Democracy Now (English)
- Headlines for February 21, 2013
- Sharif Abdel Kouddous: 2 Years into Uprising, Bahrain Feels Like a "Nation Under Occupation"
- An Interrogation Center at Yale? Proposed Pentagon Special Ops Training Facility Sparks Protests
- Sequestration: What Do the Automatic Spending Cuts Mean for the Poor, Unemployed and Children?
- Bowman v. Monsanto: Indiana Farmer's Supreme Court Challenge to Corporate Control of Food Supply
We speak with filmmaker Cecilia Peck about her father Gregory Peck’s legacy of work that raises important social issues, including his films To Kill a Mockingbird and The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, which landed him on Nixon’s enemies list. "He just had so much decency and integrity that he managed to transcend politics, and people loved him in his films, no matter what their political beliefs were," says Peck, whose own work is inspired by her father. "I’ve always hoped that I could do that, too."
Watch the full interview with Cecilia Peck about her new film, Brave Miss World. Her other films include the Academy Award short-listed Shut Up & Sing and A Conversation with Gregory Peck, about her legendary father.
AMY GOODMAN: I’d like to talk about your father, Gregory Peck, and his influence on you, the decisions you have made, his remarkable life’s work, his starring role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won the Oscar, and what that film meant in your life.
CECILIA PECK: I’ve always been so interested in how my dad managed to be such a big movie star but also take on controversial issues, like racism in To Kill a Mockingbird and anti-Semitism in Gentleman’s Agreement. And I think that he just had so much decency and integrity that he managed to transcend politics, and people loved him in his films, no matter what their political beliefs were. So, I’ve always hoped that I could do that, too, even in a small measure. But growing up as his daughter, I think I, you know, come from a legacy of the importance of doing work that has meaning and that raises important social issues.
AMY GOODMAN: For people who aren’t familiar, especially young people, with To Kill a Mockingbird, which everyone should see, tell us that story and his role in it.
CECILIA PECK: He plays a lawyer in the South in the 1930s who is asked by the local sheriff to defend a black man accused of assaulting a white woman. And Atticus is a single dad to his two young children, and he realizes that it will draw a lot of attention to him and his family to take on this controversial case in that small town. And there’s a moment in the film when he considers the request, and he says, "I’ll do it." And you watch their lives transform by the anger of the townspeople for a white lawyer daring to defend a black man. And I think that had my dad been that lawyer in that town, he would have done the same thing.
AMY GOODMAN: The book on which the film is based is by Harper Lee, and you named your son Harper?
CECILIA PECK: I did. I was a very tiny little girl on the set of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I’ve known Harper my whole life and named my firstborn after her. And he—my son was born in New York City, and Harper used to come and read to him, read him bedtime stories. And she’s been and always will be a lifelong part of our family.
AMY GOODMAN: Your father was a famous film star in the 1940s, in the 1950s and the ’60s, so this is during the McCarthy era. There was the blacklist. Talk about how he took that on.
CECILIA PECK: My father wasn’t at the center of the blacklist, but he did end up on Nixon’s enemies list. He made a film called The Trial of the Catonsville Nine about his protest against the war in Vietnam. He did not believe in the U.S. invasion of Vietnam and made a film about it, about the Berrigan brothers burning draft cards in that era. And for that, he ended up on Nixon’s enemies list.
AMY GOODMAN: And what did he say about that?
CECILIA PECK: Well, I remember my grandmother saying, "Gregory, you’re an enemy of the president?" And he said, "It’s alright, Ma. It’s—it’ll be OK." But I think it may have affected his career. I know that was what Nixon wanted to do, is ruin the lives of the people who opposed his policies. But again, my dad was able to overcome and transcend that. But I—you know, it took a lot of courage to do what he did. And even when he made To Kill a Mockingbird, I think he was asked, "Why would you want to do this story? You’re such a big movie star; you don’t have to take on these kinds of issues." But that’s just who he was.
