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Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on CIA Program ‘Penny Lane,’ US-Afghan Pact, and Pope’s Radical Critique of Capitalism

Uprising’s guest expert is Robert Jensen, Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Details of a new secret program reveal how the CIA turned some Guantanamo prisoners into double agents after 9-11. The Associated Press’s breaking story, based on interviews with anonymous US officials, explains how a handful of prisoners were transferred to hotel-like accommodations and provided with luxuries, trained, and eventually returned to their homes where they may have helped the US find and kill top Al Qaida members. The program, dubbed Penny Lane, lasted from 2003 to 2006. Click here for the Associated Press report about the story.

Even though a traditional assembly of thousands of tribal leaders and others have given a US-Afghan security agreement a green light, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has made last-minute demands of the US that include freeing Afghan prisoners from Guantanamo and ending all night raids. National Security advisor Susan Rice met yesterday with Karzai and warned that if he did not sign the agreement the US would be forced to pull out all troops. Meanwhile, in a troubling sign of a return to a dark past, Afghanistan’s penal code, which is under revision, could reintroduce a penalty for public stoning to death for those committing adultery while married. Click here for a CNN article about the US-Afghan Pact. Click here for a Guardian article about the return to public stoning in Afghanistan.

In yet another sign that the current Vatican head likes doing things differently from his predecessors, Pope Francis has made headlines today, strongly criticizing global capitalism among other things in an 84 page document – his first written work. He wrote, “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” Click here for a Chicago Tribune article about the story.