90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Generals In Trouble

David Petraeus in trouble.  Now, four-star General John Allen, U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan in trouble. We’ll talk with big defense writer Thomas Ricks about the generals.

David Petraeus served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012. (AP)

David Petraeus served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012. (AP)

Petraeus fever.  It used to be about hero-worship.  Now it’s a about infidelity.  The most lauded general in a generation, out as head of the CIA.  Gen. John Allen, top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, also in the hot seat for “inappropriate” communication with a woman.

And Americans left wondering – what’s really serious here, in what way exactly?  What’s not?  And what’s up with our generals?

This hour, On Point:  the fire and smoke, Petraeus and beyond.  And military writer Tom Ricks on America and its generals.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Devlin Barrett, reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Tom Ricks, covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. Until the end of 1999 he had the same beat at the Wall Street Journal, where he was a reporter for 17 years. His new book is The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today. His column on the Petraeus scandal is here.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A. andnow threatens to tarnish the reputation of the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans.”

ABC News “The FBI has uncovered “potentially inappropriate” emails between Allen and Kelly, according to a senior U.S. defense official who is traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The department is reviewing between 20,000 and 30,000 documents connected to this matter, the official said. The email exchanges between Kelley and Allen took place from 2010 to 2012.”

Wall Street Journal “U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday asked the Senate to put on hold the confirmation of Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, as the new NATO chief for Europe following the discovery of allegedly inappropriate communications between the general and a volunteer in Florida who organizes social events for military personnel.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. (AP)

Netanyahu’s speech. Hillary Clinton’s email. Obamacare back at the high court. A stunning start to the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 6, 2015
"The Sellout" is novelist Paul Beatty's new book. (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

Author Paul Beatty’s novel “The Sellout” is a satirical look at race relations in America. He joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

 
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment