This Week on Between The Lines

Posted July 18, 2012 for week ending July 27, 2012

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"The essence of our democracy is transparency. ... But if you don't know who's behind the massive amount of spending, then it's hard to unpack what the message is, how to debate the message. That so-called 'dark money' really undermines the fundamental theory of an informed and educated electorate."

– Marge Baker, executive vice president for Policy and Program Planning with People for the American Way, on the Republican filibustering and defeat of the Disclosure Act as a countermeasure to Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling which allowed unlimited and undisclosed campaign spending by corporations, unions and nonprofits


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Eighty-Seven Guantanamo Detainees Cleared for Release Remain in Hopeless Legal Limbo

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Interview with Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, conducted by Scott Harris

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On July 10, the U.S. released Ibrahim Ahmed Qosi, who had been held since 2002 at the nation’s Guantanamo detention Center in Cuba. Qosi, a native of Sudan, was convicted by a 2010 military tribunal of providing support to al Qaeda’s now deceased leader, Osama bin Laden, as a driver, cook and bookkeeper at an Afghanistan training camp. Although nearly 800 men have been imprisoned at Guantanamo since the camp opened in January 2002, only seven have received trials for their alleged crimes.  Story continues

Former Israeli and Palestinian Combatants Oppose Israeli Government Panel Declaring West Bank Settlements Don't Violate International Law

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Interview with Erez Krispin and Nour Shehada, Israeli Combatant for Peace Erez Krispin and Palestinian Nour Shehada Combatant for Peace, conducted by Melinda Tuhus. Photo by Chris Zurcher

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Combatants for Peace is an organization made up of former Israeli soldiers and former Palestinian fighters who have concluded that violence will not lead to a just and peaceful settlement in the Middle East. They condemn Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands and support a two-state solution based in part on Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.  Story continues

Senate Republicans Defeat Disclose Act Bill, Blocking Grassroots Drive for More Transparency in U.S. Elections

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Interview with Marge Baker, executive vice president for Policy and Program Planning with People for the American Way, conducted by Scott Harris

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Over recent decades, the U.S. has witnessed a steady and steep increase in the millions of dollars spent in congressional and presidential election campaigns. But after the Supreme Court’s January 2010 ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, the rate of spending has risen exponentially. In its 5 to 4 decision, the High Court ruled that corporations and unions may give unlimited and anonymous donations to elect or defeat political candidates. In their decision, the justices declared that corporations have the same rights as living persons.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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