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Friday, January 26, 2007

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  • Our Mercenaries in Iraq: Blackwater Inc and Bush’s Undeclared Surge

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    On Tuesday, five employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA were killed in a violent Baghdad neighborhood. Hours later, President Bush used his State of the Union address to call on what some are calling an undeclared surge of private mercenaries in Iraq. We speak with Jeremy Scahill, author of the forthcoming "Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army." [includes rush transcript]

  • Pentagon Unveils Heat-Inducing Ray-Gun: Non-Lethal Crowd Control or Dangerous Weapon?

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    The Pentagon unveils a new heat-ray gun that is designed to make targets feel like they are about to catch fire. It’s main goal: pain. Does it violate international law, and could it be used for torture? Retired Marine Col. Gary Anderson says: "Why would I want to use an $8 million weapon [when I can use] a 25-cent pen knife?" Human Rights Watch military expert Marc Garlasco says the weapon raises major concerns. They joins us for a discussion. [includes rush transcript]

  • Murder Charges Against Former Black Panthers Based on Confessions Extracted by Torture

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    Police in California, New York and Florida arrested eight former Black Panthers earlier this week on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer. Charges were thrown out in 1974 after it was revealed police used torture to extract confessions in the case. We speak with two of the defendants’ attorneys. [includes rush transcript]