- Admin Probes NSA Leaks as Surveillance Challenges Emerge
- Tech Giants Seek Gov't Permission to Disclose FISA Orders
- Report: Snowden Seeks Legal Advice in Hong Kong; Booz Allen Confirms Firing
- Senate Votes to Begin Debate on Immigration Bill
- Turkish Riot Police Clear Istanbul Square in Harshest Crackdown to Date
- Rebel Attack Kills Dozens in Syria
- Admin Scales Back Gitmo Tribunals
- 17 Killed in Afghan Suicide Bombing
- Afghan Civilian Deaths Up 24% This Year
- Cambodian Nike Factory Fires 300 Striking Workers
- Manning Aunt Testifies at Military Trial; Assange Emerges in Testimony
- Groups File Legal Challenge to Alabama Anti-Abortion Law
As celebrities including Tom Cruise and Hugh Jackman celebrated Wal-Mart at its annual meeting last week, workers and activists converged to demand sweeping changes at the company’s U.S. stores and global factories. Around 100 striking workers with the group OUR Walmart arrived in a caravan from across the country to protest what they allege to be retaliation against those seeking to change company practices on wages, safety and unions. Kalpona Akter, a workers’ rights activist from Bangladesh, urged Wal-Mart to stop rejecting new safety standards after the Dhaka building collapse that killed over 1,100 workers in April. Wal-Mart is one of only a few major retailers that have refused to sign onto an industry-wide agreement that establishes legally binding protections for garment workers. On the heels of bringing her demands to Wal-Mart shareholders, Akter joins us to discuss the campaign for improved safety standards in factories used by Wal-Mart and other major retailers. A former garment worker from the age of 12, she is now executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. We’re also joined by Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, which investigates working conditions in factories around the world, and by Josh Eidelson, a journalist covering labor issues for The Nation who reported from the Wal-Mart shareholders’ meeting last week.
As the Justice Department prepares to file charges against Booz Allen Hamilton employee Edward Snowden for leaking classified documents about the National Security Agency, the role of private intelligence firms has entered the national spotlight. Despite being on the job as a contract worker inside the NSA’s Hawaii office for less than three months, Snowden claimed he had power to spy on almost anyone in the country. “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email," Snowden told The Guardian newspaper. Over the past decade, the U.S. intelligence community has relied increasingly on the technical expertise of private firms such as Booz Allen, SAIC, the Boeing subsidiary Narus and Northrop Grumman. About 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on the private sector. Former NSA Director Michael V. Hayden has described these firms as a quote "digital Blackwater." We speak to Tim Shorrock, author of the book "Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence."
- U.S. Prepares to Charge Edward Snowden for NSA Leak
- Supporters Rally for Edward Snowden in NYC; 43,000 Sign Petition for Pardon
- Appeals Court Dismisses Domestic Surveillance Lawsuit Filed Under Bush
- ACLU Asks Secret Spy Court to Release Opinions on PATRIOT Act
- Turkish Riot Police Descend on Protesters in Taksim Square
- More Than 70 Killed in Iraq Violence
- 6 Killed in Attack on NATO Convoy in Pakistan
- Report: Pentagon Seeks Increased Budget for Cybersecurity
- Report: Obama Could Choose to Arm Syrian Rebels This Week
- Obama Admin to Allow Unrestricted Sale of Morning-After Pill
- Senate Farm Bill Cuts Food Stamps, Boosts Aid to Agribusiness
- Court Rejects Suit by Organic Farmers Against Monsanto
- Supreme Court Dismisses Torture Suit Against Rumsfeld
- Reporter Among Dozens Arrested in Latest "Moral Monday" Protest in North Carolina
- Gender Wage Gap Persists 50 Years After Equal Pay Act
- Protester Interrupts First Lady over Obama's Failure to Sign Order for LGBT Rights
- Nelson Mandela Remains in Hospital
As Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warns the recent leaks could "render great damage to our intelligence capabilities," we speak to William Binney, a former top official at the National Security Agency, and Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who has broken the NSA spying stories. Binney spent almost 40 years at the agency but resigned after Sept. 11 over concerns about growing domestic surveillance. He spent time as director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group and was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network. "The government is not trying to protect [secrets about NSA surveillance] from the terrorists," Binney says. "It’s trying to protect knowledge of that program from the citizens of the United States."
Speaking from Hong Kong where he broke the story of Edward Snowden outing himself as the NSA whistleblower, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald joins us to discuss Snowden’s actions and the multiple disclosures he’s revealed about government surveillance. "There is this massive surveillance apparatus being gradually constructed in the United States that already has extremely invasive capabilities to monitor and store the communications and other forms of behavior not just of tens of millions of Americans, but of hundreds of millions, probably billions of people, around the globe," Greenwald says. "It’s one thing to say that we want the U.S. government to have these capabilities. It’s another thing to allow this to be assembled without any public knowledge, without any public debate, and with no real accountability. What ultimately drove [Snowden] forward — and what ultimately is driving our reporting — is the need for a light to be shined on what this incredibly consequential [surveillance] world is all about and the impact it’s having both on our country and our planet."
Former CIA employee Edward Snowden has come forward as the whistleblower behind the explosive revelations about the National Security Agency and the U.S. surveillance state. Three weeks ago the 29-year-old left his job inside the NSA’s office in Hawaii where he worked for the private intelligence firm Booz Allen Hamilton. Today he is in Hong Kong — not sure if he will ever see his home again. In a video interview with The Guardian of London, Snowden says he exposed top-secret NSA surveillance programs to alert Americans of expansive government spying on innocents. "Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded," Snowden says. "And the storage capability of these systems increases every year, consistently, by orders of magnitude, to where it’s getting to the point you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer. ... The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong."
- NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Says He Acted to Alert Public of Privacy Breaches
- NSA Seeks Criminal Probe, Claims "Grave Damage" in Surveillance Leaks
- Obama, Xi Discuss Cybertheft at California Summit
- U.S., China Pledge to Reduce HFC Emissions, Seek North Korea Denuclearization
- Pakistan Summons U.S. Envoy After Drone Strike Kills 9
- Pakistani PM Calls for End to U.S. Drone Strikes
- 7 Taliban Militants Die in Thwarted Assault on Kabul Airport
- 3 Americans Killed in Afghan Attack
- Tens of Thousands Join Anti-Gov't Rallies in Turkey
- Nelson Mandela Hospitalized for Lung Infection
- Immigration Debate Begins in Senate; House GOP Votes to Deport DREAMers
- Gunman Kills 5 in Santa Monica Rampage
- Activists Raise Bangladeshi Factory Safety, Worker-CEO Pay at Wal-Mart Shareholders Meeting
- San Onofre Nuclear Plant Shut Down
- Jury Selection Begins in George Zimmerman Murder Trial
From drone strikes to the massacre at al-Majalah, secret U.S. military actions inside Yemen are exposed in "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield," the new documentary film by Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley opening today. Scahill’s book by the same name was published in April. We continue our conversation on Yemen with Scahill and two key Yemenis profiled in the film: Nasser al-Awlaki, who lost his son, cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and 16-year-old grandson to U.S. drone strikes; and Saleh bin Fareed, the Yemeni sheikh and tribal leader who was one of the first people to arrive at the site of the U.S. attack of al-Majalah that killed 45 civilians in 2009.
In a broadcast exclusive, Nasser al-Awkali speaks out for the first time since the Obama administration confirmed drones had killed four U.S. citizens, including his son, Anwar, and teenage grandson, Abdulrahman. The cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen on Sept. 30, 2011. Anwar’s 16-year-old son was killed in another drone strike two weeks later. "If the United States government gave me concrete evidence against Anwar, I would have done my best to convince Anwar to come to Sana’a or to go even to the United States to face a trial. But it was only allegations," al-Awlaki says, noting he believes the United States could have easily captured him alive. We also speak with Anwar’s uncle, Saleh bin Fareed, a Yemeni sheikh and tribal leader. "I am sure I could have handed him over — me and my family — but they never, ever asked us to do that," Fareed says. The story of the al-Awlakis is featured prominently in the new documentary film opening today, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield," directed by Richard Rowley and written by Jeremy Scahill and David Riker.
