FROM James Bamford
Israeli Military Spying Former members of an elite Israeli military intelligence unit are refusing to “take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians.” In a letter to the Prime Minister and military commanders, the veterans of a secret unit claim that much of the work they did was not directly related to Israeli security. Instead, they said the work included collecting personal information about medical conditions, sexual orientation, and other things that could be used to extort, damage, or divide Palestinians. Journalist James Bamford says some of the data may have been collected by the NSA.
Edward Snowden, the NSA and Other Whistleblowers Since Edward Snowden leaked hundreds of thousands of top-secret documents he took from the NSA, both detractors and supporters have waited to hear Snowden’s own explanation. During several weeks in Moscow, James Bamford says spent a total of three solid days with Edward Snowden. Bamford is the author of The Shadow Factory : The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. His report on the meetings appears in the latest Wired magazine, with the title, “ The Most Wanted Man in the World ".
Protecting National Security and Preserving Privacy President Obama issued new orders today after months of controversy over spying by the National Security Agency. Metadata from Americans' phone calls won't be housed at the NSA anymore, and agents will need warrants from the intelligence court before they get access. But it's not clear just where all that data will be. In a long speech that followed six months of bitter dispute about NSA spying after the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the President called on Congress to help revise controversial intelligence practices. We hear him make his case and get reaction from privacy advocates, intelligence hawks and tech companies -- all of with competing interests.
Is Electronic Surveillance Out of Control? When Edward Snowden revealed that Americans' phone calls and emails were being sucked up by government computers, the President called for a "national conversation." Yesterday, a former judge told the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board he was " frankly stunned " at what's now allowed by the secret court he once served on. How did the National Security Agency get so much power? Do the courts and the Congress understand the technology, let alone provide real supervision? We hear about constitutional rights and homeland security as the "national conversation" gets under way.
Russian Spies in American Suburbs: Shades of the Cold War? The accused paymaster of what the FBI calls Russia's "deep cover" spy ring in the United States skipped bail in Cyprus today. US officials reportedly were astonished when Christopher Metsos was released on bail in the first place. But that's not all that is hard to explain about a collection of 10 Russians who lived like ordinary Americans, including parents with children, for more than 10 years.
Russian Spies in American Suburbs: Shades of the Cold War? Ten Russians posing as ordinary Americans, including parents with children, have been arrested as "deep cover" spies after seven years of investigation by the FBI. Their alleged paymaster was picked up in Cyprus. US officials reportedly were astonished when Christopher Metsos was released on bail in the first place. Both countries say the incident won't damage relations, but a lot of questions remain. What were the agents doing here decades after the Cold War? Why have they been arrested now? If they posed a danger to national security, why don't they face more serious charges? Does the US have its own spy rings in Russia? We hear from a former CIA agent, a Russian scholar and others.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.