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FROM THIS EPISODE

The head of al Qaeda was killed by a team that's part of the Joint Special Operations Command, an organization most Americans never heard of. What are the benefits and the risks of high-tech, high-risk anti-terrorism compared to the long slog of counter-insurgency? Also, "rape" and "forcible rape." The battle over federal abortion funding breaks out again.


Banner image: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Official White House photo: Pete Souza

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Sonya Geis
Frances Anderton

Making News Details of bin Laden Killing Are Muddled 7 MIN, 34 SEC

"The White House is altering key details in its narrative about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden." That's according to Politico, based in part on changes since comments Sunday night by Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan. Josh Gerstein reports for Politico.

Guests:
Josh Gerstein, Politico.com (@joshgerstein)

Main Topic JSOC and the Killing of Osama bin Laden 36 MIN, 51 SEC

A photograph from the Obama White House shows the President, Vice President, Secretaries of State and Defense, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other aides watching in rapt attention as the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout takes place. Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan called it an "anxiety-filled" moment, but it's also a demonstration of the state-of-the-art technology used by JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command. The head of al Qaeda was killed by a team that's part of JSOC, an organization most Americans never heard. It now may become a household word, synonymous with anti-terrorism that's very high-tech and very high-risk. We hear how members are chosen, trained and equipped, and what kinds of missions they're used for. JSOC costs a billion dollars a year, but Congress doesn't ask many questions. What interrogation methods does JSOC use? Should it be more open?   

Guests:
Marc Ambinder, The Week (@marcambinder)
Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press (@KimberlyDozier)
Kalev Sepp, Naval Postgraduate School
Conrad Crane, Army War College's Military History Institute

Reporter's Notebook GOP's Backdoor Maneuver to Pull Forcible Rape Language from Bill 6 MIN, 18 SEC

In February, pro-life members of Congress took heat for wanting to change the language of a law re-instituting the federal ban on abortion funding. In the exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, they wanted the law to read "forcible rape," instead of just "rape." When the issue became public, the effort was dropped. Now, pro-choice advocates are concerned about the renewed effort to add "forcible" not to federal law, but to a committee report. Why does it matter? Nick Baumann is with Mother Jones magazine.

Guests:
Nick Baumann, Mother Jones magazine

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