Newscast for Thursday, February 7, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 29:02 minutes (26.58 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan, faced a senate committee today, with much of the focus on Brennan’s role in the controversial drone killing program. In his opening statement, Brennan was repeatedly interrupted by protesters. One woman held a sign that read “Brennan = drone killing.” Committee Chair Senator Dianne Feinstein cleared the room and refused to let “Code Pink associates” re-enter. Brennan withdrew his bid to become CIA chief in 2008 after rising criticism about his role in the Bush Administration's torture and extraordinary rendition program. According to a report last month from Reuters, Brennan had “detailed, contemporaneous knowledge” of the CIA’s use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, including water-boarding. For more, we’re joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Since the suicide last month of open-Internet activist Aaron Swartz, many of his friends and colleagues are calling for changes to the federal law under which he was charged: the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Some of them gathered this week in Washington, DC for a memorial service, including Dan Goodwin, Swartz’ coworker at the organization ThoughtWorks. He said the harsh sentences from the decades-old law don't appropriately distinguish between people who take intellectual property for their own gain and those like Swartz who download content to share with the public.
GOODWIN: Because so many years in prison can be threatened, it makes it extremely difficult for someone to take a principled stand, and say, "No that's not what the law say. That's not what the law should say." Instead, they are pressured to take some lesser punishment, and the entire injustice of the law isn't put to the test.
Several Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate were also at the memorial. There, FSRN's Alice Ollstein spoke to California Democrat Zoe Lofgren, who recently wrote a bill she named "Aaron's Law." In the spirit of open access that Swartz championed, she shared a draft of the bill and asked for feedback on Reddit, the website he helped found. That was California Democrat Zoe Lofgren, speaking to FSRN’s Alice Ollstein. Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden plans to introduce a version of "Aaron's Law" in the Senate. Speaking at the memorial service, he promised to continue Aaron's "march for freedom and a more just world."
WYDEN: When Aaron hacked, a poorly written law called him a dangerous criminal. Common sense and conscience knows better. And we are going to change this unjust law. Because of Aaron and because of his family.
The federal court of appeals heard arguments this week about the constitutionality of the National Defense Authorization Act. Lawyers for plaintiffs in the case Hedges v. Obama argued against the U.S. government defense of a section of the 2012 NDAA that critics say would allow the indefinite military detention without charges of U.S. citizens. FSRN’s Linda Perry Barr reports.
Nagaland is home to one of India’s oldest ethnic conflicts. Naga separatists in the country’s northeast have been fighting for independence since 1947. The conflict has caused continued economic, social and political instability in the region. Many civilians avoid public dialogue. But now the Internet and social media are giving young Nagas a platform to discuss and debate politics openly. With assembly elections scheduled later this month, the online community is raising some key issues. FSRN’s Gayatri Parameswaran and Felix Gaedtke report from Nagaland.