Is the US Losing Influence over the Crisis in Pakistan?
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Since 9/11 the Bush Administration has supported the government of General Pervez Musharraf. Washington has provided more than $10 billion in aid in return for Pakistan's support in the fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda. But now that Musharraf has declared emergency rule can the US punish him without creating chaos that would help the terrorists? Also, the Bush Administration's Middle East peace initiative, and for years the FBI won convictions by claiming that bullets had a distinct chemical fingerprint. Scientists have refuted the FBI, calling into question hundreds of cases. Jim Sterngold guest hosts.
Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Preparations Underway for Annapolis Peace Summit ()
After years of being accused of doing little to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, the Bush Administration is finally preparing a peace initiative next week in Annapolis, Maryland. Israel seems to have begun taking steps to ease tensions and prepare the way for talks, today releasing several hundred Palestinian prisoners. Yet, with only days to go there is no certain list of who will attend or of the agenda. Is it too late for peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Tim McGirk is Jerusalem Bureau Chief for Time magazine.
- Tim McGirk: Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Time Magazine
Has US Lost Influence over the Crisis in Pakistan? ()
Pakistan has long presented a vexing policy conundrum for the US. Its nuclear-weapons lab leaked technology to Iran and North Korea and al Qaeda's leaders have taken refuge in its tribal lands. Washington played down those problems as long as it had a stable alliance with Islamabad. But since President Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule two weeks ago, the US has struggled to stabilize this key ally in the war on terror, urging a return to civilian rule while risking instability that could aid terrorists. Musharraf has remained defiant in his grip on power despite a visit by Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who also met with opposition politicians, in a search for political alternatives. With whom did he speak and, at this point, can the US really help them? Can the US cut aid without pushing Pakistan to the brink of chaos?
- Graham Usher: Freelance journalist
- Hasan-Askari Rizvi: Columnist, Pakistan's Daily Times
- Paula Newberg: former Special Advisor, United Nations
- Michael O'Hanlon: Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
FBI to Review Hundreds of Convictions That Used Bullet-Lead Analysis ()
For decades after the 1963 Kennedy assassination, the FBI relied on a crime-solving technique that analyzed the lead content of bullets, theorizing that each batch of bullets had a distinct "signature." So matching bullets at the crime scene to those possessed by the defendants appeared to confirm their guilt for the crimes. The FBI abandoned the practice more than two years ago, but only now is it re-examining old cases. A series in the Washington Post suggests that the FBI may have put innocent men in prison because of the faulty science. John Solomon wrote the series.
- John Solomon: National Political Reporter, Washington Post
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