FISA

Show Details for the week of March 20th, 2017

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On The Monitor this week:

  • James Carden on the continued U.S.-arming of terrorists in Syria amidst DC’s ongoing Political Theater
  • Andrew Cockburn on reviving the art of threat inflation and aiding and abetting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen

More about this week’s guests:

james-carden-310James Carden is a Washington, DC–based journalist focusing on US foreign policy. He is also the executive editor of the American Committee for East-West Accord, and a contributing writer at The Nation. He has served as an Advisor to the US-Russia Presidential Commission at the US State Department. He has contributed articles on US-Russia policy to The American Conservative, The National Interest, The Moscow Times. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. His most recent articles include:Why Does the US Continue to Arm Terrorists in Syria? and Round Up the Usual Suspects, It’s Time for a Show Hearing. You can read his articles for The Nation here.

maxresdefaultBorn in London and raised in County Cork, Andrew Cockburn moved to the U.S. in 1979. He is a journalist, an author and a filmmaker. He is also the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine. His books include: Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship and The Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine. His most recent book is Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins. His latest articles include The New Red Scare Reviving the art of threat inflation; and Acceptable Losses Aiding and abetting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen. You can read his latest articles for Harper’s here.

Show Details for the week of June 16th, 2014

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Following up on last week’s show, this week The Monitor is all about whistleblowers and the need for them to be able to report violations. Both guests are connected to the newly launched ExposeFacts.org.
First up is William Binney and rounding out the hour is Matthew Hoh.

Newsweek just published “The Website That Wants the Next Snowden to Leak” about the newly launched ExposeFacts.org. The lengthy article includes discussion of the legality of exposing classified documents. At the news conference launching ExposeFacts.org, former NSA official William Binney, who is now on the advisory board of ExposeFacts.org, noted that classifying documents to cover up wrongdoing violates the Executive Order on classification. [video at 1:01:00]

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More about this week’s guests:

William Binney is a former high-level National Security Agency intelligence official who, after his 2001 retirement after 30 years, blew the whistle on NSA surveillance programs. His outspoken criticism of the NSA during the George W. Bush administration made him the subject of FBI investigations that included a raid on his home in 2007. Even before Edward Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing, Binney publicly revealed that NSA had access to telecommunications companies’ domestic and international billing records, and that since 9/11 the agency has intercepted some 15 to 20 trillion communications. The Snowden disclosures confirmed many of the surveillance dangers Binney — without the benefit of documents — had been warning about under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Binney has been singled out for praise by Snowden, who told the Wall Street Journal: “I have tremendous respect for Binney, who did everything he could according to the rules. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for highlighting how the Intelligence Community punishes reporting abuses within the system.”

Quote: “Not too many people are paying too much attention to this, but under Executive Order 13526, sec 1.7 — this is the executive order that governs classification for the U.S. government — you cannot use classification to cover up a crime, illegality, abuse of any form, or fraud, corruption, waste or embarrassment and a number of other things. And a lot of these things that Snowden exposed were in fact evidence of crimes against the constitution or other laws that existed, statutes in the country. So those things [documents] cannot legitimately be classified under that executive order.

Matthew Hoh is the Former director of the Afghanistan Study Group, Hoh is a former Marine and State Department official. In 2009 he resigned from his post with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of U.S. strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan (Washington Post, front page, “U.S. Official Resigns Over Afghan War,” October 27, 2009). Hoh discussed the launch of ExposeFacts.org when he appeared on Huffington Post Live yesterday, interviewed on “Free Speech Zone with @AlyonaMink.”

