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    The Critical Hour

    NSA Halts Surveillance Program on Americans But Doesn't Shut Down Surveillance

    The Critical Hour
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    Wilmer Leon
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by William Binney, former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency turned whistle-blower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency.

    It is being reported that the National Security Agency has quietly shut down a system that analyzes logs of Americans' domestic calls and texts, according to a senior Republican congressional aide, Luke Murry, who is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's national security adviser. If true, this halts a program that has touched off disputes about privacy and the rule of law since the September 11 attacks. It is reported that the agency has not used the system in months, and the Trump administration might not ask Congress to renew its legal authority, which is set to expire at the end of the year. Is this true, and does it matter?

    More than 80 people were arrested last night during a protest in East Sacramento, California. They are protesting the findings of the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office regarding Stephon Clark's police shooting death. DA Anne Marie Schubert said Saturday that no criminal charges will be filed against the two officers who shot and killed the 22-year-old last year, saying, "[W]hen we look at the facts and the law, and we follow our ethical responsibilities, the answer to that question [of whether a crime was committed] is no. And as a result, we will not charge these officers with any criminal liability related to the shooting death and use of force on Stephon Clark." Is this a surprising decision, and what are the options going forward for the family of Clark and for the residents of Sacramento?

    Attorneys for Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, filed a lawsuit yesterday Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court seeking to overturn an arbitrators decision to keep him off the force. The city is making a similar court challenge to an arbitrator's decision that is expected to allow Alan Buford, who shot and killed 18-year-old Brandon Jones (who was shot during a struggle with police after a reported break-in at a store, but a police spokesman said there was no weapon found at the scene), to return to his old job. Both cases went before arbitrators, whose decisions are often the final word in such disputes. Both disputes would also require judges to find significant errors in the judgment of the arbitrators, and that is a legal long shot, according to labor and law experts interviewed by cleveland.com.

    The family of dual US-Saudi citizen being held in Saudi Arabia believes he has been tortured. It is being reported that Dr. Walid Fitaihi has been beaten, tortured and jailed by the Saudi government. The US State Department confirmed Fitaihi's detainment in Saudi Arabia and that it has raised Fitaihi's case with the Saudi government. Fitaihi is a physician who came to the US in the 1980s for school and then worked here. He went back to Saudi Arabia in 2006 to start a hospital, which his family built. He would periodically come back to the US for business. He was detained in November 2017 at the Ritz Carlton hotel, along with other prominent Saudis, his lawyer says. How concerned should we be about this action being taken by the Saudi government?

    GUESTS:

    William Binney — Former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency turned whistle-blower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency.

    John Burris - Lead attorney and founder of the Law Office of John L. Burris. He is primarily known for his work in the area of civil rights, with an emphasis on police misconduct and excessive force cases.

    Talib Karim - Attorney and executive director of STEM4US.

     

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    Walid Fitaihi, Talib Karim, Stephon Clark, Tamir Rice, Saudi Arabia
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