Skip to main content

National Security

Basic Rights Under Siege from NDAA

by Tony De Renzo ( potony [at] )
Tuesday Mar 13th, 2012 11:20 AM

Civil liberties advocates from the San Francisco 99% Coalition stage a protest in front of city hall to urge the Board of Supervisors to join the growing nationwide resistance to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) The San Francisco 99% Coalition

Your browser is not able to display this multimedia content.

Letter to California State Senate President Darrell Steinberg

Dear Honorable Senator Steinberg,

On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. It could permit the president – and all future presidents – to order the military to imprison indefinitely civilians captured far from any battlefield without charge or trial. The breadth of the NDAA’s worldwide detention authority violates the Constitution and international law because it is not limited to people captured in an actual armed conflict, as required by the laws of war. The law does not require even an allegation that a detained person caused any harm or threat of harm to the United States or to any U.S. interest. Mere allegation of membership in, or support of, an alleged terrorist group could be the basis for indefinite detention. Under the American justice system, we don’t just lock people up indefinitely based on suspicion.

Juan Cole on the Middle East

Juan Cole
Peter B. Collins

The conversation between Juan Cole and Peter B. Collins concerned Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Israel, Palestine, the CIA and drones.

Juan Cole has testified before the U.S. Senate and knows Arabic and Persian. He blogs at Informed Comment and is a historian of South Asia. He has been a guest on PBS News Hour, ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now! and many others. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years.
Source: Foreign Policy Roundup: U. Michigan’s Prof. Juan Cole

Cancer Alley Case Gets Surprising Support from EPA Administrator Jackson

Mossville, Louisiana sits in the shadow of 14 petrochemical refineries.  For decades, Mossville residents have complained about their health problems to industry, and to state and federal agencies. They reached past the U.S. regulators to take their case to the highest human rights court in the western hemisphere, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Now a candid comment from the highest U.S. environmental regulator appears to have boosted their petition. Living on Earth and Planet Harmony’s Ike Sriskandarajah reports.
Source: Obama Administration Divided Over Cancer Alley Case

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

Life and Death in Afghanistan

Gareth Porter

Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses the expansion of U.S. drone strikes. Initially the strikes were limited to Al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban but now they include groups allied with the Pakistani military. He states that U.S. economic conditions will force military budget cuts and curtail the empire of bases and he asks for a citizens’ movement to end war and empire.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter

Anand Gopal

Scott Horton Interviews Anand Gopal

Independent journalist Anand Gopal discusses the American creation of an unsustainable Afghanistan that’s guaranteed to collapse when U.S./NATO money stops flowing. He reminds us of the fact that Afghan corruption gets worse as foreign aid increases.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Anand Gopal

The War in Libya

Jeremy Scahill

Scott Horton Interviews Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill discusses Yemen, President Saleh, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Al Qaeda, Obama, Bush, Ed Schultz, Libya.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Jeremy Scahill

Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Scott Horton Interviews Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Rep. Dennis Kucinich discusses his attempt to provoke debate in Congress concerning the authority to declare war. He voted to defund the Libyan War.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Glenn Greenwald

Scott Horton Interviews Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald talks about Obama and War Powers Act and the Libyan War. He also comments on WikiLeaks Julian Assange and journalism.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Glenn Greenwald

Nick Turse

Scott Horton Interviews Nick Turse

Nick Turse discusses how JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command became the president’s own private army. He also comments on why the precision airstrikes in Libya were probably guided by special operations forces on the ground.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Nick Turse

Play Program or Download(before the fold)

The Afghanistan War after 10 years

Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern and Prof. Jonathan Stevenson talk to Peter B. Collins. They talk about Afghanistan and Gen. David Petraeus. McGovern served 27 years in Army intelligence and at the CIA.

Jonathan Stevenson

Professor Stevenson teaches strategic studies at the Naval War College, and has a background as a journalist. He notes that the generals are becoming bolder in overstepping their roles, and that presidents are becoming more passive to this kind of behavior. They talk about Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Syria.

Source: Two Critical Views of Gen. Petraeus: Ray McGovern and Prof. Jonathan Stevenson; plus Will Durst on Birthers

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

What Would Gandhi Do?

