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FROM THIS EPISODE

Cadets graduating from West Point today won't be going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. We hear what President Obama told them about his vision for the military and its role in his foreign policy for the future. Also, Edward Snowden says he was really a spy. On today's Talking Point, is Amazon guilty of blackmail and censorship?

Banner image: President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address during the U.S. Military Academy’s 216th Graduation Ceremony

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Mike Kessler
Gideon Brower

Edward Snowden Says He Was Really a Spy 7 MIN, 49 SEC

In a recent interview with NBC's Brian Williams in Moscow, Edward Snowden said that the US labeled him a low-level hacker to, as he put it, "distract from the totality of my experience." In fact, he said, he was trained as a spy in what he called the "traditional sense." NBC will air the full interview with Snowden on its evening news programs. Scott Shane has covered the NSA and the CIA for the New York Times.

 

 

 

 

Guests:
Scott Shane, New York Times (@ScottShaneNYT)

President Obama Outlines Post-War Foreign Policy 34 MIN, 36 SEC

At West Point today, President Obama told graduating cadets he would betray his duty to them if he sent them into harm's way just because military action was "the only way for America to avoid looking weak." Emphasizing that many critical problems don't need military solutions, the President then went on to describe what he called his "vision" for the US and the military "in the years to come." As to the spread of terrorist organizations to the Middle East and North Africa, the President said he's developing "a network of partnership," new resources that would be used for security forces in Yemen, Somalia and Mali… with what he called "critical focus" on Syria. Invoking post-war Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy for their reliance on international institutions, he defended his own record, saying that America's ability to shape world opinion through international institutions served as a "counterweight to Russian propaganda" about recent actions in Ukraine… and that reliance on multilateral negotiations has created the prospect of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We hear more about the President's much-awaited foreign policy guidelines, including a strategy for combating terrorism.  What did he leave out?

 

Guests:
Brian Katulis, Center for America Progress (@Katulis)
Stephen Walt, Harvard University (@stephenWalt)
Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations (@MaxBoot)
Jonathan Guyer, Cairo Review of Global Affairs (@mideastXmidwest )

More:
Katulis' 'The Prosperity Agenda: What the World Wants from America and What We Need in Return'
Walt's 'Origins of Alliances'
Boot's 'The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power'
Guyer on Oum Cartoon

The Prosperity Agenda

Brian Katulis and Nancy Soderberg

Amazon.com Battles Publishers 8 MIN, 42 SEC

Amazon has gained so much market power by selling books on the Internet that it's being accused of abuses, including blackmail and censorship. The popular retailer is now listing certain books and authors as "unavailable" -- including the paperback edition of Brad Stone's The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Some publishers accuse Amazon of delaying shipments and raising prices. Titles published by Hachette, including Scott Turow, Malcolm Gladwell and J.D. Salinger may take weeks before they're shipped to customers who order them on line. David Streitfeld, technology reporter for the New York Times, has more on how publishers and authors are fighting back.

Guests:
David Streitfeld, New York Times (@DavidStreitfeld)

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