AMY GOODMAN: And talk about the film you made about him with Barbara Kopple.
CECILIA PECK: Well, when my dad was in his eighties, he was doing a stage show around the country, an evening of storytelling and showing film clips about his life and career. And Barbara and I had gone to see one of the shows. And he was so charming and so funny, and the audience was full of young people all relating to him, and a lot of people had named their sons Atticus or Gregory or become lawyers because of him. And Barbara and I looked at each other and said, "We’ve got to do a film." So we got on the phone that night and made a couple calls to see if we could raise money, and ended up following him for a year as he did this show. And it turned out to be a very personal film about his life. And my mother is in it, and his friends and his great film clips. It’s called A Conversation with Gregory Peck.
AMY GOODMAN: And finally, what it was like for you to go from being behind the scenes, like a kid on the set of To Kill a Mockingbird, to being an actress yourself, for example, in Wall Street, to then going behind the camera?
CECILIA PECK: I also did a film in Israel, one of my first films, called Torn Apart, where I played a Palestinian woman in love with an Israeli soldier. So, I think, from that time, I had this incredibly powerful memory of Israel, and it’s so interesting that this film is taking me back there. But I think I—you know, my dad had felt like maybe I had in me what it took to be an actress, and I got to do some work that I was very proud of. But I had always wanted to make films behind the camera. So, I was able to go and work with Barbara Kopple here in New York at Cabin Creek and learn filmmaking, and she let me believe that I could have a voice as a filmmaker. And, you know, I think I found what I always really wanted to do.
- Headlines for February 20, 2013
- Prisoner X: Doubts Grow on Jailhouse Suicide Claims for Australian Israeli Linked to Mossad
- Throwaways: Recruited by Police & Thrown into Danger, Young Informants are Drug War's Latest Victims
- Headlines for February 19, 2013
- Donors Trust: Little-Known Group Helps Wealthy Backers Fund Right-Wing Agenda in Secret
- The ATM for Climate Denial: Secretive Donors Trust Funds Vast Network of Global Warming Skeptics
- "Brave Miss World": Raped Before Winning '98 Title, Linor Abargil Campaigns Against Sexual Violence
- Headlines for February 18, 2013
- Tens of Thousands Rally to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline & Urge Obama to Move "Forward on Climate"
- "Lift Every Voice": Potential Senate Hopeful Cory Booker Praises Harry Belafonte's Life of Activism
- "We Must Unleash Radical Thought": Harry Belafonte's Stirring Speech Accepting NAACP Spingarn Medal
New York City Joins One Billion Rising to Stop Violence Against Women: "We Want Power, We Want Love"
New Yorkers joined the global movement of One Billion Rising to gather and dance on Valentine’s Day in order to call attention to violence against women. "If a man knows a woman who is victim or survivor, then he knows what that is like, because it will affect her for the rest of her life," said Jerin Arifa, with the National Organization for Women, who danced in Union Square. "It will affect her productivity, the way she can love again, the way she can trust again. It will affect them also." At another event in Times Square, dozens of people organized a "We Will Not Be Silent" protest. "I feel like all revolutionary causes should start with addressing misogyny," noted Ezra Miller, one of many men who participated in the campaign.
Produced by Martyna Starosta with Andre Lewis.
JERIN ARIFA: My name is Jerin Arifa, and I’m on the board of the National Organization for Women. If a man knows a woman who is victim or survivor, then he knows what that is like, because it will affect her for the rest of her life. It will affect the way she might twitch, if you try to touch her or hug her. It will affect the way she will trust someone. It will affect her productivity, the way she can love again, the way she can trust again. It will affect them also. And that’s why they should care about it just as much as women. Rape and domestic violence are times where our own bodies are used against us. And dancing is a way to reclaim our bodies for ourselves.
