national security

  From drone warfare in the Middle East to digital spying by the National Security Agency, the U.S. government has harnessed the power of cutting-edge technology to awesome effect. But what happens when ordinary people have the same tools at their fingertips? Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that more people than ever before have access to potentially dangerous technologies—from drones to computer networks and biological agents—which could be used to attack states and private citizens alike.

In The Future of Violence, law and security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum detail the myriad possibilities, challenges, and enormous risks present in the modern world, and argue that if our national governments can no longer adequately protect us from harm, they will lose their legitimacy. We welcome Gabriella Blum to The Roundtable.

  The Odyssey Bookshop is hosting the book launch for Ellen Meeropol's new novel this coming Tuesday in South Hadley, MA. The new novel is called: On Hurricane Island.

Told over the five days approaching the anniversary of 9/11, by varying voices on both extremes of the political divide, the novel is both a fast-paced political thriller and a literary examination of the sociopolitical storm facing our society.

How far should government go in the name of protecting our national security? What happens when governmental powers of surveillance and extra-legal interrogation are expanded? How free are we?

  Forty years ago, a majority of Americans were highly engaged in issues of war and peace. Whether to go to war or keep out of conflicts was a vital question at the heart of the country’s vibrant, if fractious, democracy. But American political consciousness has drifted. In the last decade, America has gone to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, while pursuing a new kind of warfare in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan. National security issues have increasingly faded from the political agenda, due in part to the growth of government secrecy.

Journalist and lawyer Scott Horton shows how secrecy has changed the way America functions in his book, Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Warfare.

Nick Turse

Feb 19, 2014

    Nick Turse, award-winning journalist specializing in national security and military issues, is the managing editor of and Investigative Fund fellow at the Nation Institute.

The whereabouts of alleged NSA leaker Edward Snowden is only the latest mystery surrounding the agency’s phone and internet surveillance programs that were largely clandestine up until about three weeks ago.

For Dick De Veaux, professor of statistics in the department of mathematics and statistics at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, news of the programs wasn’t surprising. Since 2004 De Veux has been taking part in a summer program organized by the NSA to bring some of the best technical minds together and troubleshoot their data collection and analysis programs.

  We have entered a new era in domestic surveillance.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Bill Owens tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that there must be a balance between national security intelligence and privacy.

Residents of Pittsfield, Massachusetts voiced their views of reports that the NSA has gathered phone records from millions of Americans.

Pittsfield mayor Dan Bianchi rounded out the conversations with city residents.

Wikimedia Commons/Kadellar

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police have given an all-clear after an abandoned vehicle closed the Brooklyn Bridge at the tail end of the Memorial Day long weekend.

Police say the Dodge Durango found stopped along the Manhattan-bound side of the span had no license plates when they investigated Monday evening.

Investigators say they received the call around 5:15 p.m. and halted traffic in both directions around 6 p.m. Police gave the all-clear as of 7 p.m.

5/24/13 - Panel

May 24, 2013

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, WAMC's Ray Graf and University at Albany Journalism Professor and investigative reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
President Obama's national security address
The IRS/tea party scandal
The Boy Scouts of America allow gay scouts, but not gay scout masters
Anthony Weiner comes back on the political scene