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SPECIAL REPORT: "Tortured Logic: McGovern talks about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director"

The Resistance Round Table panel interviews former CIA analyst Ray McGovern about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director who oversaw torture after 9/11. The conversation includes discussion of the U.S. as an 'out law state,' American exceptionalism and the fight to defend net neutrality. Panel: Scott Harris, Ruthanne Baumgartner and Richard Hill (49:08) May 23, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action': Understanding and Resisting Attacks on Immigrants"

Three-part excerpts from Avi Chomsky's presentations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17. Includes a historical perspective as well as a question and answer session with immigrants. Recorded and produced by Chuck Rosina, long-time public affairs and news producer at WMBR FM, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's radio station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. April 17, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action' Takes On Today's Political, Economic Challenges"

Chuck Rosina's report on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17, where members of the MIT and broader local community were given an opportunity to devote the day to engaging with the political, economic, environmental and social challenges facing us today, through learning, discussion, reflection and planning for action. Includes comments from Avi Chomsky, daughter of the renowned professor Noam Chomsky (12:58) April 17, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "Response to chemical attack in Syria – The priority must be the people"

The Resistance Roundtable panel discusses the U.S. missile strikes on Damascus and interviews Stan Heller from Promoting Enduring Peace (www.pepeace.org)about the situation in Syria and the broader Middle East. Panel: Ruthanne Baumgartner, Scott Harris and Richard Hill. April 14, 2018






SPECIAL REPORT: "What's next for the youth movement against gun violence?"

Tyler Suarez, lead organizer of the March for Our Lives demo in Hartford, CT on March 24, assesses the event attended by 10,000 and discusses the agenda for the youth movement going forward. Interviewed by Richard Hill.



SPECIAL REPORT: "March for Our Lives - Hartford, Connecticut" March 24, 2018

Selected speeches from the March for Our Lives in Hartford, Connecticut, recorded and produced by Scott Harris




Panel Discussion: Privatization v. Public Good and the Upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24



SPECIAL REPORT: Organized Labor: Resurgent or On the Ropes?



SPECIAL REPORT: Neoliberalism Comes Home: Connecticut's Water Under Privatization Threat



SPECIAL REPORT: Can There Be Food Justice Under Capitalism?



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Round Table – Feb. 10, 2018






Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of ConsortiumNews.com, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.



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The Resistance Starts Now!

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SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris





SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018



SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018





SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018




SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017






SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017



SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017




SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven




2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.



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THANK YOU TO EVERYONE...

who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.


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Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

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"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.





Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.



JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at www.WPKN.org (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

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Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016


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Does Supreme Court's Overturning Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Graft Conviction Decriminalize Corruption?

Posted July 6, 2016

MP3 Interview with Scott Swenson, vice president for Communications with Common Cause, conducted by Scott Harris

corruption

In a unanimous decision handed down on June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell. In September 2014, a jury unanimously convicted Gov. McDonnell and his wife Maureen of public corruption, finding that the couple had used the governor’s office to assist Jonnie R. Williams Sr., a wealthy dietary supplement company executive, advance his business interests. In exchange, Williams gave the McDonnells $177,000 in loans and gifts including a Rolex watch, vacations, partial payments for a daughter’s wedding reception and $20,000 in designer clothing and accessories.

The Supreme Court decision to vacate the conviction means that the former Republican governor, who was once mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate, will not have to serve a two-year sentence, and his wife will avoid serving her one year and-a-day prison term. In rendering their opinion, the justices stated that instructions to the jury in this case on what constitutes “official acts” was too broad. The high court remanded the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to determine if there is sufficient evidence to justify a new trial.

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Scott Swenson, vice president for communications with Common Cause. Here, he discusses the overturning of the McDonnell conviction, and the dangerous precedent he believes it sets for making it more difficult to prosecute officeholders who sell political access and influence to the highest bidder. [Rush transcript]

SCOTT SWENSON: It is very clear this is not politics as usual by any stretch of the imagination. There's ample evidence that Gov. (Bob) McDonnell took gifts and loans provided by his friend Mr. Williams, accepted vacations, a Rolex watch, $20,000 shopping spree, $15,000 in catering expenses for their daughter's wedding, tens of thousands of dollars in private loans in exchange for Gov. McDonnell promoting Mr. Williams' products and using privileges of power that come with the office of governor of any state, in this case, Virginia to host events, to give the state's official seal of approval to this product and to this business.

In one instance, McDonnell emailed Williams asking about a $50,000 loan, and six minutes later, sent another email to a staffer requesting an update on the scientific research surrounding Williams' product. So you see a very clear line between the money coming in or the request for the money and the governor's interest in this case.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Tell our listeners about what the Supreme Court unanimous decision says that throughout the corruption conviction against Bob McDonnell, what was the rationale for the Supreme Court in making this ruling?

SCOTT SWENSON: It's a little hard to discern. They have been very clear that the quid pro quo corruption in every other case is usually what they cite. This is as clear a case of pay-to-play, quid pro quo corruption as you could find, and yet they managed to weasel out of this. It's clear we can't rely on federal laws any longer to protect and preserve our democracy. But we're not left empty handed. We as organizers and people need to start to work on small donor campaign finance reform and gift campaign finance laws at the local and state level so that we can demand consistency in our jurisprudence law for the court and that we can rid the country of pay-to-play politics.

The president is sitting on an executive order that would deal with this directly on a federal level. In Virginia, Gov. McDonnell, other governors in other states have very specific disclosure that rule against pay-to-play politics or shine a light on them, so the prophylactic prevents people from wanting to do, take advantage of the system. Virginia just doesn't have that in place. And so, the people of Virginia have to get those laws in place, other states, obviously should be doing the same thing, because right now we've got a court that's playing politics, and if you get one decision on one day that looks like it's going in one direction and the very next day you get this decision, which says "quid quo pro, we don't see that here," that is a court that is out of balance and out of touch with where the American people are, and we've got to have stricter campaign finance laws to make sure we can correct for that.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What precedent does this Supreme Court case send to the rest of the country? Many critics have said this hands-down going to make it more difficult to prove corruption charges against elected officials who take gifts, who accept remuneration for favors given.

SCOTT SWENSON: Absolutely, there is no doubt about it. Unless and until this ruling is corrected, in terms of the remand to the lower court and vacated by the high court, and get a different decision from the lower court that can be affirmed, this is sending a signal that pay-to-play politics is alive and well. There are very, very few cases of actual sort of money exchanging hands from one to the other, as we've sometimes seen in grainy video shots by undercover cameras or what-not in the ABSCAM trials or other things like that. That sort of corruption, that sort of "Here's a billion dollars that I'm going to give you in a briefcase now you'll continue this favor" – that is just is pretty far afield. So what happens in Washington, what happens like in the McDonnell case, is legal. And it's only different by inches from someone handing over a bag of cash, and say, "Oh, would you do this favor for me, or for my business." In which case, no votes, it's still a way of using the official apparatus of the state of Virginia and its scientific and business acumen and authority to lend credence and credibility to this gentleman's product and help them make lots of money. And that is an exchange of money and goods, or money and services – however you want to frame it – that sure seems like it opens the door now with this particular ruling to more rampant pay-to-play politics in the country. The most important thing for your listeners to know tonight is that all is not lost. People are working very hard, smart, thoughtful lawyers, across this country in think tanks and activists around this country are working very hard to put together reform measures that will ensure democracy remains of, by and for the people and doesn't get sold out to the highest bidder.

We're in a very dark moment of our history right now. There is no question about that.

For more information on Common Cause, visit CommonCause.org.

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