BTS 8/24/09: Prisoner Abuse Report; Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Healthcare and Credit Card Reform

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Is it Prosecution Time? Today, the C.I.A. is set to disclose previously unreleased portions of a 2004 inspector general's report, providing fresh details about the CIA interrogation program and abuses inside its secret prisons. Elizabeth Goitein, director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and national Security Project says, "This is not about a 'few bad apples' that disregarded official policy. Official policy - approved at the highest levels of the U.S. government - itself crossed the line. What we need is a comprehensive, independent inquiry into post-9/11 abuses in our counterterrorism policies." She joins us.

Elections and war in Afghanistan, increased violence in Iraq: Can we stop the wars? Chris Hedges, former war correspondent and author of War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning thinks there is a connection between war funding and our sorry state of healthcare. The insurance companies have won and Hedges says this isn’t reform, it’s a robbery. The real debate, according to Hedges, “is how much money our blood-sucking insurance, pharmaceutical and for-profit health services are going to be able to siphon off from new health care legislation.”

Credit card industry reform went into August 21: did you notice? Danny Schechter, News Dissector, and producer of “In Debt We Trust” fills us in how credit card companies are ahead of the attempts to reform them, just like the insurance companies are with respect to health care reform. Danny also has tips to stop the squeeze.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Elizabeth Goitein directs the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Project, which seeks to ensure that our government respects human rights and fundamental freedoms in conducting the fight against terrorism. Goitein served as counsel to Senator Feingold, Chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee handling a variety of liberty and national security matters, with a particular focus on government secrecy and privacy rights. Goitein was a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. Ms. Goitein graduated from the Yale Law School in 1998 and clerked for the Honorable Michael Daly Hawkins on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

2. Chris Hedges, weekly Truthdig columnist, was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades in The Middle East, Central America, Africa and the Balkans. Hedges was part of the New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize coverage of global terrorism and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. He is the author of the best selling American Fascists and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. Other books include: I Don’t Believe in Atheists (2008), Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America (2005), and What Every Person Should Know About War. He is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University.

3. Danny Schechter, News Dissector is a multiple Emmy Award winner at ABC News where he was among the first to cover the S&L crisis. In 2007, his film 'In Debt We Trust' explored the relationship between Congress and the credit complex and it’s enormously negative impact on the country's financial health. It also exposed Wall Street’s connection to subprime loans. His recent book Plunder investigated who is to blame for our economic calamity and global financial crisis. Danny Schecter is the author of nine books, blogs at and is the editor of,