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In Part 2 of our debate about whether National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden should be pardoned, we examine whether he could get a fair trial if he returns to the United States to be tried for violating the Espionage Act. Snowden has said the Espionage Act does not allow a whistleblower or public interest defense, which means his motivations would not be considered in court. Under the act, "it would literally be inadmissible for [Snowden] to tell the jury his motivations," argues Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Meanwhile, Bradley Moss, a national security attorney who has represented whistleblowers, says Snowden "could have gone to the intelligence committees" with his revelations and stayed within legal guidelines.
It has been three years since National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden released classified NSA files to media outlets that exposed global mass surveillance operations by the U.S. and British governments. If he returned to the United States from Russia, where he now lives in exile, he would face charges of theft of state secrets and violating the Espionage Act, and face at least 30 years in prison. This week his supporters launched a new call for President Obama to offer Snowden clemency, a plea agreement or a pardon before the end of his term. We host a debate about whether Snowden should be pardoned with Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and Bradley Moss, a national security attorney who has represented whistleblowers.
- New Campaign Asks Obama to Pardon Edward Snowden
- Clinton & Trump Both Release More Health Information
- Donald Trump Confronted by Pastor in Flint
- In Email, Colin Powell Slammed Trump over "Racist" Birther Movement
- U.S. Slated to End Economic Sanctions Against Burma
- "Women's Boat to Gaza" Sets Sail in Efforts to Break Israeli Blockade
- U.N.: 3.7 Million Refugee Children Have No School to Go To
- Uruguay: Fmr. Gitmo Prisoner, Held 12 Years Without Charge on Hunger Strike
- Long Island University Professors Return to Classes as Lockout Ends
- 8 People Arrested Blocking Dakota Access Pipeline Construction
- ACC Joins NCAA in Moving Championships Out of NC over Anti-LGBT Law
- UNC Football Player Turns Himself In for Raping Fellow Student
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said Edward Snowden "stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands." We get reaction from WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison and filmmaker Oliver Stone. "She misses the point that no spy gives his story to the newspapers for free, which is what he did," Stone says. "He handed over all the information." Harrison adds, "To me, this is all just rhetorical spin trying to deflect from the real situation."
On the release of Oliver Stone’s new film, "Snowden," we speak with WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison, who accompanied NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow and spent four months with him in the airport in Russia. She describes how Snowden reached out to the Courage Foundation, which she directs and which raises defense funds for Snowden and other whistleblowers. "We really wanted to try and show the world that there are people who will stand up" and help whistleblowers, says Harrison.
The release of Oliver Stone’s film "Snowden" comes amid a stepped-up campaign by the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden before he leaves office in January. Snowden is charged with theft of state secrets and is accused of violating the Espionage Act. He faces at least 30 years in prison, but argues his disclosure of mass surveillance by the U.S. and British intelligence agencies was not only morally right, but left citizens better off. "I think it would be a great choice for our country to turn back on the road it’s on," says Stone. Joseph Gordon-Levitt adds, "The truth [is] that Snowden’s disclosures did not do any harm … There was … a responsible process to make sure that no harm would be done."
Oliver Stone & Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Making New Film "Snowden," Humanizing World's Most Wanted Man
As the much-anticipated movie "Snowden," about one of the most wanted men in the world, hits theaters, we spend the hour with its director, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, and the actor who played Snowden, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and feature clips from the film that tells the story of how NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed massive surveillance programs by U.S. and British intelligence agencies. "Our goal was to humanize the man, to bring you … the feeling of his life," Stone says of Snowden, who he notes was originally politically conservative and tried to enlist in the military to serve in Iraq but joined the CIA instead.
- Manning Ends Hunger Strike, as Army Agrees to Gender-Affirming Surgery
- NY AG Launches Probe of Donald J. Trump Foundation
- Newsweek: Trump Org. Vast Business Network, Including Ties to Russia
- Colin Powell: Donald Trump is "National Disgrace"
- 20+ Water Protectors Arrested Resisting Dakota Access Construction
- Sanders Calls on Obama to Require Full Review of Dakota Access
- U.S. Agrees to Give Israel $38 Billion in Military Aid over 10 Years
- Syria: Tenuous Ceasefire Between U.S. & Russia Holding
- Household Income Rises, Following Minimum Wage Hikes
- Bayer Expected to Announce Takeover of Monsanto Today
- WSJ: EpiPen Maker Mylan Has 2nd Highest Executive Pay in Industry
- Bangladesh: Death Toll from Factory Fire Rises to 31
- After Man Lights Muslim Woman on Fire, Wearing Hijab "Has Become Act of Courage"
As many as 20 transgender women have been killed so far this year, including 28-year-old Rae’Lynn Thomas, a black transgender woman who was fatally shot by her mother’s ex-boyfriend in Columbus, Ohio, last month. Family members say the shooter, James Allen Byrd, frequently made transphobic comments to Rae’Lynn and sometimes called her "the devil." There are now reports that another transgender woman may have been murdered over the weekend on the West Side of Chicago. The Chicago police have confirmed a body was found on Sunday, but have not released details. We discuss the escalation in violence against transgender women with Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU.
North Carolina Sees Economic Fallout from Anti-LGBT Law as NCAA Moves Championships Out of the State
The NCAA has announced it will move its seven championship events out of North Carolina in response to the state’s decision to pass the anti-LGBT law known as HB 2, or the "bathroom bill." The law nullifies ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination and prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio says it is encouraging to see sports organizations and corporations responding to the mobilization efforts of the trans community and their allies.
