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May 30, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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AP / Cliff Owen

Truthdigger of the Week: Whistleblower John Kiriakou

The former CIA agent has seen his life ripped apart by the government because he revealed CIA torture. However, he continues to stand up for truth and humaneness and against a system that views all of us as undiscovered felons.
 

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VIDEO: Chris Hedges to Robert Scheer: Why Do You Respect America’s Founding Fathers? (Part 5/7)

In the fifth installment of Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges’ interview with Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer about Scheer’s new book, Hedges challenges him on his reverence for the wealthy, male elites who created the United States.
 
AP / John L. Mone

Our Gang Problem Is Bigger Than We Think

The recent deadly shootout in Texas, among five largely white motorcycle clubs, has drawn attention to the fact that gangs come in a variety of forms and colors.
 
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In an hourlong discussion on “Democracy Now!” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that the NSA can continue to spy on Americans in spite of legislation coming out of Congress and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is about corporate control.

Host Jon Stewart began Tuesday’s “Daily Show” episode by offering his condolences to the NSA metadata collection program.

 
 
 
 
Truthdig Nominated for 9 Southern California Journalism Awards

Truthdig is a finalist for nine Los Angeles Press Club awards, including best website.

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AUDIO: ‘Left, Right & Center’: Islamic State Advances

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss who is responsible for allowing Islamic State to renew its offensive in Iraq and Syria. Sen. Rand Paul blames hawkish Republicans, while Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says Iraqis lack the will to fight.

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Robert Fisk: Taking Away the Right to Protest Empowers Terrorism

Depriving people of the right to express moral outrage through boycotts—as Canada’s Harper government intends to do with critics of Israel—increases the probability that some will resort to violence as a means of political expression, writes Robert Fisk at The Independent.

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VIDEO: Bernie Sanders Launches a Presidential Race for Ordinary Americans

Hear the campaign launch speech of the lone openly socialist figure in the national U.S. political establishment.

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Aerosols May Offer Short-Term Lifeline to Corals in Crisis

Reducing the bleaching of corals by blocking the sun’s rays might buy time to keep tropical reefs alive if efforts are increased to halt global warming.

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Islamic State: What Would Republicans Do?

Critics of the way President Obama is dealing with the Islamic State should be required to specify what alternative steps they would take—and how their strategies would make a difference.

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AUDIO: Whistleblower John Kiriakou to Robert Scheer: Whistleblowers ‘Are Not Alone’

The U.S. government is out to “ruin” people who expose official wrongoing “in every conceivable way,” says John Kiriakou in an interview with Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer. Kiriakou is a 14-year CIA veteran who was jailed for confirming that the U.S. government tortured prisoners via waterboarding.

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Hillary Clinton’s State Department Authorized Billions in Arms Sales to Foundation Donors

As secretary of state, Clinton was charged with rejecting or approving weapons deals—and when it came to Clinton Foundation donors, Clinton’s State Department did a whole lot of approving.

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Vladimir Putin Declares All Military Deaths State Secrets

The Russian president has declared that all military deaths—in peacetime as well as wartime—will be classified as state secrets, with violations punishable by up to seven years in prison.

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Reagan: The Life

Drawing heavily on the former president’s diaries and a raft of memoirs by insiders, author H.W. Brands’ “Reagan: The Life” tells its story briskly, punctuated by doses of well-tempered historical context, occasional and always gentle corrections of Reagan’s flawed representations, and a dash of analysis.

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Smoking Gun: 1960s-Era Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Says Politics ‘Is All Fraudulent’

A trusted and celebrated journalist credited with inventing the genre of the modern presidential campaign book told a close friend in a 1960 letter that all of politics is a fraud but that he felt compelled to play along.

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Bush-Era House Speaker Indicted on Bank-Related Charges

Federal prosecutors have indicted Dennis Hastert, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, for allegedly violating banking laws when he paid an unnamed person to conceal unspecified “past misconduct.”

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New Energy Policy Needed as Nuclear Giants Take a Hit

Plans for a worldwide fleet of huge new nuclear reactors have collapsed, with the cancellation of a major project and no new orders being placed.

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Emoti-Conned: Facebook’s Messenger App Tracks Users’ Very Specific Coordinates

Facebook users who already feel a tad ambivalent about the social media behemoth’s extensive privacy issues might want to sit down for this squirm-inducing update on that front.

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Black People in Minneapolis Are 9 Times More Likely to Be Arrested for Minor Offenses

A damning ACLU report finds “severe,” “pervasive” and “systematic” racial disparities in arrests by Minneapolis police.

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The Pre-Charge Punishment of Julian Assange

When I went to London to interview him in the embassy this week, Assange asserted his belief that this pretrial phase is serving as both punishment and deterrent, and that Sweden is acting as a surrogate for the United States, which wants him jailed to stop the work of WikiLeaks.

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Global News Organizations Will Cooperate to Publish Climate Stories

An unprecedented alliance of news publishers, including The Guardian, El País, Le Monde and China Daily, have announced they will allow other organizations to publish their climate change stories for free in an attempt to raise awareness in the run-up to the next United Nations climate summit.

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Rand Paul Got One (Huge) Thing Right

The Kentucky senator’s filibuster against renewing the Patriot Act made the widely covered campaign speeches of the other presidential candidates—including Hillary Clinton—look shallow.

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VIDEO: Michael Hudson: The TPP and Europe’s Central Bank Against Syriza

Acclaimed heterodox economist Michael Hudson tells The Real News Network that if passed, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will overturn state sovereignty, and that leading International Monetary Fund economists have described the organization as captured by private bondholders.

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The Fire This Time: Black Youth and the Spectacle of Post-Racial Violence

The killing of young Black men such as 16-year-old Kimani Gray, 12-year-old Tamir Rice and 18-year-old Michael Brown are part of a historical pattern of racial terror in which Black populations have been contained and controlled by so-called legitimate mechanisms of state violence.

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Delusionary Washington: The Desperate Plight of a Declining Superpower

Russia refuses to curtail support for armed separatists in Ukraine; China refuses to abandon its base-building endeavors in the South China Sea; the Islamic State movement refuses to capitulate in the face of U.S. airpower. What is a declining superpower supposed to do in the face of such defiance?

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Nebraska Legislators Override Governor’s Veto and Outlaw Capital Punishment

On Wednesday, the Cornhusker State became the 19th state in the U.S. to rid itself of one of our most archaic laws.

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United Nations: Global Finance Must Face Up to Climate Challenge

Trillions of dollars need to be redirected into building low-carbon economies to avoid serious climate change, the U.N. warns.

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Do the Media Have a Double Standard When It Comes to Bernie Sanders?

Salon’s Simon Maloy points out that while every move of Republican presidential hopefuls is reported by U.S. media, the Vermont senator’s ideas are either unreported or ridiculed, despite their apparent value in the face of growing inequality.

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Pro-Choice Protesters to Rally in Paraguay After Child Rape Victim Is Denied Abortion

The Catholic country in which, on average, two children under the age of 16 give birth each day, is facing backlash after authorities ordered a 10-year-old victim of sexual abuse to carry out her pregnancy.

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VIDEO: Ending Corporate Welfare Now Is Step 6 in Saving the Economy

Corporations aren’t people, despite what the Supreme Court says, and they don’t need or deserve handouts.

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Shiite Militias Change Ramadi Campaign Name to ‘I’m Here, O Iraq’ After Pentagon Criticism

Shiite militias in Iraq have changed the name of their current campaign to take Ramadi from Islamic State from “I am here, O Husayn” to “I am here, O Iraq,” since the former could have been interpreted as a sign of sectarianism.

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