Amy Goodman

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Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 650 stations in North America. Check out Democracy Now! everyday on rabbletv.
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CIA scandal reveals secret policy of torture and rendition in U.S.

Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: public domain / Wikimedia

"What keeps me up at night, candidly, is another attack against the United States," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said last month in what was, then, her routine defence of the mass global surveillance being conducted by the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies. All that has changed now that she believes that the staff of the committee she chairs, the powerful, secretive Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was spied on and lied to by the CIA. The committee was formed after the Watergate scandal engulfed the Nixon administration. The Church Committee, led by Idaho Democratic Sen. Frank Church, conducted a comprehensive investigation of abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies, of everything from spying on anti-war protesters to the assassination of foreign leaders.

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Former Black Panther Eddie Conway released after 44 years in prison

Photo: Laurin Corrigible/flickr

Marshall "Eddie" Conway walked free from prison this week, just one month shy of 44 years behind bars. He was convicted of the April 1970 killing of a Baltimore police officer. Conway has always maintained his innocence. At the time of his arrest and trial, he was a prominent member of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party, the militant black-rights organization that was the principal focus of COINTELPRO, the FBI's illegal "counterintelligence program." The FBI, under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, surveilled and infiltrated Black Panther chapters from coast to coast, disrupting their organizing activities, often with violence.

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Remembering the inspired vision of Chokwe Lumumba

Photo: Natalie Maynor/flickr

The world lost a visionary activist this week, with the death of Chokwe Lumumba, the newly elected mayor of Jackson, Miss. Lumumba died unexpectedly at the age of 66 of an apparent heart attack. Last June, he won the mayoral race in this capital of Mississippi, a city steeped in the history of racism and violence. He was a champion of human rights, a pioneering radical attorney, a proud Black Nationalist and a dedicated public servant. While his friends, family and allies mourn his death, there is much in his life to celebrate.

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U.S. Comcast-Time Warner merger threatens media and Internet freedom

Image: watchingfrogsboil/flickr

Comcast has announced it intends to merge with Time Warner Cable, joining together the largest and second-largest cable and broadband providers in the country. The merger must be approved by both the Justice Department and the FCC. Given the financial and political power of Comcast, and the Obama administration's miserable record of protecting the public interest, the time to speak out and organize is now.

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Democracy imprisoned: How racial disparities deny voting rights in the U.S.

Photo: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/flickr

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"I found myself standing in front of railroad tracks in South Florida. I was waiting on the train to come so I could jump in front of it and end my life." So recounted Desmond Meade, describing his life nine years ago. He was homeless, unemployed, recently released from prison and addicted to drugs and alcohol. The train never came. He crossed the tracks and checked himself into a substance-abuse program. He went on to college, and now is just months away from receiving his law degree.

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Sochi Winter Olympics highlight constellation of abuses standard in Putin's Russia

Photo: wikimedia commons

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The Sochi Olympic Games are rightly highlighting the constellation of abuses that have become standard in Russia under Vladimir Putin. Most notably is intense, often violent homophobia, tacitly endorsed by the government with the recent passage of the law against "gay propaganda." While Sochi shines a light on Russian human-rights violations, it affords an opportunity to expose the rampant corruption and abuse that accompanies the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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Singing truth to power: Pete Seeger's legacy of social justice

Photo: Josef Schwarz/Wikimedia Commons

Pete Seeger's life, like the arc of the moral universe famously invoked by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., bent toward justice. He died this week at 94. Pete sang truth to power through the epic struggles of most of the last century, for social justice, for civil rights, for workers, for the environment and for peace. His songs, his wise words, his legacy will resonate for generations.

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Remembering Aaron Swartz: Fighting back against mass surveillance

Photo: Daniel J. Sieradski/flickr

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PARK CITY, Utah—A year after Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz's suicide at the age of 26, a film about this remarkable young man has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, titled The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, directed by Brian Knappenberger, follows the sadly short arc of Aaron's life. He committed suicide while under the crushing weight of unbending, zealous federal prosecutors, who had Aaron snatched off the street near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, accusing him of computer crimes.

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Fukushima is an ongoing warning to the world

Photo: Wolfgang Sterneck/flickr

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TOKYO—"I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world," wrote the journalist Wilfred Burchett from Hiroshima. His story, headlined, "The Atomic Plague" appeared in the London Daily Express on Sept. 5, 1945. Burchett violated the U.S. military blockade of Hiroshima, and was the first Western journalist to visit that devastated city. He wrote: "Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. It looks as if a monster steamroller had passed over it and squashed it out of existence."

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Long-held secret about FBI spying casts light on NSA surveillance today

Photo: Chris-Håvard Berge/flickr

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This week, more news emerged about the theft of classified government documents, leaked to the press, that revealed a massive, top-secret surveillance program. No, not news of Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency, but of a group of anti-Vietnam war activists who perpetrated one of the most audacious thefts of government secrets in U.S. history, and who successfully evaded capture, remaining anonymous for more than 40 years. Among them: two professors, a daycare provider and a taxi driver.

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