We turn now to climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher, who was released last month after 21 months in federal custody. DeChristopher was convicted of interfering with a public auction in 2008 when he disrupted the Bush administration’s last-minute move to auction off oil and gas exploitation rights in Utah by posing as a bidder. He is the subject of the new documentary, "Bidder 70." "We need to be building power as a social movement. One of the weaknesses for the climate movement," DeChristopher explains, is that "we still have this huge divide between the political side of the movement that focuses on Washington and the grassroots side of the movement that’s been building real power."
The Justice Department’s disclosure that it had secretly subpoenaed phone records from the Associated Press has prompted a wave of comparisons between President Obama and Richard Nixon. Four decades ago, the Nixon administration attempted to block The New York Times from publishing a secret history of the Vietnam War leaked to the newspaper by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Two days after the Times first published excerpts of what became known as the "Pentagon Papers," the Nixon government asked for and received a Supreme Court injunction against the newspaper, arguing that publication of the documents posed a "grave and immediate danger to the security of the United States." We speak to James Goodale, the general counsel at The New York Times during the Pentagon Papers crackdown. Goodale is a leading legal expert on the First Amendment and has just published a new book, "Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles." Goodale said he wrote the book in part because of the work of Julian Assange of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and how he is likely being targeted by the U.S. government in an ongoing grand jury probe. "My book is meant to be a clarion call to the journalist community: Wake up! There’s danger out there," Goodale says. "You may not like Assange, but wake up! The First Amendment is really going to be damaged. If Obama goes forward and succeeds, he will have succeeded where Nixon failed."
A Pentagon official predicted Thursday the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates could last up to 20 more years. The comment came during a Senate hearing revisiting the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, enacted by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At the hearing, Pentagon officials claimed the AUMF gives the president power to wage endless war anywhere in the world, including in Syria, Yemen and the Congo. "This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here," said Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. "You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today." We play excerpts of Thursday’s Senate hearing and our recent interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of the new bestseller, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield."
- Guantánamo Hunger Strike Enters 100th Day; 30 Prisoners Being Force-Fed
- Number of Syrian Refugees Tops 1.5 Million
- Obama: U.S. Won't Take Unilateral Action Against Assad
- Obama Defends Secret Subpoena of Associated Press Phone Records
- DOJ Releases Completely Blacked-Out Memo on Surveillance of Text Messages
- Obama Appoints New Acting IRS Commissioner
- Audit of Witness Protection Program Finds Gaps in Tracking of Terror Suspects
- Note by Boston Bombing Suspect Cites U.S. Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan as Motive
- 9 Afghan Civilians, 6 Americans Killed in Kabul Suicide Bombing
- Cause of Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Still Unknown 1 Month Later
- 3rd U.S. Military Official Tasked with Sexual Assault Prevention Is Accused of Abuse
- Senate Panels Advance Obama Nominees for Labor Dept., EPA with No Republican Support
- House Lawmakers Reach Tentative Deal for Immigration Reform
- 7 Still Missing After Texas Tornadoes; At Least 6 Dead
- LulzSec Computer Hackers Get Jail Terms in Britain
- Case Dropped Against Florida Teen Arrested for Science Experiment
- Today Marks 45th Anniversary of Catonsville 9 Protest Against Vietnam War
- Woman in El Salvador Asks Supreme Court for Life-Saving Abortion
Students and administrators at New York City’s Cooper Union are clashing over the future of one of the last private universities in the United States to offer free tuition. Activists are occupying the president’s office for a ninth day after the school said fiscal problems would force an end to more than a century of free tuition for undergraduates. We host a debate with three guests: Mark Epstein, the chairman of the board of trustees for Cooper Union; Victoria Sobel, a Cooper Union student organizer who is among the activists who have occupied the president’s office for over a week; and Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon.
David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, joins us to discuss the growing scandal over the Justice Department’s seizure of telephone records from Associated Press editors and reporters. The action came as part of a probe into the leaks behind an AP story about how U.S. intelligence thwarted a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. "This is a very troubling aspect of this administration — it is hostile to the news media," Johnston says. "They’re behaving much more like a corporation than like the people’s government."
The acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven Miller, has been forced to resign days after the IRS apologized to tea party and other right-wing groups for putting extra scrutiny on their bids to become tax-exempt organizations. While the IRS targeting of tea party groups has made headlines for days, far less attention has been paid to the roots of the crisis. After the 2010 landmark Supreme Court decision Citizens United, there was a spike in new political organizations seeking tax-exempt status under tax code Section 501(c)(4). The court ruled these groups could raise unlimited corporate money without disclosing donor information. Several groups have claimed to be social welfare organizations while spending tens of millions of dollars on political operations. We speak to David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who writes about taxes issues. "One of the questions that needs to be examined in the real scandal here is: How did MoveOn, how did Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, how did Bill Burton’s progressive Democratic group get approved as exclusively social welfare organizations?" Johnston says. "There are a bunch of folks out there arguing that, well, 'primarily,' that phrase that pops up in IRS regulations, can mean 49.9 percent of your activity. I’m sorry, is there an adult in America who’s been in a romantic relationship who thinks that 'exclusively' is 49 percent of the time?"
- IRS Commissioner Forced to Resign over Extra Scrutiny of Right-Wing Groups
- Holder: Deputy Signed Off on AP Subpoenas
- Holder Unsure of How Many Journalist Subpoenas He's Approved
- Report: Verizon Gave Justice Dept. Records of 2 Journalists
- White House Seeks Revival of Media Shield Law
- Dem Rep. Blasts Holder for Drug War, Marijuana Crackdown
- Suicide Attack Kills 10 in Kabul; Group Tells AP of Plans to Target U.S. Soldiers
- U.N. General Assembly Condemns Syrian Gov't as Toll Passes 80,000
- Palestinians Mark 65th Anniversary of "Nakba"
- Up to 6 Dead in Cambodia Shoe Factory Collapse
- White House Releases Emails on Benghazi Talking Points
- U.S. Earns $50.6 Billion Profit on Student Interest
- Regulators Back Down on New Derivatives Rule
- Hundreds Take Part in Milwaukee Fast-Food, Retail Strike
- North Dakota Abortion Clinic Challenges New Restriction
- Charges Dropped Against NYPD Officer in Shooting Death of Ramarley Graham
- New DNA Evidence Could Clear Florida Death Row Prisoner
Following last week’s guilty verdict in Guatemala’s historic genocide trial, reporter Allan Nairn says the United States should follow Guatemala’s lead and indict the Reagan administration officials who supported the genocide under General Efraín Ríos Montt. "All of [these crimes] were crimes not just of General Ríos Montt, but also of the U.S. government," Nairn says. Former President Ronald Reagan once called Ríos Montt "a man of great personal integrity." After the verdict, Judge Yassmin Barrios ordered the attorney general to launch an immediate investigation of "all others" connected to the crimes.
Days after Guatemala’s former U.S.-backed dictator, Efraín Ríos Montt, was convicted of genocide, we’re joined by a woman largely responsible for making sure he was brought to justice. Rigoberta Menchú began the process over a decade ago with legal cases filed against Guatemalan generals for atrocities committed in the Mayan region. Her lawsuits helped culminate last week in Ríos Montt’s landmark guilty verdict and 80-year sentence for his role in the killings of more than 1,700 Ixil Mayan people. Menchú lost her father, mother and two brothers during the Guatemalan genocide, later winning the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaigning on behalf of Guatemala’s indigenous population. "The conviction of Ríos Montt may provide an opportunity to close a chapter of our lives, a chapter of profound pain, [allowing] us to begin a new relationship amongst Guatemalans," Menchú says. "Because during the genocide, we felt so alone, we felt powerless, and we felt that nobody had our back. ... The fact the genocide was committed is [now] recognized means that nobody will ever forget."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us to discuss what could mark the most significant government intrusion on freedom of the press in decades. The Justice Department has acknowledged seizing the work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press. The phones targeted included the general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery. The action likely came as part of a probe into the leaks behind an AP story on the U.S. intelligence operation that stopped a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and former New York Times reporter, calls the monitoring "one more assault in a long series of assault against freedom of information and freedom of the press." Highlighting the Obama administration’s targeting of government whistleblowers, Hedges adds: "Talk to any investigative journalist who must investigate the government, and they will tell you that there is a deep freeze. People are terrified of speaking, because they’re terrified of going to jail."