EZRA MILLER: My name’s Ezra Miller, and I’m here with the One Billion Rising action in Times Square, joining many people all across the planet in a hope to end the rape culture. One in three women in the world will experience domestic violence or rape in the course of their lifetime. To me, I grew up in a house full of women. I feel like all revolutionary causes should start with addressing misogyny.
LAURIE ARBEITER: I’m Laurie Arbeiter. We run a language project called We Will Not Be Silent. People are coming—women, children, men—and they’re holding up signs: "End Rape," "End Sexual Violence," "We Want Power," "We Want Love." We’re here on Valentine’s Day, but there’s nothing sentimental about this. It’s embedded in something very profound that I think in every heart is felt.
YVETTE MARTINEZ: My name is Yvette Martinez. What brings me here is that I’m sick and tired of hearing all these stories of, like, women and young girls being abused, as well as boys, young kids. And I work with children, and I’m also a victim. So, to me, this is such an important issue that I think it needs to stop.
MICHAEL EXTRACT: My name is Michael Extract. So I was probably one of the few men dancing in the window. More men could come out and do this. I think it’s also important for men to do two things: one, to demonstrate behavior, particularly to our children, you know, men to their sons, to show them how do you treat women well, how do you treat a woman with great respect; and then another is to go out and to say to other men, "No, we won’t stand for this," support laws that help women, that stop this kind of violence.
- Headlines for February 15, 2013
- An Intentional Fire? Police Use of Incendiary Tear Gas Criticized in Killing of Christopher Dorner
- From Dorner to Waco to MOVE Bombing, a Look at Growing Militarization of Domestic Policing
- NAACP: New Election Commission Needed to Address Voter Suppression, Attacks on Voting Rights
- Headlines for February 14, 2013
- 48 Arrested at Keystone Pipeline Protest as Sierra Club Lifts 120-Year Ban on Civil Disobedience
- "We Need To Push Him": Actress Daryl Hannah Arrested While Urging Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline
- "Two Years of Deaths and Detentions": Bahraini Pro-Democracy Protesters Mark Anniversary of Uprising
- One Billion Rising: Playwright Eve Ensler Organizes Global Day of Dance Against Sexual Abuse
- Headlines for February 13, 2013
- Beyond Gun Control, Obama Urged to Tackle Joblessness, Incarceration and U.S. "Culture of Violence"
- Obama's SOTU Address Calls for Middle-Class Revival, But Poverty & Inequality Still Get Short Shrift
- Despite Planned Troop Withdrawal, Special Ops & Private Forces Prepare to Continue Afghan War
- As Obama Touts Pathway to Citizenship, Record Deportations Leave Undocumented Immigrants in Fear
- Headlines for February 12, 2013
- North Korea Nuclear Test Sends Message to Washington One Week After U.S.-South Korean War Games
- After Pope Benedict, Progressive Catholics and Priest Victims Call for a More Inclusive Papacy
- Remembering the Overlooked Life of Eslanda Robeson, Wife of Civil Rights Legend Paul Robeson
- Headlines for February 11, 2013
- Wanted for Killing 3, Christopher Dorner's Claims of Racism, Corruption Resonate with LAPD's Critics
- Despite Offer of Direct Talks, U.S. Intensifies "Sanctions-Centric" Economic War Against Iran
- Michael Moore, Chris Hedges on Challenging NDAA Indefinite Detention and the "Corporate Coup d'État"
- Headlines for February 08, 2013
- Jeremy Scahill: Assassinations of U.S. Citizens Largely Ignored at Brennan CIA Hearing
- CODEPINK Repeatedly Disrupts Brennan Hearing Calling Out Names of Civilians Killed in Drone Strikes
- "He Was The Agency": Ex-CIA Analyst Questions Brennan Claim He Couldn't Stop Waterboarding, Torture
- Headlines for February 07, 2013
- Globalizing Torture: Ahead of Brennan Hearing, International Complicity in CIA Rendition Exposed
- Radio Ambulante: Spanish-Language Radio Program Showcases the Untold Stories of the Americas
Part 2: Daniel Ellsberg and Jacob Appelbaum on the NDAA, WikiLeaks and Unconstitutional Surveillance
As a lawsuit challenging a law that gives the government the power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens is back in federal court this week, we continue our conversation with perhaps the country’s most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, and computer security researcher, Jacob Appelbaum, who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer. Appelbaum describes being interrogated by a U.S. Army official on American soil after he returned to the country following a speech he gave on behalf of Julian Assange. "When I was detained ... there was [also] an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, who I heard say, 'So that's what a terrorist looks like these days.’" Ellsberg, the former military analyst who released the Pentagon Papers, discusses the Yoko Ono Courage Award given to Assange earlier this week, and recalls the importance of similar support he received from Barbra Streisand as he faced treason charges and a sentence of life in prison.