The National Security Agency has obtained access to the central servers of nine major Internet companies — including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo! and Facebook. The Guardian and The Washington Post revealed the top-secret program, codenamed PRISM, after they obtained several slides from a 41-page training presentation for senior intelligence analysts. It explains how PRISM allows them to access emails, documents, audio and video chats, photographs, documents and connection logs. "Hundreds of millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions – in fact, billions of people around the world – essentially rely on the Internet exclusively to communicate with one another," Greenwald says. "Very few people use landline phones for much of anything. So when you talk about things like online chat and social media messages and emails, what you’re really talking about is the full extent of human communication." This comes after Greenwald revealed Wednesday in another story that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. "They want to make sure that every single time human beings interact with one another … that they can watch it, and they can store it, and they can access it at any time."
- NSA Taps Into Google, Facebook, Apple Servers
- Austria Withdraws Peacekeepers from Golan Heights as Syria Fighting Spreads
- Turkey Protests Continue Despite Erdogan's Call for Demonstrations to End
- Britain to Pay Out $22 Million to Veterans of Kenya's Mau Mau Movement
- IMF Admits It Miscalculated Impact of Austerity on Greek Economy
- Secret NSA Hacking Unit Exposed Ahead of U.S.-China Summit
- Mexican Authorities Rescue 165 Kidnapped Migrants
- Mass Palestinian Grave Found in Tel Aviv
- Massachusetts Men Sue New York Post over Boston Marathon Article
- Death of 4-Year-Old Girl Tied to Glitches in NYC's New 911 Dispatch System
Just days before the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, the city’s voters have elected longtime black nationalist organizer and attorney Chokwe Lumumba to become mayor. Describing himself as a "Fannie Lou Hamer Democrat," Lumumba surprised many political observers by winning the Democratic primary, despite being outspent five to one. He went on to easily win this week’s general election.
Over the past four decades, Lumumba has been deeply involved in numerous political and legal campaigns. As an attorney, his clients have included former Black Panther Assata Shakur and the late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur. As a political organizer, Lumumba served for years as vice president of the Republic of New Afrika, an organization which advocated for "an independent predominantly black government" in the southeastern United States and reparations for slavery. He also helped found the National Black Human Rights Coalition and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. "People should take a note of Jackson, because we have suffered some of the worst kinds of abuses in history," Lumumba says. "But we’re about to make some advances and some strides in the development of human rights and the protection of human rights that I think have not been seen in other parts of the country."
The Obama administration is facing increasing scrutiny for the extreme secrecy surrounding negotiations around a sweeping new trade deal that could rewrite the nation’s laws on everything from healthcare and Internet freedom to food safety and the financial markets. The latest negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were recently held behind closed doors in Lima, Peru, but the Obama administration has rejected calls to release the current text. Even members of Congress have complained about being shut out of the negotiation process. Last year, a leaked chapter from the draft agreement outlined how the TPP would allow foreign corporations operating in the United States to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its rulings.
We discuss the TPP with two guests: Celeste Drake, a trade policy specialist with the AFL-CIO, and Jim Shultz, executive director of the Democracy Center, which has just released a new report on how corporations use trade rules to seize resources and undermine democracy. "What is the biggest threat to the ability of corporations to go into a country and suck out the natural resources without any regard for the environment or labor standards? The threat is democracy," Shultz says. "The threat is that citizens will be annoying and get in the way and demand that their governments take action. So what corporations need is to become more powerful than sovereign states. And the way they become more powerful is by tangling sovereign states in a web of these trade agreements."
NSA Whistleblowers: "All U.S. Citizens" Targeted by Surveillance Program, Not Just Verizon Customers
A leaked court order has revealed the Obama administration is conducting a massive domestic surveillance program by collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers. The Guardian newspaper published a classified order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court directing Verizon’s Business Network Services to give the National Security Agency electronic data, including all calling records on an "ongoing, daily basis." The order covers each phone number dialed by all customers, along with location and routing data, and with the duration and frequency of the calls, but not the contents of the communications.
