ALEX ABDO (AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION)
INTERVIEW - 30th August 2009
In the months and years after September 11, 2001, what started as an
urgent scramble for information on terrorists morphed into one of the
darkest chapters of American history and has become a major blot on its
This week the CIA released a long-awaited report on the agency’s role in interrogation and torture, shedding even more light on what is already known about the Bush years of “war on terror” – the abuses in Abu Ghraib and the widespread use of water boarding.
The report provides a detailed official account of the CIA’s detention, interrogation and rendition programs that many believe further cross the legal boundaries – like intimidation with power drills and mock assassinations.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has long been campaigning for a release of this information under FoI laws. This week George Negus speaks with ACLU lawyer Alex Abdo about what this information means for the CIA, President Obama, and the United States.
Honeymoon is Over - CLARENCE PAGE
('CHICAGO TRIBUNE' COLUMNIST) - 27th September 2009
Whatever happened to Barack Obama's widespread support?
As the political temperature rises, we'll cross to the US to speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning Clarence Page, a Washington-based senior columnist for the Chicago Tribune, to discuss whether President Obama's honeymoon is finally over.
With world leaders converging on New York for the UN General Assembly and the next round of G20 talks, we'll also discuss what has undoubtedly been his most important week on the international stage since taking office.
(FORMER U.S UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE) - 4 October 2009
As officials hold high-level talks this week in Geneva over Iran's
nuclear program, George Negus speaks with former U.S. Under Secretary
of State, Thomas Pickering, on the question of how to deal with this
Pickering, a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., is a signatory on the Global Zero campaign, an initiative which advocates the abolition of nuclear weapons. Pickering argues that sanctions and threats are not the way forward, but that more cooperation with Iran is necessary.
HUTTON (AUTHOR AND ECONOMICS
INTERVIEW- 11th October
Coming out of an horrendous year when Britain’s banking
system teetered precariously on the edge of collapse, it’s
been time for the country’s political parties to put their
cards on the table. At the Conservatives’ conference in
Manchester this week, shadow chancellor George Osborne finally
delivered his Plan to Save The World – and the prospect was
In his speech, Osbourne asked the nation to make a collective sacrifice
in which everyone but the poorest would have to contribute to reduce
"the largest deficit in our modern history".
Despite his reputation as a New Labour economics guru in the early years of Tony Blair's leadership and a proponent of the larger state, economist and commentator Will Hutton now believes the tide has turned and that it is a certainty that the Tories will triumph at a general election.
“After 12 years in power, the accumulation of compromises and disappointed hopes is too much – let alone the economic bust that Gordon Brown promised would never happen. The country is determined on change and unless some dramatic event, cock-up or scandal blights the conservatives, by the next June David Cameron will be prime minister,” he says.
( DIRECTOR, NORWEGIAN NOBEL INSTITUTE) – 18th October 2009
When US President Barack Obama's name was read out at the Nobel
Institute in Oslo last week, a collective gasp reverberated around the
Barely eight months into the job, Obama won the Peace Prize for his ‘extraordinary diplomatic efforts on the international stage’.
The reactions to the committee’s choice spanned a great divide, but with the country in the middle of two messy conflicts, "premature" was one word that was not too far from any conversation. This week George Negus goes straight to the source, and asks the influential secretary of the Nobel committee, Geir Lundestad, just what they were thinking.
Please Note: More interviews will be added as time permits.