Quote: “I am very much honored and more than a bit humbled to be included in the launch of such a worthy and necessary effort, particularly one bearing the name of Daniel Ellsberg. After over eleven continuous years of service with the U.S. military and U.S. government, nearly six of those years overseas, including service in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as positions within the Secretary of the Navy’s Office as a White House Liaison, and as a consultant for the State Department’s Iraq Desk, I resigned from my position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of war in 2009. It took years of involvement with a mendacious war policy, evidence of which was apparent to me as early as 2003, before I found the courage to follow my conscience. It is not an easy or light decision for anyone to make, but we need members of our military, development, diplomatic, and intelligence community to speak out if we are ever to have a just and sound foreign policy. I trust ExposeFacts and its efforts will encourage others to follow their conscience and do what is right.”

 

More info:

The ExposeFacts organization is part of the nonprofit Institute for Public Accuracy, founded in 1997. See text of Executive Order 13526, sec 1.7:

Sec. 1.7.  Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.
(a)  In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
(1)  conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

(2)  prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;

(3)  restrain competition; or

(4)  prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

Show Details for the week of March 10th, 2014

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On The Monitor this week:

  • What’s Next at Fukushima? Are U.S. Nuclear Plants at Risk? with Radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear, Kevin Kamps said: “The condition of the high-level radioactive waste storage pools at the Fukushima-Daiichi reactors remains perilous. Another big earthquake could prompt a sudden drain-down of the Unit 4 high-level radioactive waste storage pool. The Unit 3 pool may be in even worse shape. … Few lessons from Fukushima have been learned in the U.S. One of the most important should be that high density U.S. pools are emptied into hardened on-site storage as soon as possible, before the worst happens, whether due to natural disaster or terrorist attack.”
  • NSA Surveillance and Our “Almost Orwellian” State with Cindy Cohn – Legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which recently released the assessment “Obama Takes First Steps Toward Reforming NSA Surveillance, but Leaves Many Issues Unaddressed,” Cohn represented a broad range of groups, including the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and gun ownership advocates in “First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA.”

More about this week’s guests:

Kevin Kamps: Radioactive Waste Watchdog
Kevin Kamps specializes in high-level waste management and transportation; new and existing reactors; decommissioning; Congress watch; climate change; federal subsidies.Click on Kevin’s name to open full bio. And see Kevin Kamps’ 1992 Walk Across America for Mother Earth“Winter Count Poster” and key, documenting the cross country march that introduced him to anti-nuclear activism.

Cindy Cohn is the Legal Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as its General Counsel. She is responsible for overseeing the EFF’s overall legal strategy and supervising EFF’s fourteen staff attorneys. Ms. Cohn first became involved with the EFF in 1993, when the EFF asked her to serve as the outside lead attorney inBernstein v. Dept. of Justice, the successful First Amendment challenge to the U.S. export restrictions on cryptography. Outside the Courts, Ms. Cohn has testified before Congress, been featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere for her work on digital rights and has traveled onto the Internet withStephen Colbert.

Show Details for the week of July 15th, 2013

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The Monitor this week takes an in depth look at personal data security and events in Egypt.

  • What We Don’t Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know – An interview with Bruce Schneier
  • American Eyewitness in Egypt – An interview with Darryl John Kennedy

More about this week’s guests:

Bruce Schneier
Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a “security guru” by The Economist. He is the author of 12 books — including Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive — as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers. His influential newsletter “Crypto-Gram” and his blog “Schneier on Security” are read by over 250,000 people. He has testified before Congress, is a frequent guest on television and radio, has served on several government committees, and is regularly quoted in the press. Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, a program fellow at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Advisory Board Member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and the Security Futurologist for BT — formerly British Telecom.

Recent Articles:

Has U.S. Started an Internet War?

