This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Oct. 29, 2014 for week ending Nov. 7, 2014


"What neo-conservatives have done since the 1970s is to tie the issue of terrorism to their preferred political agenda of changing the very nature of our society and swinging the pendulum away from individual liberties and toward what they call the security fix or public safety."

– Interview with Beau Grosscup, professor of Political Science at California State University, Chico

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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Recent Attacks Targeting Canadian Soldiers Offer Politicians Rationale to Boost Security Policies and Erode Civil Liberties

MP3 Interview with Beau Grosscup, professor of Political Science at California State University, Chico, conducted by Scott Harris


Attacks on soldiers in Canada last week that resulted in two deaths, one in Ottawa and the other in a town in Quebec – were the focus of U.S. and world attention, and fears about a possible connection to the terrorist group ISIS on the offensive in both Iraq and Syria. The first attack occurred on Oct. 20, when a recent convert to Islam, Martin Couture Rouleau, who was on a government monitoring list and whose passport was seized, drove his car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one before being shot to death by police. The second incident occurred two days later on Oct. 22, when a soldier guarding Canada's war memorial was shot dead. The attacker, Michael Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau, another recent Muslim convert, then entered the Canadian Parliament building where he was killed by the legislature's sergeant-at-arms. Zehaf-Bibeau left behind a videotape that authorities say is evidence that the shooting was driven by politics and ideological motives.  Story continues

Obama White House Considers Adopting Bush Era Policy Allowing Torture Overseas

MP3 Interview with Kathy Roberts, legal director with the Center for Justice and Accountability, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


When he was a candidate for the presidency, then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama campaigned on a platform of ending U.S. torture that had been endorsed and practiced by George W. Bush's administration. After he was elected and took office Obama issued an executive order in 2009 that prohibited cruel interrogations anywhere – and made it harder for future presidents to return to torture. An Oct. 19 article in the New York Times, titled "Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture," cited a current debate within the Obama administration over whether to adopt the Bush administration’s interpretation that the “The Convention Against Torture" – which the U.S. has ratified – only prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment within the territory of the United States. The White House debate comes as the Obama administration must clarify its position on the torture treaty in November, when a U.S. delegation will travel to Geneva to issue a report to the Committee Against Torture, a U.N. panel that monitors compliance with the treaty.  Story continues

Ralph Nader: No Legal or Ethical Framework Regulates Earth-Shaking Technologies

MP3 Interview with Ralph Nader, citizen activist and former independent presidential candidate, conducted by Scott Harris


As the “Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth” conference got underway on a sunny October morning in New York City, Tom Butler of the Foundation for Deep Ecology and president of the Northeast Wilderness Trust noted his skepticism on the unwieldy conference title and proposed a more compact alternative, “The FRED Talks,” an acronym he said stood for "Facing the Reality of Extinction and Doom."  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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