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FROM THIS EPISODE

A highly regarded Army lieutenant colonel has exposed a split between younger officers and the military's top brass.  Are "mild-mannered team players" repeating the mistakes of Vietnam in Iraq?  Is there "a crisis in American generals?"  Should Congress intervene?  Also, recent raids and deportations decrease strength of today's immigration demonstrations and, on Reporter's Notebook, Sinclair Lewis warned 70 years ago that the US could become an authoritarian state.  A new book says the risk is still with us.


Photo: Jim Watson, AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Karen Radziner
Dan Konecky

Reporter's Notebook New Book Chronicles Rising Authoritarian Peril in the US 7 MIN, 46 SEC
it_can_happen_here.jpg

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross."  That's from the 70 year-old satirical novel, It Can't Happen Here, written by Sinclair Lewis to dramatize the dangers to American democracy prior to World War II. Now, contemporary writer Joe Conason has a new book. It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush provides a litany of what Conason calls constitutional abuses by the Bush Administration, allowed by a Republican Congress which failed to exercise its responsibility to oversee the executive branch.  Now, the Democrats are in charge on Capitol Hill, and the engine of oversight is shifting into high gear.

Guests:
Joe Conason, Investigative Fund

Main Topic A Failure in Generalship 35 MIN, 21 SEC

President Bush says the generals, not the politicians, should be running the war in Iraq, but the generals are doing a terrible job. That's according to a highly-respected Lieutenant Colonel on active duty, who's written a scathing attack on what he calls "a crisis in American generals." Lt. Colonel Paul Yingling was praised by President Bush last year for securing the Iraqi city of Tall Afar, and his success provided the model for the security plan in Baghdad.  Paul Yingling has attended the Army's top training schools and written for its top journals. The latest Armed Forces Journal published his blistering critique under the title, "A Failure in Generalship."  Should the senior officers be held to account for failing to anticipate the insurgency and not sending enough troops? Are they repeating the mistakes of Vietnam?  Are the wrong people being promoted to the highest military positions?

Guests:
Thomas Ricks, Center for a New American Security
Robert Gard, Jr, Chairman, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Everett Dolman, Professor of Comparative Military Studies at the US Airforce School of Advanced Air/Space Sutides
Stephen Biddle, Council on Foreign Relations

Making News Stepped-Up Enforcement Curbs Today's Immigration Protests 5 MIN, 55 SEC

Immigration marchers are on the streets today in dozens of cities from New York to California.  But last year's May Day turnout of one million strong is not expected to be equaled.  One of the reasons is recent raids and deportations. We get an update on today's demonstrations from Julia Preston of the New York Times and Antonio Olivo of the Chicago Tribune.

Guests:
Julia Preston, New York Times (@JuliaPrestonNYT)
Antonio Olivo, Reporter for the Chicago Tribune

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