- Holder Defends Monitoring of AP Phone Records
- Wal-Mart Linked to Collapsed Bangladeshi Factory; The Gap Rejects Safety Pact
- Russia Expels Alleged CIA Spy Caught Recruiting
- 3 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan
- Minnesota Gov. Signs Same-Sex Marriage Law
- Fort Hood Sexual Assault Coordinator Accused of Abuses
- Warren Questions Regulators, Justice Dept. on Lack of Wall Street Prosecutors
- Fast-Food Workers Strike in Milwaukee
- Undocumented Immigrants Protest Deportations at Illinois Jail
- Former Head of Hispanic Outreach for Florida GOP Switches Parties over "Intolerance"
- Cooper Union Students Continue Tuition Protest
- Seattle Teachers Win Campaign Against Standardized MAP Test
- Angelina Jolie Reveals Double Masectomy for Breast Cancer; Firm Owns Mutation Gene
Dr. Paul Farmer, an infectious diseases expert and a medical anthropologist, is known worldwide for helping to bring quality healthcare to some of the most impoverished areas of the globe. More than 25 years ago, Farmer helped found the charity Partners in Health to provide free medical care in central Haiti. Today, Partners in Health teams up with local groups to treat people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other conditions in Haiti and countries around the world. The South African Nobel Peace laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, calls him "One of the great advocates for the poorest and sickest of our planet." Farmer’s previous book, "Haiti After the Earthquake," describes the massive suffering and ongoing recovery effort after the devastating January 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people. His latest, "To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation," collects a series of commencement addresses that Farmer has delivered to graduating college students going back more than a decade. Throughout, Farmer urges them to confront global problems through an approach that has long guided his work: a tireless commitment to social justice and solidarity with the world’s poor. Farmer joins us to discuss why he thinks a community-based health approach can help fix the U.S. healthcare system, how Rwanda’s model has drastically improved the lives of its citizens, and how to tackle the massive health problems in post-earthquake Haiti.
The Associated Press says the U.S. Department of Justice has secretly obtained a trove of journalists’ phone records in what its chief executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion." The Obama administration seized records for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery. More than 100 reporters work in the offices. The records were from April and May of 2012. Among those whose records were obtained were Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, three other reporters and an editor, all of whom worked on a May 7, 2012, story that revealed details about a CIA operation in Yemen which stopped an alleged terror plot. AP had delayed publication of the story at the government’s request. "It seems to be terrible intrusion on the freedom of the press," says Ramsey Clark, the U.S. attorney general from 1967 to 1969. "I don’t see how the press can operate effectively if the public and people that talk to the press have to assume that Big Brother is listening in or can seize the conversations they engage in."
Support is growing for imprisoned attorney Lynne Stewart to be released early from prison due to her worsening health. Stewart’s prison warden has recommended to the Justice Department that she be released to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The 73-year-old imprisoned grandmother is fighting stage IV cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs. Stewart is serving a 10-year sentence in a federal prison near Fort Worth, Texas. In 2005, she was found guilty of distributing press releases on behalf of her jailed client, Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the "Blind Sheikh," who is now serving a life sentence for conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks in 1995. We speak to former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz, who is just back from Texas where she interviewed Lynne Stewart in federal prison, the first face-to-face interview granted to a reporter. The call for Stewart comes at a time when the Federal Bureau of Prisons is facing increasing criticism for refusing to release terminally ill prisoners. A recent report from the Justice Department’s inspector general found the bureau’s compassionate release program is "poorly managed and implemented inconsistently, likely resulting in eligible inmates not being considered for release and terminally ill inmates dying before their requests were decided."