Before Prosecuting, Investigate the Government

You Have No Control Over Security on the Feudal Internet

What We Don’t Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know

The FBI’s New Wiretapping Plan Is Great News for Criminals

It’s Smart Politics to Exaggerate Terrorist Threats

Darryl John Kennedy

Darryl John Kennedy an American film composer and multiinstrumentalist, who performs in concerts and recordings throughout the world. He plays professionally 16 instruments, and has produced 125 CDs for artists in musical styles, ranging from classical to Hip-Hop. Darryl has traveled to over 50 countries as an independent cultural ambassador, demonstrating how Americans can be effective leaders in public diplomacy. Darryl recently spoke at the United Nations with the Institute for  Cultural Diplomacy about his successful experiences in Egypt. Before the revolution in Egypt, Darryl had been utilizing his approach in Cairo. He was the only American ever asked to compose the soundtrack for two Egyptian motion pictures. He also performed as guest artist in 16 concerts including one for 12,000 people. He produced five music CDs, was guest speaker at the American University of Cairo, and was the first American to co-star in an Arabic music video with an audience of 55 million. He did all of this without any record label promotion, Washington political or NGO support, and no local contacts when he first arrived in the country.

Websitehttp://www.darryljohnkennedy.com/

Show Details for the week of July 8th, 2013

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On this week’s show:
  • How the Security-Industrial Complex is tracking your data and what that means for you – an interview with Richard Stallman
  • The president should fire James Clapper and Keith Alexander over domestic spying revealed by Edward Snowden – an interview with Ray McGovern

More about this week’s guests:

Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman was induced into the Internet Hall of Fame. He is founder of the Free Software Foundation and has pioneered the notion of copyleft.
Quote: “It is said that ‘knowledge is power.’ Internet corporations took this maxim to heart, and set out to know as much as possible about each of us. Then the U.S. and other governments began massively collecting personal information from these companies, and in other ways too. That’s how they hope to have power over us. Digital technology turns out to mean building a giant digital dossier about each person. This might be OK if we had a government we could trust implicitly to respect human rights, one that would never try to stretch its power. What we have, under Bush and Obama, is a security-industrial complex that systematically crosses legal limits, egged on by corporations that will make more money through putting together more extensive dossiers, and saying they are doing this to ‘keep us safe’ from real but minor threats. It used to be that the threat to people’s freedom from computers was that they used programs that the users don’t control — nonfree programs, that is. The free software movement aims to provide free/libre replacements for nonfree programs. Free software is software that respects the users’ freedom and community. A program that isn’t free gives its owner unjust power over its users. Often it is designed to spy on them, restrict them, or even abuse them. (See ‘Proprietary Surveillance,’ DefectiveByDesign.org and ‘Proprietary Sabotage.’) With free software, the users can fix the program so it doesn’t spy, restrict, or mistreat. But the threats have multiplied. For years I’ve called portable phones ‘Stalin’s dream’ because of their surveillance capabilities. (Their movements are tracked, and they can be converted remotely into listening devices that transmit your conversations all the time, even when you try to shut them off.) For years I’ve warned that it is a mistake to entrust personal data to web sites, or even identify yourself to them. For years I’ve paid cash rather than use my credit card. The U.S. is slowly converting driver’s licenses into national ID cards. Without showing ID, you can’t fly, or ride Amtrak, or stay in a hotel in New York City, or open a bank account, or fill a prescription for pain killers. The immigration bill now being considered may make it impossible to get a job without national ID. Meanwhile, as license-plate cameras spread around our cities, the U.S. is slowly assembling a system that will track all movements of all cars, as is done in the UK. ‘Smart meters’ will build a dossier of how much electricity you use each hour or each minute, which says whether you are home. And the Internet of Things threatens to recruit all the products in your home as digital informers. Once data is collected, it will be misused. Formal limits on accessing the data will do nothing to stop the state from collecting all sorts of data about anyone it is determined to crush, such as torture whistleblower John Kiriakou. If no one dares tell us what the state is doing, the state will get out of control. We need to stop the accumulation of digital dossiers about people in general. Such collection should be permitted only under a court order applying to a specific person.”
Stallman sent his statement in an email with the following at the top:
        [To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider
        [ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,
        [ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden’s example.
Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven U.S. presidents over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them. Ray McGovern leads the “Speaking Truth to Power” section of Tell the Word, an expression of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He also teaches at its Servant Leadership School. In January 2003, Ray helped create Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the way intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. On the afternoon of the day (Feb. 5, 2003) Secretary of State Colin Powell misled the UN Security Council on Iraq, VIPS sent an urgent memorandum to President George W. Bush, in which we gave Powell a C minus for content. We ended the memo with this:“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is irrefutable or undeniable [as Powell had claimed]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion beyond … the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, after a five-year study by his committee, described the intelligence used to “justify” war on Iraq as “unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