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Gandhi was born Oct. 2, 1869. In celebration of his 142nd birthday, this program explores non-violent resistance through the eyes of Gene Sharp and includes a few short excerpts from the movie Gandhi.

Gene Sharp

What Would Gandhi Do About Iraq and Weapons of Mass Deception?

It doesn’t have to take guns and tanks to effect change, according to Sharp. Sharp was interviewed by Tom Ashbrook in late 2002 before the second Iraq War.

Gene Sharp is president and founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, a nonprofit organization that promotes non-violent struggle in the face of dictatorship, war, genocide and oppression.
Source: What Would Gandhi Do?

Gene Sharp speaks on civilian-based defense

He asks why hasn’t war been abolished? He notes that nuclear deterrence is a desperate and bankrupt policy and power derives from obedience and cooperation of people, not from violence.
Source: Gene Sharp Lecture on Civilian-Based Defense

Play Program or Download(Below the fold)

Beware of the military-industrial complex

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address was delivered January 17, 1961. He explains the military-industrial complex to a U.S. audience.
Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address

Gareth Porter

Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses Eisenhower’s extraordinary farewell address and the overblown Soviet threat and missile gap hoax scare. They discuss the revelations that the British mission in Afghanistan was simply to give the Army something to do and the three choices for fighting back against state militarism: abolish government, protest for change, or expatriate.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter

Ray McGovern

Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern is a former senior analyst at the CIA. He discusses the Dept. of Justice's decision to use military tribunals instead of federal court trials for the alleged 9/11 plotters. He also discusses where the U.S. empire of bases intersects with the domination of oil and gas resources.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern

U.S. empire vs. U.S. republic

Bruce Fein

Dr. Mike Beitler interviews Bruce Fein. Bruce Fein is a constitutional scholar who served as the Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan from 1981 to 1982. Bruce discusses War Powers Act, Renewal of the Patriot Act, and cutting national security/defense spending to balance the budget. He has the best summary of the history of the U.S. empire I've ever heard.
Source: Now Playing:Bruce Fein, Constitutional Scholar & Author

Why Patriot Act Serves Empire, Not Republic
Source: Patriot Act Serves Empire Not a Republic

Obama Institutes Indefinite Detention
Interview with Bruce Fein, former assistant deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, conducted by Scott Harris.
Source: Obama Executive Order to Institutionalize Indefinite Detention

Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren, author of "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the War for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People", talks about his book and his observations on Western-style nation building.
Source: TomCast for May 15, 2010: We Meant Well

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

The Turning Point of American Empire?

Paul Fitzgerald & Elizabeth Gould

Afghanistan experts Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald talk to Peter B. Collins. They are the authors of the book "Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire" This broadcast was made before the murder of Bin Laden and is one part of the Peter B. Collins podcast.
Source: Afghanistan Experts Gould & Fitzgerald; The Nation’s Blog on WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning by Peter B. Collins on April 1, 2011

Michael Schwartz

Weapons of Mass Disruption

Michael Schwartz, a sociology professor at Stony Brook University and author of 'War Without End: The Iraq War in Context' talks about the Egyptian revolution and the power of nonviolent disruption.
Source: Weapons of Mass Disruption, TomCast from

Music includes Earth Anthem, We'll Met Again, Taste of Honey, wasted life - stiff little fingers, filled with love, Young - Hollywood Undead, wright johnnie - hello vietnam, pete seeger - Talking Atom, Wings, Jeff Foxworthy- Married and Single, excerpt from grapes of wrath movie

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

The Fog of War

Great interview and great music. The soundtrack of the movie "The Fog of War" features the life of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He served under President Kennedy and Johnson. He reflects on his part in the bombing of Tokyo, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.

This film could have been titled "The Evil That Men Do". McNamara talks about war crimes he and others have committed. He observes the failures of government officials at the highest level to understand the basis of the wars they direct. I have to ask, can we learn from history?
Source: The Fog of War Movie. Most of the book can be found at The Fog of War Book

Music includes War What Is It Good For, Earth Anthem, I Just Can't Wait to Be King, We'll Meet Again

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!
By David Swanson

The Declaration of Independence is best remembered as a declaration of war, a war declared on the grounds that we wanted our own flag. The sheer stupidity and anachronism of the idea serves to discourage any thoughts about why Canada didn't need a bloody war, whether the U.S. war benefitted people outside the new aristocracy to whom power was transferred, what bothered Frederick Douglas so much about a day celebrating "independence," or what the Declaration of Independence actually said.

