In a national address from the White House Tuesday night, President Obama announced he is delaying a plan to strike Syria while pursuing a diplomatic effort from Russia for international monitors to take over and destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. However, Obama still threatened to use force against Syria if the plan fails. We get reaction to Obama’s speech from world-renowned political dissident and linguist, MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky. "The Russian plan is a godsend for Obama," Chomsky says. "It saves him from what would look like a very serious defeat. He has not been able to obtain virtually any international support, and it looked as though Congress wasn’t going to support it either, which would leave him completely out on a limb. This leaves him a way out: He can maintain the threat of force, which incidentally is a crime under international law. We should bear in mind that the core principle of the United Nations Charter bars the threat or use of force. So all of this is criminal, to begin with, but he’ll continue with that."
- Obama Delays Congressional Vote on Syria After Russian Proposal
- Syria Admits to Chemical Stockpile, Backs Russian Plan
- Talks on U.N. Measure Resume, Putin Rules Out Threat of Force
- HRW: Evidence Points to Assad Responsibility for Chemical Attack
- Iranian President Seeks New Engagement with West; U.S. Unveils Slight Rollback of Sanctions
- NSA: Thousands of Phone Records Unlawfully Monitored
- Colorado Lawmakers Who Pushed Gun Control Lose Recall Vote
- De Blasio Wins Democratic Primary for New York Mayor
- Neil Young: Tar Sands Site "Looks Like Hiroshima"
- Report: USDA Monitoring Program Fails to Stop Contamination
- Journalist, Filmmaker Saul Landau Dies at 77
We continue our coverage of the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende with a look at the critical U.S. role under President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. Peter Kornbluh, who spearheaded the effort to declassify more than 20,000 secret documents that revealed the role of the CIA and the White House in the Chilean coup, discusses how Nixon and Kissinger backed the Chilean military’s ouster of Allende and then offered critical support as it committed atrocities to cement its newfound rule. Kornbluh is author of the newly updated book, "The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability," and director of the Chile Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. In 1970, the CIA’s deputy director of plans wrote in a secret memo: "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. ... It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [the U.S. government] and American hand be well hidden." That same year President Nixon ordered the CIA to "make the economy scream" in Chile to "prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him." We’re also joined by Juan Garcés, a former personal adviser to Allende who later led the successful legal effort to arrest and prosecute coup leader Augusto Pinochet. See Part 2 of this interview here.
Wednesday marks the 40th anniversary of the so-called "other 9/11": On September 11, 1973, a U.S.-backed coup led by General Augusto Pinochet ousted the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. It is estimated more than 3,000 people were killed during Pinochet’s dictatorship, which lasted another 17 years. In 1998, Pinochet was arrested in London on torture and genocide charges on a warrant issued by a Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón. His arrest came largely thanks to the efforts of our guest, Spanish attorney Juan Garcés. A personal adviser to Allende, Garcés was with him on the day of the coup. Allende walked him to the palace exit before it was bombed and told him to tell the world what he had seen. Garcés went on to lead the efforts for Pinochet to be arrested and tried.
As President Obama prepares to address the nation on his push for congressional backing of a military strike on Syria, the Assad regime has accepted a Russian initiative to put its chemical weapons under international control. Could the move stop a U.S. strike and bring the Syrian crisis closer to a diplomatic resolution? We host a debate on how to resolve the Syrian conflict between Rafif Jouejati of the Syrian Local Coordination Committees, a network of activists throughout Syria, and Rania Masri, Lebanese-based human rights activist and professor at the University of Balamand in Lebanon.