AMY GOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. And our guests are Dan Ellsberg, premier whistleblower in this country, 40 years ago released the Pentagon Papers—he was a high-level Pentagon official, worked for the RAND Corporation. It was the secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. And Jacob Appelbaum is with us, computer security researcher, developer and advocate for the Tor Project, which is a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet, has worked with WikiLeaks and, as a result, has been stopped at airports more than a dozen times.
In fact, Jacob, could you talk about what happened to your fiancée? You live in Washington state. This is very frightening.
JACOB APPELBAUM: Sure. Normally, I don’t talk about her in public because I’m pretty worried about her being targeted. But since you brought it up, I guess, you know, she woke up in the middle of the night one night, I think just a little over a year ago now. I was in Iceland working with a friend about their constitution’s reform. And she saw two men outside of her house on the ground floor in her backyard, meaning that they were on her property inside of a fence. And they—one of them was wearing night vision goggles and watching her sleep. And when she called the Seattle police, she was denied the ability to file a police report twice, until we had the ACLU help her. And, you know, much to their credit, Brian Alseth from the ACLU of Washington came down to her house. They again called the police. And finally, on the third try, the Seattle police finally allowed her to file a report.
AMY GOODMAN: I don’t understand. What did the police say? She called, and she said, "There’s someone with night goggles on looking in at me"?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Well, so the issue is a little more complicated than that. I mean, it’s impossible to pick up a telephone now without turning on a light. Phones glow. So she just laid in bed in pure terror for the period of time in which they stood there and watched her. And presumably, this is because there was a third person in the house placing a bug or doing something else, and they were keeping watch on her to make sure that if she were to hear something or to get up, they would be able to alert this other person. And so, when she called the police, she did so after the fact.
And they came eventually—again, the third time that she called. And when they came, they indeed looked by the window, saw that there was broken grass—that is, outside of her window where they had been standing. They tried to tell her that she was hysterical. And, I mean, who wouldn’t be upset about that? And basically, when confronted about whether or not it was their surveillance operation, they suggested that they’re too good, that she would never catch them, which is not really a very nice thing. And they also suggested that maybe she had been in with some unpleasant people, or the last people that had lived here had maybe been involved in some kind of operation that had caused her to be the—you know, the target of some surveillance. And they sort of backpedaled a bit. But the Seattle police are—even Obama’s Justice Department has called them pretty bad police, which is really saying something when you consider what the Department of Justice says for Obama.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Well, that they use excessive force in a systematic way. And the Department of Justice has sanctioned the Seattle Police Department for this, and that there’s been a big battle between the federal government and the Seattle city, actually, about the police use of systematic violence, especially against Occupy protesters. So it’s no surprise to me that they would be complicit in a surveillance operation against an innocent woman who has nothing—who’s done nothing wrong, terrorizing her in her own house while she’s sleeping alone.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, you’ve been stopped more than a dozen times in airports. Can you explain when that started and what you believe it was prompted by?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Sure. In the summer of 2010, I spoke on behalf of Julian Assange at Emmanuel Goldstein’s Hackers on Planet Earth here in New York City. And I had actually given this talk for Julian. I left for Europe for a work conference. And on the return, I was detained by the U.S. military, in fact, on U.S. soil. Very few people actually know this. But Dan Ellsberg’s case is so important, specifically because it’s not theoretical. When I was detained on the return in the summer of 2010, there was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, who I heard say, "So that’s what a terrorist looks like these days." And I said, you know, "I don’t think that that’s the case." But obviously they didn’t really want to talk very friendly to anyone that they consider to be a terrorist.
