BTS 7/12/07: Iraq Vets Speak Out; Message to Democrats; Libby and Sentencing

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Tonight's program is dedicated to Amelia Esther Minsky Nichols, the newest "struggle element" to join parents Alan Minsky and Sheila Nichols in their multi-pronged efforts for a better world.

We begin tonight with a look at the four year occupation of Iraq from the point of view of the Vets. We'll talk to Chris Hedges, whose report based on troop interviews is the cover story of the July 30 issue of Nation. One vet told Hedges and his co-author Laila Al-Arian, that what was wrong was ‘the nature of the situation you're in -- It's not individual atrocity. It's the fact that the entire war is an atrocity."

We then turn to Montana Progressive Democrat Paul Edwards, whose op-ed "Timid Democrats Need to Stand Up or Get Lost" appeared in the Great Falls Tribune and had the whole region talking about its eloquent and hard hitting message: that "The horrific disaster inflicted on Iraq and America must be made to end now, Not some time later, not in months, not after the useless deaths of hundreds more young soldiers, but immediately, with as much efficiency and security as can be managed, and as much assistance and support as can be had from a world community that has long been sickened and appalled by Mr. Bush and his blundering falsity and shameless fraud."

And finally, we talk to Nomi Prins about her thoughts on our criminal justice system: she wrote in NewsDay that the Scooter Libby Case should be used to fix sentencing: The president said the sentence was 'excessive,' but the judge was well within the guidelines.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute. He has 15 years of experience reporting from war zones in the Persian Gulf, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, the West Bank and Gaza, Sudan, Yemen, Algeria, the Punjab, Bosnia and Kosovo.In 2002, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for The New York Times’ coverage of global terrorism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.”

2. Paul Edwards is chair of the Progressive Democrats of Montana.

3. Nomi Prins is an author, journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos, a NYC-based public policy think tank. Her book Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (featured on this program) was chosen as a best book by the Economist, Barron’s and The Library Journal. Also featured here on Beneath The Surface was her latest book Jacked: How “Conservatives” are Picking your Pocket (whether you voted for them or not). Before journalism, Nomi worked as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and at Bear Stearns in London. She publishes widely on economic issues.