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National Security and American Values

Suspected terrorists have been held for years in US military prisons with no charges and no trials, creating a conflict between constitutional rights and national security. As soon as next month, Barack Obama will face tough choices about presidential power. We hear about a US Supreme Court case which could have dramatic and long-lasting consequences. Also, Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, and Mexican drug cartels pose a threat to the national security of the United States. We hear about the disturbing implications of a massive crackdown.

Making News

Obama's $3.6 Trillion Budget Blueprint ()

President Obama unveiled a $3.55 trillion budget today, saying he hopes to “break from a troubled past.” One of the major promises now part of the spending plan is healthcare reform. Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, called it an “honest” spending plan. Jonathan Weisman is political reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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Main Topic

What Should Be Done about Guantanamo Detainees? ()

In last year's campaign, Barack Obama was scathing in his criticism of the Bush Administration's treatment of prisoners in the war on terror. As President, he has denounced torture and ordered closure of Guantánamo Bay. But what about detainees who've been held for years without trials or even charges against them? Obama wants to assert American “values.” Former Vice President Cheney says he cares more about the rights of terrorists than protecting the US. We hear about a US Supreme Court case that could cause a political firestorm and lay down rules that could last for years to come.

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Reporter's Notebook

Drug Busts Show Reach of Mexican Cartels into the US ()

Mexican drug cartels are now operating all over the US with distribution networks to as many as 195 cities. US Attorney General Eric Holder warns of the consequences for national security. The Justice Department has announced the arrests of 730 people in the past 21 months in places as far flung as Minnesota and Maryland, as well as California and other states on the Mexican border. Josh Meyer is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
  • Josh White: Military Affairs Reporter for the Washington Post
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