But in the interrogation room, in which I mostly just used humor, there was a U.S. Army guy. And this U.S. Army person was in fact interrogating me, denying me access to a lawyer, denying me access to a bathroom but giving me water. I mean, as far as enhanced interrogation techniques go, it’s pretty light: They didn’t waterboard me or do anything like that. But they did take my electronics. And I can’t say anything more about that, unfortunately.
AMY GOODMAN: Why?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Well, because we don’t live in a free country. And so, if there were certain kinds of legal orders, I wouldn’t even be able to talk about them in specific.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to a clip of you speaking at the HOPE conference—that’s Hackers on Planet Earth—in 2010. You were speaking on behalf of WikiLeaks.
JACOB APPELBAUM: Hello to all my friends and fans in domestic and international surveillance. I’m here today because I believe that we can make a better world. Julian, unfortunately, can’t make it, because we don’t live in that better world right now, because we haven’t yet made it. I wanted to make a little declaration for the federal agents that are standing in the back of the room and the ones that are standing in the front of the room, and to be very clear about this: I have on me, in my pocket, some money, the Bill of Rights and a driver’s license. And that’s it. I have no computer system. I have no telephone. I have no keys, no access to anything. There’s absolutely no reason that you should arrest me or bother me. And just in case you were wondering, I’m an American, born and raised, who’s unhappy. I’m unhappy with how things are going.
AMY GOODMAN: There you have it, Jacob Appelbaum at the HOPE conference—that’s Hackers on Planet Earth—in 2010. Jeremy, you said you were in Iceland, and we just read a headline—I mean Jacob. You said you were in—I was just thinking actually about Jeremy Hammond. It was something that you retweeted about Jeremy Hammond, a case that we have looked at, who has now just been placed in solitary confinement. That has been tweeted out. But in 2010, you talked about being in Iceland. It’s interesting. We just had a headline where the Icelandic government turned back FBI agents who had flown in on a private plane to investigate WikiLeaks in Iceland. And the Icelandic government called them in and said, "Get out of here."
JACOB APPELBAUM: Yeah, I’ve heard about that. That’s great of the Icelandic government to do that.
AMY GOODMAN: Dan Ellsberg, I saw you at the honoring of Julian Assange at the Museum of Modern Art, Yoko Ono Lennon Prize for Courage. What is your sense of Julian Assange right now, in jail, in the Ecuadorean embassy, for more than eight months holed up? He’s already been granted political asylum by Ecuador, but they can’t get him to Ecuador because the British government says they’ll arrest him and they’ll extradite him to Sweden. He’s afraid then Sweden would extradite him to the United States.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: I talked to his lawyers last night. I think there’s every reason—at some length—every reason to assume that if he goes to Sweden, and according to their regulations, he’ll be put immediately in custody, will have no further ability to apply for asylum anywhere and no—and be totally vulnerable to extradition. I asked, by the way, about the difference between Sweden and England when it comes to extradition. It turns out to be quite a complex subject, and I think I understand some of it now. I won’t try to go into it. But he does have reason to believe that if he went to Sweden, he would either, after the Swedish proceedings, which he has no fear of whatever, no really basis for fear, even if they should go—
AMY GOODMAN: This is where he is wanted—he’s—
DANIEL ELLSBERG: —even if they should go against him, that his fear would be that either immediately or after he had served a sentence, if that proved to be the conviction, that he would be sent to the United States and essentially be incommunicado, under the provisions of this 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA, could be in Guantánamo—
AMY GOODMAN: Wait, explain 1022—
DANIEL ELLSBERG: 1021—I said 1022—1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization, the point that has been charged unconstitutional by Judge Katherine B. Forrest and which the government and Senator McCain will be arguing tomorrow [Feb. 6] should be regarded as constitutional, which, by the way, I believe means that they are violating their oath—the oath I took as a marine, the oath they took as senators—to uphold and support the Constitution. I believe here we have a case that isn’t really arguable. Senator—Justice Forrest makes a compelling, compelling argument that this is blatantly unconstitutional and can’t really, in good faith, by an intelligent person, be regarded as consistent with the United States Constitution, as written. I think they are violating that oath. And although I’m not aware of any senator ever suffering any sanction for violating his or her oath to uphold the Constitution, there should be a way of getting at them. I think it’s an impeachable offense.
