This week on CounterSpin: The New York Times tells readers Barack Obama was moved to negotiate a deal with Iran because of his personal “faith in diplomacy.” Is that an appropriate way to understand how these negotiations came to be? Our guest has an alternate view. We’ll hear from investigative journalist Gareth Porter, author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.
Also on the show: Almost as disheartening as it is that this week marks the first time a sitting president will visit a federal prison is the notion that such symbolic acts — like that of commuting the sentences of a few dozen prisoners — might be mistaken for substantive movement toward fundamental change in the criminal justice system. How hopeful is current talk of “reform”? And should reform define the limit of the change we want to see? We talk with Mohamed Shehk of the group Critical Resistance about that.