- Syria Accepts Russian Proposal to Surrender Chemical Weapons
- Assad Criticizes U.S., Israeli Use of Chemical Weapons
- India: 4 Convicted in Fatal Gang Rape That Sparked Mass Protests
- Egypt Launches Major Assault on Sinai
- Former Abu Ghraib Prisoners Ordered to Pay Contractor $14,000 After Losing Torture Suit
- Afghanistan: Police Detain 2 over Murder of Female Indian Writer
- Documents in David House Case Reveal How U.S. Seizes Laptops at Airports to Avoid Need for Warrant
- Facebook, Yahoo Sue U.S. over Secret Data Requests
- Johns Hopkins University Rescinds Request for Professor to Remove Post Critical of NSA
- U.S. Appeals Court Hears "Net Neutrality" Case That Could Shape Internet
- Zimmerman Taken into Custody After Wife Reports Threats, Assault on Father
- Report: Iowa Issues Gun Permits to the Blind
- NJ Governor Signs Law Requiring Notice of Spying by Out-of-State Police
- Montana County Shuts Down Funding for Women's Health Services
- Protesters Confront Petraeus on His 1st Day of Class at CUNY
As we continue our look at the 40th anniversary of the U.S.-backed military coup in Chile and the ongoing efforts by the loved ones of its victims to seek justice, we turn to the case of Charles Horman. A 31-year-old American journalist and filmmaker, Horman was in Chile during the coup and wrote about U.S. involvement in overthrowing the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. Shortly after, he was abducted by Chilean soldiers and later killed. Horman’s story was told in the 1982 Oscar-nominated film, "Missing," which follows his father, Edmund Horman, going to Chile to search for his son. We’re joined by Charles Horman’s widow, Joyce Horman, who filed a criminal suit against Pinochet for his role in her husband’s death, and established the Charles Horman Truth Project to support ongoing investigations into human rights violations during Pinochet’s regime. We’re also joined by Peter Weiss, vice president of the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who represented the Horman family in their case against Kissinger and others for Charles Horman’s death.
This week marks the 40th anniversary of what’s known as the other 9/11: September 11, 1973, when a U.S.-backed military coup ousted Chile’s democratically elected president Salvador Allende and ushered in a 17-year repressive dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. We’re joined by Joan Jara, the widow of Chilean singer Víctor Jara, who has just filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. court against the former military officer who allegedly killed Jara 40 years ago. Jara’s accused killer, Pedro Barrientos, has lived in the United States for roughly two decades and is now a U.S. citizen. Jara’s family is suing him under federal laws that allow U.S. courts to hear about human rights abuses committed abroad. Last year, Chilean prosecutors charged Barrientos and another officer with Jara’s murder, naming six others as accomplices. We also speak with Almudena Bernabeu, an attorney with Center for Justice and Accountability, who helped file the Jara family’s lawsuit last week. "I saw literally hundreds of bodies that were piled up in what was actually the parking place of the morgue," Joan Jara says of finding her husband’s body 40 years ago. "I recognized him. I saw what had happened to him. I saw the bullet wounds. I saw the state of his body. I consider myself one of the lucky ones in the sense that I had to face in that moment what had happened to Victor. I could [later] give my testimony with all the force of what I felt in that moment — and not the horror, which is much worse, of never knowing what happened to your loved one. That happened to so many families, so many women who have spent these 40 years looking for their loved ones who were made to disappear."
- Congressional Debate Begins on Authorization for Syria Strike
- Kerry: U.S. Could Seek New U.N. Vote; Assad Could Avoid Attack by Handing over Chemical Weapons
- Obama Admin Releases New Video of Ghouta Aftermath
- Protests Held Against Syria Strike as Polls Show Continued Opposition
- Pope Francis: War a "Defeat for Humanity"
- Report: Assad May Not Have Authorized Ghouta Attack
- U.S. Drone Strike Kills Up to 16 in Afghanistan
- NSA Spying Extends to Brazilian State-Oil Firm
- Rousseff: U.S. Visit Hinges on "Political Conditions" Following Spying Claims
- Report: NSA Can Hack into All Smartphones
- Thousands Protest Energy Policies in Mexico
- New Australian PM Vows to Cut Foreign Aid, Global Warming Initiatives
- Chinese Journalist Shi Tao Freed After 8 Years Behind Bars
- Activists Stage Force-Feeding Outside White House
- Arizona Death Row Prisoner Wins New Trial
- NAACP President Ben Jealous Stepping Down
The Wall Street Journal recently revealed new details about how Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud — Saudi’s former ambassador to the United States — is leading the effort to prop up the Syrian rebels. Intelligence agents from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Jordan and other allied states are working at a secret joint operations center in Jordan to train and arm hand-picked Syrian rebels. The Journal also reports Prince Bandar has been jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime. "Really what he’s doing is he’s reprising a role that he played in the 1980s when he worked with the Reagan administration to arrange money and arms for mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan and also worked with the CIA in Nicaragua to support the Contras," says Wall Street Journal reporter Adam Entous. "So in many ways this is a very familiar position for Prince Bandar, and it’s amazing to see the extent to which veterans of the CIA were excited to see him come back because, in the words of a diplomat who knows Bandar, he brings the Arabic term wasta, which means under-the-table clout. You know his checks are not going to bounce and that he’ll be able to deliver the money from the Saudis."
