2015-05-08 13:32:46

Democracy Now! - May 8, 2015

A federal appeals court has ruled the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records is illegal. The program was exposed by NSAwhistleblower Edward Snowden; the ACLU filed its lawsuit based largely on Snowden’s revelations. In a unanimous decision Thursday, a three judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York called the bulk phone records collection "unprecedented and unwarranted." The ruling comes as Congress faces a June 1st deadline to renew the part of the Patriot Act that authorizes the NSA’s bulk data surveillance. Another measure, the USA Freedom Act, would lead to limited reforms of some of the NSA’s programs. We are joined by Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU, which filed the case challenging the NSA’s bulk collection of American’s phone records.

Omar Khadr, once the youngest prisoner held on terror charges at Guantanamo Bay, has been released on bail from a Canadian prison. The Toronto-born Khadr was detained in 2002 by U.S. forces in Afghanistan before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay at the age of 16. Khadr became the first person since World War Two to be prosecuted in a war crimes tribunal for acts committed as a juvenile. After eight years at Guantanamo for eight years, he confessed in 2010 to throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier. His lawyers say his statements were illegally obtained through torture and cruelty. As part of a plea deal the United States later allowed his transfer back to Canada. Khadr will remain free while he appeals his war crimes convictions in the United States. We are joined by Michelle Shephard, national security reporter for the Toronto Star and author of "Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr."

As the Obama administration asks Congress to increase funding for charter schools by almost 50 percent, a new report claims charter schools are spending billions of dollars with nearly no oversight, regulation, or accountability. The Center for Media and Democracy argues the federal government has spent more than $3 billion over the past two decades on the charter school industry, but there is no comprehensive database showing how these funds are spent and what results they produce. The new report analyzes materials obtained from open records requests regarding independent audits of how states interact with charter schools and their authorizers. It concludes that the anti-regulatory environment around charter schools coupled with their lack of financial transparency warrants a moratorium rather than increased charter funding. We are joined by Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. The group’s new report is "New Documents Show How Taxpayer Money Is Wasted by Charter Schools."

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Amy Goodman Charter Schools Democracy Now! Guantánamo Bay Money In Politics National Security Agency (NSA) Patriot Act Privacy Issues

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