Let me make clear: Politically, I think there is zero chance of impeachment of either them or of President Obama, who has richly earned it, for doing the same things that George W. Bush did. As I understand it, with September 11th, more than a dozen years—10 years ago, and even earlier, in 2011, I think that the officials of this government, led by Bush, Obama—David Addington, Bybee, Feith, Yoo, others—basically regard themselves as—
AMY GOODMAN: "Yoo" meaning Y-O-O.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: Y-O-O, sorry; I always have to say that.
AMY GOODMAN: Not us.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: Not you. If only, if only we had you in there. But although I have to say the corruption, the corruption that seems to be endemic in accepting an executive branch position, is something that I would not trust myself to be free of, I have to say, when I see what it’s done to people, really.
But in any case, I think they think of themselves of having essentially suspended the United States Constitution and that they’re operating under a different set of rules, which effectively mean no rules for the president of the United States, that he’s bound by no treaty, constitution, law, anything whatever. In short, Richard Nixon’s philosophy—mentioned in connection with what he did against me, by the way, at the time, to David Frost—which was: When the president does it, it’s not illegal. Puts him above the law, in a way that actually no British monarch has been above the law since John the First, with the Magna Carta. It gives him an absolute monarchy character, which I think is the nature of the U.S. presidency right now.
AMY GOODMAN: When I saw you at the Museum of Modern Art, you had a very—you had this photograph of you, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Barbra Streisand. And you—
DANIEL ELLSBERG: I gave it to Yoko as a memory of the last time I saw her 40 years ago.
AMY GOODMAN: And you talked about how Barbra Streisand may well have saved America.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, Barbra Streisand offered to do a fundraiser for us in the last month of our trial, at a time when we had no money left. And we were practically—
AMY GOODMAN: You were being charged with treason for releasing the Pentagon Papers.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: —being charged with 115 years, possibly life sentence—pretty much a life sentence. With good behavior, I would have gotten out a couple years ago, if I had good behavior. And she—we were really prepared to stop calling witnesses and to basically go into final argument, just essentially for economic reasons.
AMY GOODMAN: Because you had run out of money.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: We had run out of money. And she—very expensive process. And she offered a fundraiser, which raised a lot of money for that time, by auctioning off songs, actually, for The Beatles, appeared for. Had she not done that, and had the trial ended, on a day, by the way, when President Nixon, through John Ehrlichman, was offering my judge, Matthew Byrne, the head of the—head of the FBI.
AMY GOODMAN: Offering to make Matthew Byrne the head of the FBI, your judge.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: Make Matthew Byrne head of the FBI—his lifelong ambition, as it so happened—clearly contingent on a suitable ending to my trial. So I think I was pretty well fated to be found guilty, had that not been leaked to the public. And he dismissed that as a charge for dismissing the trial. He said it hadn’t affected him, that offer.
