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Frederick Kaufman, Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food joins Thom Hartmann. What do the malnutrition and starvation epidemics in Africa have to do with a decision made by big bank Goldman Sachs in 1991?


Frederick Kaufman, Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food joins Thom Hartmann. What do the malnutrition and starvation epidemics in Africa have to do with a decision made by big bank Goldman Sachs in 1991?


Sasha Reuther, Producer/Director joins Thom Hartmann. His latest project is the documentary film, "Brothers On The Line" - A provocative historical narrative of power, commitment, and brotherhood, the film explores the legacy of union organizers and social justice statesman Walter, Roy, and Victor Reuther (his grandfather) and their leadership of the United Auto Workers (UAW). With the rise of the American automobile industry came the rise of organized labor - but the fight for workers' rights did not come easy in the Motor City. These three men helped lead the charge to bring unions to Detroit - and revolutionized the American workplace at the same time.


Sasha Reuther, Producer/Director joins Thom Hartmann. His latest project is the documentary film, "Brothers On The Line" - A provocative historical narrative of power, commitment, and brotherhood, the film explores the legacy of union organizers and social justice statesman Walter, Roy, and Victor Reuther (his grandfather) and their leadership of the United Auto Workers (UAW). With the rise of the American automobile industry came the rise of organized labor - but the fight for workers' rights did not come easy in the Motor City. These three men helped lead the charge to bring unions to Detroit - and revolutionized the American workplace at the same time.


Peter Galuszka, Journalist/Author, Thunder On The Mountain: Death at Massey and the Dirty Secrets behind Big Coal. How many more Upper Big Branch tragedies is it going to take before America finally kicks it's addiction to coal? Or - better yet - before Coal companies put the worker's safety ahead of the bottom-line?


Peter Galuszka, Journalist/Author, Thunder On The Mountain: Death at Massey and the Dirty Secrets behind Big Coal. How many more Upper Big Branch tragedies is it going to take before America finally kicks it's addiction to coal? Or - better yet - before Coal companies put the worker's safety ahead of the bottom-line?


Rais Bhuiyan, survivor of post 9/11 hate crime, Corey Saylor, Legislative Director-Counsel on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy-American Sikh Coalition & Dr. Michael Scheuer, Center for Peace and Security Studies / Former CIA Analyst / Author, "Imperial Hubris" all join Thom Hartmann. Earlier this week - we told you about the Islamophobic posters in New York Subway stations. Unfortunately - that's not just an isolated incident. All across America - Islamophobia is rearing it's ugly head - from burning down mosques to firebombing homes. But who and what are at the root of all the anti-Muslim sentiment in America - and what can we do stop it? That and more in tonight's Bigger Picture discussion - Islamophobia in America


Rais Bhuiyan, survivor of post 9/11 hate crime, Corey Saylor, Legislative Director-Counsel on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy - American Sikh Coalition & Dr. Michael Scheuer, Center for Peace and Security Studies / Former CIA Analyst / Author, "Imperial Hubris" all join Thom Hartmann. Earlier this week - we told you about the Islamophobic posters in New York Subway stations. Unfortunately - that's not just an isolated incident. All across America - Islamophobia is rearing it's ugly head - from burning down mosques to firebombing homes. But who and what are at the root of all the anti-Muslim sentiment in America - and what can we do stop it? That and more in tonight's Bigger Picture discussion - Islamophobia in America


Kurt Eichenwald, Vanity Fair, former reporter-NY Times. His new book is 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars. Over the last 11 years - it's been a question asked hundreds of times: Could 9/11 have been prevented if the Bush Adminstration had acted on the intelligence they had at the time. Of course - 9/11 did happen - and Bush took us to war with Iraq shortly thereafter. What was the planning for the Iraq war really like inside the White House - and what roles did the United States' closest allies play in it? We'll ask investigative journalist Kurt Eichenwald in a special edition of Conversations with Great Minds


Kurt Eichenwald, Vanity Fair, former reporter-NY Times. His new book is 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars. Over the last 11 years - it's been a question asked hundreds of times: Could 9/11 have been prevented if the Bush Adminstration had acted on the intelligence they had at the time. Of course - 9/11 did happen - and Bush took us to war with Iraq shortly thereafter. What was the planning for the Iraq war really like inside the White House - and what roles did the United States' closest allies play in it? We'll ask investigative journalist Kurt Eichenwald in a special edition of Conversations with Great Minds


Alan Uke, author, Buying America Back: A Real-Deal Blueprint for Restoring American Prosperity, joins Thom Hartmann. Could "buying American" create new jobs across the country and help improve the state of the economy? Is "Buying America Back" a political issue - is it Democrat versus Republican. Or is it simply about looking out for America?


