February 20th: What's On Today's Show
For the second time in less than a month, United Nations inspectors are in Iran. It's unclear whether they will be allowed near a questionable nuclear plant in Fordo. Western officials believe Iran wants to enrich uranium there for a weapon, while Iran's leaders contend it is for peaceful purposes only. All the while, Western-imposed sanctions are damaging Iran's economy and currency. NPR foreign correspondent Mike Shuster joins host Neal Conan to discuss Iran's ambitions.
Xavier Alvarez is one of the first people to be convicted under the Stolen Valor Act, a law that criminalizes falsely claiming military decoration. This Wednesday, Alvarez's lawyers will argue his case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Jonathan Turley writes "The problem with the law [he] may have broken is not just that it is unnecessary, but that it can be dangerous to criminalize lies. After all, with the power to punish a lie comes the power to define the truth — a risky occupation for any government." Host Neal Conan talks with Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, about his opinion piece.
Life on Native American reservations is often likened to a developing world filled with drunks and criminals, or a natural paradise of medicine men and folk tale princesses. The novelist and son of an Ojibwe trial judge, David Treuer made it his mission to report the real stories in his first work of non-fiction, Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life. Treuer talks to host Neal Conan about his life in the place he calls home, Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota.
'Hell & Back Again'
Danfung Dennis has seen the brutalities of war. His photographs of Iraq and Afghanistan have appeared in major publications, including The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The Guardian and The Washington Post. Inspired by this experience, Dennis created Hell And Back Again, a documentary about a U.S. Marine's return home from Afghanistan, wounded and frustrated, and his transition back home in North Carolina. Dennis talks with host Neal Conan about the process of directing the film, now nominated for an Oscar.