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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

  • AP Wins Pulitzer for Exposing NYPD’s CIA-Linked Intel Program, Leading Widespread Spying on Muslims

    Nypd

    We speak with Matt Apuzzo, co-author of the Associated Press series that revealed the New York City Police Department has extensively spied on Muslim Americans not only in the tri-city area, but throughout the eastern United States. The series won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Beginning last August, the AP detailed how the NYPD established a vast operation to monitor Muslim neighborhoods after the 9/11 attacks. Hundreds of mosques, businesses and Muslim student groups were investigated, monitored and, in many cases, infiltrated. Police observed and cataloged daily life in Muslim communities, from where people ate and shopped to where they worked and prayed. Police used informants, known as "mosque crawlers," to monitor sermons, even without any evidence of wrongdoing. Also falling under NYPD’s scrutiny were imams, cab drivers and food cart vendors. According to the AP, many of these operations were built with help from the CIA, which is prohibited from spying on Americans. In the process, the NYPD became "one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies," targeting ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government. The revelations sparked a national controversy that only grew as the AP continued to reveal more details of the NYPD’s actions. "We try to provide that information so people can make informed decisions," Apuzzo says. "This wasn’t a series we set out to do ... I think it continues if more information makes itself available. And we’ll go where the story leads." [includes rush transcript]

  • 40 Years in Solitary Confinement: Two Members of Angola 3 Remain in Isolation in Louisiana Prison

    Angola%203

    It’s been 40 years to the day — since April 17, 1972, or 14,600 days ago — that Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox have been held in solitary confinement in Louisiana. The state says they were guilty of murdering a guard at Angola Prison, but Wallace, Woodfox and their network of supporters say they were framed for their political activism as members of the Black Panthers. Woodfox and Wallace founded the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1971. A third prisoner, Robert King, joined them a year later. The three campaigned for better working conditions and racial solidarity between inmates, as well as an end to rape and sexual slavery. Today, to mark the 40th anniversary of their placement in solitary confinement, Amnesty USA says it will deliver a petition to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that bears the signatures of tens of thousands of people from 125 countries. We speak to Robert King, who was released in 2001 when his conviction was overturned and he pleaded guilty to a lesser offense. "We want the state of Louisiana and we want the world to know that we are still focusing on this case. This is a total violation of human rights and civil rights," King says. "And it is ongoing." [includes rush transcript]

  • Norway’s Johan Galtung, Peace & Conflict Pioneer, Reflects on Norwegian Massacre, Afghan War

    Galtung

    Today is the second day of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the anti-Muslim Norwegian militant who massacred 77 people last summer. Breivik is on trial for setting off a car bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo last July, then killing 69 in a shooting spree at a summer youth camp on an island organized by the ruling Labour Party. On the first day of his trial, Breivik admitted to carrying out the killings but pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. He gave a clenched-fist salute and said he acted to defend his country against Muslims. Later in the hearing, Breivik broke into tears when prosecutors showed an anti-Muslim video he had posted to YouTube shortly before his killing spree. As the trial continues in Norway, we are joined by Norwegian sociologist and mathematician, Johan Galtung, who is regarded as the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies. His granddaughter was on the island when Breivik attacked. [includes rush transcript]