Show rundown for 12/7/2007

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CIA Interrogation Tapes

The Central Intelligence Agency destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of Al Qaeda operatives in the agency's custody. The New York Times reports the tapes were destroyed in 2005 in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the CIA's secret detention program. We speak with Mark Mazzetti, the reporter who broke the story today.

Ho Ho Hanukkah

Tonight will mark the fourth night of Hanukkah. In the Jewish faith, this was traditionally a minor holiday with children receiving small gifts on each night of the eight day celebration. But now some parents are giving their children extravagant gifts each night, as they try to compete with Christmas. We talk to two people of faith to delve into ways to brace against the commercialization of the season and get back to the real meaning of the holidays. Our guests are Rabbi Joshua Elkin, Executive Director of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, and Pastor Mary Luti of the First Church in Cambridge, United Church of Christ.

U.S.-Iran Relations

A former CIA officer and Iran expert says Iran is one of the most complicated political systems in the world, and he gives us his reading of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. Our guest is Kenneth Pollack, director of research at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, former military analyst for the CIA, and author of "The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America."

Medal of Honor Essay and Letters

Here & Now's Alex Ashlock comments on the recent deaths of Jefferson DeBlanc and Silvestre Herrera, two Medal of Honor recipients from World War Two; we also dip into the Here and Now mailbag for the thoughts of listeners.

Carpenter Poets

Following in the footsteps of the Cowboy poets, a group of workers who make their living with hammers, nails, and saws, have taken to writing about the work they do. Here & Now's Andrea Shea profiles the "Carpenter Poets" of Boston.

This program aired on December 7, 2007.


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