Club: Pro-Corporate, Anti-Grass Roots," by Jane Hamsher, Firedoglake, June 15, 2010

"ACORN Vindicated of Wrongdoing by the Congressional Watchdog Office," by John Atlas, Huffington Post, June 15, 2010

"'Alternative summits' embody a grass-roots strategy for change," by Antonia Zerbisias, Toronto Star/Canada, June 14, 2010

"D.C. judge acquits 27 Guantanamo protesters - including 4 from Pioneer Valley - of charges from Capitol Hill protest," MassLive, June 14, 2010

"Hunger strikers' American dreams," Guardian/UK, June 11, 2010

More newswire ...

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