- Obama Admin Secretly Obtains Trove of Associated Press Phone Records in "Unprecedented Intrusion"
- Search for Bodies at Collapsed Garment Building in Bangladesh Ends; Death Toll at 1,127
- Worker Describes 17 Days Trapped in Garment Building’s Rubble
- European Firms Commit to Plan for Improving Bangladesh Factory Safety
- Report: Acting IRS Commissioner Knew About Targeting of Right-Wing Groups in May 2012
- Supreme Court Sides Unanimously With Monsanto in Seed Patent Case
- Minnesota Governor to Sign Bill Allowing Same-Sex Marriage
- Document Reveals New Protocol for Force-Feeding Guantánamo Hunger Strikers
- Obama, Cameron Vow to Increase Pressure on Syrian Gov’t
- Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder
- Court Delays Unrestricted Sale of Emergency Contraception
- Former Guatemalan Dictator Ríos Montt Hospitalized After Fainting
- Mexican Authorities Arrest 2 for Beating Death of Malcolm Shabazz
Scientists are warning the planet has now reached a grim climate milestone not seen for two or three million years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has topped 400 parts per million. The 400 ppm threshold has been an important marker in U.N. climate change negotiations, widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen human-caused global warming. We speak to leading climate scientist Michael Mann, distinguished professor of meteorology at Penn State University and author of the recent book, "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines." Mann warns, "We have to go several million years back in time to find a point in Earth’s history where CO2 was as high as it is now. ... If we continue to burn fossil fuels at accelerating rates, if we continue with business as usual, we will cross the 450 parts per million limit in a matter of maybe a couple of decades. With that amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, we commit to what could truly be described as dangerous and irreversible changes in our climate."
In a historic verdict, former U.S.-backed Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt has been sentenced to 80 years in prison after being found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. Ríos Montt was convicted of overseeing the slaughter of more than 1,700 people in Guatemala’s Ixil region after seizing power in 1982. The ruling marks the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his own country. The judge in the case has instructed prosecutors to launch an immediate investigation of "all others" connected to the crimes. Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was among those implicated during the trial’s testimony after having served as a regional commander under Ríos Montt’s regime. We’re joined by investigative reporter Allan Nairn, who returned to Guatemala to cover the trial after reporting on the massacres extensively in the early 1980s. During a CNN interview in which he denied that a genocide took place, Pérez Molina was confronted with statements he gave to Nairn confirming his role in the Ixil killings three decades ago. "This was a breakthrough for indigenous people against racism and a breakthrough for human civilization," Nairn says of the verdict, which he adds could have major implications for Washington. "The judge’s order to further investigate everyone involved in Ríos Montt’s crimes could encompass U.S. officials [who] were direct accessories to and accomplices to the Guatemalan military. They were supplying money, weapons, political support, intelligence. Under international and Guatemalan law, they could be charged."
- Ex-Guatemalan Dictator Ríos Montt Imprisoned After Genocide Conviction
- Atmospheric Concentration of Carbon Dioxide Hits 400ppm Milestone
- Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif Wins Pakistani Election Amidst Rigging Claims, Violence
- Cleveland Victims Thank Supporters; Paternity Test Confirms Suspect Fathered Rescued Child
- 19 Shot at New Orleans Mother's Day Parade
- IRS Apologizes for Scrutiny of Tea Party Groups
- Activists Rally for Guantánamo Closure
- Benghazi Emails Show White House Role in Talking Points
- Report: CIA Relied on Libyan Militia to Guard Benghazi Compound
- Co-Author of Heritage Foundation Immigration Study Resigns
- Federal Judge Rejects Admin's Bid to Stay "Morning-After Pill" Ruling
- Texas Authorities Launch Criminal Probe of Fertilizer Blast
- Spaniards Mark 2nd Anniversary of "Indignados" Movement
- Mothers' Group Holds Gun-Control Rallies Nationwide
- Activists Stage Weekend Poor People's Campaign and March
The American Civil Liberties Union has obtained documents revealing that the FBI and IRS may be reading emails and other electronic communications of U.S. citizens without obtaining a warrant. This comes just as reports have emerged that the Obama administration is considering approving an overhaul of government surveillance of the Internet. The New York Times reported the new rules would make it easier to wiretap users of web services such as instant messaging. "The FBI wants to be able to intercept every kind of possible communication," says attorney Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. "The FBI basically wants to require all of these companies to rewrite their code in order to enable more government surveillance. … And in order to accomplish that, they would make the whole Internet less secure."