When you read the Declaration of Independence, it turns out to be an indictment of King George III for various abuses of power. And those abuses of power look fairly similar to abuses of power we happily permit U.S. presidents to engage in today, either as regards the people of this nation or the people of territories and nations that our military occupies today in a manner uncomfortably resembling Britain's rule over the 13 colonies.

Or perhaps I should say, a large portion of us take turns being happy or outraged depending on the political party with which the current president is identified.

The U.S.' Perpetual State of War

Andrew Bacevich

Harry Kreisler talks with Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University, for a discussion of the causes and consequences of the militarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bacevich explores the origins of militarization and the factors that sustained their existence for more than six decades.
Source: Conversations With History: America's Path to Permanent War

Ray McGovern

Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern, former senior analyst at the CIA, discusses why the corrupted mainstream U.S. media needs to be supplanted by WikiLeaks. They comment on the State Department’s successful interference with Spanish and German courts seeking to indict U.S. officials.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern, December 13, 2010

Music includes Earth Anthem, house on fire, Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, Robin Williams on Reagan, Freedom Trilogy, Who's Next, 900 Miles, We'll Meet Again

Iraqi Mass Deception and U.S. Moral Panic

Peter B. Collins interviews Scott A. Bonn

The book “Mass Deception” connects propaganda and distortions by the Bush administration to elite deviance and state crimes and violations of international criminal law. Dr. Bonn's book illustrates how those in the highest seats of power deceived and manipulated ordinary, hard-working, trusting Americans. Those Americans then sent their sons and daughters to fight in needlessly wars.
Source: Peter B. Collins on January 10, 2011, Bush’s Rehtoric and Lies Produced “Mass Deception”

Capturing Geothermal Energy

What if, right below our feet, we had enough potential clean energy to keep the U.S. supplied for thousands years? That's what the U.S. Department of Energy calculates. But there's a catch: we have to get to all that potential geothermal power. Reporter: Craig Miller. From the California Report.
Source: The California Report, 33x20: Capturing Geothermal Energy

On Building A Bigger Surveillance Haystack -- Excerpts from Greenwald

Excerpts from Glenn Greenwald: The Digital Surveillance State: Vast, Secret, and Dangerous

... The spate of knee-jerk legislative expansions in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 trauma — the USA-PATRIOT Act — has actually been exceeded by the expansions of the last several years — first secretly and lawlessly by the Bush administration, and then legislatively and out in the open once Democrats took over control of the Congress in 2006. Simply put, there is no surveillance power too intrusive or unaccountable for our political class provided the word “terrorism” is invoked to “justify” those powers.


Not only has nothing like that occurred, but Congress has twice brushed aside the privacy and abuse concerns about the Patriot Act highlighted by the DOJ’s own report and long raised by Senator Russ Feingold. They did so when voting overwhelmingly to extend the provisions of that law unchanged: first in 2006 by a vote of 89-10, and again this year — with the overt support of the Obama administration — when it once again extended the Patriot Act without even a single added oversight protection. Even after The New York Times in 2009 twice revealed substantial and serious abuses in the very warrantless eavesdropping powers which Obama voted to enact, the administration and the Congress show no interest whatsoever in imposing any added safeguards. The logic of the Surveillance State is that more is always better: not just more powers, but in increasingly unchecked form.


Not only has Obama, in the wake of this massive expansion, blocked any reforms, he has taken multiple steps to further expand unaccountable and unchecked surveillance power. For the last year, the Obama Justice Department has been trying to convince federal courts to extend its warrantless surveillance powers beyond even what the Patriot Act provides to encompass private email and Internet browsing records, a position which would allow the FBI and other federal agencies to acquire email and browsing records of American citizens — including those who are not suspected of any wrongdoing — without any warrants or judicial supervision of any kind. With defeat in the courts appearing likely, it was recently revealed by The Washington Post that the administration is agitating for Congressional action to amend the Patriot Act to include such Internet and browsing data among the records obtainable by NSLs