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Friday, August 16, 2013

  • Juan González Remembers Pioneering NYC Political Strategist Bill Lynch

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    A funeral was held Thursday for the influential New York-based political strategist Bill Lynch, who died last week at the age of 72. In the 1988 Democratic presidential primary, he masterminded Rev. Jesse Jackson’s upset win among New York City Democrats. He played a pivotal role in the election of David Dinkins as New York’s first African-American mayor. In 2009 he helped John Liu be elected as New York City comptroller, making Liu the first Asian American elected to citywide office.

  • NSA Violated Surveillance Rules Thousands of Times, Intercepted All 202 Area Code Calls By Accident

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    The Washington Post has revealed the National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008. According to an NSA audit from May 2012 leaked by Edward Snowden, there were 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. In one case, the NSA intercepted a "large number" of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused the U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt. The audit only counted violations committed at the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters and other facilities in the Washington area. We speak to Alex Abdo of the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • Day of Rage in Cairo: Anti-Coup Groups Hold Massive Protest Marches to Condemn Deadly Crackdown

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    Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have called for a nationwide Day of Rage today after Wednesday’s security crackdown left at least 638 people dead and 3,000 people injured. The violence on Wednesday began when security forces raided two protest camps in Cairo set up to denounce the military overthrow of Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi. Today’s protest marches began after Friday prayers at 28 mosques in Cairo. We go to Cairo to speak to Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.

  • Ex-State Department Spokesperson P.J. Crowley: The U.S. Should Describe Morsi Ouster as a Coup

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    On Thursday, President Obama condemned the Egyptian military’s deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and announced the cancellation of military exercises with Egypt next month. But Obama stopped short of cutting off the $1.55 billion a year of mostly military U.S. aid to Egypt and continued to avoid describing the ouster of Mohamed Morsi as a coup. We get response from P.J. Crowley, who served under Obama as the State Department’s spokesperson from 2009 to 2011. We also talk about the case of Bradley Manning. In 2011, Crowley resigned after he told a group of students, "What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the Department of Defense."

  • Did an 8-Year-Old Spy for America? U.S. Drone Killed Yemeni Man After Boy Planted Tracking Chip

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    The United States was reportedly able to target an alleged al-Qaeda operative named Adnan al-Qadhi for a drone strike after U.S. allies in Yemen convinced an eight-year-old boy to place a tracking chip in the pocket of the man he considered to be his surrogate father. Shortly after the child planted the device, a U.S. drone tracked and killed al-Qadhi with a missile. He was killed last November, less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama’s re-election. Gregory Johnsen writes about the case in his new article "Did an 8-Year-Old Spy for America?" published in The Atlantic.