Iran: A Nation in Turmoil
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The government of Iran today blamed the US and Europe for growing unrest and staged counter-demonstrations to reassert its authority. What changes might be in store? Does the US have a role? What about the nuclear buildup? Also, the President acknowledges intelligence warnings about Umar Abdulmutallab, and 400 million pages of government records will be declassified. We look at the President's commitment to open government.
Banner image: An Iranian police officer (2nd-L) is taken away by people after allegedly being beaten by opposition supporters during an anti-government protest in Tehran on December 27, 2009. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
US Intelligence Had the Goods on Umar Abdulmutallab ()
President Obama said yesterday there were warning signs that could have averted the near-disaster on Christmas Day. He branded the government's failure to share and act upon information about "known extremist" Umar Abdulmutallab "totally unacceptable." Evan Perez covers the Justice Department for the Wall Street Journal.
Iran: A Nation in Turmoil ()
After a weekend of protests across the country, the government of Iran today organized large-scale counter demonstrations including threats of death to future dissenters, threats backed up by Iran's highest officials. While such harsh reaction might signal the beginning of the end for Iran's revolutionary regime, there are new problems for the US and its allies. President Obama's offer to "engage" on the nuclear buildup has apparently been rejected, providing new impetus for international sanctions. But can they be targeted narrowly enough to damage government leaders without injuring the dissenters the West wants to help? Will the challenges from within topple the current regime, at least force greater freedom, or lead to a tyranny more repressive than ever?
- Borzou Daragahi: Middle East Correspondent, Los Angeles Times, @borzou
- Gary Sick: former staffer, National Security Council
- Reza Aslan: Columnist, Daily Beast, @rezaaslan
- Azar Nafisi: Author, 'Reading Lolita in Tehran', @azarnafisi
Obama Declassifies Millions of Documents ()
While on a Hawaiian vacation, President Obama met a December 31 deadline with a sweeping executive order to declassify some 400 million pages of documents, going back to the wars in Vietnam, Korea and World War II. Despite campaign promises for a more open government, since taking office Obama had embraced some Bush Administration efforts to keep state secrets out of open court. Yesterday's order says "no information may remain classified indefinitely." Jameel Jaffer is director of the ACLU's National Security Project.
- Jameel Jaffer: Director, ACLU's National Security Project
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