Britain's highest intelligence officer has gone public with details of extensive surveillance of terrorist plots. President Bush wants Congress to approve his program for wiretaps without warrants. How serious is the threat in this country? Do US agents need the freedom their British counterparts have? Will civil rights still be protected? Plus, America's top general in Iraq says more troops are needed in Baghdad, and one of the world’s most controversial news outlets will now be in English. We hear the latest on al-Jazeera.
FROM THIS EPISODE
For the first time since Donald Rumsfeld's resignation as Secretary of Defense, America's top general in Iraq appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Arizona Republican John McCain said yesterday's brazen kidnapping of workers from a government building means more American troops are needed in Baghdad.
It's been less than a week since Britain's MI-5 intelligence service said 1600 people are under surveillance for 30 terrorist plots linked to al Qaeda in Pakistan. Today, Queen Elizabeth presented Tony Blair's last program to Parliament, indicating that the Prime Minister will ask for new legislation to address the terrorist threat. Meantime, President Bush still wants Congress to approve his program of wiretaps without court warrants. Democrats say wait until next year. While everybody agrees it's essential to monitor communications between terrorist suspects, how much oversight is required to prevent abuse? We look at surveillance in Britain, assess the severity of the threat in this country, and consider whether intelligence agents are hampered by too many rules.
Neil Ellis, Homeland Security Expert at the Royal United Services Institute
John Schmidt, Former US Associate Attorney General
Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy (@thelisagraves)
Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
CNN and the BBC now have a new rival for international news on English language television. Al-Jazeera has become vastly influential in the Arabic-speaking world and has ended the monopolies on news held by governments in the Middle East. It's won viewers with reports that have angered those same governments, as well as those in the western world. Will its frankness and willingness to discuss taboo issues win a new English-language audience?
Jonathan Curiel, Staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle
More From To the Point
Special: ‘Trump Baby’ flies over Big Ben… President Trump flies to Europe this week for meetings with NATO, the Queen and Russia’s President Putin. But the president won’t be the only Trump flying when he lands in the UK. An enormous, orange “Trump baby” balloon, complete with a diaper and cell phone is set to float just above the streets of London, for all to see. What else do British protestors have in store?
On the road to SCOTUS: Politics trumps the law Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation looks highly likely, but crucial issues won’t go away. The Supreme Court may see cases involving abortion, health care and the limits of presidential power. Can Democrats use upcoming hearings to dramatize what’s at stake--before November’s elections?
Politics and ‘incivility’ One Democrat wants Trump aides confronted in public over separating immigrant families. But her party’s leaders call that “incivility.” The question is: does moderation accomplish real change -- or is it a smokescreen for the status quo? When it comes to achieving racial equality, what’s worked and what hasn’t?
Family migration and the politics of incivility Separating immigrant families at the border may be something new, but the US has never extended the “Good Neighbor Policy” to Central America. Clinton and Bush discouraged newcomers, and Obama was called, “Deporter in Chief.” We’ll provide context ignored in mainstream media coverage.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Curious Coast: One listener wanted to know more about LA’s indigenous communities, here’s why Araceli Argueta is a lifelong resident of the Los Angeles area, but she still doesn’t consider herself an L.A. native. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word.… Read More
LA’s Tongva descendants: ‘We originated here’ KCRW listener Araceli Argueta wanted to know more about the history of Los Angeles’ indigenous people and submitted this question to Curious Coast. “What Native Tribes’ lands are we on?… Read More