In an effort to undermine cryptographic systems worldwide, the National Security Agency has manipulated global encryption standards, utilized supercomputers to crack encrypted communications, and has persuaded — sometimes coerced — Internet service providers to give it access to protected data. Is there any way to confidentially communicate online? We speak with security technologist and encryption specialist Bruce Schneier, who is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He has been working with The Guardian on its recent NSA stories and has read hundreds of top-secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden. "I have resisted saying this up to now, and I am saddened to say it, but the U.S. has proved to be an unethical steward of the internet. The U.K. is no better. The NSA’s actions are legitimizing the internet abuses by China, Russia, Iran and others," wrote Schneier on Thursday.
A new exposé based on the leaks of Edward Snowden has revealed the National Security Agency has developed methods to crack online encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records. "Encryption is really the system that lets the Internet function as an important commercial instrument all around the world," says Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, which collaborated with The New York Times and ProPublica on the reporting. "It’s what lets you enter your credit card number, check your banking records, buy and sell things online, get your medical tests online, engage in private communications. It’s what protects the sanctity of the Internet." Documents leaked by Snowden reveal the NSA spends $250 million a year on a program which, among other goals, works with technology companies to "covertly influence" their product designs. "The entire system is now being compromised by the NSA and their British counterpart, the GCHQ," Greenwald says. "Systematic efforts to ensure that there is no form of human commerce, human electronic communication, that is ever invulnerable to their prying eyes."
- U.S. Push to Bomb Syria Overshadows G-20 Summit
- Power: Russia Holding U.N. Security Council Hostage
- U.S. Lawmakers Set to Vote on Syria Strikes; Constituents Overwhelmingly Oppose Military Action
- Activists Protest Russia's Anti-LGBT Crackdown at G-20
- Report: NSA Foiling Encryption Used to Protect Online Privacy
- U.S. Drone Strike Kills 7 in Pakistan
- Egypt's Interior Minister Survives Assassination Attempt
- Prisoners in California End Hunger Strike After 2 Months
- Wal-Mart Workers Protest Nationwide; Dozens Arrested
- Mexico: Teachers Block Airport Access to Protest Education Overhaul
- Philippines: 2 Journalists Killed in Less Than a Week
- Family of Chilean Singer Víctor Jara Files U.S. Lawsuit over Killing Days Before Coup Anniversary
- Alleged Navy Rape Victim Questioned About What She Was Wearing, How She Performs Oral Sex
- Report: Tulsa Charter School Sends African-American Girl Home for Her Dreadlocks
- Google Defends Practice of Scanning Emails, Asks Judge to Dismiss Privacy Suit
- Study: Fracking Wastewater Tied to Earthquakes in Ohio City
- Yemeni Youth Activist, Anti-Drone Campaigner Ibrahim Mothana Dies at 24
As debate continues in Washington and worldwide over what action to take in Syria, we’re joined by two Syrian opposition activists with different takes on whether Congress should authorize military strikes. Joining us from London, Rim Turkmani of the Syrian political opposition group Building the Syrian State Current says the United States has a "historic opportunity" to help achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria. "If the U.S. resorts to military power to end this, that means [it’s] failed politically," Turkmani says. Radwan Ziadeh, director of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies and the Syrian Center Political and Strategic Studies, and former director of foreign relations at the Syrian National Council, says there are no other options to a military solution in Syria, in which U.S. involvement could prove decisive. "We don’t have other options," Ziadeh says. "Otherwise, Assad will continue his killing machine."
