Monday, June 20, 2011

  • Glenn Greenwald: Could Obama Be Impeached for Waging War in Libya Without Approval of Congress?

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    The New York Times recently broke the story that President Obama rejected the views of top administration lawyers when he decided he had the legal authority to continue U.S. military participation in the war in Libya without congressional authorization. Obama continues to face congressional opposition to the ongoing Libya attack. Republican House Speaker John Boehner has called on the White House to further clarify the legal basis for the war in Libya or face a cutoff of war funds. Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a lawsuit accusing President Obama of violating the War Powers Act of 1973. To examine the legal dimensions of U.S. military intervention, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com. “The idea that presidents can start wars on their own, without any congressional authorization, violates not just the law but the Constitution,” Greenwald said. “In theory, when the president violates the law and the Constitution, that’s an impeachable offense. At the same time, we’ve set a very low standard for our tolerance of rampant presidential law breaking.” [includes rush transcript]

  • Glenn Greenwald: Supporters of Bradley Manning Risk Jail for Refusing to Testify in WikiLeaks Probe

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    Earlier this month, the FBI served a subpoena on David House, one of the founders of the Bradley Manning Support Network who helped publicize the oppressive conditions of Manning’s solitary confinement at the Quantico Marine Corps Base. U.S. Army Private Manning has been imprisoned without charges for his alleged role in releasing classified U.S. documents to the online whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks. House testified before a grand jury last week investigating WikiLeaks and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Political and legal blogger Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com says if House and other witnesses are offered immunity, they will no longer be able to invoke this right and may refuse to cooperate with the grand jury, risking jail time rather than aid the investigation. [includes rush transcript]

  • Glenn Greenwald: Why Was Rep. Weiner Forced to Resign While Bush and Cheney Walk Free?

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    Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) resigned Thursday after House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and others said the scandal he created by sending lewd photographs of himself over Twitter had caused a distraction to Democrats preparing for the 2012 election. “He was forced out of office over—it wasn’t even rising to the level of a sex scandal,” says our guest, Salon.com political blogger Glenn Greenwald. “The Democratic leadership ... all acted to force him out of office. And yet, throughout the Bush years, when you had torture and illegal eavesdropping and the war in Iraq, that left hundreds of thousands dead, Nancy Pelosi said impeachment is off the table.” [includes rush transcript]

  • New York State Moves Toward Legalizing Same-Sex Marriages

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    This week, New York may become the sixth and most populous state to legalize gay marriage. Supporters of LGBT rights say the significance of such a large state joining Iowa and four New England states could help turn the tide on the issue. “It would be a huge historic day for equality,” notes our guest, openly gay Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald. But he says it would not convince him to return to live in New York because the federal government will continue to deny benefits, even to legally married couples in these states, as a result of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which remains in effect. [includes rush transcript]

  • The Audacity of Hope: U.S. Peace Activists to Sail to Gaza in Humanitarian Flotilla

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    Dozens of Americans hope to set sail this week on a U.S.-flagged ship, “The Audacity of Hope,” as part of an international flotilla which aims to challenge Israel’s embargo of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian solidarity activists are setting sail from a number of ports just over a year after Israeli forces killed nine activists on an aid boat called the Mavi Marmara, which was part of the first such international flotilla. Israel says it will again use force to stop the aid flotilla from reaching Gaza. We speak with passengers of the U.S. boat, New York labor attorney Richard Levy and peace activist Kathy Kelly. Levy says the flotilla’s challenge to Israel’s embargo is legal and that it is the blockade that is illegal. “It’s a violation of the Geneva Accords to occupy a country, as has been done here through the control of all its borders, and then block supplies, block people from moving in and out,” says Levy. [includes rush transcript]

  • Harvard, Vanderbilt, Spelman Exposed for Taking Part in “African Land Grab”

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    A new report raises questions about the connection of Harvard, Vanderbilt and other U.S. universities to European financial interests buying or leasing vast areas of African farmland. Called “Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa,” the report by the Oakland Institute claims farmers in Africa are being driven off their lands to make way for new industrial farming projects backed by hedge funds seeking profits and foreign countries looking for cheap food. We speak with Anuradha Mittal, the executive director of the Oakland Institute. “We have heard about the role of these private hedge funds in food speculation and speculation of food prices, because they control commodities” says Mittal. “But when they start buying even the means of production — they control labor, they control large tracts of land, they control water, they dictate what is grown and how it is grown — it is the kind of vertical integration of a food system that we have never seen before.” [includes rush transcript]

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