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Thursday, June 13, 2013

  • Juan González: Failures in NYC’s New Billion-Dollar 911 System Could Be Costing Lives

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    Democracy Now! co-host and Daily News columnist Juan González describes his reporting that has exposed repeated crashes in New York City’s new 911 computer dispatch system. The glitches led to delays that appear to have already contributed to at least one death. "Last week, there was a young girl, Ariel Russo, a four-year-old girl who was hit and killed by an unlicensed teenage driver who was speeding away from police. I discovered, because the employees are so upset that they are leaking information, that there had been a four-minute delay in the ambulance even being notified by 911," González says. "The city initially claimed that it was a human error — a dispatcher that did not see the call on the screen. But all the evidence I am getting is that this computer system is in such bad shape that it is actually losing transmissions, and this obviously has a major impact on health and safety in the city."

  • Chris Pyle, Whistleblower on Domestic Spying in 70s, Says Be Wary of Attacks on NSA’s Critics

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    As NSA director General Keith Alexander blasts the leaks that exposed widespread surveillance of Americans, we’re joined by Chris Pyle, a former military instructor who exposed the CIA and Army’s monitoring of millions of Americans in the 1970s. Pyle discovered the Army and CIA were spying on millions of Americans engaged in lawful political activity while he was in the Army working as an instructor. His revelations prompted Senate hearings, including Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence, ultimately leading to a series of laws aimed at curbing government abuses. Now teaching constitutional law and civil liberties at Mount Holyoke College, Pyle says the NSA is known for attacking its critics instead of addressing the problems they expose.

  • A Mexican Migrant’s Death Portends Dangers of Harsh "Border Security" in Senate Immigration Bill

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    As the Senate begins debate over border enforcement in the immigration reform bill, we look at the human cost of militarization of the border. The award-winning PBS documentary "Crossing the Line at the Border: Dying to Get Back," tells the story of Alfonso Martinez Sanchez, a 39-year-old father of five U.S.-born children. After being deported last year, Alfonso got heat stroke while attempting to re-enter the U.S. through the Arizona desert to reunite with his children. He later died after Border Patrol agents refused to heed his friend’s pleas to help him. Reporter John Carlos Frey of The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund joins us to discuss Sanchez’s story and the lessons it holds for the Senate’s debate over immigration reform.

  • As Judge Weighs Legality of NYPD’s Stop and Frisk, Justice Dept. Calls for Court-Appointed Monitor

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    The Obama administration is backing calls for a court-appointed monitor to oversee New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk policing program. In a brief filed Wednesday night, the Justice Department endorsed the appointment of a monitor in the event "stop and frisk" is deemed to be unlawful. A New York judge is set to decide on a lawsuit that says "stop and frisk" is unconstitutional and unfairly targets people of color. Nearly 90 percent of people stopped by police in 2011 were black and Latino, and nine out of 10 were neither arrested nor ticketed. We speak with Sunita Patel, staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel on the stop-and-frisk federal class action lawsuit.