FROM James Risen
National security reporter James Risen on fighting his editors and the government James Risen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Courtesy of Virginia Lozano for The Intercept Investigative reporter James Risen has spent his career revealing the secret activities of the federal government, specifically the CIA and NSA. He won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting that the NSA was secretly - and illegally - wiretapping Americans during the Bush years. But his employer at the time, the New York Times, refused to publish that story for more than a year. Risen has written a lengthy account as to why his bosses were reluctant to publish, and why both the Bush and Obama administrations aggressively pursued him and his sources.
The psychological impact of US torture In the aftermath of September 11, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, legal advisors in the George W. Bush Administration signed off on so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques to gather intelligence. They argued that it wasn't "torture" because there would not be long-term physical or psychological damage. But nobody in the government has bothered to check to make sure that was true. Photo by Mike Benedetti Now the New York Times has published the first in a series of reports, " How US Torture Left a Legacy of Damaged Minds ." The author is investigative reporter James Risen.
Blackwater’s Misconduct Before US Troops Pulled Out of Iraq In 2007, the private security firm Blackwater was at the height of its influence in Iraq and making millions of dollars off government contracts. But in September of that year, Blackwater personnel fired into a crowd of men, women and children at Baghdad’s Nisour Square, killing 17 and badly damaging relations between the two countries. US officials had already heard that the military contractors saw themselves as “above the law” and Iraq as a variation on the ‘OK Corral.’ That’s according to newly released documents obtained by James Risen of the New York Times.
Blackwater Indictment: Accountability or Whitewash? Charges filed yesterday against five Blackwater security guards reveal details of an incident in Iraq last year that provoked international outrage. Seventeen unsuspecting civilians were killed and 20 were wounded. The guards are charged with voluntary manslaughter, based on testimony from one of their comrades. The six used automatic rifles and grenade launchers to fire on cars, houses, a traffic officer and a girls' school. James Risen is reporting the story for the New York Times .
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?