Sep
09
2011

Katie Galloway on 'Better This World,' Yousef Munayyer on Palmer Report

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Two men were arrested at the 2008 Republican National Convention and charged with a firebombing plot. For the FBI and headline writers, violent domestic terrorists had been thwarted before the act. The new film Better This World takes another look at the story and finds much more to say about the definition of terrorism and the U.S. legal system. We'll speak with filmmaker Katie Galloway. Also on CounterSpin today, a UN report about last year's Israeli raid on a humanitarian boat to Gaza was released this month. The main media lesson seemed to be […]

Sep
01
2011

The 'Worst of the Worst'?

9/11,Guantánamo and the failures of U.S. corporate media

Amnesty International demonstration against GTMO--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/casmaron/Amnesty International

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, George W. Bush deliberately discarded domestic and international laws, creating an experimental facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. There prisoners would be deprived of the protections of the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, held without rights as “unlawful enemy combatants” in a world-wide program of extraordinary rendition, secret prisons and torture. Corporate media largely failed to hold the government responsible for this authoritarian response. From the beginning, the corporate media generally belittled those who raised concerns about the abuses at Guantánamo. Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball (1/17/02) told a guest from Human Rights […]

Sep
01
2011

Whistling Past the Wreckage of Civil Liberties

Watchdogs slept through a decade of rollback

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Ben (Falcifer)

When the USA Patriot Act* was rushed into law after the September 11 attacks, the erosion of civil liberties the Act represented—the broad powers it gave law enforcement to spy on people, and the creation of the dangerously ill-defined crime of “domestic terrorism”—met with little detailed scrutiny or principled challenge from major media. Typical at the time was a Today show segment (NBC, 10/27/01) in which anchor Soledad O’Brien grilled a concerned legal advocate, “But, certainly, isn’t there a sense in wartime that you have to give up some of your privacies, especially when you’re talking about terrorists who exploited […]

Aug
26
2011

Faiza Patel on NYPD surveillance, Rena Steinzor on regulatory reforms

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: An Associated Press report about how the New York City Police Department is working with the CIA to carry out domestic spying operations on minorities in cities across the U.S., is making some waves, and raising questions about ethnic and racial profiling. NYPD has tried to deny aspects of the August 25th story, and on August 26th, a news conference by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was cut short when a reporter asked about it. We'll be joined by Faiza Patel, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s […]

Aug
05
2011

Bill Hartung on military cuts, Rania Khalek on taping the police

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin. The debt ceiling has been lifted; that fixed everything, right? Well, the Democratic base is unhappy with the White House capitulation, the ratings agencies still aren't sure the United States has its fiscal house in order, and there's nothing here to address the jobs crisis. Of the budget cuts we've been hearing about, reports say that one early slice comes from the military budget--with a second round of potentially larger cuts possible in a few months. But is that really true? We'll talk it over with Bill Hartung of the Arms and Security Project. […]

Jun
17
2011

Shahid Buttar on civil liberties, Gareth Porter on Syed Saleem Shahzad

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: An activist in Texas gets his FBI files—and finds out that agents have been tailing him for years. Activists in the Midwest are the targets of a wide-ranging investigation, including a half-dozen house raids and an array of subpoenas. And—oh yeah—parts of the Patriot Act were renewed, there's an effort to extend the term of FBI chief Robert Mueller, and the FBI is giving agents new powers. Can media start connecting the dots? We'll ask Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Also this week: The work of recentlly murdered Pakistani journalist […]

Apr
01
2011

Stephen Zunes on Libya, Karen Greenberg on 'America's Growing Intolerance'

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The U.S.-led NATO bombing of Libya was supposed to last just a few days. It was supposed to just protect Libyan civilians. And, according to the White House, we weren't supposed to think of it as a war at all—it is a "kinetic military action." But the war in Libya has unmistakably expanded, with serious talk of arming anti-Qaddafi rebels and removing the Libyan dictator from power. Stephen Zunes from the University of San Francisco will join us to talk about it. Also on CounterSpin today: We'll talk to Karen Greenberg, the director of […]

Mar
25
2011

Asli Bali on Libya, Alia Malek on US Muslim prisons

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The U.S.'s sudden military involvement in Libya raises many questions that have not been answered by officials who've plunged the country into a war they say is to protect civilians, or even asked by many journalists who have been too busy cheering to ask them. Questions like how certain are we that going war will be better for Libyan civilians than the threat they faced from Libyan dictator Muammar el-Gadhafi? And what solutions short of war were sought? We'll be joined by UCLA law professor Asli Bali. Also on the show: the seemingly unending […]