But many other crimes, such as the warrantless wiretapping and the attempt to assault me, did lead to that, only because the trial was kept going for another month. It was during that month that John Dean’s acknowledgment to the prosecutors about the White House efforts to silence me, to blackmail me, to go into my doctor’s office, warrantless wiretapping, to assault me, use the CIA against me, which at that time was illegal—all of these things now being legal, by the way, but at the time being illegal—subjected him to impeachment hearings and led to his resignation. Without that, he would have stayed in office, and the war would have continued for at least another couple of years. So that initiative of people giving support, to a man that the administration was trying to make a pariah, just as they are making that effort with Julian Assange and Bradley Manning right now, and the willingness of American citizens to stand up and say, "We stand with him," like the people who wear signs now saying, "I am Bradley Manning" — in my case, I wore a sign for television saying, "I was Bradley Manning," very, very apt — and without that demonstration, you have a kind of isolation that makes it very difficult for anyone else to do anything—anything that possibly supports the constitutional principles here.
So, there was a case when the Constitution worked. There was an independent judiciary. There was Congress cutting off money for an illegal war, eventually. There was the threat of impeachment, which was put in the Constitution, which, by the way, is something George the Third was not subject to. You did have impeachment in Britain, but not for the monarch. And we do have it in this country. When the monarch is violating the Constitution, violating the law, that’s why it’s there. Everything worked, and it made it possible to end a war. And it was a great tribute to the ability of our process to work.
That’s what I felt last night, when I called my wife on the West Coast, having read Katherine Forrest’s opinion, and said, "I’m proud to be an American." This is a document now that expresses our highest ideals, and it’s actually working. It’s not just a columnist saying the way it should be. This is a [woman] saying, "The representatives to the government that appointed me are mistaken in their reading of the law. They have" — to paraphrase her, I’m definitely paraphrasing her — "They have produced an argument that is worthy of Communist China or of Stalinist Russia or of other countries, authoritarian countries I could name. It is not an American document." Now, the circuit court may not have that courage or that commitment. I hope the Supreme Court will, when it goes to the Supreme Court. An interesting thing that I read, by the way, is that one justice on our side is Justice Scalia. I don’t normally find myself on the same side as Justice Scalia, and I imagine that if he rules in our favor on this, as he may, because he has a sense of the Constitution and of the inability of the president to detain people without charges. I suppose that may lead to a rift with Clarence Thomas and some others. But I do hope that the Supreme Court will have a chance to uphold our constitutional framework. And that’s worth living and dying for.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to turn to a clip from another whistleblower, William Binney, formerly of the National Security Agency, where he spent nearly 40 years, but retired about a month after September 11th, 2001, due to concerns over unchecked domestic surveillance.
WILLIAM BINNEY: After 9/11, all the wraps came off for NSA, and they decided to—between the White House and NSA and CIA, they decided to eliminate the protections on U.S. citizens and collect on domestically. So they started collecting from a commercial—the one commercial company that I know of that participated provided over 300—probably, on the average, about 320 million records of communication of a U.S. citizen to a U.S. citizen inside this country.
AMY GOODMAN: What company?
WILLIAM BINNEY: AT&T. It was long-distance communications. So they were providing billing data. At that point, I knew I could not stay, because it was a direct violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country. Plus it violated the pen register law and Stored Communications Act, the Electronic Privacy Act, the intelligence acts of 1947 and 1978. I mean, it was just this whole series of—plus all the laws covering federal communications governing telecoms. I mean, all those laws were being violated, including the Constitution. And that was a decision made that wasn’t going to be reversed, so I could not stay there. I had to leave.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Jacob Appelbaum, that was William Binney, National Security Agency whistleblower. Could you comment on what he said?
JACOB APPELBAUM: Yeah. I mean, essentially, what William Binney is saying is that there’s a warrantless wiretapping program. He was privy to this. He named individuals that are actually responsible for it. And as Ellsberg is saying, these should be—these types of things are impeachable offenses. And what Binney is saying is completely terrifying, because the government is asserting different things, such as state secrecy in NSA v. Jewel. And we don’t actually have a democratic process, because we’re not being told these things, except by whistleblowers, who are being targeted by the FBI. I mean, he had a gun pulled on his head in the shower. He has one leg. An FBI agent put a gun to his head.
