Obama Administration Wiretaps Associated Press Reporters, Seeks New Rules to Make Internet Surveillance Easier

Interview with Mark Jaycox, policy analyst and legislative assistant with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, conducted by Scott Harris
wiretap

Revelations about government surveillance of Associated Press reporters’ phone records has set off alarms with regard to possible violations of First Amendment rights. The covert surveillance was only discovered when a letter was sent by U.S. attorney Ronald Machen to the AP’s general counsel on May 10. The AP itself reported that the Justice Department had secretly obtained two months of telephone records of AP reporters and editors, listing incoming and outgoing calls on work, home and cell phones, including general AP office numbers in New York, Washington, Hartford, Conn. and at the House of Representatives press gallery. Story continues
Guantanamo Defense Lawyer Says White House Action Can End Detainee Hunger Strike and Close the Controversial Prison Camp

Interview with Carlos Warner, assistant federal defense lawyer for 11 Guantanamo detainees who have been cleared for release, conducted by Scott Harris
gitmo

There are growing protests by human rights groups in response to the four monthlong hunger strike conducted by the majority of 166 detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Detention Camp in Cuba, where an unknown number of prisoners are being subjected to force-feeding. According to a 30-page military manual used at Guantanamo, hunger striking detainees are shackled to a chair where a tube is inserted into their noses and down to their stomachs for up to two hours at a time. The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and other groups, who have labeled the force-feeding process as inherently “cruel, inhuman and degrading” and a violation of the Geneva conventions, have called on U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to halt the practice. Story continues
U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms EPA’s Authority to Revoke Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Permit

Interview with Emma Cheuse, EarthJustice attorney, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
mtr

On April 23rd, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. reversed a lower district court decision that would have allowed the company with the largest mountaintop removal site in West Virginia – the Spruce No. 1 mine – to begin blasting the mountain apart to access the coal seams beneath. The court’s ruling, handed down by a three-judge panel, all of whom were Republican appointees, affirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority under the Clean Water Act to veto a mining permit, even after a permit was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Story continues
This week’s summary of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

An historic opportunity to build new water infrastructure during Haiti’s dry season has been lost to indifference. (“Cholera cases down but disease still deadly in Haiti,” Miami Herald, May 3, 2013)
According to the Center for Public Integrity, Florida has experienced a surge of gun violence over the last decade, with the number of gun murders rising by 38 percent. (“As firearms ownership raises, Florida gun murders increase,” Center for Public Integrity, April 23, 2013)
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s new lobby group – FWD.us, with a $40 million bank account and no obligation to disclose donors ran ads – recently supporting incumbent Republicans and a conservative Democrat praising their support for the Keystone XL pipeline, more drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and opposition to Obamacare. (“Moveon, Sierra Club, and Daily Kos spike Facebook ads to protest Mark Zuckerberg’s dark money group,” Mother Jones, May 7, 2013; “Mark Zuckerberg rattles tech leaders,” Politico, May 7, 2013; “Mark Zuckerberg’s political status: It’s complicated,” ABC News, May 1, 2013; “Elon Musk quits Zuckerberg’s immigration advocacy group,” Reuters, May 10, 2013)

ON Between the Lines | May 17, 2013 | 9:00 am

Wiretapping, Gitmo Detainees, Mountaintop Removal

http://www.kkfi.org/wp-content/uploads/130524-lede-wpcf_250x100.jpg

Obama Administration Wiretaps Associated Press Reporters, Seeks New Rules to Make Internet Surveillance Easier

Interview with Mark Jaycox, policy analyst and legislative assistant with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, conducted by Scott Harris
wiretap

Revelations about government surveillance of Associated Press reporters’ phone records has set off alarms with regard to possible violations of First Amendment rights. The covert surveillance was only discovered when a letter was sent by U.S. attorney Ronald Machen to the AP’s general counsel on May 10. The AP itself reported that the Justice Department had secretly obtained two months of telephone records of AP reporters and editors, listing incoming and outgoing calls on work, home and cell phones, including general AP office numbers in New York, Washington, Hartford, Conn. and at the House of Representatives press gallery. Story continues
Guantanamo Defense Lawyer Says White House Action Can End Detainee Hunger Strike and Close the Controversial Prison Camp

Interview with Carlos Warner, assistant federal defense lawyer for 11 Guantanamo detainees who have been cleared for release, conducted by Scott Harris
gitmo

There are growing protests by human rights groups in response to the four monthlong hunger strike conducted by the majority of 166 detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Detention Camp in Cuba, where an unknown number of prisoners are being subjected to force-feeding. According to a 30-page military manual used at Guantanamo, hunger striking detainees are shackled to a chair where a tube is inserted into their noses and down to their stomachs for up to two hours at a time. The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and other groups, who have labeled the force-feeding process as inherently “cruel, inhuman and degrading” and a violation of the Geneva conventions, have called on U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to halt the practice. Story continues
U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms EPA’s Authority to Revoke Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Permit

Interview with Emma Cheuse, EarthJustice attorney, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
mtr

On April 23rd, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. reversed a lower district court decision that would have allowed the company with the largest mountaintop removal site in West Virginia – the Spruce No. 1 mine – to begin blasting the mountain apart to access the coal seams beneath. The court’s ruling, handed down by a three-judge panel, all of whom were Republican appointees, affirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority under the Clean Water Act to veto a mining permit, even after a permit was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Story continues
This week’s summary of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

An historic opportunity to build new water infrastructure during Haiti’s dry season has been lost to indifference. (“Cholera cases down but disease still deadly in Haiti,” Miami Herald, May 3, 2013)
According to the Center for Public Integrity, Florida has experienced a surge of gun violence over the last decade, with the number of gun murders rising by 38 percent. (“As firearms ownership raises, Florida gun murders increase,” Center for Public Integrity, April 23, 2013)
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s new lobby group – FWD.us, with a $40 million bank account and no obligation to disclose donors ran ads – recently supporting incumbent Republicans and a conservative Democrat praising their support for the Keystone XL pipeline, more drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and opposition to Obamacare. (“Moveon, Sierra Club, and Daily Kos spike Facebook ads to protest Mark Zuckerberg’s dark money group,” Mother Jones, May 7, 2013; “Mark Zuckerberg rattles tech leaders,” Politico, May 7, 2013; “Mark Zuckerberg’s political status: It’s complicated,” ABC News, May 1, 2013; “Elon Musk quits Zuckerberg’s immigration advocacy group,” Reuters, May 10, 2013)

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