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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?