AMY GOODMAN: William Binney is a diabetic amputee.
JACOB APPELBAUM: Yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: His wife and his son were in the house. His wife and child were in the house.
JACOB APPELBAUM: Absolutely.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: He was in the shower when they arrived, and they put a gun to his head.
JACOB APPELBAUM: I mean, what is that? It’s intimidation. And why is that? Because the FBI is complicit in impeachable offenses against the American people.
AMY GOODMAN: Jacob, you have said, "Data retention is the beginning of the end of many of our freedoms in bulk, and that’s a very scary thing."
JACOB APPELBAUM: That’s absolutely the case. Data retention is what enables retroactive policing. I mean, what the NSA and other government agencies can do now—for example, with the Fort Hood incident, what we learned was that they already had everything on the person that they alleged did a shooting, and the reason is because they were proactively wiretapping, and they simply dipped into their database, looked for matches of information, everything this person had done electronically, and they pulled it out. And they probably did this without a warrant. And this kind of retroactive policing is the stuff that the Stasi would dream of having, but they didn’t have. And so, now we have, in effect, a surveillance state the likes of which the world has never seen before.
AMY GOODMAN: We are talking to Jacob Appelbaum and Daniel Ellsberg, and we are asking you, please, to go to the phone. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report.
- Headlines for February 06, 2013
- Decade After Iraq WMD Speech at UN, Ex-Powell Aide Lawrence Wilkerson Debates Author Norman Solomon
- Lawmakers Threaten Funding of Brooklyn College for Hosting Event on BDS Campaign Against Israel
- Bill McKibben: Ahead of Keystone XL Rally, Fossil Fuel Divestment Expands Across U.S. Campuses
- Headlines for February 05, 2013
- Kill List Exposed: Leaked Obama Memo Shows Assassination of U.S. Citizens "Has No Geographic Limit"
- Scouts for Equality: Eagle Scout with Lesbian Parents Pushes Boy Scouts to Drop Ban on Gay Members
- Court: Gov't Can Secretly Obtain Email, Twitter Info from Ex-WikiLeaks Volunteer Jacob Appelbaum
- Daniel Ellsberg: NDAA Indefinite Detention Provision is Part of "Systematic Assault on Constitution"
- Headlines for February 04, 2013
- On Rosa Parks' 100th Birthday, Recalling Her Rebellious Life Before and After the Montgomery Bus
- Headlines for February 01, 2013
- "Larger-Than-Life" Ex-NYC Mayor Ed Koch Leaves Complex Legacy of Racial Tension, Social Programs
- Mumia Abu-Jamal: "The United States Is Fast Becoming One of the Biggest Open-Air Prisons on Earth"
- "Long Distance Revolutionary": Mumia Abu-Jamal's Journey from Black Panthers to Prison Journalist
- As Suicides, Brain Injuries Mount, Safety of Football Questioned, from NFL to Youth Leagues
- Headlines for January 31, 2013
- Immigration Activists Win Reunion for Phoenix-Area Family After Deportation Almost Tears Them Apart
- Obama Offers Hope on Immigration Reform, But Emphasis on Enforcement Portends More Criminalization
- Redemption: Oscar-Nominated Doc Follows the Working Poor Who Survive on Collecting Bottles and Cans
- Headlines for January 30, 2013
- Is Egypt on the Brink of Collapse? Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from Restive City of Port Said
- Ex-CIA Agent, Whistleblower John Kiriakou Sentenced to Prison While Torturers He Exposed Walk Free
- Whistleblower John Kiriakou: For Embracing Torture, John Brennan a "Terrible Choice to Lead the CIA"