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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

  • As U.S. Escalates Pakistan Drone Strikes, Expansive "Kill List" Stirs Fears of Worse Civilian Toll

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    At least 27 people have been killed in three consecutive days of U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan, part of a new wave of attacks over the past two weeks. The surge in drone strikes comes just a week after the New York Times revealed that President Obama personally oversees a "secret kill list" containing the names and photos of individuals targeted for assassination in the U.S. drone war. We go to London to speak with Chris Woods, award-winning reporter with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, who heads the Bureau’s drones investigation team. Under the Obama administration’s rules, "any adult male killed in effectively a defined kill zone is a terrorist, unless posthumously proven otherwise," Woods says. "We think this goes a long way to explaining the gulf between our reporting of civilian casualties in Pakistan and Yemen and the reporting of credible international news organizations, and the CIA’s repeated claims that it isn’t killing [civilians], or rather, is killing small numbers. ... If you keep assuring yourself that you’re not killing civilians, by a sleight of hand, effectively, by a redrafting of the term of 'civilian,' than that starts to influence the policy and to encourage you to carry out more drone strikes." Woods adds that the latest attacks "indicate not just a significant rise in the number of CIA strikes in Pakistan, but an aggression for those strikes that we really haven’t seen for over a year." [includes rush transcript]

  • Polish Resistance Figure Jan Karski, Honored with Posthumous Medal of Freedom, in His Own Words

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    Last week, the White House apologized to Poland over language used by President Obama in honoring the late Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski. Obama referred to a "Polish death camp" when awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom without noting Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany. During World War II, Karski helped alert the world to the Nazi Holocaust. He visited the Warsaw Ghetto and traveled to the United States to give eyewitness testimony to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. We air excerpts of an interview with Karski conducted by Andrew Leslie Phillips in 1986. [includes rush transcript]

  • Wisconsin Recall: As Voters Head to Polls, a Debate on Walker’s Record, Election Spending and Unions

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    In the most expensive political race in Wisconsin’s history, voters will decide today whether Republican Gov. Scott Walker will finish his first term. The recall effort was launched last year after Walker stripped public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights and reduced their benefits. We go to Milwaukee for a debate about Walker, his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, the role of public sector unions and what the vote means for the nation, with two guests: Richard Esenberg, head of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and an adjunct professor of law at Marquette University, who supports Walker; and Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a coalition of social and economic justice groups and union locals, who supports Barrett. [includes rush transcript]