Alan Uke, author, Buying America Back: A Real-Deal Blueprint for Restoring American Prosperity, joins Thom Hartmann. Could "buying American" create new jobs across the country and help improve the state of the economy? Is "Buying America Back" a political issue - is it Democrat versus Republican. Or is it simply about looking out for America?


Craig Unger, Journalist /Author, latest is "Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power" joins Thom Hartmann. Karl Rove plans to spend as much as half billion dollars this election to defeat President Obama and Democrats. What's motivating him - and what happens to America if he succeeds?


Craig Unger, Journalist /Author, latest is "Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power" joins Thom Hartmann. Karl Rove plans to spend as much as half billion dollars this election to defeat President Obama and Democrats. What's motivating him - and what happens to America if he succeeds?


Neil Barofsky, former special inspector-general of the TARP & author "Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street," joins Thom Hartmann. In 2008, we were all told TARP was needed to prevent a Great Depression. Instead - TARP funds have made the big banks richer - and given them an even greater feeling of invincibility. So how was this allowed to happen?


Neil Barofsky, former special inspector-general of the TARP & author "Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street," joins Thom Hartmann. In 2008, we were all told TARP was needed to prevent a Great Depression. Instead - TARP funds have made the big banks richer - and given them an even greater feeling of invincibility. So how was this allowed to happen?


For tonight's Conversations with Great Minds - I'm joined by NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Kirk Wiebe. Both men were involved in exposing the NSA's massive, illegal, domestic spying program known as the Trailblazer project initiated in 2000. Despite not leaking any classified information - and exhaustively going through all the protocols required for members of the intelligence community to blow the whistle on wrongdoing - both men faced serious retributions for going public with what they knew about the NSA's surveillance program. In 2007 - after a reporter for the Baltimore Sun obtained information regarding waste, fraud, and abuse at the NSA - FBI agents raided the home Kirk Wiebe - confiscating computer hard drives and business records - and revoking security clearance that Wiebe - an NSA veteran - had held since 1964. Wiebe was not charged with any crime. However - Thomas Drake - whose home was also raided - was charged with multiple crimes including violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. Eventually those charges were dropped in 2011. Since then - Drake has gone on to win multiple awards for his courage in blowing the whistle on the NSA - including the Ridenour Prize for Truth Telling and the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. And both he and Kirk Wiebe have done tremendous work to inform all of us on the growing American surveillance state. The National Security Agency is building a massive spy center in Utah. What for? And will Americans be the targets of the NSA's prying eyes?


For tonight's Conversations with Great Minds - I'm joined by NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Kirk Wiebe. Both men were involved in exposing the NSA's massive, illegal, domestic spying program known as the Trailblazer project initiated in 2000. Despite not leaking any classified information - and exhaustively going through all the protocols required for members of the intelligence community to blow the whistle on wrongdoing - both men faced serious retributions for going public with what they knew about the NSA's surveillance program. In 2007 - after a reporter for the Baltimore Sun obtained information regarding waste, fraud, and abuse at the NSA - FBI agents raided the home Kirk Wiebe - confiscating computer hard drives and business records - and revoking security clearance that Wiebe - an NSA veteran - had held since 1964. Wiebe was not charged with any crime. However - Thomas Drake - whose home was also raided - was charged with multiple crimes including violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. Eventually those charges were dropped in 2011. Since then - Drake has gone on to win multiple awards for his courage in blowing the whistle on the NSA - including the Ridenour Prize for Truth Telling and the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. And both he and Kirk Wiebe have done tremendous work to inform all of us on the growing American surveillance state. The National Security Agency is building a massive spy center in Utah. What for? And will Americans be the targets of the NSA's prying eyes?


Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director-Institute for Responsible Technology, leading spokesperson on the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), author of the books "Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating" and "Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods." Genetically modified crops are all the rage these days - and have taken over the agriculture industries of many countries. But just how dangerous are genetically modified crops - and do we really need to be relying so heavily on them?


Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director-Institute for Responsible Technology, leading spokesperson on the health dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), author of the books "Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating" and "Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods." Genetically modified crops are all the rage these days - and have taken over the agriculture industries of many countries. But just how dangerous are genetically modified crops - and do we really need to be relying so heavily on them?


Lori Wallach has been director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division for nearly 20 years. She is an expert on the operations and outcomes of trade policies like NAFTA and the WTO - and currently is leading her organization's efforts to reveal the truth behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Lori has appeared on a variety of television networks - including CNN, the BBC and PBS - and she also the author of numerous articles and books - including her most recent book Whose Trade Organization? What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership - a so-called free-trade deal that the US is close to signing? What are the specifics of the deal - and just how much harm is it going to do to you and me?