We discuss the news with three guests: Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and two former National Security Agency employees turned whistleblowers: Thomas Drake and William Binney. In 2010, the Obama administration charged Drake with violating the Espionage Act after he was accused of leaking classified information to the press about waste and mismanagement at the agency. The charges were later dropped. "Where has the mainstream media been? These are routine orders, nothing new," Drake says. "What’s new is we’re seeing an actual order. And people are somehow surprised by it. The fact remains that this program has been in place for quite some time. It was actually started shortly after 9/11. The PATRIOT Act was the enabling mechanism that allowed the United States government in secret to acquire subscriber records from any company."
Binney, who worked at nearly 40 years at the NSA and resigned shortly after the 9/11 attacks, says: "NSA has been doing all this stuff all along, and it’s been all the companies, not just one. And I basically looked at that and said: If Verizon got one, so did everybody else. Which means that they’re just continuing the collection of this kind of information of all U.S. citizens."
- Verizon Handing over Millions of Phone Records in Broadest Gov't Surveillance to Date
- U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty to Afghan Massacre
- Report: U.S. Sends 125 More Troops to Contain Guantánamo Revolt
- Obama Unveils Susan Rice, Samantha Power for New Foreign Policy Posts
- Turkish Police Continue Protest Crackdown
- U.S., Venezuela Vow Talks; Filmmaker Released from Prison
- 6 Killed in Philadelphia Building Collapse
- Colorado OKs Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants; Gov. Scott Vetoes Florida Bill
- Obama Admin Ordered to Follow Court Order on Emergency Contraception
Jim Crow After Roe? How States Are Regulating Abortion Out of Existence & Widening Health Inequality
The new book, "Crow After Roe: How 'Separate But Equal' Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That," tackles the new landscape of restrictions on reproductive healthcare in the United States. On Tuesday, a House panel voted to advance a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide. Similar bans are already in place in states across the country, part of an unprecedented tide of state abortion restrictions enacted in the past few years with the goal of challenging Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court and making abortion inaccessible and unaffordable on the ground. The laws have created a new reality in women’s healthcare: a two-tiered system where poor women, women of color and women in rural areas cannot access basic healthcare services. We’re joined by co-authors Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo, both writers for the reproductive news website RH Reality Check.
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the police can collect DNA samples from people they arrest even before they are convicted of a crime. Supporters of the swabbing method call it "the fingerprinting of the 21st century" that will help nab criminals and break open unsolved cases. But privacy advocates say the ruling is vague because it does not define what constitutes a "serious crime," and could create an incentive for police to make more arrests. The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 ruling will likely fuel an expansion of DNA swabbing nationwide. We host a debate between Michael Risher of the American Civil Liberties Union and Mai Fernandez of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
Pro-government Syrian forces have seized control of the key border town of Qusayr, which had been controlled by rebel fighters for the past year. This comes as the United Nations accuses both sides of the Syrian conflict of reaching "new levels of brutality." Since fighting broke out over two years ago in Syria, more than 80,000 people have been killed, and another 1.6 million Syrian refugees have fled. We’re joined by longtime foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn of The Independent, who recently returned from Syria where he reported on how the conflict is spreading across the Middle East. Cockburn warns that pending global peace talks will have no effect without a ceasefire on the ground. "The best you could really hope for at this stage is a ceasefire, get the level of violence down, and then later you might have talks of sharing power," Cockburn says. "But you are not going to have that at the moment."
- Turkey Protests Continue as Gov't Apologizes for Police Response
- Pro-Assad Forces Retake Qusayr from Syrian Rebels
- 2 Afghans Killed in Protest After More Bodies Found Near U.S. Base
- Hacker Who Alerted Gov't Testifies at Bradley Manning Trial
- Susan Rice to Be Named Obama's National Security Adviser
- Obama Appoints 3 Judges in Challenge to GOP "Obstruction"
- After Cutting Social Programs, Christie Calls Costly Special Election for Vacant NJ Senate Seat
- Military Leaders Reject Independent Oversight of Sexual Assault
- Aurora Suspect Pleads Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
- Connecticut Approves Labeling of GMO Foods
- Report Finds Major Racial Disparity in Pot Arrests
- Texas Police Officers Fired for Beating Woman Detained for Unpaid Fine
- Egyptian Court Convicts Foreign NGO Workers
- Veteran Activist, Lawyer Chokwe Lumumba Elected Mayor of Jackson, Miss.
- Preacher, Civil Rights Activist Rev. Will Campbell Dies at 88