We speak with Chase Strangio, lawyer for imprisoned Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, about the hunger strike she launched Friday to protest her prison conditions. In a statement, Manning said she would only consume water and medication until she’s provided "minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity." She’s demanding a written promise from the Army that she will receive medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence in the disciplinary barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. She has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender identity. Strangio is a staff attorney at the ACLU who represents Chelsea Manning in a lawsuit against the Department of Defense.
Rep. Barbara Lee on Hillary Clinton's Health: Transparency is Important, But We Need to Move Forward
As Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she’ll release more medical records related to her bout with pneumonia and dehydration, Congressmember Barbara Lee urges Clinton to continue releasing details about her health, but downplays speculation about whether she could be replaced. "I think that we need to move forward. Hopefully, Donald Trump will submit his medical records," says Lee. "I’m hoping that the American people really understand that the issues that are before us today, as it relates to global peace and security, as it relates to an economy that works for all, as it relates to ensuring that the bigotry and the hatred that is being spoken throughout our country, that we come together and unify and speak up in terms of our American values."
This week marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. They were followed within three days by a nearly unanimous vote in Congress to approve the Authorization for Use of Military Force against those responsible. The lone dissenter was Democratic Representative Barbara Lee of California. We play an excerpt from her speech that day and speak with Lee about how the resolution has been used since then. "I voted against that resolution 15 years ago because it was so broad that I knew it was setting the stage and the foundation for perpetual war. And that is exactly what it has done," Lee notes. "It’s been used over 37 times everywhere in the world," including Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. She says bipartisan support is building to repeal the measure.
This was supposed to be the second week of classes at Long Island University’s campus in Brooklyn, but the administration barred all 400 members of the faculty union from its Brooklyn campus after their contract expired on August 31. The new proposed contract would slash pay for adjunct professors and also pay faculty lower salaries compared to those earned by colleagues at a satellite campus. As part of the lockout, LIU cut off professors’ email accounts and health insurance, and told them they would be replaced. LIU President Kimberly Cline has assured students the lockout would not affect the beginning of the school year. But since the semester began, classes have been taught by replacement teachers, and many are assigned to teach subjects for which they have no experience. We speak with locked-out professor Srividhya Swaminathan, chair of the English Department at Long Island University Brooklyn. We are also joined by Kiyonda Hester, an LIU social work graduate student who is president of the campus group Activists for Social Justice and joined hundreds of students in walking out of classes on Monday.
- Clinton to Release More Medical Records, Following Pneumonia
- Trump Names Pro-Iraq War Fmr. CIA Head James Woolsey to Be Adviser
- New Video Shows Trump Supporter Punching Anti-Trump Activist
- Mike Pence Refuses to Call Fmr. KKK Leader David Duke "Deplorable"
- California Farmworkers Win Major Labor Victory
- David Cameron Steps Down from British Parliament
- Brazil: Eduardo Cunha Faces Possible Arrest After House Expulsion
- Netanyahu Sparks Outrage by Accusing Palestinians of "Ethnic Cleansing"
- Dozens of Protests Planned Today Against Dakota Access Pipeline
- North Dakota: #NoDAPL Organizer Cody Hall Released from Jail
- NCAA Moving Championships Out of NC over Anti-LGBT Law
- Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Against Police Brutality Spreads
- Ryan Lochte Faces Protest on "Dancing with the Stars"
- Peace Activist Stanley Sheinbaum Dies at 96
While Democracy Now! was covering the standoff at Standing Rock earlier this month, we spoke to longtime Lakota water and land rights activist Debra White Plume, who was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and lives along the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. She described what the Dakota Access pipeline means to her.
While Democracy Now! was covering the Standing Rock standoff earlier this month, we spoke to Winona LaDuke, longtime Native American activist and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. She spent years successfully fighting the Sandpiper pipeline, a pipeline similar to Dakota Access. We met her right outside the Red Warrior Camp, where she has set up her tipi. Red Warrior is one of the encampments where thousands of Native Americans representing hundreds of tribes from across the U.S. and Canada are currently resisting the pipeline’s construction.
To discuss Friday’s district court ruling in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit against the U.S. government to stop the Dakota Access pipeline, and the White House’s dramatic intervention less than an hour later, we go to Standing Rock to speak with Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault. We are also joined by attorney Jan Hasselman, who brought the tribe’s case to federal court.
In a dramatic series of moves on Friday, the White House intervened in the ongoing fight against the Dakota Access pipeline, less than an hour after a federal judge rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction against the U.S. government over the pipeline. "It’s not a solid victory now but just the weight, feeling that weight that I’ve been carrying for the last couple months is lifting. I feel like I could breathe right now," says Floris White Bull. We feature the reactions to government’s intervention from some of the thousands of Native Americans who have gathered along the Cannonball River by the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to resist the pipeline’s construction.
- Federal Government Partially Halts Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline
- North Dakota v. Amy Goodman: Arrest Warrant Issued After Pipeline Coverage
- Doctor: Hillary Clinton Falls Ill with Pneumonia and Dehydration
- Hillary Clinton: Half of Trump Supporters a "Basket of Deplorables"
- Rudolph Giuliani: "Of Course It's Legal" to Take Iraq's Oil
- Mike Pence Releases Tax Returns, Unlike Donald Trump
- Syria: U.S. and Russia Agree to Ceasefire Deal
- 9/11 Memorials Mark 15th Anniversary of Attacks
- Former EPA Chief Apologizes for Calling Post-9/11 Air Safe
- Chile Marks 43rd Anniversary of September 11 Coup d'État
- Imprisoned Army Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Begins Hunger Strike
- Long Island University Students to Protest Lockout of Entire Faculty