Monday, October 28, 2013

  • "Stop Watching Us": As Diplomatic Fallout Grows, Thousands Protest NSA Surveillance in D.C.

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    As new revelations of National Security Agency spying stoke the ire of Germany, France and Spain, thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C., on Saturday in a rally against government surveillance. Organizers say the protest was the largest to date against NSA monitoring since Edward Snowden’s disclosures became public in June. We hear from Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department lawyer who now works for the Government Accountability Project, reading a message from Edward Snowden; NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who was charged with espionage after he was suspected of revealing information about the agency’s warrantless wiretapping program; and New Mexico’s former Republican governor, Gary Johnson.

  • Glenn Greenwald: U.S. Spying on Allies Shows "Institutional Obsession" with Surveillance

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    The spat over U.S. spying on Germany grew over the weekend following reports the National Security Agency has monitored the phone calls of Chancellor Angela Merkel since as early as 2002, before she even came to office. The NSA also spied on Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, after he refused to support the Iraq War. NSA staffers working out of the U.S. embassy in Berlin reportedly sent their findings directly to the White House. The German tabloid Bild also reports President Obama was made aware of Merkel’s phone tap in 2010, contradicting his apparent claim to her last week that he would have stopped the spying had he known. In another new disclosure, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo reports today the NSA tracked some 60 million calls in Spain over the course of a month last year. A delegation of German and French lawmakers are now in Washington to press for answers on the allegations of U.S. spying in their home countries. We discuss the latest revelations with Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported Edward Snowden’s leaks.

  • Glenn Greenwald: Media Venture Will Empower Adversarial Journalism to Hold the Powerful Accountable

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    Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported Edward Snowden’s leaks, is leaving The Guardian this week to join a new media venture funded by eBay founder and multi-billionaire Pierre Omidyar. "Usually [dissenting journalists] are on the outside of institutional power, and what this is really about is being able to create a very well-funded, powerful, well-fortified institution that’s designed not to just tolerate that kind of journalism, but to enable it and protect it, strengthen it and empower it," Greenwald says. "The people who we’re going to select are all going to be people who take the same view of adversarial journalism, that it’s about holding the most powerful factions accountable, fearlessly, without regard to threats from the government or corporate factions. I think it’s going to be a very formidable force in shaping how journalism is understood and how it’s practiced."

  • While Defenders Cry Foul, JPMorgan Chase’s $13 Billion Banking Settlement a "Screaming Bargain"

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    In the largest banking settlement in U.S. history, the banking giant JPMorgan Chase is set to pay a record $13 billion fine to settle investigations into its mortgage-backed securities. Five years ago, the bank’s risky behavior helped trigger the financial meltdown, including manipulating mortgages and sending millions of Americans into bankruptcy or foreclosure. JPMorgan’s preliminary settlement with the U.S. government may end up costing much less after taxes — closer to $9 billion because the majority of the deal is expected to be tax-deductible. The deal is expected to be followed by a larger agreement with the Justice Department still in the works. Many in the media have portrayed the deal as unfair to the bank. The Wall Street Journal describes it as the government "confiscating" half of JPMorgan’s annual earnings to "appease … left-wing populist allies" of the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the New York Post portrayed it as a kind of bank robbery, running a headline that read: "UNCLE SCAM: U.S. Robs Bank of $13 Billion." We are joined by Yves Smith, financial analyst and founder of the popular finance blog "Naked Capitalism." Smith is the author of the book, "ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism."

    Click here to watch Part 2 of this interview.

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