This Week on Between The Lines

Posted May 28, 2014 for week ending June 6, 2014


"We think that the primary cause for the disaster in care is more than a decade of war. ... Even with the increase from $100 billion to over $154 billion, the VA has not been able to keep up with the masses of veterans that returned. ... The numbers are a result of bad foreign policy, a result of using war as a means to solve problems."

– Michael McPhearson, interim executive director with Veterans for Peace, on the latest Veterans Administration scandal and veterans' poor access to critical health care

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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Veterans Administration Scandal Over Critical Health Care Delays Began with Decade of U.S. Wars

MP3 Interview with Michael McPhearson, interim executive director with Veterans for Peace, conducted by Scott Harris


The scandal at the Veterans Administration has been building for some time. Over the past two to three years, the VA has seen an increase of 1.5 million patients, 200,000 of them soldiers returning from American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Across the country, the Pentagon’s health care system has found it difficult to treat the flood of veterans suffering from both physical injuries, including amputees, and those suffering with traumatic brain injuries, requiring intensive care.  Story continues

Israel Destroys 1500 Fruit Trees at Palestinian "Tent of Nations" Farm

MP3 Interview with Daoud Nassar, owner of the Tent of Nations Farm, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


On May 19, the Israeli military entered the Nassar family farm a few miles outside of Bethlehem in the West Bank and bulldozed more than 1,500 mature apricot and apple trees that were almost ready for harvest. The family has been battling in Israeli courts to hold onto their 100-acre farm, which is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements. Despite having all the paperwork documenting their ownership of the land going back almost a century, Israel claims the property is state land. In 2010, the family was served with 13 demolition orders which they are fighting in court. The Nassar farm is known as the Tent of Nations because the family has nurtured peaceful relations with their neighbors and with Israeli and international supporters.  Story continues

House Removes Key Provisions of Bill Drafted to End NSA Bulk Collection of Americans' Communication Data

MP3 Interview with Harley Geiger, senior counsel with the Center for Democracy and Technology, conducted by Scott Harris


Following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about the government’s warrantless, dragnet surveillance of Americans communications, many Americans were increasingly apprehensive about abuses in the nation’s post-911 intelligence programs. In response to growing concern about privacy rights a bipartisan group in Congress turned their attention to drafting legislation that would limit the government’s ability to gather American’s communications data. To that end, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, an original sponsor of the USA Patriot Act, introduced a bill known as the USA Freedom Act.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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