13 May 2009
Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine," Matt Taibbbi, contributing editor for Rolling Stone Magazine and Reza Aslan, author of "How to Win a Cosmic War" are interviewed by Bill Maher.
They debate topical American issues of the day, including President Barack Obama going after tax cheats, as well as the need to prosecute those responsible for torture -- often described as the Bush/Cheney torture scandal.
On Tax Havens
Obama is going after corporations who keep their money in tax havens. Some 14 of these companies were also beneficiaries of the financial crisis bailout package. These include Bank of America, which has 59 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and Citibank, which has 427.
Taibbi contends that the measures Obama has identified are great ideas, but the chances of them succeeding slim, because tax cheats are very good at finding new ways to trick the system.
The sticky point in this debate is that it may not be politically effective to prosecute those involved in the Bush/Cheney torture crimes.
Maher and Aslan argue that trying to prosecute those involved in the shameful torture saga would result in diverting public attention and resources away from critical domestic issues of the day, "sucking the air out" of the current momentum to deal with pressing issues, such as health care.
Taibbi and Klein argue strongly that it would be immoral and unjust to allow those responsible to get away with torture. For example, referring to the global financial crisis and highlighting the unfairness of the situation,Taibbi argues that Wall Street is responsible for a 12 trillion dollar hole in the economy. These people need to go to jail, he says to much audience applause.
For the second part of this discussion, where Klein argues that "having a legal process puts the truth on the record," please click here.