BTS 1/7/08: Dems and Foreign Policy; NH Primary; CIA Torture Tapes

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2008 has arrived and the political season did not take a break. In the US, populism scored in Iowa, as did symbolism and the come-back of youth. Make no mistake, we still run wealth contests and call them elections, but this primary season is exciting and unpredictable. Barack Obama‘s victory in Iowa was huge, and it upended most of the predictions from the media and political class. The status quo lost and change won – but we’ll go beneath the surface and ask whether change is about the symbolism that Barack Obama personifies, or if it is political and reflected in a real directional change from status quo policies, domestic and foreign. Ari Berman has written on the foreign policy politics of the democratic candidates and we’ll ask him whether Obama’s foreign policy will represent a progressive change not just in the Middle East, but in Latin America, Asia, for the economy and more.

We then talk to Katrina Vanden Heuvel about the political process on the eve of New Hampshire’s primary, and we’ll ask whether the momentum from Iowa is carrying forward. Can we expect candidates to address the economic anxiety that most American’s are suffering?

And finally on tonight’s Beneath the Surface we talk to Michael Ratner from the Center for Constitutional Rights about the inquiry launched by the Justice department and the CIA’s internal watchdog unit into the CIA’s destruction of the torture videos.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Ari Berman, based in New York, is a contributing writer for The Nation, a contributor to The Notion and a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at The Nation Institute. He is currently covering the presidential election race for the Nation.

2. Katrina Vanden Heuvel has been The Nation's editor since 1995 and publisher since 2005. She is the co-editor of Taking Back America--And Taking Down The Radical Right (NationBooks, 2004) and, most recently, editor of The Dictionary of Republicanisms, (NationBooks, 2005). She is also co-editor (with Stephen F. Cohen) of Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev's Reformers (Norton, 1989) and editor of The Nation: 1865-1990, and the collection A Just Response: The Nation on Terrorism, Democracy and September 11, 2001. Her weblog for is "Editor's Cut." Katrina is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, and she also serves on the board of The Institute for Women's Policy Research, The Institute for Policy Studies, The World Policy Institute, The Correctional Association of New York and The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

3. Michael Ratner is a human rights lawyer and president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know among many other writings. He is the recipient of the Columbia Law School's Medal for Excellence, the university's highest award to its alumni.