As an act of conscience, on March 2, 2006 Ray returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion given him at retirement for “especially meritorious service,” explaining, “I do not want to be associated, however remotely, with an agency engaged in torture.”  He returned it to Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R, Michigan), then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman.

Recent Op-Ed: Obama needs to take charge on NSA spying scandal

Visit Ray’s Website for more.

 

Show Details for the week of July 1st, 2013

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On this week’s show:

  • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled in 2011 that the NSA’s program is illegal. We talk with Mark Rumold about the possible release of that opinion, which, as you may expect, is secret.
  • Dirty Wars hits the big screen in Houston and around the country. We talk with film’s director, Richard Rowley

More about this week’s guests:

Mark Rumold

Mark Rumold is a staff attorney at EFF, working primarily on the FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) Project. His legal interests include the First Amendment, information privacy, and the ways technology can improve how we structure government. He received his law degree from Boalt Hall and his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. In his spare time, Mark likes doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, cheering for disappointing sports teams, and traveling.

See related article: FISC Will Not Object To Release of 2011 Court Opinion That Confirmed NSA’s Illegal Surveillance

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Richard Rowley

Richard Rowley director, cinematographer, editor. Over the course of fifteen years, Richard Rowley, co-founder of Big Noise Films, has made multiple award-winning documentary features including Fourth World War and This Is What Democracy Looks Like. His shorts and news reports are also regularly featured on and commissioned by leading outlets including Al Jazeera, BBC, CBC, CNN International, Democracy Now!, and PBS. Rowley is a co-founder of the Independent Media Center. Rowley has been a Pulitzer Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow, a Jerome Foundation Fellow, and a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow.

Show Details for the week of June 17th, 2013

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This week’s show takes a closer look at secrecy and cover up of the attack on the ‘consulate’ at Benghazi and the upcoming legal defense of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden. Our guests are Melvin Goodman and David K. Colapinto

More about this week’s guests:

Melvin Goodman

Melvin Goodman is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. He was division chief and senior analyst at the Office of Soviet Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency from 1976 to 1986. He was a senior analyst at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, State Department from 1974 to 1976. He was an intelligence adviser to the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks in Vienna and Washington. He is co-author of The Wars of Edvard Shevardnadze (2nd edition, 2001), The Phantom Defense, America’s Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion (2001); Bush League Diplomacy; How the Neoconservatives are Putting the World at Risk (2004); Failure of Intelligence: the Decline and Fall of the CIA (2008). Goodman’s latest book, National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism.

His recent article on tonight’s topic can be found here: The Real Benghazi Scandal

David K. Colapinto

David K. Colapinto is a nationally recognized whistleblower advocate with expertise in government fraud and qui tam cases and whistleblower retaliation cases. He has successfully represented many whistleblowers in state and federal courts and before numerous agencies. A key attorney in several cases of national interest, Mr. Colapinto represented the leading whistleblower in a major qui tam fraud action against the drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb, helping to recover more than $500 million for U.S. taxpayers and the government under the False Claims Act in 2007. He has also played a central role in securing whistleblower protection for FBI employees, such as the firm’s successful efforts on behalf of Fredric Whitehurst, the forensics expert who suffered recriminations after reporting poor lab practices at the bureau.

 

David is helping with the Edward Snowden Legal Defense Fund and the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund recently issued a statement on the topic.