Lori Wallach has been director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division for nearly 20 years. She is an expert on the operations and outcomes of trade policies like NAFTA and the WTO - and currently is leading her organization's efforts to reveal the truth behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Lori has appeared on a variety of television networks - including CNN, the BBC and PBS - and she also the author of numerous articles and books - including her most recent book Whose Trade Organization? What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership - a so-called free-trade deal that the US is close to signing? What are the specifics of the deal - and just how much harm is it going to do to you and me?


On the afternoon of March 11th, 2011 - a massive 9.0 earthquake struck just off the main island of Japan - rattling the nation to its core. Nestled on the east coast of Japan - not too far from the epicenter of that quake - was the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant - a plant with six nuclear reactors - three of which weren't designed to handle an earthquake of that magnitude. Right after the ground started shaking - reactors 1, 2, and 3 at the plant went into automatic shutdown. Reactors 4, 5, and 6 were already shutdown for inspection. The main power source to keep the reactors cool - the electric grid - was knocked out by the earthquake - so 13 emergency diesel generators immediately kicked in to keep the reactors cool. But within ten minutes, the emergency cooling systems at reactor 1 failed - and radioactive fuel rods within the reactors began to melting down.

But things were about to get a lot worse. Approximately 50 minutes after the earthquake - a giant 45-foot tsunami slammed into the east coast of Japan - and right into the Fukushima Daiichi plant. It swept across the plant's seawalls - and flooded the turbine buildings - shutting down the emergency diesel generators - and cutting off critical cooling to the reactors. At this point - the operators of the Fukushima plant knew they had a crisis on their hands. At approximately 3:41 in the afternoon - less than an hour after the earthquake - TEPCO, which operated the plant, notified the authorities that they had a "First level Emergency" on their hands - reactors were melting down. To buy themselves time - operators begin relieving pressure from the reactors - by releasing radioactive steam out of the reactor buildings and into the air.

And in a frantic attempt to keep the reactors cool - nearby seawater is pumped into the plant. But that wasn't enough - and there's not much else that plant operators can do, since the radiation around the plant was spiking. Soon - reactor buildings begin exploding. One day after the earthquake - on March 12th - reactor 1 suffered a hydrogen explosion - collapsing its roof. Over the next few days - reactors 2, 3, and 4 would give way to similar hydrogen explosions - mangling the reactor buildings - and exposing highly radioactive spent fuel - which was stored in pools built into the ceilings of the reactors - to the atmosphere. Helicopters flew in to drop seawater into the crippled reactor buildings, trying to prevent the spent fuel pools from igniting.


Meanwhile - on the ground - teams of TEPCO workers began working in shifts to bring the melting down plant under control. These shifts were essentially suicide missions - as radiation levels were well above lifetime dosages. During that March - an estimated 900,000 terabecquerels of radiation were released into the air. That's roughly one-sixth of the radiation released during the Chernobyl nuclear crisis - but again - that was just during the month of March. Between then and December of 2011, when TEPCO finally said the plant was stable, more than 300 workers were exposed to lethally high levels of radiation - and millions of gallons of highly radioactive sea water were dumped into the ground and into the ocean.The effects of this radioactive dump are still not known.

In February of this year - TEPCO began pouring cement around the plant as part of the decommissioning process - a process that operators believe could take as long as 30 years. But despite assurances from TEPCO that the plant is stable - evidence shows the nuclear crisis is still far from resolved. The Unit 4 reactor building, with tons of radioactive fuel and waste still stored in its roof, is leaning - and in danger of toppling over and triggering a chain-reaction radioactive fire that could blow exponentially more radiation in the atmosphere than Chernobyl And radiation levels at reactor one recently reached all-time highs. Yet - Japan is moving forward with nuclear power. Just this month - a reactor at the Oi nuclear plant was turned on - marking the first time a Japanese nuclear reactor was operational since the March earthquake.

But the question is - have the lessons of Fukushima been learned? And not just in Japan - where the crisis continues and could yet worsen - but also in the United States? That's the topic for tonight's Bigger Picture discussion.... Joining Thom for Conversations with Great Minds are...Paul Gunter - the Director of Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear - and 2008 recepient of the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for environmental activism - who's been on the front lines fighting back against nuclear power for more than thirty years now. And - Kevin Kamps - Radioactive Waste Watchdog at Beyond Nuclear - who's testified before the officials at the highest levels U.S. Federal Agencies dealing with radioactive Waste Management - including the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the EPA.