According to documents provided by Edward Snowden to the Washington Post's Barton Gellman, the NSA has overstepped its legal authority thousands of times since 2008. Gellman joins The Takeaway to discuss the latest NSA revelations, and the consequences for the Obama Administration and American citizens. Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian reporter who published Edward Snowden's leaks, found that his domestic partner was held for nearly nine hours under British anti-terror legislation at Heathrow airport on Sunday. David Anderson is the U.K's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation. He joins the program to discuss British anti-terror laws and why Miranda was held.
This week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will no longer pursue mandatory minimum sentences for certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. Nancy Gertner, a retired federal judge and a professor at Harvard Law School, is a longtime critic of mandatory minimum sentences. She joins The Takeaway to discuss the impact of the sentencing changes.
As Attorney General Eric Holder made clear in a speech yesterday, drug sentencing about to change. Mandatory minimums revolutionized the justice system, so how will Holder's new guidelines transform criminal justice today? Joining us to discuss this are two veterans of the system—Robin Steinberg, Executive Director of the Bronx Defenders and Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative.
The stress of war lingers not just with our veterans but with their families as well. Take Vivian Greentree, Director of Research and Policy for Blue Star Families, for example. Vivian's husband Mike is frequently on deployment. Their son M.J. sees many families who deal with issues related to PTSD, and they themselves, like all military families, constantly deal with the daily stresses of military life. Vivian and M.J. join the program to share their experience.
This week we're exploring the individual and collective experience of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD in America as we enter the long aftermath of two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But for many, PTSD is about identity. For screenwriter Matt Cook, his identity changed after the 9/11 attacks, after serving in the war in Iraq and then going back to the battlefield as a civilian. He recently wrote about his experiences in Afghanistan for Texas Monthy magazine, which showcases a journey from movie mythology to his own grim reality.
In this first installment in The Takeaway's series on post-traumatic stress disorder—commonly referred to as PTSD—we look at the disorder through multiple lenses. Former Marine and author of the upcoming book "The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress disorder" David Morris joins us to discuss his personal experience with PTSD, as well as in the context of psychology, medicine, and literature.
Ambassador Dennis Ross served as a Middle East peace negotiator in the George H.W. Bush and Clinton Administrations. He is currently counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and he discusses the possibilities for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Even though we remember the March on Washington for the soaring poetry of Martin Luther King's dream of racial justice, it is economic justice that remains the elusive prize. William Jones is the author of "The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights," and he joins us to discuss economic justice and the impact it has had on our daily lives. For Tammy Thomas Miles, the March on Washington is not a dream—it's essential to democracy's ultimate prize, and she means to get it.
The Snowden case has caused friction between the United States and Russia and China, as the U.S. believes China may have played a role in Hong Kong's decision to allow Snowden to leave the country. Ambassador Stephen Young, outgoing American consul general in Hong Kong and Macau and Kimberly Marten, Professor of Political Science at Columbia University's Barnard College, examine the relationships between the U.S. and its former Cold War foes.
Palm oil is an increasingly ubiquitous, yet nearly invisible, substance. Consumers can find it in everything from Crest toothpaste and Gillette shaving cream to Nestle and Kraft food products. Benjamin Skinner, reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek and senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, says that rising demand for the product has masked the severe human rights abuses behind its harvest.
On Friday, President Obama addressed the nation, the verdict and commented on the racial climate in the country. Was the President a bridge builder? How has his identity and his place in history been affected by these events and his response to them? Joining us to discuss race in American and President Obama's response to the case is Hermene Hartman, editor-in-chief of N’Digo Magazine in Chicago.
A new study of the U.S. workforce says that where you are headed economically and geographically depends to a surprising degree on where you're coming from. “Where you grow up matters,” Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and one of the study’s authors, told The New York Times. “There is tremendous variation across the U.S. in the extent to which kids can rise out of poverty.” David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief for our partner The New York Times, joins The Takeaway to discuss location and its relationship to prosperity.
Every year, 6,000 American babies are born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, the genetic cause of Down Syndrome. But this week, doctors at the University of Massachusetts Medical School announced a breakthrough that could have significant implications for how we treat the disease.
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul is backing New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in her effort to curb sexual assault cases inside the military. Paul’s backing could prove critical as Gillibrand attempts to build support for her bill, which will be offered as an amendment to the annual Defense Authorization Act. The Kentucky senator says he sees “no reason why conservatives shouldn't support” Gillibrand’s measure. He joins The Takeaway to discuss his reasons for backing the measure.
Today Congress takes its first step toward devising a new coverage formula for the Voting Rights Act, as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears testimony from Civil Rights veteran and Congressman John Lewis and Congressman James Sensenbrenner, among others. Yale Law Professor Heather Gerken, an expert in voting rights and election law, weighs in with her recommendations for a new Voting Rights Act.
After three weeks of silence, NSA leaker Edward Snowden is meeting with international human rights workers today from his base in the Moscow Airport. In an email invitation to groups like Human Rights Watch and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Snowden wrote that he has "been extremely fortunate to enjoy and accept many offers of support and asylum from brave countries around the world,” according to The New York Times. Joining us is Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for our partner The New York Times. She walks us through the possible outcomes this meeting could produce.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began at sundown on Monday night. And with it, millions of Muslims around the world began abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours, in the hopes of finding spiritual growth. But for the Muslims in Guantanamo Bay who’ve been on hunger strike since the spring and regularly face force-feedings, Ramadan is a far more complicated matter. Carol Rosenberg of The Miami Herald joins The Takeaway to discuss force-feedings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
For nearly five centuries, doctors classified nostalgia as a disease, even a form a psychosis. Recent research has shed new light on nostalgia, John Tierney, science columnist for Takeaway partner The New York Times, explains. Over the last ten years, Tierney says, scientists have found that "people who actually indulge in these wistful memories...actually end up feeling more optimistic and more inspired about the future."
Last month, the Senate passed a sweeping, bipartisan overhaul of the nation’s immigration system and passed it on to the House of Representatives. Today House Republicans will hold a closed-door meeting to discuss their own bill. U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold is a Republican representing Texas’s 27th district, which is 49 percent Hispanic. Congressman Farenthold joins us to discuss the major points of this closed-door meeting.
Frustrated with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Obama Administration is considering a faster timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan with the option of withdrawing all troops by the end of 2014. Now, as New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg explains, after failed peace talks between the Karzai government and the Taliban, the timetable might be very different, with serious consequences for the future of Afghanistan.