President Obama’s effort to win legislative backing for military strikes against Syria passed its first hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7 in favor of bombing Syria. We’re joined by Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, a leading opponent of the resolution in the House. Grayson has set up a website, DontAttackSyria.com, which is gathering signatures for a petition calling on Congress to deny permission to attack Syria. "I am very disturbed by this general idea that every time we see something bad in the world, we should bomb it," Grayson says. "The president has criticized that mindset, and now he has adopted it. It’s simply not our responsibility to act alone and punish this."
- Senate Panel Advances Syria Strike Measure
- Obama Rejects Link Between Syria and Faulty Iraq Intel
- Syrian Rights Group: 502 Killed in Ghouta Chemical Attack
- HRW: Assad Regime Using Cluster Bombs in Syria
- Obama: Greater "Risks of Abuse" for NSA Surveillance
- Hundreds Protest Obama in Stockholm
- Obama to Meet With Russian LGBT Activists During G-20 Visit
- Bahraini Forces Tear-Gas Protesters; New Curbs Imposed
- Manning Files Formal Request for Presidential Pardon
- U.S. to Extend Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Veteran Couples
- Jailed Journalist Barrett Brown Barred from Discussing Case
- Houston Police Cleared of Wrongdoing in Hundreds of Shootings
- Wal-Mart Workers Stage Nationwide Protest over Fired Employees
During Tuesday’s Senate hearing on Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the administration has irrefutable evidence showing the Assad regime was responsible for the deadly chemical attack in late August. But questions remain over key parts of the administration’s case for military action. To explore these issues, we speak with journalist Mark Seibel of McClatchy, co-author of the article, "To Some, U.S. Case for Syrian Gas Attack, Strike Has Too Many Holes." "When it came to questions of the efficacy of a U.N. investigation, or the number of people killed in the conflict, or even the U.S. rendition of what happened in what order, there are contradictions," Seibel says. The United States has claimed it had "collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence" that showed the Assad government preparing for an attack three days before the event. "That claim raises two questions," Seibel writes. "Why didn’t the U.S. warn rebels about the impending attack and save hundreds of lives? And why did the administration keep mum about the suspicious activity when on at least one previous occasion U.S. officials have raised an international fuss when they observed similar actions?"
While Washington debates the use of military force in Syria, the United Nations has revealed the number of refugees who have fled the country’s civil war has topped two million, with another four million internally displaced. The tide of children, women and men leaving Syria has risen almost tenfold over the past 12 months. On average, almost 5,000 people take refuge in Syria’s neighboring countries every day. The United Nations warned last month that the war is fueling the worst refugee crisis since the Rwanda genocide in 1994. Overall, the fighting in Syria has killed more than 100,000 since 2011, including some 7,000 children. In Beirut, Lebanon, we’re joined by Oxfam America President Raymond Offenheiser, just back from visiting refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.
- Obama Picks Up Key Congressional Support as Debate Begins on Syria Strike
- Kerry Won't Rule Out "Boots on the Ground" in Syria
- Ban: Syria Attack Without U.N. Backing "Unlawful"
- Obama in Sweden Before G-20 Summit
- Dozens Killed in Iraq Violence
- Thousands Rally Against Egypt Gov't; Al Jazeera Alleges Signal Disruption
- Fukushima Radiation at Record High
- South African Gold Miners Launch Strike for Higher Wages
- Tens of Thousands of Teachers Strike in Mexico
- Ariel Castro Found Hanged in Ohio Prison Cell
- Montana Judge Reconsiders Rape Sentence After Outcry
- Bloomberg Sues NYC Council over Police Racial Profiling Curbs
- Chelsea Manning Files Request for Presidential Pardon
British broadcasting legend David Frost has died at the age of 74 after a heart attack. He spent more than 50 years as a television personality best known for his signature long-form interviews, particularly for a series of historic interviews he conducted in 1977 with the disgraced former president, Richard Nixon, who had resigned three years earlier. The interviews lasted more than 28 hours and ended with Nixon making a tacit admission of guilt regarding his role in the bugging of Democratic rivals at Washington’s Watergate building and the later cover-up. The interview was later dramatized in the 2008 film "Frost/Nixon," directed by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard. In December 2008, Democracy Now! interviewed Howard about the film.