Wednesday, December 17, 2008

17 Dec 2008: Today's Democracy Now!

Federal Report Finds $100B Failure in US Reconstruction of Iraq
An unpublished federal report has concluded the US reconstruction effort in Iraq has been a $100 billion failure. It found that the rebuilding has not done much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the looting that followed. We speak to journalist T. Christian Miller of the investigative website ProPublica, who obtained a copy of the report. [includes rush transcript]

As Madoff Scandal Wipes Out Charities and Foundations, SEC Admits it Missed Repeated Warnings on Historic $50B Financial Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission has admitted it missed repeated opportunities to discover what may be the largest financial fraud in history, a multi-billion-dollar pyramid scheme operated by Wall Street legend Bernard Madoff. Now several non-profits and foundations are being forced to close, because their entire endowments have been wiped out. We speak to Robert Crane of the now-shuttered New York-based JEHT Foundation and ProPublica reporter Paul Kiel.

Days After Calling Israeli Blockade of Gaza "A Crime Against Humanity," UN Human Rights Investigator Richard Falk Detained, Expelled from Israel
The United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has accused Israel of “unprecedented and deeply regrettable” treatment of UN human rights investigator Richard Falk. Falk was deported from Israel Monday after being detained at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport for twenty hours. Falk’s detention and expulsion came days after he condemned Israel’s blockade of Gaza as a “flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law” and “crime against humanity.” We speak to Falk about his detention and expulsion from Israel.

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